Wrestling Halfbeak

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Dermogenys pusilla - (Kuhl & van Hasselt, 1823)
Wrestling Halfbeak

A freshwater halfbeak, a delicate aquarium species. Aaron Norman


The Halfbeaks are delicate fishes that are typically “nervous” aquarium residents and may swim about the tank frantically, often injuring themselves. Add to this their special dietary requirements and you have a group of fishes that are best left to expert aquarists.

Family: Hemirhamphidae

Other common name(s):

  • Halfbeak
  • Freshwater Halfbeak

Native range:

Habitat: Along the shores and in protected areas of rivers, streams, canals, flooded areas. Young fish found in mangrove swamps during rainy season.

Maximum length: 7 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 114 L (30 gal)

Water: Freshwater 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)


Carnivore. Offer meaty floating foods, such as freeze-dried insects, worms, and crustaceans. Wingless fruit flies will be taken greedily. Will starve in a tank fed only with sinking foods or with highly competitive tankmates.

Aquarium Compatibility

Needs peaceful tankmates and no other competition for the top level of the tank.

Special Care

Be sure to include floating plants to provide a sense of security.



Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW