Red Parrot – They are beautiful fish with lots of character. Whilst there are many varieties, few are as unique as the Blood Parrot Cichlid. As they are a relatively new hybrid, they do not have a Latin or scientific name, so they are sometimes referred to as just Parrot Cichlids. You should treat the Blood Parrot Cichlid as a Central American Cichlid species, since both parent species come from this area.
You can keep them on their own, in groups, or in a community of suitable tank mates. They are generally a peaceful species, but they are easily stressed by aggressive fish, which may cause them to act out. They can be quite shy and will often hide amongst the plants and decorations. If they know that they have these hiding spots available, they will be much more active in your aquarium. Most of their time is spent in the middle levels of the tank, however sometimes they will head lower down and start digging in search of food.
They will likely leave a mess behind them when eating, that will require extra cleaning. The hybridization of the parent species has caused a genetic defect where their mouth cannot fully close. As a result, their teeth are in their throat, which they constrict to crush up food.
Your tank needs to strike a balance between open swimming spaces and isolated hiding spots. They need both because although they usually swim around the tank, they are often shy and try to escape stressful circumstances. You could spread rocks, wood, or clay pots around the lower levels of the tank to leave open water above. Use plenty of plants too. These are another great form of shelter and also help to maintain high oxygen levels. There are lots of species to choose from, perhaps Java Fern, Anubias Nana, or Hornwort. You can use a sandy substrate. These fish are prone to dig, so a rough substrate could scratch them and lead to cuts and infections. Your filter should move the water around the tank to create a current.
A Blood Parrot Cichlid needs at least a 110 litre tank – this will be enough for one fish. Every additional fish needs at least 40 litres to ensure that they all have plenty of space. The more space you can provide the better.
It can be difficult to find suitable tank mates because Blood Parrot Cichlids can be a little unpredictable (especially when stressed). Tank mates must be peaceful – they also need to be quick to make a fast getaway if needed. Some good options for the mid-levels include: Dwarf Gourami, Angelfish, Kribensis, Tiger Barbs, Emperor Tetras and Firemouth Cichlids. Don’t pick fish that are small enough to be eaten like Neon Tetras or Guppies.
To fill the lower levels, you could keep Yoyo Loaches, Corydoras Catfish, Clown Loaches, or Clown Plecos.
Invertebrates should be avoided as they can be eaten. However if you want to try you could keep Apple Snails because they have a particularly hard shell.
Your Blood Parrot Cichlids will eat many different types of food. They are omnivorous, so can eat both meaty foods and vegetation. You can feed them dried, freeze-dried, frozen and live foods. They can have difficulty feeding from the surface so ideally the food should sink – so use pellets over flakes. You can purchase dried foods that have been specifically formulated for Cichlids. We have a range of Cichlid food here.
Frozen and live foods are the most nutritious. You should supplement a dried food diet with these to supply a range of nutrients. This helps your fish fight off disease and keeps their colors bright. Bloodworms, daphnia and brine shrimp are a few favorite treats.
Remember these fish will eat even when they are not hungry, so limit their feeding to twice a day. Give them an amount they can finish in a couple of minutes. They can get through a lot of food and may make a mess in the process, so remove any excess food before it decays and perform regular water changes.
The good news is Blood Parrot Cichlids are a hardy species that mostly look after themselves. Check your water parameters each week for any sudden changes as this can quickly lead to illness. For example, a temperature drop can lower a fish’s immune system. A poor diet can have a similar effect, so you need to supply a high-quality diet.
Effective filtration is the key. Watch out for high nutrient levels as these can contribute to blue-green algae blooms which can kill your fish. To help your filter, you should perform regular water changes, no less than once every two weeks.
There are a few diseases that a Blood Parrot Cichlid could catch. The most common is probably Ich (white spot disease), an issue that affects most aquarium fish. Another potential issue is swim bladder disorder.
|Adult Size:||up to 20 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Intermediate|
|Minimum Tank Size:||110 litres|
|Lifespan:||5 – 15 Years|
|Temperature:||24 to 27°C|
|pH:||6.5 – 7.4|