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Kelberi Peacock Bass
(Cichla kelberi) Easy Aggressive 18" 180 gallons 76-84° F, KH 5-15, pH 5.0-6.5 Carnivore, Piscivore Amazon, Brazil Cichlidae Peacock Bass Cichlid-New-World The Kelberi Peacock Bass (Cichla kelberi) is one of the smaller species of Peacock Bass available within the hobby, with a max size of around 18" in length, but more commonly only reaching about 10" to 12" in length within the aquarium environment. Even the largest Kelberi Peacock Bass is quite reasonable in size compared to many of the other species of Peacock Bass who routinely reach lengths upwards of 28" or more. Cichla kelberi are collected from the Rio Araguaia drainage and the lower Rio Tocantins drainage located within the Brazilian Amazon. These areas tend to be lower flow and with less overall water volume than the main stems of the Amazon River where many of the larger Peacock Bass like Cichla monoculus are collected from. More narrow, slower moving and more highly vegetated water ways has most likely played a large part in the Kelberi Peacock Bass evolving into a smaller Peacock Bass species in order to better ambush prey in their native environment. Cichla kelberi is distinguished from all other species ​of Cichla by presence in adults of small light spots​ on the pelvic and anal fins, and lower lobe of caudal​ fin. Cichla kelberi have similarities to C. monoculus and C. pleiozona in ​that they both have three dark vertical bars on their sides, a pronounced occipital bar in larger specimens, absence of black or ocellated markings laterally on head, and presence of irregular dark blotches on anterior abdominal side and typical absence of bar 4.​ Dominant or breeding males will exhibit yellow or golden coloration on their side, vertical black bars, a greenish head without black spots, white chest, abdomen and ventral aspect of caudal fin base. The yellow coloration on the sides is interspersed with numerous small black spots dorsally. Additionally, they will exhibit prominently a dark grey nuchal hump. Dominant or breeding females tend to exhibit yellowish to golden coloration on their sides and yellow on the cheek and gill covers. Their lower jaw, chest, abdomen and the ventral side of caudal peduncle will be white or light yellow in color. They will generally have light spots along their sides, a light caudal eyespot and spots on anal fin yellow. Kelberi Peacock Bass (Cichla kelberi) is probably the most suitable of all Peacock Bass species for aquarium life due to its smaller size of 12" on average. Their smaller size makes them suitable for more hobbyists as they do not require a massive aquarium like many other Cichla species. Additionally, their smaller size means that they have a smaller mouth and corresponding aggressiveness, which allows them to be kept with a larger variety of tank mates than say a full grown 30" plus Temensis Peacock Bass. Peacock Bass are accustomed to an environment with high quality water with low levels of pollutants and high levels of dissolved oxygen. Kelberi Peacock Bass aquariums need to replicate this environment as much as possible through strong mechanical, chemical and biological filtration along with medium to strong water movement. They are a little less sensitive to lower oxygen levels partly because of the slower flowing tributaries where they originate and partly due to their smaller overall size. While Peacock Bass are large fish that eat equally large meals, they can do well in aquariums with excellent filtration capable of removing the excess food and waste products produced from such a large species. The adult size of the Peacock Bass is also an important factor in choosing the right aquarium to house them, with the size and shape of the aquarium being very important. With adult Kelberi Peacock Bass reaching between 10" to 18" in length, they can be suitably housed as an adult in aquariums of 180 gallons or larger. Smaller specimens can be raised in smaller aquariums if they are moved to larger tanks as they grow, with a general rule of tank being at least 4 times as long and 1 1/2 times as wide as the length of the fish. The aquarium decor should be designed to provide plenty of swimming room, while also providing some areas of cover using driftwood, floating or well rooted plants and rocks with a sandy or gravel substrate. Tank mates are an important consideration when housing adult Peacock Bass with other New World Cichlids due to their large size and aggressive temperament. A good rule of thumb is that anything that can fit in the mouth of the Peacock Bass eventually will. Tank mates should consist of other large aggressive New World Cichlids, large Catfish species and freshwater rays. Kelberi Peacock Bass can be kept as the only Peacock Bass species or mixed with other species of Peacock Bass. They also do well in good sized groups and will work out a dominance structure amongst themselves, which will lower aggression between fish once their social hierarchy is in place. Wild Kelberi Peacock Bass feed on a wide variety of live foods living in their river tributary ecosystem, which include: insects, smaller fish, worms, crustaceans and amphibians. Kelberi Peacock Bass kept within the aquarium environment will readily feed on the same variety of live foods that they feed on in nature, but it is often more desirable to ween them off of live foods. Live foods are typically more expensive, require holding tanks, more frequent trips to the aquarium store, can bring diseases and can create excess pollution in the aquarium water. Hobbyists generally ween their Peacock Bass to commercial food preparations in order to simplify their care and avoid the pitfalls or live foods. However, it is not uncommon for Peacock Bass enthusiasts who have weened their fish to commercial foods to provide the occasional live feeding to enjoy the prey drive and aggressive feeding technique of the Peacock Bass. Suitable commercial foods for Peacock Bass include: worms, pellet foods, food sticks, frozen meaty foods like krill, silver sides or similar fare. Peacock Bass will also consume a variety of dead meaty foods like raw shrimp, raw prawns, raw fish and similar meaty items. Individual specimens will often have their own preferences, with some specimens eating most anything while others will be more picky about their diet.
