Peacock Eel Care Guide & Species Profile

The peacock eel is a freshwater fish of the Mastacembelidae circle of relatives. The species has an extended, eel-like frame in sun shades of brown, with eyespots adorning its tail and a yellow lateral stripe working from the fish’s snout to its caudal fin.

Whilst non violent, this species isn’t appropriate for newbie aquarists for the reason that fish are delicate to water fluctuations and susceptible to infections.

Peacock Eel Info & Evaluation

Peacock eel

Medical identify: Macrognathus siamensis
Not unusual names Peacock eel, siamese spiny eel, spotfin spiny eel
Distribution: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
Dimension: As much as 12 inches
Existence expectancy: 8–18 years
Colour: Brown with eyespots and a yellow stripe
Vitamin: Carnivore
Temperament: Non violent
Minimal tank measurement: 35 gallons
Temperature: 73–82°F (22–28°C)
pH: 6–7
Hardness: 6–25 dGH
Care stage: Intermediate
Breeding: Egg layers


Peacock eels (Macrognathus siamensis) are local to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They’re recurrently discovered within the slow-moving backwaters of the Mekong and Chao Praya basins. Peacock eels thrive in our bodies of water which might be sandy, heat, and closely vegetated. Those fish are prolific within the wild however unusual within the puppy industry.


The peacock eel isn’t a freshwater eel. Whilst the fish seems to be very similar to a real eel, the peacock eel belongs to another clinical order than the eel and has separated fins and spiny rays, by contrast to the eel’s soft-rayed fins.

Grownup Dimension & Lifespan

Peacock eels succeed in 8 to twelve inches in duration, and men and women are identical in measurement. The captive fish have a tendency to be smaller than wild species.

Those fish have a median existence expectancy of 8 to 18 years if cared for correctly. Rigidity, sickness, and deficient tank stipulations can shorten the fish’s lifespan.



Peacock eels aren’t frequently stocked in aquarium shops, most likely because of a loss of call for and since just about all peacock eels within the puppy industry are wild-caught. A person peacock eel prices between $15 and $30, and the fee is determined by the fish’s age, measurement, and look.

Whilst unusual, peacock eels are to be had in on-line fish shops corresponding to:

Look & Habits

Peacock eel appearance

The freshwater peacock eel will get its identify from its eel-shaped frame and unique eyespots. The fish is shy, non violent, and assists in keeping to itself.

Colours, Patterns, Fins, and Intercourse Variations

The peacock eel has an elongated frame, pointed snout, and compressed tail. The fish’s maximum unique options are a number of eyespots close to the bottom of its tail. A light yellow stripe additionally spreads from the fish’s mouth to its caudal fin. The anal, dorsal, and caudal fins are separated.

Those fish have brown our bodies and yellow bellies. In contrast to many different fish species, peacock eels don’t have outstanding scales. The dorsal fin has small, sharp spines.

Sexing this species, particularly ahead of adulthood, is tricky, regardless that feminine peacock eels are normally plumper than men. When wired, the fish frequently lose their colourful colour and develop into torpid. Signs of illness come with white blotches, purple blisters, and tattered fins.

Conventional Habits

The peacock eel is a nocturnal species and spends maximum of its time burrowed in gentle sand or silt. Regardless of its carnivorous nature, the fish is non violent, shy, and assists in keeping to itself.

Those fish get alongside effectively with their very own sort, so long as the tank isn’t overcrowded. Dim lights, floating vegetation, and hiding spots lend a hand those fish really feel protected and protected. The fish frequently uproot vegetation and decorations via their ordinary burrowing.

Peacock Eel Tank Necessities


Peacock eel tank requirements


Peacock eels are quite tough to appear after as a result of they’re delicate to water fluctuations, have explicit tank wishes, and are susceptible to infections. Replicating this species’ herbal habitat is helping the fish really feel relaxed and protected.

Habitat and Tank Setup

Within the wild, peacock eels inhabit rivers which might be slow-moving, densely vegetated, and sheltered from the solar. To simulate those stipulations to your personal tank, upload floating vegetation, a steady filter out, and stay the lights dim. A freshwater eel aquarium will have to even have numerous hiding spots.

Be sure the substrate within the fish’s tank is a couple of inches deep to house its burrowing conduct. Steer clear of abrasive, harsh fabrics like gravel to offer protection to the fish’s subtle frame from damage.

Peacock eels frequently uproot vegetation and decorations. Tie decorations and vegetation securely or bury them firmly within the substrate to stop the fish from dislodging them.


Tank Prerequisites

Water sort Contemporary water, with partial water adjustments (30%) each and every week to deal with water high quality. Track water parameters continuously with a pH meter and thermometer
Tank measurement 35 gallons minimal, elongated form
Water temperature 73–82°F (22–28°C)
Substrate Tremendous, gentle sand
Tank setup Floating vegetation and numerous hiding spots. Create safe haven with decorations, foliage, PVC pipes, and bogwood
Acidity 6.0–7.0 pH
Water hardness 6–25 dGH
Filter out Mild, steer clear of under-gravel filters
Lights Supply 8 to twelve hours of low mild in line with day

Peacock eels thrive in well-oxygenated, blank water, so common, partial water adjustments are essential to the fish’s well being and wellbeing. Cycle the tank for no less than two weeks ahead of introducing fish to the tank.

