Blood Parrots and Mbunas

EthanNuckks

Hey y’all I often look through threads on here to help but I’m a bit confused on my current situation. I’ve tried to do some research and look at others tanks keeping Blood Parrots with African Cichlids but I’m still worried that it may end up not working out well. I currently have two blood parrots and one demasoni in a 50 gallon tank I believe. I just wanted some input on what would be best to do from here, if I should add more or separate them if they won’t do well together in the future. If I do add more I’m not sure which cichlids and how many in order to keep agression down, thanks.
 

WRWAquarium

I think maybe it's down to specific fish temperaments a bit here.

I did look at blood parrots as an option for angelfish tank mates as it is a known compatible.

Quick Google says parrots can live with African river cichlids of same size and aggression. Large tetras and catfish also recommended as tank mates.

I think parrots would be labeled community with caution
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

I don't believe I would try that mix. Mbuna cichlids, like your demasoni, are very aggressive and are mostly just kept with other Mbunas. A big Mbuna tank, full of rockwork, and filled with schools of mbuna can be quite a sight - almost like a freshwater reef. (check out some of the videos on youtube!) But they don't play well with others and are best kept with other fish of similar temperament who will happily fight back.

Your parrots might do alright for awhile, if they are considerably bigger than the demasoni, but it will probably not be a very happy mix. Blood parrots are on the mild end of the cichlid spectrum, in terms of aggression.
 
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RayClem

There is also a water parameter discrepancy. Blood parrots derive from South American cichlids that like softer, acidic or neutral water, In contrast, Mbuna cichlids come from African rift lakes where the water is very hard and alkaline. Thus, even if if were not for the problem with aggression, it is not a good idea to keep both types of cichlid in the same tank.

Decide which you like best and keep them. Of course, the "best" option is to keep both, but in separate tanks.
 
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EthanNuckks

I don't believe I would try that mix. Mbuna cichlids, like your demasoni, are very aggressive and are mostly just kept with other Mbunas. A big Mbuna tank, full of rockwork, and filled with schools of mbuna can be quite a sight - almost like a freshwater reef. (check out some of the videos on youtube!) But they don't play well with others and are best kept with other fish of similar temperament who will happily fight back.

Your parrots might do alright for awhile, if they are considerably bigger than the demasoni, but it will probably not be a very happy mix. Blood parrots are on the mild end of the cichlid spectrum, in terms of aggression.

Yeah I’ve been a bit scared of something going wrong, the petsmart I had was selling them together and I thought that African cichlids and blood parrots were okay together until I looked into it further. I’d return my mbuna but I don’t have the receipt, do you think it’d be alright if I kept him and got more for my 35 gallon? Or should I try to sell him on Craigslist?
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

Honestly, I would probably try to sell him. Unless you are really ready to take the plunge.

A colony of Mbuna would need at least a 55 gallon tank, and bigger would be better.

They need hard, alkaline water like Ray said; depending on your source water, you may need to make some adjustments. For example, my water is too soft and neutral here, so I have several kilos of crushed coral in my sump to bring the pH and water hardness up.

You would also need to do some heavy scaping to make your mbuna happy. They need a lot of rock work and caves - like they have in the wild - to feel safe. They will spend the rest of their lives fighting over the caves, but that is their nature.
All that being said, a mbuna tank is quite awesome. My African tank has peacocks and haps - relatives of your mbuna - and it is one of the most satisfying tanks I have ever owned.

If you like your mbuna, I would start doing a little research - down the rabbit hole, so to speak - and see if you would find it interesting to continue.
 
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