Peacock Gudgeon Care: Complete Guide for Beginners

Peacock Gudgeons, are vibrant freshwater fish that are perfect for beginners. In this complete guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about their care and maintenance. Get ready to discover how easy and rewarding it can be to keep these beautiful fish thriving in your aquarium.

Peacock Gudgeon

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Peacock Gudgeon Species Profile and Identification

Peacock Gudgeon, scientifically known as Tateurndina ocellicauda, is a small and colorful freshwater fish native to the rivers and streams of Papua New Guinea. This fish is a popular choice among aquarium hobbyists due to its striking appearance, peaceful temperament, and relatively low-maintenance care requirements.

When identifying Peacock Gudgeon, look for these key features:

  • Size: They grow up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in length, with males being slightly larger than females.
  • Color: Commonly, they have a vibrant blue body with red-orange patches. Their fins may have a translucent appearance with some iridescent blue and turquoise markings.
  • Shape: Characterized by a slender, elongated body with a rounded caudal fin. Males have a more pronounced dorsal fin.

In addition to their appearance, Peacock Gudgeon’s behavior can help identify them:

  • Temperament: Peaceful, but may show slight aggression during breeding or when defending their territory.
  • Swimming Pattern: Often swim in the middle and bottom levels of the tank, hovering or moving slowly around plants and decor.

Aquarists often choose Peacock Gudgeons for their:

  • Community Tank Compatibility: These fish are well-suited for community tanks, coexisting peacefully with similarly sized, non-aggressive species.
  • Minimum Tank Size: A 10-gallon tank is ideal for a small group of Peacock Gudgeons, though larger tanks with more hiding spaces are better for their overall well-being.

Ultimately, keeping Peacock Gudgeons can be a rewarding experience for beginner and experienced aquarists alike, thanks to their unique appearance, friendly demeanor, and straightforward care requirements.

peacock gudgeon infographic

Peacock Gudgeon Supplies

To setup and maintain a healthy environment for your Peacock Gudgeon, you need to get the right supplies. Having a checklist of essential items will make your aquarium care journey smoother and more enjoyable.

The list below provides an overview of the necessary supplies for your Peacock Gudgeon tank:

  • Aquarium: You need a minimum of a 10-gallon tank for smaller groups (2-3 fish), but a larger, 20-gallon tank is highly recommended if you plan to have tank mates or a larger group of Peacock Gudgeons.
  • Filtration System: A high-quality filter ensures water stays clear and free from harmful substances. Opt for a hang-on-back or sponge filter for optimal results.
  • Heater: Maintaining consistent water temperature is crucial for the health of your Peacock Gudgeon. Choose an adjustable heater suitable for the tank size.
  • Thermometer: Monitoring water temperature is essential. Get a reliable, easy-to-read thermometer.
  • Lighting: Peacock Gudgeons do not require bright light. Aim for a moderate lighting setup.
  • Substrate: Sand or small gravel is suitable for Peacock Gudgeons, as it encourages natural behavior.
  • Decorations & Hiding Spots: Provide driftwood, rocks, and caves for your Peacock Gudgeon to explore and hide.
  • Live Plants: Plants like Anubias, Java Fern, and Java Moss not only add aesthetic value but also help maintain water quality.
  • Test Kit: Regularly check water conditions by using an appropriate test kit.
  • Water Conditioner: Use a water conditioner to remove harmful chemicals from tap water during water changes.
Supply Item Type/Size
Aquarium 10-20 gallons (minimum)
Filtration System Hang-on-back or sponge filter
Heater Adjustable, suitable for tank size
Thermometer Reliable, easy-to-read
Lighting Moderate intensity
Substrate Sand or small gravel
Decorations & Hiding Spots Driftwood, rocks, and caves
Live Plants Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss
Test Kit Appropriate for Peacock Gudgeon tank
Water Conditioner Removes harmful chemicals

Having these supplies on hand will ensure that your Peacock Gudgeon stays healthy and stress-free.

Peacock Gudgeon Tank Setup

Setting up the right tank for your Peacock Gudgeon is essential to ensure their health and well-being. The minimum tank size recommended for these fish is 10 gallons. However, aiming for a 20-gallon tank is ideal, as it provides more space for them to swim and explore.

When choosing the tank’s substrate, opt for a smooth sand or fine gravel. This will not only make the tank look more natural but also protect your fish’s delicate bodies, as they like to dig and sift through the substrate.

Add plants and decorations like driftwood or rocks, to provide hiding spots and replicate their natural habitat. Some suitable plants include:

  • Java moss
  • Java fern
  • Anubias

Be mindful of the water flow in the tank since Peacock Gudgeons are not strong swimmers and prefer a calm environment. To achieve this, use a gentle filter or adjust the settings on your existing filter to produce a lower flow.

