Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: With Caution
General Description: The Blood Red Parrot Cichlid is a hybrid fish of man-made origin. Making its first appearance in Taiwan in the late 1980s, the Parrot cichlid for a long time was thought to be a result of a cross between a Midas or Red Devil Cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) and a Gold Severum (Heros severus). However, these fish have since been reclassified into different families, thus making successful reproduction between them unlikely. Now, it is thought that the Parrot cichlid originated from a pairing of a Midas cichlid and Redhead cichlid (Vieja synspila), but the mystery and debate to this day continues. Red parrot cichlids can vary from dark/blood red variants, orange, and yellow. They grow to an approximate size of 7 to 8″ and can live 10 – 15 years. Temperament of Red parrot cichlids varies considerably among individuals; some are docile and can be kept in community tanks with no issue, while others may exhibit more aggressive behavior. There are no diagnosable differences between male and female Red parrot cichlids. Males are sterile, but females may attempt to spawn with other cichlids in the aquarium.
Diet Requirements: A diet made up of various high quality protein and vegetable based foods are ideal. Such options include frozen brine shrimp and blood worms, and foods containing Spirulina algae are a plus. Parrot cichlids will accept large sinking pellet foods and flake foods, but these should not make up the majority of their diet. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. Parrot cichlids are notorious for becoming greedy and will often learn to “beg” for food, but feeding only once a day should be exercised.
Care Requirements: A minimum 55 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small Red parrot cichlid. An adult will require more space upwards of 90+ gallons. This cichlid should not be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters reasonable (Nitrates < 30 ppm). Parrot cichlids are relatively indifferent to aquarium decor and specific water chemistry parameters, but some stacked rocks to create caves, driftwood and other natural looking arrangements or artificial plants will bring out the beauty of this fish. Some unobstructed and open swimming space should also be provided. A sandy or fine substrate several inches deep is preferred and the aquarium needs to be well oxygenated. The temperament of your individual Parrot cichlid will determine its compatabilty. If you are interested in keeping multiple Parrot cichlids together, we suggest getting them all at a smaller size and adding them simultaneously for the best success. Recommended water conditions, 74-84° F, KH 3-8, pH 6.0-7.0.
Purchase Size: Medium: 1-3/4” to 2-1/4”, Large: 2-1/2” to 3-1/2”, XLarge: 4+”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.