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FAQs on Parrot, Jelly-Bean... Cichlids, Behavior

Related Articles: Blood Parrots & Flowerhorn Cichlids: maintenance and healthcare of two popular hybrid cichlids by Neale Monks, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in General

Related FAQs: Parrot Cichlids 1, Parrot Cichlids 2, & Parrot Cichlid Identification, Parrot Cichlid Compatibility, Parrot Cichlid Selection, Parrot Cichlid Systems, Parrot Cichlid Feeding, Parrot Cichlid Health, Parrot Cichlid Reproduction, & Neotropical Cichlids 1, Cichlids of the World, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

Parrot fish behavior   9/16/14
I have two large parrot fish, at least 4" who are approx 8 years old.
<Oh! Freshwater... this was inadvertently placed in the marine queries here. Even so, these fish should be much larger at this age>
They are the only fish in my 26 gallon tank.
They are eating very well and generally appear happy and healthy ( they lose their bright orange color frequently but it returns) within hours.
<Yes; water quality (worsening) issues... Metabolite build-up... polluted by their own wastes. Also accounts for their being "bonsai'ed" here. Need to change a good deal (25%) of the water at least once a week. See WWM re maint.>
My question,
They have started a weird swimming to the top and bumping hard at the top of the aquarium. So hard they splash water out. Should I be concerned by this behavior?
<Yes... this is manifest of the pollution mentioned... NEED more filtration, less nitrate (as a measure, indication)... BETTER world. NOW>
Thank you,
<See Neale's article re this cross on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Parrot fish behavior       9/17/14

I have two large parrot fish, at least 4" who are approx 8 years old. They are the only fish in my 26 gallon tank. They are eating very well and generally appear happy and healthy (they lose their bright orange color frequently but it returns) within hours. My question, They have started a weird swimming to the top and bumping hard at the top of the aquarium. So hard they splash water out. Should I be concerned by this behavior?
Thank you,
<Hello Denise. As Bob stated, the aquarium is far too small for these cichlids, and that's likely the root cause of your problems. I bet if they
were in (or moved to) a 55-gallon aquarium then you'd see their colours and moods would be better. So yes, do start by reading here:
Follow up by understanding that your cichlids aren't that old (12-15 years is about the lifespan of these fish under good conditions) so we can't
dismiss these problems as "just old age". Nitrate is the key factor with large cichlids, alongside of course nitrite and ammonia. So while good
filtration (and moderate stocking and feeding) help keep nitrite and ammonia at zero, regular water changes (likely substantial in this case,
50% weekly if not more often than that) will be essential to keep nitrate sensible, ideally below 20 mg/l and certainly no higher than 40 mg/l. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Parrot Fish Age Question /Illness      4/20/13
<Brenda (my oldest sis name also)>
I currently have 2 parrot fish that are approximately 10+ years old living in a 75 gallon tank.  The water quality is good, gets partially changed every 3 weeks (including filters) (approx 25 %) and has been since I set up the tank 10 years ago.  The last 2 weeks one of the fish has been off food so I did a partial water change and no improvement.  The past 24 hours he has been sitting on the bottom of the tank not doing much.
<I'd be measuring water quality... e.g. is there more than 20 ppm of nitrate here?>
I'm not sure what to do next?!  At first I assumed perhaps he's dying of old age, but would hate to make that assumption.
Any suggestions?
<... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FHParrotDisArtNeale.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parrot Fish Age Question /Illness   4/21/13

 Thank you for the quick response but unfortunately, my fish died during the night:( 
I do keep a close eye on water quality and have for the past 10 years and the fish have been extremely healthy with no problems.  I know how easy it is for fish to get sick with overcrowding and poor water quality and that all appears to be good.
<Mmm... well...>
Is it possible he died of old age? I've done some research on your website and I find a lot of references to 7 years of age as being "old" but it doesn't say what the typical life span is for the parrotfish.
<Ten years is not uncommon, but a good long time. Could be "cumulative genetic/replicant defects" (senescence) at play here...>
 As usual I appreciate all your help!
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

