Blood parrot cichlid: Characteristics, care , reproduction and more….

Today you will know a species of fish very controversial to the liking of some and totally unpleasant for others. The latter is not due to the fish itself, the reason is its origin since it’s a genetically created species by the human beings, and for that reason it lacks a scientific name. We are talking about the blood parrot cichlid of which you will know everything in this post.

Blood Parrot Cichlid: Morphology

This is s a fish whose uniqueness lies in its deformity, something that paradoxically, some fans find attractive.  The specimens on this fish have in a greater or lesser extent the stomach displaced and contracted, deviated spine, deformed mouth with inability to close it completely, etc.

In some specimens the operculums don’t cover the gills, leaving them exposed to all types of infections.

Some have certain abnormalities in the eyes, to a greater or lesser degree depending on the specimens.

Blood parrot cichlid present larger eyes than other species of the Cichlasoma genus, which are often not completely round and the iris is disproportionately large compared to the rest of the eye.

However, it’s difficult to say to what degree it affects them for their normal life. There are two more varieties of this species, a parrot without a caudal fin and with a heart shape, called «Love Heart» in which the shape is achieved by amputating with a blade the caudal fin when they are very young, to get the anal fins and dorsal close over the gap left by it.

Other interesting facts

The Blood parrot cichlid is produced by crossing the midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) and the redhead cichlid (Paraneetroplus synspilus) ,.

In terms of size they measure around 20 centimeters, and the male has finer and larger dorsal fins, while the females have shorter and rounded dorsal fins.

They grow slowly compared to other Central American cichlids and once they reach 4 to 5 inches their growth slows down more.

When they are juvenile specimens they can show a tan or brown body color with black spots near the tail.

These fish tend to change to orange and yellow as they grow, and there are two versions the normal and the dwarf that is a little smaller. It’s very important to point out that bloody parrot fish mustn’t be confused with the freshwater parrot ciclids (Hoplarchus  Psittacus)

Let’s meet the Love heart specimen

What Do Blood Parrot Cichlids Feed On?

Blood parrot cichlids eat a variety of foods, including scales, live foods, frozen and freeze-dried. Sunken foods are easier to eat than floating foods; most owners report bloodworms and live brine shrimp as the favorite food of Blood parrot cichlids.

Moreover, foods high in b-carotene and cantaxanthin will help maintain their colors vibrant.

They also enjoy pelleted foods, but a small pellet size should be used because of their mouth.

Depending on the size of the fish, feeding can sometimes be complicated since some Blood parrot cichlids have more deformed mouths than others or redness of the gills or other deformities in these.

If the Blood parrot cichlids has trouble feeding on the surface, then it’s recommended to switch to a sinking pellet.  It’s also recommended to use thawed peas once a week to add herb to the diet that helps prevent bladder problems.

Blood Parrot Cichlids: Behavior

This is a somewhat territorial fish, but rarely aggressive.  It’s a very curious and sociable fish. Like other large cichlids, it establishes an interesting relationship with the person who feeds it. They are group fish; it’s advisable to keep 5 or more specimens.


This is a sociable fish, which will fight for the domain of the aquarium. If there are small fish, he will chase and harass them but without hurting them, since having a deformed mouth is harmless.

Given his difficulty in eating, he will lose out of any confrontation with faster cichlids. It should be kept only with peaceful fish.

Let’s enjoy them again

How Do Blood Parrot Cichlids Reproduce?

These fish are often paired in the aquarium like any other cichlid and some couples spawn very frequently, but the eggs get moldy right away since the males are sterile.

Up to that point, in which the eggs are spoiled, the courtship and laying are identical to those of any Cichlasoma, with oscillating tremors by both specimens, cleaning of a flat surface, laying and attempted fertilization by the male.

There is some controversy as to whether it’s possible to obtain fry from a couple of blood parrot cichlids.

It’s shown that females are fertile, and in fact hybridizations between females of this hybrid variety and other Cichlasoma are known.

Moreover their fertility is the basis for constantly appearing new specimens on the market, obtained from crossing with males of another species (according to Brent Parish of a male of Amphilophus citrinellus).

But some people say that Red Parrot hybrid males «although sterile 99% of the time» can lead to offspring in extreme cases.

According to these beliefs  sterility is not due to the hybridization itself, but  to the fact that the main breeders and exporters of blood parrot cichlids treat fish with hormones such as the methyl-testosterone .

This hormone inhibits the normal functioning of the sexual organs of these fish.

Moreover many times these obstacles to breeding disappear with the passage of time (once the hormones have ceased to exert their effect).

However, despite these statements and rumors, no fan has been able to prove to have obtained a fertile setting of two Red Parrot and and in some cases it has been shown that there was confusion with males of other species, such as the so-called «Jelly Bean Parrots» and «BubbleGum Parrots»

Mutilated and Dyed Parrot Fish

Blood parrot fish and many other fish have been victims of cruel cosmetic surgery where the fish is dyed or mutilated in order to «improve» its beauty at the cost of shortening its life.

This type of fish should never be purchased, since dyeing which is also known as artificial coloring or juice is achieved by a number of methods, such as tattooing, injection of fluorescent dyes with a syringe and submerging the fish in a dye solution.

This process is usually done to make the fish have a brighter color and more attractive to consumers.

The color of the fish is not permanent, usually disappears in six to nine months, these fish are known as Jellybean parrots and Bubblegum parrots among others.

On the other hand, amputation is perhaps the worst and most inhuman method of cosmetic surgery of the fish, its victims are usually the blood parrot fish and the Flowerhorn, the tail of the fish is cut with scissors at an early age as the body and produces a kind of «heart» shape.

Let’s watch this interesting video.

Blood Parrot  Cichlid in Aquariums

The aquarium should be of at least 120 liters for properly housing these fish. In addition, it should be wide, long and tall, since this is a species that swims a lot and at any height.

It’s quite recomended   not to use ornaments or weak plants, since he usually removes and digs the substrate, which can be gravel or sand, but the most common is that they carry out large excavations.

It’s very important to mention that between 20 and 25% of the water should be replaced weekly.

If water quality is ignored, illness and death can occur, as in the case of midas cyclids.

Vision glasses should be cleaned periodically with a sponge.

The aquarium should have a low to moderate illumination. Moreover, the temperature should be between 21.1 to 27.8 ° C, the PH from 6.5 to 8.0 and the hardness of 2 to 2.5dGH. We invite you to read our article fish for fish tanks to learn about how to set an aquarium

Common Health Problems in Blood Parrot  Ciclids

Health conditions are very common in aquarium fish, sometimes they vary according to the species but most cases are related to water conditions. The following are the most common health problems in blood parrot cichlids:

Stress points:

Usually confused with Neascus (black spot disease), the Blood parrot cichlids sometimes generates stress points that are black spots on the body or fins which is caused by stress.

It typically occurs when it’s brought home, but it can also appear in cases of shyness, intimidation, breeding, disease, or sometimes only appear without an explanation.  The spots usually disappear after a while once the problem has been solved.

Bladder problems:

When this situation occurs, the fish shows an abnormal swimming pattern, can even float upside down or appear to be stuck on the surface of the water.

Nor can they swim or be at the bottom, and are unable to get up. Fish with a swim bladder disorder will continue to try to feed, showing a normal appetite.

This is usually caused by a poor diet and to prevent it from happening, it’s recommended to feed with peas without shell once a week.

It can also help with mild cases, on the other hand for severe cases you should add 1 tablespoon per gallon of Epsom salt in a bowl of water. Place the fish in the Epsom salt bath for 20-30 minutes, it can be done twice a day, but it should only be done as a last resort.

Ick / Ich / White Grains:

This is a common disease of freshwater fish, caused by the Ichtyopthirius Ick protozoa.  It’s one of the most common and persistent diseases that causes fish to be covered with white skin cysts, fins and gills. Very infected fish appear to have been sprayed with sugar and peppercorns.

As a reaction to such a disease, they usually scratch themselves against gravel or decorations in the aquarium.

The Ick is usually fatal if  it’s not treated, to do so  it’s better to first raise the temperature in the aquarium to 30 ° 0 31 ° C, and then treat the tank with 2 teaspoons of salt per gallon of water.

Any other treatment may damage the Biofilter so that other treatments are not recommended.

During the treatment it’s not recommended to change the water before treating the tank, a water change of 25 to 50% is recommended; the treatment should take 1 to 2 weeks depending on the severity.

let’s learn about how to treat itch

Varieties of Parrot Fish

As mentioned above, there are certain varieties of blood parrot cichlids where their main difference lies in the coloring of the specimens. Each one of them is described in more detail below:

King Kong Parrot Fish:

They are a different classification of parrot cichlids that, in general, has a more oval-shaped body, less protruded head, and have a normal closing mouth.

They grow more than blood parrot cichlids at approximately 30 centimeters and are typically more aggressive.

King Kong Parrot Fish are commonly seen in orange and combinations of orange with red.

