Coral Red Pencilfish – Profile | Facts | Care | Breed | Tank Mates


Coral Red Pencilfish, a scientific name Nannostomus mortenthaleri, has a long body and it’s sharped on the muzzle, a beautiful aquarium fish. The pencilfish can obtain most growth of three centimeters and may stay roughly 5 years. It has a broad-lined look, because of the 2 horizontal black stripes on its great red body.

Coral Red Pencilfishp profile

The lower part of the body is a bit paler and even white than the remainder of it. Usually, the males are just about paler than the females, and the opposite distinction between them is the white blotch at their backside dorsal fin. When they procreate, the males’ entire body turns quite a bit brighter.

Pencilfish (Nannostomus) have numerous sorts like Dwarf Pencilfish, Red Pencilfish, Golden Pencilfish, and many others. It is a genus of freshwater ray-finned fish from the Lebiasinidae family.

It at present contains about 20 species. The name of the genus in Greek means “small mouth”, which is indicated not by the small size of representatives whose body size not often exceeds three cm.

Coral Red Pencilfish Overview

This pencilfish has a red body with two, sturdy horizontal black traces, giving it a broadly-striped look. It is often known as the Red Arc Pencilfish, Peruvian Red Pencilfish, and Ruby Red Pencilfish.

This is among the most stunning characins out there, but it vies for this place with a fair more lately found pencilfish relative, the Purple Dwarf Pencilfish Nannostomus rubrocaudatus, which was described in 2009.

These two are very related in coloration, however, solely the Coral Red Pencilfish has a white stomach.

The men and women are each very colorful, however, when the males are displaying to one another, their colors are unbelievable!

Just like Siamese Fighting Fish, the males might be tricked into displaying by means of a mirror. This pencilfish will consider that its reflection is one other male, so it’ll do its greatest to point out off.

Coral Red Pencilfish Habitat and Distribution

The Coral Red Pencilfish Nannostomus mortenthaler was described by Paepke and Arendt in 2001. They are present in South America, particularly from the Rio Nanay in Peru, and are additionally stated to be discovered within the Rio Tigre close to Santa Elena.

This species is just not listed on the IUCN Red List. Other widespread names they’re recognized by embrace Red Arc Pencilfish, Peruvian Red Pencilfish, and Ruby Red Pencilfish.

These fish inhabit forest streams, small rivers, and their tributaries, in addition to swampy areas. The tender acidic waters they dwell in are shallow and sluggish or nonetheless.

These habitats often have dense aquatic vegetation, thick vegetation alongside the shores, and a substrate of leaf particles and infrequently submerged woody items. They are additionally present in black water areas of seasonally flooded forests and plains.

Coral Red Pencilfish Description

The Coral Red Pencilfish, true to its “pencilfish” name, has an elongated body that’s pointed on the snout. It will develop to simply over 1 inch (2.9 cm) and has an anticipated lifespan of 5 years.

Its stunning red body options two sturdy, horizontal black traces, giving it a broadly-striped look. The decrease portion is paler and infrequently white. Males are more brightly-colored than females and have a white patch on the base of the dorsal fin.

This pencilfish is a really eye-catching, pleasant, and lively fish. It is comparatively small, solely reaching barely over 1 inch (2.9 cm), and is a great addition to any community tank containing different small, peaceable fish.

Nannostomus mortenthaleri will not do as nicely with bigger fish, even when they’re peaceable, just because it’s simply intimidated and will be unable to compete with them for meals. Of course, its small size may additionally make it a pleasant little snack for bigger angelfish, gouramis, or catfish species.

Coral Red Pencilfish must be stored in a gaggle of at the very least 6 fish. The males of this species might be aggressive in the direction of one another however often little injury is completed throughout their fights, particularly if the tank has plenty of vegetation.

If you intend on having more than one male in your tank, maintaining a big group will assist discourage aggression for Nannostomus mortenthaleri.

Also, by no means have more males than females. The males are likely to drive the females laborious, so maintaining a balanced ratio will assist forestall any particular person females from being burdened.

Fortunately, they aren’t aggressive in the direction of different species, so the Coral Red Pencilfish make good community fish.

