Cichlids have one nostril on each side while other fish have 2 sets. To sense “smells” in the water, they suck water in and expel the water right back out after being “sampled” for a short or longer time, depending on how much the cichlid needs to “smell” the water. This feature is shared by saltwater damselfish and cichlids are thought to be closely related.
- Size of fish – inches: 8.0 inches (20.32 cm)
- Lifespan: 10 years
The Blood Parrot is a hardy fish and good for the beginner cichlid keeper. Because of the shape of the mouth feeding can be difficult at times, but there are commerical foods designed for this fish. These fish are messy feeders, so be prepared to perform a good deal of cleaning.
- Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately hardy
- Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
Since they are omnivorous the Blood Parrot will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food or pellet everyday. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat. Live guppies and goldfish will suffice when they get bigger. Proteins high in B-carotene will promote good coloring.
- Diet Type: Omnivore
- Flake Food: Yes
- Tablet / Pellet: Yes – Sinking pellets work best.
- Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet – Make sure to quarantine feeders prior introducing them to the main tank as food.
- Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
- Meaty Food: Some of Diet
- Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day
Perform water changes of 20 – 25% weekly, more or less depending on stocking numbers. If water quality is ignored, as with all cichlids, disease and death can occur. The viewing panes should be cleaned with a sponge or algae magnet, once algae settles use a siphon vacuum to clean all the debris from the substrate. Make sure to get up all the excess food the the Parrot leaves behind.
- Water Changes: Weekly
A 30 gallon tank will be fine for juveniles for the first couple of years, but for adults 55 gallons is suggested. They prefer slow to moderate moving water along with good efficient filtration. Because thse fish are such messy eaters, a large canister filter will work best. The aquarium should have low to moderate lighting. Provide a substrate of fine dark sand along with rocks and roots for places to hide along with open areas for swimming. Make sure to use a fairly soft substrate as these fish enjoy digging. Plants can also be included as they will not bother them.
They can be easy to care for if water changes are performed frequently. They can have a lifespan of 10 or more years with proper care.
- Minimum Tank Size: 30 gal (114 L) – 30 for juveniles and a minimum of 55 for adults.
- Substrate Type: Sand/Gravel Mix
- Lighting Needs: Moderate – normal lighting
- Temperature: 70.0 to 82.0° F (21.1 to 27.8° C)
- Range ph: 6.5-8.0
- Hardness Range: 2 – 25 dGH
- Brackish: No
- Water Movement: Weak
- Water Region: Middle