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Peacock Gudgeon 101: Everything You Need To Know

You may have seen it at the local fish market, but most Peacock Gudgeones are now reared in captivity. The Peacock Gudgeon, one of the most gorgeously adorned freshwater fish, is native to rainforest streams in Papua New Guinea but is now commercially bred for the aquarium trade all over the world.

Even though they are commonly referred to as the Peacock Goby, these fish do not belong to the Goby family. The fundamental distinction between gudgeons and the real gobies is that gudgeons lack a fused pectoral fin (the fins directly close to the fish’s grills).

The Peacock Gudgeon is one of the tiniest freshwater fish species in the Eleotridae family, but also one of the most colorful. The Peacock Gudgeon is without a doubt one of the most beautiful freshwater fish species.

Because of their inherent beauty and cheap upkeep, they like other freshwater species, have established a consistent presence in the fishkeeping community. The Peacock Gudgeon is an excellent choice for a beginner in the fish-keeping hobby.

Peacock Gudgeon


The fish has been suitably called after the bird with a brilliant and vibrant look, as well as a very bold and striking presence in the water. The Peacock Gudgeon like the peacock, has numerous patterns and colors all over its small body, including the iconic peacock eyespot.

Peacock Gudgeon Appearance
Peacock Gudgeon Appearance

Peacock Gudgeons are most renowned for their bright coloration. This fish will often show a range id brilliant colors ranging from yellow to green to blue. This pigmentation extends to their fins and tail, which which will get brighter as they mature sexually. These fish have spherical bodies, with males being more pronounced.

Furthermore, both sexes have a little black mark at the caudal peduncle (beginning of the caudal fin) near the base of their tail.

Expert Tip: A female Peacock Gudgeon varies from its male counterpart in color by having a black edge on her anal fin and a yellow belly. Male Peacock Gudgeons, on the other hand, are generally more vivid and may acquire a nuchal hump that makes their heads appear more rounded.


The Peacock Gudgeon isn’t very large in size. It can grow to 1.5 to 3 inches long. Male and female Peacock Gudgeons differ in a few ways. Male Peacock Gudgeons are bigger than females. Males can reach about 3 inches in length, while females average 1.5 to 2 inches.

The majority of young Peacock Gudgeons attain full maturity between 6 to 9 months. Even if they do not reach full size during this time frame, they will be on their way.

However, if you want them to develop to their full potential, you must give them the right diet, maintain optimal tank conditions, and limit their stress level to a minimal minimum.

Peacock Gudgeon Care

The Peacock Gudgeon has captured the hearts of many fish keepers over the years due to its colorful body, distinctive form, and feisty personality. Peacock Gudgeons are found in soft, acidic rainforest ponds, streams, and rivulets, where they may be seen congregating in loose shoals and hovering near the bottom.

The aquarium should be biologically developed and have lots of shaded hiding spots and thick flora, driftwood, and rocky caverns.

Taking care of the Peacock Gudgeons is a critical task for fish farmers. However, if pertains circumstances are met. the procedure becomes more controllable. Follow the water sanitation technique and feed your fish nutritious food from reputable suppliers to keep your peacock jaws healthy and full of life.

Fishkeeping may be a genuine delight if you follow the necessary recommendations since this will guarantee that your fish remain disease-free.

Tank Size

As a general rule, Peacock Gudgeons require a minimum tank capacity of 15 gallons. Some argue that 10 gallons are plenty, but we would not recommend any less than 15 gallons, at least if you want your fish to be happy. Peacock Gudgeons are like a darker substrate with lush vegetation to hide in.

This will make them feel more confident in their surroundings, and as a result, bright colors may be shown. As they are tropical fish, an adjustable heater should also be given, and a lid is optional for this species but should be considered as with any fish. Peacock Gudgeons can also live in medium-sized tanks as long as they are not overcrowded.

Expert Tip: If you want your Peacock Gudgeon to be comfortable, you can only have one or two in a 5-gallon tank. Bigger tanks, however, may be necessary for larger groups or multi-species fish populations.

Because they are small and don’t swim much, you don’t need a large tank to house them. The more they swim, though, the happier they are, so keep an eye on their behavior and alter their food or tank size accordingly.

Water Parameters

Peacock gudgeon is quite resistant and can tolerate less-than-ideal water quality
Peacock gudgeon is quite resistant and can tolerate less-than-ideal water quality

It is a good idea to test all physical and chemical parameters on a regular basis to ensure that they are stable, as these factors might very without your knowledge if you don’t monitor them. The following amounts are suggested for various water parameters: pH 6.5 to 7.5, hardness 5 to 10, temperature 22 to 28 degrees Celcius.

