7 Peacock Cichlids You Should Know About

Peacock cichlids are certainly among the most popular freshwater fish species, and they also find themselves as perhaps the most popular cichlid fish species out there.

That’s mainly thanks to their bright and vivid colors, but also due to their fairly mellow temperament and ease of care.

But what attracts most owners of fish to peacock cichlids is their beauty.

You won’t find many more beautiful fish species out there. And they are so diverse that there are many subspecies of peacock cichlids that not many people actually know about.

However, if you’re a cichlid lover, then you should simply be aware that there are many cichlid fish species out there.

If you’re looking to learn more about peacock cichlids and are interested about getting to know all the peacock cichlid fish species, then read this article.

We’ll go through the 7 most popular peacock cichlids that you should simply know about as they are so beautiful and unique.

1. German Red Peacock

To be honest, German red peacock cichlids are perhaps the most popular cichlids out there. With their red-blue color patterns on their body, they have this illuminating quality and vibrant colors that almost anyone would be stunned by.

These fish are relatively easy to take care of, although they might get aggressive towards other fish species. But, that’s relatively unlikely to happen.

They are produced by a breeding line of peacocks from Lake Malawi, and they found their way to Europe and rest of the world in the 20th century.

An interesting thing about these fish is that even though they are relatively small, they will require a large tank – preferably one of 50 gallons.

That’s mainly due to their lively character, as they like to swim around a lot. But they can also get relatively territorial if the tank is too small.

2. Orange Blossom Peacock

Orange blossom peacocks are very unique in their looks. They have a mainly orange body, with black and blue patterns sprayed all over their bodies.

Their blotched multi-colored bodies make for an interesting viewing and will no doubt liven up your tank and wow your visitors.

These cichlids too originate from Lake Malawi, although they are a constant presence in modern aquariums. These fish can live up to 8 years, and will grow to about 5 inches in size.

The orange blossom peacocks can get relatively territorial and aggressive in some cases; but if they are given enough space, you should be fine.

Female and male orange blossom peacocks will usually vary quite a lot – the main difference is in the colors on their bodies.

Males will usually have much more vibrant colors, which is used to attract females for breeding. On the other hand, females have much mellower colors, which is the main distinct feature between the two sexes.

3. Strawberry Peacock

Strawberry peacocks are certainly fish that you should know about. With their absolutely stunning arrangement of colors and their vibrant, red-orange bodies and white blotches, they do resemble a strawberry slightly.

These fish are generally peaceful fish, although they can get territorial if they don’t have enough space.

Strawberry peacocks can grow to about 6 inches in size when they are fully grown up. This means they would require a tank of about 50 gallons or larger.

And they are not that complicated to take care of, as they are relatively peaceful and don’t require that much care. They are carnivores, as they mainly eat live foods and frozen foods.

If you’re looking to add more variety to your tank in terms of colors, then this fish is absolutely a great choice.

With their amazing colors, they will make any aquarium out there much more vibrant and lively. They resemble a strawberry in some senses, as they display orange, red, and white colors on their bodies.

4. Blue Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara nyassae)

How about adding some blue color to your tank? The blue peacock cichlid is the perfect solution if you’re looking to do that.

These fish come in all sorts of blue colors, but you will mostly find them in royal blue colors, usually mixed with black, grey, or white.

Some of these fish have their entire bodies covered in blue, making for an absolutely gorgeous viewing. They are mostly carnivores.

These fish will reach about 7 inches in size, and they would require a fish tank of 55 gallons or larger.

These fish originate from Lake Malawi, although they are, nowadays, bred in many breeding tanks.

They are also farm raised in the US, allowing us to admire these fish and purchase them for our own tanks.

5. Lemon Jake Peacock (Aulonocara Mamelela)

Lemon jake peacocks are not that common, although they are sometimes found in home aquariums.

These fish display colors from yellow to black, and they are a stunning fish to look at. Their fins will mostly be yellow, while their bodies are normally covered in black.

Reaching sizes of up to 6 inches, these fish will need a 50-gallon tank per fish at least. They are also lively swimmers, making up for a very interesting viewing.

6. Yellow Benga Peacock (Aulonocara baencshi)

Yellow benga peacocks will normally display that distinct yellow look with some blue markings on their heads. Also, you will find several blue markings all over their bodies, making for an exciting viewing.

That’s why they are so popular in home aquariums. But in addition to that, they are very easy to care for, as they are not very demanding in terms of diet and tank requirements.

Even beginners can keep this fish, although these fish will get semi-aggressive if their territory is threatened.

If you’re looking to add to your collection of cichlids, or if you want to add an interesting fish in your tank, then you should definitely consider yellow benga peacocks.

7. Flavescent Peacock (Aulonocara Stuartgranti)

This fish is also known as Grant’s peacock, named after Stuart M. Grant, who discovered this fish species in Lake Malawi and exported it from the lake and made it available for trade.

This fish is quite widespread all across the world, and you’ll find it almost anywhere in the world.

With its yellow body and blue head, this fish is certainly quite unique. It does have a shiny look to it, so if you’re looking to add some shine to your tank, you should certainly know about this fish.

What do peacock Cichlids Eat?

Most peacock cichlids are carnivores, although many are also omnivores. This means they will eat almost anything you give them, but their primary source of food should be meat-based foods.

The best way to feed them is to give them a variety of foods – from live foods, such as invertebrates and other similar creatures, to frozen foods.

But these fish will also gladly feed on pellets and flakes, as long as you buy them high-quality foods.

You will need to make sure they get a solid base of protein foods, but you’ll also need to keep a lot of variety in their diets.

What do Peacock Cichlids Need in Their Tank?

These fish will need freshwater, although some salt to increase water salinity would also do well for these fish.

They are used to salt in their natural habitat, as they live in Lake Malawi, where the water is fairly clear and has some salt.

What you’ll need to make sure is they get more than enough hiding places and plants, and also some rocks or caves to hide in. this is important; good filtration is crucial, too.

Also, it would be great to have a heater in some cases, as they might need slightly higher temperatures than room temperatures in some cases.

How Big Do Peacocks Grow?

Most peacocks will grow to about 5-6 inches in size. However, their sizes can vary, and some will grow to up to 10 inches.

It all depends on what subspecies of peacock cichlid you own.

How Peacock Cichlids Breed?

Most of these peacocks have been bred in captivity. Males will display brighter colors when they’re ready to breed. And when you do intend to breed them, it’s recommended that you keep them in a separate tank.

Breeding will be done secretly, most likely in a cave. Females will pick up the eggs and fertilize them in their mouth.

Then, they will pick at the male’s anal areas to collect sperm or milt, and eggs will get fertilized with this milt.

Then, it will take around 21 days for the fry to spawn.


Peacock cichlids are very beautiful fish. They are a regular fixture in home aquariums, although not many users are still aware of the wide variety of peacock cichlids.

We’ve taken a look at the 7 best peacock cichlids, which every fish tank owner and cichlid lover should know about.

You’ll learn that there is a wide variety when it comes to peacocks, and knowing these fish will allow you to add to your collection easily.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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