Not unusual Peacock Eel Well being Problems and Illnesses

Peacock eels have subtle our bodies and are specifically prone to abrasions, parasites, and infections. The fish don’t tolerate medicines effectively, specifically copper-based remedies, so focal point on combating well being problems via lowering stressors and protecting the water blank and solid.

Well being Factor



Instructed Motion

Abrasions Lesions at the fish’s frame, lethargy Stay water blank and at excellent parameters to stop sores from turning into inflamed. Be sure the substrate is ok and gentle and take away tough decorations
ICH White, salt-like spots, scraping frame in opposition to tough surfaces Quarantine inflamed fish in a separate tank and step by step carry the temperature via a couple of levels to kill off the parasite
Fin rot Discoloration, ragged fins, tattered look Antibiotics or antifungal medicine, regardless that steer clear of copper-based medicines

Peacock Eel Tank Friends

Peacock eel tank mates

Peacock eels are docile, shy, and make superb additions to neighborhood aquariums. Tank pals will have to be non violent, slow-moving, and identical in measurement to peacock eels.

Nice tank pals for peacock eels come with:


  • Hatchetfish
  • Rainbowfish
  • Swordtail fish
  • Huge gouramis
  • Guppies

By no means stay the peacock eel with boisterous, competitive species, or small species that the carnivorous peacock eel would possibly consume.

Peacock Eel Vitamin and Feeding

Peacock eels are carnivores that showcase foraging conduct and feed at night time. Within the wild, their nutrition basically is composed of crustaceans, larvae, and worms. Captive peacock eels will have to be fed protein-rich, are living and frozen meals corresponding to bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp. Those fish infrequently settle for pellets or flakes.

Feed peacock eels at night time and be offering meals two to 3 occasions a week. Meals should be smaller than the fish’s mouth.

Breeding the Freshwater Peacock Eel

Peacock eels are egg layers. Whilst prolific within the wild, breeding those fish in captivity is just about inconceivable — peacock eels spawn within the flood season, an atmosphere this is tough to simulate in a house tank. Fry also are difficult to lift as a result of they’re susceptible to infections.

Will have to You Get a Peacock Eel for Your Aquarium?

Peacock eel inside tank

The peacock eel is an out of this world freshwater eel to stay in a fish tank for the reason that species is non violent, distinctive, and doesn’t disturb different species.

You will have to get a peacock eel in case you personal a 35-gallon tank that accommodates hiding spots, dense plants, and a gentle, sand substrate. This species isn’t appropriate for newbie fishkeepers for the reason that fish are prone to infections and are simply wired if water parameters aren’t excellent.

Even if peacock eels require extra care than different species, fishkeepers up for the problem might be blessed with a long-living, charming significant other.

Peacock Eel FAQs

Listed below are the solutions to probably the most continuously requested questions on peacock eels:

How Giant Do Peacock Eels Get?

Peacock eels develop as much as 12 inches lengthy. Then again, maximum fish best succeed in 8 inches in captivity. Women and men are identical in measurement, regardless that ladies have a tendency to be plumper than men.


An overcrowded tank could cause stunted expansion within the peacock eel. Different components that may have an effect on the fish’s measurement come with age, nutrition, and water stipulations.

What Fish Can Reside With Peacock Eels?

Peacock eels can are living with maximum non violent fish species. Appropriate tank pals come with hatchetfish, gouramis, rainbowfish, and guppies.

Those fish frequently consume small fish and invertebrates, so make certain all tank pals are identical in measurement to the peacock eel.

Whilst carnivorous, peacock eels are docile and shy, and shouldn’t be housed with competitive species.

What Dimension Tank Do Peacock Eels Want?

Peacock eels desire a tank of no less than 35 gallons. Building up the tank measurement via 25 gallons for each and every further fish. Huge fish that measure over 10 inches in duration will have to be housed in a 40-gallon tank or larger.


The peacock eel’s tank will have to be wider than it’s tall as a result of peacock eels are bottom-dwellers and wish extra backside terrain to discover. Upload floating vegetation, hiding spots, and foliage, however don’t overcrowd the tank.

Can You Stay Peacock Eels In combination?

Sure, you’ll be able to stay peacock eels in combination. Those fish aren’t as territorial as different spiny eel species. A cramped, overcrowded house could make peacock eels competitive with one every other. Ensure that your staff of peacock eels have a tank this is spacious, densely vegetated, and that there are many hiding spots for the fish to take shelter in.

How Ceaselessly Do You Feed Peacock Eels?

Feed peacock eels two to 3 occasions a week. As a result of this species is nocturnal, the fish will have to be fed right through the night time or early morning. Feed those fish are living and frozen meals corresponding to brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. Some peacock eels might reject meals choices and consume much less continuously. Fish that refuse meals totally, or have a noticeable alternate in urge for food, are doubtlessly in poor health or wired.

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