Peacock Eel: Care, Tank Mates, Food, Size & Lifespan

Peacock eel is a freshwater fish that requires a tank of at least 50 gallons, and should be kept with other peaceful fish and hiding places. It feeds on live or frozen foods, and can grow up to 12 inches in size with a lifespan of 8-15 years.

Peacock eel, scientifically known as macrognathus siamensis, is a stunningly striking fish found in freshwater rivers throughout southeast asia. This eel-like fish features a long, slender body with iridescent hues of blue, green, and gold. If you are interested in owning a peacock eel, it is essential to understand its care requirements, tank mates, food, size, and lifespan. This informative guide will cover all the basics of peacock eel care, helping you keep this exotic species healthy and happy in your aquarium.

Peacock Eel Care

Proper Tank Size And Setup

Peacock eels are semi-aggressive fish that enjoy having plenty of space to swim around and hide. For one peacock eel, a minimum tank size of 55 gallons is recommended, with an additional 20 gallons for each additional eel. It’s essential to provide them with plenty of hiding spots, like caves and plants, as they are nocturnal and like to hide during the day.

Also, avoid keeping them with aggressive fish to prevent any confrontations.

Water Quality Requirements

Peacock eels are sensitive to poor water quality, so maintaining good water conditions is crucial. It’s advised to keep ph levels between 6. 5 and 7. 5, with water hardness around 10 dgh. Regular water changes of at least 25% every week can help keep their environment clean.

Temperature And Lighting Preferences

Peacock eels prefer a temperature range between 72°f to 82°f, with a ph range of 6. 5 to 7. 5 and water hardness around 10 dgh. They don’t like bright lighting and prefer low light environments. It’s important to provide a suitable habitat to ensure that they are healthy and stress-free.

Recommended Filtration And Aeration

Peacock eels are sensitive to poor water conditions, so a well-functioning filter is essential for their survival. A canister filter is an ideal choice as it provides excellent water flow and filtration. Also, proper aeration is essential to maintain good water quality and keep the oxygen levels in check.

A quality air pump with an air stone can help achieve this.

Tips For Acclimating New Peacock Eel

Peacock eels are sensitive to changes in their environment, so careful acclimation is necessary. Start by floating the closed bag containing the eel in their tank for about 30 minutes. Then open the bag and let some aquarium water into the bag gradually.

Repeat the process every 10 to 15 minutes until the bag is almost full. After that, use a net to transfer the eel from the bag to the tank gently. Also, avoid feeding them within the first 24 hours to allow them time to adjust to their new surroundings.

By providing proper care, maintaining good water quality, and adhering to their specific needs, a peacock eel can thrive in your aquarium for many years.

Peacock Eel Tank Mates

Peacock eels, with their elongated and slender bodies, are fascinating to keep as pets for both beginner and experienced aquarists alike. Although these freshwater fish are typically peaceful and non-aggressive, keeping them with the right tank mates is essential to ensure their wellbeing and prevent injury.

Compatibility With Other Fish Species

Peacock eels are peaceful creatures that prefer slow-moving water, but their compatibility with other fish species can be mixed. Medium-sized fish with similar temperaments to the peacock eel often make the best tank mates, while larger and more aggressive fish should be avoided.

Recommended Tank Mates

Here are some fish species that make great companions for peacock eels:

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  • Gouramis – these fish share the peacock eel’s peaceful temperament and slow swimming speed, making them great tank mates.
  • Corydoras – small, bottom-dwelling fish like corydoras are unlikely to bother the peacock eel and add interest to the lower parts of the tank.
  • Tetras – neon tetras and other small tetra species are peaceful and have a similar swimming style and water temperature ideal for peacock eels.

Fish To Avoid

Peacock eels do not tolerate being bullied by other fish and may try to retaliate if cornered.

  • Cichlids – this group of fish can be territorial and aggressive, which should clash with the peaceful nature of the peacock eel.
  • Loaches – although peaceful, loaches are bottom-dwelling fish that can become aggressive towards other bottom-dwelling species such as peacock eels.
  • Barbs – the active and sometimes aggressive nature of barbs can create conflict with the gentle and slow-moving peacock eel.

So if you’re planning to keep a peacock eel, make sure to select the right tank mates. This will ensure a harmonious and healthy aquarium environment for all your aquatic pets.

Peacock Eel Food

Peacock eels are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. In the wild, they feed on insect larvae, crustaceans, algae, and small fish. In captivity, it’s important to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet that meets their nutritional requirements.

Nutritional Requirements

Peacock eels need a well-balanced diet that includes protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A healthy diet will help to maintain their immune system, digestive system, and overall health. A lack of proper nutrition can lead to various health problems, including stunted growth, malnutrition, and infections.

Feeding Frequency

Peacock eels are not heavy feeders, and they should be fed once a day. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and health issues, so it’s essential to monitor their appetite and adjust their feeding schedule accordingly.

