Sunshine peacock cichlid Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

The Sunshine Peacock Cichlid is a beautiful and popular freshwater fish that’s perfect for intermediate aquarists.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Sunshine Peacock Cichlid care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Sunshine peacock cichlids (scientific name: Aulonocara stuartgranti) are found in Lake Malawi which is located in Eastern Africa. These cichlids are part of the Haplochromini tribe which contains some of the most popular freshwater fish in the aquarium scene.

Sunshine peacock cichlids get their name from their bright yellow coloration which is accented by a few blue stripes. They are a relatively small cichlid, only reaching about 6 inches (15 cm) in length at most.

In the wild, these cichlids are mostly peaceful although they can be a bit territorial when it comes to their mating and breeding habits. They are also known to be quite good at parenting and will work together to care for their fry.

Overall, sunshine peacock cichlids are a great choice for most aquariums. They are beautiful fish that are relatively easy to care for and make great additions to any freshwater setup.


Sunshine peacock cichlid

The Sunshine Peacock Cichlid is one of the most colorful freshwater fish in the world. As their name suggests, they are a beautiful golden color with orange and red accents. The colors on these fish are so bright that they almost seem to glow.

Males are usually more colorful than females, but both sexes are quite beautiful. The colors on these fish can vary depending on their mood and the time of year.

In terms of body shape, Sunshine Peacock Cichlids are relatively slender. They have a long body that tapers down to a point at the end.

Their dorsal and anal fins are large and begin about two-thirds of the way back on their bodies. Both of these fins are tall and have a bit of a ruffled appearance.

The caudal fin on these fish is forked and relatively large. It’s about the same height as the dorsal and anal fins.

Sunshine Peacock Cichlids have a small mouth that is lined with sharp teeth. They also have a protruding lower jaw.


The average lifespan of a Sunshine Peacock Cichlid is around 10 years. However, there are a number of factors that can impact their lifespan, both positively and negatively.

For instance, if they’re kept in a crowded tank then their lifespan will be shorter. This is because they’ll be more stressed and more likely to contract diseases.

On the other hand, if they’re kept in a spacious tank with plenty of hiding spots then their lifespan will be longer. This is because they’ll be less stressed and more likely to stay healthy.


The Sunshine Peacock Cichlid can grow to be about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) long. They are one of the smaller cichlid species and do not grow as large as some of the others, such as the Texas Cichlid.


Tank Size

The recommended tank size for Sunshine Peacock cichlids is 50 gallons. This is for a single fish but you will need to increase the size of the tank if you want to keep more than one.

As a general rule of thumb, you will need an additional 20-30 gallons for each addition fish. So, if you wanted to keep a group of 5 fish you would need a tank that is at least 250 gallons.

Water Parameters

The Sunshine Peacock cichlid is a hardy fish that can live in a range of water conditions. However, they will be the most vibrant and healthy in water that resembles their natural habitat.

To create an environment that is as close to their natural habitat as possible, you should maintain the following water parameters.

  • Water temperature: 76 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 7.0 to 8.5
  • Water hardness: 10 to 18 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Sunshine peacock cichlids are known for being semi-aggressive, so it’s important to set up their tank in a way that allows them to coexist peacefully with their tankmates.

One of the best ways to do this is to provide them with plenty of hiding spots. This could be in the form of plants, driftwood, or caves.

Sunshine peacock cichlids also love to dig, so a soft substrate is a must. Something like sand or gravel will work perfectly.

Another important thing to remember is that these fish get big. When fully grown they can reach up to 12 inches in length, so it’s important to provide them with a tank that’s at least 75 gallons.

Common Diseases

The Sunshine Peacock Cichlid is a hardy fish that is relatively resistant to disease. However, there are still a few illnesses that this fish is prone to.

The most common disease that affects the Sunshine Peacock Cichlid is Hole in the Head Disease. This disease is caused by poor water quality and the presence of activated carbon in the tank.

This disease presents itself as one or two pits/holes in the skin of your fish’s head. While it’s almost always curable (fixing your water quality and removing activated carbon is usually all you need to do), it will usually leave some scarring on your poor fish!

The other disease you might see in your Sunshine Peacock Cichlid is Ich. This is a very common disease that affects freshwater fish. It presents itself as white spots on the body, fins, and gills of your fish.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your fish, it’s important to act fast. Ich can be treated, but it’s important to do so quickly before the disease has a chance to spread.

Behavior & Temperament

Sunshine peacock cichlids are beautiful fish that are known for being peaceful and easy to care for. They’re a perfect choice for beginner aquarists who want to add some color to their tank.

Despite their name, sunshine peacock cichlids don’t need a lot of sunlight to thrive. They’re adaptable fish that can live in a variety of different water conditions.

As far as temperament goes, sunshine peacock cichlids are relatively peaceful. They’re not known for being aggressive, but they can be if they feel threatened. These fish are also known to be fin nippers, so it’s best to keep them with fish that have similar body shapes.

Tank Mates

Sunshine peacock cichlids are a bit more aggressive than most other freshwater aquarium fish. As a result, they’re not the best community fish.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t keep them with other fish. You just need to be more careful about choosing compatible tank mates.

In general, you want to look for fish that are:


The Sunshine Peacock Cichlid is a beautiful fish that’s beloved by many hobbyists. They’re not too difficult to breed, but there are a few things you need to do to increase your chances of success.

First, you need to set up a breeding tank. It should hold at least 50 gallons of water and have a sandy bottom. Add some rocks and caves for the fish to hide in.

Then, you need to adjust the water parameters. The ideal temperature is between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be between 7.5 and 8.5.

When everything is ready, add two females for every male. The males are the ones with the more colorful fins.

As the fish acclimate to their new home, feed them plenty of live foods. Brine shrimp and bloodworms work well.

Once the fish are comfortable, you should start to see some spawning activity. The female will lay her eggs on a flat surface, like a rock or piece of driftwood. The male will then fertilize them.

After that, it’s up to the male to guard the eggs and fry. He will fan them with his fins to keep them oxygenated and free of debris.

The eggs will hatch in about three days. At that point, you can start feeding the fry baby brine shrimp and other small live foods.

As they grow, you can transition them to flake food. They should be ready to join the adults in the main tank when they’re about two inches long.


The Sunshine Peacock Cichlid is a great fish for anyone who wants a little bit of color in their life. They’re also relatively easy to care for, which is always a plus.

While they can be a little aggressive, they typically do well with other fish as long as they’re introduced properly.

Overall, we think the Sunshine Peacock Cichlid is a great option for anyone looking for a new fish!