The Peacock Gudgeon, also known as the Peacock Goby, is one of the most interesting fish species for freshwater aquarists.

With its colorful body, unique shape, and feisty personality, the Peacock Gudgeon has won the hearts of many fish keepers over the years.

In this article, our experts will let you in on all the facts and figures you need to know about the Peacock Gudgeon, as well as provide you with important notes for its care and diet, ideal tankmates, and the proven steps for successful breeding seasons.

Peacock Gudgeon Stats and Facts

Before you dive deep into the needs, diet, and tankmates of Peacock Gudgeons, you need to familiarize yourself with some of the most common facts and statistics associated with this distinctive fish. Here’s a table containing all of the quick data you need to know about the Peacock Gudgeon.

Scientific Name Tateurndina ocellicauda
Common or Alternative Names Peacock Goby, Rainbow Gudgeon, Gudgeon Goby
Size 2 to 3 inches in length
Lifespan 4 to 5 years
Temperament Peaceful
General Community Behavior Peaceful; active schooling fish
Minimum Tank Size Required At least 20 gallons for a  school of 6

A Brief Look at the Origins of Peacock Gudgeons

Peacock Gudgeons originated from the calm and shallow bodies of water in Papua New Guinea. They were once abundant in several other areas in the Oceania region, such as in Australia and New Zealand.

Nowadays, interested fish keepers can find Peacock Gudgeons for sale at their local fish stores. In some cases, however, you might have to contact your local fish stores to ascertain the availability of Peacock Gudgeons in your area.

These distinctive fish thrive in soft and acidic water. Their original habitats were the densely planted rivers, streams, and ponds that were rarely disturbed by large prey. To this day, the Peacock Goby loves warm temperatures and slow-moving bodies of water.

– What’s in a Name?

The Peacock Gudgeon gets its name from its beautiful coloration and the family of fish to which it belongs. The variety of colors on the Peacock Gudgeon’s body has resulted in some aquarists referring to this fish as the Rainbow Gudgeon.

The term “Gudgeon” refers to a fish that is usually small in size and part of the carp family. Gudgeons are mostly freshwater fish that are also active schoolers.

On the other hand, the term “Peacock Goby” is a misnomer. The Gudgeon family is not the same as the Goby family. The term “Goby” refers to a fish that is of small to medium size, with large heads and ray-shaped fins.

That said, some fish keepers might still refer to the Peacock Gudgeon by the mixed-up name of Gudgeon Goby; such misnomers are one of the reasons why it is always a good idea to know all you can about the fish you want to bring home.

Peacock Gudgeon Care Basics

Once you’ve set up the perfect aquarium for your Peacock Gudgeons, you will need to know how to care for them and feed them. These fish are known to be quite hardy, but they are also extremely picky eaters. In this section, our experts take you through a series of tips to help you establish an excellent care routine and diet for your Peacock Gudgeons.

– Create a Balanced Diet for Your Peacock Gobies

The first thing to master when it comes to providing care for Peacock Gudgeons is knowing what they eat and how to encourage their appetite.

You can curb your Rainbow Gudgeons’ tendency for being fussy eaters if you introduce food that they would naturally feast on in the wild. Here are some of the food types you might want to consider when it comes to rounding out your Peacock Gudgeons’ diet.

1. Live Food

Unlike other tropical fish, Peacock Gudgeons prefer live food over commercial fish food. That said, you would have more success in getting your Peacock Gudgeons to feed regularly if you provided more protein-rich live food such as small insects, larvae, brine shrimp, and even blood worms. Feed this type of food once a day or once every two days.

2. Frozen Food

An alternative to live food is frozen food. If you aren’t able to source high-quality live food, you can choose to feed your Peacock Gudgeons frozen versions of the same type of food discussed above. That is, you can opt to feed them frozen brine shrimp, blood worms, and insects if you can source those.

