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8 Best Peacock Eel Tank Mates (With Pictures)

Peacock eels are not your typical tank fish. These pet fish have long slim bodies that are eel-like, hence their name peacock eel.

They are also on the large side and have a unique but cool aesthetic. All in all, peacock eels are not difficult to care for as long as you have a big enough tank.

Still, you do want to choose the right tank mates for this freshwater breed.

In this post, I’ll be going over the best peacock eel tank mates. I’ll talk about specific fish breeds that are perfect pets to house with a peacock eel.

In addition, I’ll also go over some quick care tips and considerations you want to make for each breed.

You want to make sure that your tank is set up for both your peacock eel and other tank pets!


Swordtails get along with a number of fish breeds, this includes peacock eels. And, the swordtail is an ideal size to put in a tank with your pet peacock eel fish!

Both swordtails and eel fish are easygoing and won’t get into conflict with one another. And these fish do share comparable tank requirements.

So they are compatible breeds that can share the same living space.

Swordtails can easily acclimate to the tropical tank conditions of your eel’s water. And, actually, the swordtail is a tropical fish.

Swordtails also come in all sorts of colors and can really liven up your aquarium. It’s not that peacock eels are boring to look at, but they do come in more muted tones.

So, the fresh colors of a swordtail can be a great addition to your tank!

Again, swordtails work great with all kinds of tank pets. But I recommend getting female swordtails since multiple male swordtails can get aggressive with one another.

Forktail Rainbowfish

Forktail Rainbow fish by CheepShot (CC BY 2.0)

The next peacock eel tankmate I will be talking about is the forktail rainbowfish. This is another fish that is the perfect size and temperament for your eel fish.

The rainbowfish has a great look and boast some of the most vibrant colors in an underwater setting.

These are gorgeous and peaceful fish that won’t cause any drama in your tank. But, you need to keep your tank conditions in great shape when you house these fish.

Rainbowfish are not the most robust pets. So, they need a very stable and clean tank environment to thrive in.

They can live in a range of temperatures, but your tank does need to have consistent parameters. You will also need a larger tank even though these are small fish.

Overall this is a great breed if you are looking for a small but nice-looking group of fish to put in your tank.

I would highly recommend forktail rainbowfish as a tank mate for your peacock eel.

Polypterus Senegalus

Polypterus senegalus (male and female) by TVRGolf (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Polypterus senegalus have an even more unique look than the peacock eel. The senegalus have the same long and thin eel-like body as the peacock.

But, they also have fins at the front of their body that looks and act almost like arms. These fish look prehistoric and are a nice complimentary breed to peacock eels.

They can also live in water and above water. This is due to the special organs that let them breathe in air and survive in underwater conditions, as well.

Polypterus senegalus can live in a wide range of climates too and they tend to be very hard fish. So they can live with other tropical fish and freshwater fish without any problems.

Overall, these are pretty peaceful and interesting fish. You just need to make sure that you have the lid on your tank secured, as these pets can escape from your tank easily!

Otocinclus Catfish

The otocinclus catfish are another fun and atypical fish breed you could introduce to your peacock eel fish. This breed has a range of colors and patterns to choose from.

Which can make it exciting to fill your tank with these fish. Otocinclus catfish are also super easy-going and simple to take care of.

The best part about this breed is that they will also keep your tank cleaner.

Especially if you have tank plants, I recommend getting this kind of fish for your peacock eel tank.

Though peacock eels do tend to uproot tank plants if you have floating plants this could work as great tank coverage for all your pets.

Otocinclus also like to hang around the bottom area of your aquarium. So, your eel fish will have plenty of company.

These fish also enjoy the same tank conditions as your peacock eel. So, you won’t have to greatly adjust the water parameters of your tank.

On the whole, I would highly recommend this breed to tank owners with peacock eels.


Harlequin rasbora by Juan R. Lascorz (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Rasboras are small but just the right size to fit in a tank with the much larger peacock eel. These multicolor fish are fast, kind, and great tank pets.

You will have to purchase them in a group, as these are schooling fish. But, the rasboras are not demanding fish, and they make for a great community tank atmosphere.

Rasboras like water that is on the warmer side, but they can fit within the climate requirements for the peacock eel.

And, since this is a schooling fish, you will need to have an efficient filter system. Multiple rasboras can make a bit of a mess in your tank.

And usually, these fish will swim in groups of seven.

Usually, these fish will have three primary colors. They have a nice black, silver, and orange body color. Rasboras also live for up to five to seven years.

So you can keep these pets for a long time.


