This fish is usually a slow swimmer and it adopts an attitude of approximately 45°, with tail down, when swimming and at rest. The body colour is brown-grey, which changes to a golden brown along the back. It is marked with a light brownish stripe from the mouth to the upper lobe of the tail. A second stripe merges with the initial at the base of the tail.
A a lot darker and wider stripe runs from the mouth, via the bottom half of the eye, and ends in the lower lobe of the tail, where it spreads to colour the whole area. A yellow stripe borders this broad stripe on top and extends from the upper jaw, via the eye and well into the upper lobe of the tail. The anal fin is brown and is marked with a red spot adjacent to the body. In the males the anal fin is convex; in females it is straight. The average length of adults is 2 inch.
The pencil fish is fairly hardy and peaceful. It is, nevertheless, not a very simple species to spawn, so far attempts to spawn them in aquaria have not been very effective, even though it is believed that they’ll spawn on the underside of Sagittaria leaves at a temperature of 82°F.
The number of eggs will probably be about 40, scattered singly among the leaves and they’ll hatch in about two days. Soft and slightly acid water is essential.
The parents have a tendency to guard the eggs and should preferably be removed instantly the spawning is complete.