Suitable Food Options

The best food options for peacock eels are live or frozen food. They prefer meaty and protein-rich foods like shrimp, bloodworms, krill, and brine shrimp. You can also feed them a variety of sinking pellets and flakes, but live food is always the best option for a balanced diet.

Tips For Feeding Peacock Eel

  • Avoid feeding them too much at once.
  • Make sure the food has reached the bottom of the tank before they start eating.
  • Offer a variety of food to keep them interested and healthy.
  • Remove any uneaten food to prevent contamination and maintain water quality.
  • Feed them at the same time every day to establish a routine.

A well-balanced diet is crucial for the health and longevity of peacock eels. Providing them with suitable food options, following a feeding schedule, and maintaining the water quality will ensure they live a healthy and happy life.

Peacock Eel Size & Lifespan

Peacock eels are a popular addition to many aquariums because of their striking appearance and fascinating behavior. As with any other fish species, it’s important to understand the size and lifespan of these creatures to ensure that they are properly cared for.

Here is what you need to know about the average growth rate, factors influencing size, and lifespan of peacock eels.

Average Growth Rate Of Peacock Eel

Peacock eels can be slow growers compared to other species, and their growth rate can vary greatly depending on their environment and feeding habits.

  • Peacock eels can take several years to reach their full adult size, which is typically around 12 inches in length.
  • Smaller aquariums, inadequate filtration systems, or poor water quality can cause stunted growth in peacock eels, so it’s important to give them plenty of space to swim and thrive.
  • Consistent feeding with a high-quality diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals can help promote healthy growth in peacock eels.
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Factors That Influence Peacock Eel Size

Peacock eels can vary greatly in size based on several key factors.

  • Genetics: like all living creatures, genetics play a significant role in dictating a peacock eel’s growth and development.
  • Tank size: peacock eel size is also heavily influenced by the size of the aquarium they inhabit. Providing adequate swimming space is crucial to their overall health and well-being.
  • Feeding habits: consistent feeding with high-quality foods can help promote healthy growth in peacock eels, while overfeeding or underfeeding can lead to stunted growth or other health issues.
  • Water quality: poor water quality can negatively impact a peacock eel’s growth and development, so it’s vital to maintain clean and healthy water in their aquarium.

Lifespan Of Peacock Eel

Like many other tropical fish species, peacock eels can live for several years under the right conditions.

  • On average, peacock eels can live for anywhere from six to eight years in captivity.
  • Providing a healthy and stress-free environment, a well-balanced and nutritious diet, and appropriate tank mates can all contribute to a longer lifespan for your peacock eel.
  • Regular maintenance and water changes can also help support the overall health and lifespan of your peacock eel.

How To Ensure A Healthy Lifespan

If you’re looking to ensure a healthy lifespan for your peacock eel, there are a few key steps you can take:

  • Provide a spacious aquarium with clean and healthy water, and proper filtration systems to ensure water quality.
  • Feed your peacock eel a high-quality diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and avoid overfeeding or underfeeding.
  • Avoid introducing aggressive tank mates that may cause stress or harm to your peacock eel.
  • Perform regular maintenance and water changes to promote a healthy and stress-free environment for your peacock eel.

With proper care and attention, peacock eels can be fascinating, long-lived additions to any aquarium. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure a happy and healthy life for your peacock eel.

What Tank Mates Can I Keep with a Peacock Eel?

When considering tank mates for a peacock eel, it’s crucial to prioritize compatibility. They are generally peaceful but can be territorial. Ribbon eel care tips include keeping them with non-aggressive species like gouramis, corydoras, and peaceful tetras. Avoid housing them with overly aggressive or fin-nipping fish to maintain a harmonious aquatic environment.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Peacock Eel: Care, Tank Mates, Food, Size & Lifespan

How Big Can A Peacock Eel Grow?

Peacock eel can grow up to 2-3 feet in length in the wild, but typically grow up to 12-16 inches in a home aquarium.

What Should I Feed My Peacock Eel?

Offer your peacock eel a varied diet, including live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and krill.

Can Peacock Eels Live With Other Fish?

Peacock eels can be kept with peaceful fish with similar water requirements such as tetras, gouramis or corydoras.

How Long Can A Peacock Eel Live?

Peacock eels have a lifespan of 8-12 years, provided they receive proper care and a suitable environment.


Taking care of a peacock eel requires a bit of effort, but it is well worth it. By providing them with a suitable tank, the right diet, and maintaining ideal water conditions, they will thrive and be a captivating addition to any aquarium.

It’s important to choose tank mates carefully because they can become aggressive with smaller fish. Peacock eels can live for many years if properly cared for and can even grow to be several feet long. Overall, these fish are fascinating creatures that will captivate any aquarium enthusiast.

And now that you have a good understanding of how to care for them, you can confidently add them to your aquarium. Happy fishkeeping!

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