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Peacock Cichlid Care Guide: Lifespan, Nutrition and Create Healthy Environment

The peacock cichlid (Aulonocara nyassae) is a species of cichlid fish that is native to the lakes of East Africa. The peacock cichlid is a popular aquarium fish and is also kept by many aquarists …

Peacock Cichlid on a shell background

The peacock cichlid (Aulonocara nyassae) is a species of cichlid fish that is native to the lakes of East Africa. The peacock cichlid is a popular aquarium fish and is also kept by many aquarists as a pet.

The peacock cichlid is a small fish growing to a maximum length of about 6 inches (15 cm).

The peacock cichlid is found in the lakes of East Africa, including Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Victoria. The peacock cichlid prefers to live in areas with sandy substrates and is often found near the shoreline.

Peacock Cichlid swimming in an aquarium

The peacock cichlid is an omnivorous fish and feeds on a variety of small invertebrates and plants. The diet of the peacock cichlid in the wild includes crustaceans, insect larvae, and algae. In the aquarium, the peacock cichlid will accept a variety of live, frozen, and dry foods.

The peacock cichlid is a social fish and typically lives in groups of 10-20 individuals. The peacock cichlid is a peaceful fish and can be kept with other peaceful cichlids, as well as with many other types of aquarium fish.

In this article, you will learn all about peacock cichlid care. If you still have questions – ask them in the comments.

Are Peacock Cichlids Easy to Keep?
With proper tank setup and care, peacock cichlids can be a peaceful and low-maintenance addition to your home aquarium. When it comes to tank setup, peacock cichlids prefer a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spots. They are not overly aggressive fish, but they can be territorial, so it is important to provide them with plenty of space.

Species Summary

Scientific name:Aulonocara
Common names:Peacock cichlid, aulonocara, peacock
Distribution:Lake Malawi in East Africa
Size:4–6 inches
Life expectancy:6–8 years
Color:Vibrant purple, yellow, orange, red, blue, pink
Diet:Omnivore
Temperament:Semi-aggressive
Care level:Easy
Breeding:Mouth brooder

Where do They Come From?

The peacock fish is a freshwater fish that is native to Africa. It is a member of the Cichlidae family, which includes other popular aquarium fish such as the angelfish and Oscar. The peacock cichlid gets its name from its brightly colored scales, which are reminiscent of a peacock’s feathers.

How Long do Peacock Cichlid Live for?

Peacock cichlids typically live for 6-8 years, although some individual fish have been known to live for up to 10 years.

The lifespan of a peacock cichlid is largely dependent on the quality of care it receives. Fish that are kept in clean, well-maintained tanks with plenty of hiding places and a healthy diet tend to live longer than those that are kept in poor conditions. Peacock cichlids are also relatively resistant to disease, so long as they are not overcrowded or stressed.

small peacock cichlid swim

How Big Does a Peacock Cichlid Get

The peacock cichlid grows to an average length of 4-6 inches, although some specimens have been known to reach up to 8 inches. The male fish are usually larger and more brightly colored than the females.

The Different Types of Peacock Cichlid Fish: Appearance

If you’re looking to add some color to your freshwater aquarium, you can’t go wrong with marble peacock cichlids. These beautiful fish come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and they’re relatively easy to care for. There are about 22 different species of peacock cichlids, and some of the most popular include the blue peacock, the yellow peacock, and the OB peacock.

yellow fish swimming in an aquarium

Red Peacock Cichlid

The color of the Red Peacock Cichlid is highly variable, but typically includes shades of red, orange, yellow, and blue. The fins are often brightly colored and may have patterns or spots.

red fish swimming in an aquarium

Blue Peacock Cichlid

The Blue Peacock Cichlid is an incredibly beautiful fish that is popular among aquarium enthusiasts. It is easily recognized by its bright blue coloration and patterns of black spots.

a blue fish with a large fin swims in the aquarium

OB Peacock Cichlid

The OB peacock cichlid is a brightly colored fish that is orange and blue in color. The body of the fish is elongated and torpedo-shaped. The head of the fish is large, and the mouth is downturned. The OB peacock cichlid has long fins that are fringed with blue and orange.