New Parrot Fish Hiding/not eating
Hiding Parrot Cichlids   8/15/11

I just inherited a 45 gallon tank. I decided to get 2 Blood Red Parrot Cichlids. At the pet store, there was a tank with 2 Parrots in it. They looked very healthy and came right up to the glass and followed my finger.
They were feeding all of the fish at this time so I was able to see them eating as well. The pet store guy said that they were a pair and have laid eggs in the tank before. So I impulsively bought the fish and brought them home before the tank had water in it. (Yes, I know this was not a good idea)
I began filling the water in the new/used tank and apparently the previous owner used an under gravel filter and my water was now FULL of poop! I then put the parrots in another 40 gallon community tank temporarily, realizing the error of my ways. In the temporary tank they hid most of the time but would come out when no one was looking and were still eating. A week later the new tank was ready. I did not put very many hiding places because I wanted them to stay out. They completely went crazy zipping from one side to the other, terrified. They even ran their head on the filter as they passed.
So, I put hiding places in their for them. I let them go for a few days to let them get used to their new home. They wouldn't move or eat.. They just laid on their side and hid. I did some more research and found it recommended to put other fish in the tank for the Parrots to watch. The idea being that when they see that no harm comes to the other little fish they would feel more comfortable and come out. So, yesterday I got 3 silver dollar fish and put them in the tank. I immediately saw the 2 Parrot fish perk up a little and watch the new fish. One Parrot even sped from his current hiding place to where the other was hiding and squished himself against the other, but they still didn't eat. I am writing in hopes that you might have some suggestions on how else to make them happy and comfortable.
I read that they were shy, but I had no idea they would be this shy! And, in the store they were so friendly. Please help.. any advise or criticism is welcome. Also, are the silver dollars a good tank buddy for the parrots? I read that they would be OK but the pet store person discouraged it. Thank you Jessica Hansen
< You fish have been through quite a lot recently and need some time to adjust. Try leaving the light on for just a couple of hours each day and slowly increase the photo period to at least 8 hours. The dither fish is a good idea. When you feed the dither fish then the parrots should come out more often. Just do things slowly and they will get use to their new surroundings.-Chuck>

black spots and black colouring in red parrots body and upper lips -- 1/27/10
I bought 4 red parrots and 2 Oscar babies four days back .... they are good and eating well and fighting well .... hiding well also in this four parrots one parrot was having a black spot on its upper lip when I was getting it ... and now I noticed they are having similar spots on its belly also and is black in colour...I never noticed this when I was getting this.... but the fish is normal in eating and playing ... but its a bit aggressive than other fishes its always fighting and butting other fishes .... it is the biggest fish in all the fishes ... I don know weather its a disease or just colour of the fish . pls help .
<Hello Kareen. Before going any further, can we please remind you to send image attachments each less than 500 KB in size? We have only limited e-mail storage space here, and if people send us 11 MB of images -- as you did -- that storage space gets filled quickly. That means other people's messages will be bounced back. We do specifically state this on the page where you found our e-mail address. Anyway, "Black Patch Disease" on Blood Parrots is fairly common. Unfortunately, it isn't one specific thing. Since these cichlids are hybrids, they are genetically variable. One of the ancestor species of the Blood Parrot was Amphilophus citrinellus, a species that often changes colour. So sometimes Blood Parrots develop odd "calico" patches, just like Amphilophus spp. Obviously, there's nothing you can do about this. On other occasions, black patches are likely ammonia burns, just like you see on Goldfish. If you have non-zero levels of ammonia, this could very easily be the problem. Fixing the water conditions will prevent this, and over time, discoloured scales MAY be replaced. Finally, opportunistic infections such as Finrot can cause discoloured patches, just as they can on any other fish. Certainly fighting can lead to damage, and wounds can become infected, especially if ammonia and nitrite levels aren't zero. Ironically given how big your photos were, they're actually too blurry to be 100% sure what's going on. I'd plumb for either genetics or ammonia burns. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: black spots and black colouring in red parrots body and upper lips -- 1/27/10
thank you very much . I reside in India in my place the local pet shops do not have any instrument to check water quality ... what else can I do ...
pls help ...
<If you cannot check water chemistry and cannot check water quality, you must be conservative. Do the following:
[1] Keep the tank lightly stocked. Allow 80-100 litres per Blood Parrot.
[2] Add Rift Valley Salt Mix to each bucket of water to raise the pH and hardness levels. Add to each 5 gallons/20 litres of new water the following:
* 1 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
* 1 tablespoon Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)
* 1 teaspoon marine salt mix (sodium chloride + trace elements)
Stir into each bucket of water, and then do your normal water changes. Do not add directly to the aquarium, and do not change all the water all at once!
[3] Use a robust filtration system. Aim for a turnover rate of not less than 4 times the volume of the tank per hour, and ideally 6 times the volume of the tank. In other words, if the aquarium is 200 litres in size, the filter should be rated between 800 and 1200 litres per hour.
[4] Do weekly water changes of 25%.
[5] Do not overfeed; ideally, skip a day. Use food sparingly, and remove uneaten food within 5 minutes. Better to feed two small meals per day than one big meal.
[6] Do not use any sorts of live foods; only use pellet foods, vegetables, and things you'd eat yourself (like little bits of prawn or tilapia filet).
Hope this helps, Neale.>