Azul Peacock Bass
(Cichla piquiti) Moderate Aggressive 29" 350 gallons 76-84° F, KH 5-15, pH 5.0-7.5 Carnivore Native to South America, Colombia, Venezuela, Guianas & Brazil Cichlidae Peacock Bass Cichlid-New-World Azul Peacock Bass (Cichla piquiti) are native to the rivers and tributaries of northern South America in Colombia, Venezuela, Guianas & Brazil. They have also been introduced to areas outside of their native habitat including: Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Singapore. Key characteristics to look for to positively ID Cichla piquiti include: grayish brown body color, bluish coloration on fins, vertical dark bars throughout the length of the body and yellow dots along with a eye-spot on their tail fin. Cichla piquiti are very fast growers, who will grow quickly to about 16 to 18 inches in length and then over time depending on food source, water condition and tank size, reach an eventual adult length of upwards of 29 inches. They are a very fast swimming and boisterous species that will hit prey items (even pellet foods) with amazing force that can startle other tank mates and their human owners alike. Despite the aggression they show towards their prey, they are not considered to be that aggressive towards other suitably sized tank mates. The reason size is so critical is that tank mates that are not at least half as large as the Azul Peacock Bass will usually be reguarded as prey. So despite not being too aggressive towards tank mates, their shear size and fast, burst ambush style feeding behavior make Azul Peacocks a poor choice to keep with timid fish species, who may find aquarium life with an Azul difficult. Azul Peacock Bass are ambush hunters who navigate their native river and tributary waters in search of prey both above and below the waters surface. Their native waters are very warm year round with temperatures reaching upwards of 86° when the sun is at its peak, and with nighttime temperatures still hovering around the 76° to 80° mark. The water conditions of their natural habitat are acidic with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.5 and a water hardness between 5 to 15 dH; as well as, moderate flow and a large volume of water passing down river daily. Cichla have evolved perfectly for their environment with color patterns enabling them to blend into their environment, long sleek bodies and powerful pectoral and anal fins, which they use to maintain ambush positions in flowing river waters and ambush prey. Azul Peacock Bass are available within the aquarium hobby despite the Brazilian government banning their export from many locations; however, their size, pattern, coloration and aggressive feeding habits have made them highly sought after with aquarium hobbyists interested in keeping larger New World Cichlid species. As the popularity of Peacock Bass in general has grown within the aquarium hobby, breeders have been busy with propagating Cichla to fill the demand. Unfortunately most breeders do not attempt to maintain the pureness of each species and instead cross breed multiple species of Peacock Bass which has led to an abundance of hybrids being sold to aquarium hobbyists. When keeping Azul Peacock Bass in an aquarium environment, it is important to account for their large size, feeding habits and aggressive nature. Azul Peacock Bass come from river ways that have a constant flow of fresh water which keeps oxygen levels high and nutrient levels low. Peacock Bass have become accustomed to an environment with high quality water with low levels of pollutants and high levels of oxygen. Peacock Bass aquariums need to replicate this environment through strong mechanical, chemical and biological filtration along with medium water movement. Peacock Bass are large fish that eat equally large meals, thus excellent filtration is required to remove the excess food and waste products produced from such a large species. The adult size of the Azul Peacock Bass is also an important factor in choosing the right aquarium to house them, with the size and shape of the aquarium being very important. Adult sizes range from around 26 to 28 inches in length, thus it is important to provide an aquarium that is long enough and wide enough from front to back to allow the Peacock Bass to swim and turn around comfortably. An aquarium of 6 to 8 feet in length and 3 feet from front to back should be considered