Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Three Lined Pencilfish has a large distribution throughout the western Amazon basin in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. Encountering wild-caught specimens within the aquarium trade does still happen for this species, although the majority of Three lined pencilfish are produced on a commerical fishery basis. Pencilfish are beloved for their relative hardiness, ease of care, unique body shape, and personality. There are few differences between male and female Three lined pencilfish, as both sexes are a muted yellow-green with three horizontal stripes of different colors and intensity. Males tend to also have small patches of red color on their fins. Wild-caught individuals can vary a bit more in coloration due to differences in type-locality of where they were collected. 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 A solitary pencilfish should otherwise be kept with other active and confident species to help deter withdrawn behavior.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 Three lined pencilfish can reach a size of approximately 1-1/4″.
Diet Requirements: Three lined 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.
Care Requirements: A minimum 10 to 15 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small group of Three lined 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. Three lined 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 Three lined 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 5.0-8.0.
Purchase Size: Medium: 1”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.