Blood Parrot Cichlid – Species Profile & Facts

Are you a cichlid lover? If your answer is yes, then it is time to read about why the Blood Parrot Cichlid should be an essential fish for your community aquarium! This beautiful fish is going to make your aquarium a delight to look at.

Whether you want to keep it in a single species aquarium, in a community tank or by itself, the Blood Parrot is going to bring you a lot of joy. Although it is recommended to have some experience with Cichlids before getting this one, it is not mandatory.

We are sure that you can figure this out by doing some research. In fact, this is why we wrote this article. It contains plenty of information about where the Blood Parrot Cichlid is from and how to take care of one. You will also learn how to breed this species and what types of other fish it is compatible with.

Without further ado, let’s talk about where exactly this fish came from and then we will continue with the rest.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Natural Habitat

This is where we usually mention the lake or river the fish comes from. Now we can’t do that because the Blood Parrot is actually a hybrid of the Midas and the Redhead cichlids. Unlike these two, it doesn’t even have a Latin name.

There are plenty of fish enthusiasts experimenting with breeding certain fish species. In this case, the result was quite amazing. Of course, the Blood Parrot Cichlid is not perfect and it has certain shortcomings, but nothing too serious.

It shares most of the needs and characteristics of a Central American Cichlid and should be treated as such. People can have a hard time buying the Blood Parrot Cichlid depending on where they live. Not all fish stores are willing to sell them because they consider the hybridization of fish unethical.

What makes things a bit harder for this fish is that its mouth is very small. You should make sure that the food you give them fits into their mouth. Their mouth constantly stays open. Although they have teeth, they grow somewhat deeper in their throat. This makes it impossible for them to bait each other, although Blood Parrots tend to bump into each other.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Fish Tank Requirements

Since the species has been produced by breeding the Midas and the Redhead Cichlids, there is no natural habitat to refer to. We need to take a look at how those two species live out in the wild in order to figure out how to treat this one.

They are freshwater fish who got accustomed to higher temperature waters in their natural habitat with moderate water flow. They will need plenty of hiding spots in the aquarium while there should be enough space to swim around as well.

Since they are skittish, they will use rocks, rock caves, plants and such as shelter. Recommended plants for the Blood Parrot are Anubias Nana, Java Fern and Hornwort. Get some soft sand substrate so that your fish don’t get hurt when they dig into it.

The recommended tank size is 30 gallons for a single Blood Parrot and plus 10 gallons for every additional one. Your fish will only appreciate it if you put them in a bigger tank so don’t hold back if you can do so.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Water Conditions

Now as we mentioned, this species prefers moderate water flow. All you need for this is a good filter that generates enough current while keeping the water clean. However, you will still need to change the water in small portions even if you have a really good filter. We have also mentioned that the Midas and the Redhead Cichlid come from flowing warm waters.

Therefore, room temperature certainly won’t be enough. You will need to invest into a heater and make sure it is set to the correct temperature. Our recommendation is to set it to somewhere between 76 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You also need to make sure that the acidity stays between 6.5-7.4 pH.

The Blood Parrot Cichlid prefers to live in soft water. If their color starts to fade, it means that the water is too cold. This also indicates that their immune system is getting weak, making them more exposed to diseases. If you follow all these tips, you will be able to keep the nitrite and phosphate concentration low in your aquarium.

These two contaminants can cause the growth of blue-green algae which can be very dangerous to your fish.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Diet and Feeding

You can provide your Blood Parrot Cichlid a diverse diet that consists of live foods, frozen foods, pellets and freeze-dried foods. Since they have a rather small mouth, you will always need to take this into account when feeding them. For example, they find it easier to eat sinking foods than floating ones.

You can also give them treats, as they absolutely love to eat brine shrimp, daphnia and bloodworms. If you want them to truly flourish in their vivid colors, then make sure to give them canthaxanthin and b-carotene rich foods. The reason why they can eat so many foods is because they are omnivores.

There are usually plenty of different types of pellets to choose from in the pet shop. You should buy those instead of flakes that are typically designed to float on the water surface. Pretty much any food can be used that is specifically made for Cichlids.

The most nutritious in their diet are always going to be live foods and frozen foods. It is best to give them these two mixed together with some dried food. Blood Parrot Cichlids eat as much as you give them so be careful not to overfeed them.

You only need to give them two portions of food throughout the day. Both should be an amount that they can consume in a few minutes. Since they have a hard time getting the food in their mouth, you will surely find leftover food in the tank. Make sure to remove that before it contaminates the water.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Tank Mates

In order to find out which tank mates are compatible with the Blood Parrot cichlid you need to take the Midas and Redhead Cichlids into account. Both of them are compatible with numerous other species. First off, its tank mates need to be peaceful because Blood Parrots are quite sensitive and they get stressed quickly.

It is common among fish keepers to keep this species together with Angelfish, Emperor Tetras, Dwarf Gouramis, Firemouth Cichlids and Tiger Barbs. These turned out to be ideal tank mates throughout the years and this is what you should try as well.

You can set up a pretty exciting aquarium with these wonderful fish. They are going to live together peacefully and it’s easy to take care of them too. You can add a couple of bottom dwellers as well, such as Clown Loaches, Yoyo Loaches, Clown Plecos or Corydoras.

It is not a good idea, however, to keep invertebrates together with them. They are eventually going to be eaten by one of your fish. If you are looking for something similar, then you can always get some Apple Snails. Since they have hard shells, they won’t get hurt.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Breeding

If you were looking forward to breed the Blood Parrot Cichlid, then we have some bad news for you here. Females can only be bred with other fish species. In this case, the fry will be the hybrid of the female and the male.

Why? Because unfortunately, Blood Parrot males are generally infertile. This only shows that cross-breeding can result in many downsides when it comes to new, hybrid fishes. But at least females are able to spawn, right?

So, if you are lucky and patient enough, it is going to happen with one of her tank mates. We even have a few tips for you which can help you increase the odds. First off, you should slowly raise the water temperature until it reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The other thing is to keep the water clean, the conditions stable and feed them some highly nutritious diet. They need all the vitamins and proteins in order to thrive. After breeding, the Blood Parrot female is going to lay down the eggs and eventually eat the ones that are infertile.

Once the fry spawn, you need to change a quarter of the aquarium water each day and keep them on a brine shrimp diet until they grow bigger.


The Blood Parrot Cichlid is a very interesting breed that flourishes in a strong orange color. They are a delight to look at, although every hybrid has its own shortcomings. If you are looking for a fish that you can breed at home, then this one is probably not the best choice.

If your goal is to set up an aquarium with some decorative fish in it, on the other hand, then the Blood Parrot is a must-have. Keep it together with a few of the peaceful fish we mentioned and you are going to have a great time. It is easy to take care of them, just make sure they eat enough because this species has a rather small mouth and his teeth is not very functional.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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