OB Peacocks are a man made cross bred species,
not a naturally occurring fish at all. The name "OB"
is used to describe the varying black "blotches" that
occur in many cichlid species. The originally discovered "OB"'s
were "orange blotched", orange as you would expect,
but the name has stuck and is used to describe all "blotched"
fish, including those that are more pink/white, than orange. You
will see quite a variety of colours on these fish, including varying
degrees of blues, reds and yellows, as well as the pinkish/white
background, and the dark blotches.
The exact lineage of OB Peacocks is unknown,
but a number of fish have been hypothesized to be used in these
breedings. It seems likely that a species of Aulonocara was used
and possibly a Haplochromine from Lake Malawi such as Scienochromis
fryeri. To obtain the "blotched" genetics, another group
of fish would have been utilized, as the OB trait does not occur
naturally in Lake Malawi Aulonocara or the Lake Malawi Haplochromis
group. Many people have hypothesized that it could be an OB mbuna
from Lake Malawi, and that certainly is possible, but so is one
of the Lake Victorian basin Haplochromines such as Paralabidochromis
chromogynos. It should be noted that while some fish sources call
this fish Aulonocara OB, it is most certainly not an Aulonocara,
and should be called OB Peacock, given its hybrid origins.
Given that this species has been derived from
a number of hybrids, it is no surprise that we see a great deal
of variability in behaviour. We have seen some specimens who are
quite aggressive, and on average they are best be kept in tanks
with more aggressive fish, such as mbuna, or larger more aggressive
Haplochromines. Many people keep them in all male Peacock tanks
and quite often they do well there. It should be expected that
they will be near the top of the dominance pyramid, if not at
If you plan on breeding these fish, at least
three females are recommended for each male. They are maternal
mouthbreeders, meaning the female holds the eggs in her mouth
until the babies are developed enough to swim on their own. (Typically
about 21-23 days, though they can hold the babies for another
few weeks after this point)
It is best to keep this fish in at least a four
foot long aquarium, of 55 gallons or more. Temperatures maintained
should be 76F-80F and with a pH of 7.0 or higher. Water stability
is important in keeping most cichlids, so good filtration, and
regular water changes are key to maintaining the health of your
fish . OB Peacocks should be fed high quality pellets or flake
food, typically used for African cichlids. While "treats"
are not necessary, mysis shrimp would be a good frozen food, while
moderate amounts of brine shrimp are ok too. As always, avoid
mammalian animal products like beef heart and liver.