Have you ever imagined a hybrid fish with a bird looking face? If you could find one I’m sure you won’t mind adding it to your aquarium just so you can enjoy the view of something so rare in the midst of all the other easy to find fishes.
The Blood parrot cichlid is the first that fits the above description. This fish isn’t on found in natural habitats as it is a hybrid specially created for life in the aquarium.
Notable controversies exists around the breeding of this fish which is a cross breed of the redhead cichlid (Paraneetroplus synspilus), and midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus).
The genetic mixture of this lovely fish has left out with a one of a kind combination of physical traits that appears to compromise the blood parrot cichlid’s ability to survive. One example of this fish’s physical trait that is it’s tiny mouth that makes it difficult for the creature to adequately feed itself.
A number of aquarium enthusiasts have protested the breeding of this fish with some individuals going as far as boycotting pet shops that sell this fish.
Nevertheless, this fish has gained some level of popularity among other aquarium enthusiasts because of it’s ability to coexist with other fish species and it’s unusual look; beak-like head, round body, and it’s beautiful large eyes.
Scientific and common names of the blood parrot cichlid
The taxonomical name for the blood parrot cichlid is Amphilophus citrinellus x Paraneetroplus synspilus, while it’s common names are Blood parrot cichlid, blood-red parrot cichlid, and bloody parrot cichlid.
The adult size of a blood-red parrot cichlid is around 7 to 8 inches, however it is possible for some to grow as big as 10 inches.
Because this is not a natural specie of fish, we cannot say how life in the wild will be for it or what it’s level of interaction with other fishes will be. However it is a calm fish that can cohabit with other fishes of its kind in an aquarium and can also live comfortably with other small nonviolent fishes.
Origin and distribution
The blood parrot cichlid is a hybrid fish formed by crossbreeding the redhead cichlids and midas cichlid. This fish came into existence around 1986 in Taiwan. Although they have been in the pet market for quite some time now, these fishes were rarely seen in most pet shops before the early 2000’s.
The blood parrot cichlid is usually sold under the names bloody parrots or blood parrot but it should not be mistaken to be the same as freshwater parrot cichlid or the salt water parrot fish.
Plenty of controversy surrounds the existence of this fish especially related to the ethics of its cross-breeding. The anatomical anomalies are numerous and raises the most concern from fish lovers because some of these deformities can make life as a fish difficult for this specie.
Like the example earlier mentioned of the mouth of this fish; it is not only small but also oddly shaped which ultimately affects it’s ability to feed.
When closely observed in a tank during feeding time, this fish is noticed to lack the ability to compete with other fishes that are aggressive and have bigger mouths. Bloody parrot cichlids also have swim bladder and spinal deformities which affects their ability to swim. Concern enthusiasts consider the breeding of a creature with such deformities an act of cruelty.
People have arising questioned the genetic percentage of the blood parrot cichlid even though we know the pairing is most likely between the redhead cichlid and the midas cichlid.
Some forms of this fish known as the calico bloody parrot are likely a crossbreed of a gold or green severum and a red devil fish. There is also a possibility that Archocentrus or Amphilophus labiatus are also used in the creation of bloody parrots.
Colours and markings
Blood parrots are usually a bright orange color but it is also possible to have them in grey, yellow, and red. There have been cases where unethical fish breeders dye the blood parrot to produce a variety of colors.
Adult blood parrot fishes can grow as big as 7 to 8 inches in length and also live as long as long as 10 years or even 15 years in a fish tank. The make blood parrot cichlid is usually Larger in size than the female
Blood parrot cichlid should never be housed in the same fish tank with violent or bigger fishes as this fish is unable to defend itself and is not equipped enough to struggle for food with stronger fishes.
If you must have them in the midst of other fishes, angel fish, cat fish, mid-sized tetras, and danios are good community mates that will make life in the tank easy.
Habitat and care for blood parrot cichlid
The fishtanks you want to house your blood parrot cichlid must be spacious with lots of hiding places so the fish can create it’s own territory. Clay pots, rocks, and driftwood are nice options of hiding places.
These fishes love to dig into the gravel just like cichlids do it is preferable to use a substrate that isn’t so rough. The temperature of your pet’s habitat should be maintained around 80 degrees F. Temperatures lower than 80 degrees will cause the fish to gradually lose its color and experience other health challenges.
The water should be soft and have a pH of about 7. The first tank lighting should be subdued and preferably red-spectrum light. These fishes produce lots of waste so it is important to change the fish tank water at least twice monthly.
It is vital to assist watch out for high nitrate level that might encourage the growth of blue-green algae that can potentially kill your pet.
The common disease of blood parrot cichlid include ich parasites (that can easily be treated by copper water treatment or by increasing water temperature), bacteria infections, and swim bladder disease.
Blood parrot cichlid diet
These fishes eat a variety of foods that are easily accessible including freeze-dried foods, live, frozen, and even flakey foods. Some owners have reported that blood worms are a favorite for these big eyed guys.