Blood Parrot Fish:
but sometimes found as C. citrinellum x C. synspilum


   72-82 deg. F.
They prefer 77

   8 inches / 17 cm.  

   Do not place in tanks smaller than 35 gallons, 55+ gallons is preferred.


   Mainly flake and pellets .

   The Red Parrot Cichlid, also called the Blood Parrot, is not to be mistaken as the Parrot Cichlid (Hoplarchus Psittacus), which is greenish colored and not very attractive or popular.

   Bright, but not direct sunlight.

   Peaceful, very good community fish. Can be territorial when spawning.

   A very unique fish, Which is under a lot of controversy in the fish industry. For some it is a rather colorful addition to almost any tank, to others it is an abomination of what lengths man will go to create something, a freak of nature so to speak. I will try to remain neutral here and not let my own feelings known about this fish, but present to you, my visitors, some insightful information about this fish.

   The Blood Parrot is a man-made fish. This means that it does not, and could not occur naturally. The parentage is not known for sure but many believe it to be one of the following.

   Red Devil (Cichlasoma erythraeum) & Gold Severum (Cichlasoma severum)
   Red Devil & Green Severum
   Red Devil & Quetzel (Cichlasoma synspilum).

   This fish adds a touch of color in an African Cichlid or community aquarium and can adapt very easily to the water conditions of such a tank. It is said that it can crossbreed with other species, something not feasible in a tank which houses other pairs of fishes. An aggressive but slow species will hold its own despite the presence of Africans.

   Will lay eggs occasionally, which will be guarded for several days. The infertile eggs will develop fungus and be eaten by other fishes/snails after that or should be removed.

   It has difficulty in eating from the surface, therefore special care should be taken for some sinking pellets or flakes which distribute in the whole tank. Will slowly grow to 20 cm as long as the tank is large enough. During the spawning period the female will develop a pink / orange hue something which disappears after the eggs are eaten. The pink coloration will become their permanent coloration if kept at pH values lower than 7.0 (acidic pH). Higher pH ranges and the fish usually loses it valued coloration. Males are usually distinguished by the ever-present pink coloration under their jaws.

   The fish may be kept in tanks as small as 35 gallons, but it will never reach full size. Some rocks for spawning and a lot of swimming space should be given for the Parrot fish. These fish can be kept in community aquariums with other small, timid fish. Nippy fish such as Tiger Barbs generally make poor tank mates because the Blood Parrot makes for the perfect target. Plants and hiding places should be provided along with good filtration.

   The Red Parrot has a mouth resembling a beak, thus the name "Parrot". It is bright orange-red and oddly shaped. Some of the complications include a deformed spine (worse in some than in others), generally they swim awkwardly due to a malformed swim bladder which causes an almost continual need to swim to stay afloat, a deformed mouth which leads to difficulty of eating, and until now, an assumed inability to reproduce. There have been reports in the recent years of successful spawning, I have received only one report of successful breeding so far to date, and I have yet to see any successes with my own eyes.

   Because of their small mouths, these fish sometimes lose out to more aggressive fish at feeding times. They are omnivores and should be fed accordingly. They will accept live or prepared foods, including pellets, flakes, worms and chopped beef heart. Due to the strange shape of the mouth (which usually they can not even close), chewing may be difficult, if not impossible. With this and the bad swim bladder problems, blood Parrots literally have to swim into their food to be able to eat it.

   Very little information is available on this fish probably due to the fact that it is not a true "breed", and there are apparently certain "trade secrets" as to it's origin.