Aquaria Central ...........................Peacock Bass


Cichla ocellaris
Other names:...........Peacock cichlid, Pavon
Origin:......................Thoughout Central and Southern America
Max size:..................30"
PH:............-..............6.7-7.2
Temperature:...........75-81 F.
Min tank size:..........135 gallons
Food:.........................Live foods, beef heart, pellets

The Peacock Cichlid, also called the Peacock Bass, is found from Central America down through the Amazon waterways. Its name comes from the ocellus at the base of the tail reminiscent of a peacock's plumage, and from the fact that its shape and habits superficially resemble North America's Largemouth Bass.

The most commonly available Peacock Bass (there are numerous species, including Cichla temensis) is a yellowish-green color, with three black bars on the side and often with red-orange pectoral, caudal,and anal fins. In the aquarium, they can be unaggressive, interested only in fish they can swallow whole--which is most fish, really, depending on the size of the Peacock. They have massive mouths, and voracious appetites. It is not easy to get a Peacock to eat anything other than live fish at first; when tamed, they will readily eat cut fish and presumably other meaty foods or even cut crayfish. Babies will devour mosquito larvae with gusto.

The Peacock grows too large to breed in most aquaria (the world record was a 28-pounder) but reportedly can be bred in outdoor ponds, where their behavior is similar to other cichlids.

A truly classic fish, it grows quickly, and will soon recognize you as its owner. As soon as you enter the room, the fish will churn up huge amounts of water with that powerful tail, begging for food. Anything that falls into the tank at such a time will be assaulted, from fingers (won't injure you--they don't have dangerous teeth), to fish or tadpoles. The most important things about keeping Peacocks is that you have a large tank and lots of fish to feed them

Many thanks to Dwayne Adams for this information

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