my parrot fish turns upside down and does not eat food.  1/02/10
Hi, I am Nalin
<Hi, Nalin, Melinda with you here tonight.>
I have parrot fish which does not eat anything and is always lying in a corner upside down. It has been with me since the last year but since last month it is behaving awkwardly. The average temperature of my tank is 28
degree Celsius. All the fishes are keen to eat the pellets but it does not eat.
<Are the pellets all you are feeding?>
I had put it into the hospital tank for about 16 hours but nothing seems to happen.
<What did you do while the fish was there (treatments/medication?).
the other parrot fish is plump and easily eats food. I have provided it with antibiotics but the matter is still not improving. it is not able to swim properly and sometimes pant at the surface. I also increased the oxygen supply. Please tell me a solution.
<I think we need more information before a solution can be revealed. Are you feeding wet-frozen foods, or only dry? What are your Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels? If you'd provide information as to what you are
feeding, as well as water quality, I think we can get this guy "fixed up."
Does your fish look bloated at all? Please read here on Blood Parrots (I'm assuming this is what you mean, as opposed to a True Parrot Fish -- please correct me if I am wrong!:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FHParrotCichArtNeale.htm and those linked pages below the title of this article.

Re: my parrot fish turns upside down and does not eat food. -- 01/03/10
I am feeding them pellets, blood worms <Are these wet-frozen or freeze dried?> and coz <not a word...> I have turtles I am giving them turtle food. The other fishes also like to eat turtle food.
<It's best to mix wet-frozen foods/vegetables in with those dry foods to avoid constipation/digestive problems.>
When the fish was there in the hospital tank I dissolved general aid medicine anti itch
<Do you mean ich? Why are you treating for that?>
and an antibiotic which the local fish dealer told me about
<What antibiotic? Didn't you say the fish was only in the tank for sixteen hours? Even if your fish has a bacterial infection, what you did wasn't long enough to help it. Most antibiotics prescribe a treatment period of at least a few days, not a few hours.>
Did you get the photos
<Yes, I did, but these aren't especially revealing.... looks like an upside-down fish. You're not giving me some of the information I need in order to help you. I really need to know what your water parameters are (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate). Did you read where I referred you? Please read where I referred you and use the search bar available on WWM to help yourself. You're treating this fish for illness he does not have, then throwing him in a tank full of antibiotics for less than a day, etc., and what you need to be doing is reading so that you can make educated decisions. What you're doing now isn't going to help your fish. Please feel free to write back after you've read where I've referred you and you can provide me with numbers for those levels I mentioned earlier. In the meantime, you can feed your fish the inside of peas -- take cooked peas and squish the insides out of the shell, and feed to your fish. This may help if the problem is constipation. I'm hesitant to tell you to do anything because I don't have the whole picture right now -- you're not providing data re: water quality, and most problems fish encounter are directly related to water quality.