Peacock Gudgeon fish are sensitive to sudden changes in temperature, so using a heater to maintain a consistent water temperature between 72-79°F (22-26°C) is crucial. Install a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature and ensure it stays within the ideal range.

Lastly, your fish will love having a low-light environment, so avoid placing the tank near direct sunlight or exposing it to bright light for long periods. Instead, provide dim lighting that simulates their natural habitat in the wild. And there you have it – a perfectly set up tank for your Peacock Gudgeons to thrive in!

Peacock Gudgeon Water Requirements

Peacock Gudgeons, or Tateurndina ocellicauda, prefer water conditions typical for most tropical fish. However, they do have some specific requirements to keep them in good health. Let’s break down their water conditions.

Firstly, water temperature should be between 22°C and 26°C (72°F and 79°F). A reliable heater is a must to maintain a stable temperature, as significant fluctuations can stress out your fish.

It’s essential to keep the water within a pH range of 7.0 to 7.8. This range balances the water, ensuring it’s neither too acidic nor too alkaline for the Peacock Gudgeons to thrive. Regularly test and adjust pH levels accordingly.

As for water hardness, aim for soft to moderately hard water. A dGH of 5 to 15 closely resembles the natural habitat of these fish and helps them feel comfortable in their environment.

Peacock Gudgeons are sensitive to ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, so strive to maintain:

  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: below 20 ppm

To achieve optimal water quality, invest in a good-quality filter and make regular water changes. Replace 10% to 20% of your tank’s water with fresh conditioned water every week.

Regular testing and adjusting of water parameters will help your Peacock Gudgeons stay healthy and happy, and prevent any unnecessary stress. Now that you’re familiar with the water requirements, let’s move on to their dietary needs.

Peacock Gudgeon Diet and Feeding

Peacock Gudgeons are omnivorous, meaning they consume both plant and animal foods. Their diet consists mainly of small invertebrates, insects, and algae, which can be found in their natural habitat.

To mimic their natural feeding habits, you should offer them high-quality flake foods, a variety of frozen and live foods, and vegetable supplements. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Feed your Peacock Gudgeons 2 to 3 times a day, making sure not to overfeed them as this can lead to obesity and poor water quality.
  • Live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms make great treats for Peacock Gudgeons, as these foods will help to improve their overall health and coloration.
  • Be sure to also provide some vegetable matter in their diet, such as blanched vegetables or Spirulina flakes, to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
  • Monitor your fish closely during feeding to ensure all the fish in your aquarium are getting an equal share of the food.
  • Remove any uneaten food from the aquarium within 30 minutes of feeding to help prevent water quality issues.
  • If you want to minimize digestive issues for your Peacock Gudgeons, try to soak their food in a small cup of tank water for a few minutes before feeding, as this can help to improve food digestion and absorption.

Remember that a balanced and varied diet is critical for the overall health and well-being of your Peacock Gudgeons. Be sure to continually research, update, and adjust their diet as needed to keep them thriving in your home aquarium.

Peacock Gudgeon Care Schedule

To ensure your Peacock Gudgeons stay healthy and vibrant, it’s essential to establish and maintain a regular care schedule. A proper care routine involves water changes, tank cleaning, feeding, and observing for health concerns.

Daily tasks:

  • Feeding: Feed your Peacock Gudgeons twice a day, offering enough food for them to consume within 1-2 minutes.
  • Observation: Monitor your fish for any unusual behaviors or signs of health issues.

Weekly tasks:

  • Water changes: Perform a 25% water change every week to maintain water quality and remove any harmful substances.
  • Water testing: Test the water parameters, ensuring that pH, temperature, nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia levels are all within the appropriate ranges for Peacock Gudgeons.

Monthly tasks:

  • Tank cleaning: Thoroughly clean the tank, including walls, filters, and substrate, to remove algae buildup and debris.
  • Filter maintenance: Check and clean or replace filter media, ensuring it’s functioning optimally to keep your tank water clean and clear.

Remember, consistency is key for maintaining a healthy environment for your fish. Being proactive and sticking to a care schedule will help ensure their long-term wellbeing while preventing potential issues. Always watch for any signs of stress or illness, and don’t hesitate to seek expert advice if you’re unsure about your fish’s condition. Happy fishkeeping!

Peacock Gudgeon Health Problems

Peacock Gudgeons are known for being hardy fish, making them an ideal choice for beginners. However, like any other fish species, they can be susceptible to certain health issues.

