Golden Pencilfish, Beckford's Pencilfish Nannostomus beckfordi | PicturesSynonyms: Nannostomus
anomalus, N. aripirangensis Physical description: This elongated fish, varies greatly in color depending on the geographical location
from which it originated.
A thick, dark band extends from the snout to the base of the caudal fin.
The tall dorsal fin ranges in color
depending on the fish's body color.
Size/Length: To 2.5" (6.4 cm)
Similar species: One-lined Pencilfish (
Nannobrycon unifasciatus), Dwarf Pencilfish (
Habitat: Thickets of shallow vegetation in small brooks and creeks. South America; French Guyana,
Guyana, and Brazil in the Rio Negro and middle Amazon.
S: middle, top
Aquarium: 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallons (38 L).
The tank should be well-planted with
fine-leafed plants (possible spawning site) and have a partial cover of floating plants to diffuse the light.
the tank in dark colors with dark gravel.
This fish prefers clean, peat-filtered water.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7.5 (6.7), dH 1-18 (5), 72-81°F (22-27°C)
Social behavior: A peaceful fish best kept in schools.
Combine with other peaceful fish including
small characins and catfish.
Unlike other species in this family, Beckford's Pencilfish can be combined with more lively
Males often battle with each other, although neither fish is ever injured.
Suggested companions: Tetras, Corydoras,
Apistogramma, Discus, Hatchetfish, Rasboras,
Danios. FOOD: Live; Brine Shrimp, bloodworms, glassworms,
Tubifex, mosquito larvae,
; also takes dry foods
SEX: Males are slimmer with brighter red colors.
Breeding techniques: Use a small tank with a pH from 6.0 to 7.0, soft to medium water (1-6 dH), and a warm
temperature of 82-86°F (28-30°C).
Place as many fine-leafed plants as possible in the tank along with
The lighting should be dim.
Spawning is initiated when the male pokes the female's abdomen.
are notorious egg-eaters and often eat the eggs are they are dropped.
Try using a pipette to suck up the eggs,
before this occurs.
Remove the pair or the eggs to a rearing tank.
The transparent eggs hatch in 24-36
hours and the fry are free-swimming after 6 more days.
At this time, the fry swim near the surface of the water and should
be fed with roftiers, newly hatched Artemia, and powdered foods.
When the young begin to swim at a lower water
level, they can be fed larger foods.
With frequent partial water changes, the young will grow quickly, even
beginning to develop adult colors as soon as five weeks.
Breeding potential: 5.
Breeding is fairly easy as long as the eggs are separated from the parents in time.
Remarks: Beckford's Pencilfish occasionally has problems with acclimation.
It is normal for individuals to be shy
and lose color for the first weeks in a new tank.
There are several different color forms available.
The color of this fish greatly depends
on its geographical habitat.
Several sub-species have been described.
Beckford's Pencilfish is the easiest of its genus
to care for and breed.
When excited, the colors of this fish are intensified.
Difficulty of care: 3. A hardy, peaceful fish ideal for small community tanks.