If you are looking for a beautiful, undemanding, and peaceful fish to add to your freshwater aquarium, you should consider the exquisite Peacock Gudgeons. These unique fish inhabit shallow bodies of water such as Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. While they might be referred to as ‘Peacock Gobies,’ they are part of the Eleotridae family, the Tateurndina genus’ only species.
Most of the Peacock Gudgeons one can find today are bred in captivity. With their striking appearance reminiscent of peacock feathers, it’s easy to understand why they’ve become popular additions to fish tanks all over the world.
Though, if you plan on keeping these gorgeous fish, you must prepare for the special attention and care required for them to stay healthy, vibrant, and stress-free. This guide will give you all the information you need on Peacock Gudgeon care, from tank requirements and diet to tank mates and breeding tips.
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Lifespan & Appearance
When it comes to looks, Peacock Gudgeons are quite simply some of the most visually stunning freshwater fish that can be kept in an aquarium. They boast vibrant colors that stand out against natural aquascaping and have slender bodies with rounded heads and long fins. Adult males may even develop a nuchal hump on their forehead, emphasizing that round shape.
The color pattern is what makes this fish special. Its body is covered in a silvery-blue shade, which can vary from subdued to electric blue, and its belly tends to take on a subtle yellow hue. Lateral dotted stripes of red and yellow edges on the fins complete the look, with the eye spot at the base of the tail fin containing a black spot, hence earning them the name Peacock Gudgeons.
Males and females can be easily identified since males tend to be slightly larger and develop that forehead hump, while females may have a thin strip of black on their fins edge and more vibrant bellies.
The average size of a Peacock Gudgeon is approximately 3 inches long, with females usually reaching 2.5 inches at most. Most juvenile fish will reach maturity within 6-8 months and, given the ideal conditions, can live up to 4-5 years in captivity.
In the presence of other non-aggressive fish, the Peacock Gudgeon, a typically calm member of the group, will not stir any trouble. They love to be in groups of 6 to 8 but will do well in pairs if you provide them with at least one companion. Males in the group will occasionally grow a little hot under the fin and become aggressive, but tempers usually calm quickly, and injuries are rare.
The most entertaining activity is observing Peacock Gudgeons swimming and interacting with the plants in their environment. It is gratifying to watch these lovely and vibrant fish swimming with unashamed joy. Observing their playful behavior increases the hobbyist’s attitude.
When they are genuinely unattached and at ease, you will see them swimming out in the open, almost as if to exhibit their distinctive appearance.
Ensure that these Peacock Gudgeons have enough hiding places so they can escape if they feel intimidated.
Peacock Gudgeon care is relatively easy, as they don’t require particularly difficult-to-maintain conditions. These fish can handle a wide range of water parameters. However, it’s still crucial to ensure your tank is set up correctly and contains an adequate amount of swimming space – 15 gallons being the minimum amount recommended when keeping a small group of these fish.
Water parameters should be steady, and sudden changes should be avoided, as these can be stressful for the fish. Adding plants and other décor will provide them with plenty of hiding spots and make them feel comfortable in their environment. As for filtration, any standard fish tank filter should do the job.
In their native environment, Peacock Gudgeons swim in slow-moving streams or even still ponds; therefore, you must ensure that the water flow in your aquarium is not too powerful or rapid. Otherwise, they will become stressed.
They are also accustomed to warmer temperatures, so ensure that your water is between 72 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit (22.2 and 26.1 degrees Celsius).
The best parameters for ensuring a close resemblance to their natural habitat are as follows:
- pH levels: between 6.0 and 7.8 (around 7.0 is best)
- Water hardness: 5 to 12 dKH
- Water temperature: ranges from 72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 26.1 degrees Celsius).
You can choose a filtration system capable of maintaining low nitrate levels in your aquarium and keep nitrate levels in your aquarium, keeping in mind that the filter you need will vary based on the population size of your community. If you have a school of six fish in a 15-gallon tank, you will need a different filter than if you have multiple species in a 60-gallon tank.
Again, these animals are accustomed to slower-moving water, so you should avoid selecting a filter that would produce a greater current than they can take.
If the current look too powerful for your Peacock Gudgeons, you can lessen it by placing the filter against the tank’s glass or by placing a plant or ornament in front of the flow.
