Can a peacock eel be with cichlids?

In this post, we will answer the question “Can a peacock eel be with cichlids?” We will also outline some of the peacock eel characteristics and requirements.

Can a peacock eel be with cichlids?

Yes, peacock eels can be with cichlids. However, it is important to consider the cichlid’s more peaceful species and calm. 

Peacock eels, also known as Macrognathus siamensis, are one of the most beautiful and distinctive occupants of household aquariums. They are also one of the most difficult to keep alive. Experienced aquarists have learnt how to care for it and provide it with the most comfortable environment possible.

Peacock eel appearance

The body of the peacock eel is long and elongated, similar to that of a snake. A tiny and oblong head is located at the end of the tube. Peacock eels may grow up to 40 centimetres in length in the wild, however, they can only reach a maximum length of 25 centimetres in an aquarium. The top body is coated with many spikes, which serve as a means of defence against natural adversaries. 

Females are, on average, somewhat bigger than males in terms of physical size. individuals of both sexes are equipped with anal and dorsal fins, which give them the appearance of a tail. 

Their hue can range from light brown to crimson, depending on the climate in which they are grown. Small dark dots are visible on the dorsal fin, and they are encircled by a golden kidney on the dorsal fin. The pectoral fin of this species of aquarium eel is absent. 

The body of the peacock eel is irregularly coloured, with brown, olive, and light red hues appearing in various places. In addition to a fuzzy pattern on the sides of the eel’s body, the head and trunk are littered with yellowish patches. Compared to the rest of the body, the abdomen has a more uniform hue and is significantly lighter in tone.

Peacock eel natural habitat

This peculiar eel is quite picky about the environmental circumstances in which it lives. As a result, it is rarely seen in the wild and is restricted to a small number of Asian nations. 

The only place you’ll find peacock eels on other continents is in an aquarium with specially designed living conditions. This representative of the fauna may be found in the natural environment in the seas of the following countries: India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand.

Peacock eel requirements

The care and feeding of Peacock eels can be quite difficult for their keepers. One of the most important requirements will be to supply the pet with appropriate circumstances in the tank, as well as a specialised diet. 

If you want to keep your peacock happy at home, you should aim to replicate its natural living circumstances as much as possible. This is the only situation in which the fish will be healthy, powerful, and have an appealing look. 

Rapid reproduction is a result of proper treatment. It is almost certain that the owner will make a substantial profit from the sale of offspring, given the high monetary value and the high acquisition cost of this representative aquatic fauna.

Caring and maintenance of peacock eel

Take along a big aquarium with a tightly fitting lid if you’re going to be keeping eels as a “house pet.” A tank with a capacity of at least 100 litres is required for a single individual. 

For the aquarium to function properly, the soil must be present. It should be poured in a thick layer to the bottom of the tank, and it should be avoided coming into contact with any other sharp elements. So that the peacock may undertake his favourite activity, digging into the earth, it has been constructed in this manner. 

Many different types of green vegetation with a strong root system are encouraged to be planted. If you are unable to locate or purchase it, you can employ the method of growing in specific containers. This will aid plants in their ability to withstand interaction with big populations of people. 

Large stones must be placed in the aquarium for the peacock eels to be able to get rid of the mucus that accumulates on the surface of their bodies. They must be sanded before being placed in the container, as this will help to prevent any injury to the eel while in transport. 

In the wild, Peacock eels like to dwell along the coast, where they may find a variety of tree roots, algae, and snags to feed on, making it necessary to incorporate these elements into the aquarium. However, it is important to do so in moderation because excessive use might result in a lack of available open areas for swimming pools.

Aquarium conditions

Peacock eels need a unique approach as well as a thorough understanding of fundamental maintenance procedures. A significant number of things that contribute to the creation of pleasant circumstances must be taken into consideration by the property owner. 

•Water cleanliness and quality are always being monitored and improved. 

• Replacement of a third of the water with fresh water regularly. A minimum of once a week should be spent on this. 

• Adding salt to the water and ensuring that the proper amount of salinity is maintained. 

• Making sure that the aquarium has adequate filtration and aeration 

• The temperature of the aquatic environment should be in the range of 21 to 26 degrees Celsius above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. 

• The pH should be kept to a maximum of 7 and the hardness to a maximum of 15. 

• Create a dimmer environment that is representative of natural living situations. At night, you should dim the lights or turn them out altogether to save energy.

Feeding a peacock eel

Because peacock eels are quite fickle when it comes to food selection, their daily diet must be changed and tailored to the tastes of each individual. There are several instances in which this fish would eat any meal with gusto one day and then entirely reject it the next.

The basis of the nutrition of peacock eel is the following goodies:

·      Invertebrates;

·      Earthworms;

·      Crustaceans;

·      Larvae mosquito;

·      Small fish.

·      Cod fillet and squid flesh are also acceptable to the peacock eel, who will not turn down the food. You may use fortified dry food or high-quality frozen items as an additional top dressing to dress your dish.


Pets’ food choices might change based on how they are feeling at the time. If he is displeased with the conditions that have been established, there is a risk that he would completely refuse the meal. In this scenario, you must provide him with his most cherished sweet treat.

Peacock eel tank mates

Peacock eels, believe it or not, make excellent communal fish in the right circumstances. They’re easy-going and like to keep to themselves when possible. As a consequence, you won’t have any problems putting them up with other people. 

Small fish should be avoided at all costs due to their small size. Despite their friendly disposition, peacock eels are predators and will prey on tiny creatures. Neon Tetras, which are common in community aquariums, are out of the question. Snails, crabs, and other tiny invertebrates fall into the same category. 

Keep the peacock eel’s mouth closed by only eating fish that are larger than the eel’s mouth. These fish are excellent tank mates for the peacock eel:

• Rainbowfish (we particularly prefer Forktail) 

• Rasboras 

• Swordtail fish

• Hatchetfish


In this post, we answered the question “Can a peacock eel be with cichlids?” We also outlined some of the peacock eel characteristics and requirements.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can a peacock eel be with cichlids?

Can peacock eels coexist peacefully with cichlids? 

While several African cichlid species should not be maintained together, in my experience, this combination almost always results in a successful breeding programme. Haps and Peacock cichlids may be kept together effectively in the majority of situations since both species of fish have comparable nutritional requirements and tank layout demands. 

Are peacock eels abrasive creatures? 

Peacock eels are generally considered to be non-aggressive. While they have been known to consume tiny tank mates on rare occasions, they do not represent a threat to the survival of many other species in the aquarium. The only time you could have an issue with aggression is if you keep these eels alongside other Macrognathus siamensis in the same tank. 

Is it possible for two peacock eels to coexist? 

They can become excellent tank mates if they are housed with the appropriate species of fish. Generally speaking, peacock eels get along with other fish of the same breed as long as they are of equal size to them. 

Peacock cichlids are known to be aggressive. 

Peacocks are territorial, however, they are less violent than other cichlids, despite their large size. When compared to other fish, such as the Jack Dempsey or the flowerhorn cichlid, they appear to be pacifists on the surface.


Peacock Eel: Care, Tank Mates, Food, Size & Lifespan. 2021.

Peacock Eel (Macrognathus siamensis): Care Guide.