Peckoltia braueri has long been one of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby, and it’s not hard to see why. Its striking appearance and relatively peaceful demeanor make it a great addition to just about any community tank, including those housing angels, other cichlids, and catfish such as plecos or bristlenose plecos.
If you have your heart set on keeping this species in your home, make sure you know everything there is to know about Peckoltia braueri care and species profile before taking one home!
Peckoltia braueri is an active, peaceful fish that prefers to be kept in groups of three or more. They can be found in the Tapajós River basin of Brazil, where it dwells in blackwater environments of quiet tributaries and backwaters lined with leaf litter. They grow to around 10.3 cm (4 in) and live up to 5 years in captivity.
Origin and descriptions
Peckoltia braueri is a species of freshwater fish. This freshwater species is native to South America and is an annual killifish. Peckoltia breueri can be distinguished from all other Pecolita by possessing a unique bluish coloration along its body as well as distinctive yellow markings on its head.
These particular characteristics give this fish its common name, just like the peacock cichlid. The actual physical size of peckoltia braueri also differs depending on which region it was found in. However, it has been noted that they are relatively small compared to most other cichlids in South America.
Peckoltia braueri are active catfish with large adult females reaching lengths of up to 4 inches. They are not as long-lived as most other Loricariidae catfish, however, often only live two to three years in captivity. Still, these fish remain readily available at a wide range of price points and we highly recommend them for aquarists looking for an interesting addition to their community tanks.
Note that this fish prefers soft acidic water (pH 3–6) and should be kept in schools of 5 or more individuals (preferably 10+). Be sure to match school size with tank size! This species is relatively peaceful towards other bottom dwellers but can become territorial when they reach sexual maturity so it is important to provide plenty of hiding places.
The Peckoltia braueri is a species that originates from South America, where it inhabits small rocky streams and small pools of water in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and other surrounding countries. They do not thrive in larger bodies of water as there is not enough rock for them to hide behind.
Peckoltia braueri size
These species can grow up to 4 inches (10.3 cm) in length.
Peckoltia braueri tank size
The minimum recommended tank size for these species is 30 gallons.
Tank set up
The tank should be at least 30 gallons, with a sand or gravel substrate and plenty of caves for hiding. The water should be slightly acidic (pH 6.0 to 7.0) and kept on the soft side (hardness up to 15 dGH). Lighting shouldn’t be too bright; an under-tank heater is necessary, and don’t forget a filter! Water changes of around 30% per week are recommended.
While it may not appear from pictures of its natural habitat, Peckoltia Braueri likes well-oxygenated water. As such, frequent partial water changes will help keep your fish healthy.
Peckoltia braueri tank mates
Peckoltia Braueri is a schooling fish, so it should be kept in groups of at least three or more. It’s best to keep these fish with other peaceful bottom dwellers such as Amano Shrimp and Otocinclus Catfish. These fish do not do well with aggressive tank mates that may nip their fins or eat their fry; these include Jack Dempsey Cichlids, African Cichlids, Red-tailed Black Sharks, and other Peckoltia species.
Peckoltia braueri breeding
Peckoltia braueri is a peaceful and active fish that should be kept in a school of at least 4-6. They will breed without any additional effort, other than maintaining good water quality, oxygenation, and low-stress levels. The male builds a bubble nest and when it is complete, he will entice females to lay eggs inside. A female can lay up to 20 eggs per day, over 3-4 days.
Once they have been fertilized by the male, they will hatch within some days. Once hatched, they are ready to eat small foods such as baby brine shrimp or finely crushed flakes (no larger than 2mm). With proper nutrition and care, these fish have been known to live up to 8 years.
Are they aggressive or peaceful?
Peckoltia are peaceful fish. They will swim away from any aggression and are known to be skittish, so do not bother them if you can help it. If you notice your Peckolita is in a tank with other aggressive fish, set up a divider between your Peckolita and other species of fish. You should always check for injuries on new additions to your tank, especially Peckolita, as they tend to hide when distressed.
Peckoltia braueri care
Peckoltia braueri is a very easy cichlid to care for and is best kept in a small (30 gallons) community tank. As with many small South American fish, P. braueri is an opportunistic feeder and will readily eat anything that will fit into its mouth.
A diet of high-quality flakes or pellets works well; they enjoy live foods such as brine shrimp and worms, but it’s not necessary to add these things every day. They are also particularly fond of snails so if you have a few extra shells around, they will usually make themselves at home quite quickly.
What they eat
This bottom-dwelling, peaceful fish is a voracious eater. Peckoltia braueri eats a variety of foods including worms, brine shrimp, and dried foods like flakes and pellets. They are not very particular about food as long as it’s nutritious!
Ideal water pH – 7.6-8, Temperature – 72-75°F (22-24°C), Specific Gravity – 1.020-1.025, and dH range – 4-12°. Maintain a temperature of between 22 and 24°C (72 and 75°F). Lower temperatures will reduce feeding, resulting in reduced growth rate and size. Higher temperatures will cause health problems such as fin rot and bacterial infections to appear more frequently as well as aggressive behavior from males toward females.
Peckoltia braueri lifespan
Peckoltia braueri is a good candidate for a long-term aquarium as it can live as long as 12 years in captivity. While its lifespan will typically be between 7 and 10 years, expect it to live for 12 if you maintain a proper tank environment.
Parasites and diseases
Because they’re wild-caught, P. braueri fish are susceptible to a host of parasites and diseases; however, most can be removed by quarantine procedures. Feed them a varied diet of bloodworms, daphnia and other fresh food after quarantining for at least four weeks (6-8 is best). Provide water quality as close to that of their natural habitat as possible—this means low amounts of light and slow changes in temperature.
Peckoltia braueri is typically preyed upon by larger fish and larger aquarium inhabitants. A notable exception to that rule would be other Peckoltia species, but in most aquariums, these are not considered threats to.
Therefore, considering that P. braueri is a bottom dweller that feeds primarily on algae and biofilm (and possibly detritus), it is important to include some plants or woody material in their habitat.
Do they make good pets?
Peckoltia are one of several fish that are commonly referred to as dwarf cichlids. They typically grow between 2 and 4 inches, which makes them an excellent choice for aquariums that have limited space. They are generally very hardy species, and they can be aggressive towards other fish.