as minimum aquarium size for an adult specimen, while smaller specimens can be raised in smaller aquariums if they are moved to larger tanks as they grow. The aquarium decor should be designed to provide plenty of swimming room, while also providing some areas of cover using driftwood, floating or well rooted plants and rocks with a sandy or gravel substrate. Tank mates are an important consideration when housing adult Peacock Bass with other New World Cichlids due to their large size and aggressive temperament. A good rule of thumb is that anything that can fit in the mouth of the Peacock Bass eventually will. Tank mates should consist of other large aggressive New World Cichlids, large Catfish species and freshwater rays. Safe tank mates should be roughly at least half the size of the Azul Peacock Bass to be sure that they will not be seen as a food source. Azul Peacock Bass can be kept as the only Peacock Bass species or mixed with other species of Peacock Bass. When kept in a suitably large aquarium, they will do well in good sized groups and will work out a dominance structure among themselves, which will lower aggression between fish once their social hierarchy is in place. Wild Peacock Bass feed on a wide variety of live foods living in their river ecosystem, which include: insects, smaller fish, worms, crustaceans and amphibians. Azul Peacock Bass kept within the aquarium environment will readily feed on the same variety of live foods that they feed on in nature, but it is often more desirable to ween them off of live foods. Live foods are typically more expensive, require holding facilities, more frequent trips to the aquarium store, can bring diseases and can create excess pollution in the aquarium water. Hobbyists generally ween their Peacock Bass to commercial food preparations in order to simplify their care and avoid the pitfalls or live foods. However, it is not uncommon for Peacock Bass enthusiasts who have weened their fish to commercial foods to provide the occasional live feeding to enjoy the prey drive and aggressive feeding technique of the Peacock Bass. Suitable commercial foods for Peacock Bass include: blood worms, pellet foods, food sticks, frozen meaty foods like krill, silver sides or similar fare. Peacock Bass will also consume a variety of dead meaty foods like raw shrimp, raw fish and other meaty items. Individual specimens will often have their own preferences, with some specimens eating most anything while others will be more picky about their diet.
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Butterfly Peacock Bass
(Cichla ocellaris) Moderate Aggressive 28" 350 gallons 76-84° F, KH 5-15, pH 5.0-6.5 Carnivore Native to northern South America in Colombia, Venezuela, Guianas & Brazil Cichlidae Peacock Bass Cichlid-New-World Butterfly Peacock Bass or Ocellaris Peacock Bass (Cichla ocellaris) are native to the rivers and tributaries of northern South America in Colombia, Venezuela, Guianas & Brazil. They have also been introduced to areas outside of their native habitat including: Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Singapore. Key characteristics to look for to possitively ID Cichla ocellaris include: 3 faint transversal bars, a round mark underneath the pectoral fin, sometimes a single distinct individualized ocellum unerneath the second dorsal fin and no black markings on the operculum (cheek). Being the most temperature tolerant species of Peacock Bass has made the Butterfly Peacock Bass (Cichla ocellaris) both one of the more popular aquarium species and also the most commonly transplanted species. Butterfly Peacock Bass are similar in size to Monoculus Peacock Bass, with adults typically reaching about 24 to 28 inches in length. Butterfly Peacock Bass are ambush hunters who prefer slightly calmer waters where they can find cover near plants, drift wood or rocky formations to lay in wait for prey items. The waters of their native rivers are very warm year round with temperatures reaching upwards of 86° when the sun is at its peak, and with nighttime temperatures still hovering around the 78° to 80° mark. The water conditions of their natural habitat are acidic with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.5 and a water hardness between 5 to 15 dH; as well as, moderate flow and a large volume of water passing down river daily. Cichla have evolved perfectly for their environment