Re: my parrot fish turns upside down and does not eat food. -- 01/03/10
Thanks Melinda
<You're welcome.>
I read in the web page how to care for the blood parrot. Actually I cannot check the water level quality because the testing equipments are not available at the local aquarium shop. But I do regularly change water after15 days or so. I have two internal filters and one under gravel biological filtration unit. The tank capacity is 85 litres and the fishes are pair of Koi carps, pair of silver dollar, pair of Gourami an iridescent shark and a sucker mouth catfish and 4 turtles. The foods which are mentioned in the previous mail are freeze dried. Also the other parrot keeps pushing this parrot. the picture showed an upside down fish, it is the real problem .Thanks for your advice.
<This tank is 85 liters? I hope that is a typo. All of those fish are in there? This tank is seriously overstocked. I would find a shop with test kits as soon as you can. How long have you had this setup with these fish?
I'm really very surprised that this is the first problem you've seen! As for the food, you really should be feeding the wet-frozen foods as well; switching over to wet-frozen bloodworms rather than your freeze dried would help, and feeding the peas like I mentioned earlier would help. I think your problem here is water quality. Turtles are very, very messy, and it's usually advised not to mix them with fish due to that fact. Other than that, you don't mention how large these fish are, but some of the fish you have can grow to one or two feet long. Are you planning an upgrade? I would begin to plan this as soon as you can, and try and come up with a plan to separate the turtles from the fish. Please read re: each of the species you're keeping here on WWM using the Google search tool if you have any questions about the ultimate needs of the animals you're keeping.

Re: my parrot fish turns upside down and does not eat food.  1/4/10
Thanks Melinda once again.
<You're welcome!>
My parrot fish has eaten boiled peas as you have said.
<That's good!>
It has also started swimming properly but when it eats the other parrot attacks him and he sways to the other end.
<These can be aggressive fish, and you've got two of them, rather than a larger group. The weaker of the two has become a target for the stronger one.>
I have made plans to separate the fishes and the turtles and I am also planning to make a bigger aquarium for my fishes of 172.5 litres.
<This is not large enough -- you have the Koi who will need much, much more than this all by themselves.> I cannot afford a bigger aquarium due to lack of space but its twice bigger than the older one and the turtles will also not cause any problem.
<The turtles may be perfectly nice and friendly to the fishes, but their waste is what's going to cause the problems, and probably already is. You can't see this because you're not testing, but I strongly advise you to purchase tests and see what effect overcrowding and mis-stocking is having on your water quality, and understand that water quality directly affects your fish.>
Please advise me how I can stop the war between the two fish because and I think it is the secondary problem. The first has been solved.
<I suspect the first problem has not been solved. You will begin to see more problems in more fish because this tanks is an accident waiting to happen! As for the secondary problem, I would remove the sick fish to a cycled hospital tank and allow him to get better in good water quality, and return him once he's strong enough to handle the aggression of the second fish. However, these are Cichlids. As they grow and mature, problems with territoriality and aggression are going to worsen. Again, I ask that you look into the needs of these fish on WWM -- you'll find that many fish you keep do not mix -- in terms of required temperature, water chemistry, "attitude" -- territoriality/aggression, needs as far as behavior (single-specimen vs. schooling), etc. I would read, and then pare down my stock accordingly until you have fish which can actually live in this tank.

Parrot fighting  1/4/10
Hello crew
I have two parrot fishes and the bigger one always keeps attacking the smaller parrot. When the smaller one eats it attacks him and pushes him into the corner. To get saved the other parrot pretends as if it is dead and keep lying in a corner. And now it has been his habit to lie in a corner. The other parrot also attacks other fishes. It disturbs the whole silent atmosphere of the aquarium.
<Please refer to my other response to you today -- I think these problems stem from over- and mis-stocking and the aggression and water quality issues which accompany those problems.

Fighting Parrot Fish  9/6/09
I've had 2 parrotfish for the past 3 months in a tank together. One is a little bit bigger than the other, but this had never caused a problem until now.
<Sexual maturity. Absolutely normal. Two males will fight over territory, especially if the tank isn't big enough. Given mature specimens are up to 20 cm/8 inches in length, we're talking some 50 gallons per mature male.>
They had gotten along perfectly fine until a few days ago.
<They're cichlids, even if, genetically, they're messed up ones. They're gregarious when young, territorial when mature.>
Now, the big one chases the smaller one around the tank nipping at it with his mouth. If the small one comes out from hiding, it does this over and over until it forces it to go back into hiding. Also, now the bigger one
has started doing the same thing to my algae eater and tetras.
I'm not sure if this is normal behavior or if I need to take the fish out.
<Although hybrids, these are still standard issue Central American cichlids. Anyone who told you they were community fish was taking advantage of your ignorance. These fish are territorial and aggressive, but because of their deformities, can't be kept with other (normal shaped) cichlids.
Regular cichlids will simply hammer them. So, sooner or later, most Parrot Cichlids end up being kept in tanks of their own kind, either singly or in large groups where a single male cannot hold a territory. This latter approach opens up a whole new slew of problems.>
<Do, please, read about the needs of your fish *prior* to purchase. Things will get worse. If you remove the currently dominant fish, there's a 50/50 chance the other one will be a male, in which case *he* will become the aggressor and chase the other fish around. I repeat, these are NOT community fish. Cheers, Neale.>

