Raising peacock bass adds a colorful and vibrant species to your aquarium. Wild populations of peacock bass are present in tropical regions of North, Central and South America. Peacock bass can live in freshwater, the acidic blackwaters of the Amazon or brackish warm-water environments. Raising peacock bass requires a large space to accommodate their territorial and aggressive nature. It also requires detailed planning to provide for growth and coexistence with other species.
Peacock bass grow rapidly and require a large space, therefore they are only suitable for indoor tanks when they are juveniles. According to Live Aquaria, you should choose a minimum 70-gallon aquarium to ensure they are comfortable as adults. Temporary tanks in the 30-gallon range are effective for the 2-inch fingerlings, but peacock bass need space to grow. Peacock bass are athletic and will jump out of their aquariums. Placing a cover over the top will prevent them from leaping outside the tank.
Habitat requirements vary based on the size. According to the Peacock Bass Association, fry require sand and gravel bottoms for forage. They rummage through sand for insects, shrimp and small prey sources. The fry also require small pockets beneath rocks for hiding. Adults require rocks, plants and ledges for cover. They are an ambush species and need a place to comfortably wait for prey. Maintain a water temperature of 75 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pH range between 6.5 to 7.5.
Peacock bass have a large mouth and aggressive appetite. They will attempt to eat fish, rodents and insects that nearly match their own size. The bass are not particularly choosy eaters but they do prefer live food. The fry will eat pellets but feeding worms, shrimp, fish and even rodents to large fish is acceptable.
Raising peacock bass with other species is difficult because they are aggressive. The bass will consume any other species if possible. Their territorial nature can also lead to fighting. Peacock bass are sometimes raised successfully with oscars because they have similar habits and predatory tendencies. Consider keeping the bass in a single species tank where other fish are only added for the purpose of feeding.
Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at bustedoarlock.com.