These are an excellent alternative as they have roughly the same nutrient profile as live food but are probably easier to source and keep depending on your location. Feed this type of food once every two days.

3. Commercial Fish Pellets

You can feed your Peacock Gudgeons high-quality commercial fish food, but it might take time for them to readily accept this as part of their diet. Keep in mind that these fish are notorious for being picky eaters, and they do prefer live or frozen food as their main meals.

That said, you can keep dried food or commercial fish food on hand for emergencies or as a supplement to your Peacock Gudgeons’ protein-rich diet. Be sure to limit giving this type of food to twice or thrice a week only, or if absolutely necessary.

– Keep the Tank Water Clean and Calm

Peacock Gudgeons are not overly sensitive to changes in water conditions. However, they do tend to live longer lives when they are kept in clean, established, and slow-current aquariums. Again, this is because such water conditions perfectly mimic the Peacock Gudgeons’ habitat in the wild.

With that in mind, you will want to invest in a filter that can keep the nitrate level of your tank relatively low. You will also need to choose a filter with an outlet that does not create fast or turbulent currents in the tank.

You want to aim for slow-moving water in your Peacock Gudgeon aquarium. This will keep the fish’s stress level low, and this will also encourage your Peacock Gudgeons to grow at a normal rate.

– Keep a Secure Lid on Your Peacock Gudgeon Tank

Peacock Gudgeons are highly gifted jumpers. They will try to leap out of their aquarium when given the chance, so be sure to keep a secure lid on to prevent them from executing their escape maneuvers.

You can opt to use mesh lids or solid material lids with holes drilled in as provisions for filter and ventilation space.

– Prevent Common Peacock Gudgeon Illnesses

While Peacock Gudgeons are not plagued by any species-specific illness, they are still quite vulnerable to other health conditions that can affect most freshwater fish.

Some examples of the health conditions you should watch out for are Ich and Hole-in-the-Head disease. Though experts have yet to succeed in identifying the main cause of the Hole-in-the-Head disease, some studies have proven that the presence of the parasite Hexamita is a significant factor in whether or not an aquarium’s inhabitant cichlids, gudgeons, or oscars develop this condition. Likewise, Ich or White Spot is also caused by parasites in your tank water.

That said, it is crucial to keep your tank water clean and well-cycled. Should any of the fish in your aquarium manifest symptoms of Ich or Hole-in-the-Head, you should consider housing those fish in quarantine tanks while changing the water in the home tank as a precaution. You can then provide medication and food for your sick fish as necessary.

Setting up the Perfect Peacock Gudgeon Paradise

Planning and designing a tank for a new species of fish might seem to be a daunting task, especially if you are new to the fish keeping hobby.

However, with a little bit of research and some trial and error, you can set up an established tank that will house most of the tropical fish you want to care for in your home. In this section, our experts share their proven tips on setting up the perfect aquatic playground for your new Peacock Gudgeons.

– Select the Largest Possible Tank Size

As mentioned in the previous section, you can opt to house a school of six Peacock Gudgeons in a tank with a 20-gallon capacity. Note that this is only applicable if you want to maintain a single-species aquarium.

On the other hand, if you want to keep your Peacock Gudgeons with other species of fish, be sure to get at least a 50-gallon aquarium while taking into consideration the sizes of the other types of fish you want to keep together.

If you’re a seasoned fish keeper, you’re bound to know from experience that bigger tanks are always better. However, if you’re a new aquarist and you still aren’t familiar with the arguments for bigger aquariums, here’s an overview of the time-tested benefits you and your fish can enjoy:

1. Your Fish Have More Space To Swim and Grow

Small aquariums can sometimes hinder the growth of fish. For nano fish like Peacock Gudgeons, this is not the biggest problem you will encounter if you decide to keep them in small tanks. Still, it has been repeatedly proven by seasoned fish keepers and experts that bigger aquariums allow for healthier and happier fish.