Color changing parrot  8/29/2009
Hello dear Neale,
I hope you get this e-mail in best of your health. Neale I have two blood parrot cichlid one was reddish orange and other was in blue colour.
<Blue is not a natural colour. These fish were likely dyed. This is a cruel process, and not one we approve of here at WWM. Among other things, it increases the chances of disease. Anyway, the dye used fades with time, and this may be the case now.>
When I bought them they were very small but now they are about 5 to 6 inch both. My problem is that they have changed their color. They both now show very fade color like faded orange and white mix. I feed them 3 times daily and they all ate within 2-4 min (food= Hikari Bio+gold pellet, Hikari excel pellets, flakes, bloodworms and high grade pellets) I give them variety for diet as mentioned. They are perfectly all right and active. Water condition is perfect. I change half of water weekly. I do not know what has happened
wrong but I am too much worried about this. Please help me what should I do. I will be thankful.
<Not much you can do. Enjoy your fish, and give them a varied diet and offer them the right water chemistry (pH 7.5-8, 10+ degrees dH) and good water quality (0 ammonia and nitrite). This will ensure the best colours their genes allow. Cheers, Neale.>
Ali Zaheer

Parrot Cichlid, beh.  -- 07/28/09
I have a Parrot cichlid for 5 yrs now. He is great! but in the last week he has started to stay in his house a lot.
<I see.>
He eats fine, his color is fine.
<Wouldn't worry too much if he's otherwise healthy.>
He usually comes out when I get up but he is staying in his house lately and he usually does not go back in until I go to bed, now he stays in there all day. Is there a reason he is doing this?
<Could well be. Review the size of the tank for example. As fish mature, they need more space, and cramped fish often become nervous and hide away a lot more. Consider his tankmates. Are any of them more aggressive or nippy than usual? Think even about things outside the aquarium, like direct sunlight, excessive noise, high summertime temperatures. Cichlids are often sensitive to disturbances. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Parrot Cichlid -- 07/28/09
Thank you for getting back with me. I have never blogged or email anyone so I wasn't real sure how this worked.
<I see. Well, not too difficult, I hope!>
I don't think any of that is the problem. His tank is 30 gallons or more and he lives by himself. That is why I was wondering if he needed a friend or something.
<Definitely not. Although these fish are hybrids, they conform to the general cichlid type of being territorial and intolerant of other fish in their territory. The downside is that being hybrids with deformed skeletons
and jaws, they can't handle themselves with regular cichlids, which have been fine-tuned by evolution to be able to swim, feed, and fight very well.
So when mixed with other cichlids, Parrots often get hammered. Hence, they're normally kept alone, or in groups in very large tanks.>
I could not find information really about what other kind of fish I could put in there with him.
<Usually (and best) kept alone, at least unless the tank is unusually large. Your tank is a bit small for a fish that can, will reach 20 cm/8 inches in length.>
He usually comes out and follows me all around, like watching me when I'm in the computer room then he usually watches TV with me but now he is just staying inside his house watching TV from the hole in the bottom of his house. It's kinda of sad!!!! Any suggestions?
<Suspect you'd find him "happier" in a bigger tank. This species isn't viable in 113 litres/30 US gallons. Do also check water chemistry. This species needs hard, basic water (around pH 7.5, 10+ degrees dH). Have a read of this article on Central American cichlids:
While your fish a man-made hybrid, in general terms its comparable to other medium-to-large Central American cichlids. Cheers, Neale.>

Cichlid in need of help
Parrot Cichlid Getting Intimidated By Silver Dollar  4/14/09