The cornerstone to aquarium life, especially in freshwater tanks, is stability, and it is critical to keep the pH constant in your tank at a consistent level. Avoid exposing your fish to too much current since the Peacock Gudgeon is not a quick swimmer and so cannot survive for long. It will wear out on its own if there’s a steady current flow.

With high-level water quality, you should opt for the regular filter type. It is preferable to stop the water flow by directing the filter’s output towards the tank window. In order to maintain optimal water quality, you must replace the water by 20% on regular basis.

Despite the fact that these fish appear to be more sophisticated species to keep due to their colors and price, they are quite resistant and can tolerate less-than-ideal water quality. Meeting their demands, on the other hand, will produce their best colors and personalities.

What to include in their Habitat?

Peacock Gudgeons feel safe around a large number of floating plants
Peacock Gudgeons feel safe around a large number of floating plants

Peacock Gudgeons, as previously said, are ideal for keeping in a richly aquascaped aquarium. These fish flourish in the presence of plants. Peacock Gudgeons feel safe around a large number of floating plants. Provide them with a variety of refuges in the tank, including a diverse range of hardy plants in your tank design.

Use plants like Java fern and Java moss, as well as numerous small upside-down flower pots that can be used as spawning locations. A coconut shell with a tiny opening would also be appreciated.

Plants not only replicate their natural habitat in the wild, but they also offer a handful of utilitarian uses. When the fish are threatened, they will use the plants to hide. You’ll witness them swimming among the leaves and enjoying fun even when they’re cheerful and carefree.

Because they interact so extensively with plants, it’s critical that the aquatic plants you include are long-lasting. Delicate plants can be easily ripped-off. Plants can be embedded in a dark sand substrate. Sand is preferable to gravel for these fish.

Take advantage of rocks and driftwood in addition to plants. Again, having plenty of hiding areas and places to explore is usually a good idea.

The foundation can also be built using medium-grained sand up to 5mm or smaller gravel. Typically, the fish leaps easily, therefore avoiding minor gaps around the container top. It is advised that the water be renewed once a week.

Potential Diseases

Peacock Gudgeons are not very sensitive to variations in water temperature. They do, however, live longer lives when kept in clean, established, and slow-current aquariums. This is due, once again, to the fact that such water conditions precisely replicate the Peacock Gudgeons’ natural environment.

Peacock Gudgeon live longer lives when kept in clean and slow-current aquariums
Peacock Gudgeon live longer lives when kept in clean and slow-current aquariums

While there are no species-specific illnesses that Peacock Gudgeons, they are nevertheless susceptible to common health issues that affect most freshwater fish. Ich and Hole-in-the-Head sickness are two health problems to keep an eye out for.

Though researchers have yet to pinpoint the root cause of the Hole-in-the-Head sickness, several studies have shown that the presence of the parasite Hexamita is a key determinant in whether or not cichlids, gudgeons, or Oscars in an aquarium acquire this condition.

Similarly, parasites in your tank water produce Ich or White Spot. Worms and parasite diseases are also frequent. Anchor worms may attach to the head and body of the fish. Typically, fish may brush against decorations in an attempt to “scratch” the worms off.
The same is true of the skin and gill flukes.

Tiny worms will attach to fish and cause a tiny lesion. Fluke attacks are extremely deadly. Small infestations aren’t a big concern, but bigger ones can easily kill Peacock Gudgeons. Fortunately, they are frequently treatable with antifungal and antibacterial drugs.

Food and Diet

The Peacock Gudgeon’s diet is controversial. Some hobbyists believe they are one of the most difficult species to feed, while others believe they can feed their fish anything they want. Your Peacock Gudgeons’ diet can significantly impact their lifespan. Peacock Gudgeons eat tiny crustaceans, insects, and insect larvae in their native environment.

They may consume bloodworms and brine shrimp when in captivity. As you can undoubtedly guess, your Peacock Gudgeons aren’t going to eat just anything. They’re actually quite fussy.

If you want your Peacock Gudgeons to be happy and healthy, provide them with a balanced diet that includes both frozen and live meals. So provide them with a variety of tiny meaty dishes. Frozen bloodworm, white mosquito larvae, daphnia, and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp are all highly recommended.

They may develop a liking for little sinking pellets/granules and flake over time. You can feed newborn Peacock Gudgeon powdered food that has been mixed with infusoria. Remember that little Peacock Gudgeons develop slowly, so don’t be concerned if they don’t grow quickly enough.

