Peacock bass being substrate spawners can breed more often than just once a year. These beauties, in warmer climates, like in tropical regions in South America and Florida, can be in season once a month. In cooler conditions once or twice a year is a more typical breeding period. These wonderful fighting fish are an angler’s dream and sport fishermen everywhere enjoy the opportunity to test their mettle against the peacock bass. There are currently fifteen known species of the fish and these include: the butterfly peacock bass; the speckled peacock bass; the royal peacock bass and the blue peacock bass to name but a few.
The largest of the species is the speckled peacock bass, which can grow up to around one hundred centimetres long. Some of the various species have a spot on their tales, which looks like an eye; and this a deterrent to their predators. Some of the other species have a hump on their head. Most of them exhibit a colour pattern featuring three wide stripes down their bodies. They are an attractive looking fish, in general, and much sought after in Asia.
There is a substantial aquarium trade in these exotic beauties, as the fish are considered to be a colourful addition to tanks. As a large tropical fish they require tanks that hold between two hundred and three hundred gallons of water depending on the size and species of peacock bass. The peacock bass will eat smaller fish, so tank mates need to be of a similar size to the bass. The peacock bass can leap out of the tank if startled, so a lid is essential. Water filtration is a must as these fish produce more waste than most and feeding them often when immature, a few times a day is advised. Once a day is fine for the adult fish.
When sexually ripe the male develops a pronounced hump on its forehead. The wild peacock bass then cruises in search of a display ground to show his bona fides to passing females. This territory is aggressively defended from other male fish. When an interested female stops the male produces lateral displays and begins digging a bed area. The pair then will mate after a few false starts and the larger male leads the female to a nesting area. When they have bonded, then the spawning usually occurs in two weeks hence. Both fish will dig beds for the recently hatched larvae.