A basic guide to keeping Pencilfish.
Minimum aquarium size - a minimum tank size of 24 x 12 x 12inches (600mm x 300mm x 300mm) is preferable.
Temperature - generally between 20o-26oC 68o-80oF.Habitat: These fish are found in slow moving ‘back waters’ that are full of plants. A well planted aquarium is beneficial. One species (Nannostomus trifasciatus) has males that tend to be territorial, so plenty of cover is needed. Pencilfish are not plant eaters. All species of tropical plant are acceptable in the aquarium.
Water parameters- Pencilfish are found in soft acid waters but most will readily adapt to hard alkaline water. Nannostomus espei should only be kept in soft acid water.
Pencilfish prefer small slow moving tank mates and are not happy when boisterous fish are around. As they are small fish, they need to be with other small species.
They will readily accept all manner of live, frozen and dried flake foods.
Not generally noted for having health problems. Only select fish that are alert and swimming with fins erect. Inspect closely for signs of disease. Reject lethargic, damaged or hollow-bellied specimens.
Habitat - freshwater tropical aquarium
Sociability - good but keep with fish of similar size and calm temperament
Care - easy
The Pet Owners Association are grateful to the Federation of British Aquatic Societies for the above information and image.