All You Need To Know About The Blood Parrot Cichlid

blood parrot cichlid

If you are looking for a freshwater aquarium fish that is not only attractive in terms of looks but is also full of life and character, a Blood Parrot Cichlid is just the right choice for you.

It is an intermediate level freshwater fish that is semi-aggressive in temperament, but it is not entirely impossible to care for. 

To make things easier for you, through this article, we are sharing a comprehensive guide that will share everything you need to know before adding a Blood Parrot Cichlid to your fish tank. Through this article, you will find answers to all your queries like:

  • What does a Blood Parrot Cichlid look like? 
  • What to feed a Blood Parrot Cichlid? 
  • How to set up a tank for them? 
  • What tank mates to add to the Blood Parrot Cichlid tank
  • How to care for a Blood Parrot Cichlid? 

Interested? Continue reading as we are just about to dive into the details!


The Blood Parrot Cichlid fish belongs to the Cichlidae fish family. Interestingly, this fish is a hybrid fish, i.e., it is a mix of two different cichlid species.

There are controversy and ambiguity regarding the two parent species. Still, it is generally suggested that the Blood Parrot Cichlid results from the breeding of a Midas with a Redhead Cichlid. 

This is a medium-sized fish with a fully mature fish reaching around eight inches in length. They have a very rounded body, noticeably large fins, and a mouth shaped like a beak.

They are generally found in shades of orange, and the transitional orange colors of their bodies surely add to their beauty and overall aesthetics. 

Some Blood Parrot Cichlid fish are bright orange in color, whereas there are other variations where the color breaks with white patches covering the entire body.

Some breeders also use dyes to change the color of the fish’s body and experiment with different shades, but this practice is harmful as it adversely affects the fish’s health. 

The cross between two species that led to the Blood Parrot Cichlid creation has its own advantages and disadvantages. The distinct shape of their body and attractive colorations are surely the perks.

But at the same time, the unusual cross has also led to a genetic defect that prevents the fish’s mouth from closing all the way through. The Blood Parrot Cichlid teeth are present in the fish’s throat, and the fish uses them to crush up food before consuming it. 

Typical Behavior And Temperament

The best thing about the Blood Parrot Cichlid is its adaptability. This fish can be kept on its own, in a group of other Blood Parrot Cichlids, as well as in a community tank.

They are peaceful in terms of temperament most of the time. But there are instances where the Blood Parrot Cichlid temperament may get slightly aggressive and problematic. 

Generally, the Blood Parrot Cichlid has a shy nature, and you will seldom find it roaming around in the tank. This fish will spend most of its time hidden away between plants and different decorations inside the tank. 

This fish will mostly occupy the middle water column inside an aquarium tank. If you find the Blood Parrot Cichlid in the lower water column, close to the substrate, the fish is either hungry or not being fed properly.

This fish will make its way close to the tank’s bottom only if it has to search for some food. This fish is a messy eater. Therefore, be prepared to clean the tank after you are done feeding the Blood Parrot Cichlid fish. 


As already mentioned, the Blood Parrot Cichlid hybrid is not a naturally occurring fish. Rather, it is a result of breeding two different species of fish.

Therefore, these fish do not have a natural habitat as such. But since one has to get an idea about the fish’s natural habitat before moving ahead with the tank setup, most fish keepers consider their parent’s habitat to list down their requirements. 

The Blood Parrot Cichlid parents live in Central America, where there are plenty of warm-flowing freshwaters.

The water in this region is slightly towards the acidic side, and there are plenty of rocks and plants in the water bodies. The substrate is sandy, and the vegetation is a source of food and prevents hiding spots for the fish. 

Tank Setup

With the Blood Parrot Cichlid fish, the tank owners need to strike the perfect balance. This fish is very fond of swimming. Therefore, when setting up a Blood Parrot Cichlid tank, make sure that you leave plenty of space for the fish to swim around freely.

At the same time, this fish also requires some hiding spots to head to avoid stressful situations. Therefore, some vegetation and decorations should be added to the tank as well. 

It is recommended that the tank owners leave space in the upper and middle water column of the Blood Parrot Cichlid tank and spread rocks and driftwood pieces at the bottom of the tank. This will ensure that the fish has space to swim as well as hide if needed. 


Choosing the right substrate is critical when you are setting up a Blood Parrot Cichlid tank. As already mentioned, this fish will sometimes come close to the bottom of the tank and dig around in the substrate, searching for food.

Therefore, make sure that you choose a sandy substrate that is soft and smooth. Adding a substrate that is too harsh will likely end up hurting your fish. It might cut through the fish’s body and leave scratches that can not only develop into serious infections but might also become a deep wound. 

Tank Size

Although the Blood Parrot Cichlid size is only around eight inches in length, this does not mean that tank owners can add these fish to small-sized tanks.

