Blood Parrot Cichlid

The parrot cichlid was created in Taiwan in the late 80s and the first specimens of the first form of parrot cichlids, the blood parrot cichlid, was introduced to the market in 1986. It then took some time before these fish became known in the west. The term parrot cichlid can also refer to Hoplarchus Psittacus.

The exact origin behind this hybrid is unknown. It is however a result of cross breeding between different South American cichlids. The most accepted theory is that The blood parrot cichlid is the result of cross breeding a male "Cichlasoma citrinellum" (midas cichlid) and a female "Cichliasoma synspilum" (redhead cichlid). There are however also a number of theories that thinks that parrot cichlids contain genes from some kind of Severum cichlid.

There are several different types of parrot cichlids available in the trade. It should however be noted that bubblegum parrot cichlids and jellybean parrot cichlids isn’t really parrot cichlids but rather a hybrid between a parrot cichlids and convict cichlids.

An aquarium intended for blood parrot cichlids should be decorated with a soft bottom substrate. Use bogwood and rocks to create hiding places for the fish since they otherwise can be quite shy. They need a large aquarium due to their size, a parrot cichlid can grow to be 25cm/ 10 inches. They should not be kept in aquariums smaller than 200L / 50 gallon. Blood parrot cichlid requires good filtration since they can put a large strain on the water quality. Large weekly water changes are also required. A pH of 6.5-7.5 is to be preferred.

They are suitable company for a large number of species such as Danios, Barbs, Cory cats, silver dollars and other South American cichlids. Do not keep them with convict cichlids since there is large risk for cross breeding.

Blood Parrot cichlids are the only fish that can get Black spot disease. This disease is very common among parrot cichlids and displays itself as black spots on the fish. This is not normal or healthy and you should never buy Blood parrot cichlids that display signs of black spot disease. This disease can be a result of poor water quality and effected fish will get better if you improve the water quality. If the water quality isn’t poor the fish can get better after a few days. Black spots can however also be a sign of that your fish is in spawning mood.

You can feed your parrot cichlids the same food you would give any other South American cichlid and they do well on pellets.

Parrot fish that are found in the trade today are usually fertile and can be breed in aquarium without to muck trouble. Early Blood parrot cichlids males where infertile but this is usually no longer the case. They can be breed in the same way as other South American cichlids and usually spawn in a cave or under a rock/piece of bogwood. Blood parrot cichlids are not always the best parents and you might have to raise the fry separated from their parents but I recommend that you give the parents a chance or two to test their skills as parents before using this method. The fry can be feed newly hatched brine shrimp as soon as their yolk sack is consumed.

source : aquatic community