Animal Stories - Blood Parrot

Animal-World Information about: Blood Parrot

The Blood Parrot is just about the most curious result of cichlids interbreeding, and has created quite a stir in the aquarium hobby!
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AquaTramp - 2009-06-27
Blood parrots do fine with larger community fish. Due to them not being able to bite to defend themselves, I would not put them in a tank with aggressive fish as they can not defend themselves. All they can do is a lot of pushing. Another mild cichlid should be OK such as the Severum, tho.

"Bubblegum" parrots are those that have been dyed. "Jellybean" parrots are the off- spring of your female blood parrot with a convict. Jellybeans are often mistakenly referred to as dyed which is incorrect information. Male blood parrots are infertile so if you have a pair of BP and they spawn, don't get exicted. The eggs will not live. The female can have fry with a few other male cichlids, tho.

Parrots can get Blood Spot Disease from poor water conditions. I do 50% water changes in all my fish tanks including that of my blood parrots. Some parrots also get black skin pigmentation so do not confuse this with the black spot disease.

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  • sherry cotten - 2013-10-27
    PLEASE help us we are beside ourselves, we have a thirty gallon tank and we had two parrot fish. One was getting sick swimming upside down, lost color, would not eat, was hiding, we got the ick stuff and fish first aid and it seemed to bounce back and forth. We went to serveral pet stores and read a lot of on line info, also had black spots on head and fins then they said it was just stressed and stop treating tank and we did and fish died and now the other has spots. We have been doing water changes and did one yesterday but water smells and we are not sure what to do as other seems to have like itchy skin and spots WE DON'T WANT TO KILL ANOTHER FISH WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG? THANKS, SHERRY.
  • bp - 2014-01-09
    To Sherry. How big is your tank? Have you checked your water conditions on ph, ammonia levels, nitrite, and nitrate levels as well as the correct temperature? Are you feeding with a good mix of food including pellets, peas to prevent swim bladder, or brine shrimp/blood worms for treats. Are you doing enough water changes like a recommended weekly? And do you have other fishes that may bully your blood barrots?
benruth - 2004-06-28
I keep a pair of blood parrots. Just the other day, one of them got a piece of gravel stuck inside its mouth! It was hiding away inside the caves for a couple of days, basically not its normal active playful self. Then one day, it got hungry enough to appear to dive for the floating pellets during mealtimes, and appears to spit it out when it reaches it. That is when i had the opportunity to see a piece of stone in its mouth!

i caught it with my net, and used a pair of tweezers to gently extract out the stone. It took a couple of attempts, as it seems lodged firmly inside. Thank God, it was finally pulled out, and i released the blood parrot back into the tank.

Within a couple of hours, it got back its normal appetite and level of energy! These fishes are indeed the center of (dis)traction for me! I highly recommend this fish.

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  • Angie - 2013-11-30
    Your post may be too dated for this response, but just in case, I have a question. Did someone help you remove the piece of gravel? Exactly how did you accomplish such a procedure on a little fish especially if he was trying to get away? I ask because I need to get some debris off my little maroon clown fish who is only about 2 inches long, if that! Hoping for a reply, Angie
Janice - 2003-08-17
I bought my very first Blood Parrot on 8/16/03 and although I have only had him/her for 1 day, I can safely say that I love my fish. This is the most entertaining fish I have in my whole tank. He loves to swim on his side and take nose dives at the bubble strip at the back of the tank and also nose dives at the gravel. He will stop and look at his own reflection for minutes at the time and then try to what looks like kiss himself. He is so funny. I have named him Sebastian after the orangy/red crab in the Little Mermaid.

Man made/bred fish or not, I love him and hope to have this little fella around for a long time.


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  • Deborah Harper - 2010-08-27
    i first saw this fish at my doctors office and fell in love with it so i went out and got me two, but i have a problem right now and i really would like some help, i just got a new one, even though i quess i had not paid much attention on how "bosses" henry gets to isabella, their names,it has only been one day but henry has been so bossey to buddy that buddy is not coming out from the corner, i changed the things around in the tank but that has not helped will buddy be ok? i am getting a bigger tank and i hope that will help.
  • Deborah Harper - 2010-09-13
    I am still trying to find out about the parrot fish and I haven't found out anything about why they push one another around other then being bossy but sometimes they even get mouth to mouth to each other, my little one, her name is isablea, tries to ignore the bossy one but it is hard for her, what can you do to get harmony in the tank?
  • Timeka - 2010-10-11
    I just purchased 2 purple parrots and I'm a little concerned with the fish. They don't swim much at all. If I didn't know for a fact that I put them in the tank they could almost pass for decoration in the tank. It's not a bad thing. I just want to know if this is normal behavior and if not... what should I try to get them well if they're ill? I really love these fish.
  • Anonymous - 2013-08-05
    Parrot fish are shy they tend to hide when being introduced to a new tank, home, person, ex.. After a few days maybe even a few weeks they should lighten up a bit after getting more comfortable.
Nashaad - 2013-07-18
Dear users, I have 7 parrots fishes in my aquarium. I have noticed that they all have got a white spot on their whole body. They have as well stopped eating. I have used some solution in the water but the condition of the fishes are deteriorating considerably day by day. Kindly advise me of any remedial action to take. Thanks in advance. Kind Regards Nashaad.