Size of fish – inches: 1.1 inches (2.90 cm)

Lifespan: 5 years

Fish Keeping Difficulty

The Red Arc Pencilfish is a bit troublesome to maintain and advisable for aquarists with fish maintaining experience. Most are wild-caught specimens, which are usually much less tolerant of various water circumstances than commercially-bred fish.

These freshwater pencilfish are liable to ich, particularly when first launched into a brand new aquarium. They must be acclimated in a quarantine aquarium before being positioned in their everlasting house.

Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Difficult
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

Coral Red Pencilfish Foods and Feeding

The Red Arc Pencilfish are omnivorous. Though within the wild they feed totally on tiny invertebrates and different zooplankton, within the aquarium they are going to usually eat all types of meals.

This fish is just not a choosy eater, so it’ll eat most ready fish meals, together with small pellets, freeze-dried meals, and most flakes meals.

To hold them wanting their greatest, brine shrimp (dwell or frozen) or frozen blood worms must be fed often.

Keep in thoughts that their mouths are very small, so meals need to be crushed or minced to ensure that them to have the ability to eat them.

Diet Type: Omnivore – Their mouths are very small, so meals need to be crushed or minced.
Flake Food: Yes
Tablet / Pellet: Yes
Live meals (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
Meaty Food: Some of Diet
Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day

Coral Red Pencilfish Aquarium Care

Coral Red Pencilfish is reasonably hardy and never exceptionally troublesome to take care of offered their water is stored clear. Water must be modified on a regular basis, particularly if the tank is densely stocked. At least 25 to 50% of the tank water must be changed each different week.

Water Changes: Bi-weekly

Aquarium Setup for Coral Red Pencilfish

The Coral Red Pencilfish is more troublesome to maintain than many different tetras.

The water circumstances must be stored tender and acidic for them to thrive. Peat filtration is advisable as this blackwater native could be very illiberal of more durable and more alkaline water.

These fish are greatest stored in teams or 6 or more so that they need a few 15-gallon long tanks or a 20-gallon aquarium.

They will swim and feed principally on the floor of the water. The tank must be tightly sealed as this fish is apt to leap if offered the chance.

The aquarium must be dim with a darkish substrate to deliver out this fish’s greatest colors. The aquarium also needs to be well-planted with some floating vegetation on the floor to assist subdue the light.

Although they are going to respect some floating vegetation, as a result of they eat on the floor, some clear areas need to be offered as nicely. Driftwood decor will assist present these fish loads of locations for a retreat.

Minimum Tank Size: 15 gal (57 L) – They need at the very least a 15 gallon long or 20-gallon aquarium.
Suitable for Nano Tank: Yes
Substrate Type: Any
Lighting Needs: Low – subdued lighting
Temperature: 72.0 to 82.0° F (22.2 to 27.8° C)
Breeding Temperature: 75.0° F – These fish will spawn at about 75° F (2° C).
Range ph: 5.8-7.0
Hardness Range: 2 – 10 dGH
Brackish: No
Water Movement: Moderate
Water Region: All – The Coral Red Pencilfish, Nannostomus mortenthaleri will swim in most elements of the aquarium.

Coral Red Pencilfish Social Behaviors

The Coral Red Pencilfish might be stored singly, however like many characins, they’re a shoaling fish and more comfy with a gaggle of their very own variety.

They can be greatest stored in a gaggle of at the very least 6 fish. Males will rival one another, however, a closely planted aquarium will assist forestall any critical injury.

If you intend on having more than 1 male in your tank, you must hold as many as you’ll be able to to maintain aggression to a minimum.

There also needs to be fewer males than females, or an equal variety of every, as males are likely to drive the females laborious. To a lot of fixed pestering can stress particular person females.

Fortunately, these fish aren’t aggressive in the direction of different species, so the Red Arc Pencilfish make a great community fish. However, they are going to be higher with different smaller fish.

They might be intimidated by bigger, peaceable fish and will not be capable of competing with them for meals. Of course, their small size may additionally make them a pleasant little snack for bigger fish like angelfish, gouramis, or catfish species.

