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Peacock cichlids, scientifically called Aulonocara, are a species of freshwater fish. They are a subspecies of African cichlids. Native to East Africa, they are initially found in Lake Malawi. They have many different colors, such as yellow, crimson, pink, violet, etc. You can group them into more than twenty categories based on their colors. However, the most popular species of the Peacock cichlids are the red and the blue ones. This fish is easy to care for and looks beautiful with its brilliant colors. But, in a tank with less space, they may become aggressive and territorial. The males especially may create havoc if they are not given space. This is why the minimum tank size for a Peacock cichlid tank should be more than 50 gallons.
Also Read: 5 Best 50 Gallon Fish Tank Kit in 2022
How Big Do Peacock Cichlids Get?
In most adult fish, peacock cichlids may grow up to 5 inches in size. However, their usual size varies between 4 to 6 inches. An adult peacock cichlid will grow up to 6 inches, and a female cichlid will grow up to 4 inches. Depending on their size, their tank size also needs to change. For instance, for a fish between 4 to 6 inches, an aquarium of 40 to 50 gallons might be enough. If the fish grows more, you must increase the tank size as well.
We need to remember that Peacock cichlids can vary in length. As mentioned earlier, there are many different species of Peacock cichlids. Some species can even grow up to 9 inches. Each of the other Peacock cichlids grows differently – some are bigger, while some are smaller. Let us look at how big some of the most popular Peacock cichlids can get.
How Big Do Different Peacock Cichlids Get?
Blue Peacock Cichlids
Blue peacock cichlids are some of the most common varieties of cichlids. The males of this variety are bright blue, and the females have more of a dull brown-bluish color. Their scientific name is Aulonocara Nyassae. The adult Blue peacock cichlid males are 6 inches, whereas females will only grow up to 4 inches.
Even though they are smaller in size than the others, you will still need a larger tank for these fish because they are very active. In addition, they will need a bigger space to swim and explore, so always go in for a high tank size than you need.
African Butterfly Peacock Cichlids
The African butterfly peacock cichlids are pretty big. Scientifically known as Anomalochromis Thomasi, their region of origin decides their size. Compared to their counterparts, they are the largest and grow up to 9 inches. However, their size can range between 4 to 6 inches or 8 to 9 inches, depending on the location.
Malawi Peacock Cichlids
Not only are Malawi Cichlids active, but they are big swimmers. Even though they are small, they need ample space to flit around. Malawi peacock cichlid males are 6 inches, whereas female cichlids are smaller. They only grow up to 4 inches.
Nkhomo Benga Peacock Cichlids
These fish are scientifically called Aulonocara Baenschi. Malawi peacock cichlids and Nkhomo benga peacock cichlids are similar in size. The length of a male Nkhomo benga peacock cichlid is 4 to 5 inches – but it can go up to 6 inches, depending on their upkeep and health.
Yellow Regal Peacock Cichlids
Yellow Regal Peacocks are among the most peaceful cichlid species in the entire African cichlid community. Even when they breed, you will not have to arrange for a separate tank for them because they get along with their tank mates well. These fish have a bright yellow body and shiny blue stripes. These stripes become more pronounced at their tails.
You can count these as medium-sized cichlids compared to the other categories in the same species. Their maximum size is 5 to 6 inches.
Ruby Red Peacock Cichlids
Ruby Red peacock cichlids are smaller than the others in their community. Their scientific name is Aulonocara Rubescens. They are a little peculiar in their coloring. Even though their name is ‘ruby red,’ they appear yellow. They are ‘ruby red cichlids’ because of a thin red and bluish sheen under their bodies. The brilliance of this red color depends on their external living factors.
The maximum size that they can reach is 6 inches. But, most males and females only reach up to 4 to 5 inches at the most. So, females will be a little smaller than males.
Sulphurhead Peacock Cichlids
Sulphurhead peacock cichlids, or Aulonocara Maylandi, are much smaller than the other peacock cichlids. Both males and females only reach up to 4 inches at the most! Most stop growing when they reach 2.5 to 3 inches.
How long does it take for a peacock cichlid to reach full size?
In the case of African cichlids, it only takes a year or two for the fish to reach its maximum size of 5 to 7 inches. Peacock cichlids grow more slowly than the other fish of the African cichlid community. Even with ideal health conditions and a big enough tank for Peacock cichlids, they will take less than six months to grow up to 1 or 1.5 inches. To reach their full size, 6 to 7 inches, they will need more than 2 or 3 years in the tank. Their growth rate is approximately one inch every six months.
Peacock Cichlids ideally take 2 to 3 years easily. There are many reasons for their growth rate – their diet, breed, and living conditions are the chief reasons. If you want to ensure that your Peacock cichlid varieties grow as fast as possible, you can provide them with a big swimming area and many toys or stones to play with. It is also essential to give them a well-balanced diet consisting of both vegetables and live food. Tank conditions also need to be optimal – you must regularly check the water temperature and nitrate levels and test for the pH of the water.
These factors will ensure that your Peacock cichlids grow up well and live as long a life as possible – and that their growth is not stunted.