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Nannostomus espei, (Meinken, 1956)

Barred pencilfish

Origin: Guyana, Mazaruni river system.

Etymology: espei(L.):

Synonyms: Poecilobrycon espei

First European import:cr

Description: See pictures

Care: Very rare and difficult fish to keep. Because of this it's best to keep them in a 60-80cm species tank, or combined with small peaceful fish that have similar requirements. A large school of this fish should be purchased, best 10 or more. Subdued light, floating plants, densely planted sides and back, with some free swimming space in the front create a suitable setup for these fis. As a substrate either a thin layer of brown sand, or dark gravel. Frequent small waterchanges are required, and the water should be well filtered, best over peat. If the fish are kept well, they will show themselves frequently, and reside near the surface of the tank.

Temperature: 22-26 °C

Feeding: Small live and frozen food. Sometimes the fish accept also flake and micropellets.

Size: Up to 4 cm

pH: 5.5 - 7.0; dH range: 4.0 - 10.0

Breeding: Difficult. Requires extremely soft acidic water and peat filtration. Breeding is best attempted with a continuous setup as described in the care section, or in pairs in small breeding tanks.. Precautions should be taken to save the eggs from the parents, which will gladly eat every produced egg. An important part of getting these fish to breed is food, insects, black mosquito larvae and artemia may be necessary to get the females to produce eggs. The eggs will hatch in 24 hours, andwill be free swimming 4-5 days later. Large amounts of microfood should be supplied to the fry, which grow slow.

Sexual dimorphism: The males have a more shiny golden stripe, are slimmer, and have a few tiny red stripes on the anal and caudal fin.

Prices: 8-10€

Additional:

Picture references: Picture 1: Henk Grundmeijer

References:

Hoedeman, J. J.(1969): Aquariumvissen encyclopedie 3. Elsevier Nederland B. V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Sterba, G.(1979): Aquariumvissen. Elsevier Nederland B. V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.Frey, H.(1972):Tropische vissen in het aquarium; Deel 1: Zalmpjes.Thieme &Cie, Zutphen, The Netherlands

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