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Cichlasoma citrinellum x Cichlasoma synspilum
Blood Parrot Cichlid

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Blood Parrot Cichlid

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bloodparrot8.jpg (19kb)
Photo Credit: Michel Lalonde

We have 8 parrots ranging from 20 cm to about 8 cm. The larger pair was 20 cm when we got them. The others we got as youngsters about quarter to dollar size when they were grey coloured. All have turned colour to a rich deep yellow or glowing orange. One has remained two tone, black and golden yellow. They share an 320 L tank with a 40 cm sailfin pleco, 5 upside down catfish, some cardinals and zebra danio and a adult marble angel who was too agressive in his other tank. He minds his manners around the parrots.

While the parrots seem to have a typical cichlid pecking order, they are often testing for spots in their pot caves and under the rock and mopani over hangs during the day, they settle down together at night to sleep. The two large ones will actually team poke the large pleco to make him back up off sinking pellets at feeding or move away from a cave they want. The pleco is good natured about it and they shift out of his way if he decides to coast across the tank.

If stressed by water conditions (buffering has shifted with a water change) or unusual upheaval in territory (the introduction of the upside downs), they will develop black markings, something like they had when they were changing to adult colour, only to a lesser degree. This goes away as soon as the stressor goes or becomes a normal condition. We keep them at 26C, 7.2 pH and a little on the hard side of neutral (our normal water). The tank has a Hot Magnum and an Aquaclear 500 as well as a powerhead since it is 55 cm high to keep the water moving and oxygenated. They have never been ill.

They eat flake, live, frozen (thawed) or pellets either sinking or drifting. It is easier for them than floating but they will try that too. Their mouths do not work but they chew in their throats like goldfish. They get a variety. High quality food and frozen or dried shrimp and blood worm really bring out their colours. HBH makes an excellent cichlid pellet. They are quite clever at angling and grabbing for food or grabbing it off things. They will eat from my hand. They search the gravel for food.

They are very fast and agile, swimming in almost any position around objects as they see fit. Lately the large mated pair will poke my arm when I am moving things to clean in the tank. This pair (or one of them) seems to be sterile and laid eggs regularly when alone at the dealers. In our tank they haven't - too busy perhaps. Other people have pairs that are reproducing. They take a normal cichlid interest in any new addition of fish to the tank but do not seem aggressive.

Contributed by Trudy Snetsinger

I am from Turkey and Ive had 2 Blood Parrots in my aquarium for nearly 5 years. They are the same shape (250 grams and nearly 25 cm) but I can not say the same thing about the colour. One of them is orange but the other is half orange and half white. I feed them with shrimps, freeze dried worms, live worms, cichlid sticks and pieces of fish as I eat (I cut a small part when they are fresh and give to them). But I can not understand which one is male or female although I think that they are suitable for mating because of their sizes. Maybe they only send males to Turkey, I do not know. At the same time they are alone in my 150 liter aquarium. In summer I dont use a heater because outside is so hot (now it is August in Turkey and the temperature is 40C). I believe that to love blood parrots, you have to feed them well.

Contributed by Vaylk Cekic

I have 5 Parrots in my 300 liter tank. They were all gifts from my relatives. The colors are: red, blue,light blue, yellow and purple. I'm assuming that the colors outside of red are injected. I have just re-started the hobby and I guess my opinions are mixed about the fish. Yes they are beautiful, NO it's not right to breed a fish to be abnormal. They are very aggressive and territorial and I wish I didn't have them. My tank is an African Cichlid tank and, though the cichlids can fend for them selves, the Parrots are just a pain in the @**. I would recommend those who get these fish to be careful of tankmates, they are sneaky and attack even when unprovoked.

Contributed by Steven Yee

I'm new to the aquarium world and one of my first fish was the Parrot, although I didn't know its name until today. I have lovingly named mine Quasi Modo for obvious reasons. Yes, he is a little freakish, but aren't we all. This is a VERY sturdy fish. I obtained mine from Wal-Mart (which should be banned from selling fish). He has survived ich three times, eye cloud once, not to mention my inexpertise at caring for fish. Lucky for him, I'm learning. Lucky for me, he's almost invincible.

Contributed by Anita Sursace

I have had two Blood Parrots for about two months now. I keep them in my Cichlid tank. They get along with all of my other Cichlids: 2 Gold Severum Cichlids, 2 Fire Mouth Cichlids, 2 Sisica Cichlids, 2 Key Hole Cichlids, 1 Sun Catfish, 1 Fiddler Crab, 1 Pleco, 1 Hillstream (Borneo Sucker) Loach and 1 Spot Fin Spiny Eel. There is minimal aggression in my Cichlid Tank, but my female Blood Parrot Cichlid is so testy about any other cichlid/fauna that goes anywhere near her cavern. Even if the male Blood Parrot goes near it she will filp! This fauna is a wonderful and really beautiful one at that. But they do need proper care. They need a well varied diet, which consists of: Flake, Cichlid Stick, Shrimp Pellet,Krill, and Blood Worms. This mix of diet keeps this fauna's color bright, keeps it healthy-hardy, and promotes growth, by adding a lot of vitamins to thier diet. They need a lot of caverns/tunnels. They also love to play in the substate, so sand substrate isn't a good type to have, because every time you turn around there will be sand all over your tank. And they love to be boss, lol. Just keep care of them, and in return they will provide years of entertainment for you and your audience.

Contributed by Dick M.

Ive had 11 Parrots of various sizes & colors for a few months. I've grown to love these 'teddy bears with their own unique personality' more as times passes. Like many other BP owners, I had difficulty finding info on the Blood Parrot Fish - until I found this website. One of my adult BP used to be grey with black stripes, but recently he's turned white with a tint of red near his gills. Another youngster BP is starting to 'follow his footsteps' (I've named him "Specks"). I'm not sure if this is due to the fish's maturity (can't find much detailed info on BP color change) but as long as they're lively & eating well, I'm ok with it. I feed them with floating pellets & live worms. Contrary to common beliefs, mine don't have any eating difficulty...they didn't have any problems eating 3 of the 5 Guppies which my nephew had added into the tank! However, the 2 Catfishes sharing the tank seem quite happy. BPs are very fast & agile swimmers. They can be quite aggressive & territorial at times, usually poking/chasing each other or engaged in a mouth-to-mouth 'tug of war'. But at the end of the day, they'll all snuggle together to sleep (isn't that sweet?!). They also like to 'redecorate' the tank by moving gravel & plants. They are seldom ill, but if they ever seem 'inactive' or have loss of appetite, a partial water change followed by adding Tetra's "Blackwater Extract" helps.

Contributed by Ice Mocha

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