Blood Parrot Cichlids
Posted 23 February 2008 - 10:15 AM
History & Origin
These interesting little hybrids are found under various names in the aquarium hobby. Blood Parrot, Bloody Parrot, or Blood Parrotfish are all names interchangeable for the same cross-bred cichlid. They are thought to originate in the aquariums of Taiwanese fish keepers in the late 1980’s.
Midas Cichlid + Redhead Cichlid
Red Devil + Quetzel
Red Devil + Gold Severum
Red Devil + Green Severum
This is often debated amongst hobbyists. I personally believe many of the "calico" Blood Parrots seen on the market are from the latter two pairings.
Colors & Morphs
These fish can be sold in various colors. There is the natural peach color which can range from a pale yellow to a deep red, with others being sold as “calicos” having black or white spots or patches on them. From experience, I can say that the black, as with other fish, will fade and disappear.
These cichlids are commonly dyed in pet stores and are sometimes labeled as the Jellybean Parrot or Love Heart Parrot. The former of this can be dyed any various color, from blue to purple to green. Do not confuse the artificial yellow, orange, or red for their natural shade. Some are even dyed more than one color, see below. These colors will fade out over time if it doesn’t kill your fish first.
The Love Heart Parrot has had its tail fin removed. Breeders claim that it is a natural mutation, but I beg to differ.
The bloody parrot cichlid with its natural color on the left, dyed specimens on the right. Photo courtesy http://aquarium-jour...-aquariums.html
Photo courtesy http://www.theaquari...ndy_Parrots.jpg
Tail-less variety. Photo courtesy http://www.geocities...ve_heart_lg.jpg
These fish generally get up to 6 - 7" (15-17.5 cm), though some will reach 8" (20 cm).
Preferred Water Conditions
Hardness: 2-25° dGH
Ph: 6.5 to 8.0
Temp: 70-82° F 21-28° C. Their colors will pale in the lower temperatures.
Intermediate. Their aggressive temperament can be a little intimidating for new hobbyists. Also due to their size, a more experienced handler would be better prepared to deal with these guys.
Ideal Tank & Tank-mates
The ideal tank for a single Bloody Parrot would be a minimum of 50 gallons due to their size and waste output. These fish are messy eaters. They should be housed with fish of similar size. In my experience, they will eat whatever fish they can fit into their mouths and are very good for keeping guppies in check. I think they are often mislabeled as community fish. I would proceed with caution when adding a bloody parrot to your community tank as they will attack other fish, if not eat them. As typical of other cichlids, they enjoy rocks and caves. Plenty of nooks and crannies would go far with these fish. They will root through the gravel, and I have watched my parrots nibble on the live plants. I would be more worried about them uprooting the plants rather than actually eating them though.
This cichlid often has an irregularly shaped or over-sized iris.
There is no definite way to sex this cichlid.
More often than naught, these cichlids are sterile.
Their mouths resemble beaks and are permanently open due to genetic deformity.
I do have a small bias toward Bloody Parrot Cichlids. I love these fish. I find their personality rather amusing. But I wouldn’t recommend them to new fish keepers, due to their aggression. It is a little annoying to see the smaller fish in my 90 gallon darting away from them, but they are beautiful fish. They are very elegant and curious. Given the right care and set-up, you can minimize the aggression towards your other fish, and have them become dither fish to help eliminate aggression.
My own observations with my own pair of bloody parrots.
Posted 23 February 2008 - 11:40 AM
Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:11 AM
In regards to this fishes history I'd like to add a bit.
99% of all websites simpily account this fish as a hybrid. And the breeders aren't talking. This has led to speculation as to possiable crosses to produce this fish. However crossing any of the suspected target fish will not produce a blood parrot.
The original line was simiply a mutation very much like that of the balloon molly. Does hybridazation have a part in the fishes history ? Yes
To keep this thread short here is a link to Matt Clarke's article on them to explain.
Edited by cichlidfinder, 24 February 2008 - 08:11 AM.
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