Wrestling Halfbeak

The wrestling halfbeak is a surface fish that looks like a small pike fish. Most of the time you’ll find it swimming just under the surface of the water. The name of this fish finds it origin in the male behaviour: males tend to fight among each other, therefore the name wrestling halfbeak fish.


The halfbeak is an easily startled fish, especially when the lights are suddenly turned on or off. They can jump, so it’s important to keep them in an aquarium with a covered lit. A wide tank is equally important because they are known to hurt their beak while running into the glass of the aquarium after being startled. You can prevent this by adding a dimmer to your light source to create a natural, more relaxed sunrise and sunset.


It is important to keep the water surface clean, by adding a streaming pump. Also make sure there is enough free-swimming space as well as a densely planted area for the fish to shelter. Keep the water pristine by doing frequent but small water changes as the halfbeak does not fare well when the water temperature or chemistry suddenly changes. 


Just like guppies, the wrestling halfbeak is live-bearing. It’s important to provide them with a vitamin D rich diet, otherwise the fry are stillborn. Keep the female and the fry separate when born in order to prevent the fry from being eaten by other fish.

Dermogenys pusillusMales up to 5 cm and females up to 7 cm
South-East Asia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, PhilippinesTemperature: 20 – 27 °C
pH: 6,5 – 8,0
GH: 9 – 13
The upper jaw is mobile as well, being able to move up and down. Males tend to fight among each other, therefore the name wrestling halfbeak fish.


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