Peacock bass are genus Cichla fish who hail from South America. Their moniker is a tribute to the gold and black spots situated on their tails, which are reminiscent of the eyelike displays on the showy birds' tails. Peacock bass are common focuses in the sport fishing world, but they also occasionally reside in uber-spacious aquarium environments.
Peacock Bass Basic Information
In nature, peacock bass usually inhabit the Amazon River region. In times of ample rain, they frequently set up camp in wet woodlands. In arid times, however, they frequently live in lagoons. Since peacock bass grow to such massive sizes, they aren't the easiest aquarium fish to maintain. The butterfly peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris), for one specific example, routinely grows to lengths of moer than 2 feet. Despite that, some peacock bass can be as diminutive as a mere 2 pounds. Some can even get to about 35 inches. Tank mates for peacock bass should not be taken lightly, as they readily consume fish tiny enough to place into their mouths.
Eating in the Wild
Out in nature, peacock bass are especially hardy and sturdy creatures. They usually have zero qualms about going after prey animals even bigger than they are, which makes their dining selection rather broad. For the most part, however, peacock bass eat fellow fish, and only fish. They do occasionally eat other things, as well, though -- think crustaceans.
Types of Food in the Wild
Peacock bass regularly go after tiny fish. Some of the kinds of tiny fish they feed on include bluegill, threadfin shad and mosquito fish, for starters. They sometimes eat other kinds of cichlids. Youngsters frequently eat shrimp. When on the hunt for their next meals, peacock bass often move extremely quickly. It is common for these fish to solely eat in the daytime. At night, they usually rest.
Since peacock bass are piscivores through and through, their aquarium diet calls for plenty of fish. Specimens bred in captivity usually do well on fish that is cut. However, peacock bass taken from the wild typically prefer live fish. As they acclimate to life inside of the aquarium, they usually start to accept eating fleshy sustenance such as diced seafood, tubifex worms, bloodworms and earthworms. Some seafood options for these cichlids are squid, mussels, shrimp, krill and clams. Commercial pellets make nutritious additions to peacock bass feeding plans. They generally thrive when offered small portions of food at frequent intervals.
As much adored game fish, peacock bass go for many different types of bait, notably artificial ones. Some examples of bait commonly used on peacock bass are spoons, crank baits, diving lures and rapalas.
- FishChannel.com: Cichlids of the Americas - Peacock Basses
- Tampa Bay Estuary Program: Peacock Bass
- Tropical Fish Magazine: Experiences With Cichla Temensis
- FishBase.com: Cichla ocellaris
- USGS: Cichla ocellaris
- Global Invasive Species Database: Cichla ocellaris
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: Butterfly Peacock
- FishBase: Cichla temensis
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images