The peacock gudgeon is a wonderful little oddball fish which originates from Papua New Guinea, in lowland streams, ponds, and rivers on the east side of the island. It has incredibly bright and vivid coloration and body patterning, especially for a fish that only reaches a modest 3 inches in length. Rounded bulldog-like heads lead into a squat body which is a bluish green base color, with varying amounts of red spotting everywhere, sometimes dense enough to appear as red bars instead of spots. This same thing is carried outward onto the fins, which are the same color but edged in a canary yellow seam which almost makes a border around the fish, traveling unbroken through the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins. The iridescence on this fish makes it flash all colors of the rainbow as it swims, particularly when it gets fired up when sparring for breeding rights. This fish also has a dark black spot on the caudal peduncle, which is what earns it its latin name “ocellicauda” or “eyespot tail”. This eyespot most likely serves to confuse predators in the wild, giving the gudgeon a chance to escape when its tail is targeted rather than its head.
In the wild where it is collected, it comes from rainforests, and so there are many leaves and branches which might fall in, and the water would be well shaded from the sun. The water would most likely be fairly acidic and be fairly soft, but being an island native fish from the lowlands, there is likely some small level of salt or brackish water washing into their habitats at the coast. These fish have also been bred in captivity, and are pretty adaptable to most water parameters you may keep them in. When maintaining these fish in an aquarium, many hiding places would be appreciated by these fish, and then if they are comfortable they will come out into the open areas of the tank and fight for dominance, which is when you will see the flashy displays of color at their full strength. These fish are also known to jump when they get excited as well, so a lid or a dropped water level may be beneficial to keeping them inside the aquarium, where you want them to stay.
These fish are a good addition to a community aquarium, and can get along peacefully with most things. Although they may spar with or flare at other fish that look similar to them, they seldom do damage, and tend to not cause any problems with other species. You could also keep them in a species only tank, and in that sort of environment you would most likely see the best of the coloration they have to offer. These fish ship individually bagged.
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