How To Keep And Breed Peacock Gudgeons (Tateurndina Ocellicauda): Full Care Guide

March 26, 2024

The Peacock Gudgeons is a dazzling fish with unique and entertaining personality characteristics.

Even though it is one of those species that is frequently underappreciated as an appropriate choice for a multi-species fish tank, it is a fish that will definitely bring some extra elegance and happiness to your fish tank’s ecosystem, and one that you will enjoy interacting with.

Furthermore, the Peacock Gudgeon is very easy to look after, with their only peculiarity probably being its eating habits, as this fish tends to be quite picky.

Other than that, it is a generally calm fish that gets along really well with the rest of its tank mates.

How To Keep And Breed Peacock Gudgeons (Tateurndina Ocellicauda): Full Care Guide

In this article we will present you with all the information you ought to know about this unique fish species.

We’ll go through topics like its origins and how it came to be an aquarium fish, and then cover everything relevant to how you can best take care of it. 

We will also look at this fish’s behavior, exterior looks, ideal water conditions, diet, and breeding, to see whether getting a group of Peacock Gudgeons is suitable for you and the rest of your aquarium’s fish. 

So, let’s get started!

Peacock Gudgeon: Overview

The term “peacock” conjures up images of the magnificent bird with its colorful large open feathers.

The Peacock Gudgeon is named after this popular bird because of the array of colors and variety of patterns they display on their small bodies, such as the signature eyespots.

This fish species, officially known by the scientific term “Tateurndina ocellicauda,” is native to Papua New Guinea. Peacock Gudgeons can also be seen in Australia and New Zealand in shallow freshwater bodies.

Also known as the Peacock Goby, this fish does not belong to the Goby family but the Eleotriafe family and constitutes the only species in the Tateurndina category.

Despite their origins in Oceania, the majority of Peacock Gudgeons traded for home fish tanks are born and raised in captivity.

A Peacock Gudgeon is a great option for beginner aquarium enthusiasts and fascinating enough to catch the eye of even the best of fishkeepers.

As for reproducing these vivid lovelies, an aquarium enthusiast will have to be a little more focused on taking proper care of them.

As well as offering them a diet of high nutritional value and a perfectly clean tank like they would, hopefully, do either way with all their fish.

A beautiful green and adorned habitat with outstanding filtration will be appreciated by Peacock Gudgeons.


The Peacock Gudgeon is a fairly calm tank member who will not cause trouble if surrounded by other non-violent fish.

They tend to favor clusters of six or eight, but will even be happy when paired, so make sure to get one more mate for them.

Males Gudgeons will occasionally feel warm under the fin and become hostile with one another, but tensions typically end right away, and bad incidents are relatively rare.

The most enjoyable part will be observing the Peacock Gudgeon wander around and interact with the aquatic plants in the tank.

It is a pleasure to behold these diverse and lively fish explore their tanks with spontaneity. Simply observing them as they play can lift your spirits.

When the Peacock Gudgeons are completely unrestricted and relaxed, you will notice them swimming all around the tank, as though showcasing their distinctive look.

It’s important to remember that Peacock Gudgeons like jumping a lot, so ensure that your tank is equipped with a secure lid.

Finally, do also provide these Peacock Gudgeons with many hiding spots so they can flee and hide there whenever they perceive a threat.


Peacock Gudgeons are a wonderful sight. These tiny fish brighten and liven up your tank and bring energy to the rest of their tank mates with the help of their bright colors and their trademark peacock eye pattern.

The Peacock Gudgeon’s skin is a silver-blue with red spots. Even though they are occasionally called gobies, they should not be considered authentic gobies as they lack the melded pectoral fins that distinguish the real ones.

Their tummies have a soft yellow color, and the edges of their fins are yellow too. The female Peacock Gudgeons can be identified by an additional black stripe on their fins.

As we’ve already mentioned, the Peacock Gudgeon’s name is inspired by its striking characteristic – the peacock eye -that can be seen on its tail fin.

Apart from the blackfin stripe in female Peacock Gudgeons and the forehead curvature in males, both genders can be distinguished by their size, with males being slightly longer than females.

When females are getting ready to reproduce, they grow a noticeable yellow patch on their stomachs.

Young Peacock Gudgeon 

Juvenile Peacock Gudgeons reach maturity in six to eight months.

