The Fish Keeping & Aquarium Guide.

Keeping Peacock Cichlids with Other Fish: What You Need to Know

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Peacock cichlids are popular with aquarium enthusiasts due to their vibrant colors and unique patterns. However, many wonder if they can keep peacock cichlids with other fish.

The answer is not straightforward and depends on several factors, including the size of the tank, the temperament of the other fish, and the gender of the peacock cichlids.

Peacock cichlids are known for their aggressive behavior, especially during breeding. They can become territorial and attack other fish in the tank, particularly those that are smaller or have similar coloration.

Therefore, keeping peacock cichlids with other aggressive fish or those that are easily intimidated is not recommended.

However, if the tank is large enough to provide ample swimming space and hiding spots, peaceful species such as tetras, catfish, and loaches may be compatible with peacock cichlids.


Compatibility of Peacock Cichlids with Other Fish

Compatibility with Other Cichlids


Peacock cichlids are known for their vibrant colors and are popular among fish enthusiasts. However, it is essential to consider their compatibility with other fish before adding them to your aquarium.

When it comes to other cichlids, it is generally recommended to keep them with other species of the same size and temperament.

Peacock cichlids are peaceful and can be kept with other peaceful cichlids, such as the Electric Yellow Cichlid and the Red Zebra Cichlid.

However, keeping them with aggressive cichlids such as the Frontosa Cichlid or the Jaguar Cichlid is not recommended as they may become territorial and aggressive towards the peacock cichlids.


Compatibility with Non-Cichlid Species


Peacock cichlids can be kept with non-cichlid species such as tetras, barbs, and catfish. However, it is essential to consider the size and temperament of the other fish before adding them to the aquarium.

Small, peaceful species such as neon tetras and cherry barbs can be kept with peacock cichlids without any issues.

However, larger and more aggressive species, such as angelfish and tiger barbs, should be avoided as they may become territorial and aggressive towards the peacock cichlids.

In summary, peacock cichlids can be kept with other fish if their size and temperament are considered. Researching and selecting compatible species is essential to ensure a peaceful and thriving aquarium.


Factors Affecting Compatibility


Several factors must be considered when keeping peacock cichlids with other fish to ensure a peaceful and thriving aquarium. These factors include tank size and conditions, fish temperament and size, and proper feeding.


Tank Size and Conditions


Peacock cichlids require a minimum tank size of 55 gallons, with larger tanks preferred for a more spacious environment.

The water conditions should be kept stable with a pH range of 7.8-8.6 and a temperature range of 76-82°F.

Additionally, a well-filtered tank with regular water changes is essential for maintaining a healthy environment for all fish.


Fish Temperament and Size


Peacock cichlids are generally peaceful fish, but they can become territorial during breeding or if they feel threatened.

Therefore, it is essential to choose tankmates with similar temperaments and sizes. Avoid keeping them with aggressive fish or significantly smaller ones, as they may become targets for aggression.


Proper Feeding


Peacock cichlids are omnivores and should be fed a varied diet of high-quality pellets, flakes, and frozen or live foods.

It is essential to avoid overfeeding, as this can lead to health issues and aggression. Providing hiding places and multiple feeding locations can also help reduce competition and aggression during feeding times.

In summary, keeping peacock cichlids with other fish requires careful consideration of tank size and conditions, fish temperament and size, and proper feeding.

A peaceful and thriving aquarium can be achieved by providing a suitable environment and choosing compatible tank mates.


Tips for Successful Cohabitation

Proper Introduction of New Fish


It is essential to do so gradually when introducing peacock cichlids to an aquarium with other fish. This can help to minimize stress and aggression between the new fish and the existing inhabitants.

One effective method is to place the new fish in a separate tank or quarantine area for a few weeks to monitor their health and behavior. During this time, they can be gradually acclimated to the water conditions of the main tank.

When it is time to introduce the new fish to the main tank, it is essential to do so slowly and carefully. This can be done by placing the new fish in a separate container or bag and floating it in the main tank for some time.

