Updated : Apr 26, 2020 Fish

Peacock Cichlid 2020 Guide

Peacock Cichlid. This is a peaceful, not aggressive, and fresh-water aquarium fish. The males are being a little territorial.

You can have the fish and be kept in the same aquarium with other not aggressive fish or other Cichlid species. You can find these fishes primarily in the Lake Malawi.

The Peacock Cichlid belongs to the fish genus Aulonocara. There are up to twenty-two species of peacock cichlid that have been named and all of these are just found in Lake Malawi.


  • Size: four to six inches.
  • Care level: easy.
  • Color: purple, orange, blue, gold, yellow, and red.
  • Water: freshwater.
  • Food: sinkable food pellet, granules, frozen food.
  • Genus: Aulonocara
  • Life span: up to eight years.
  • Breeding: one male with several females in one tank.
  • Water condition: 76 to 82° F, KH 10 to 15, pH 7.8 to 8.6.

The appearance of Peacock Cichlid

Peacock Cichlid is one of the most brightly colored fresh-water fish in the world. You can tell the difference between the male and the female.

The male is slightly more brightly colored compared to the female. The female does not have many colors like the male do.

The males s they grow will transform and will show a variety of colors, including purple, orange, blue, gold, yellow, and red. These fish have permanent colors, which means that they will not change their colors in time for mating or mood status.

You will be tempted to own one because of their amazing colors and brilliant colors.


Peacock Cichlid types

  • African Butterfly Peacock (Aulonocara Jacobfreibergi)
  • Flavescent Peacock (Aulonocara Stuartgranti)
  • Nkhomo Benga Peacock (Aulonocara Baenschi)
  • Sunshine Peacock (Aulonocara Stuartgranti)
  • BluePeacock Cichlid (Aulonocara Nyassae)
  • OB Peacock
  • Red Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara Stuartgranti)

The behaviour of Peacock Cichlid

Peacock Cichlid loves to live at the bottom and, in the Lake Malawi, you can find them at depths of six to forty meters. Their typical behavior is searching for food amongst the sand.

They will remain in one place above the sand, and as a movement is detected from any invertebrates, they will immediately strike. This behavior will be seen in aquariums also.

Another behavior is that they are actively swimming. These fish are not aggressive.


The habitat of Peacock Cichlid

Peacock Cichlids are commonly found in Lake Malawi. It is a freshwater lake located in Tanzania and Malawi (East African nations). Lake Malawi is located within the Rift Valley. The freshwater lake is considered the ninth-largest in the world.


Temperature requirement

The temperature of the lake is warm since it is located in Africa. The temperature at the deep level is around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the surface temperature is around 75°Fahrenheit and 84°Fahrenheit. Peacock Cichlids live in the bottom area of the Malawi Lake. The fish like to find food in the sand at the bottom of the lake.


Tank requirement

Since the Lake Malawi is a large lake, it is best to provide the fish with a spacious tank. The minimum tank requirement would be a tank that can hold at least fifty-five gallons of water.

The water temperature in the tank should be between 76° and 82°Fahrenheit, similar to Lake Malawi.

You must be sure that the water is free of salt and must be freshwater. Retain the pH level of the water within 7.8 to 8.6.

These conditions will make the fish feel comfortable enough, and the hardness of the water should be between 4 to 6 DH. Prepare the tank with a sandy substrate with a bunch of rocks at the bottom of the tank. These rocks can give the fish hiding places.

To successfully keep the fish alive and well, you must keep the water in the tank clean. If you see a change of pH level, replace the water immediately.


How to feed Peacock Cichlids

The fish feed on insects and a predator in nature. They will feed other invertebrates in the wild. They hunt insects at the bottom of Lake Malawi.

  • For the aquarium, you should feed them with a live insects that can sink to the bottom.
  • Frozen food, fresh food, and granules. Example: Brine Shrimp frozen and Daphnia frozen.
  • You can provide the fish with sinkable food pellets, so they can reach the food easily.

How to breed Peacock Cichlids

The male Peacock Cichlids will court many females in your aquarium. They are polygamous fish.

For breeding, you can set up one male Peacock Cichlids to mate with five to ten female fish. With this setting, they are ready to breed.

It starts with the females lay their eggs. Next, the males will fertilize those eggs during spawning.

The females pick the fertilized eggs and incubate those eggs. The incubation last until her eggs get hatched.

The young fish will be taken care of by their mother fish for about one week. After that, the young fish fry fend for themselves.


Frequently ask question

How big do Peacock cichlids get?

In a home aquarium, a male Peacock Cichlid grow to around 6 inches long. The females being smaller in size.


Can Peacock Cichlids live with African cichlids?

These male fish may be territorial, but they are not aggressive. Peacock Cichlids can be kept in the same tank with African Cichlids. Peacock cichlids are relatively peaceful.


What fish can live with peacock cichlids?

Botia Loaches and Red Tail Shark are the best tank mates for Peacock Cichlids.


Do Peacock cichlids change color?

One species may transform to a different color when they reach the mature stage. This is common in the Aulonocara species.


Will Peacock Cichlids eat fry?

Peacock Cichlids female does keep their fry in their mouths to protect them. However, they also have a tendency to eat other’s fry. Peacock Cichlid is very aggressive in nature, and eat their young.


Can Peacock Cichlids eat bloodworms?

Bloodworms are fine for Peacocks Cichlids.


How many Peacock Cichlids can I put in a 55-gallon tank?

Two to three Peacock Cichlids is best for a 55-gallon tank. There are Peacock Cichlids that can grow to around eight inches in size.


Do cichlids eat live fish?

Your Peacock Cichlids will live a long life on food pellets. They do not require live fish to live. You can feed them with Frozen Bloodworms or Live Blackworms as a supplemental treat once in a while.