Max Size: 5cm

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.


Hockeystick Pencilfish
Hockeystick Pencilfish
Hockeystick Pencilfish
Hockeystick Pencilfish
Hockeystick Pencilfish
Hockeystick Pencilfish
Hockeystick Pencilfish
Quick Facts
Scientific NameNannostomus eques
Other NamesRocket Pencilfish, Diptail Pencilfish
OriginsBrazil, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 10+
Lifespanup to 5 year
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.5 - 7.5
GH3 - 10
TDS18 - 179
73 - 82℉
22.8 - 27.8℃

Natural Habitat

Rio Negro


In the home aquarium, the Hockeystick Pencilfish will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

2 interesting tank mate ideas for the Hockeystick Pencilfish could include:

Agassizs Corydoras(Corydoras agassizii)
Red Rili Shrimp(Neocaridina davidi var)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is easy to determine the different sexes of this species.

The males are more colourful and normally slimmer than females, and also possess an extended anal-fin and usually have a white edge.

Other Pencilfish of interest

Barred Pencilfish(Nannostomus espei)
Cenepa Red Pencilfish(Nannstomus sp)
Coral Red Pencilfish(Nannostomus mortenthaleri)
Dwarf Pencilfish(Nannostomus marginatus)
Golden Pencilfish(Nannostomus beckfordi)
Purple Pencilfish(Nannostomus rubrocaudatus)
View all Pencilfish
Date Added: 24/08/2020 - Updated: 08/08/2022 15:43:06