Expert Tip: You may introduce baby brine shrimp into their diet once they’ve grown a little. If they refuse, stop providing it to them and try again next week.

Peacock Gudgeon, like other living beings, requires proper nutrition to keep healthy and happy. However, if it is inevitable, the Peacock Gudgeon can survive for 5 to 12 days without food. It is not advised to leave your Peacock Gudgeons without food unless absolutely necessary.

In addition, starving them, making them prone to disease, and limiting their growth are all risks of leaving them without nourishment.

Temperature & General Behavior

Peacock Gudgeons are generally quiet. They won’t get into any problems with other non-aggressive fish their size. These fish are most comfortable when they are in a group. They may be kept in a single pair, although they thrive in big groups of 6 to 8 fish. There may be some little hostility between men in a group.

However, this isn’t a serious issue. It’s harmless and normally doesn’t cause any harm to the fish involved.

During the reproduction season, these attractive freshwater fish may become a little hostile to other peacocks, particularly males. This male-on-male animosity will pass. If it doesn’t, consider adding more females to the tank or creating new hiding spots.

These fish will often explore the habitat and interact with vegetation. If your fish feels at ease in its surroundings, you may see them swimming in open places to flaunt their beauty.

Tank Mates

Another crucial component of keeping Peacock Gudgeons is knowing what kind of fish might get along with them in a communal tank. There are several Peacock Gudgeons tank mates to pick from. Apart from other fish of the same species, these fish do well in comparison to practically all other placid fish.

As long as there are no serious aggressors, you can retain them in communal tanks. It is feasible to maintain aggressive fish in the aquarium. However, you must ensure that the fish are not large enough to consume the Peacock Gudgeons. It’s also crucial to keep the tank size large enough for any territorial fish to have their own place.

Choosing the right tank mates for your Peacock Gudgeons will have a long-term positive impact on their health as well as the harmony and ecological balance of your aquarium.

Our experts’ top picks for Peacock Gudgeon tank mates are listed below:

  1. CoryCatfsh
  2. Ember Tetra (or other Tetras)
  3. Kuhli Loach
  4. Bumblebee Goby
  5. Celestial Pearl Danios
  6. Harlequin Rasbora
  7. Apistogramma
  8. Cherry Barb

Peacock Gudgeons does not have any particular awful tank mates. Just bear in mind that you should avoid any fish that is either or significantly smaller than the Peacock Gudgeon.

Peacock Gudgeon Breeding

Peacock Gudgeon Breeding
Peacock Gudgeon Breeding

Breeding needs for Peacock Gudgeon arent challenging. Male and female fish are paired off to begin the breeding process. When you spot these pairings, relocate them to a different tank.

Before introducing your breeding couple, you must also check that your breeding tank fits specific conditions. First and foremost, the breeding tank should have cavities or some form of a cave. You may make this hollow out of many many materials such as PVC, terracotta pots, or an already built cavity.

Expert Tip: Moreover, as part of their breeding preparations, you must make certain changes to their water conditions and food. You should provide enough protein-rich live food to the breeding couple.

A male Peacock Gudgeon begins reproduction by selecting a good breeding place and swirling in circles around the entrance while flaring its pectoral fins to attract females.

When a female accepts the male’s spawning offer, she will lay 50-100 eggs around the hatching spot. Using their natural adhesive, the eggs will bond to the walls of the tank or cave.

After the female has completed her task, the male will begin fertilizing the eggs while simultaneously defending them from intruders. It will also use its fins to fan the eggs for up to 10 days to ensure that they are oxygenated and to avoid fungus outbreaks.

The male may continue his duties until the fry consumes the eggs after the eggs hatch. Peacock Gudgeons attain maturity in 6 to 8 months on average.


Peacock Gudgeons are a fantastic way to start if you’ve never had an aquarium before. They’re simple to care for, have lovely colors, and are even entertaining to watch. Not to mention how calm they are.

You should now have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of caring for your own Peacock Gudgeons, whether you maintain them in species-specific nano tanks or community tanks with other interesting creatures.

To summarize, caring for your Peacock Gudgeons shouldn’t be too difficult, Once you’ve mastered this technique, you may progressively introduce more species to your aquarium.

This post should have convinced you that Peacock Gudgeons are a worthwhile acquisition to your home aquarium. They may not be the most popular fish at your local fish store, but their low-maintenance requirements, placid temperament, the eye-catching colors make them a no-brainer for your tank.

Apply everything you’ve learned here to give your Peacock Gudgeons the best care possible. If you have any questions regarding Peacock Gudgeons, or if you’ve previously kept this generous type of fish, please leave a comment!

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