Golden Pencilfish [The Complete Guide]

Golden Pencilfish

Golden Pencilfish, also known as Beckford’s Pencilfish, is a small freshwater fish with the scientific name Nannostomus beckfordi.

The name honors British naturalist F.J.B. Beckford and comes from Greek and Latin words meaning “small mouth.” This fish belongs to the Lebiasinidae family.

Aquarium enthusiasts enjoy keeping Golden Pencilfish because they are easy to care for.

In an aquarium setting, it’s best to keep them in groups of five or more with a minimum tank size of 60 centimeters.

Their diet includes worms, crustaceans, and insects.

Golden Pencilfish Interesting Facts

  • Golden Pencilfish, or Nannostomus beckfordi, are native to South America and found in slow-moving waters in Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname.
  • These fish prefer water with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0 and temperatures between 75°F to 79°F (24°C to 26°C).
  • They need a minimum tank size of 60 centimeters and thrive in groups of five or more.
  • Golden Pencilfish lay up to 200 eggs among thin-leaved plants when breeding in captivity.
  • Their eggs hatch within 30-40 hours, or faster if the temperature is between 75°F to 81°F (24°C to 27°C).

Golden Pencilfish Habitat

Golden Pencilfish is a freshwater fish native to South America.

It can be found in rivers from Guyana down to the Amazon basin and up the Amazon River to the Negro River.

This fish is found in small rivers with little current and lives in groups where males defend the territory.

Golden Pencilfish lives in freshwater environments near the bottom (benthopelagic) and prefers water with a pH range between 6.0 to 8.0, as well as a hardness (dH) range of 5 to 19.

The ideal water temperature for this tropical species is between 75°F to 79°F (24°C to 26°C).

Water Temperature:75°F to 79°F (24°C to 26°C)
Water pH:6.0 to 8.0 pH
Water Hardness:5 to 19 dH

Golden Pencilfish Physical Characteristics

Size: 2.6 inches (6.5 centimeters)

Golden Pencilfish grows up to 2.6 inches (6.5 centimeters) long.

This is measured using the standard length method, which measures from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail base.

Golden Pencilfish Reproduction

Golden Pencilfish has a unique breeding process. When they breed in captivity, the male and female swim next to each other.

Female fish lay multiple groups of 1 to 5 eggs among plants with thin leaves. In some cases, they lay up to 200 eggs in total.

The eggs usually hatch within 30 to 40 hours. After about six days, the baby fish start swimming freely.

The eggs can hatch faster within 24 hours if the water temperature is slightly increased to 75°F to 81°F (24°C to 27°C).

Golden Pencilfish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Nannostomus beckfordi
Also Known As:Golden Pencilfish, Beckford’s Pencilfish
Conservation Status:Unknown

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