Peacock Gudgeon Care Guide: Easy Steps for a Healthy and Happy Fish

Peacock Gudgeons are captivating and small-sized freshwater fish known for their beautiful colors and peaceful nature. Originating from Papua New Guinea, these fascinating fish have gained popularity among aquarium enthusiasts for their unique markings and ease of care. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive species profile and complete care guide to help you understand and cater to the needs of these delightful fish.

With their vibrant stripes and striking colors, Peacock Gudgeons bring an enchanting touch to any aquarium. In the first section of this guide, we’ll discuss their natural habitat, size, lifespan, and preferred tank conditions. From there, we’ll explore various aspects of their care, including diet recommendations, suitable tank mates, water parameters, and ideal tank setup. By following this comprehensive guide, you can ensure that your Peacock Gudgeons flourish and create an eye-catching display in your aquarium.

Species Profile

Peacock Gudgeons are a popular choice among aquarium hobbyists, thanks to their vibrant appearance and peaceful nature. Here’s some key information to help you care for these beautiful fish.

Scientific nameTateurndina ocellicauda
Common namesPeacock Gudgeon, Peacock Goby
DistributionPapua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand
Size7.5 cm
Lifespan5 years
Minimum tank size15 gallons
Temperature72-79°F (22-26°C)
Water hardness5-12 dGH
Care levelIntermediate
Filtration/Water FlowLow to Moderate
Water typeFreshwater
BreedingEgg layers
Breeding difficultyModerate
CompatibilityCommunity aquariums

Peacock Gudgeon Basics

Origins and Natural Habitat

Peacock Gudgeons are native to the freshwater streams and rivers of Papua New Guinea. They prefer calm waters with plenty of vegetation, which provides them with natural hiding places and foraging opportunities. In the wild, they can be found near tree roots, rocks, and other substrates that offer additional cover.

Size and Shape

These small, colorful fish typically grow to reach a size of around 2-3 inches. They have a torpedo-shaped body that allows them to swim gracefully through their surroundings. Males tend to be slightly larger than females, making it relatively easy to distinguish between the sexes.

Color and Markings

Peacock Gudgeons are known for their vibrant colors and distinctive patterns, which lend them their name. They possess a stunning mix of blues, reds, and yellows, often accompanied by iridescent patches. Their bodies are adorned with eye-catching markings, such as horizontal stripes, spots, or dashes. The combination of these features creates a unique and visually appealing fish that stands out in an aquarium setting.


With proper care, Peacock Gudgeons can live for around 4-5 years in captivity. However, poor water conditions and inadequate nutrition can significantly shorten their lifespan, so it’s essential to prioritize optimal tank maintenance and high-quality food sources for these delicate fish. By maintaining a healthy environment and diet, we can ensure our Peacock Gudgeons thrive and provide an impressive addition to our aquarium.

Diet and Feeding

Feeding our Peacock Gudgeon is an enjoyable aspect of keeping them in our aquarium, as they have a diverse diet that includes a variety of foods. In their natural habitat, these colorful fishes are carnivorous and mainly feed on small invertebrates. To replicate this diet, it’s essential to provide them with a well-balanced and nutritious diet in captivity.

We like to offer them a mix of high-quality dry foods such as flakes or pellets, specifically formulated for small carnivorous fish. Additionally, it’s important to include live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and micro worms to ensure they receive adequate protein and nutrients.

When feeding our Peacock Gudgeon, we’ve found that they tend to be a bit shy and may not compete well with more aggressive tank mates for food. As a result, it’s crucial to keep an eye on them during feeding times and ensure each fish gets its fair share. We usually feed them once or twice a day, providing a small amount of food that they can consume within a few minutes.

Here are some key points to remember when feeding Peacock Gudgeon:

  • Varied diet: Include both high-quality dry foods and live or frozen foods to provide a balanced diet.
  • Feeding frequency: Feed them once or twice a day, ensuring they consume the food within a few minutes.
  • Monitor during feeding: Keep an eye on them during feeding times and make sure they get their fair share.

Providing a well-balanced and nutritious diet for our Peacock Gudgeon is crucial for their overall health and well-being. By offering them a varied diet and monitoring their feeding behavior, we can help these beautiful fish thrive and display their vibrant colors in our aquarium.