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-07-24
    It sounds like they may have ich. You will want to medicate your tank with hydrochloride or quinine sulphate and raise the temperature to 80 degrees Fahrenheith during treatment. Read more at this ich link.
Jennifer Hurta - 2012-12-29
We have 2 parrot fish, both orange. The smaller one is about 4' and the larger one is about 8'. The bigger one not only picks on the smaller one, but also likes to steal the algae chip away from our 12' plecostomus. It likes to dig holes by moving the gravel with his mouth and if you put your arm in there to fill in the holes, it will ram into your arm. Should I put this fish in a tank of its own?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-12-30
    How big is the tank?  Is their decor to give them their own space?
  • liz - 2013-07-16
    My blood parrot has become a menace. For 18 months he has lived peacefully with my gouramis, angels and various sharks, loaches, and catfish. About a fortnight ago my gouramis began to die one by one for no apparent reason. When I was down to one gourami, I caught the parrot 'beating' one of the angels. The angel appeared uninjured so I left it, I have always been told that these parrots are defenceless. But the very next day I noticed the parrot nosediving rapidly and repeatedly down behind a peice of bogwood in the tank. Thinking he was trying to get to food stuck down there I went over to investigate. He had the last remaining gourami trapped in there and was beating him to death! The gourami was not yet dead I removed him to an isolation tank but he died soon after. What can I do about the parrot? Having got rid of the gouramis he is now going after the only large fish left, the angels. He has already got one. He headbutted it between the eyes then while it was still stunned it went around and began ramming it in the sides hard enough to shoot it a few inches across the tank. By the time I got there the angel was dead. What is wrong with my parrot? There is plenty of room for everyone and the tank is well planted. He has never shown aggression before.
vikki howe - 2011-09-29
I have 3 parrot fish. One off them stayed in a wee cave I have in the tank for around 2 weeks only popping its head out to feed. When it eventually came out it seems to have developed a growth of some kind on its underside. It is quite a big growth. Can anyone tell me what it is? Or if it is something I should worry about.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-29
    I don't know what you mean by growth. There are several things it could be and the
    SYMPTOMS are listed in the Animal World Article Fish Disease and Symptoms. Scroll down to the symptoms and the recommended treatement is there.
  • mark howe - 2013-05-28
    take pic
bassam ronz - 2013-05-16
I have 1 parrot and 2 clarias fish which all about 7 month old, last 2 days my parrot shown black patches, i read it is from stress i changed the water and every thing is ok but nothing changes with the fish. And any one knows how to care with claris catfish i don't find any thing on the web, iam egyptian, as thi species is banned in america as invasive species.

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-05-16

    The Clarias, or Walking Catfish is a large fish from the family Clariidae. It has an elongated body with very long-based dorsal and anal fins. Eight barbels outline the mouth. The Clarias Catfish can display a large variety of colors including tan, gray, and brown. An albino strain has also been introduced to the hobby.

    Hope this helps!

    Due to their adult size of close to two feet in length, these fish must be provided with a large aquarium. One of the common names of this fish is 'Walking' Catfish, and as that name suggests, these fish have the ability to crawl onto land and 'walk' to a new body of water when their current environment won't suffice. Clarias Catfish are illegal in many of the warmer states due to the fact that they can be released by foolish owners into local ponds and take over with their predatory lifestyle and ability to wipe out an entire food chain and then move on to the next pond to continue. Obviously a tight-fitting canopy is a must. Provide the fish with plants and hiding places.

    A Clarias Catfish can attack, kill and eat fish close to its same size. For this reason most tankmates could become prey to this carnivore. Recommended foods include beef heart, earthworms, fish and vegetable matter such as brussel sprouts, pieces of fruit and softened rolled oats. If allowed, they will often eat until their bellies swell to the size of a human fist. If this should happen, allow for several days of fasting.

    The pH in the aquarium should be kept slightly acidic, between 6.5-7.0. A water temperature between 62-79 degrees F will suffice. These fish are extremely hardy and in warmer areas they may be kept without a heater if necessary.