2. You Won’t Have To Change the Water That Often

This is sometimes an overlooked benefit of maintaining a larger aquarium. It may sound counter-intuitive, but beginner aquarists will find that they do not have to deal with the pressure and need to change the water of bigger tanks as often as they would have to for smaller aquariums.

This is because small aquariums accumulate bacteria and dirt quicker than larger aquariums. This also means more peace of mind for you as an aquarist and less water disturbance for your Peacock Gudgeons.

3. You Can Raise a Community of Fish Without Worrying Too Much About Aggression and Territoriality

While Peacock Gudgeons are generally peaceful fish, they sometimes show aggression towards their own species if they are placed in too small a tank. Using the largest aquarium you can source and place in your home will give all of your fish enough space to move around without disturbing the others, thus leading to a more peaceful community.

– Set up Ideal Water Parameters

Peacock Gudgeons thrive in warm, soft, and slightly acidic water. Below is a table of the water parameters you should have in your tank before you introduce your new Rainbow Gudgeons.

pH Level 6.0 to 7.8
dH Level 5 to 12
Temperature 72 – 79 degrees Fahrenheit; 22 to 26 degrees Celsius
Light Level Dim to medium brightness

Some other factors that you need to know about when it comes to setting up your Peacock Gudgeons’ tank is that they are happiest in densely planted tanks. They swim through and hide behind plants so much that you need to select hardy plants for their aquarium. These fish also enjoy darker substrates compared to lighter ones.

– Place Aquatic Plants in the Tank

While there are many freshwater aquarium plants available for you to choose from and decorate with, our Peacock Gudgeon enthusiasts recommend the following fauna to use for your new aquarium. These plants are your best bet for imitating the Oceania region biotope from where Peacock Gudgeons originated.

1. Anubias

This is a common aquarium plant that is both hardy and beautiful. You can plant these in the foreground or background of your aquarium and watch your Peacock Gudgeons swim and play through these pretty plants.

2. Barclaya

Native to the waters of Southeast Asia, this deep red aquatic plant is a great addition to any aquarium with a focus on tropical fish. These plants can be found in the same bodies of water that Cryptocoryne inhabits. They make great shelter and playground plants for your Peacock Gudgeons.

3. Java Fern

Another popular aquarium plant, the Java Fern is not only a green beauty in the tank; it is also one of the plants that Peacock Gudgeons prefer to spawn around.

4. Java Moss

If you’re keen on mimicking the Peacock Gudgeons’ natural habitat, you might also want to add Java Moss to some of the debris and floor surfaces of your aquarium. This will provide extra cushioning to your tank and also aid in filtering waste from the water.

5. Isteria Weed

The Wisteria Weed is one of the easiest aquarium plants to grow in a freshwater tank. It spreads rapidly, resulting in a lush environment that helps fish like Peacock Gudgeons feel completely at ease. Keeping stress levels down is especially important for these fish as the Peacock Gudgeon lifespan ranges from 4 to 5 years only but can quickly decrease if the fish are always under stress.

– Picking Peaceful Tank Mates for Peacock Gudgeons

Another important aspect of caring for Peacock Gudgeons is knowing the kinds of fish that would work well with them in a community tank.

Choosing the perfect tank mates for your Peacock Gudgeons will have a lasting positive effect on your fish’s health as well as on the harmony and ecosystem balance of your aquarium. Below are our experts’ best bets for Peacock Gudgeon tank mates.

1. Tetra Fish

Though Peacock Gudgeons are agile jumpers, they are not as active as other fish like Bloodfin Tetras, Neon Tetras, or even Guppies. This means that you can pair the peaceful Peacock Gudgeon with similarly docile Tetra Fish that are active movers in the aquarium. Some of the best Tetras to pair with Peacock Gudgeons include Neon Tetras, Ruby Tetras, and Ember Tetras.

2. Loaches or Catfish

You can also introduce Peacock Gudgeons into tanks that have resident loaches or catfish. This is because Peacock Gudgeons often occupy the middle layer of your tank, whereas catfish and loaches can often be found lounging in the bottom layer or near the aquarium substrate.