Some people are off-put by the shape and look of the Hatchetfish. But, I think this is another great fish breed to have in a tank with your less than conventional peacock eel.

The hatchet fish tends to stay towards the top of your tank and they have huge throats. They almost have the look of a pelican with the way the bottom half of their body is shaped.

These fish can be harder to care for, but if you have experience with aquariums they shouldn’t be difficult to deal with.

There are also several different breeds of hatchet fish to choose from that range in color and size.

Any one of these fish can live with your peacock eel.


Gouramis fish are really striking fish that also fit well with peacock eels. The gouramis come in a range of nice tropical colors.

And it enjoys similar climate requirements as eel fish. Gouramis are dual breathers as they can breathe in both air and water.

These fish also look fancier than other types of pet fish.

So, they can really add to the atmosphere of an aquarium. You will need a larger tank to house these fish, especially with certain breeds.

So consider this as you get your aquarium for your peacock eel and your gouramis. They both need to fit comfortably in your tank.

Jack Dempsey

The final tank mate for peacock eels I will talk about is the jack dempsey. Jack dempsey fish are larger fish that will also grow up to a foot long in their tanks.

Considering this, you want to have plenty of space in your aquarium for your two fish. These thick and oval-shaped tropical fish are easy to put in a tank community.

However, you will really have to keep up with tank maintenance to keep these fish. These are not beginner tank pets at all.

Still, if you are looking to have the best peacock eel tank mates, I couldn’t recommend this fish enough. Jack dempsey fish are some of the most eye-catching aquatic fish out there.

You just need to have the right equipment and set up for your fish!

Are Peacock Eels Aggressive?

Peacock (above) and Pangio kuhlii (below) by Bonhilda (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Many people assume that these large fish are aggressive. Especially considering their association with eels. However, peacock eels are actually relatively peaceful tank fish.

You won’t have any behavioral issues with your peacock. And, you can put all kinds of pet fish in with your peacock eel.

For the most part, I would say that these fish are more shy than anything. If they get nervous or scared they will sink into the substrate and try to hide.

They are not confrontational fish in the least and they like living in fish communities.

Though, on occasions, they have been known to eat very small fish. This is pretty rare though.

And is limited to fish that are of a similar size to tetra. Shrimp and guppies will also be a poor match for your fish.

But other than this, most fish won’t get eaten by your eel fish. So, I wouldn’t be too worried about any of your fish getting eaten.

Especially the fish on this list, since they are fine living with your larger peacock eel.

Really the only time your pet could get aggressive is when you put in another peacock eel.

With other fish, your pet will be fine, but with another eel fish, they could start to have territory issues.

So, I don’t recommend getting two peacock eels. One peacock with many tank mates is a much better solution!

Tank Requirements For Your Peacock Eel

The tank requirements for peacock eels will fit with many other fish breeds. However, you want to make sure that your pet is living in a tank that is safe and healthy for them.

First and foremost, your peacock eel will enjoy swimming near the bottom area of your aquarium. So, you need to make sure that your tank is set up properly.

This way your pet doesn’t get injured.

You will need to put soft substrates into your tank. This can include sand and more earthy types of substrates that won’t cut into your eel’s flesh.

In other words, I don’t recommend using gravel substrates or other rough rock substrates for this breed of fish.

Once you have your substrate bought, you will need to get a tank. I recommend getting a large tank for your fish.

Peacock eels are born small, but they gradually get larger. In fact, these fish can even reach measurements of a foot long.

At the very least, you will need to have a tank that is forty gallons for one of these fish.

But if you are getting more than one fish or other tank mates, your tank size should be bigger for sure.

Furthermore, make sure the water conditions are correct for your pet. The temperature in your tank should also stay relatively stable.

Usually, this breed of fish will need to be in water that is between 73 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit.


Peacock eels are beautiful and unique tank pets that can really add something special to your aquarium.

You will need a larger tank set up to keep these pets. But they are totally worth the investment. Still, pet owners need to pick out the right tank mates for their peacock eel.

These are not aggressive fish by any means. But some smaller fish can be eaten by your eel. So, you want to choose your fish tank mates well!

I went over some of the best peacock eel tank mates here. Several great breeds were discussed in detail and expanded on to help you find the best match for your fish.

In addition, I also went over the tank requirements for these fish. Again, you want to have a larger tank space for your peacock eels and any other fish.

Your eel fish can grow very large and a small tank could impact their health.

Finally, make sure that you don’t put other peacock eels in with your pet. This could lead to aggression and harm to your pets overall.

Other than this, though, you shouldn’t have any issues with your peacock eel.

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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