They can sometimes get a little bigger after that period, but the greatest part of their body development happens by then.

Aquarium And Surrounding Environment

Aquarium And Surrounding Environment

Peacock Gudgeons do not move as much as other tiny fish do, such as bloodfin tetras, so they do not require as much space to wander around.

Therefore, an aquarium with a capacity of 15 gallons for a group of six to eight Peacock Gudgeons works great.

Increase the aquarium’s capacity for a bigger group or if you want to create an aquarium with a diverse range of species.

Regarding their habitat, Peacock Gudgeons tend to favor a green and adorned fish tank, which resembles their natural environment in Oceania’s freshwater habitats. Your Peacock Gudgeons will thrive in plant-rich aquariums.

Peacock Gudgeons prefer plants like anubias and water wisteria.

It is essential to create a habitat with plenty of greenery so they can find several hiding spots amongst the foliage when they get stressed or get attacked.

Other than that, they also enjoy swimming in between the aquatic plants as it reminds them of their natural environment, so you will notice how happy they are when they are swimming near the plants as their skin color will most likely brighten up.

Choose healthy and strong plants for the aquarium, as these fishes spend hours and hours with the plants so any plants that are rather tender will quickly get damaged and die.

Furthermore, opt for dark sand that is similar to their native surroundings as a substrate and avoid gravel because it may scratch and hurt their stomachs.

As for other aquarium decorations that could help keep the Peacock Gudgeon happy are rocks and driftwood.

As previously stated, the Peacock Gudgeon prefers to hide between then plants when attacked, so any additional decor to your aquarium such as caves can function as an extra hiding spot for them.

And, as you will soon find out, if you intend to spawn them or they choose to reproduce on their own, an artificial cave is absolutely necessary for that.

Water Requirements

The Peacock Gudgeon swims in quiet rivers or even still lakes when found in nature, so make sure your home aquarium’s flow isn’t too fast or your fish will become confused and overwhelmed.

Peacock Gudgeon is also used in warmer waters, so keep your water temperature relatively high.

The following are the ideal specifications for ensuring an optimal similarity to their natural habitat:

Water Temperature

Peacock Gudgeons prefer a temperature range from 72°F to 79°F (22.2-26.1°C)


Peacock Gudgeons prefer waters with a pH of 6.0 to 7.8, a range that is a bit acidic to normal. 


The optimal water hardness for Peacock Gudgeons ranges from 5 to 12 dGH.

It is best to maintain the nitrate levels in the aquarium low, so go for a filter suited to the job, by also taking into consideration the fact that the filtration needed will range based on how many fish in total live in the tank.

If you have a group of seven, for example, in a 20-gallon aquarium, your filtration system requirements will be nothing like what you would need if you had a multi-species tank in a 50-gallon aquarium.

And, as previously stated, these fishes are used to slow flows or still waters, so you probably do not want to select a filtration system that will generate a bigger and more powerful current than what they can manage.

If the flow appears to be too intense for your group of Peacock Gudgeon fish, you can minimize it by installing the filtration system against the aquarium’s glass or by adding plants or ornaments in front of the current.

Aquarium Size

An aquarium with a capacity of 15 gallons is the minimum needed for Peacock Gudgeons. The size increases from there according to the number of other fish cohabiting in your home aquarium.

Some aquarium enthusiasts keep their Peacock Gudgeons in 90-gallon multi-species tanks.

As for how many Peacock Gudgeons you can keep together in one single tank, small groups of six to eight fish are ideal but more will also do well.


Peacock Gudgeon is a laid-back fish that gets along well with other quiet fish of similar size.

You should avoid putting them in the same aquarium with more assertive fish or fish that are bigger than them — this both makes them feel stressed and puts them at risk.

Bigger fish will almost certainly eat your Peacock Gudgeons alive or at least hurt them.

If you include any other territorial species, ensure you have a tank that is big enough for the rest of the species to have their own room so that the Peacock Gudgeons will not feel as if they are under constant danger.

So, if you want to create a multi-species tank, some ideal tank buddies are fish like the Bumblebee Goby, the Cherry Barb, and the Kuhli Loach.

However, as we said, any fish that is of the same size and non-aggressive is also a good option.

Peacock Gudgeons are most content when kept in groups of six to eight fish.

