Peacock Bass

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Peacock bass - Cichla ocellaris

Scientific name: Cichla ocellaris

Common name: Peacock bass

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 68 - 74 cm (26.77 - 29.13 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.4 - 7.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 7 - 20°N (125 - 357.14ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 23 - 27 °C (73.4 - 80.6°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive to smaller

Usual place in the tank: Middle levels


South America; Peacock bass are found in the waterways of Guyana, Venezuela, and Brazil.


It is believed that the life span of Peacock bass is 15 years.

Short description

The Peacock Bass will eventually outgrow a home aquarium. They require excellent filtration with regular water changes as they are high waste producers. Rocks and sturdy plants should be added to the tank, a tight fitting lid is a must as they can jump when startled.

They are a very active species so do not overcrowd the aquarium with excess ornaments, the minimum size for an adult specimen should be at least an aquarium that is ten feet long and make sure that it has a width that allows the Peacock bass space to turn without difficulty. Like all species of the larger fish, they will produce a lot of waste so make sure that the filtration system can handle the job, a sump system may be better considering the size of aquarium that is needed. This should be backed up with regular water changes on a weekly basis. Although the Peacock bass is not considered as being overly aggressive they will see smaller fish as food, because of this their tank mates should be of a similar size also increasing the problem of giving these fish ample space in the home aquarium.

Food and feeding

Feed this fish a varied diet consisting of quality pellets, earth worms, beef heart, mussels and spinach.


There are no visible differences between the sexes except at spawning times when the female’s papilla will be more rounded. Mature males may develop a nuchal hump.


There are no reported cases of Peacock bass breeding in the aquarium but in the wild they are believed to lay the eggs in pits dug out of the muddy substrate. The female will lay her eggs in the chosen site by making several passes over the spot laying a few eggs at a time, the male will also make passes over the eggs releasing his sperm to fertilise them.When the fry are free swimming the male will chase the female away.

To ensure a higher rate of success with the fry they can be syphoned out of the tank and moved into a growing on tank that is filtered and aerated by means of a sponge filter system. The eggs should hatch after 3-4 days and the fry will be free swimming a few days later.

Newly hatched brine shrimp are ideal food for the free swimming fry but refrain from feeding them until the yolk sacs have been completely consumed. When they are slightly larger they should be able to consume micro worms or similar.