Blood Parrot Cichlid (Hybrid) Species Guide

Blood parrot cichlids are a unique and popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts, blending vibrant colors with intriguing hybrid origins. As a hybrid between the redhead cichlid and midas cichlid, your captivating friend is sure to become the star of your aquatic display.

Although still a relatively new addition to the world of ornamental fish, you’ll appreciate the engaging personality and compelling features of the blood parrot cichlid. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending more and more time admiring the peculiar charm of these fascinating creatures!

Image Of A Blood Parrot Cichlid Swimming In A Tank

Blood Parrot Cichlid Species Guide Summary

  • Average Lifespan: Your Blood Parrot Cichlid can live for around 10 to 15 years.
  • Care Difficulty: Caring for a Blood Parrot Cichlid is moderately easy, suitable for beginners.
  • Colors: These beautiful fish come in bright orange, red, and sometimes yellow.
  • Compatibility: Blood Parrots can be kept with similarly sized, semi-aggressive fish like angelfish and tetras.
  • Conservation Status: The Blood Parrot Cichlid isn’t evaluated by conservation organizations, as it’s a hybrid species.
  • Diet: They’re omnivores and enjoy pellets, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and some vegetable matter.
  • Distribution: Blood Parrot Cichlids originated in Taiwan as a hybrid of multiple Central American cichlid species.
  • Group: These fish belong to the family Cichlidae, but their full classification is uncertain due to their hybrid nature.
  • Habitat: In your aquarium, Blood Parrots appreciate hiding spots in driftwood, rocks, and clay pots.
  • Hardness: Keep the water hardness between 6 and 8 dGH for your Blood Parrot Cichlid.
  • Minimum Tank Size: Allocate at least 30 gallons of water for your fish to swim comfortably.
  • pH: Maintain a pH level of 6.5 to 7.5 for a happy Blood Parrot Cichlid.
  • Scientific Name: There isn’t an official scientific name, as they are a hybrid fish species.
  • Size: Blood Parrot Cichlids grow up to 8 inches in length.
  • Temperament: Their temperament ranges from semi-aggressive to peaceful, depending on tank mates and environment.
  • Temperature: Keep water temperature between 76°F and 80°F for optimal fish health.
  • Where It Swims: Your Blood Parrot Cichlid prefers the middle to bottom areas of your aquarium.

Appearance and Varieties

Blood parrot cichlids are a fascinating hybrid fish species, known for their vibrant colors and unique body shapes. These fish display a wide range of colors, including red, orange, yellow, and green, but the most common coloration is a bright, eye-catching red-orange. Their distinctive body shape includes a large, rounded body with a beak-like mouth and, in some varieties, a nuchal hump on their head, adding to their intriguing appearance.

Sex Differences

Now that you’re familiar with their general appearance, it’s important to know how to distinguish between male and female blood parrot cichlids. Sexing these fish can be quite challenging, as there are no obvious physical differences between the sexes. However, you might notice some subtle traits that could indicate whether you’re looking at a male or a female.

  • Body size: Males are usually larger than females, but size alone isn’t a reliable indicator since many factors can influence fish size. Nevertheless, it’s something worth considering, especially when combined with other observations.
  • Vent shape: The vent is the small opening near the fish’s anal fin, used for both excretion and reproduction. In general, males have a pointed, elongated vent, while females have a more rounded, shorter vent. This difference can be tricky to spot, so you may need to take a closer look.
  • Behavior: During the breeding season, males tend to display more aggressive behavior and may attempt to defend their territory. They might also dig pits in the substrate to create a spawning site. Females, on the other hand, tend to be more passive and may show less interest in territory defense.

Keep in mind that these traits are not foolproof, and determining the sex of your blood parrot cichlids might still be a bit of a guessing game. However, understanding these subtle differences can be helpful in managing your fish tank and providing a balanced, harmonious environment for these unique fish.

Behavior & Temperament

Blood parrot cichlids are unique fish with a personality that many find fascinating. In your aquarium, you’ll observe them displaying a range of interesting behaviors.

One aspect you’ll notice is their curiosity. Blood parrot cichlids often engage in exploring their surroundings, swimming in and out of various hiding spots you have created for them. Adding some decorations, like caves and plants, can enhance their environment and provide them with more places to investigate.

When it comes to interactions with other fish, blood parrot cichlids have a mixed reputation. While they can be territorial, especially during breeding periods, they tend to be more peaceful with tank mates of similar size and temperament. To avoid conflicts, you should avoid overcrowding and ensure that your aquarium is large enough to accommodate all its inhabitants. A well-planned setup with multiple hiding places can help diffuse tensions and maintain harmony between your fish.

Interestingly, blood parrot cichlids have a fairly unique way of communicating with each other. They may use body language, such as changing color or spreading fins, to send messages to their tank mates. Be sure to monitor your fish for any sudden changes in behavior, as this could be a sign of stress or illness.

Additionally, blood parrot cichlids are known for being sensitive to changes in their environment. It’s important to keep up with regular water changes and maintain consistent water parameters to ensure that your fish remain happy and healthy. Checking on the temperature, pH, and ammonia levels can save you from potential problems later on.

All in all, caring for blood parrot cichlids can be enjoyable for both seasoned and novice fish enthusiasts. With a little attention to detail and a keen eye for their behaviors, you’ll be able to provide a comfortable home for these quirky and engaging pets.


Breeding blood parrot cichlids can be quite a challenge, due to their hybrid nature. However, it’s not impossible, and with a bit of patience and the right environment, you might just be able to breed these beautiful fish successfully.

