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Blood Parrot Cichlid

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Blood Parrot Cichlid, an intriguing and popular fish among aquarium enthusiasts. This article aims to provide a detailed understanding of this unique fish, from its profile to its care requirements.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Facts

Scientific Name Hybrid (No specific scientific name)
Common Names Blood Parrot Cichlid, Blood Red Parrot Cichlid
Family Cichlidae
Origin Hybrid (Primarily from Midas and Redhead Cichlids)
Average Size Up to 8 inches (20 cm)
Lifespan 10 to 15 years
Coloration Bright orange, red to yellow variations
Temperament Semi-aggressive
Tank Requirements Minimum 30 gallons, warm water (76-80°F), pH 6.5-7.5
Diet Omnivorous (flake, pellet, frozen, and live foods)
Breeding Difficult due to hybrid nature; males often infertile
Compatibility Best with similar size and temperament fish

Blood Parrot Cichlid Profile

The Blood Parrot Cichlid, a hybrid fish, is known for its vibrant colors and distinctive shape. These fish are a result of crossbreeding between different Cichlid species, primarily the Midas and the Redhead Cichlid. They typically grow to about 8 inches in size and can live for 10 to 15 years in a well-maintained aquarium.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Coloring

One of the most striking features of the Blood Cichlid is its color. These fish are known for their bright orange hue, although colors can range from red to yellow. The intensity of their color can be influenced by diet and aquarium conditions.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Habitat

Blood Parrot Cichlids, a hybrid species, do not have a natural habitat. Their ideal habitat includes a spacious tank with hiding places, such as caves and rocks, to mimic natural structures, ensuring a stress-free environment for these colorful and active fish.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Aquarium Setup

Creating an ideal aquarium setup for Parrot cichlid is essential for their health and well-being. These fish require specific conditions to thrive, including the right tank size, water parameters, and a suitable environment. Below are detailed guidelines to help you establish the perfect habitat for your Blood Parrot Cichlids.

  • Tank Size and Requirements

Blood parrot fish need ample space to swim and thrive. A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for a single fish. However, if you plan to keep multiple cichlids or a community tank, consider a larger tank, preferably 50 gallons or more. The tank should be equipped with a sturdy lid, as these fish can jump.

  • Water Conditions

Water quality is crucial for the health of Blood Cichlid fish. The ideal water temperature for these fish is between 76 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (24.4-26.6°C). They prefer a pH level ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 and moderate water hardness. Regular water changes, at least 25% bi-weekly, are recommended to maintain optimal water quality.

  • Filtration and Aeration

A high-quality filtration system is necessary to keep the water clean and free from harmful toxins. Blood Parrot Cichlids produce a significant amount of waste, so a filter with a strong biological and mechanical filtration capacity is ideal. Adequate aeration and water movement are also essential for oxygenation.

  • Substrate and Decorations

The substrate should consist of fine gravel or sand to prevent injury to the fish. Blood Parrot Cichlids appreciate a tank with plenty of hiding spots and caves, which can be created using rocks, driftwood, and artificial decorations. Ensure that all decorations are secure and have no sharp edges.

  • Lighting and Plants

Moderate lighting is suitable for Blood Red Cichlids. Live plants can be added to the aquarium, as they help in maintaining water quality and provide a more natural environment. However, choose hardy plant species as Red Parrot Cichlids may dig and uproot delicate plants.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Breeding

Breeding Blood Parrot Cichlids presents unique challenges due to their hybrid nature. While breeding these fish can be difficult, understanding their breeding environment and spawning process can increase the chances of successful breeding. Here’s a detailed look at these aspects.

Breeding Environment

To encourage breeding in Blood Parrot Cichlids, creating a conducive environment in the aquarium is essential. This includes maintaining a slightly higher water temperature, around 80 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, which can stimulate breeding behavior. The water should be kept clean with regular changes, and a slightly higher pH, around 7.5, can be beneficial. Providing plenty of hiding spaces and cave-like structures can also create a comfortable environment for spawning.

Spawning Process

The spawning process for Blood Red Parrot Cichlids is similar to other cichlids. Once a pair has formed, the female will lay eggs on a flat, clean surface, such as a rock or a specially provided breeding slate. The male, if fertile, will then fertilize the eggs. However, fertility can be an issue as many male Blood Parrot Cichlids are often sterile due to their hybrid nature.

After fertilization, both parents may guard the eggs, showing aggressive tendencies towards tank mates. The eggs usually hatch within 3 to 5 days, depending on the water temperature. Post-hatching, the fry can be fed with specially formulated fry food or finely crushed flake food until they are large enough to accept regular cichlid diet.

Blood Parrot Deformities

Blood Cichlids, being a hybrid species, are often subject to various physical deformities, a consequence of selective breeding practices. Among the most common are irregularities in their spinal structure, leading to a bent or crooked spine. This can impact their swimming ability and overall mobility. Another notable deformity is the development of an abnormally shaped mouth, which can sometimes be small and makes feeding challenging. Additionally, these fish may exhibit irregularities in their swim bladder, affecting buoyancy and balance in the water.

These deformities are not just aesthetic concerns but can lead to health issues, including difficulties in feeding, swimming, and susceptibility to stress and infections. It’s essential for aquarists to provide a stress-free environment, with special attention to diet and tank conditions, to mitigate the impact of these deformities on the fish’s quality of life.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Diet & Feeding

The diet of Blood Parrot Cichlids should be varied and balanced. They are omnivorous and can be fed a combination of flake, pellet, frozen, and live foods. It’s important to ensure that they receive enough vitamins and minerals for maintaining their vibrant coloration.

Blood Red Cichlid Compatibility

When it comes to tank mates, Blood parrot fish do best with fish of similar size and temperament. They can be aggressive, especially during breeding season, so it’s advisable to avoid keeping them with much smaller or more timid fish species. Ideal tank mates include honey gourami, dwarf gourami, silver dollar, plecos, tiger barb, kuhli loaches, angelfish, tetras, and danios.

Blood Red Parrot Cichlid Common Diseases

Blood Cichlid fish are prone to several common diseases, including Ichthyophthirius (Ich), a parasitic infection causing white spots on the skin and fins. They can also suffer from bacterial infections, resulting in fin rot and ulcers. Poor water conditions often exacerbate these issues. Regular tank maintenance, proper nutrition, and monitoring for early signs of distress are crucial for their health.


The Blood Parrot Cichlid is a fascinating and colorful addition to any aquarium. With proper care, a suitable environment, and compatible tank mates, these unique fish can thrive and bring vibrant life to your aquatic setup. Remember to provide them with a balanced diet and regular tank maintenance to ensure their health and longevity.