Dyed Parrot Fish:

They are often called Bumbblegum Parrot or jellybean parrot  fish, but they are simply common parrot fish.. They are also confused as a hybrid of the bloody parrots and pink parrots Blood parrot cichlid: Bumbblegum Parrot or jellybean parrotthat is not the case; these fish should not be purchased.

Love Heart Parrot Fish

These are also called Jellybean parrots but they have no DNA of blood parrot fish in them.

They are only mutilated fish sometimes corpulent, they are usually dyed but can be found without dyeing.

Kilin Parrot Fish:

Sometimes called Kirin parrot, they are a hybrid between the bloody parrots and the Flowerhorn. They have the shape of the body and mouth of a blood Parrot Fish and the color of the body and the marks of a Flowerhorn.

Let’s meet the kirin parrot fish


Compatibility is an important feature in this type of fish, as it’s a species highly sought after by aquarists and most of them like the variety.

The importance of this issue lies in the chance of survival that the specimens that have life in the same fish tank can have, a much more hostile environment than the natural habitat where they could never be found or would have more chance of escape.

In this sense it will be very useful to describe for the parrot fish compatibility with the species presented below.

Severum fish

With regard to the dwarf parrot fish, compatibility between both species is possible thanks to the similarity of their lifestyles.

The severum fish belongs to the family of cichlids, native to South America. Its scientific name is Heros severus and is characterized by jumping frequently from the aquarium. It’s a large cichlid, which measures around 25 cms.

The adult specimens are flat-bodied, and the dominant color in their body is yellow. depending on the mood of the fish, there may be eight horizontal stripes on the sides, which will be more or less marked.

The body’s lower part is mottled with red spots, the only difference between the male and the female is the presence of reddish brown spots on the lower part of the head, only in the case of males.

There are varieties of color in breeding. The young have a greenish color as a base that changes to yellow after that. These fish can live for more than 8 years.

They are usually preferred to inhabit the fish tanks together with the persimon parrot fish

Severus is an oral incubator, as well as some other cichlids. The parents adhere the eggs to a solid substrate and take care of them, after hatching, incubation begins orally.

Oscar fish

It’s also possible to establish compatibility with oscar fish for the parrot fish, since this is a species of fish of the family of cichlids known under a variety of common names, including the tiger Oscars the velvet cichlid and the marble cichlid

In tropical South America, where the species resides naturally, specimens are often found for sale as food in local markets, the fish has been introduced in other areas, including China, Australia and the United States.

It’s considered a fish of popular aquarium in Europe and the USA. UU.

It’s reported that the specimens grow to approximately 45 cm in length and 1.6 kilograms in weight.

The specimens captured in the wild are usually dark in color with yellow spots and have spots on the caudal peduncle and on the dorsal fin.

It has been suggested that these spots work to limit the bite of fins by the piranha, which occurs with this fish in its natural environment.

The species is also able to quickly alter its coloration, a feature that facilitates the ritual of territorial behaviors and Fight between congeners.

Other interesting Traits about Oscar Fish

Juvenile oscars have a different coloration from adults, and are lined with white and orange wavy bands and have spotted heads, although the species is widely regarded as sexually monomorphic. It has been suggested that males grow more rapidly, and in some naturally occurring strains, it’s observed that males have dark spots at the base of their dorsal fins.

The species reaches sexual maturity around one year of age and continues to reproduce for approximately 9-10 years.

The frequency and timing of spawning may be related to the occurrence of the rain.

Oscar fish are biparental substrates, although detailed information on their reproduction in the wild is scarce.

In captivity, it’s known that the pairs select and clean horizontal or vertical surfaces generally flattened on which they lay their 1,000 to 3,000 eggs, like most cichlids, this fish performs the practice of breeding care, although the duration of care of breeding in nature remains unknown.

We invite you to read our article oscar fish to learn about these stunning fish

Let’s meet them better

Convict Cichlids

It’s the most common fish found in aquariums around the world, it belongs to the cichlid family and the order of the Perciformes.

This species is among the simplest cichlid fish in amateur’s aquariums.

To keep in the aquarium it’s necessary to remember that the Convict Cichlids like all cichlids is a territorial fish.

This species is often considered ideal for beginners, but it’s very fertile once a couple is  made-up and to be able to have it in captivity an aquarium with a minimum volume of 80 liters is necessary, it’s sufficient and ideal to keep a couple of fish convicted. There is proven compatibility for this dwarf parrot fish.

Let’s enjoy them


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