First, make sure you have a suitable tank for breeding. A spacious tank with plenty of hiding spots, such as caves and plants, will help the fish feel more comfortable. You’ll also need to maintain optimal water conditions, keeping the temperature around 76-80°F and the pH between 6.5-7.5.

Next, you should provide a healthy diet rich in the nutrients your blood parrot cichlids need for reproduction. High-quality pellets combined with fresh or frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms are great options.

Keep an eye out for signs of courtship behavior. Blood parrot cichlids tend to become more aggressive during breeding time, so watch for any chasing, nipping, or displaying their fins to show dominance. If you notice these behaviors, it could be a good indication that your fish are preparing to breed.

Despite their hybrid status, blood parrot cichlids do exhibit some parental care like other cichlids. Once the eggs are laid, the parents will usually guard and fan the eggs. Ensure that you monitor the situation as sometimes, the other fish in the tank may try to eat the eggs or disturb the breeding pair.

Lastly, be patient. Breeding blood parrot cichlids isn’t an exact science, and you may not have success on your first attempt. Keep trying, learn from your experiences, and enjoy the process. Who knows, with a bit of luck and perseverance, you might just be rewarded with a new generation of stunning blood parrot cichlids to admire in your aquarium.

Care Instructions for Blood Parrot Cichlid

Food and Feeding Frequency

Feeding your blood parrot cichlid is important for their growth and overall health. Offer them a balanced diet consisting of high-quality pellets, flakes, and frozen or freeze-dried foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms. It’s best to feed them 2-3 times a day in small portions to prevent overfeeding and maintain water quality.

Potential Diseases

Blood parrot cichlids, like any other fish, are prone to certain diseases. Watch out for common issues like:

  • Ich: Small white spots on the fish’s body, fins, and gills
  • Fin rot: Fins appearing frayed or discolored
  • Bloatedness: Swollen belly or scales protruding

Keep an eye on your pet’s behavior and appearance, taking necessary steps to prevent illnesses by maintaining water quality and a stress-free environment.

Tank Setup

Setting up a proper tank for your blood parrot cichlid is crucial. Provide a minimum of 30 gallons of water to accommodate their growth. Add rocks, caves, and hiding spots to give your pet ample space to explore and establish territories. Remember to keep them in a peaceful community, as they may be easily bullied by more aggressive species.

Water Conditions

Maintaining optimal water conditions is key to your cichlid’s health and happiness. Keep these parameters in mind:

  • Temperature: 76-80°F (24-27°C)
  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Hardness: 6-15 dGH

Regularly test water parameters and perform partial water changes to ensure a consistent and healthy environment for your blood parrot cichlid.

In the Wild

In the wild, you might come across the unique and colorful blood parrot cichlid. This interesting fish is actually an artificial hybrid, created by crossbreeding two cichlid species, namely, the Cichlasoma synspilum and C. citrinellum.

As you explore their natural habitats, you’ll find that blood parrot cichlids don’t typically exist in the wild. However, a closely related species, the Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus), can be found in the wild and is believed to be one of the parental species of the blood parrot cichlid.

While you won’t find blood parrot cichlids in the wild, they have been accidentally introduced into some ecosystems, such as rice agroecosystems in Malaysia. As with many artificial hybrids, blood parrot cichlids can face challenges when it comes to breeding and survival.

If you happen to be an aquarist, you might be familiar with blood parrot cichlids since they are quite popular in the aquarium trade, known for their vibrant color and personable demeanor. When it comes to enhancing their skin color, some blood parrot cichlids are given astaxanthin supplements in their diet, allowing for a more intensified coloration.

So, even though you won’t find blood parrot cichlids in the wild, you can indeed come across their close relatives or admire them in a well-maintained aquarium setup.

FAQs About Blood Parrot Cichlids

Are Blood Parrot Cichlids Good Tank Mates?

Yes, Blood Parrot Cichlids can be good tank mates as long as you choose compatible species. They generally coexist well with other semi-aggressive and similar-sized fish. Here are some suitable tank mates for your Blood Parrot Cichlid:

  • Angelfish
  • Plecos
  • Larger Tetras
  • Gouramis
  • Barbs

Keep in mind that you should monitor your tank to make sure there aren’t any conflicts between your fish.

How Much Do Blood Parrot Cichlids Cost?

The cost of Blood Parrot Cichlids can vary depending on factors like size, age, and where you buy them. On average, you can expect to pay around $10 to $30 for a Blood Parrot Cichlid. You might find them cheaper or more expensive depending on the specific store, breeder, or online platform you choose.

How Do I Keep My Blood Parrot Cichlid Healthy?

To keep your Blood Parrot Cichlid healthy, follow these guidelines:

  1. Provide a large tank with at least 30 to 50 gallons of water per fish.
  2. Maintain water quality by performing regular water changes and using a good filtration system.
  3. Keep the water temperature between 76°F and 80°F with a stable pH level around 6.5 to 7.5.
  4. Offer your fish a balanced diet that includes a mix of high-quality pellets, fresh or frozen food (like brine shrimp and bloodworms), and vegetable matter (like spirulina and lettuce).
  5. Monitor your fish for signs of illness or stress and consult a vet or an experienced aquarist if you notice anything unusual.

Following these guidelines will help ensure your Blood Parrot Cichlid remains happy and healthy in your care.


As a lover of blood parrot cichlids, you might find it interesting to know that this hybrid species is a combination of two different cichlids, the redhead cichlid (Paraneetroplus synspilus Hubbs) and the midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus Gunther). Take good care of your unique fish, and enjoy their beauty in your aquarium.

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