Peacock Gudgeon: Appearance, Lifespan, Feeding & More

When it comes to colorful fishes, Peacock Gudgeons stand out. Their majestic appearance makes them a great option to incorporate in community tanks. Besides that, they are also easy to take care of.

The one thing you will have to worry about is that they are picky eaters. Other than that, all they provide is beauty and fun to the aquarium.

To help you decide if this beautiful fish will be a perfect addition to your tank, continue reading. You’ll find out Peacock Gudgeons’ diet, care tips, tank mates, and more!

What Is A Peacock Gudgeon?

When we hear the word Peacock, the thought of a colorful and phenomenal bird is the first thing that comes to mind. Named after the bird, Peacock Gudgeon is a genuinely remarkable fish as well. The patterns and colors in the fish’s body make it easy to spot in a community of different fishes.

Scientifically named Tateurndina ocellicauda, this particular species of fish originates from Papua New Guinea. Peacock Gudgeon lives in shallow freshwaters surrounded by different kinds of marine plants. They are often spotted in Australia and New Zealand, given the similar climate.

Some people also call them “Peacock Goby” even though it doesn’t belong to the Goby family. Instead, these fishes are part of the Eleotriafe family. They are also the only Tateurndina genus species.

Peacock Gudgeons are often found in Oceania, so most fishes on the market today are bred in captivity. These fishes are perfect for fish enthusiasts and newbies.

They don’t need too much attention yet are still great inclusions to the tank. They stand out alongside other beautiful species. They will decorate the aquarium with their markings and vibrant appearances.


Peacock Gudgeons are known for their colorful appearance. These fishes often sparkle when grouped with a bunch of non-vibrant fishes. They add color to the environment, so most fish owners love including them in a group of tropical fishes.

  • Size

Peacock Gudgeon usually grows 3 inches long when they become adults. Females tend to be smaller and only grow for around two and a half inches. They reach maturity at 6 to 8 months after hatching, but they can grow more prominent as they age.

  • Color

The most prominent colors of Peacock Gudgeons are white, red, and black. Sometimes, there is a slight tinge of silvery-blue all over their body. This gives them the appearance that they sparkle.

  • Gender Differences 

Their bellies have a yellowish tone that ends at the edges of their fins. Sexual dimorphism applies to this species. Females are easy to spot just by looking out for an added black stripe on their fins.

Males appear to be much larger in length and body structure. They also have a hump in the forehead while females do not.

During the breeding period, you will see a yellow spot developing at the female’s abdomen. This is a sign that the fish is ready for spawning.

Peacock Gudgeons have a slender body and round head. The vibrancy of the color in their body can vary from fish to fish. The red spots pattern covers the entire fish from head to tail.

If there’s a thing that stands out the most from their appearance, it is the black spot at the center of their tails. It looks like an eye at the tail of a real peacock. This reference is the most relative characteristic that gave them their name.

Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of a Peacock Gudgeon usually ranges from 4 to 5 years. They live longer in their natural habitat than in captivity. However, four years is still a long time for a freshwater species.

Of course, their life expectancy still depends on their diet and tank condition. The better the environment of a fish is, the longer they will live.

They also tend to be pretty sensitive with subtle changes in their tanks. Keeping their habitat clean and in good condition at all times will prevent them from developing diseases and stress.


The price of peacock Gudgeons may vary from different sellers. These fishes are best kept in groups, so most sellers sell them in at least three.

You can still get them individually, and a small Peacock Gudgeon costs around $6.99. A group of three can cost around $16. Only buy from reliable sellers to ensure that the fishes are well-kept and bred in a healthy environment.

Temperament and Behavior

Peacock Gudgeons are not the type of fish that likes to flaunt their beauty. They are peaceful swimmers. They will not cause trouble in a community tank as long as they feel stress-free. They love having each other around, so it’s best to keep them in groups (a pair is fine as well).

One thing to look out for is the males because they can become aggressive and attack each other if they feel threatened. Injuries can lead to even more severe diseases, so always check the fishes’ status. However, this is rarely a problem with this species because being hostile is not in their nature.

When they feel like the surroundings are safe, you will see them swim freely around the tanks. Displaying their vibrant colors is a fun thing to watch. They are also jumpers, so ensuring that the lid is always secure will keep them from flying outside the tank.

Upon setting up the aquarium, place several plants, rocks, and driftwoods, for they like to hide a lot. Establish a safe environment for them so that they will be able to thrive longer in your care.

Food and Nutrition

Flake foods are the most common type of food for most fish, but Peacock Gudgeons are different. As proud as they should be, they demand a more specialized diet. Although most Peacock Gudgeon tank fishes are bred in captivity, they prefer live foods.

The foods they enjoy the most are larvae, insects, bloodworms, shrimps, and daphnia. These are exceptionally high in protein to support their body and nutritional needs. You can also mix these with dried protein foods and meaty alternatives to give them extra nutrients.

Peacock Gudgeons are known to be picky eaters, so try your best to find the best feeds out there that your fishes will like. If you notice a slight fading in their vibrancy, you can always add some added vitamins and minerals.

