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Cichla temensis
Speckled Pike Cichlid, Speckled Pavon, Tucunare, Peacock Bass

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Speckled Pike Cichlid - Cichla temensis

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Cichla_temensis_2.jpg (15kb)
Photo Credit: Daniel Machado

Name: Cichla temensis
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Amazon Basin
100 cm 1000 L 6.5 27C


There are two varieties of this fish, commonly called the Peacock Cichlid or Peacock Bass. In South America they are a prized game fish for anglers and taste great too. They grow to be the largest of all the cichlids, with the Cichla temensis variety growing the largest (up to a reported meter!). The other variety (Cichla ocellaris) is a bit more colorful, having several blotches of yellow and orange on its body. Both species are fairly peaceful but will eat any fish that fits in its mouth. This fish can be a bit skittish and may dart quickly when startled. Given its potentially large size this could cause damage to the fish or its tank surroundings. I have had my temesis almost a year now and like it a lot. It has grown from about 10 cm to about 30 cm in the past year on a diet of mostly frozen raw shrimp. Some people I know feed them pellets too. Cool fish, would go great with an arowana and a couple stingrays in a huge tank.

Contributed by Theo

These fish are also called peacock bass and are very popular as a game fish. Their large size makes them hard to house in most tanks. They can get up to about 75 cm long in captivity. These fish grow wide, so a 60 cm fish would weigh about 2 kg. They can do OK with other fish as juveniles, but once they get big, a species tank is best. These a predatory fish and will eat anything that moves and can fit in its mouth. So tankmates should be of good size. Recommended foods are live feeders (crayfish, small fish, large fish, insects, etc.), frozen and freeze dried foods, and carnivore pellets. They are semi-aggressive, and won't really attack anything unless it plans on eating it. However, during spawning they do tend to get a bit aggressive. When the peacock bass spawns, the male digs a crater-like hole and guards it until a female comes. When they finish mating, the male guards the eggs until they hatch, chasing away anything that comes near it. Once the eggs hatch, the male guards the fry until they eventually swim off on their own.

Contributed by a visitor

I'm not too familiar with all the scientific names, but I'm pretty sure this is a Peacock Bass! These things grow big, I mean big....gynormous! I had one and they are real fun to keep, kinda like an Oscar, but with a bigger appetite. I bought mine at the local pet store he was about 3 cm long. I had him for like two years then I eventually had to give him back because he got too big for my 400 L! He was like close to 30 cm or more, I never took him out and measured him. They are not that aggresive and will get along with other cichlids as long as they are too big to eat. They eat cichlid pellets, worms, and feeders. By the way, don't give them feeders from the pet store because nine out of ten carry diseases, I learned from experience with my oscar...I miss it. Anyway, I invested in a 75 L tank, now I buy feeders, keep them in there and treat them so they don't carry disease, after about a month in the tank and I find nothing wrong with them I grab a couple and drop them in the cichlid tank and watch the fun begin. Feeders have little nutrition, they are mostly for show and it helps the cichlids get exercise before eating. Pellets, earthworms, and if your cichlids are omnivores some greens will be great for them.

Contributed by Yousif

I have a peacock bass and it is the best fish I have ever had. I have had him for about 3 years and I feed him on gold fish. He will eat 3 gold fish a day and the gold fish are the biggest one he will eat. He goes for me out side of the tank and anything that moves by the tank, like a flies or my dog's tail. Great fish, get one if you can, you won't be disappointed. Oh yeah, his name is Billy, Billy the Bass LOL.

Contributed by Adam

Cichla sp. need very clean water and a huge tank with good biological filtration. You will need at least 700 L tank for even a subadult. A 30% water change every 10 to 12 days is suggested - that means 200 L or more. You will need to feed them about 300 grams of food daily: feeder gold fish (which will more than likely bring parasites and disaeses) beef heart, large krill and earth worms. If you have a lot of extra time and space, this fish will be a nice show fish and a good conversation piece. Just don't exspect to keep this fish in a 400 or 500 L.

Contributed by a visitor

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