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Carnegiella Marble (Carnegiella strigata) – content, breeding

Carnegiella marble (Carnegiella strigata) GUNTHER, 1864

Since 1909, the species C. strigata (which at the time was known as Gasteropelecus strigatus) has been named after Miss Margaret Carnegie to represent the grace of these fish.

strigata: from the Latin strigatus, which means “having transverse colored stripes’.

Characteristic (Characiformes).
Family: Gasteropelecidae (Barbed Belt).

It differs from other members of the genus in the large size of adults and in the dark marble color pattern in the form of a series of dark and light stripes located diagonally on the body below the lateral line.

Habitat and Habitat

Currently has a huge range of distribution throughout the Amazon in Bolivia, Brazil, Peru and Colombia, plus Rio Orinoco in Venezuela.

Most fish for the decorative trade are caught in the Rio Negro River basin, Brazil.

Carnegiella marble exclusive resident of “black water / blackwater”.

In the Rio Negro river basin, habitats are characterized by dense coastal vegetation, often hanging over the water, the bottom is covered with fallen branches, tree roots and fallen leaves.

The water is usually acidic, with a slight carbonate hardness and is colored brownish due to the presence of humic acids released during the decomposition of organic substances.

The Rio Negro River has a substantial floodplain (part of the river valley flooded during floods or during floods) and the water level can rise up to 15 meters during the annual rainy season.

During the period of flooding, small species of fish, such as C. strigata, move upstream in tributaries of the river, and then into the flooded forest itself to fatten up and reproduce before offspring, before returning to tributaries when the water subsides.


Not a typical fish shape. The profile of the abdomen from the small ventral fins to the beginning of the caudal fin is almost a straight line. The profile of the dorsal somewhat convex.

Dorsal fin far back very close to tail. The pectoral (lateral) fins are twice as long as the body, turned upwards, which give them the appearance of wings.

They do not have a fat fin.

The main color of the fish is silver with shades of yellow, green and sometimes purple. The abdominal area has three black or brown stripes that are not linear and can be broken into spots. The back is dark brown.

The fins are transparent with a slight golden tint.

The size

The maximum standard length is 30 – 35 mm.


A surface size of 75 * 30 cm or more is recommended, since this view must be contained in a flock.

Ideally, they should be kept in aquariums densely planted with aquatic plants, preferably with a dark substrate and with some floating plants around which the fish will gather, as they spend almost all their time closer to the surface.

Snags and branches will recreate the natural landscape. Dried leaves can also be added to create colonies of bacteria that form when they decompose.

These microorganisms can serve as a valuable secondary source of food for fry, while tannin and other chemicals are also considered useful.

The movement of the water should be weak to moderate, an aquarium with a tight-fitting lid, this species can jump out of the water when frightened.

Temperature: 20 – 28 ° С

Stiffness: 2 – 19 DGH


First of all, Carnegiella is a marble predator, in nature, feeding on land and aquatic invertebrates and other zooplankton harvested on or near the water surface.

In an aquarium, it will receive dried food of a suitable size, but regular feeding with small live and frozen food, such as Nauplii Artemia, Daphnia, Moin, etc., should also be offered.

Behavior and Compatibility

Very peaceful, but this does not make C. strigata an ideal fish for a common aquarium because of its small size and rather timid nature.

An example of the selection of the aquarium community for the aquarium-biotope of the Ucayali river in Peru, where Carnegiella the Marble coexists perfectly.

It is better to keep kallichtovy or loricarium catfishes from a similar size, peaceful haracin and small size. This also makes Marble Blades the ideal neighbors for Apistograms and other dwarf cichlids, as they tend to populate middle or upper water levels in the aquarium, and do not pursue their fry.

The Carnegiella Marble (Carnegiella strigata) is a schooling fish, so buy / keep as much as possible, ideally 10 or more, when kept in large groups, any aggression is distributed between individuals plus the fish becomes bolder and show a more natural behavior and better color.

Sexual Dimorphism

Some individuals grow and become larger and rounder than others, presumably they are adult females.


Carnegiella Marble is a popular species in aquarism, but individuals that are of this species are not bred on a commercial basis and are caught in the wild.

Reproduction in the aquarium

In an aquarium, breeding can be quite difficult, but they can spawn under certain conditions. Water should be soft and slightly acidic, and proper nutrition should be selected.

After long courtship, the female lays eggs on the roots of floating plants.

Water parameters in the spawning aquarium:

Water should be old ?, soft and slightly acidic with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and a hardness of about 5 °. The temperature rises slightly to around 24 – 26 ° C. Low light will provide floating plants, along with a sandy substrate creating a spawning environment.

A small, air-filter sponge will provide filtration and poor circulation of water. You can add peat to the substrate or extract it directly into the water.

They can be spawned in pairs, but the most successful way of breeding these fish is to find them in a small group of 4 to 6 individuals.

A varied diet that stimulates spawning includes small flying insects, such as fruit flies, bloodworms and other small crustaceans.

After successful spawning, remove the producers, they eat the eggs and larvae. Caviar is incubated for approximately 30 to 36 hours.

Juveniles will swim freely in 1-2 days, very small.

It is necessary to start feeding on infusoria, it is necessary for the first week or so, until the fry are large enough to feed on micro-food or nauplii of artemia.

About a month later, the young begin to take the form of adult fish.

Lifespan from 2 to 5 years depending on the conditions of detention.

Carnegiella Marble (C. strigata) moderately hardy and recommended for aquarists with some experience of keeping aquarium fish.

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