How Big Do Peacock Cichlids Get? {Our Top 7 Favorites & Their Sizes}

Peacock cichlids are relatively peaceful. How big do peacock cichlids get?

Do they vary in size from species to species? Whihc ones are the most peaceful? How do you help them grow to their fullest potential size?

In this article, we’ll help answer these questions and more relating to peacock cichlid sizes.

How Big Do Peacock Cichlids Get?

Peacock cichlids commonly range in size. Their average is anywhere from 4-6 inches.. This means they can fit in an aquarium that is between 40 and 50 gallons.

  • The average size is usually about 6 inches as an adult. 
  • Some peacock cichlids can grow up to about 7-9 inches long. 

These fish have a lifespan of about eight years and can live for up to ten years with a healthy diet and proper care. These fish can be kept in the same aquarium with other cichlids as well as other peaceful community species.

What is the Biggest Peacock Cichlid?

Believe it or not, but the genus of peacock cichlids includes the peacock bass and they tip the scales! This specific fish is also known as the speckled peacock bass or C. temensis.

Here are the measurements for the biggest peacock cichlid in their large and colorful genus.

  • Max weight: 13 kg (29 lb) 
  • Max length: 1 m (3.3 ft, 39.6 inches)

The second place prize goes to the African peacock cichlid which could grow as much as 9 inches.

Top 7 Peacock Cichlid Sizes

We consider these top 7 to be our favorite peacock cichlids to keep based on experience and personal opinion. Do you wish to keep any of these?

1. Blue Peacock Cichlids

Cichlids like the blue peacock are among the most prevalent species. Male Blue Peacock Cichlids may reach adulthood at inches, but females can only reach inches.

2. Nkhomo Benga Peacock Cichlids

A male Nkhomo benga peacock cichlid can grow as long as 6 inches, depending on maintenance and health. The average length is 4 to 5 inches.

3. Yellow Regal Peacock Cichlids

These fish have sparkling blue stripes and a brilliant yellow body. They can grow up to 5 to 6 inches in length.

4. Ruby Red Peacock Cichlids

A faint red and blue shine under their bodies is what gives them their nickname of “ruby red.” They may grow to a maximum of 6 inches in height.

5. African Butterfly Peacock Cichlids

The peacock butterfly cichlids from Africa are quite large. They are the biggest of its counterparts and may reach a height of 9 inches.

6. Malawi Peacock Cichlids

Male Malawi peacock cichlids are 6 inches long, while females are shorter. They barely reach a height of 4 inches.

7. Sulphurhead Peacock Cichlids

Sulphurhead peacock cichlids can grow to a maximum of 4 inches, although the majority of them stop growing around 2.5 to 3 inches.

Where Do Peacock Cichlids Come From?

Peacock cichlids are cichlids belonging to the genus Aulonocara.

There are 23 species of Peacock cichlid that have been described, and all of them are endemic to Lake Malawi in eastern Africa.

Lake Malawi is one of the African Rift Valley lakes (the second largest), and it’s the ninth biggest lake in the world.

YouTube video

What Are The Colors Of Peacock Cichlids?

Generally, peacock cichlids are some of the most vividly colored freshwater fish in the world, and Peacock cichlids are no exception.

Male Peacock cichlids exhibit a great variant of bright colors – often in iridescent shades.

Still, the male peacock cichlids transform as they mature, exhibiting a wide range of colors including. but not limited to:

  • yellow
  • gold
  • red
  • orange
  • blue

Female and Juvenile Peacock cichlids, however, are often drab in color.

Are Peacock Cichlids Aggressive?

No. Generally speaking, peacock cichlids are peaceful, but they have a reputation for showing occasional aggression. Males are more territorial and can be fierce if they feel intimidated.

Like most cichlids fish, peacocks are also infamous for snacking on little fish and inverts like shrimp. They like to hunt close to the substrate as they’re mostly bottom-dwelling.

