How To Tell If A Strawberry Peacock Cichlid Is Male Or Female

Strawberry Peacock Cichlid

Here are a few methods to determine the gender of your strawberry peacock cichlid.

Visual Clues:

1. Coloration: One sign is when male strawberry peacocks showcase bright reds, oranges, and yellows, whereas females usually appear in a plain silver or grey hue. Yet this method isn’t foolproof. There are instances where females may exhibit some coloring, particularly if they hold a position among the fish in the tank.

2. Fin Shape: In general male fish often have dorsal and anal fins (located on their back and close to the tail), whereas females typically possess rounded fins.

Venting (Advanced):

When checking a fish’s gender, it’s best to avoid inspecting its genitals, especially if you’re new to it, because it might make the fish anxious. This task is better suited for an experienced fishkeeper.
In male strawberry peacock cichlids, both openings are usually similar in size and shape, whereas in females, one opening tends to be larger than the other.

Here are some additional tips:

Age: Determining the age of strawberry peacock cichlid juveniles can be challenging. Although their colors may not yet be fully developed, they make it easier to identify their gender when they reach adult size.
Observation: Observe how your fish behave. Male fish usually show aggression. Perform to attract female fish. If you’re not certain about the gender of your strawberry peacock cichlid, it’s wise to be cautious. Having one male fish with a female fish can decrease aggressive behavior. Seeking advice, from a fish store or an experienced aquarist can also be beneficial.

Strawberry Peacock Cichlid1

General Information about Strawberry Peacock Cichlid

The Strawberry Peacock Cichlid, commonly referred to as Aulonocara sp. “Stuartgranti Maleri” or the Strawberry Peacock is a choice, for those who enjoy keeping freshwater fish in aquariums. Let me share some details, about these creatures;

Size: These cichlids generally reach a size of 4 6 inches (10 15 cm), with males being a bit larger than females.

Behavior: Strawberry Peacock Cichlids are known for their calm nature compared to other cichlid types, though they still display typical cichlid traits such as territorial behavior. They can coexist with species in community tanks, but ensuring ample room and hiding places is crucial to reducing aggression.

Tank Requirements: They like to have a fish tank that has lots of spots for them to hide, like rocks, caves, and plants. It’s important to keep the water conditions with a pH level between 7.5 and 8.5, a temperature ranging from 75 82°F (24 28°C), and a water hardness of 10 20 dGH.

Diet: These colorful cichlids enjoy a diet that includes quality pellets, flakes, frozen foods, and live treats. Offering them a menu will keep them healthy. Show off their vibrant colors.

Breeding: Strawberry Peacocks are known for their breeding habits. The males showcase their hues to catch the attention of mates. Once a female lays her eggs on a rock the male fertilizes them. The female then carries the eggs in her mouth until they hatch, after a period of around three weeks.

How do I know if my peacock cichlid is holding?

Visible Signs:

  • Bulging Throat:  One clear indication is the pouch or bulge below the mouth, which serves as a space for the female to carry the eggs or young fish.
  • Less Activity: Pregnant females often show low activity levels. They prefer to conceal themselves among rocks or in caves. They may also become more withdrawn. Avoid interactions with fish.
  • Shallow Swimming: They may swim with a posture or stay closer to the tank’s bottom to safeguard the eggs or fry in their mouth.
  • Reduced Feeding: They might eat less when they have something in their mouth. Not eat all while they are holding it.

Behavioral Signs:

  • Increased Aggression:  Female fish may exhibit increased aggressiveness towards fish tankmates that threaten their eggs or fry.


If you suspect breeding activity in your tank, consider the following:

  • Gestation Period:  Strawberry Peacock cichlids typically carry their eggs. Fry, for 3 to 4 weeks following fertilization. Therefore if you observed breeding actions a couple of weeks back a noticeable swollen throat is a sign that they are holding onto their offspring.

It’s worth mentioning that these signals aren’t absolute. Certain women may not display all of them, and other fish could show actions.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Observe Other Fish:  If you have peacocks observe how they behave. Typically, the female in charge will be the reserved and assertive among them.
  • Experience Helps:  The longer you watch your fish the more you’ll notice these signals.

Recommended Reading: Is A Serpent Starfish Reef Safe?

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