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Venomous: No
Temperament: Peaceful
Compatible with:
Same species – conspecifics: Yes – These fish are greatest stored singly or in teams of 6 or more. Males might be aggressive in the direction of one another, so faculties must be as giant as possible to unfold out aggression.
Peaceful fish: Safe – They are greatest with different smaller, peaceable fish as they’re simply intimidated.
Semi-Aggressive: Threat
Aggressive: Threat
Large Semi-Aggressive: Threat
Large Aggressive, Predatory: Threat
Slow Swimmers & Eaters: Monitor – Characins can out-compete them for meals.
Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe – not aggressive
Plants: Safe

Nannostomus mortenthaleri Sex: Sexual variations

The males have an apparent white patch on the base of their dorsal fin. To sex, these fish, have a look at the skin fringe of the anal fin, which is a vibrant, deep red in males and far paler in females.

During spawning, the male’s total coloration will turn a lot brighter. Another technique of sex is to look at their behavior. Males will regularly display and nip at one another whereas the females are very docile.

Coral Red Pencilfish Breeding / Reproduction

The Coral Red Pencilfish would not spawn as regularly as different species, but it surely has been bred in captivity.

Although it has not been bred on a commercial basis, aquarists have had profitable spawnings. The breeding process is troublesome within the house aquarium, however not unattainable with the right circumstances.

Adults in a good situation have been recognized to spawn in a mature, densely planted community tank, however sadly the eggs and fry are most frequently eaten.

A separate breeding tank with tender, acidic water is greatest for a profitable spawn and to get the biggest variety of fry. The adults need to be in a good situation.

Males get aggressive with each other when breeding and defending a territory, so it could be greatest to spawn them in pairs.

More than one pair might be bred collectively, nevertheless, if the tank is giant sufficient and gives clumps of spawning media organized to create particular person territories.

When in a spawning temper, the males often simply display at one another, devoting most of their time to searching for females. If they do get too aggressive, although, you’ll want to separate them.

A smaller, three to the five-gallon breeding tank is satisfactory for a single pair, however, a bigger tank, as much as 10 ten gallons, could also be necessary for a number of pairs.

The breeding tank doesn’t need light as these fish are delicate to modifications in light. However, the tank must be closely planted.

Provide Nannostomus mortenthaleri much fine-leaved vegetation, resembling java moss, or clumps of tremendous wool or nylon spawning mops the place the females can deposit the eggs.

The water must be tender and barely acidic with a pH of 6.8, a hardness of about 2°, and a temperature of about 75° F (24° C). Filtration is just not important, however, a small, air-powered sponge filter might be added if desired.

Condition adult breeders for 7 to 10 days by providing loads of small, dwell meals. They might be conditioned as a gaggle, or select 1 to three male/feminine pairs and isolate every female and male individually.

Conditioning them individually will enhance their willingness to spawn and likewise stimulate a better variety of eggs. Males will change to a darkish purplish coloration when they’re keen to spawn, and that’s the superb time to switch them into the breeding tank.

For the next few days, the fish will spawn every day. If no spawning happens after about three days, transfer them back into their conditioning tank for just a few more days and check out once more.

When spawning, the male will make swinging motions together with his body and assume a head-down place whereas his coloration modifications from purple to deep red.

The pair will press collectively, and amidst quivering motions, an egg or two can be launched and fall into the spawning media. The feminine will often lay as much as about 30 eggs.

Once a profitable spawn has been achieved, take away the parents and hold the tank darkened. The eggs hatch in roughly 36 hours and the fry turn into free-swimming four to five days later.

They can feed on a micro worm or brine shrimp nautili. They will develop the adult patterning after about Eight weeks and attain sexual maturity in about 6 to 7 months.

Ease of Breeding: Difficult.

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As with most fish, Coral Red Pencilfish is liable to pores and skin flukes, parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, and so forth.), parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, and so forth.), bacterial infections (basic), and bacterial illness.

Anything added to a tank can introduce illness. Not solely different fish, however vegetation, substrate, and decorations can harbor bacteria.

Take great care and ensure to correctly clear or quarantine something that you just add to a longtime tank in order to not upset the stability.

An advantage of the Coral Red Pencilfish is that on account of their resilience, an outbreak of illness can usually be restricted to only one or just a few fishes if handled at an early stage.

Stressed fish are more prone to purchase the illness. The greatest option to proactively forestall illness is to offer the correct surroundings and a well-balanced diet. Learn more about giant-gourami.

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