The Kelberi Peacock Bass (Cichla kelberi) is one of the smaller species of Peacock Bass available within the hobby, with a max size of around 18″ in length, but more commonly only reaching about 10″ to 12″ in length within the aquarium environment. Even the largest Kelberi Peacock Bass is quite reasonable in size compared to many of the other species of Peacock Bass who routinely reach lengths upwards of 28″ or more.
Cichla kelberi are collected from the Rio Araguaia drainage and the lower Rio Tocantins drainage located within the Brazilian Amazon. These areas tend to be lower flow and with less overall water volume than the main stems of the Amazon River where many of the larger Peacock Bass like Cichla monoculus are collected from. More narrow, slower moving and more highly vegetated water ways has most likely played a large part in the Kelberi Peacock Bass evolving into a smaller Peacock Bass species in order to better ambush prey in their native environment.
Cichla kelberi is distinguished from all other species of Cichla by presence in adults of small light spots on the pelvic and anal fins, and lower lobe of caudal fin. Cichla kelberi have similarities to C. monoculus and C. pleiozona in that they both have three dark vertical bars on their sides, a pronounced occipital bar in larger specimens, absence of black or ocellated markings laterally on head, and presence of irregular dark blotches on anterior abdominal side and typical absence of bar 4.
Dominant or breeding males will exhibit yellow or golden coloration on their side, vertical black bars, a greenish head without black spots, white chest, abdomen and ventral aspect of caudal fin base. The yellow coloration on the sides is interspersed with numerous small black spots dorsally. Additionally, they will exhibit prominently a dark grey nuchal hump.
Dominant or breeding females tend to exhibit yellowish to golden coloration on their sides and yellow on the cheek and gill covers. Their lower jaw, chest, abdomen and the ventral side of caudal peduncle will be white or light yellow in color. They will generally have light spots along their sides, a light caudal eyespot and spots on anal fin yellow.
- Species – Cichla Kelberi
- Common Name – Peacock Bass Kelberi
- Origin – Amazon Basin/River
- Diet – Piscivore, Canivour
- PH Range – Prefer Neutral but can be 6.5 – 7.5
- Temperature – Tropical 26–28°c
- Breed Type – Egg layer
- Current Size – approximately 7cm (Grows to approximately 70cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed