Care Guide for Blood Parrot Cichlids: The Hybrid with a Tiny Mouth

Care Guide for Blood Parrot Cichlids: The Hybrid with A Tiny Mouth

Blood parrot cichlids are super cool, derpy fish that we have previously kept in an 800-gallon aquarium. They are a great choice over other animals that could be kept in the aquarium. They possess an interesting mix of features – larger size, bright color, and yet a smaller mouth that makes them less likely to damage or eat other fish. They are easy to keep provided you have enough space in your tank and the right food.

What is a Blood Parrot Cichlid?

This is not the saltwater parrotfish, but rather a freshwater hybrid fish developed in Taiwan from a mix of mostly Central American cichlids. Although there are many theories regarding their lineage, some speculate that they may be:

– Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) – Redhead cichlid (Vieja melanurus) – Red devil cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus)

Blood parrots can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, a little bigger than a softball, and they enjoy swimming in the mid-levels of the water. Their round heads and small, deformed faces give them their common name. They look much like a parrot’s beak.

What kinds of blood parrots exist? They are available in many colors, including red and white, yellow and purple (i.e. deep red). Blood parrots have been further hybridized with other cichlids to develop the super-sized King Kong parrot, platinum or snow white parrot, polar blue parrot, and kirin (or flowerhorn) parrot cichlid.

Blood parrots tend to range from red to yellow in color, but more varieties have been produced by crossing them with other cichlids.

How much do blood parrot cichlids cost? They are more expensive than your average freshwater fish and can range from $15-20 or higher, depending on the variety. Red blood parrots are commonly available at big pet store chains, like Petco and PetSmart.

Why does my blood parrot or cichlid turn black? Juveniles are usually paler than adult fish and can have black markings at the beginning. These black spots may appear and disappear throughout their lifetime, but they usually fade as the fish gets bigger and more colorful with age. Try different ways to decrease stress in your fish, such as increasing water quality and reducing aggression.

How to Set Up an Aquarium for Blood Parrots

Unlike many man-made fish, blood parrots are surprisingly robust and can tolerate a wide variety of temperatures from 72-82degF (22-28degC) and pH between 6.5-8.0. We often keep them in planted aquariums because they don’t dig a lot and their mouths are too small to destroy plants.

What number of blood parrots is possible to keep together? Can they live alone? We like to keep them in groups, but you can keep one blood parrot in a 30-gallon tank, three blood parrots in a 55-gallon tank, or five to six blood parrots in a 75-gallon tank. This is similar to the tank size requirements for a fancy goldfish, such that each fish needs at least 20-30 gallons of water. We recommend you get one, three, or more blood parrots. If you only get one, the dominant one will be the one that dominates the other.

During spawning seasons, blood parrots can display more aggressive behavior than usual.

Are blood-parrot cichlids aggressive or friendly? However, their small mouths make them less likely to physically damage or eat tank mates that can’t fit inside. If you notice your blood parrots are being bullies (or are constantly hiding from the main bully), reduce the aggression by placing tall decorations that block line of sight, providing more shelters, adding dither fish, or upgrading the tank size.

What fish can you put with blood parrots? Keep them with other peaceful or semi-aggressive fish that are similar-sized and can live in the same environmental conditions. That means no to guppies, betta fish, or goldfish. Common tank mates for blood parrot cichlids include oscars, angelfish, larger tetras, and of course more blood parrots. We personally have kept them with clown loaches, a Mbu puffer, giraffe catfish, and clouded archerfish.

What do Blood Red Parrots Eat?

It is often difficult to find the right foods for blood parrots. Their tiny mouths don’t open and close well so they must carefully align their bodies with the food before swimming forward to “scoop it in”. They might become distracted and outcompeted at mealtimes. Therefore, they will need something that is easy to swallow. Consider feeding small pellets to juveniles, and smaller pellets to adults. We believe they prefer floating pellets, as the cichlids will be able to reach the food from beneath it and gravity will allow the granules of the food to fall into the container. Hikari Red Parrot+ is a food specifically designed for blood parrots. It contains color-enhancing ingredients that increase their redness.

Their small, triangular mouths make it easier to scoop in food than to eat.

How do Blood Parrot Cichlids Reproduce?

Hobbyists cannot reliably raise blood parrots because males are often infertile. They will try, however. If the female lays her eggs on a flat surface, both parents will protect them from predators. Females can be crossed with other similar-sized Central American cichlids, but the offspring rarely look like or have the beautiful colors of blood red parrots.

We realize that man-made hybrids are not everyone’s cup of tea, but they are an attractive choice if you want to make a larger community tank with aquarium plants. While we do not ship fish, you can visit our preferred online vendors to find the perfect parrot cichlid for you.