You may discover that you can easily have them live together only as a pair, yet you must ensure that there is never only one Peacock Gudgeon in your aquarium.

Instead, a group of a minimum of six Peacock Gudgeons will make them all very happy and stress-free.



While Peacock Gudgeons are omnivores, flake food does not appeal to them. Several aquarium owners have stated that their Peacock Gudgeons do not even touch their flakes.

Living up to their reputation and name once again, these fishes require a diet that is out of the ordinary.

Even though the Peacock Gudgeon in your aquarium is most likely born and raised in captivity, it will still present an inclination toward the food that its species finds in nature: protein-rich prey such as insects.

Provide them with frozen or freeze-dried protein-rich meals, as well as snacks such as bloodworms or daphnia.

They might chew the flakes provided that you present them with one of their preferred protein sources.

Do keep in mind that the fat and protein content of live food sources delivers all the nutrients they require to remain healthy and strong; you’ll also notice the color of their skin change when they eat properly.

In case you see that their color is not as vivid as it used to be or as you would like it to be, you might have to supplement their diet with some meaty food.


Peacock Gudgeon, like all tank fish, is sensitive to a range of illnesses.

Maintaining your fish tank fresh and clean by changing the water regularly and checking the quality of the water, but also sticking to the above dietary recommendations, will effectively protect your Peacock Gudgeons from any diseases and keep them healthy and strong.

Ich, named after the pathogen that generates it, attacks stressed freshwater fish.

Therefore, it is crucial to prevent your fish from getting stressed by creating an aquatic ecosystem in the aquarium that will not induce any stress.

Stress can occur from a variety of factors, including inappropriate aquarium companions or boredom caused by solitude, overeating or nutrient deficiencies, and harmful water conditions.

All of these factors can deprive your Peacock Gudgeon of their health and happiness, making them prone to diseases.

Ich-infected fish must be isolated because the disease is extremely contagious. There are numerous medications available to cure fish of ich.

However, you must be cautious because many of the purchasable meds are copper-based, and, if you keep a community tank, then there might be many fish in there that cannot tolerate copper.

As a result, in your attempt to save your Peacock Gudgeon you might end up harming your other fish species.

In addition to ich, the Peacock Gudgeon’s head is sensitive to Hole-in-the-head illness, which they can contract through fecal matter.

Clearly, keeping your aquarium clean reduces the likelihood that your Peacock Gudgeon can contract this disease, which typically affects bigger fish.


Peacock Gudgeons effortlessly connect and establish intimate ties, in contrast to some other fish that connect only for procreation and prefer to spend the rest of their time fighting.

In case you start noticing that a pair of your Peacock Gudgeons have developed a romantic bond, you should transfer those to a breeding aquarium with a cave or some other kind of cavity that can work as a hiding spot for breeding.

Provide plenty of high-quality food and change the water to get them in the mood for mating.

The male Gudgeon will lure the female by dancing around the gate to the breeding cave by moving his pectoral fins.

If indeed the female wants to mate, she will make her way to the cave and lay up to 100 eggs. Because the eggs are sticky, they might even end up on the wall or the cave’s ceiling.

Once the female lays her eggs, she is ready to leave. After that, it is the male’s responsibility to continue with the breeding process.

So, what the male Dudgeon does then is to fertilize the eggs and spend some more time with them during their incubation period to protect them from any potential danger or threats.

Usually ten days after the hatching, he will leave the fry to self-preserve themselves.

It is only then that both parent fishes can be removed from the breeding tank and return to their home aquarium. 

Give the Peacock Gudgeon fry food in powder form and infusoria until they are large enough to handle normal portions and live food.

Since they won’t be able to swim on their own for the first weeks, you will have to make sure you are properly feeding them to guarantee successful growth.

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, caring for your Peacock Gudgeons is very easy if you follow our advice.

Their diet can be a little tricky, but once you figure out what your Gudgeons are like, you should have no trouble feeding them.

As previously stated, live and frozen food products are the best, but it is all going to depend on the brand you choose.

Finally, if you nail the setup process by selecting a proper aquarium size, filling it with the appropriate plants and rocks, and controlling the water quality, keeping your Peacock Gudgeons happy and strong will be a piece of cake.
Jose Viacrucis

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