German & Ruby Red Peacock Cichlid Differences & Care RequirementsDustin Williams
Both German and Ruby Red Peacock Cichlids are popular freshwater aquarium fish. While both of these fish may be sometimes stocked in chain pet stores, they are most commonly sold by breeders that have linebred these species to achieve the brightest and purest colors. These cichlids are not native to the waters of the African rift lakes.
What Is the Difference Between German and Ruby Red Peacock Cichlids?
Simply put, German Red Cichlids are from Germany and Ruby Red Cichlids are American-bred. However, more differences between the two can be seen in the appearance of the two breeds; German Red Cichlids have a light red body with a bright blue face while Ruby Red Cichlids have a darker red body with a darker blue face. The German Red Peacock Cichlids were bred specifically to achieve a lighter body color while the Ruby Red Cichlids, also known as Rubin Red Peacock Cichlids, were imported to the United States by Peter Rubin directly from Africa.
Both of these red cichlids are generally docile in temperament and may be kept with other variations of the cichlid species in one tank. However, it is important that tank owners keep an eye out for aggressive males, as these are also common and may harm other tankmates, even of the same species.
What Tank Size for Red Peacock Cichlids Is Best?
Both the German and Ruby Red Cichlids may grow up to six inches in length, so a large tank is a must for these fish. A general rule of thumb is to have one gallon of tank space per one inch of fish on top of a base of 20 gallons. So, a tank with one red cichlid should be at least 26 gallons, and a tank with two cichlids should be at least 32 gallons.
Peacock Cichlids are native to the waters of Lake Malawi in Africa, and they prefer tank conditions that mimic the lake’s waters. The best pH level for these fish is between 7.5 and 8.4, and the best temperature for these fish is between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They also do not require the use of a water pump, but they will tolerate it if other fish in the tank do.
What Is the Best Substrate for Red Peacock Cichlids?
The African lake from which Peacock Cichlids come is a rift lake, meaning it is a lake that was created when a valley filled up with water over time. This also means that the bottom of the lake is very soft and is not gravel-based, which in turn means these cichlids are not accustomed to gravel-floor aquariums.
The best substrate for these cichlids is sand-based substrate, specifically aragonite sand substrate. Aragonite substrate not only is soft enough for cichlids to dig in, but it is made from calcium carbonate, which is a substance with a naturally high pH level that these fish are used to as well.
When you add substrate to your tank, be sure to use at least one pound of substrate for every one gallon of water in the tank. For example, a 10-gallon tank should have at least 10 pounds of substrate added to the bottom. This will create a one-inch lining on the floor of the aquarium, though you may add twice as much to achieve a two-inch lining if you prefer.
What Is Best to Feed Red Peacock Cichlids?
Both German and Ruby Red varieties of the cichlid family are carnivorous, meaning they will only eat meat-based food products. A lot of basic fish flakes and fish pellets will provide the protein they crave, especially plankton-based flakes. These fish can also be fed brine shrimp and blood worms as diet supplements. It’s important to note that the red hues of these fish are most vibrant when they are given proper diets, so supplying them with food like this daily is a must.