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Cichlasoma citrinellum x Cichlasoma synspilum
Blood Parrot Cichlid

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Blood Parrot Cichlid

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bloodparrot3.jpg (14kb)
Photo Credit: Munish Jauhar

I have had two BP's for two years and my only warning would be about their tankmates. I have seen them eat the following: African Dwarf Frogs, Chinese Algae Eaters, Glowlight Tetras, Cherry Barbs, Scissortails, and ANYTHING small enough to fit into their mouths. I have also seen my larger one (20 cm long) yawn! His mouth was GIGANTIC, kind of like how a snake can enlarge their jaws. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the little tiny pouty mouth is not large enough to pull in other fish. Despite the fact that I have lost some fish (I gave the mates of the ones that were eaten to my daughter to prevent further deaths), the Parrots are the most entertaining fish I have ever seen. Surprisingly, they recognize people and can tell the difference between me and my husband as I am the one who feeds them. They will also follow you across the tank as you walk by, but if someone who is not part of my immediate family comes in and they don't recognize them, they hide.

Contributed by Donna Luchsinger

I have a red, blood-heart parrot fish that I bought about a year ago and I must say it has been one of the best fish yet. Another fish I bought a year ago was an eye-biter, which lives with the parrot fish. I have NO idea why I bought the eye-biter and I wish I hadn't. When I brought them home I placed them with 5 fantail goldfish, 5 feeder goldfish, 8 danios, and a pleco. The parrot fish immediately took a hiding spot inside a log (they like hiding spots) and the eye-biter ate all my danios. However every time he went to bite a goldfish the parrot fish would rush out and attack him. The parrot fish almost defended his tank mates and acted as the ruler of the tank. He would stay in his hiding spot and the eye-biter would be his slave bringing him food and never even attempted bothering the goldfish again. Now the parrot fish and eye-biter are still alive living with the pleco a gourami and 4 HUGE goldfish. I think it is amazing how much of a leadership role a parrot fish can take on. My friends parrot fish also took on a leadership role when it raised 100 baby convicts in his/her hiding spot defending it from 5 jack dempseys, 5 bumblebee cichlids and 2 chocolate cichlids. These fish are very fun to watch, and I think they could be placed in any tank!

Contributed by a visitor

I am the proud owner of two Blood Parrots. I would like to pass on my knowledge of these wonderful fish as I have made mistakes with mine in the past. Blood Parrots can be aggressive, so introduce them to a community tank at a young age. Once they have matured introduce a younger BP, as the older BP will teach, rather attack its junior. I introduced two BPs of the same age and they both battled for position of leader and one ultimately died. One common ailment of BPs is Hole-In-The-Head. This is when parasites burrow into the head and around the eyes of your fish. This can be fatal if left untreated. I have found Metronidazole tablets (only available from your vet) works well to fight this parasite. The more contact you have with your BPs the more friendly they will become, to the point that they will allow you to hand feed them and they will beg and do tricks for food. If you are thinking of buying a Blood Parrot, please try to avoid any unusual coloured varieties (bright blue, green, purple etc.) as it is highly likely that these fish have been dyed and this process is very cruel. The natural colour (for this un-natural fish) is normally one of these variations: creamy orange, orange, pale red and in some cases dark red or yellow. No two Blood Parrots have the same personalities, some are docile and some are aggressive. I am not happy about how these fish came into existence, but know that they are here, lets give them a chance and a loving home.

Contributed by Mel Roberts

I have three Blood Parrots, the largest being 23 cm long and the other two being about 10 cm. These live happily with a large Silver Gourami, a large Sailfin Pleco, 2 Diamond Shark's, 3 firemouths, 4 Colombian Tetra's and 2 Black Widow (Black Skirt) Tetra's. I also have 8 Mickey Mouse Platies in with them and I really must say that my Parrots have NEVER been aggressive towards any of the tank members other than showing signs of the normal cichlid pecking order. I feed my parrots on Bloodworm, flake and cichlid pellets, although their absolute favourite is Algae Wafers (intended for my Pleco) which they seem to adore. My largest Parrot lays eggs occasionally, although nothing ever comes of it. Strangely, my Firemouths seem to take a keen interest in the eggs, but not to eat them. It would appear that they are trying to protect them, which I find fascinating. All in all I would say that these fish are a brilliant addition to my tank and I don't find them at all aggressive, however I do feel that all fish are different and in turn have different temperaments, so just because my Parrots aren't aggressive doesn't mean that yours won't be either.

Contributed by Simon Byrne

I have 5 parrot fish in a 490 L tank along with other fish - pacu, moorii, etc. They get along great! They have been together for 6 years. These adorable cute fish can grow to 20 cm or more. They need at least a 150 L tank! They grow HUGE. They love to be mixed with other cichlids, but keep an eye on those beautiful but mean african cichlids if they try to bully your parrot. Most of the Parrot can fight back if they get bullied - they have a lot of different personalities. I would highly recommend for everyone to try raising these cute - smart fishes. They are like flowerhorns - hybrid fish.

Contributed by Jack Morpheus

I had two BP's for three years. One grew quite large, and the other grew slightly less. I must tell you they are the best fish ever. They are great company - if you are doing homework they will sit and watch you the whole time. They have no problems eating, and have never become aggressive. They like to play with each other, as well as with other fish, but have never eaten any of the other fish in my tank. Both of my fish died on the same day after 3 years. I don't know what happened, I didn't change anything, they just died. It was a sad day and I knew that my tank wouldn't be the same without the BP's. So I had to buy more. You won't regret buying these guys, as they are enjoyable to have!

Contributed by Ruth Cooper

I previously had 2 dyed (jellybean) that died for unknown reasons after 5 years. I currenty have a 680 liter tank with 13 blood parrots. All were infants when I bought them 4 months ago, greyish green with black stripes. Several have already turned a brilliant yellow/gold. As they are maturing they turn yellow/gold with black stripes. Then the stripes fade. Mine are housed with a 25 cm goldfish, a 15 cm gold fish, a black popeyed goldfish, a pleco, and several chinese algae eaters. I have a 110 liter with 4 blood parrots, also purchased as infants. Water parameters are kept at 7.2 pH, I add about a teaspoon of kosher salt per 40 L after a tank cleaning. Not much else to do. They are messy eaters, but they will eat just about anything. Boiled egg yolk, krill, raw spinach, tropical flakes, any cichlid food - floating or flake, earthworms. Mine are pretty timid even after 4 months. As I have read and I concur these are a great community tank fish.

Contributed by Leanne Otts

We have a blood parrot, her name is Angelina. She is fun! When the grandkids come she loves to come to the front of the tank (300 L) and look at them. When they wiggle their finger she loves to follow it accross the front of the tank. She watches anyone that comes into the living room. We've never had a fish like this. She is the leader of the tank. She eats what she wants and the others eat the rest. She is the Happy Fish as our three year old grandchild calls her sometimes.

Contributed by Levah Lightfoot

These pages have enough comments to give the reader a basic idea on the topic. Further comments are still very welcome (through the site's contact form) as long as they provide new and/or advanced information not yet discussed in the existing ones.

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