Hello, My name is Suzanne. I have a cichlid that's in need of help. He's bright orange (solid color, no spots), about 4 inches long- I don't know what type he is.
< He is called a parrot cichlid. This is not a true species but a cross.>
We've had him for approximately 3 years and he's never been sick.. until now. Our cichlid has lived alone in well- taken care of 46 gallon tank for the last 2;5 years. About a week ago, we introduced two silver dollar fish, which the people at the aquarium store recommended. The cichlid and the silver dollars were fine for the first few days. A bit of fighting.. The cichlid jabbed the silver dollars in the eye. Our cichlid got a torn fin. I've been putting "Melafix" into the water to speed up the healing process. But the real problem started about 3 days ago. One morning I woke up and the cichlid was lying upright (meaning not upside down or sideways, just upright, except not swimming) in a shell that was recently placed in the tank. He has been lying in that shell and hardly ever leaving it ever since then. When I approach the tank, he comes out, swims,
and looks fine overall. His color has not changed, he has an appetite, there are no strange spots (except a very miniscule black spot on his head). When he swims, at times he seems absolutely fine.
Other times, it looks like he's putting a tremendous amount of energy into swimming, but he doesn't seem to move very far. It even looks like he's twitching sometimes. Very spastic. Other times when he leaves the shell (which is rare), he hangs out on the floor of the tank and eventually, starts looking unsteady, and veers onto his side momentarily. Inevitably, he returns to the shell and stays there.
I'm not sure, but he looks like he's breathing heavy. It's hard to tell. The silver dollars seem absolutely fine. They're swimming around and look very healthy. They're not bothering the cichlid anymore at all. They pretty much leave him alone when he comes..
maybe approaching him a bit, but it doesn't seem particularly aggressive.
We checked the water levels. The pH, nitrite and ammonia levels were fine. The nitrate levels were slightly elevated. We changed 1/3 of the water, cleaned the filter (but didn't clean/change the little cylindrical pieces in the filter, or the pellets- to not over-clean), suctioned the gravel, and changed the air pump so that now the bubbles it generates are considerably stronger than before. The water temperature is at approximately 89 degrees.
< Way too warm. Lower to 78-80 F>
He looks completely catatonic, although again, there don't seem to be any other obvious signs in terms of his color, appetite or otherwise that indicate illness. Is it behavioral? That seems crazy.. but it crossed my mind
that perhaps he feels really aggressive towards the other fish and is avoiding them. Or could it be his fin that's bothering him? Or is he really sick? Any advice/suggestions/resources would be a tremendous
help. Thanks so much. Suzanne
< Thanks for the photos. They were very helpful. The silver dollars have ganged up on your parrot cichlid. He is now very stressed and may have an internal bacterial infection. This cichlid cross does not defend himself very well and is easily picked on by other fish. If the silver dollars are removed he may swim normally. If the silver dollars are removed and he's still has a swimming problem then there probably is an internal infection.
You fish will not get better with the silver dollars in there. Once they are removed treat with a combination of Nitrofuranace and Metronidazole. This may cause some ammonia spikes because the antibiotics may affect the biological filtration.-Chuck>

Re: cichlid in need of help
Cichlid Intimidated By School Of Silver Dollars 4/18/09

Hi Chuck, I just wanted to thank you for your advice. I removed the silver dollars right away and bought the recommended medicines in case there was a need for them. The Silver dollars have been out of the tank for
less than 24 hours, and our parrot cichlid has already begun to swim around and is looking much more active. I'm not sure yet, but I think it might have been just what you suggested- severe intimidation. I'm
keeping an eye and seeing how things progress before I introduce the medicine. Thanks very much again! (By the way, I typed the wrong temperature of the tank when I wrote to you initially. The temperature
was in fact around 78 degrees.. thankfully not 89 degrees!)
All the best, Suzanne
<Glad everything worked out ok and no medication was needed.-Chuck>

Dark Patches On Parrot Cichlid -- 6/17/08 Hello, I recently bought a blood parrot and when I put it in my tank it developed ich. I treated it and it went away, but a few weeks later it started developing black around its fin and just thought it was its coloring. It still acts healthy and today I noticed it has black on his upper lip and a few black splotches on his back. His normal color is a light pink. What could this be? He still acts normal. Thanks <The blood parrot cichlid is a cross between a couple of different cichlids. It has been selectively bred for it's red coloration. Sometimes the red coloration is broken up by blotches of darker pigment. Scar tissue sometimes heals darker than the rest of the body's normal coloration too. I think that this is just genetics and is nothing to worry about.-Chuck>

