Dwarf Pencilfish

By: the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Dwarf Pencilfish -- nannostomus marginatusSee more aquarium fish pictures.
© Quartermass

Scientific name: Nannostomus marginatus

The Dwarf Pencilfish, which grows to one inch, can be kept in a shoal even in a small aquarium. A water temperature between 74º and 82º Fahrenheit, a pH of 5.8 to 7.5, and moderately soft to slightly hard water are suitable. Small flake and freeze-dried foods should be provided with supplements of live brine shrimp.


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This small South American fish has a striking color pattern, with a bold red stripe on the side and red splotches on the fins. A slow-moving species, it is easily intimidated by more active tankmates and may not always get its share of food.

To learn more about freshwater aquariums, see: