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FAQs on Parrot, Jelly-Bean... Cichlids, Reproduction/Breeding

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


drastic action to save Red Parrot Cichlid
Red Parrot Cichlid Egg Bound - 10/10/10

My 6 year old Red Parrot Cichlid, for the second time in two years, has become egg bound and/or constipated. She is in fine health at other times, laying every two weeks or so. But these two times have almost killed her.
I've resorted, both times, to catching her in a net, placing her on a towel, and literally pulling the clog (which is a gel, incased in a rather strong, clear skin...and in which I can see eggs) out of her with tweezers.
Afterward, she has huge bowel movements for two days, but immediately seems to feel much better. When I say huge, I mean they are as big around as a pencil, and almost as long. I have tried lower protein foods, and she seems fine until...Is there anything you can suggest that I can do to prevent this? I've just had my water tested, my numbers are good, her only tank mates are a Tropheus and a Peacock cichlid, and they've all been together for years. My water temp is constant. I feel like I need to add something to
her diet. Can you please help me?
< Usually internal infections cause a blockage of the intestinal tract. I usually recommend a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. If you fish is still eating then this combination can be found in medicated foods.
It is interesting that you found eggs in the clog you removed. The infection is sometimes caused by stress or food that the bacteria in the gut cannot break down.-Chuck>

Parrots laid eggs 05/20/08 Hello Crew/Neale. <Greetings,> I'd like to apologize for my English, my native language is Russian. <Not a problem!> I have 55 gallon tank with 2 parrot-hybrids, 2 Severums and Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps Pleco. I have this system for about 1.5 year. My water parameters are: NH3-0 NO2-0 NO3-10-20 ppm pH-8.0 Temp-79'C <All sounds nice.> Currently my parrots are paired off and laying eggs on the flat rocks all the time. <This is what happy cichlids do!> From information on the net I understand that their eggs usually infertile and dying within few days. I'm fine with that. <It does take a few attempts before cichlids successfully rear a batch of eggs. They need to learn the skills. Their genes tell them what to do, but there's still some practicing before they get it 100% right. But they will, eventually.> My concern is that parrot-female are took over about half of the tank to guard eggs. <Absolutely normal. Provided the other fish aren't damaged, don't worry too much. Using big plastic plants or rocks, you can create "safe zones" for the other fish. Often cichlids attack what they can *see*, and if you create hiding places, the other fish are left alone.> So I feel my other fish, especially Severums, are under big stress due to female-parrot aggression. <Possible.> Do you know if parrots cichlids form stable pair for the all life? <Few cichlids "mate for life" in the wild. But in an aquarium, a compatible pair don't that doesn't meet any other members of their species may stay together.> Is it any chance for me to stop them breeding? <Not really.> Thank you for your time. Mark <Best of luck, Neale.>

