Hyper motility is a negative factor in fish handling procedures due to the risks of damages to the animals. Chemicals are widely used to anesthetize fish during biometry and many other handling procedures. 2-Phenoxyethanol is largely employed, but many studies are necessary about tropical fish responses. The present research evaluated the anesthesia induction time for juvenile matrinxã submitted to eight different levels of 2-phenoxyethanol. The range of 2-phenoxyethanol concentration was 250-600mg liter-1. Induction time of anesthesia decreased as a function of 2-phenoxyethanol concentrations. Fish were safely anesthetized approximately after one minute of exposure to 2-phenoxyethanol batches in concentrations above 400mg/liter, and the recover period was about one minute for all anesthetic concentrations. 2-Phenoxyethanol is a safe anesthetic for juvenile matrinxã even in exposures up to 600mg liter-1 being recommended for many field procedures of fish handling.