Hockeystick Pencilfish (Nannostomus eques)
Hockeystick Pencilfish are calm, shy and friendly, but they do not make an ideal community fish because of their small size and rather timid nature. The pencilfish is nonetheless a speedy swimmer, almost passive during the day, and active at night.
It always swims diagonally, head upwards, and tilted.
This species of pencilfish are small, very slender, and elongated fish. They have a brown lateral stripe extending from nose to caudal-fin base. Above the dark brown line is a silver-grey stripe. It has a dark brown spot on each body scale except those forming part of the silver stripe.
|Scientific Name||Nannostomus eques|
|Other Names||Rocket Pencilfish, Diptail Pencilfish|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Best kept as||Groups 10+|
|Lifespan||up to 5 year|
|Temperature||73 - 82 ℉ (22.8 - 27.8 ℃)|
|PH||4.5 - 7.5|
|GH||3 - 10|
|TDS||18 - 179|
Hockeystick Pencil fish originate from the Central and upper Amazon regions in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia, including the Rios Tapajos, Trombetas, Madeira, Rio Negro, Japura, Ica, and Putumayo.
They inhabit slow-moving waters sluggish streams, swampy areas and flooded forests, especially in areas where aquatic vegetation grows densely with leaf litter or submerged wooded structures.
It is also known from the Orinoco drainage in Venezuela plus various rivers of Guyana including the Essequibo and Curuni.
Other Pencilfish of interest
Diet & Feeding
In nature, they are carnivorous, feeding on things like invertebrates and zooplankton. Still, in the aquarium, they will accept small dried foods with a preference of live foods such as mosquito larvae, Daphnia, Artemia and worms, making them omnivorous.
Breeding of this species is quite difficult but has been known to be successful in some cases.
You will need a mature, soft water breeding tank that is densely planted as this pencilfish lays there eggs in batches on the bottom of plant leaves.
Spawning can last up to 10 hours, once the eggs can be seen, you need to remove the adults or remove the plants that have the eggs on and place them in a separate tank, or they may very well be eaten.
You should be able to see the fry around 24-36 hours later, and they will become free swimming on the 5th or 6th day.