bicolor fish swimming in an aquarium

Strawberry Peacock Cichlid

The body of the fish is a reddish-orange color with black stripes running vertically down the sides. The fins are brightly colored with blues, greens, and yellows.

fish on a background of bubbles

Dragon Blood Peacock Cichlid

Dragon Blood Peacock Cichlid gets its name from its bright red coloration, which is accented by blue and green spots. Males are more brightly colored than females, and juveniles are typically a drab brown color.

dragon blood peacock cichlid swim

Albino Peacock Cichlids

Albino Peacock Cichlids are an amazing fish to behold. They are a beautiful albino color with blue eyes. They are also known for their long fins and elegant tails.

Albino fish

Butterfly Peacock Cichlids

Butterfly peacock cichlids come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The most common colors are blue, green, and yellow. However, you can also find these fish in red, orange, and even black.

The patterns on these fish are just as varied as the colors. Some have stripes, while others have spots. Some are even multi-colored.

Sunshine Peacock Cichlids

The Sunshine Peacock Cichlids are named for their bright colors and patterns. The colors of the Sunshine Peacock Cichlids can range from yellow to orange to red. The patterns on their bodies can be stripes, spots, or a combination of both.

Sunshine peacock cichlids swim

Peacock Cichlid Care Sheet & Tank Requirements

Minimum tank size:55 gallons
Temperature:76–82°F (24–28°C)
pH:7.8–8.6
Hardness:4–6 dGH

The Best Aquarium Size

The best-size Peacock Cichlid aquarium is one that is at least 55 gallons. This size will allow the Peacock Cichlid to have plenty of room to swim and hide.

The Peacock Cichlid is a peaceful fish, but it can be territorial. They will do best in an aquarium that has plenty of hiding places.

What Water is Best for Peacock Cichlid?

There are a few things to consider when determining what water is best for peacock cichlids:

Tank Water Temperature

If you’re looking to keep Peacock cichlids, you’ll need to provide them with water that has a temperature between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Providing your Peacock cichlids with the proper water conditions will help them stay healthy and thrive in your aquarium.

Best Water Flow for Peacock Cichlid

When it comes to the best water flow for Peacock Cichlid, there are a few things to keep in mind. Peacock cichlids are native to Africa and prefer slow-moving water with plenty of hiding places. They are also known to be very sensitive to changes in water parameters, so it’s important to maintain a stable environment.

clean water in an aquarium without fish

pH — Water Acidity & Alkalinity Levels

In the aquarium, peacock cichlids should be kept in water with a pH between 7.8 and 8.6. Water that is too acidic or too alkaline can cause stress and health problems in peacock cichlids. If the water in your aquarium is outside of the recommended pH range, you can use a water conditioner to adjust the pH.

Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrates

Ammonia and nitrite are both toxic to fish and can quickly lead to death if the levels in the aquarium are not closely monitored. Nitrate is less toxic but can still cause problems if it builds up too high. All three of these chemicals are produced as a by-product of fish waste, and it is important to have a filtration system in place that can remove them from the water. Regular water changes are also necessary to keep the levels of these chemicals low.

If you are keeping peacock cichlids, it is especially important to pay close attention to the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. Ammonia and nitrite can be especially dangerous, as they can build up very quickly in a closed system like an aquarium.

Nitrate is less toxic than ammonia and nitrite, but it can still cause problems if it builds up too high. Nitrate is produced as a by-product of fish waste, and it can also be introduced into the aquarium through tap water.

Filtration

When it comes to filtration, peacock cichlids are not particularly picky. A basic sponge filter will suffice, although you may want to upgrade to a canister filter if you have a larger tank.

As for media, you can use anything from Activated Carbon to Zeolite. Just be sure to perform regular water changes to keep the tank clean and the water quality high.

Lighting

Peacock cichlids come from murky waters, so they are not used to bright light. In fact, too much light can be stressful for them. When choosing a light for your Peacock cichlid tank, look for something that is dimmer and doesn’t produce a lot of glare.

Fluorescent lights are a good option for Peacock cichlids. These lights emit very little heat, so they won’t raise the water temperature in your Peacock Cichlid community tank. They also come in a variety of colors, so you can find one that will bring out the best in your fish.

