Peacock Bass (Ocellaris)


The Peacock Bass, which is also known as the Peacock Cichlid, the Butterfly Peacock Bass and the Eye Spot Cichlid, is best known as a game fish. Peacock Bass have long bodies and deeply notched dorsal fins. They have large mouths and the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw. There is a large black eye spot encircled by a gold colored ring at the base of the caudal fin. Their background color is olive-green dorsally blending to yellow-white ventrally, with three darker bars on their sides, between which are a series of dark spots.

A unique characteristic of the Peacock Bass is the deep indention that separates the hard spines from the soft rays on the dorsal fin. The front of the dorsal, upper caudal, and pectoral fins are gray to black, the anal, pelvic and the lower caudal fins have a red tint. White spots are present on the second dorsal and the upper lobe of the caudal fin. Large adults have a yellow-orange stripe which extends from their mouth to their caudal fin. The iris is deep red.

The Peacock Bass requires a tank of no less than 70 gallons with a sand or gravel bottom. Some stones for cover and flat stones for potential spawning are also needed. The edges of the tank as well as the background can be planted and the plant roots will also be used as cover. Peacock Bass do not have any special demands when it comes to water chemistry and because of their predatory nature, should only be kept in a species only tank. They are only suitable for the home aquarium as juveniles.

Older male Peacock Bass have a large nuchal hump and other than this characteristic, the sexes can only be differentiated during the spawning act. Successful aquarium breeding has not been recorded, but in the wild, spawning will take place at water temperatures from 79-82°F and eggs are adhered to hard substrates in pits in shallow waters. The female will spawn over 10,000 eggs and both parents will guard the young for well over a month.

The Peacock Bass is a carnivore and will eat fish and earthworms along with most prepared and frozen foods, including freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and ocean plankton. Flake food and Cichlid pellets are also recommended.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment