A Brief History

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Gill

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The red blood parrot was first "created" in Taiwan back in the late eighties. Little is known about it outside Taiwan. According to Cher Chan in "Cichlids in Taiwan", it first appeared in 1986. The parents of the hybrid was a mystery back then, now many fish farms in Taiwan can produce it from a male "Cichlasoma citrinellum" (midas cichlid) and a female "Cichliasoma synspilum" (redhead cichlid). The author doubts the purity of the parent stock, though.

Gathered From Parrot Cichlid history

More Info.

There is much confusion surrounding the many types of Parrot Cichlids. This page will attempt to familiarize you with all of them. Be aware, there is another fish that goes by the common name "Parrot Cichild" (Hoplarchus Psittacus). Make sure, when referring to Parrot Cichlids, others are aware that you mean Blood Parrot Cichlid, or the Hybrid Parrot Cichlid and not Hoplarchus Psittacus.
real_parrot_cichlid.jpg


Unique Traits
Blood Parrots have many features that set them apart from other cichlids. The most obvious is the "beak" they possess for a mouth. A true Parrot Cichlid is unable to close its mouth, but instead, uses the muscles in the throat to chew or crush food. It's a misconception that these fish can't eat from the surface. Every Parrot Cichlid owner I have encountered, including myself, report that theirs eat easily from the surface.

It's also been commonly stated that Parrot Cichlid's have deformed swim bladders. These organs control buoyancy and allow the fish to maintain a certain depth in the water column. If they do have swim bladder problems, it's not evident in the ones I keep. Many people think that, due to this deformity, the fish must constantly swim to stay afloat and keep level. In most cases, I have also found this to be untrue.
Parots do not have a swim bladder disorder - they are very good swimmers and have excellent balance.

I can however, agree with the fact that Parrot Cichlid's possess a deformed spine, this is one the reasons they have such a unique shape. I don't believe it to be much of a problem for them. I've had reports of Parrot Cichlids living perfectly good lives for up to 10 years.

A true Parrot Cichlid will also have larger than normal, bright yellowish-green eyes. Many have an oddly shaped or overly large iris. Some have a oval iris while others have a round iris. Some have a streak leading from the iris to the outer edge of the eye. One of ours have this feature and it gives the illusion of wearing mascara. Very cute! Their eyes are definitely one of the traits that gives Parrot Cichlid's such a great personality.

Behavior
Parrot Cichlids seem to be somewhat shy upon first introducing them to the tank. Hiding when any activity is present outside the tank. After some time though, they will overcome this shyness. Some report this to take less than a week, while others say it may take up to a couple of months. So be patient with your new fish, they will eventually come out. And when they do, you will see their great personalities they are known for. They will come to the glass every time you pass the tank and beg for food . They do the "Feed-Me" dance, as I call it, and are really good at it too, I fall for it way too often.

There is also some behavior one must aware of before attempting to keep a parrot cichlid. They love to dig, and can be somewhat belligerent towards other fish at times, especially if two have paired up and are defending their nest. Many people say their parrot's are very docile, rarely showing aggression towards tank mates. I however must fall in to another category. Our parrots grew up together and are always charging and bumping one another. An occasional lip fight will periodically occur over territories. Basically parrot's behavior seems to vary from fish to fish, some are docile while others have quite a nasty disposition. When single specimens are kept in a community aquarium, it will show very little aggression, in a species tank (only parrot cichlids) you will find the exact opposite to be true. What bewilders me is, despite all their daytime scuffles, at night they all share the same cave and snuggle together to sleep, only to wake up the next morning to start terrorizing each other again.

Types of Parrot Cichlids
Most commonly found in the trade is the Red Blood Parrot. Despite the name, these fish are generally a gold-orange color with a small amount of pink found on the throat and behind the head of the males. They can obtain sizes up to 10 inches. Females are usually smaller in size and lack the pink coloration.

