Hatchet Alternatives

mhancock

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I'd like to get some mild mannered fish to go near the top of my tanks.
 
I've had hatchets before which I loved as they are so unusual, however I felt very uneasy having them a tank where they could not jump, it seemed cruel. 
 
I'd appreciate other people's thoughts on whether or not hatchets are suitable to tanks with lids, and what other fish I could consider?
 
Thanks,
 
 
 
 
M
 

Ninjouzata

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You want a lid on a tank that has hatchetfish..otherwise you will find them dead on the floor :/ I see no issue with keeping a lid on to make sure they're safe!
 
Perhaps have a look at pencilfish? Not sure if they jump or not.
 

Zante

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Any fish that lives close to the surface will jump as an escape from predators, and why not?
I don't think you'll find any top dwellers that aren't known jumpers.
 

kiwifeather

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I have pencilfish (Golden/Beckfords depending on where you live) and I find, at least this species, doesn't spend as much time up at the top of the tank as you'd think, they tend to spend more time in the middle and go up top and down lower at their leisure, although they are more "higher mid" than my cardinals. This species of pencilfish at least, doesn't seem to be what you are looking for. I have heard Rockets are more top dwelling. I don't remember hearing about pencils being huge jumpers, but with any top dwelling fish its probably a possibility. You don't want fish jumping to their deaths though, a lid is best.
Some other fish that hang out up top are African Butterfly fish, Halfbeaks, some killifish species, gouramis and bettas spend time up top too and guppies, penguin tetras and harlequin rasboras seem to as well when I have seen them at the LFS.
 

PrincessKiara

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Bettas live at the surface. Mine lies on the floating plants almost like a kitten.
Why not keep a lid on, though? They will normally not jump unless frightened, and you don't want them committing suicide! I've lost some guppies that way. Not fun at all.
If it doesn't have to be a fish...my ramshorn snails crawl upside down on the water surface, using the surface tension :p and those don't jump, though they may escape :p
 
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mhancock

mhancock

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I thought that hatchets jumped to catch insects, hence my comments about a lid being cruel (rather than high sides instead).
 

PrincessKiara

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Nope, AFAIK they jump to escape predators...that might be true as well, but you still don't want them killing themselves
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They can jump pretty far and chances are if they do jump they won't land back in the tank--there's a reason why they're known as Freshwater Flying Fish!
tongue2.gif
Look at the size of their pectoral fins, they use them to glide when they jump
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IMHO, saying a lid is cruel in this case would be like saying it's cruel to give a gymnast a safety mattress to land on in case she falls! :p ;)
 

MBOU

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I definitely don't advise anyone wanting a surface dwelling fish not to have a lid, it is guaranteed crispy fish rather than fish with a slight headache.
 
There are alternatives to hatchets but hard to say without knowing tank stats but off the top of my head:
 
-Hatchets
-Pencil Fish (Beckford and Hockeystick are most common around here but there are loads of really stunning species!)
-Chela dadburouri (in their own group they are like a cross between a danio and a hatchet, they are small, yellow with blue dot/stripe danio shaped but with the upturned pectoral fins like a hatchet... completely mild mannered but fairly energetic).
-Guppies (for the most part, they tend to spend more time at the top)
-Gouramis (honey gouramis are great and do well in groups as well as pairs, opaline or gold if you have a m/f pair and the space, likewise for pearls etc, croaking, thicklipped gouramis don't tend to spend time near top and now do dwarf gouramis really).
-Halfbeaks (loads of different species around!)
-Penguin Tetras (personally wouldn't keep them in groups of less than 10 as they can get narky).
-Rainbow fish (only referring to the tiddlers like Threadfin Rainbows, Forktail Rainbows, Signifer or Getrudes Rainbows etc)
-Fighters (doesn't have to just be a B. splendens, there are lots of species!)
-Danios (of course they do need much lower temperatures so might not be advisable, exceptions to swimming near the top are Glowlight Danios, they don't tend to).
-Microrasbora (Most of the tiny micros shoal just under the surface, especially if you have floating plants).
 
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mhancock

mhancock

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Thank you, might give microrasbora a try - assuming not small enough for the Betta to eat!?
 

MBOU

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Erm.... hard to tell with that one actually.. would depend on the betta...
 

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