Blood Parrot Cichlid – Care, Size, Behavior, Tank Mates

These vibrant fish, known for their distinctive shape and coloration, can make excellent pets with proper care.

This article will cover everything you need about Blood Parrot Cichlids, including care, size, behavior, and suitable tank mates.

They have become increasingly popular among hobbyists due to their unique appearance and engaging personalities.

However, caring for these fish requires specific knowledge and attention to detail.

Following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure that your Blood Parrot Cichlid thrives in its new home while providing an aesthetically pleasing addition to your aquarium setup.

Species Overview

These colorful fish are not found in the wild and were first created through hybridization in Taiwan in 1986.

While it’s unclear what species were used to create these unique fish, many believe the Redhead Cichlid and Midas Cichlid played a role as parent species.

Regardless of their origins, Blood Parrot Cichlids have become an increasingly popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts over the years due to their striking physical characteristics.

No matter what happens, these fish remain uncommon in aquatic trading.

Due to the many debates surrounding their creation, numerous stores won’t even deign to carry them!

But the opinion on this fish has evolved considerably in recent years.

However, proper care and diet can raise healthy specimens quite easily.

Lifespan Of Blood Parrot Cichlids


Blood Parrot Cichlids can live for 10 to 15 years if properly cared for.

Their lifespan, however, can be shortened by various factors such as diseases and defective genes.

Moreover, environmental factors such as water quality and temperature play a crucial role in determining the life expectancy of these fish.

Poor water quality or fluctuating temperatures can cause stress and diseases that may shorten their lifespan.

Breeding success also plays an important part in the overall health of Blood Parrot Cichlids.

Fish genetically modified or not bred from healthy parents tend to have shorter lifespans due to underlying health issues.

To ensure your Blood Parrot Cichlid lives as long as possible, providing them with a well-maintained tank environment and high-quality food is essential.

Also, choosing a reputable breeder/seller when purchasing your fish can greatly increase their chances of living long and healthy lives.

Remember that owning a pet comes with responsibilities; taking care of your Blood Parrot Cichlid means serving them with love and attention throughout their entire lifetime.

Appearance And Colors

Blood Parrot Cichlids have an unmistakable appearance, which is why they’ve become so popular in the aquarium world.

Though these fish are hybrids, they still have some genetic flaws – but that doesn’t detract from their beauty!

The Blood Parrot Cichlid is large and round. They have a big nuchal hump and a small, rounded head. Plus, their eyes are huge and dazzling in color.

This fish also has a unique mouth – small and opens up like a bird’s beak. Unfortunately, they can’t close their mouths, but they have teeth in their throats to help them eat.

When it comes to color, Blood Parrot Cichlids are some of the most vibrant fish out there!

Many are solid orange, but you can also find them in red, yellow, gray, or multicolored patches of white or yellow.

However, it’s best to avoid the more exotic colors, as they may result from dye injections, which can significantly shorten their lifespan.

Average Size Of Blood Parrot Cichlids

These fish are relatively small, with adult males reaching around 8 inches long and females slightly shorter at 6-7 inches.

While it is rare for them to reach lengths up to 10 inches, it happens occasionally.

One important factor affecting the growth rate of these fish is their feeding habits.

Providing a balanced diet consisting of high-quality pellets, vegetables, and occasional live or frozen foods is crucial.

In addition, providing adequate tank size and proper water conditions can also promote healthy growth.

When fully grown, these cichlids require ample space to swim and explore their environment while maintaining territorial boundaries.

Overall, Blood Parrot Cichlids are visually striking fish that require specific care requirements to thrive in captivity.

Tank Requirements For Blood Parrot Cichlids

Creating the perfect tank for your Blood Parrot Cichlid can be a fun and rewarding experience.

The Blood Parrot Cichlid requires a minimum tank size of 30 gallons to thrive. Being an active fish, it needs plenty of space to swim.

For every extra Blood Parrot Cichlid you add to the tank, increasing the volume by 10 gallons is best.

Although, the larger the tank, the better, and If you want to keep a small group of these fish, opt for a tank of 60 gallons or more.

However, it’s important to consider their needs when setting up their home.

Along with providing ample space, a few other key factors need to be taken into account.

Filter types: As these fish produce a lot of waste, investing in a quality filter is imperative.

Canister filters or hang-on-back filters are great options that will help keep the water clean and clear.

Be sure to choose one rated for at least twice the volume of your tank.

Lighting options: While Blood Parrot Cichlids don’t require special lighting, adding LED lights can enhance your aquarium’s look.

Not only do they come in an array of colors, but they also last longer than traditional bulbs.

Decor options: Providing plenty of hiding spots is important as these fish like to retreat occasionally.

Consider incorporating driftwood, rocks, and plants into your decor scheme.

Maintenance tips: Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure your Blood Parrot Cichlid thrives in its environment.

This includes weekly water changes (25-50% depending on how many fish you have), regularly cleaning the filter, and monitoring water parameters such as pH levels and temperature.

Following these simple steps will create a healthy and happy habitat for your beloved pet without breaking the bank.

Maintaining Water Parameters For Blood Parrot Cichlids

These fish prefer slightly acidic and warm waters.

The temperature of the water should range from 76-80°F for optimal conditions.

The ideal pH levels should be between 6.5 and 7.4, and the hardness of the water should be 6-18 dGH.

To ensure your aquarium stays comfortable for them, regularly test the water with a reliable kit.

Water testing is crucial in maintaining good water quality for your fish, and it allows you to monitor pH levels, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate concentrations.

This way, you can adjust filtration systems accordingly or perform partial water changes when necessary.

Investing in a high-quality filtration system will also help keep the water clean and healthy for your fish.

Additionally, proper pH management using buffering products can prevent sudden drops or spikes that may harm your fish.

Remember: Prevention is key!

By keeping up with regular maintenance tasks such as testing the water frequently, changing out filter media when needed, performing partial water changes every few weeks, and monitoring pH levels closely – you can enjoy watching your Blood Parrot Cichlids thrive in their beautiful home!

Setting Up A Tank For Blood Parrot Cichlids

Creating a comfortable and safe environment for your Blood Parrot Cichlids is crucial to their well-being.

Tank decoration plays a significant role in providing hiding spots and creating an exciting atmosphere miming their natural habitat.

It’s essential to balance open swimming space and plenty of hiding places.

Utilize driftwood, plant pots, rocks, artificial caves, and plants like Java Fern, Anubias, and Hornwort to create multiple hiding areas.

Filtration options are also critical when setting up a tank for these fish. Invest in high-volume filtration systems to keep the water conditions excellent.

Water circulation should be sufficient to avoid stagnant water that could lead to bacterial growth and diseases.

Lighting choices vary depending on preference, but keeping subdued works best for Blood Parrot Cichlid tanks.

Soft standard or red spectrum light will do just fine as they don’t require much light exposure.

Common Diseases Of Blood Parrot Cichlids

Now that you have set up a tank for your Blood Parrot Cichlids, it is important to know about the common diseases that can affect them.

Prevention is always better than cure, so here are some tips to remember.

Test water conditions regularly to prevent diseases like Ich and swim bladder disease.

These cichlids produce a lot of waste, so changing 50 percent of the water every two weeks will help stabilize levels and avoid stress.

Also, be careful when introducing new fish into the tank, as they may bring diseases.

Monitor their behavior and symptoms to catch any issues early on.

Symptoms to look out for include discolored patches or spots on their skin, clamped fins, loss of appetite, lethargy, and breathing difficulties.

If you notice any of these signs in your Blood Parrot Cichlid(s), isolate them from other fish immediately and take action accordingly.

Treatment options vary depending on the disease, but over-the-counter medications or natural remedies such as elevated temperature and light salinity can work wonders.

Common causes of swim bladder disease include genetic defects or poor diet, so ensure you feed your fish a balanced meal consisting of high-quality pellets supplemented with vegetables and live foods.

Remembering these prevention tips and eyeing for symptoms can go a long way in ensuring good health for your Blood Parrot Cichlid(s).

In case of illness, prompt treatment is key to prevent further complications.

Feeding And Diet For Blood Parrot Cichlids

Regarding feeding and diet for Blood Parrot Cichlids, there are a few important factors to consider. These fish have specific nutritional requirements that must be met for them to thrive.