    Little is known about the breeding behavior of these oddballs. Sexing can be done by observing the dorsal fin; males have spots on their dorsals while females lack this characteristic.

Xueming - 2012-06-06
I juz bought 9 blood parrot fish... but they seems very scared of me and lighting and always hide in a corner of the tank... is there anything i can do to reduce this?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-06
    It takes them awhile to acclimate to new surroundings - your new tank and decorations etc. Give them a few days and you will see them start to adjust and then they will start to come out and be around.
  • stalloney - 2012-06-08
    My mum bought 8. They were shy but when people not nearby the aquarium they came out from shying away. I tried to put other fishes such as red tail barb but they were attacking it so I guess they were not good around other fishes.
  • Anonymous - 2013-04-06
    I don't feed my fish that much and it is bigger than yours. I only feed maybe twice a day she is in a 35 gallon tank and has been in there for three months without me changing the water. I keep the water 2 inches from the top so the filter can slash for bubbles, and I have a heater that evaporates the water over two weeks and I add water over two weeks because it becomes too low for the filter. I bought this fish {Peachie} thinking she can go in with the 4 Oscars {Nomination}, {Grouch}, {Myers}, {Stars}, And Jack Dempsey{Jackso dempsey}. Well the Red blood kept on fighting with the Oscars so that I had to buy another tank for Peachie.
rebecca - 2012-12-27
I have recently purchased a 55 gallon tank. I have followed directions to the letter. Before I put the fish in I made sure it went through the cloudy algae bloom stage. Problem is it is still cloudy and it's been three weeks. What am I doing wrong? They are 4 big fish and 4 smaller

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-12-28
    Did you put the fish all in at once?  This can cause the cloudiness.  Tank will sort of re-cycle.  There is clarafication drops you can add that work well.  The tank will settle on its own but can be frustrating waiting.  Also if it is near a window with a lot of sunlight, that can cause an algae bloom.
Bella - 2011-10-02
Hello everyone! I purchased a blood parrot fish yesterday (or should I say last night) from walmart. I have been so intrigued by 'bella' and have been watching her every move since, so when I noticed her doing some kind of bobbing movement at the top of the tank sort of like she was gasping for air, I pointed it out to my boyfriend and he replied she's ok that's what fish do. Well after 45 mins or so of her doing it I began to panick once I noticed her laying on her side floating!!!! I really don't know what went wrong. I fed her 3 times today and after doing research I realized that my 1.5 tank is entirely to small for her and my water may not be warm enough. Please if you have any more suggestions as to what may be the problem PLEASE let me kmow. My boyfriend changed the water and bella is now stabalized, I just don't want to wake up in the morning and find my first pet EVER .......flatlined!!!! Thank you in advance!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-10-03
    Behaviorial problems are usually a result of tank conditions. Gasping at the surface, swimming sideways etc. Yes, the tank is too small and if the temperature was not properly maintained, this could cause the problem. Hopefully, if you corected it quickly, all should be OK. So check you water conditions, temperature, PH etc.
  • Anonymous - 2011-10-04
    Thank you so much
  • chris - 2011-10-07
    Bella is going to get to be 8 inches when she's grown up. You need at least a 55 gallon tank. They also like the water on the warmer side, I keep mine at 80. BPs also need regular water changes of 25-30% weekly. A betta would be a better choice for your little tank :) This is a good reason not to buy from Walmart, the salesperson should have told you this especially with this fish since it is scientifically impossible not to fall in love with their cuteness...I was hooked on first sight too!
  • Ty Hardymon - 2011-10-15
    Gaping is a behavior that most fish perform when they are in an oxygen poor environment. It is possible (given the size of your fish tank) that there is an insufficient amount of O2 in your tank to sustain the fishes metabolic processes. I would strongly recommend a larger tank. And some reading on your part about your new pet.
  • 0007 - 2012-01-27
    Parrot fish release a lot of ammonia. Require 60 gal tank or 30 with300 gal filter. The tank must have a developed nitrogen cycle bractria takes months must be bought. 150 watt metal halide with plants help greatly. All tanks must cycle ammonia aka piss and shit roten food plants to nitrite also highly poisonous to nitrite less harmful to a harmless gas tht is the cycle when adding fish you must add befetial bactria not cheap crap from walmart only petco or a pet store. Still requires monthy testing for all these,and 50% water change when issues arise maybe even two on different days .CLEAR WATER CAN BE POISONOUS TAP WATER CAN BE NO INSTANT FIXES MUST DEVELPE AND ESTABISHED TANK HE WILL DIE BLACK SPOTS ARE SIGNS OF STRESS LEARN WHAT YOUR DOING BEFORE YOU BY THEY ARE VERY SMART ITS SAD YOU MADE A BAD CHOICE