Parrot Fish Care Starter Pack For Beginners


Parrotfish are tropical marine fishes with large scales and thick, heavy bodies. They are found in different colors which are subject to transformation depending on their status, sex, or maturity. There are different types of parrotfish; nonetheless, the most common species bred are blood red parrot cichlid or blood parrots.

The blood parrot cichlids refer to a hybrid aquarium fish species. They fall under the family of the Cichlidae. It should be noted that these species are different from saltwater Parrotfish (Callyodon fasciatus), freshwater parrot cichlids (Hoplarchus Psittacus), or other unrelated species of the family Scaridae.


Common name

The common name includes bloody parrot cichlid, blood parrot cichlid, and blood-red parrot cichlid.



The original blood parrot cichlid can be traced back to around 1986 in Taiwan. It is claimed that it is a hybrid that is produced by crossbreeding two different cichlids (the Midas and redhead). Since its first creation in 1986 and after it was on the market for some time, history shows that the blood parrot cichlid was not widely seen in pet shops until the year 2000.

Calico blood parrots are seen as blood parrots that are likely produced from the crossing of a gold or green severum (Cichlasoma severum or Heros Severus) with the red devil (Cichlasoma erythraeum). There is also the possibility that blood parrots are produced from Amphilophus labiatus or even Archocentrus species.


Water Type

For blood parrot cichlids, the water must be hardy (like river water). The water pH between 6.5-7.4 should be maintained with the water temperature between 24 and 26° Celsius.



For females, the blood parrot cichlids usually grow up to 6-7 inches while males are around 7-8 inches. The males can at times grow up to 10 inches.



The blood parrot cichlids can live up to 10 – 15 years in captivity.



Blood parrot cichlids are a peaceful species that can coexist with suitable tank mates. However, they do become stressed and may act out when any of the tank mates seems aggressive. They are also shy; and can sometimes be hiding amongst the decorations and plants.


Types of Parrot Fish Species

When it comes to the types of parrotfish species, there are more than 80 recognized species. These species are different with respect to their colors, sizes, and shapes. However, what they have in common are their protruding fused teeth. The following are some of the most popular ones:

  1. Humphead Parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum)
  2. Blue Parrotfish (Scarus coeruleus)
  3. Rainbow Parrotfish (Scarus guacamaia)
  4. Stoplight Parrotfish (Sparisoma viride)
  5. Princess Parrotfish (Scarus taeniopterus)


What Do Parrot Fish Eat?

As far as the diet of parrotfish is concerned, they take a variety of foods such as frozen, live, flake, and freeze-dried foods.


Product recommendations

One of the products that can be recommended for parrot cichlids is Tetra Cichlid XL Sticks Fish Food 320g (1L). It contains a high level of vegetable matter, fish protein, minerals, and vitamins. The product helps prevent disease and nutrient-related deficiency and even promotes growth & well-being and enhances coloring.


Parrot Fish Tank Setup

The following must be strictly observed when setting up a tank for parrotfish:



When considering a single parrotfish, the recommended minimum tank is 30 gallons. For each additional fish, you will need 10 additional gallons.


Water temperature

The water temperature is expected to range from 24 to 26° C.

You can keep a heater in your aquarium, but ensure that the temperature is about 24 to 29 °C.


Filtration & Lighting

Filtration is very important, you may want to get a quality canister filter. For lighting, keep things toned down, use red spectrum lighting or soft standard lighting.


Can Parrotfish Live With Other Fish?

Parrotfish can live with other fish provided they are not aggressive. They thrive well with a variety of peaceful fish such as tetras and angelfishes.

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