Firstly, it’s important to note that Blood Parrot Cichlids should be fed in small amounts frequently throughout the day instead of one large meal.

Overfeeding can lead to health issues such as bloating and swim bladder problems. Regarding feeding frequency, aim for 2-3 small meals per day.

Secondly, while these fish will readily accept most commercial foods, ensuring they receive a balanced diet with all necessary nutrients is essential.

Live or frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms can provide additional protein but should only be given occasionally as part of a varied diet.

Prepared sinking pellets explicitly formulated for cichlids make up the bulk of their diet and should always be available in the aquarium.

Remember, overfeeding is a common issue regarding Blood Parrot Cichlid care.

Be mindful of how much you’re offering at each mealtime, and remove any uneaten food promptly after feeding.

Your Blood Parrot Cichlid will remain healthy and happy in its home aquarium with proper feeding habits and attention to its nutritional needs.

Behavior And Temperament Of Blood Parrot Cichlids

These fish can behave aggressively if kept in an overcrowded tank or with other aggressive species.

However, they are generally peaceful and calm when provided with the right environment.

Blood Parrot Cichlids enjoy their privacy and spend most of the day hiding out. They are semi-active swimmers, often found swimming around the middle water column.

Occasionally, you may find them digging for food on the substrate.

Socialization needs vary from one fish to another, but training techniques can be used to improve their behavior towards tank mates.

Compatible Tank Mates For Blood Parrot Cichlids

Cichlid Compatibility is essential when selecting tank mates for your Blood Parrot Cichlids.

They are best kept in groups or with other peaceful fish species.

It’s important to remember that these cichlids can grow up to 8 inches long and require a large enough tank to swim freely.

Social Behavior is also significant for this species, as they tend to exhibit schooling behavior when kept in groups.

While shopping around for compatible tank mates, consider the color variations of the species you want to add to your aquarium.

The contrast between colors can make for a visually stunning display!

Here are two sub-lists of compatible tank mate options:

Peaceful Species:

  • Yoyo Loach
  • Honey Gourami
  • Silver Dollar Fish

Semi-Aggressive Species:

  • Firemouth Cichlid
  • Tiger Barb
  • Bala Shark

Remember to research the specific requirements of each species before introducing them into your aquarium.

Proper planning and consideration can create a harmonious aquatic life community that will thrive together!

Breeding Blood Parrot Cichlids


Remarkably, breeding two Blood Parrot Cichlids in captivity is highly uncommon.

Females can lay eggs; however, they usually don’t get fertilized by male Blood Parrots, and this is because most of these males are infertile.

Fish breeders have begun using hormones to enhance the fertility of males.

However, this is still rare when two Blood Parrot Cichlids attempt to breed in a captive environment.

If you consider yourself blessed to have a healthy pair, the male will chase the female around the tank until she lays her eggs on a smooth surface.

Then, he will fertilize them by releasing milt over the eggs.

This process can take several hours and requires patience.

Once the eggs have been fertilized, both parents will aggressively guard their nest against potential predators or threats.

They will fan water over the eggs to ensure proper oxygenation and remove any debris that may settle on them.

After a few days, the tiny fry will hatch from the eggs and cling to the rocks with their yolk sacs still attached.

Not disturbing them during this time is crucial as they are very vulnerable.

Selective breeding techniques can be used to create different color variations in Blood Parrot Cichlid offspring.

On occasion, female Blood Parrot Cichlids have successfully bred with other Cichlid species. Yet, many fish fanatics try to avoid this as it leads to the growth of another hybrid species.

However, it’s essential to remember that these fish are hybrids and should never be released into the wild.

Breeding Blood Parrot Cichlids requires careful attention to detail and dedication toward providing parental care for adults and fry alike.


Blood parrot cichlids are a fascinating and unique addition to any aquarium.

They have a distinct appearance with their round bodies and vibrant colors, making them stand out from other fish species.

While they can be somewhat challenging to care for due to their specific tank requirements and occasional aggressive behavior, the effort is well worth it for those who appreciate these charming creatures.

If you consider adding blood parrot cichlids to your tank, ensure adequate space and appropriate tank mates.

With proper care and attention, these fish will live for many years and provide endless joy as you watch them swim in their colorful world.