Peacock Bass

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Cichla ocellaris - Bloch & Schneider, 1801
Peacock Bass

Cichla ocellaris.jpg

Cichla ocellaris, also known as the Peacock Bass, a fisherman's trophy.


These South American cichlids with fiery red eyes get too large and are far too predatory for normal aquariums.

Also known as the Peacock Bass—if you want to know why this is more of a gamefish than an aquarium prospect, tune in to one of the popular bass fishing shows filmed in their habitats in the wild. These and other members of the Genus Cichla should be avoided by most home aquarists.

Maximum weight recorded to date is 6.8 kg (15 lb).

Family: Cichlidae

Other common name(s):

  • Peacock Cichlid
  • Peacock Bass
  • Butterfly Peacock Bass

Native range:

Habitat: Rivers and streams, both in swift currents and quiet pools

Maximum length: 74 cm (29 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 1135 L (300 gal)

Water: Freshwater 24 °C (75 °F) - 27 °C (81 °F)

General swimming level: All levels.


Carnivore. Will usually accept all manner of meaty foods. Live feeder fishes will disappear in rapid fashion, but do not depend on these as a steady diet.

Aquarium Compatibility

Suitable only with very large tankmates that cannot fit into its gaping maw.


Breedings in typical cichlid fashion, laying adhesive eggs on smooth stones and guarding the nest.


This species has been spread by artificial introduction in non-native waters. It is considered a threat as a potential introduced species. Never release any aquarium fish into the wild.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW