From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer
This is one of the classic Malawi Peacocks, brilliantly colored with a swallow’s tail and an ideal African cichlid for beginners and for those hobbyists wanting to breed African cichlids for the first time. Extreme differences in coloration exist between populations.
Other common name(s):
- Fairy Cichlid
Habitat: The Peacock Cichlid needs both rocky and open swimming areas and is primarily a cave dweller.
Maximum length: 15 cm (6 in)
Minimum aquarium size: 152 L (40 gal)
Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)
General swimming level: Bottom to midwater.
Carnivore. In the wild, the Peacock Cichlid feeds on micro-invertebrates found hidden in the sand, but will readily adapt to a variety of commercially prepared cichlid diets, such as flakes and pellets. Supplement with meaty frozen and freeze-dried foods, such as brine shrimp or black worms. Live foods will be eaten with relish.
They are generally peaceful, although males may quarrel over females or territory. In the wild, they live in large groups.
Maternal mouthbrooder. Acquire one male to several females to start. Females are much less flamboyantly colored.
Provide smooth rocks to form caves and, because they need hard, alkaline water to thrive, lay down a fine-grade dolomite or coral-based gravel substrate. This is a sizable fish that needs room to swim and maneuver.