The second most popular type seems to be the Purple Blood Parrot, like the latter, it's name is also deceiving. This fish is a bright red color with some parts of the coloration so deep and brilliant it appears to be a purple, hence the name Purple Parrot. There is some controversy as to whether or not these fish are "dyed". To my knowledge these fish are NOT dyed but are just a different color morph.

There is also a variety of Parrot Cichlid that is quite odd. (As if they aren't odd enough!!) This type is tailless. It's called the "Love Heart" parrot due to its heart-like shape. It's available in both the red and the purple variety. We keep one of these, and despite his missing appendage, he can hold his own in a scuffle and swim as fast as the others in the tank. This is a really unique fish, and tailless trend must be catching on. We are starting to see Discus produced with the missing tail also.

There is many other color morphs of the Parrot Cichlid available to the hobbyist. Most of the types below are not usually found at LFS, (local fish stores) but if you can find a willing shop owner, they can be ordered. Among these are:

Red and White
red_white.jpg

Black and Red
black_red.jpg

Red and Black Streaked
red_black_streaks.jpg

Black
black.jpg

White
white.jpg

Silver Spots
silver_spots.jpg

Black and Red No Tail - There tails Are Docked when Young, so they develop a Valentine heart Shape
black_red_no_tail.jpg

Red and Black Streaks no Tail
black_red_no_tail.jpg


The following four types I have not been able to obtain any information on other than the pictures. If anyone keeps any of these, or has information pertaining to these types, please e-mail me. As far as I can tell, these fish are larger in size and have a little different body shape, but this is just speculation. I have e-mailed azoo.com requesting more information, we will see what they say.

Lo-hann
lo-hann.jpg

King-Kong Red
king_kong_red.jpg

King-Kong Purple
King_kong_purple.jpg

Dar-mo
dar-mo.jpg




Jelly Bean Parrots and BubbleGum Parrots
jb030301.jpg

This type of Parrot is not a true Parrot Cichlid at all. What I have gathered is, Jelly Bean and Bubblegum Parrots are a cross between a male convict and a female blood parrot.

There's been many cases of Jelly Beans and Bubblegums being able to mate and produce fry. This breeding is often mistaken for true Blood Parrot breeding, so don't be mislead by these reports.
The Most Noticable Trait of the Jelly Bean is the Kink of the Body at the Base of the Tail.
I Will Post Pix Of My Jellybean as there aren't many pix of them around
 

Nidge

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Thanks psgill00, That was brilliant and very well presented.
I dont know if you read this post by me but if you didnt would you mind
Blood parrot

Thanks.
 
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Gill

Gill

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Thanks nidge,

Took Me Ages doing that this morning.
 

turbotiber

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I was just wondering, I have no idea about "blood parrots" but I did notice these look different from the ones that are found in the ocean. Is this what you meant by:

Be aware, there is another fish that goes by the common name "Parrot Cichild" (Hoplarchus Psittacus). Make sure, when referring to Parrot Cichlids, others are aware that you mean Blood Parrot Cichlid, or the Hybrid Parrot Cichlid and not Hoplarchus

And if they are different, what's the difference between them if they're both "parrot" fish?

I'm sorry, I found this article to be really intersting but I have no earthly clue other than that :*)
 

CFC

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And if they are different, what's the difference between them if they're both "parrot" fish?

Hoplarchus Psittacus is a true naturally occuring Cichlid found in South America, blood parrots are a hybrid man made mixture of two species of Cichlid and do not occur in nature. The two are not related in any way and should never be mistaken or confused with each other.
 

turbotiber

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CFC said:
And if they are different, what's the difference between them if they're both "parrot" fish?

Hoplarchus Psittacus is a true naturally occuring Cichlid found in South America, blood parrots are a hybrid man made mixture of two species of Cichlid and do not occur in nature. The two are not related in any way and should never be mistaken or confused with each other.
Thank you for clearing that up for me :nod:
 

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