Breeding Parrot Cichlids  6/30/06 Hello, First, I would like to thank you so much for such an amazing plethora of information.  The information on your website has helped many of my fish. < Glad to hear you have found it useful.> I scan through your site usually a few times a week, but, unfortunately, I couldn't find the answers/guidance to my situation.  Sorry to be a bother, but could someone help me directly? < That is what we are here for.> In a 55 gallon aquarium (temp 79.1 F; ammonia 0, nitrates 0, nitrites 5-6ppm, pH 7.1) there are two Pink Kissing Gouramis and two Opaline Gouramis, all of which I bought about eight months ago.  This tank was set up for Gouramis; I never planned on adding more fish to it.  But, about two month ago, I felt sorry for and adopted two Parrot Cichlids.   I know they should not be living together, but the Parrots were in desperate need of help and time was an issue.  A future 75 gallon Parrot only home has been cycling for about two weeks. Luckily, everyone has gotten along fine until today. I got home from work about an hour ago, and began my usual routine of feeding everyone (3 cats and 4 tanks of fish, in case you're curious ^_^ ). When I got to the Gourami/Cichlid tank, I noticed a scattering of white-clear balls, each about the size of a ballpoint pen tip.  I assume these are eggs?  (Sorry, I would attach a picture but I don't know how to make it into a smaller file.) Assuming these are eggs, a few questions. 1.  Should I still feed as usual?  (Thursdays are frozen bloodworms with blanched spinach days.  They also eat Aquarian Tropical Flakes, Brine Shrimp Flakes, Hikari Cichlid pellets, Daphnia, and a variety of frozen prepared foods.  Also Algae Flakes and blanched veggies for the Kissers.) < If you don't feed the fish then they will get hungry and eat the eggs. If you wish to save them then feed the fish.> 2.  At first I wondered whose eggs they were.  Sorry if this is a stupid question, but they are Parrot eggs, right? < The kissing Gourami's eggs float on the surface. The Opaline Gourami lays their eggs in a bubble nest. The parrot cichlids lays adhesive eggs on a hard surface.> The Parrots are hovering over the eggs, and for the first time ever being mean (one Opaline is missing most of one antenna, and both Cichlids are darting at any fish who get too near their driftwood - the nest is in front of it).  Also for the first time, they did not frantically zoom into hiding when I approached their tank, or even when I knelt to the gravel level.  Also, a few days ago the more dominant Parrot was digging around in the gravel; s/he made a little 4" diameter wide and maybe 1/2" deep dip which now holds the eggs.  Also, both were, for about 30 minutes, staying over the nest with their foreheads together (didn't seem to be biting, just maybe pushing?). 3.  Thursdays are also the day that I change 50% of the water and vacuum the gravel.  This should wait? < Go ahead and change the water. Just keep the gravel vacuum away from the eggs of the parents will push it away.> 4. I want to raise the fry if possible, which makes me think of many more questions.  The parrots are about the same size, 3 or 4 inches.  The dominant has a peach coloured (same as flesh) protrusion about 1/3 inch near the anus that I have never noticed before.  Is this a sex organ? < Yes.> Is it possible that both are female, or would a female lay eggs only when mated with a male? < Sometimes females will lay eggs without a male being present.> If only when with a male, then are the eggs already, or will they be, fertilized? < You need to get a male to have fertilized eggs.> I read on your site that they will hatch after about three days at 80 degrees.  Should I raise the temperature? < 79 is close enough.> Are Parrots good parents, or should they or the eggs/fry be removed? < First time parents are usually inexperienced and are prone to make mistakes. Sometimes that will eat the eggs. I would let the parents try and raise this batch of eggs and see how they do. If things don't work out then they will usually breed again in a couple of weeks and you can take the eggs away then.> 5.  I have a cycled and fake-planted 20 gallon with six female Bettas; Should the Gouramis be moved there temporarily, for either their own safety or that of the babies? < They will eat the eggs and the babies.> I also have a 5 gallon Eclipse cycled and fishless as a QT/hospital tank that could temporarily house someone if necessary.... < Good place to start, but a thousand babies will need to be moved quickly after they become free swimming.> Again, I am very sorry for so many questions, but the only fry with which I have experience are Betta, Swordtail, and Guppy.  (Random thought - Is there a way to get livebearers to stop having babies?) \ < Separate the sexes. After awhile they will stop.> Anyway, believe it or not, I have researched, apparently just not efficiently.  Thank you so very much for taking the time and effort to help; I greatly appreciate it. Lisa < Welcome to the world of cichlids.-Chuck>

Re: Breeding Parrot Cichlids. Cichlid Parents Abandoned Nest Hi Chuck, Thanks so much for your kind and prompt advice. Unfortunately, the cichlids abandoned their nest early this morning, and the piggy pink kissers quickly moved in to eat, or rather inhale, the eggs.  Many had a white mold/fungus on them anyway, so they probably weren't fertilized, right? < If the eggs did not hatch after three days then they probably were infertile.> For whatever reason, during my previous six years of fishkeeping cichlids never interested me.  But now I'm learning how amazing the world of cichlids really is.  Adopting these two adorable Parrots (or Jellybeans?) is probably just the beginning. Again, thank you so very much. Best regards, Alisa PS - As usual, I mixed up the nitrites and nitrates in the previous email.  Opps. < Watch out. You will get hooked on cichlids like I did almost 40 years ago and not look back.-Chuck>

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