Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Coral Red Pencilfish, also know as the Peruvian Red Pencilfish and Red Arc Pencilfish, is endemic to the upper Rio Nanay of Peru. Pencilfish are beloved for their relative hardiness, ease of care, unique body shape, and personality. There are few discernable differences between male and female Coral red pencilfish. Both sexes have brilliant red coloration with several dark black horizontal stripes across their body. Pencilfish are natural shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of 6 or more individuals for their social behavior and to avoid skittishness. Males may engage in occasional sparring. A solitary pencilfish should otherwise be kept with other active and confident species to help deter withdrawn behavior. An adult Coral red pencilfish can reach a size of approximately 1-1/4″.
Diet Requirements: Coral red pencilfish are omnivores and have been described as micropredators in the wild. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable based and protein based flake foods, micro pellet foods and bug bites are ideal, in addition to offering frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp and daphnia. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. The red pigmentation of this species may be accentuated further if fed a food with a high concentration of the carotenoid astaxanthin (such as New Life Spectrum Ultra Red pellets).
Care Requirements: A minimum 10 to 15 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small group of Coral red pencilfish. A tight fitting lid is recommended given that this species spends a lot of its time in the middle and top portions of the aquarium. Pencilfish should not be introduced into a biologically immature aquarium. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters up to standard (Nitrates < 30 ppm). The aquarium should have gentle water movement and be aquascaped with a fine substrate and live plants on the denser side to provide security and broken lines of sight. Coral red pencilfish are extremely peaceful and rarely conflict with tank mates. Their timid nature, however, may make them not suitable for traditional community aquariums that have overly rambunctious or competitive species. Mix Coral red pencilfish with other typical peaceful nano fishes such as certain tetra, rasbora, danio and dwarf rainbow species. Pencilfish are safe with Neocaridina shrimps. Recommended water conditions, 74-82° F, KH 4-8, pH 5.0-7.0.
Purchase Size: Medium: 1”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.