Archived message board.
Info on Parot Fish needed.
Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center:
General message area: Info on Parot Fish needed.
March 25, 2002 - 04:55 pm
Can someone please give me som info on the interesting Parot
Fish? I'd appreciate it greatly!
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.
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.
March 26, 2002 - 09:40 am
Thanks so much for the info. I am thinking of adding one
to my tank.
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
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
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
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
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.
Go to: www.freshaquarium.about.com/cs/fishspecies
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.