with color patterns enabling them to blend into their environment, long sleek bodies and powerful pectoral and anal fins, which they use to maintain ambush positions in flowing river waters and ambush prey. Butterfly Peacock Bass are becoming much more available within the aquarium hobby as their size, pattern, coloration and aggressive feeding habits have made them very popular with aquarium hobbyists interested in keeping larger New World Cichlid species. As the popularity of Peacock Bass has grown within the aquarium hobby, breeders have been busy with propagating Cichla to fill the demand. Unfortunately most breeders do not attempt to maintain the pureness of each species and instead cross breed multiple species of Peacock Bass which has led to an abundance of hybrids being sold to aquarium hobbyists. When keeping Butterfly Peacock Bass in an aquarium environment, it is important to account for their large size, feeding habits and aggressive nature. Ocellaris Peacock Bass come from river ways that have a constant flow of fresh water which keeps oxygen levels high and nutrient levels low. Peacock Bass have become accustomed to an environment with high quality water with low levels of pollutants and high levels of oxygen. Peacock Bass aquariums need to replicate this environment through strong mechanical, chemical and biological filtration along with medium water movement. Peacock Bass are large fish that eat equally large meals, thus excellent filtration is required to remove the excess food and waste products produced from such a large species. The adult size of the Butterfly Peacock Bass is also an important factor in choosing the right aquarium to house them, with the size and shape of the aquarium being very important. Adults sizes range from around 24 to 28 inches in length, thus it is important to provide an aquarium that is long enough and wide enough from front to back to allow the Peacock Bass to swim and turn around comfortably. An aquarium of 6 to 8 feet in length and 3 feet from front to back should be considered as minimum aquarium size for an adult specimen, while smaller specimens can be raised in smaller aquariums if they are moved to larger tanks as they grow. The aquarium decor should be designed to provide plenty of swimming room, while also providing some areas of cover using driftwood, floating or well rooted plants and rocks with a sandy or gravel substrate. Tank mates are an important consideration when housing adult Peacock Bass with other New World Cichlids due to their large size and aggressive temperament. A good rule of thumb is that anything that can fit in the mouth of the Peacock Bass eventually will. Tank mates should consist of other large aggressive New World Cichlids, large Catfish species and freshwater rays. Butterfly Peacock Bass can be kept as the only Peacock Bass species or mixed with other species of Peacock Bass. They also do well in good sized groups and will work out a dominance structure amongst themselves, which will lower aggression between fish once their social hierarchy is in place. Wild Peacock Bass feed on a wide variety of live foods living in their river ecosystem, which include: insects, smaller fish, worms, crustaceans and amphibians. Butterfly Peacock Bass kept within the aquarium environment will readily feed on the same variety of live foods that they feed on in nature, but it is often more desirable to ween them off of live foods. Live foods are typically more expensive, require holding facilities, more frequent trips to the aquarium store, can bring diseases and can create excess pollution in the aquarium water. Hobbyists generally ween their Peacock Bass to commercial food preparations in order to simplify their care and avoid the pitfalls or live foods. However, it is not uncommon for Peacock Bass enthusiasts who have weened their fish to commercial foods to provide the occasional live feeding to enjoy the prey drive and aggressive feeding technique of the Peacock Bass. Suitable commercial foods for Peacock Bass include: blood worms, pellet foods, food sticks, frozen meaty foods like krill, silver sides or similar fare. Peacock Bass will also consume a variety of dead meaty foods like raw shrimp, raw fish and other meaty items. Individual specimens will often have their own preferences, with some specimens eating most anything while others will be more picky about their diet.
