Blood Parrot Cichlid Facts (Red Hoplarchus Psittacus Fish)

Blood parrot cichlid is a hybrid created through breeding with the Midas and redhead cichlid. The blood parrot fish was first developed in Taiwan in 1986.

Although they’ve been available on the market for a while, blood parrot cichlids weren’t available frequently in pet shops prior to 2000.

Usually, they are sold under the names blood parrots also known as bloody parrots, they should not be mistaken for freshwater parrot cichlids (Hoplarchus Psittacus) or the saltwater parrot fish (Callyodon fasciatus).

These are beautiful fish with plenty of personalities. While there are many species, only a few are as unique as the Blood Parrot Cichlid.

Blood red parrot cichlids could be added to different tank types: individually, species-only, and community tanks.

It is recommended to have prior experiences with Cichlids prior to trying this species.

The fish is surrounded by controversy, particularly about the ethics behind making it by cross-breeding. Most concerning are the many anatomical anomalies, some bordering on deformities, which cause hardships to the species.

For instance, the mouth is tiny and oddly-shaped, which could impact the ability of the fish to eat.

At the time of feeding, blood parrot cichlids could struggle to compete in a competitive manner with tank mates that are more aggressive and have bigger mouths.

Blood red parrot fish additionally have a swim bladder and spine deformities that affect their ability to swim.

Making a fish with such deformities is thought by some to be immoral and inhumane, and some people go as far as to boycott stores that sell this hybrid.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Facts & Overview

Scientific nameAmphilophus citrinellus x Heros severus
Common nameBlood parrot cichlid, bloody parrot cichlid, blood-red parrot cichlid, blood parrot fish
Care Level:Intermediate
Tank levelBottom and mid-level
OriginArtificial hybrid cross cichlid species
Lifespan:15 years
Size:up to 8 inches
BreedingMales can be sterile, however, females can crossbreed with other cichlids.
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons
Tank Setup:Freshwater with space to roam and places to hide
pH6.5 to 7.4
Temperature76 F to 80 F
Compatibility:Most likely not a fish for the community, however, they may live with blood parrots and other like peaceful community fish

Who doesn’t like blood red parrot Cichlids?

The Blood Parrot Cichlid is a part of the Cichlidae family.

Since they are a brand new hybrid, they don’t have an official Latin (or scientific) name, which is why they are described as simply Parrot Cichlids.

This species was bred to be a hybrid of two different species. Its parent species are unconfirmed, however, speculation indicates Midas (Amphilophus citrinellus) and Redhead (Paraneetroplus synspilus) Cichlids.

It is freshwater fish that could live for up to 15 years if kept healthy. Be sure that you’re not mistaking them for saltwater parrotfish, another species that is not related to the Scaridae family.

It is recommended to treat your Blood Parrot Cichlid as a Central American Cichlid species because the two-parent species come from this region.

They are highly sought-after by Cichlid lovers, but it’s difficult to locate one due to the controversy over the species. A lot of people believe that hybridization isn’t ethical, which is why some shops do not sell them.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Behaviour

It is possible to keep them on their own, together, or in a group of appropriate tank mates. They’re usually considered to be a peaceful species, but they can be easily spooked through aggressive fish, which can cause them to behave in a way that is unnatural.

They can be insecure and tend to get lost amongst the decorations and plants.

If they are aware of the hiding places readily available, they’ll be more active within your aquarium.

A majority of their energy is located in the middle levels of the tank, but sometimes they’ll head lower down and start digging to find food.

They’re likely to make a mess after eating, and that will require additional cleaning.


Adults are expected to attain 8 inches long. They can be distinguished due to their distinctive features: a round body, and a beak-like head, with big eyes.

These are stunning fish that have bright orange coloring to compete with the most colorful fish in the world.

The color can be uniform across the body, however, it is often broken by patches of other colors (usually in white). Different colors have been bred, including yellow and red. Dyeing is often employed to create more color variations, however, this can reduce the longevity of the fish.

Females and males are very females and males are very similar, but males are slightly bigger.

As young, certain individuals cut off their tails to form a heart-shaped shape. They are also known by the name of Heart Cichlids, and most fans consider it to be unprofessional and unethical practice.

The hybridization of the parent species has caused an inherited defect that causes the mouth can’t completely close. This means that the teeth remain in their throats, leaving the fish in a position to not fight and poses a challenge to eating.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

It is important to note that the Blood Parrot Cichlid does not have its own natural habitat because it is the result of hybridization. To determine what kind of environment they prefer, it is necessary to examine the areas where the parent species live in the wild ( such as the Midas Cichlid).

They live inside the warm, flowing waterways of Central America.

The water will be well-lit and slightly acidic. They typically live in areas around rocks as well as tree roots which offer protection and plenty of food. The riverbed is usually smooth and well-filled with vegetation.

To ensure the health of your Blood Parrot Cichlids healthy you must recreate the same conditions within your aquarium.

Tank Setup

Your tank has to find an equilibrium between open swimming areas and isolated places.

Blood parrot fish require both of them because, although they normally are seen swimming around within the tank, they can be timid and are unable to avoid stressful situations.

It is possible to lay down stones, timber, and clay containers on the lower portions of the tank to allow open water above.

Plant a variety of plants, too. They are another excellent way to shelter your home and aid in helping to maintain oxygen levels at a high level. There are many species to pick from, for instance, Java Fern, Anubias Nana, Temple Compacta, or Hornwort.

It is possible to use the sandy substrate. Fish are known to dig, therefore a hard substrate can cause scratches and lead to wounds and infections.

The filter should move the liquid around in the tank in order to create a current. The most important component is a heater. Set at a temperature of 75-80degF. The pH should be 6.5-7.4.

What Size Aquarium Do They Need?

The Blood Parrot Cichlid needs at minimum a 30-gallon tank – this will suffice for one fish.

Every additional fish requires a minimum of 10 gallons to ensure that they all have enough space. If you have more room, the better. offer, the more space you can provide.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Tank Mates

It isn’t easy to locate suitable tank mates because Blood Parrot Cichlids can be unstable (especially when they’re stressed). You’re not even able to see the natural companions because they are not seen out in nature.

When you consider the parent species and past experiences, you will have an idea of what fish you should select.

Tank members from blood red parrot cichlid should be peaceful and also be quick to complete quick getaways if required.

Some excellent options for mid-levels consist of the dwarf gourami, angelfish, Kribensis, barbs of the tiger, Emperor Tetras, along firemouth cichlids.

Avoid choosing fish that are too small to be eaten in the same way as neon guppies or neon tetras.

To help fill in the gaps in your lower levels, you can keep Yoyo loaches, corydoras catfish, clown loaches, or clown plecos.

Invertebrates are not to be avoided since they are a food source. However, If you’re looking to give them a try, you can save Apple Snails because they have an extremely hard shell.

Keeping Blood Parrot Cichlids Together

If you have sufficient space (60plus gallons) you can house the groupings of fish.

More Blood Parrot Fish you have, the more hiding places you’ll have to create all over the aquarium.

Blood Parrot Cichlid Care

The positive side is that Blood Parrot Cichlids are a hardy species that mostly look after themselves.

Be sure to check Your water parameters each week for sudden changes, as they could quickly cause sickness.

For instance, the drop in temperature could weaken the immune system of a fish.

Filtration is essential for a successful fish tank. Be aware of high nutrient levels as these can cause blue-green algae blooms which can endanger your fish. To ensure that your filter is working, you must conduct frequent water changes, at least once or twice a week.

A diet that is not healthy can cause similar effects, which is why you must ensure that you are feeding a high-quality diet.

There are several ailments that the Blood Parrot Cichlid could catch.

The most prevalent is likely Ich (white spot disease), an issue that can affect the majority of aquarium fish.

If your fish is suffering from Ich, there will be the appearance of white marks (up in the size of 1 mm across) on their bodies and fins. To take care of this, increase the temperature to 80 degrees F as well as apply 1 teaspoon of salt for every 2 gallons of water. If you are not seeing any change, you can purchase medications from pet stores as well.

Another issue that could be a problem is swim bladder disorder. A disorder of the swim bladder is a gas-filled organ that regulates buoyancy. If there’s an issue, the fish may begin floating in the water or laying on the substratum.

To treat, to treat, stop feeding them for 3 weeks, and then give them a cooked and skinned pea once each day. After several months of this, begin feeding them healthy frozen food items.


The Blood Parrot Cichlids will eat diverse kinds of food. They are omnivores, therefore they can eat meaty foods and vegetation.

They can be fed dry, freeze-dried, frozen, as well as live foods.

They may have trouble feeding off the surface, so you should let the food sink, thus, you should make use of pellets over flakes.

There are dried food items available specially designed specifically for Cichlids.

Fresh as well as live foods are the most beneficial. You should add a dry diet to provide a variety of nutrients. This will help keep your fish healthy from diseases and helps keep their colors bright.

Bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp are just a few of my favorites.

Keep in mind that fish eat even when not hungry, so limit their meals to once per day. Feed them a quantity that they can consume within a few minutes.

They are able to eat lots of food items and could cause some mess during the process, therefore, you should remove any extra food before it begins to decay. Also, conduct regular water changes.


Breeding for this species is highly uncertain.

The reason for this is that males are usually infertile, meaning they’re physically incapable of creating fry.

Sometimes, females may spawn successfully, however, only males from other Cichlid species make a crossbreed.

Finding a female mate is a matter of luck, however, there are some strategies you can do to improve chances. Gradually increase the temperature until 80 degrees F, ensure that their surroundings are as clean as is possible, and feed them a nutritious diet.

A female is able to lay eggs and devote herself to taking care of the eggs. The eggs that are infertile will change to white, as they develop a fungus. Parents will eat eggs in order to prevent the spread of the fungus to fertile eggs.

When they hatch, you must perform 25% water changes to ensure they are healthy. You can feed your baby brine shrimp until they have grown enough to eat other food items.

Sexual Differences

Males and females are alike in pattern and color, however, males are bigger than females.

Are Blood Parrot Cichlids Suitable For Your Aquarium?

The keeping of blood parrot cichlids is ethically controversial, therefore you might be interested in different naturally occurring cichlid species, such as angelfish, or discus fish.

It is important to think carefully prior to adding the Blood Parrot Fish to your tank.

They’re not a cause for numerous issues, however, you have to select the best tank mates to avoid fighting.

After your aquarium has been set up you just need to keep the area clean and ensure that they are feeding correctly.

The attempts to breed the species are likely to be in vain.

Other than that, it’s a fantastic species with a distinct appearance that isn’t found in other places.

Are Blood Red Parrot Cichlids your favorite Cichlid? Tell us in the comments section below…


Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.

Leave a Comment