The lamp shines brightly into the aquarium

Plants and Decorations for your Peacock Cichlid

When it comes to plants, there are a few different options that work well with peacock cichlids. These include Java fern, Anubias, and Vallisneria. All of these plants are tough and can withstand the aggression of cichlids. They also provide cover and hiding spots for your fish, which is important for their stress levels.

As for decorations, rocks and driftwood are always good choices. Peacock cichlids love to pick at things, so avoid any decorations that are made of soft materials or that have sharp edges. Something else to keep in mind is that peacock cichlids are diggers, so any decorations you choose should be securely anchored to the bottom of the aquarium.

What’s the Best Substrate for Peacock Cichlid?

When it comes to finding the best substrate for your Peacock Cichlid, there are a few things you need to take into account. Peacock cichlids are native to Africa and prefer a sandy substrate in their natural habitat. However, in the aquarium setting, you have a few different options to choose from.

One popular substrate choice for Peacock Cichlids is gravel. Gravel comes in a variety of colors and can help to create a beautiful backdrop in your aquarium.

Another substrate option for Peacock Cichlids is sand. Sand can be a bit more difficult to keep clean than gravel, but it provides a more natural look for your aquarium. If you choose to go with sand, be sure to get a type that is fine-grained and without any large pieces that your fish could swallow.

Jars with different substrate for the aquarium

Finally, you could also use a mix of both gravel and sand in your aquarium. This provides the best of both worlds and gives your Peacock Cichlid a variety of different textures to explore.

No matter which type of substrate you choose, be sure to wash it thoroughly before adding it to your aquarium. This will help to remove any dust or debris that could harm your fish.

Food & Diet

If you are interested in learning more about the Peacock Cichlid diet, read on!

What Can You Feed Your Peacock Cichlid?

In the wild, their diet consists of small fish, crustaceans, and insects. In the aquarium, they can be fed a variety of foods, including pellets, flakes, live, and frozen foods.

Pellets and flakes are the easiest to feed and can be found at most pet stores. For live and frozen foods, you will need to go to a specialty store or order online. Some good live and frozen foods for Peacock Cichlids include brine shrimp, bloodworms, and krill.

How Often Do Peacock Cichlids Need to Be Fed?

Your Peacock Cichlid should be fed 2-3 times a day. Once in the morning and once at night is ideal. If you are only able to feed them once a day, do so in the morning.

Beautiful black peacock cichlid

How Long Can a Peacock Cichlid Go Without Food?

A Peacock Cichlid can go without food for up to two weeks. However, it is important to note that they may experience some weight loss during this time.

Behavior & Temperament

Peacock Cichlid is known for its bright colors and patterns and its active and playful personality. Peacock cichlids are a popular choice for aquariums, and they make great pets for both beginners and experienced fish keepers.

Peacock cichlids are relatively peaceful fish, but they can be aggressive toward other fish that are similar in size or appearance. They are also known to be nippy, so it is important to provide them with plenty of hiding places and plenty of space to swim. Peacock cichlids are active fish and love to play. They are known for their playful nature and their love of chasing and playing with other fish and objects in their tank.

Good Peacock Cichlid Tank Mates

Below is a list of the best mates for your fish in the aquarium:

  • Other Peacock Cichlids
  • Blue Botia Loach

Beautiful bBlue botia loach

Size: 7 inches
Diet: Omnivorous
Minimum Tank Size: 80 gallons and more
Care Level: Medium
Temperament: Peaceful and active

  • Botia Loaches (Botia Dario)

big botia loaches

Size: 6 inches
Diet: Omnivorous
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Intermediate
Temperament: Slow-moving

  • Clown Pleco

clown pleco swim

Size: 3.5–4 inches
Diet: Wood eater, Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful

  • Bristlenose Pleco

bristlenose pleco in hand

Size: 4–5 inches
Diet: Herbivore
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful

  • Mbuna Cichlid

yellow mbuna cichlid

Size: 2-8 inches
Diet: Herbivorous with occasional offerings like bloodworms
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Moderate to difficult
Temperament: Aggressive

  • Synodontis Catfish

Spotty synodontis-catfish

Size: 4 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful

  • Cuckoo Catfish

Spotty cuckoo catfish

Size: 8 – 9 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20-30 gallon
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

  • Suckermouth Catfish

suckermouth catfish in an aquarium

Size: 5 inches
Diet: Herbivorous omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful

  • Upside Down Catfish

upside down catfish swim

Size: 4 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallon
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful

  • African Red-Eyed Tetra

African Red-Eyed Tetra beneath the blue background

Size: 2.8 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallon
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful but very active

  • Rainbow Shark

rainbow sharkin hand

Size: 4–6 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

  • Red Tail Shark (Epalzeorhynchos Bicolor)

black fish with a red tail

Size: Up to 6 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Care Level: Intermediate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive, territorial

  • Congo Tetra

two congo tetras

Size: 2.5 to 3. 5 inches
Diet: Omnivores
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Very peaceful species

  • Black Phantom Tetra

Black phantom tetra on black background

Size: 1.75~ inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Calm and peaceful

  • Giant Danios

Giant Danios floating in the aquarium

Size: 4–6 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful

  • Pearl Gourami

Beautiful Pearl Gourami

Size: 4.5 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful

  • Swordtail

red Swordtail

Size: Up to 6.5 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10-20 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful

  • Harlequin Rasbora

two Harlequin Rasbora

Size: 1.75–2 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful

Unsafe Tank Mates

One of the biggest problems with keeping Peacock cichlids is their aggression towards fish that are similar in size and coloration. This can be a particular problem with other cichlids, but can also occur with fish like Angelfish and Discus. Peacock cichlids are also known to be bullies, and will harass and chase other fish around the tank.

Where Do Peacock Cichlid Prefer to Live in the Aquarium?

In the wild, peacock cichlids inhabit rocky areas of the lake where they can find plenty of hiding places. In the aquarium, they should be provided with plenty of rocks and caves to hide in. Peacock cichlids are territorial fish and will establish a hierarchy within the tank.

Watch the Following Video on Top 5 Picks The Best Peacocks to Start Your Aquarium

FAQs on Peacock Fish Cichlid

How many Peacock cichlids should you keep together?

There is no definitive answer, but typically, it is recommended to keep Peacock cichlids in pairs or harems (one male with several females).

Are Peacock cichlids good for beginners?

No, peacock cichlids are not good for beginners. They are aggressive and territorial, and need to be kept in a large tank with other cichlids.

Can a peacock cichlid live alone?

If you are considering keeping a peacock cichlid as a pet, you may be wondering if they can live alone. The answer is maybe. While these fish are social creatures that do best when kept in groups, they can sometimes survive on their own.

Why are my peacock cichlids fighting?

There could be many reasons why your peacock cichlids are fighting. It could be due to aggression, territory, or even just a lack of space. If the fighting is severe, it is best to consult a veterinarian or fish expert to get to the root of the problem.

How do you stop peacock cichlid aggression?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to stop peacock cichlid aggression may vary depending on the individual fish and the situation. However, some tips on how to stop peacock cichlid aggression include:

  • Keeping the tank clean and well-maintained
  • Providing plenty of hiding places and safe zones for weaker or submissive fish
  • Feeding a high-quality diet that includes all the necessary nutrients
  • Avoiding sudden changes in the tank environment
  • Monitoring the tank closely for signs of aggression and intervening if necessary

Conclusion

If you are looking for a beautiful and unique fish for your aquarium, then you may be considering a peacock cichlid.

Despite their exotic appearance, peacock cichlids are actually relatively easy to keep and make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They are relatively hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. Peacock cichlids are also relatively peaceful and can be kept with other peaceful fish species.

The only major requirement for keeping peacock cichlids is a large aquarium.

If you can provide a large aquarium and are looking for a beautiful and unique fish to add to your collection, then a peacock cichlid may be the perfect choice for you.

References:

  • Cichlid (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cichlid
  • Fluorescent Lights (dtsc.ca.gov): https://dtsc.ca.gov/universalwaste/fluorescent-lights/
  • Aquarium Components: Filtration (www.fdacs.gov) https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/Recreation-and-Leisure/Aquarium-Fish/Aquarium-Components-Filtration

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