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Info on Parot Fish needed.

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: General message area: Info on Parot Fish needed.


Monday, March 25, 2002 - 04:55 pm

Can someone please give me som info on the interesting Parot Fish? I'd appreciate it greatly!




Tuesday, March 26, 2002 - 06:38 am
They are a Hybrid or cross between two cichlid, but I'll have to look up more information when I have a chance.



Tuesday, March 26, 2002 - 08:18 am
Hoplarchus psittacus is the scientific name for the Parrot Cichlid from South America. They get to be 12", so you need a tank at least 55gallons. They are also peaceful fish that frighten easily, so you need a lot of plants for cover. I didn't find anything about the Hybrid in my research, but I thought I read it somewhere??? They will fight with another male parrot, so better to just have one.



Tuesday, March 26, 2002 - 09:40 am
Thanks so much for the info. I am thinking of adding one to my tank.



martin jenkins

Wednesday, April 03, 2002 - 06:59 am
i have 2 parrot fish in my tank,60 gall, they get on fine, they love feeding time, have heard that they can round up smaller fish and kill them, but these 2 i havent had any probs.



Thursday, April 04, 2002 - 03:39 am
Bloody Parrot Fish
Over the past few years a number of friends have asked me about the Bloody Parrot fish. My stock response is to firmly say, "Don't buy them!" and I leave it at that. This morning a reader posed the following question;

"We recently purchased a pair of parrot fish. They are bright orange and very friendly. Unfortunately we fell in love and didn't get a lot of information on them. We understand that they are a cross breed of some kind, possibly red devils. The thing is, they have laid eggs, and we are wondering what we should do, or if the eggs will hatch. We would really appreciate any information you can give us. Thanks"
Although I have reservations about this fish and believe they should not be bred or marketed, they are clearly proliferating the market. Because so many people are looking for information, I would like to profile the fish in the hopes that owners (or potential owners) know where they come from and how to care for them properly.

Where They Come From
Parrot fish are indeed a cross bred fish, and a controversial one at that. They have been on the market for roughly fifteen years, but were not seen widely in pet shops until the past few years. Usually sold under the name of Bloody Parrots, they should not be confused with freshwater Parrot Cichlids (Hoplarchus Psittacus), or the saltwater Parrot Fish (Callyodon fasciatus). Many fish enthusiasts (this one included) feel they should not be allowed on the market. Some go so far as to boycott shops that sell them. Controversy even exists over their parentage. The most likely pairings are the Midas Cichlid (Cichlasoma citrinellum) and the Redhead Cichlid (Cichlasoma synspilum), or a green or gold Severum (Heros severus or Cichlasoma severum) with the Red Devil (Cichlasoma erythraeum). I personally believe many of the "calico" Bloody Parrots recently seen on the market are from the latter pairing. It is also possible that Amphilophus labiatus, or even Archocentrus species are used in creating Bloody Parrots. Regardless of their heritage, one thing is certain - they do not exist in nature

While the debate rages over the ethics of creating this fish, of most concern to me is the effect their hybridization has on the fish itself. The Bloody Parrot clearly has numerous anatomical deformities. One of the fish things an observer will notice is that their mouth is quite small and oddly shaped. This can affect their ability to eat. They also have spinal and swim bladder deformities, which affects their swimming abilities. I believe creating a fish that inherently has such deformities is not only unethical, but also cruel. Nonetheless, they are widely sold and probably will continue to be on the market for a long time to come.

Should you choose to purchase one, care should be taken when choosing tank mates. They should not be kept with aggressive fish, as they are not well equipped to compete for food or turf in the aquarium. Owners have kept them successfully in community tanks with a variety of peaceful fish. Mid sized tetras, danios, angelfish, and catfish are all good possible tank mates.

Their habitat should be roomy and provide plenty of hiding places, so they can set up their own territory. Rocks, driftwood, and clay pots on their sides are good options. Like other cichlids they will dig in the gravel, so choose a substrate that is not too rough. Temperature should be maintained at about 80. Lower temperatures will result in the loss of color. The pH should be 6.8, and the water soft. Lighting should be subdued. Water changes should be performed twice a month.

Bloody Parrots will eat a variety of foods including flake, live, frozen, and freeze dried foods. Sinking foods are easier for them to eat than floating foods. Most owners report bloodworms and live brine shrimp as a favorite treat. Foods high in b-carotene and canthaxanthin will help maintain their vibrant colors.

Although Parrot fish have been known to mate and even lay eggs, they are almost always infertile. There are a few cases of successful spawnings, generally when they have been crossed with a non-hybrid fish. Like other cichlids, Bloody Parrots will tend the eggs and resulting fry fastidiously. As with any eggs, those that are infertile will turn white and rapidly fungus. The parents will eat infertile eggs to prevent them from spreading fungus to the fertile eggs. Once the eggs hatch, daily water changes of 25% are critical to ensure the health of the fry. Fresh baby brine shrimp are the optimum food during the first couple of weeks. Often pet shops will carry frozen baby brine shrimp, which can also be used. As they fry grow, they can be weaned to fine fry food.

Regardless of how you feel about crossbreeding, if you take a fish home you should provide the best care possible for it. If you have chosen to keep Bloody Parrots, you'll find the Bloody Parrot Page an excellent resource. You'll find the link for it along with additional resources about the Bloody Parrot below.

Have comments on the Bloody Parrot? Join a discussion about it right here --> Bloody Parrots

Additional Information About Bloody Parrots
Bloody Parrot page - The best compliation of Bloody Parrot information on the net.

Midas Cichlid - A possible parent of the Bloody Parrot.

Gold severum - A possible parent of the Bloody Parrot.

Green Severum - A possible parent of the Bloody Parrot.

Cichlasoma synspilum - A possible parent of the Bloody Parrot.

Amphilophus labiatus - A possible parent of the Bloody Parrot.

Archocentrus species - A possible parent of the Bloody Parrot.

Parrot Cichlid - The true Parrot Cichlid, not be confused with Bloody Parrots.

Saltwater Parrot Fish - The saltwater Parrot fish, also not to be confused with Blood Parrots.

* Art and photos are the property of Shirlie Sharpe. *
Please write for permission to use them.

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Thursday, April 04, 2002 - 08:10 am
Thanks for clearing up the diffences. I knew I had read about the hybrid recently. I'll bet the ones in the LFS stores I've been seeing are the Bloody ones! Kind of like Mixed African Rift Cichlid that I also avoid(although they don't have any deformities to my knowledge)! I've heard of red devils pairing with convicts(I don't know what the fry would be), so my bet would be on some RD combo.


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