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Nannostomus trifasciatus
Three-Lined Pencilfish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Three-Lined Pencilfish - Nannostomus trifasciatus

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pencil3.jpg (10kb)
Photo Credit: Orlando Grillo

Name: Nannostomus trifasciatus
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Amazon Basin
6 cm 40 L 6.8 25C


These fish have beautiful red fins bordered with an intense sky blue color on the pectorals. I was happy to add 4 of these to my 75 liter tank. Unfortunately, I had to return them to the fish store because they harrassed their tankmates into hiding; they even chased off my oto's (the fish store said that's really really odd). They did however leave my gold ram alone. These fish are supposed to be peaceful community tank candidates, but they didn't workout for me. Maybe they should be kept in larger tanks and I'm guessing they could possibly hold their own in a large enough semi-aggressive tank. They also seemed more intelligent and cunning than other fish in my experience. Hopefully someday I'll have another tank setup in the distant future that would accomodate these cool fish.

Contributed by Shawn Peters

My aquarium is quite young, I started it 8 weeks ago. I waited six weeks before introducing any fish and these were there first I got together with oto. Their home is a 180 L, all cryptocoryne tank. These fish have a nice color arrangement as you can see on the picture. But when the lights are turned off they change color quite drastically...the pattern changes to thicker vertical lines. In my tank, which has a depth of 30 cm at the front, they frequent the bottom and middle areas but they do prefer the top layer hovering underneath the small floating plants. These fish show nice behaviour...they can hover at one place and sometimes they have a little dance with one of their companions. They vibrate against one another in opposite directions kind of intimidating one another. One of them runs off and the winner goes after him for a short chase. All this is nothing harmful, in fact it adds a very playful accent to the group. Sometimes all 7 of them school together, but at any other given time they each separately dwell the tank, roaming arround slowly. In the tank they are accompanied by a school of 12 M. sweglesi which populate the underlying water areas and the oto's are sort of bottom dwellers (when taking a break in their algae search :). I recommend these fish to anyone because of their lively colours and interesting interactions. Try to house them in soft water with a slightly acidic pH arround 6.5.

Contributed by Geoffrey Quintelier

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