Behavior and Temperament

These freshwater fish are known for their peaceful nature, making them an excellent addition to community aquariums with other non-aggressive inhabitants. In general, they don’t cause any trouble and prefer to swim in schools of 6-8 individuals, although they can also be kept as a pair. If you choose to keep them in a pair, ensure they have at least one buddy.

Their swimming pattern is mostly seen in the middle and bottom levels of the tank, where they hover or move slowly around plants and decor. It’s not uncommon to see them forming territories and occasionally display slight aggression during breeding periods or when defending their space. However, this behavior is quite mild and doesn’t pose any significant risks to their tank mates.

Peacock Gudgeons are best kept in tanks with plenty of hiding spots, such as caves, plants, or driftwood, to help them feel secure and display more natural behaviors. Providing these fish with ample hiding places and plenty of space to swim will further ensure a happy and content Peacock Gudgeon community within your aquarium.

Care and Tank Requirements

As enthusiasts of Peacock Gudgeons, we understand how important it is to provide the best care and environment possible for these beautiful and unique freshwater fish. In this section, we’ll focus on the critical aspects of caring for Peacock Gudgeons, including tank size, water parameters, tank setup and decorations, and filtration and aeration. Let’s dive into the details!

Tank Size

When keeping a small group of Peacock Gudgeons, we recommend starting with a minimum tank size of 10 gallons. However, they will thrive even more in larger tanks with additional hiding spaces, which can enhance their overall well-being.

Water Parameters

To keep our Peacock Gudgeons happy and healthy, it’s essential to maintain optimal water parameters. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Temperature: 72-79°F (22-26°C)
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Water hardness: 5-12 dGH

Ensure regular monitoring of these parameters to prevent any sudden fluctuations that could negatively affect our fish.

Tank Setup and Decorations

Peacock Gudgeons, being naturally curious and vibrant fish, benefit greatly from a well-decorated tank that mimics their natural habitat. We suggest incorporating the following elements:

  • A soft sand or fine gravel substrate
  • Plenty of live plants, such as Java fern and Anubias
  • Hiding spots like caves, rock piles, and driftwood

These features not only help our fish feel secure but also encourage their natural behaviors and reduce stress levels.

Filtration and Aeration

Finally, it’s vital to ensure proper filtration and aeration within our Peacock Gudgeon’s tank setup. A quality hang-on-back filter or sponge filter can provide sufficient filtration, removing waste and maintaining water clarity.

For aeration, an air pump with an air stone will increase the oxygen levels and promote water circulation in the tank, contributing to a healthier environment for our colorful companions.

Suitable Tank Mates

As we all know, choosing the right tank mates for our fish is crucial for their well-being. In the case of Peacock Gudgeons, there’s a variety of peaceful fish species that make excellent tank mates. The key is providing a comfortable community tank environment without aggressive fish or potential predators.

It’s important to ensure that none of the tank mates are large enough to prey on our Peacock Gudgeons. Providing a larger tank will allow for individual space and minimize territorial disputes. With all that said, let’s proceed to aquaint ourselves with some suitable tank mates for Peacock Gudgeons:

  • Cory Catfish
  • Ember Tetra (or other Tetras)
  • Kuhli Loach
  • Bumblebee Goby
  • Celestial Pearl Danios
  • Harlequin Rasbora
  • Apistogramma
  • Cherry Barb

It’s worth noting that Cherry Shrimp are not advisable as tank mates for Peacock Gudgeons. On the other hand, Ghost Shrimp may be considered.

As friendly as we can be, monitoring and observing interactions of our fish is essential when introducing new tank mates. This helps ensure compatibility and maintain a harmonious aquatic environment for our adorable Peacock Gudgeons.

Breeding Process

Breeding Peacock Gudgeons can be a delightful experience, as they bond and pair quickly. To ensure the safety of the bonded pair, we should move them to a separate breeding tank. In this tank, include a cave or cavity for the fish to lay their eggs, such as a PVC pipe, a terracotta pot, or an artificial cave.

Before the breeding process begins, we should perform a water change and provide the bonded pair with protein-rich live food to encourage their courtship. During courtship, the male will display a unique dance for the female, swimming around the cave entrance while flaring his pectoral fins.

Once the female accepts the male’s advances, she will lay 50 to 100 sticky eggs on the cave walls or ceiling and then leave the cave. The male fish takes responsibility for fertilizing and caring for the eggs by fanning and protecting them.

