SIZE: 1 inch
Overview: As the name indicates, Pencil Fish is a slender shaped fish that is popular for being sharp at the muzzle. With a long life span of around five years, Pencil Fish are a great aquarium creature that can grow as long as 3 cm. This fish comprises a red body and has 2 horizontal black stripes making it remarkably unique and attractive. The vibrant color makes it very alluring in look and pleasing to the eyes. If you want to add colors to your tank, Pencil Fish could be a great choice. The lower part of the body is a bit paler than the striking red-colored above part. On the contrary to most of the fish, the males in Pencil Fish are paler than the female, which is also one of the differential features between the two.
Distribution & Habitat: As per the reports, Pencil Fish was first spotted in the river Rio and in Peru in the year 2001. Since then, it is popular with different names in that region like Peruvian Red Pencil Fish, Ruby Red Pencil Fish, Red Arc Pencil Fish, and many more, all due to its bright red color and slender body shape. Most of the time, Pencil Fish can be seen protecting their territory in shoals.
Temperature: Pencil Fish is a bit sensitive when it is about temperature and water conditions. If you are thinking of keeping it in your tank, you must have at least intermediate experience and knowledge about the aquarium setup. The best temperature range for Pencil Fish is between 22 and 27 degrees centigrade.
Water Conditions: The pH of the water should remain between 5.7 and 7.0. Likewise, the hardness should not go below 3 dGH and beyond 10 dGH. As for the lighting requirements, a low level of light intensity will keep the fish calmer and tranquil. Ensure that water parameters do not fluctuate suddenly as Pencil Fish is pretty sensitive and may come under stress.
Feeding: While in natural habitat, Pencil Fish feeds majorly on animals that lack backbone like annelid, arthropod, etc., in the aquarium. You can provide them with anything eatable by fish pellets, flakes, frozen food, etc. Pencil Fish are omnivorous and not a fussy eater.
Breeding: Males get aggressive and territorial while breeding. So it is better to breed them in pairs in a small/nano tank rather than all together. If the tank is densely planted and has good vegetation, fish will remain calmer while breeding. Pencil Fish do not prefer bright lights. The right temperature and pH for breeding are around 23 degrees and 6.7, respectively.
Lifespan: Pencil Fish can live up to 5 years under the right water conditions and enough food.
Do You Know?
Female Pencil Fish are obedient, peaceful, and nonviolent, unlike males that are always aggressive. During procreation, the body of the male becomes strikingly brighter than before.