Are Peacock Cichlids Mouth Brooders: The Brooding Process and Care Guide

Peacock cichlids are an exciting and popular fish known for their vibrant coloration and excellent fighting ability. These cichlids can be found in various habitats, including lakes, streams, and ponds. They are easy to keep and require little maintenance, making them ideal for beginners.

Peacock cichlids are mouthbrooders, meaning they lay their eggs in their mouths. This is a unique trait among cichlids and is one of the reasons why peacock cichlids are such popular aquarium fish. By laying their eggs in this way, peacock cichlids can protect themselves from outside threats and ensure that the fry will have plenty of food to grow into healthy adults.

How Long Do Peacock Cichlids Hold Their Fry Inside Their Mouth?

Peacock cichlids generally hold their fry in their mouths for around two weeks. During this time, the parents will provide plenty of food and protection to ensure that the fry grows into healthy adults. The fry will be released into the water and will be able to fend for themselves.

How Many Peacock Cichlid Fry Survive During Mouth Brooding?

The number of peacock cichlid fry that can survive in a tank depends on the size of the tank, the type of food being offered, and how often the fry is fed. Generally speaking, most peacock cichlid fry will survive in a tank if provided with small amounts of food several times a day. However, if the fry is not fed frequently, they may not stay for long. Therefore, it is essential for people trying to keep and breed peacock cichlids in an aquarium to be very careful when selecting their tank.

How Long Do Peacock Cichlids Take to Grow?

There is no one answer to this question as it will depend on the individual peacock cichlid and its environment and diet. However, peacock cichlids increase and can reach a size of up to three inches in less than two months. They generally reach maturity at around six months old.

How to Take Care of Peacock Cichlids Fry?

Tank Setup

There is no correct answer for the perfect size tank for a peacock cichlid fry. However, as with all fish, they will thrive in a tank at least 20 to 30 gallons in size and has plenty of hiding spots and places to swim. Please ensure the water quality is good and provide them with various food sources, including live and frozen foods. Here are some of the best tips for setting up an aquarium for the babies of your peacock cichlids.

  • Choose the right tank size. A grow-out tank should be at least 20 gallons, but 30 or more is better because it will allow more room for growth and more space for your fish to hide if they get scared.
  • Purchase an appropriate filtration system. A sound filtration system for a grow-out tank will include an air pump and water filter, and a gravel filter.
  • Choose a suitable substrate. Usually, Artificial silk or substrate will fill a grow-out tank with artificial silk or some other substrate that is easy to care for and doesn’t require water changes as often as regular fish tanks.
  • Provide your peacock cichlid fry with plenty of hiding places and floating objects to explore.

Water Conditions

Water conditions for peacock cichlid fry are relatively simple. In general, they prefer soft and acidic water with a moderate current. However, as they grow older and start to explore the tank more, they will also require water temperatures between 74 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 26 degrees Celsius) and pH levels of 7.5 to 8.5. In addition, make sure the water is free of high ammonia and nitrates.

Water Changes

A peacock cichlid fry tank should be cleaned and inspected regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and disease. In general, a water change every week is necessary for cichlids, but this will vary depending on the type of cichlid, the temperature of the tank, and other factors.

Diet and Feeding

You should feed young peacock cichlid fry a flake food diet, live foods such as waxworms and green vegetables. As they grow older, they will transition to a diet that consists primarily of live fish and other types of aquatic insects.


Some cichlids will fry their food in the light while others will not. There is no right or wrong answer to this question; it depends on the individual cichlid. Some cichlids that do not fry their food in the light may still eat small invertebrates under rocks or crevices. These invertebrates may be picked up with a net and eaten by the cichlid. Other cichlids that fry their food in the light may also eat small invertebrates, but they also eat fish and other aquatic creatures that live in the water column.

Other Cichlids That Are Mouthbrooders

Other cichlids are mouthbrooders, but peacock cichlids are the most well-known. Mouthbrooding is a natural behavior among some cichlids, and it involves the female depositing her eggs in a substrate and protecting them until they hatch. This process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, and it’s something that many cichlid enthusiasts look forward to observing.

Are Mbuna Mouth Brooders?

Mbuna cichlids are mouthbrooders, meaning that they will lay their eggs in the open water where they can be easily seen and collected by their parents. This is an admirable trait because it allows the mother to stay close to her eggs and provide immediate protection. Mbuna cichlids tend to be more active and interactive around their eggs than other cichlid species, so they will likely take better care of them.

Are Electric Blue Cichlids Mouth Brooders?

Electric blue cichlids are mouthbrooders, meaning that they lay their eggs in the mouths of other fish. This allows them to protect their eggs from being eaten by other fish and predators. In addition, it also allows the fry to be accepted into the mouths of other cichlids so that they can help feed them. It is believed that electric blue cichlids mouth brood their eggs because it helps to increase survival rates for young fish, but this theory has not been proven.