  • Keep them with large fish such as African catfish that are fast and can defend themselves.
  • Any small fish like tetras will become food sooner than later.
  • Aulonocara sport an appetite for live plants also, which limits plant options in your tank. 

Peacocks are active and generally swimmers that are mostly peaceful cichlids and overall make good community fish.

Water Parameters For Peacock Cichlids

Peacock cichlids are native or endemic to Lake Malawi, the habitat requirements of the variant species are all similar. The pH of Lake Malawi ranges from 7.6 to 8.9, and the water is fairly hard with a hardness level of 4-6 dH.

At the surface, the temperature for Lake Malawi could range from 75°F to 86°F. Still, the lower regions – where Peacock cichlids tend to live – the average temperature remains fairly constant around 72°F.

  • Temperature 75°-82°F (24°-28°C)
  • pH stable between 7.5 – 8.5.
  • Hardness 4-6dH

The ideal aquarium for this peacock cichlids will have a sandy substrate with many rocks to create caves and hiding places.

What Do Peacock Cichlids Eat?

Peacock cichlids are insectivores; this means that they feed primarily on insects.

In the home tank, they should be offered:

  • wafers
  • sinking pellets
  • granules 
  • frozen and fresh foods

These fish are also benthic species, which means they tend to live in the lower regions of the water column, sifting via the substrate for the meal.

Can I Breed Peacock Cichlids?

Yes. Male peacock cichlids tend to be territorial and fairly solitary, and it’s easy to differentiate them from females due to their bright coloration. Some breed readily in the tank and, like all cichlids, they’re egg layers.

These fish, however, are mouthbrooders so that the female will pick up the fertilized eggs in their mouth after incubate and spawning them until hatching.

After hatching, the female peacock cichlids might care for the fry for one week or so, but then they’ll be left to fend for themselves.

Peacock Cichlid Tank Size

It’s recommended to go with a 50+ gallon tank, though any aquarium size from 40-gallons will be adequate. Also, the size of your aquarium will depend on how many fish you plan on keeping, and whether yours will be a species only aquarium or a community.

  • All cichlids exhibit territorial tendencies and some aggression
  • You may want a bigger aquarium if you have other aggressive species.
  • Add lots of driftwood and rocks to break the horizontal line of sight for added hiding spaces. 

Lastly, aulonocara species are active swimmers, so a wider aquarium is preferable as it gives the fish much more swimming space.

How Fast Do Peacock Cichlids Grow?

Compared to the other African cichlid fish, peacock cichlids grow more slowly. Even with perfect health and a tank large enough for Peacock cichlids:

  • A growth of 1 or 1.5 inches will take less than six months.
  • More than two or three years will be required for them to grow to their full size, which is 6 to 7 inches.
  • Every six months, they gain around one inch in height.

Peacock Cichlids should mature in two to three years. Their nutrition, breed, and living conditions are the main causes of their rapid development, but there are numerous more factors as well.

How To Help Peacock Cichlids Get Bigger

You may give your Peacock cichlid:

  • large swimming space
  • lots of toys
  • stones to swim around 
  • a diet that is well-balanced
  • includes both veggies and live food. 
  • monitor the water temperature, nitrate concentrations, and pH levels.
  • keep them with larger or peaceful tankmates
  • prevent overcrowding

In my experience, keeping peacock cichlids has been rewarding as one of the most elegant and relaxing fish to observe in long, wide tanks where they swim gracefully.


Aulonocaras or peacock cichlids are some of the most peaceful and easier cichlids to keep. Their entertaining personality and stunning coloration make them a fan favorite.

Also, remember when preparing their tank to create a lot of different territories using rocks and caves to prevent aggressive behavior.

They’re ideal for both experienced and new fish keepers and will make a fantastic addition to most aquariums.


Thanks for visiting for this article. Check out our home page and search bar with hundreds of aquatic or marine life articles to choose from. Bye for now!


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.