Threebanded Pencilfish

Nannostomus trifasciatus Family Lebiasinidae.

Distribution Central Amazonian region, Rio Negro and western Guyana.

Description Shape: small, long and slim; slightly flattened sides. Color oiive-brown back, white belly; a black horizontal stripe extends from the tip of the snout to the underside of the tail-fin base, with a second, narrower one above it, starting from the eye. A third, faintly visible, runs from the pectorals to the anal fin. By night the coloring appears different—green to yellowish gray, with three broad, dark vertical bars. Size up to 2j in (6cm). Sexual différences: females more rounded, with paler coloring

Environment In their naKve habitat they inhabit small, gently flowing streams that are well shaded with thickly growing water plants. Temperature: 72-82°F (25-28 C). pH and water hardness: very soft, allowed to stand for some time; light to medium acidity (filter through peat). Furnishings : as in natural surroundings. Feeding Chiefly live food; fruit flies should be given Biology Behavior: a schooling fish. The swimming motion is characteristic—scurrying alternating with sudden long pauses. Reproduction : not very prolific. Social life: must have company, preferably of the same species Place a strong cover over the tank, as they are good jumpers.

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