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Temensis Peacock Bass
(Cichla temensis) Moderate Aggressive 38" 450 gallons 80-84° F, KH 5-15, pH 5.0-6.5 Carnivore, Piscivore Rio Negro, Orinoco, Madeira and Branco basins, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil Cichlidae Peacock Bass Cichlid-New-World Temensis Peacock Bass (Cichla temensis) is the largest member of the peacock bass genus and is a top level predator in their native South American river habitat. They are most often found in slow moving or still water environments like lagoons, backwaters and shoreline pockets. While Temensis Peacock Bass spend a good portion of their time in calm waters, they will readily move out into faster waters to feed and to ward off potential competitors. Peacock Bass are used to environments that have warm water year round, with temperatures reaching upwards of 86° during the day and around 80° during evening hours. Their native river habitat's water conditions are acidic with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.5 and a water hardness between 5 to 15 dH; as well as, fast flowing with a large volume of water passing down from the mountains on its way to the ocean. Cichla temensis have evolved perfectly for their environment with long sleek bodies and powerful pectoral and anal fins, which they use to maintain ambush positions in rapidly flowing waters and ambush prey. Temensis Peacock Bass are becoming much more available within the aquarium hobby as their size, pattern, coloration and aggressive feeding habits have made them very popular with aquarium hobbyists interested in keeping larger New World Cichlid species. When keeping Temensis Peacock Bass in an aquarium environment, it is important to account for their very large size and aggressive feeding habits and nature. Temensis Peacock Bass come from river ways that have a constant flow of fresh water working from the mountains down to the sea. Peacock Bass have become accustomed to an environment with high quality water with low levels of pollutants and high levels of oxygen. Temensis Peacock Bass aquariums need to replicate this environment through strong mechanical, chemical and biological filtration along with medium to strong water movement. Peacock Bass are large fish that eat equally large meals, thus excellent filtration is required to remove the excess food and waste products produced from such a large species. The adult size of the Temensis Peacock Bass is also an important factor in choosing the right aquarium to house them, with the size and shape of the aquarium being very important. With adults sizes of around 3 feet in length, it is important to provide an aquarium that is long enough and wide enough from front to back to allow the Peacock Bass to swim and turn around comfortably. An aquarium of at least 8 feet in length and 4 feet from front to back should be considered as minimum aquarium size for an adult specimen, while smaller specimens can be raised in smaller aquariums if they are moved to larger tanks as they grow. The aquarium decor should be designed to provide plenty of swimming room, while also providing some areas of cover using driftwood, floating or well rooted plants and rocks with a sandy or gravel substrate. Tank mates are an important consideration when housing adult Peacock Bass with other New World Cichlids due to their large size and aggressive temperament. A good rule of thumb is that anything that can fit in the mouth of the Peacock Bass eventually will. Tank mates should consist of other large aggressive New World Cichlids, large Catfish species and freshwater rays. Temensis Peacock Bass can be kept as the only Peacock Bass species or mixed with other species of Peacock Bass. They also do well in good sized groups and will work out a dominance structure amongst themselves, which will lower aggression between fish once their social hierarchy is in place. Wild Temensis Peacock Bass feed on a wide variety of live foods living in their river ecosystem, which includes mostly smaller fish, but also worms, crustaceans, insects and amphibians. Temensis Peacock Bass kept within the aquarium environment will readily feed on the same variety of live foods that they feed on in nature, but it is often more desirable to ween them off of live foods. Live foods are typically more expensive, require holding tanks, more frequent trips to the aquarium store, can bring diseases and can create excess pollution in the aquarium water. Hobbyists generally ween their Peacock Bass to commercial food preparations in order to simplify their care and avoid the pitfalls or live foods. However, it is not uncommon for Peacock Bass enthusiasts who have weened their fish to commercial foods to provide the occasional live feeding to enjoy the prey drive and aggressive feeding technique of the Peacock Bass. Suitable commercial foods for Peacock Bass include: blood worms, pellet foods, food sticks, frozen meaty foods like krill, silver sides or similar fare. Peacock Bass will also consume a variety of dead meaty foods like raw shrimp, raw fish and similar meaty items. Individual specimens will often have their own preferences, with some specimens eating most anything while others will be more picky about their diet. Cichla temensis identification is made somewhat complex by the species morphological variability. Specimens are encountered in two very distinct color and pattern phases, with an array of intermediate stages corresponding to their degree of reproductive readiness. The spawning pattern transformation process is gradual - the bars darken, colors brighten and the white speckles disappear. The brilliantly colored acu (pronounced 'assu') is in reproductively active condition, while the Paca morph has white or yellow dots arranged in four distinct longitudinal rows. Both morphs have 3 distinct dark bars along the sides of the body and a distinct black stripe or speckled markings from the eye to the end of the opercular bone (cheek or gill cover), no ocelli on the sides or at the base of the second dorsal.
