Peacock Cichlid

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peacock cichlid


Peacock Cichlids originate in Lake Malawi. They are available in a variety of colours and are noted as the least aggressive Malwai species. Each variety is named separately, some popular types are Red peacock, OB peacock, Blue peacock, Strawberry peacock and Dragon blood peacock.


Males can reach 6 inches, Females usually remain smaller at around 4 inches.

Aquarium Size:

240l/60 US gal for a small group.

Preferred water conditions:

  • Temp: 24 – 28°C
  • pH: 7.5 – 9.0
  • Hardness: Moderate to Hard


Peacock cichlids are omnivorous and often feed on invertebrates and crustaceans from the lake floor in the wild. A sinking pellet formulated for Malawi cichlids is ideal but they will certainly appreciate live/frozen foods plus some vegetable matter in their diet.


In comparison to the likes of CA cichlids, Peacock cichlids are relatively peaceful. They are by no means a community fish though and some specimens will be more aggressive than others.

Peacock cichlids are active fish and will be busy swimming and hunting for food for most of the day.

Tankmates need to be comfortable in the same water parameters so other fish originating in lake Malawi are ideal.


Males are larger and brightly coloured. Females tend to remain a duller grey colour.


Breeding is relatively easy, but males become more territorial when breeding. IF you intend to breed it is best to have only one male in the breeding tank.

Gradually raising the temperature to the upper end of their preferred temperature can help to encourage spawning.

Peacock cichlids are mouth brooders. The male will perform a ‘mating dance’ of sorts to entice the female. She will then lay her eggs for the male to fertilise.

Once fertilised the female will scoop them into her mouth to incubate, so don’t panic, she isn’t eating them…..hopefully.

Incubation can take a month and usually produces between 12 and 50 fry.


The Peacock Cichlids bright colouration has made it a very popular fish in the aquarium hobby. The waters of lake Malawi are hard and alkaline, so its water needs to match these parameters, however, always check with the shop you purchase them at on the parameters of their water as sudden changes (the change when moving fish between their water and yours) can be lethal.

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