The Peacock Gudgeon: A Comprehensive Care and Habitat Guide

With their colorful fins and inquisitive nature, Peacock Gudgeons have become a popular addition to home aquariums. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about selecting, housing, feeding, and breeding these interactive freshwater fish.

An Introduction to the Peacock Gudgeon


The Peacock Gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda), also known as the Peacock Goby, is a small species of fish belonging to the Eleotridae family. Native to rivers and streams across Northern Australia and Southern New Guinea, these fish stand out with their vibrant fins in shades of orange, blue, and purple.

Peacock Gudgeons reach approximately 2 inches in length when fully grown. They are generally peaceful, active fish that thrive in groups. Their hardy nature, moderate care needs, and striking colors make them an excellent choice for community aquariums.

This guide will cover proper tank setup, tankmates, diet, breeding, and tips on caring for Peacock Gudgeons to help you provide the best habitat for these charismatic freshwater fish.


Overview of Peacock Gudgeon Appearance and Behaviors


Peacock Gudgeons display a slender, elongated body shape with large, colorful dorsal and anal fins. Their most distinctive feature is the eye-spot marking on the dorsal fin that resembles a peacock’s feathers and gives them their name.

Males exhibit more vivid orange, blue, and purple coloration on the fins compared to plainer females. Both sexes possess an iridescent green sheen covering the head and body. During spawning, males intensify in color while females showcase transparent fins.

These active fish spend much of their time searching and foraging around tank decor. They are generally peaceful but males may squabble over territory and resources. Keep them in groups of 5-6 to allow natural shoaling behaviors. Providing adequate tank space and hiding spots helps curb aggression.

The Ideal Peacock Gudgeon Aquarium Setup

Peacock Gudgeons are quite adaptable when it comes to tank conditions. Here are some guidelines for setting up the ideal habitat:

Tank Size

  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Recommended Size: 20-30 gallon tank

Groups of 6-8 Gudgeons require at least a 20 gallon long aquarium. Provide around 5 gallons of space per additional fish.


Peacock Gudgeons do well in both still and flowing waters. A quality hang-on-back filter or canister filter sized for at least twice the tank volume will maintain pristine water clarity.

Water Parameters

  • Temperature Range: 73-82°F
  • pH: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Hardness: 5-12 dGH

Perform regular partial water changes of 25-30% weekly to replenish minerals and reduce nitrate buildups. Use aquatic plant fertilizers to provide micronutrients.

Plants and Hardscape for Peacock Gudgeon Habitats

In their wild habitat, Peacock Gudgeons dwell among dense vegetation and sunken wood. Recreate this natural environment in your aquarium.


Good plant choices include:

  • Java Fern
  • Anubias
  • Amazon Swordplants
  • Java Moss
  • Hornwort
  • Water Wisteria

Select both rooted and floating plants to offer security and foraging sites.


Incorporate smooth river rocks, twisted manzanita wood, and resin caves to provide areas to explore and loiter. Arrange the hardscape to create interesting levels and sight barriers without overcrowding the tank.

Sand substrate allows the Gudgeons to sift and forage naturally. Keep the aquarium dimly lit to emulate their shaded river ecosystem.

Feeding Your Peacock Gudgeons

Peacock Gudgeons are omnivorous, eagerly accepting a variety of foods including:

  • Quality flake foods
  • Floating pellet formulas
  • Freeze-dried foods like tubifex worms, brine shrimp, and bloodworms
  • Occasional frozen treats like mysis shrimp, daphnia, and brine shrimp

Offer a rotation of foods 2-3 times daily. Only feed an amount they can finish within a few minutes to avoid waste accumulation. Males may squabble over food, so provide multiple feeding areas.

Breeding Peacock Gudgeons in the Home Aquarium

Peacock Gudgeons are bubblenest breeders where the male cares for the fertilized eggs. While breeding them requires some effort, it can be accomplished in a dedicated aquarium.

  • Use a 10-20 gallon tank with fine-leaved plants for anchoring bubblenests.
  • Maintain soft, slightly acidic water around 75-78°F.
  • Condition the breeding pair with frequent live and frozen foods.
  • Dim the lights and introduce the male and female. Spawning will soon follow.
  • After spawning concludes, remove the female promptly. The male fans and guards the eggs in the nest.
  • Once hatched in 24-36 hours, feed the tiny fry infusoria 2-3 times daily.

Provide dense planting like java moss for fry to safely feed while avoiding the watchful male. The father will continue guarding newborns until they are free-swimming.

Caring for Your Peacock Gudgeons


While generally hardy, Peacock Gudgeons do require some basic care to thrive long-term in aquariums:

  • Test Water Quality: Use liquid test kits to monitor ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, and hardness weekly and adjust as needed.
  • Water Changes: Perform 25% partial water changes weekly to replenish minerals and reduce waste buildups. Use a siphon gravel vacuum.
  • Proper Nutrition: Feed a varied, high quality diet and watch for signs of malnutrition like faded colors.
  • Quarantine: Isolate new fish for 2-4 weeks to prevent introducing diseases.

Providing good water quality, compatible tankmates, and a stimulating habitat are key to successfully maintaining vibrant Peacock Gudgeons.

Concluding Thoughts on Keeping Peacock Gudgeons

With their stunning fins, peaceful temperament, and engaging behaviors, the Peacock Gudgeon makes an exceptional addition to community aquariums. By following this guide on selecting an appropriate tank, choosing plants and decor, feeding a proper diet, and optimizing water conditions, you can help your Peacock Gudgeons thrive.

Be sure to keep them in groups and offer ample spaces to explore and hide to minimize aggression and stress. Their hardiness, moderate care needs, and breathtaking colors will reward aquarists who provide them a well-maintained habitat. Consider welcoming a vibrant shoal of Peacock Gudgeons to your freshwater tank!

Frequently Asked Questions About Peacock Gudgeons

Q: How big do Peacock Gudgeons get?

A: Peacock Gudgeons typically reach around 2 inches in length when fully grown. Groups require at least a 20 gallon long aquarium.

Q: Are Peacock Gudgeons aggressive?

A: They are generally peaceful shoaling fish. Males may squabble over resources but not dangerously. Avoid overcrowding and offer ample hiding spots.

Q: What do Peacock Gudgeons eat?

A: They are omnivores that readily accept flake foods, floating pellets, freeze-dried foods, and occasional frozen treats like brine shrimp. Vary their diet for nutrition.

Q: How can you tell a male vs female Peacock Gudgeon?

A: Mature males display more vivid orange, blue, and purple coloring in the fins compared to females. Males also construct bubble nests and exhibit courtship behaviors.

Q: What fish can live with Peacock Gudgeons?

A: Good tank mates include small tetras, rasboras, danios, Corydoras catfish, and Otocinclus. Avoid large aggressive species that may prey on them.

Let me know if you would like me to modify or expand any part of this article. I\\\’m happy to refine it further to ensure it provides the information you are looking for in an engaging way. Please feel free to provide additional feedback!

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