Health Issues

Taking care of Peacock Gudgeons doesn’t need a great deal of effort. However, no matter how easy these fishes are, they are still vulnerable to different diseases if their tanks are not maintained well.

Keeping the water clean at all times is essential. You will also need to provide a proper feeding routine for these charming species.

Some of the most common health problems you need to watch out for are:

  • Ich

Ich is a parasite that mainly attacks freshwater species that experience stress. In most cases, it causes severe damage to its host and eventual death if not treated immediately. The best treatment for this parasite is a copper-based medication.

If you are also sure that the tank water is infected with Ich, move the fish to a clean tank and sanitize the affected area. This parasite is highly contagious through feces, so be sure to act immediately when you see the early signs of infection.

  • Stress

Stress is a major factor that contributes to the attraction of Ich and other diseases. It is essential to ensure that the fishes are stress-free by keeping up with their tank needs and required diet. Other things that may cause stress are:

  • Loneliness
  • Overfeeding
  • Poor water conditions
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Inappropriate environment

Other parasitic infections Peacock gudgeons may contract in poor water conditions:

  • Anchor works
  • Fluke attacks

Tank Mates

When it comes to peaceful fish, Peacock Gudgeon usually dominates the list. They don’t attack and prey on fish of similar sizes. It would be best to keep them from larger and more aggressive fishes because they will most likely get bullied.

The right way to keep this from happening is by putting them in a large tank so there will be enough space to swim around for various fishes.

These are the tank mates that work well with the Peacock Gudgeon:

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

There are other species that you can also choose to group with Peacock Gudgeons. Ensure that there are no larger fishes and aggressors so the community tank will be as peaceful as you prefer. You can still include territorial fishes in the same aquarium as long as you guarantee that they won’t devour other fishes.

Tank Requirements

The Peacock Gudgeon would still be small in their adult years, so they don’t need that much space for their tank. They are freshwater nano fishes and not precisely the biggest swimmers, but a habitat with a large enough area will work best.

The smallest aquarium size recommended for this species is at least 15 gallons. This is perfect for a small group of Peacock Gudgeons. For community tanks, it will be better to opt for a larger habitat.

Water Condition

Peacock Gudgeons strive more in shallow waters with plenty of vegetation. Try to recreate their natural nest by placing various plants, rocks, and other items. Also, keep the water warm and slow-moving for stress-free surroundings.

The recommended water conditions for the Peacock Gudgeon are as follow:

  • Temperature – 72°F to 79°F
  • Water hardness – 5 to 12 dKH
  • pH levels – 6.0 to 7.8

Habitat Inclusion

Peacock Gudgeons enjoy living around plants. Include as much vegetation as you could to make them happy. Some of the plants that you can involve are Java ferns, Anubias, Water wisteria, and more.

Aside from giving a nice environment, these plants can also serve as hiding places when they feel shy. With that said, you don’t have to worry if you see them spending more time around plants and hiding. They love swimming through plants and having fun with them.

Other items you can incorporate in the tank are driftwood and rocks. The more items in the tank, the more places there are for your fishes to explore. You can create a cave system using pipes so there are more places your fishes can visit around the aquarium.

On filtration and managing water flow, you would want to choose a powerful filter. This is to keep the nitrate level low within the whole tank.

It’s also best to ensure that the water flow is always on the lower end, for Peacock Gudgeons are not strong swimmers. You won’t need any pumps and air bladders anymore to manage the water flow in the tank.

To guarantee minimal water movement, put the filter directly against the glass. You can also place several plants to cover the area.


Unlike other fish species, Peacock Gudgeons are much easier to pair with each other. They are capable of developing romantic relationships.

Once the breeding period is in season, you will notice a pair spending most of their time together. Move them to a separate tank to start the spawning process.

You can create a cave or a dark space with many live foods and ensure that the water is clean. When the male begins to flare his pectoral fins and swim around the area, that is the sign of mating.

The average amount of eggs a female Peacock Gudgeon can lay ranges around 50 to 100. The eggs are usually left clinging on the cave’s ceiling or around it once the breeding process is done. Then, the male will spend most of his time watching over the eggs until they hatch.

The hatching period usually lasts for about a week and a half. After the eggs hatch, you can return the pair to the community tank. The juveniles will soon learn to take care of themselves.

The recommended diets for the Peacock Gudgeon fry are baby brine shrimps, infusoria, and powdered food. They will begin swimming around soon, so provide the highest-quality nutrition for development.


Peacock Gudgeons are probably the best fish to get, whether you are an enthusiast or a newbie on fish keeping. Watching them swim around all day will instantly lift your mood.

Peacock Gudgeons make an excellent family pet for several reasons. They are easy to care for, fun to look at, and adaptable to the tank life. Even children will enjoy looking after these fishes. Making them exposed to caring for animals, specifically for the marine ones, will be beneficial as well.

If you already own one, follow the provided guidelines above. This will help you create a safer environment for your beloved Peacock Gudgeons.


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