After about 8 to 10 days, the eggs will hatch, at which point we should remove the adult fish from the tank. When hatched, the male may consume any remaining eggs, leaving the fry to fend for themselves.

Feeding the baby Peacock Gudgeons is essential for their growth during the several weeks until they become free-swimming. We can start by offering them infusoria and powdered food until they are large enough to consume baby brine shrimp.

Common Diseases and Treatments

As aquarium enthusiasts, we need to be aware of common diseases that can affect our beloved Peacock Gudgeons and how to treat them. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common diseases and their respective treatments. Don’t worry, we will keep it brief and friendly!

  • Ich (White Spot Disease): This is a common issue in many fish, including Peacock Gudgeons. It is caused by a parasite that appears as tiny white spots on the fish’s body. To treat Ich, we recommend raising the water temperature to 86°F (30°C) gradually over a few days and administering Ich medication available in most pet stores.

  • Fin Rot: Fin rot is a bacterial infection that affects the fins of our Peacock Gudgeons. It causes frayed or discolored fins and may even lead to fin loss if left untreated. The best treatment for fin rot is to maintain good water quality and use an antibiotic medication specifically designed for treating fin rot in fish.

  • Fungal Infections: Fungal infections can occasionally affect our Peacock Gudgeons and are usually related to poor water quality and stress. They appear as cotton-like growths on the fish’s body. To treat fungal infections, we should improve water quality and use antifungal medications available for fish.

Remember, prevention is the best approach when it comes to fish diseases. To keep our Peacock Gudgeons healthy and happy, we must maintain good water quality, feed them a well-balanced diet, and keep their stress levels as low as possible. By doing so, we significantly reduce the chances of diseases and keep our fish safe and sound.

Frequently Asked Questions

What tank size is suitable for Peacock Gudgeon?

Peacock Gudgeons require a minimum tank size of 10 gallons for a single pair. If you want to keep a small group of them, we recommend a 20-gallon tank to provide enough space and a comfortable environment for these beautiful fish.

What is the ideal temperature for Peacock Gudgeon?

The ideal temperature range for Peacock Gudgeon is between 72°F and 79°F (22°C to 26°C). Maintaining this temperature range will ensure the health and well-being of your Peacock Gudgeons.

How long do Peacock Gudgeons typically live?

With proper care, Peacock Gudgeons have a lifespan of 5-8 years. It’s essential to provide them with the appropriate tank conditions, diet, and companions to maximize their lifespan.

What types of fish make suitable tankmates for Peacock Gudgeon?

Peacock Gudgeons are peaceful fish and can get along with various other species. Suitable tankmates include small community fish, such as tetras, rasboras, and corydoras, as well as other peaceful bottom-dwelling species. Remember to avoid aggressive fish or very large fish that might view your Peacock Gudgeons as a meal.

How can I identify and care for Peacock Gudgeon eggs?

Peacock Gudgeons lay their eggs in small crevices or caves. Female Peacock Gudgeons lay a small number of eggs, which are then fertilized by the male. The eggs are usually transparent or slightly opaque, and they’ll become more visible as the embryos develop.

To care for the eggs, it’s best to have a separate, well-maintained breeding tank with stable water parameters. This will help ensure the survival and development of the eggs and fry. Also, make sure to remove any adult fish from the breeding tank to prevent them from preying on the eggs or fry.

Are Peacock Gudgeons schooling fish or do they prefer to live alone?

Peacock Gudgeons are not schooling fish, but they do enjoy the company of their own species. They’ll often be seen interacting and displaying their unique behaviors with others of their kind. However, they can also be kept individually or in pairs, so long as they have plenty of hiding spots and a peaceful environment.


In summary, caring for Peacock Gudgeons offers a rewarding experience for aquarium enthusiasts. Their vibrant colors, peaceful demeanor, and ease of care make them an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced keepers. By providing the right tank conditions, suitable tank mates, and a balanced diet, you can ensure the health and well-being of these captivating fish.

With their natural habitat, natural behaviors, and ideal tank setup understood, you can create an environment that closely resembles their natural habitat. By following the guidelines outlined in this care guide, you can enjoy the beauty and charm of Peacock Gudgeons as they flourish in your aquarium, bringing a touch of elegance and color to your aquatic world.