Freshwater Fish

Peacock Eel: Care Tips for Unique Aquarium Residents

Imagine having a mesmerizing creature in your aquarium that brings an array of vibrant colors and a unique sense of elegance. Enter the Peacock Eel, an enchanting creature that will surely captivate your attention. With its distinct iridescent markings resembling the mesmerizing feathers of a peacock, this species is truly a sight to behold. Known for their playful and friendly nature, Peacock Eels are a perfect addition to any aquarium enthusiast’s collection. Get ready to be enthralled by the charm and beauty of the Peacock Eel as we explore its fascinating qualities in this article.

Peacock Eel

The Peacock Eel, also known as Macrognathus siamensis, is a unique and fascinating species of eel that make for an interesting addition to any aquarium. Their striking appearance and peaceful demeanor make them a popular choice among fish enthusiasts. In this article, we will explore the physical description, habitat and distribution, behavior and diet, reproduction, handling and care, tank setup, water conditions, feeding, common health issues, and compatibility with other fish of the Peacock Eel.

Physical Description

The Peacock Eel gets its name from its vibrant and colorful appearance. It has a long, slender body that can grow up to 12 inches in length. Their body is adorned with beautiful iridescent green and blue stripes, resembling the magnificent plumage of a peacock. The eel’s eyes are small and positioned towards the top of the head. It gives them excellent vision for navigating their surroundings. One of the most distinctive features of the Peacock Eel is its elongated dorsal fin, which runs along the entire length of its body, creating an elegant and eye-catching display.

Habitat and Distribution

Originating from the freshwater rivers and streams of Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and Malaysia, the Peacock Eel is a tropical species that thrives in warm and well-oxygenated waters. They prefer slow-moving or stagnant water bodies with plenty of hiding spots such as rocks, driftwood, and vegetation. In their natural habitat, Peacock Eels can be found among submerged plants and leaf litter, patiently waiting for prey. It is important to replicate these conditions as closely as possible in an aquarium setting to ensure the eel’s well-being.

Behavior and Diet

Despite their snake-like appearance, Peacock Eels are peaceful and gentle creatures. They are primarily nocturnal, spending most of their day in hiding and becoming more active during the night. Their diet consists mainly of small invertebrates, such as worms, insect larvae, and crustaceans, which they locate by scent and vibration. They use their long snouts to dig into the substrate and sift through the sand in search of food. It is important to provide them with a varied diet to ensure their nutritional needs are met.


Peacock Eels are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs to reproduce. However, breeding Peacock Eels in captivity can be a challenge due to their specific environmental conditions and limited knowledge about their reproductive behavior. Females release eggs into the water, which are then fertilized by the male. The eggs are adhesive and attach to various surfaces until they hatch. If you are interested in breeding Peacock Eels, it is recommended to seek advice from experienced breeders to increase your chances of success.

Handling and Care

It is crucial to handle Peacock Eels with care as they have delicate skin that can easily be damaged. They are also known to have a keen sense of touch, so rough handling can cause stress and injury. When moving or transferring your eel, it is best to use a soft net or container to minimize harm. Additionally, providing plenty of hiding spots and a suitable environment will help reduce stress and promote their overall well-being. Regular water quality checks and maintenance are essential for their health.

Tank Setup

Setting up the perfect tank for your Peacock Eel involves recreating their natural habitat to ensure their comfort and well-being. A tank size of at least 30 gallons is recommended to accommodate their length and provide ample swimming space. As these eels appreciate soft and sandy substrate, it is advisable to avoid sharp gravel or rocks that could cause injury. Driftwood, rocks, and live or artificial plants should be incorporated to create hiding spots and mimic their natural environment.

Water Conditions

Maintaining appropriate water conditions is crucial for the health and longevity of your Peacock Eel. They prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH range between 6.5 to 7.5 and a temperature range of 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. A good filtration system is necessary to ensure proper water quality and oxygenation. Regular water changes should be performed to remove any toxins or wastes, keeping the water clean and suitable for the eel’s needs.


Peacock Eels are carnivores and should be provided with a varied diet to fulfill their nutritional requirements. Their main diet should consist of live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, blackworms, and small crustaceans. In addition to these protein-rich foods, occasional supplementation with high-quality flake or pellet food can be included in their diet. It is important to feed them small amounts several times a day, as they have a small stomach capacity.

Common Health Issues

Like any other aquarium fish, Peacock Eels are susceptible to certain health issues. Common health problems include fungal or bacterial infections, parasitic infestations, and poor water quality-related ailments. Keeping the water clean and providing a balanced diet will help prevent many of these issues. If you notice any unusual behavior, loss of appetite, or signs of distress such as flashing or rubbing against objects, it is advisable to consult with an experienced fish veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Compatibility with Other Fish

When considering tank mates for your Peacock Eel, it is important to choose species that are compatible with their peaceful nature and specific water requirements. Small to medium-sized community fish such as tetras, rasboras, and peaceful cichlids are good choices. Avoid aggressive or fin-nipping species that may harm or stress the eel. It is best to research the behavior and requirements of any potential tank mates to ensure a harmonious and stress-free aquarium environment.


The Peacock Eel is a captivating and delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium. With proper care, attention to water conditions, and a suitable environment, these fascinating creatures can thrive and bring joy to their owners for many years. If you are looking for an elegant, peaceful, and unique fish species, the Peacock Eel may be the perfect choice for you.


Passionate fishkeeper. Nature lover. Creative thinker. Music junkie. Adventurer.

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