They require ample space to move around in the tank; therefore, a thirty-gallon fish tank per Blood Parrot Cichlid is recommended. The general rule of thumb is to add ten gallons of water in the tank per Blood Parrot Cichlid that you wish to add to your aquarium. 


The tank owners do not have to be concerned about the lighting setup if they intend to keep a Blood Parrot Cichlid. The standard aquarium lighting should suffice. However, tank owners need to invest in a filter and a heater.

The filter will contribute to recreating the slow-moving water as it is in the Blood Parrot Cichlid parents’ natural habitat. Simultaneously, the heater can be used to maintain a stable and ideal water temperature inside the tank.

The optimal temperature range that should be maintained is 76-80 degrees, with the best pH range between 6.5 – 7.4. 

Tank Mates

Here comes the tricky part, i.e., finding the right tank mates for the Blood Parrot Cichlid. These fish tend to be slightly aggressive, and it is hard to predict their general behavior.

Plus, the fact that it is a hybrid fish and does not exist naturally makes it even harder for one to find the right tank mate for the Blood Parrot Cichlid. 

The Blood Parrot Cichlid tank mates should be peaceful yet quick so that they can rapidly swim away from any danger even if the Blood Parrot Cichlid ties to attack the tank mates.

The best tank mates include Firemouth Cichlids, Tiger Barbs, Angelfish, Kribensis, Dwarf Gourami fish, and Emperor Tetra fish. 

Avoid adding fish like Neon Tetras or Guppies to the tank as these fish are very small in size and will most likely be eaten by the Blood Parrot Cichlid. The best fish are the ones that are usually found in the lower water column of the aquarium tank.

Some highly recommended fish include Yoyo Loaches, Clown Loaches, and Clown Plecos. Invertebrates are also not an ideal match for a Blood Parrot Cichlid tank since the fish will most likely end up eating the invertebrates.

But if you want to add a snail to the same tank as the Blood Parrot Cichlids, you can pick Apple Snails since they have a hard shell and their shell cannot be picked away easily. 

If you are willing to take the responsibility of caring for a large-sized tank, you can opt to keep a group of Blood Parrot Cichlids together. But in this case, you should opt for a tank size with a minimum capacity of sixty gallons. 


Blood Parrot Cichlid fish are omnivorous in nature; therefore, they will be straightforward to feed. They can be fed both plant-based as well as protein-based diets.

There is a huge variety of food items that can be fed to the Blood Parrot Cichlid fish. From live food to pellet based food and even dried food, you can choose from a wide range of Blood Parrot Cichlid feeds. 

Food for the Blood Parrot Cichlid is easily available at almost all leading pet and fish stores. But it is highly recommended that the tank owners add some live food to the tank since it is much richer in terms of nutrition.

Live food will strengthen the fish’s immune system and also enhance their colors. Bloodworms, brine shrimp, and Daphnia are popular live feed options for Blood Parrot Cichlids. 

The tank owners have to be very careful and vigilant when feeding the Blood Parrot Cichlids. These fish are fond of eating and will eat even if they are not hungry. Therefore, they are at a higher risk of gaining access to weight and becoming obese. 

Make sure that the Blood Parrot Cichlid is not fed more than twice a day.  Also, keep an eye on the amount of food that you are adding to the tank.

Only add a small amount of food that the fish can eat within a few minutes. After you are done feeding the Blood Parrot Cichlid, make sure you clean the tank since these fish are messy eaters. 


Blood Parrot Cichlid breeding is highly unlikely since the male fish are mostly infertile and cannot produce fry. The Blood Parrot Cichlid female, on the other hand, will spawn regularly and will cross with other Cichlid breed males to produce other cross-breed fish species. 

If you are truly interested in breeding Blood Parrot Cichlid, make sure that you keep them with other fish species. To facilitate spawning in the female Blood Parrot Cichlids, the tank owners should increase the tank’s temperature and take it to around eighty degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, please focus on the tank’s hygiene and provide them with a nutritious and rich diet to prepare them to go through breeding. 

Some eggs laid by the Blood Parrot Cichlid will be infertile. These eggs are white in color and develop fungus. The Blood Parrot Cichlid will automatically eat these eggs to prevent the spread of the fungus. 

The tank owners have to be vigilant about the tank’s hygiene when the fry hatches. Change a quarter of the tank’s water daily so that the fry remains healthy and does not fall prey to diseases. Also, focus on their diet and feed them crushed pellet based food that they can consume easily. 


You cannot make an impulsive decision of adding a Blood Parrot Cichlid to your fish tank. They are easy to care for, but they have an aggressive temperament and require extra care and attention from the tank owners.

Focus on setting up the aquarium tank properly and keeping an eye on the Blood Parrot Cichlid feeding. This fish’s unique look surely makes it worth the effort and hard work required to keep it healthy and content. 

John Kilmerstone

I love keeping pet fish and receive a lot of joy and peace from watching these colorful creatures. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of pet fish. Discover how to care for and look after pet fish and amplify your satisfaction.

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