The Red Beckford's Pencilfish (Nannostomus beckfordi var. "Red") is a very sought-after schooling community fish. Its small size, vibrant coloration, and relative rarity have made it one of the most desirable freshwater nano and planted aquarium fish.
The Red Beckford's Pencilfish typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is safe with other peaceful, small fish. Adult dwarf shrimp are generally safe as well, but adult Red Beckford's Pencilfish may eat small dwarf shrimp and their fry. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tankmates. Red Beckford's Pencilfish must be kept in schools of 6 or more. Since they are tank-raised, Red Beckford's Pencilfish are very adaptable, but their natural habitat contains soft, acidic water rich in tannins and leaf litter.
While not a picky eater, the Red Beckford's Pencilfish will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of meaty foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and frozen or freeze-dried meaty foods will all be readily accepted.