The marbled hatchetfish (Carnegiella strigata) is a small, normally 3.5 cm (1.4 in) in length, freshwater ray-finned fish native to South America. Hatchet shaped, it presents a gold line extending from its eye to its caudal fin while the area below has a brown and cream colored marble-like pattern (hence its name).
The marbled hatchetfish is common in the aquarium industry. Like most Amazonian fish, the species prefers softer, acidic water. Hatchetfish occupy the top portion of the tank and like many other aquarium species may be shy at feeding times just after they have been introduced. However, given some time and proper water conditions, they will be less chary. As with most characins (see Characidae), they are omnivores. However, they will not swim to the bottom to eat so all food must float. Hatchets have a tendency to be shy fish and are easily intimidated by larger or fast moving fish, so they are only appropriate for very peaceful communities or species tanks. They will also be happier if they don't have to share the top portion of the tank with any other fish and if kept in schools of at least three. They like plants with long trailing leaves to hide under. It is absolutely necessary for tanks inhabited by these beautiful fish to have a tight lid, as they can and will jump when startled. Marbled hatchetfish are egg scatterers and have been bred in the aquarium hobby.