Peaceful loaches like the Clown Loach and Kuhli Loach, as well as most small to medium-sized catfish, will be more likely to ignore your Peacock Gudgeons and avoid any conflict with them.

3. Rasboras

Docile rasboras such as the Harlequin Rasbora and the Dwarf Rasbora go well with Peacock Gudgeons in community tanks. Both of these species are schooling fish. This is why some fish keepers might witness their rasboras schooling with their Peacock Gudgeons or vice versa.

You can also add other peaceful freshwater fish like Honey Gouramis and Pygmy Corydoras in a community tank with Peacock Gudgeons. Just be sure that your aquarium has more than enough space for all of the fish you want to keep and that none of the fish species you want to house together are so small that they end up as another fish’s dinner.

Peacock Gudgeons Breeding Basics

Peacock Gudgeons are not that difficult to breed. This is great news for beginners who want to try their hands at raising fish from being mere eggs up until they are thriving adults. Here are our experts’ proven tips for successfully breeding your Peacock Gudgeons.

– Provide a Separate Breeding Tank

Set up a separate breeding tank for your Peacock Gudgeons. Consider using a tank with a capacity of 20 gallons. Add plants and a dark, sandy substrate to the aquarium as well.

Be sure to include rock caves, terracotta pots, or even PVC pipes in your Peacock Gudgeon breeding tank. Peacock Gudgeons are cave-layers. They will lay and fertilize their eggs in the shelter of any cave-like structure they can access.

– Select a Strongly-Bonded and Healthy Breeding Pair

Once you’ve finished preparing the breeding tank, you should identify the breeding pair of Peacock Gudgeons that you want to isolate. An ideal breeding pair will have a healthy appetite, no history of illnesses, and exhibit strong bonding behavior.

– Feed a Protein-Rich Diet to the Breeding Pair

Introduce the breeding pair into their temporary aquarium and give them a few hours to adapt to their environment. You can then feed your breeding pair live brine shrimp or any other high-quality live food to encourage spawning behavior. You should see the male swim around the entrance of the breeding cave if he is ready to mate.

Observe the pair and check back on them every two to three hours to see if they have laid their eggs inside the cave. The male will then chase the female away from the cave and care for the eggs until they have hatched.

– Support the Growth of Your Peacock Gudgeon Fry

The fertilized eggs should hatch after around 8 to 10 days. At this point, you can remove the male Peacock Gudgeon from the breeding tank and focus on supporting the growth of the fish fry. Provide the Peacock Gudgeon fry with green water, infusoria, or commercial fry food until they are free-swimming and strong enough to be released into the home tank.

Closing Thoughts

We covered a lot of topics about the unique Peacock Gudgeon. You should now have a solid grasp on the basics of caring for your own Peacock Gudgeons, whether you decide to keep them in nano tanks that are species-specific or community tanks that have other fun inhabitants.

Here’s a brief recap of the most important points from this article:

  • Peacock Gudgeons are beautiful freshwater fish that are often overlooked by fish keepers who are new to the hobby.
  • These fish have a peaceful nature and are capable of thriving in both single-species aquariums or community tanks.
  • Peacock Gudgeons are easy to care for, but they are picky eaters. Feed them live or frozen food as much as possible.
  • Most Tetras, Rasboras, Catfish, and Loaches make great neighbors for Peacock Gudgeons.
  • Breeding Peacock Gudgeons is a relatively easy task. Provide your best breeding pair with the space and diet they need, and then support the fry until they grow.

Hopefully, this article has shown you why Peacock Gudgeons are worth adding to your home aquarium.

They might not be the most popular fish in your local fish store, but their low-maintenance requirements, peaceful behavior, and unique coloration make them a no-brainer addition to your tank. Apply the lessons you’ve learned here, and provide the best care possible for your Peacock Gudgeons.

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