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Monoculus Peacock Bass
(Cichla monoculus) Moderate Aggressive 28" 350 gallons 80-84° F, KH 5-15, pH 5.0-6.5 Piscivore, Carnivore Amazon River, Rio Negro, Oyapock River Cichlidae Peacock Bass Cichlid-New-World Monoculus Peacock Bass are found living in the main stem of the Amazon River, mid to upper areas of the Rio Negro and in surrounding tributaries of both rivers. Monoculus Peacock Bass are distinguished visually by short vertical bars that do not extend below the lateral line and a long horizontal bar originating at the base of the pectoral fin (cheek marking). The main area of the body is yellow to gold in coloration, with a white under belly, black dorsal fin and tail fin that fades from yellow to orange. Juveniles are a more muted silver grey in color with less pronounced body markings. Mono's are considered medium sized Peacock Bass species that range from 24 to 28 inches in length as an adult, which is generally larger than Orinoco Peacock Bass (cichla Orinoco) but smaller than Temensis Peacock Bass (cichla temensis). Mono's are ambush hunters who prefer slightly calmer waters where they can find cover near plants, drift wood or rocky formations to lay in wait for prey items. The waters of their native Amazon, Rio Negro & Oyapock rivers are very warm year round with temperatures reaching upwards of 86° when the sun is at its peak, and with nighttime temperatures still hovering around the 80° mark. The waters conditions of their natural habitat are acidic with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.5 and a water hardness between 5 to 15 dH; as well as, fast flowing with a large volume of water passing down river daily. Cichla monoculus have evolved perfectly for their environment with color patterns enabling them to blend into their environment, long sleek bodies and powerful pectoral and anal fins, which they use to maintain ambush positions in flowing river waters and ambush prey. Monoculus Peacock Bass are becoming much more available within the aquarium hobby as their size, pattern, coloration and aggressive feeding habits have made them very popular with aquarium hobbyists interested in keeping larger New World Cichlid species. As the popularity of Peacock Bass has grown within the aquarium hobby, breeders have been busy with propagating Cichla to fill the demand. Unfortunately most breeders do not attempt to maintain the pureness of each species and instead cross breed multiple species of Peacock Bass which has led to an abundance of hybrids being sold to aquarium hobbyists. When keeping Monoculus Peacock Bass in an aquarium environment, it is important to account for their large size, feeding habits and aggressive nature. Monoculus Peacock Bass come from river ways that have a constant flow of fresh water which keeps oxygen levels high and nutrient levels low. Peacock Bass have become accustomed to an environment with high quality water with low levels of pollutants and high levels of oxygen. Monoculus Peacock Bass aquariums need to replicate this environment through strong mechanical, chemical and biological filtration along with medium to strong water movement. While Peacock Bass are large fish that eat equally large meals, they can do well in aquariums with excellent filtration capable of removing the excess food and waste products produced from such a large species. The adult size of the Monoculus Peacock Bass is also an important factor in choosing the right aquarium to house them, with the size and shape of the aquarium being very important. With adults sizes of around 2 feet in length, it is important to provide an aquarium that is long enough and wide enough from front to back to allow the Peacock Bass to swim and turn around comfortably. An aquarium of 6 to 8 feet in length and 3 feet from front to back should be considered as minimum aquarium size for an adult specimen, while smaller specimens can be raised in smaller aquariums if they are moved to larger tanks as they grow. The aquarium decor should be designed to provide plenty of swimming room, while also providing some areas of cover using driftwood, floating or well rooted plants and rocks with a sandy or gravel substrate. Tank mates are an important consideration when housing adult Peacock Bass with other New World Cichlids due to their large size and aggressive temperament. A good rule of thumb is that anything that can fit in the mouth of the Peacock Bass eventually will. Tank mates should consist of other large aggressive New World Cichlids, large Catfish species and freshwater rays. Monoculus Peacock Bass can be kept as the only Peacock Bass species or mixed with other species of Peacock Bass. They also do well in good sized groups and will work out a dominance structure amongst themselves, which will lower aggression between fish once their social hierarchy is in place. Wild Monoculus Peacock Bass feed on a wide variety of live foods living in their river ecosystem, which include: insects, smaller fish, worms, crustaceans and amphibians. Monoculus Peacock Bass kept within the aquarium environment will readily feed on the same variety of live foods that they feed on in nature, but it is often more desirable to ween them off of live foods. Live foods are typically more expensive, require holding tanks, more frequent trips to the aquarium store, can bring diseases and can create excess pollution in the aquarium water. Hobbyists generally ween their Peacock Bass to commercial food preparations in order to simplify their care and avoid the pitfalls or live foods. However, it is not uncommon for Peacock Bass enthusiasts who have weened their fish to commercial foods to provide the occasional live feeding to enjoy the prey drive and aggressive feeding technique of the Peacock Bass. Suitable commercial foods for Peacock Bass include: blood worms, pellet foods, food sticks, frozen meaty foods like krill, silver sides or similar fare. Peacock Bass will also consume a variety of dead meaty foods like raw shrimp, raw fish and similar meaty items. Individual specimens will often have their own preferences, with some specimens eating most anything while others will be more picky about their diet.
