.The parrot fish is a hybrid aquarium fish species around which notable controversy exists. Produced by crossing the midas cichlid and the redhead cichlid. The parrot cichlid’s genetic mixture has left the fish with a combination of physical traits. It has a very small mouth, for example, that makes it difficult for the fish to feed itself adequately. Some aquarium enthusiasts believe this is a hybrid that should not be bred.
However, the unusual appearance—round body and beak-like head with large eyes—along with the fish’s ability to coexist with other species in a community environment, has made it popular among some enthusiasts.
Parrot fish are usually bright orange, although red, yellow, or tattoo parrot fish are also possible. Unethical breeders may also dye the fish to produce other colors. Adult fish grow to a length of about 7 to 8 inches (20 cm) and may reach an age of 10 to 15 years. Males are slightly larger than females.
These hybrids are easily be recognized by their unique features—round body and a beak-like head with large eyes. The mouth typically remains open, and the teeth are deep down in the throat, which leaves the fish unable to fight and creates challenges for eating.
The habitat for the parrot fish should be roomy and provide plenty of hiding places so they can set up their own territory. Rocks, driftwood and clay pots on their sides are good options. Like other cichlids, these fish will dig in the gravel, so choose a substrate that is not too rough. Lower temperatures will result in the loss of color and generally weaken their immune system, leaving the fish more susceptible to disease. The pH should be about 7, and the water soft.
Subdued and red-spectrum light should be provided. Change the water twice a month. These fish produce a lot of waste, so regular water changes and high-volume filtration is necessary.
Watch for high levels of nitrite and phosphate, which can contribute to blue-green algae that can kill your fish. Common diseases of blood parrots include ich parasites swim bladder disease, and bacterial infections.