Peacock eel – Care, Feeding, Tank Mates & Details!

Peacock eel is an aquarium inhabitant of the Mastacembelidae family. Peacock eels look like an ordinary eel in its body shape, behavior, and appearance. Its maintenance at home is not particularly difficult but requires some knowledge.

General information

Peacock eels are also known as Macrognathus siamensis is one of the most beautiful and unusual inhabitants of domestic aquariums. Experienced aquarists have learned to maintain it and create the most comfortable conditions for it.

Peacock eel Appearance

Peacock eel has a long and elongated body, like a snake. At its end is a small and oblong head. In the wild, Peacock eels can grow up to 40 cm long, and in an aquarium, they grow only up to 25 centimeters. The upper body is covered with many spikes that are used to protect against natural enemies.

As a rule, females are slightly larger in size than males. Individuals of both sexes have anal and dorsal fins, which create a similarity to the tail.

Depending on environmental conditions, their color may vary from light brown to red. On the dorsal fin, small dark spots are clearly visible, which are surrounded by a golden rim. This type of aquarium eel has no pectoral fin.

The body of the peacock eel is unevenly colored as you can find brown, olive or light red shades. The sides of the eel are covered with a blurry pattern, and the head and trunk are strewn with yellowish spots. The abdomen has a more uniform color and is much lighter than all other parts of the body.


This unusual eel is quite demanding of environmental conditions. Because of this, it is rarely found in the wild and lives only in a few Asian countries.

On other continents, you will find peacock eels only in an aquarium with special living conditions. In the natural environment, This representative of the fauna is found in the waters of:

  • India
  • Sri Lanka;
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand

This fish prefers to settle in small rivers and lakes with fresh water. 

Peacock Eel Maintainance and Requirement

The maintenance of Peacock eel can cause a lot of trouble to the owner. The main requirement will be to create pet optimal conditions in the aquarium and provide it with a specific feed.

To keep your peacock eel comfortable at home, you need to try to recreate its natural living conditions. Only in this case the fish will be healthy, strong, and have an attractive appearance.

Proper care entails rapid reproduction. Given the value and high cost of this representative of the aquatic fauna, the owner is guaranteed a good profit from the sale of offspring.

Caring and Maintenance of Peacock eel

As a “house” eel, you need to take a large aquarium with a tight-fitting lid. For one individual, a tank volume of at least 100 liters is needed.

The soil must be present in the aquarium. It should be poured with a thick layer to the bottom of the tank and try to avoid other sharp elements. This is done so that the peacock eel can easily do his favorite thing – dig into the ground.

It is recommended to plant a lot of green vegetation with a strong root system. If you can’t find or buy it, you can use the method of planting in special pots. This will help plants resist contact with large inhabitants.

Peacock eels need to get rid of the mucus that forms on the surface of their body, so large stones must be present in the aquarium. Before putting them into the container, they must first be sanded, which will protect the eel from any injuries.

In the wild, Peacock eels live near the coast, where there are many different tree roots, algae, and snags, so it is recommended to add these components to the aquarium. However, it is worth doing this in moderation, as excessive use can lead to insufficient free space for swimming.

Aquarium Conditions

Peacock eels require a special approach and the study of basic maintenance rules. The owner needs to consider a large number of factors that contribute to the formation of comfortable conditions.

Among them are the following:

  1. Constant monitoring of the purity of water and its quality.
  2. Periodic replacement of a third of the water with a new one. This should be done at least once a week.
  3. Salting water and maintaining the required level of salinity.
  4. Providing good filtration and aeration of the aquarium.
  5. The temperature of the aquatic environment should range from 21 to 26 degrees above zero.
  6. The pH should be limited to 7 and hardness to 15.
  7. Provide dim lighting, which is typical of natural living conditions. At night, you should reduce the brightness or turn off the light completely.


Peacock eels are very capricious in choosing food, so their daily diet needs to be varied and adapted to the preferences of each particular individual. Often there are situations when this fish eats any food with pleasure, and the next day completely refuses it.

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

  • invertebrates;
  • earthworms;
  • crustaceans;
  • mosquito larvae;
  • small fish.

Peacock eel will not refuse cod fillet, as well as squid meat. As an additional top dressing, you can use fortified dry food or high-quality frozen products.

Food preferences may vary depending on the mood of the pet. If he is dissatisfied with the created conditions, then there is a possibility of a complete rejection of food. In this case, you need to offer him the most favorite treat.


The puberty of peacock eel occurs at the age of three years, but they reproduce very poorly at home. To do this, you need to carry out special injections to stimulate the process.


  1. A few days before the start of the procedure, the fish are kept in separate tanks of 250 liters or more.
  2. One or two males are kept for one female.
  3. An injection is injected into the spinal muscle.
  4. The fish tank is isolated from the light.
  5. In complete darkness, the female lays up to 1 thousand eggs. They sink to the ground, where they develop their eggs over the next 3 days.
  6. After this time, fry is born. They need to provide a temperature of 26–28 ° C and a large amount of microscopic food. You can feed them with plankton or microworms.
  7. Once they reach one-third of the size of their parents, they can be moved to a common aquarium.

Peacock eel Tank Mates

The compatibility of peacock eel with other fish does not cause problems for aquarists. Despite capriciousness, Peacock eels are very friendly and peaceful.

However, due to its size, eels can accidentally harm neighbors and prick them with spikes on their backs. Such contact can end for any fish in the most deplorable way.

You can keep Peacock eels with guppies, swordtails, rainbowfish, gourami, etc..

To avoid this, you must consider the compatibility rules:

  1. You should not keep peacock eels along with small and fast fishes, as he can take them for prey and swallow.
  2. It is recommended to combine aquarium eels with the bottom species of fish, which lead to a measured and inactive lifestyle.
  3. An ideal tank mate would be large and active fish.
  4. You should not keep cichlids in an aquarium with peacock eels. They are aggressive, move very quickly, and can cause serious injury.
  5. You should not keep a large number of eels in one tank. During breeding, conflicts among males can arise that will grow into a fight with each other causing serious injury. In addition, the cause of the quarrel may be a struggle for territory.

Diseases and their Prevention

During his life in captivity, the peacock eel is faced with many problems that can cause him one or another disease. Almost all of his illnesses are associated with conditions of detention and feeding.

The main health problems of peacock eel are:

  1. Skin diseases: These are the most common ailments that appear due to the lack of a large amount of soil at the bottom of the aquarium. Without it, fish cannot completely bury and suffer from exposure to natural light and high temperatures.
  2. During the treatment period, you need to gradually raise the temperature of the water in the aquarium to 32 degrees and increase the salinity to 10%. In addition, special preparations are added to the water that can be bought at any pet store.

Peacock eel is a wonderful representative of the aquatic fauna that needs special care and maintenance.

With the right approach to business and following all the recommendations of experienced aquarists, you can not only provide comfortable conditions for your pets but also contribute to their reproduction.

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