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Orinoco Peacock Bass
(Cichla orinocensis) Moderate Aggressive 24" 350 gallons 80-84° F, KH 5-15, pH 5.0-6.5 Carnivore, Piscivore Orinoco River, Venezuela, Colombia Cichlidae Peacock Bass Cichlid-New-World Orinoco Peacock Bass are named for the Orinoco river of Venezuela and Colombia, from which they originate. Like other Peacock Bass species, Orinoco Peacock Bass are found living in relatively strong flowing Amazonian rivers where they use the cover of branches, driftwood and plant vegetation to ambush a wide variety of prey items. The waters of their native Orinoco river are very warm year round with temperatures reaching upwards of 86° when the sun is at its peak, and with nighttime temperatures still hovering around the 80° mark. Orinoco river waters conditions are acidic with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.5 and a water hardness between 5 to 15 dH; as well as, fast flowing with a large volume of water passing down from the mountains on its way to the ocean. Cichla orinocensis have evolved perfectly for their environment with long sleek bodies and powerful pectoral and anal fins, which they use to maintain ambush positions in rapidly flowing waters and ambush prey. Orinoco Peacock Bass are becoming much more available within the aquarium hobby as their size, pattern, coloration and aggressive feeding habits have made them very popular with aquarium hobbyists interested in keeping larger New World Cichlid species. When keeping Orinoco Peacock Bass in an aquarium environment, it is important to account for their large size, feeding habits and aggressive nature. Orinoco Peacock Bass come from river ways that have a constant flow of fresh water working from the mountains down to the sea. Peacock Bass have become accustomed to an environment with high quality water with low levels of pollutants and high levels of oxygen. Orinoco Peacock Bass aquariums need to replicate this environment through strong mechanical, chemical and biological filtration along with medium to strong water movement. Peacock Bass are large fish that eat equally large meals, thus excellent filtration is required to remove the excess food and waste products produced from such a large species. The adult size of the Orinoco Peacock Bass is also an important factor in choosing the right aquarium to house them, with the size and shape of the aquarium being very important. With adults sizes of around 2 feet in length, it is important to provide an aquarium that is long enough and wide enough from front to back to allow the Peacock Bass to swim and turn around comfortably. An aquarium of 6 to 8 feet in length and 3 feet from front to back should be considered as minimum aquarium size for an adult specimen, while smaller specimens can be raised in smaller aquariums if they are moved to larger tanks as they grow. The aquarium decor should be designed to provide plenty of swimming room, while also providing some areas of cover using driftwood, floating or well rooted plants and rocks with a sandy or gravel substrate. Tank mates are an important consideration when housing adult Peacock Bass with other New World Cichlids due to their large size and aggressive temperament. A good rule of thumb is that anything that can fit in the mouth of the Peacock Bass eventually will. Tank mates should consist of other large aggressive New World Cichlids, large Catfish species and freshwater rays. Orinoco Peacock Bass can be kept as the only Peacock Bass species or mixed with other species of Peacock Bass. They also do well in good sized groups and will work out a dominance structure amongst themselves, which will lower aggression between fish once their social hierarchy is in place. Wild Orinoco Peacock Bass feed on a wide variety of live foods living in their river ecosystem, which include: smaller fish, worms, crustaceans, insects and amphibians. Orinoco Peacock Bass kept within the aquarium environment will readily feed on the same variety of live foods that they feed on in nature, but it is often more desirable to ween them off of live foods. Live foods are typically more expensive, require holding tanks, more frequent trips to the aquarium store, can bring diseases and can create excess pollution in the aquarium water. Hobbyists generally ween their Peacock Bass to commercial food preparations in order to simplify their care and avoid the pitfalls or live foods. However, it is not uncommon for Peacock Bass enthusiasts who have weened their fish to commercial foods to provide the occasional live feeding to enjoy the prey drive and aggressive feeding technique of the Peacock Bass. Suitable commercial foods for Peacock Bass include: blood worms, pellet foods, food sticks, frozen meaty foods like krill, silver sides or similar fare. Peacock Bass will also consume a variety of dead meaty foods like raw shrimp, raw fish and similar meaty items. Individual specimens will often have their own preferences, with some specimens eating most anything while others will be more picky about their diet.
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