Peacock Gudgeons do not particularly enjoy flake food. Several hobbyists claim that their Peacock Gudgeons reject flakes when provided with them. Peacock Gudgeons live up to their name once again: as haughty as a peacock, they require a more varied diet.
Even though the Peacock Gudgeons in your home aquarium were likely grown in captivity, they retain a preference for the protein-rich food that their species finds in the wild, including insects, larvae, and other small creatures.
Offer them high-protein frozen or freeze-dried food, as well as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia as live treats. They will likely consume the flakes if you provide them with their preferred meaty dish.
Remember that the protein and fat component of the live food supplies the nutrition they require to remain healthy and happy; you’ll also notice a difference in their colors if you feed them properly. If you observe that this omnivore’s colors are not as brilliant as you would like, you may need to supplement its diet with meat.
The Peacock Gudgeon is a laid-back fish that gets along great with other mellow fish of similar size. It’s not a good idea to place them in an aquarium with more dominant species or fish much larger than them.
Here is a list of suitable tankmates for Peacock Gudgeons (Tateurndina ocellicauda):
- Rummy nose tetras
- Harlequin Rasboras
- Zebra danio
- Dwarf gourami
- Bristlenose pleco
- Otocinclus catfish
When keeping Peacock Gudgeons in an aquarium with other territorial fish, it’s important to have a large enough tank that each species has enough room to spread out.
It is important to note that some of these fish may require different water parameters and it is important to research the specific requirements of each species before adding them to the tank
Caring for Your Peacock Gudgeon
Like any aquarium fish, Peacock Gudgeon is prone to a wide range of illnesses. Following the aforementioned feeding guidelines, maintaining a clean aquarium with frequent water changes, and checking the water quality will go a long way toward preventing disease in your Peacock Gudgeons.
When freshwater fish are under a lot of pressure, the parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, from which the disease gets its name, may attack. Maintaining your Peacock Gudgeon in a stress-free setting is essential for its health.
Overfeeding, underfeeding, or living in an incompatible tank or water environment can all induce stress, increasing your fish’s susceptibility to disease.
Ick is so contagious that fish affected with it must be isolated. Many anti-itch medications are available nowadays. However, many available drugs are copper-based, and some of your Peacock Gudeon’s tankmates may be copper-sensitive.
The Peacock Gudgeon is mildly sensitive to ich and the feces-transmitted illness hole-in-head. Keeping the tank clean is an obvious way to lessen the odds that your Peacock Gudgeon will contract a sickness that often strikes larger fish.
Visually, the sores and pits in the unfortunate fish’s head make it clear that it is suffering from hole-in-head sickness.
Anchor worms attach to the Peacock Gudgeon’s body and head, and the fish will rub against any hard items in your aquarium to try to itch itself.
Peacock Gudgeons are egg-layers and, in their natural habitats, will lay their eggs among the foliage. Each clutch can contain up to 10 eggs, and breeding in captivity follows the same pattern. Some adjustments can be made, though, to ensure successful breeding sessions.
Introducing multiple males should help increase the chances of pairing off and spawning.
It is also recommended to keep the tank temperature between 74-82°F since too high of temperatures can lower the oxygen levels in the water and cause stress to the fish. Once the eggs are laid, it is essential to remove them from the tank as soon as possible and incubate them in a separate container to prevent them from being eaten.
To thrive, the newly hatched fry will require crushed flakes or small frozen foods. Feeding the young Peacock Gudgeons should take place 2-3 times a day, with portions just large enough for them to eat in one meal.
Care should be taken not to overfeed the young fry and maintain good water quality with regular water changes.
When decorating the tank, you should opt for smooth rocks, driftwood, or live plants. It is best to avoid gravel, and other sharp décor since the fish may injure themselves when rubbing against it. Place some floating pieces of wood in the tank, giving the fish several areas to hide and rest.
In conclusion, Peacock Gudgeons are easy-to-care-for fish that make excellent additions to community tanks. While they require a little extra attention to ensure optimal health and well-being, the results are most certainly worth it.
With their flashy colors and peaceful demeanor, these fish have become beloved by many worldwide aquarists.