Blood heart parrots, no useful info.  11/22/05 I have two of these beautiful blood "heart" parrot fish, a green Severum, and an iridescent shark in a 55 gallon tank. All of my water parameters look great, <Like the "war" in Iraq? Non-informational.> but just today I noticed that at the end of each top fin, on both the heart parrots, there are grayish/black patches. I wondered if you could tell me what this is and if I need to treat them, and if so, how? <No way to tell from here, with this lack of info.> The green Severum picks on them sometimes, but not much, could it be some sort of bruising? Thanks for your time.......Melody. <Umm, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm re Set-up, Cichlid Systems... Bob Fenner> 

Re: blood heart parrots  11/24/05 Hi Bob,   Sorry about the previous lack of information. My 55 gallon tank has been up and running for about 3 months now. When I started it up, I used Bio Spira and added about 100 feeder Danios for 2 and a half months. I use a Penguin Bio-wheel, an air-stone and an underwater  heater. There are several plastic plants and gravel.  Ammonia is 0, Nitrates 0, nitrites 0, ph about 7.8.  I just added the green Severum and the heart parrots about 2 weeks ago, and the iridescent shark a few days ago. I feed them a combination of tetra flakes, frozen brine shrimp, and Hikari cichlid pellets (extra small). The grayish/black areas that I mentioned previously are on the top fin towards the back on both of my heart parrots. One is about the size of a pencil eraser, and on the other parrot the patch is a little larger. Neither area has any raised spots, and the heart parrots are eating just fine and acting normal.  My question was whether it could be some sort of bruising, or is it stress, injury, or a natural occurrence? Thanks in advance for your help......... Melody. <Thank you for the further information. I suspect the black markings are "just natural" here... not uncommon in this very hybridized cichlid cross. Not likely pathogenic (caused by a biological disease agent), and I would do nothing outright to try and "treat" them. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: blood heart parrots (III) - 11/24/2005 Thank you so much! I was really worried, as I have formed an attachment to these gorgeous creatures. I appreciate your rapid response!  -Melody. <Bob's out, so from me (Sabrina) and the rest of the WWM Crew, thank you for your kind words.>

Parrots fighting  4/14/07 Hey I just noticed that my two blood parrots are fighting.  They are locking lips and pulling apart, there's not really any wound inflicted but I was wondering if this is normal for parrots, or if I should be concerned.  thanks guys your a big help! <Is normal cichlid behavior... testing each other out... Not a problem unless it leads to damage... If there's room for all here, adequate feeding, good water quality... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/neotropcichbehfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Blood Parrot Behavior    01/13/2008 I am so glad to finally have found somewhere I can actually ask a question. I have had a blood parrot before and he always used to hide a lot , he was in a 30 gallon tank, and I gave him to a friend who kept him in a 20 gallon and he became much more open and showy over time. Now I have just gotten another tank, a 20 gallon this time, and bought 1 blood parrot, 2 black convicts, and a pictus catfish. At first the parrot and 2 convicts would just hide all the time or run if anyone came in sight, so I got one more parrot and for a few days everyone seemed to be happy except for a little territorial disputes between parrots. <Mmm, will become worse with time... these fishes need more room than this... at least twice> The original had picked his/her spot and didn't let the new one near it. Well, now for at least 2 days or so, the "new guy" has been either hiding in a plant kinda 'hanging' there, or lying on the bottom sometimes flat on it's side. I have no idea why and I am a little worried. I don't know the gender of either of these. Also one of the convicts hides a whole lot , while the other seems to be fine. The hider will only dart out and grab food quickly while the other goes right out for it. The blood parrot was eating fine and pretty active but now didn't even see it eat today. Also , this may be totally unrelated but the first parrot and the outgoing convict seem to hang out a bit and will allow each other in their "spaces" and of course the catfish goes everywhere he wants and ignores the others protests if they put up any. Could it be that the convict and parrot are both just the dominant and the other 2 are hiding until they are more secure? <No room/space to do this> Also I do not know what to do the ph or temp at or what to add to the water to get it right. <? Then read... on WWM, books re> My home water system has a Culligan water softener on it, will this be good for them?? <Mmm, maybe not... might be introducing a good deal of salt, or sodium... perhaps better to use some outside (the house) as in the garden tap... and warm this up with some of the inside/treated water... to dilute the salt artifact> I really appreciate any help you can give me as I have been searching since I got these fish to find out what to keep the water at , etc. Thank you SO much , Jolene <See Fishbase.org... and back to WWM for how to modify, test your water. Do write back if you have difficulty accessing this info. Bob Fenner>  

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