This allows the fish to adjust to the temperature and water chemistry of the main tank before being released.


Maintaining a Balanced Aquarium


To ensure successful cohabitation between peacock cichlids and other fish, it is essential to maintain a balanced aquarium. This includes providing adequate space and hiding places for all fish and maintaining good water quality and temperature.

Overcrowding can lead to stress and aggression between fish, so ensuring the aquarium is not overstocked is essential.

Additionally, hiding places such as rocks, plants, and caves can help reduce aggression and provide a sense of security for all fish.

Maintaining proper water quality and temperature is also essential for successful cohabitation. This includes regular water changes, monitoring water chemistry, and ensuring the temperature remains consistent.

By following these tips, it is possible to cohabitate peacock cichlids with other fish in an aquarium successfully.


Potential Risks and Challenges

Aggression and Territorial Disputes


Peacock cichlids are known for their territorial behavior, which can lead to aggression toward other fish in the aquarium.

This can be especially problematic if the tank is too small or there are insufficient hiding places for other fish. Peacock cichlids may also become aggressive during the breeding season, further exacerbating the situation.

It is essential to consider the temperament and size of other fish in the tank before introducing peacock cichlids.

The cichlids may bully or even kill species that are too small or passive. Additionally, providing plenty of hiding places and visual barriers in the tank is essential to help reduce aggression and territorial disputes.


Disease and Health Issues


Peacock cichlids are susceptible to various diseases and health issues, which can be exacerbated by poor water quality or improper tank conditions. Some common health issues include ich, fin rot, and swim bladder disease.

It is important to maintain a consistent water temperature and pH level and perform regular water changes and tank cleanings to help prevent these issues.

It is also essential to quarantine any new fish before introducing them to the tank to prevent the spread of disease. Additionally, it is necessary to avoid overcrowding the tank, as this can lead to poor water quality and an increased risk of infection.

While peacock cichlids can be a beautiful and exciting addition to an aquarium, it is essential to carefully consider the potential risks and challenges before introducing them to a tank with other fish.

Proper tank conditions, careful species selection, and regular maintenance can help mitigate these risks and ensure a thriving aquarium.


Understanding Peacock Cichlids

Origins and Habitat


Peacock cichlids, also known as Aulonocara, are a species of freshwater fish native to Lake Malawi in Africa. They were first discovered in the 1950s and have become popular among fish enthusiasts for their vibrant colors and unique body shapes.

Peacock cichlids are found in rocky lake areas and prefer temperatures between 75-80°F.


Behavior and Temperament


Peacock cichlids are generally peaceful fish and can be kept with other non-aggressive species. However, they can become territorial during breeding and aggressive towards other fish.

It’s essential to provide plenty of hiding places and territory for each fish to reduce aggression.


Diet and Nutrition


Peacock cichlids are omnivores and require a varied diet to stay healthy. They primarily feed on small invertebrates and algae in the wild.

In captivity, they can be fed a combination of commercial fish, frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms, and fresh vegetables such as spinach or zucchini.

It’s essential to avoid overfeeding as peacock cichlids can quickly become overweight and develop health problems.

Overall, understanding peacock cichlids’ origins, behavior, and diet is crucial for keeping them healthy and happy in a community tank.




In conclusion, keeping peacock cichlids with other fish is possible but requires careful consideration and planning. Peacock cichlids are known for their aggressive behavior, especially during breeding, and can harm or kill other fish in the tank.

However, peacock cichlids can coexist peacefully with other fish with the correct tank setup, compatible tank mates, and proper care. It is essential to provide enough space for each fish, maintain good water quality, and avoid overcrowding the tank.

When choosing tank mates for peacock cichlids, selecting fish that are similar in size, temperament, and water requirements is recommended. Some suitable tank mates for peacock cichlids include other African cichlids, catfish, and larger tetras.

It is also important to note that peacock cichlids are not recommended for beginner fish keepers due to their complex care requirements and aggressive behavior. Overall, if you are an experienced fish keeper with the proper setup and tank mates, keeping peacock cichlids with other fish can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

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