One common health problem is ich, a parasite that causes white spots on the fish’s body. To treat ich, you can raise the tank temperature to 86°F for 3 days and use a specialized ich treatment. Another issue is fin rot, typically caused by bacterial infection or poor water quality. Treating fin rot involves providing clean water and using antibiotics if necessary.

Diseases related to poor water quality, such as ammonia poisoning, can be avoided by routinely monitoring water parameters and ensuring the tank is properly cycled. Frequent water changes can also help maintain a healthy environment for your Peacock Gudgeons.

Parasitic infections like gill flukes and worms may also occur, but these can be prevented with quarantine measures and a proper diet. If infections occur, consult a specialist for appropriate treatment options.

To keep your Peacock Gudgeons healthy and stress-free, follow these tips:

  • Keep the tank clean with regular water changes and filter maintenance.
  • Test water parameters regularly, ensuring the temperature, pH levels, and hardness are within their preferred ranges.
  • Use a quarantine tank for new fish and plants to avoid introducing potential diseases or parasites.
  • Feed your Peacock Gudgeons a balanced diet with high-quality food and occasional treats.

By maintaining a properly setup tank and following good aquarium practices, you can reduce the risk of health problems in your Peacock Gudgeon population. Your fish will thank you for their healthy, vibrant environment.

Peacock Gudgeon Tank Mates

When looking for tank mates for your Peacock Gudgeon, it’s essential to consider their temperament and size. You should look for peaceful and non-aggressive species to ensure harmony in the tank.

Suitable Peacock Gudgeon tank mates include:

  • Small Tetras: These colorful and active fish get along well with Peacock Gudgeons due to their peaceful and non-territorial nature.
  • Corydoras Catfish: Being bottom-dwellers, Corydoras Catfish rarely interfere with other fish in the aquarium, making them a perfect addition to a Peacock Gudgeon tank.
  • Dwarf Gouramis: With their similar temperament and size, Dwarf Gouramis make ideal tank mates for Peacock Gudgeons.
  • Snails and Shrimps: Invertebrates such as nerite snails and cherry shrimp can coexist peacefully with Peacock Gudgeons, helping maintain a clean environment in the aquarium.

Always avoid aggressive and fast-swimming fish, such as larger cichlids and barbs, as they may stress or even harm your Peacock Gudgeons.

To ensure compatibility between all tank inhabitants, gradually introduce new species to the tank and closely monitor their behavior. This way, you can promptly address any possible issues and maintain a peaceful and healthy environment for your fish.

Peacock Gudgeon Breeding

Breeding Peacock Gudgeons can be an exciting adventure for aquarium enthusiasts, but it requires patience and some preparation. To foster the best environment for breeding, start by setting up a separate tank specifically meant for breeding—a 10-20 gallon tank would suffice.

In this breeding tank, include:

  • Live plants: Java moss, Java fern, or Anubias, preferably with broad leaves to provide cover
  • Caves or PVC pipes: to be used as breeding sites for the male
  • Heater: keep the temperature between 75-79°F (24-26°C)
  • Air-driven sponge filter: to generate gentle water flow and not disturb the eggs

Introduce your healthy and matured Peacock Gudgeons (at least 3-4 months old) in the breeding tank. To maximize the chances of breeding, maintain a favorable male to female ratio (1:2/1:3). Feed the fish with protein-rich food like live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia to condition them for spawning.

To trigger your Peacock Gudgeons to breed, gradually increase the water temperature by 1-2°F (0.5-1°C). Watch for the males picking a breeding site and displaying courtship behavior: flaring fins, displaying colors, and nudging the females. Once the female lays the eggs (around 50-200), the male will fertilize and guard them.

During this stage, it is crucial to remove the female from the breeding tank to avoid predation. The eggs will hatch within 5-7 days. Afterward, transfer the male to the main tank as well, while the fry stay in the breeding tank.

For the fry, provide:

  • Infusoria: as their first food for the initial few days
  • Fine powdered flakes or crushed pellets: post the infusoria stage
  • Hiding spots: java moss is an excellent choice for this purpose

Monitor the fry’s growth and development closely, making sure that they receive proper nutrition. It usually takes 2-3 months for the fry to reach a size suitable for introduction to the main tank. With proper care and attention, you can successfully breed Peacock Gudgeons and expand your beautiful fish family!


Peacock Gudgeons are an ideal choice for beginner aquarists, given their vivid colors and manageable care requirements. By following the guidelines outlined in this complete guide, you will ensure your fish thrive and provide you with a beautiful, engaging hobby for years to come. If you have any questions or experiences to share, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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