Companion for Blood Parrot Cichlid. Perhaps Bristlenose Pleco?


I keep a fully grown blood parrot cichlid on his own in a 300l (66gal) aquarium. He is adorable and very interactive. Whenever I'm around he swimms to the glass to watch me, takes food from my fingers and follows me around all the time. He is healthy and well, but I am wondering if he is capable of feeling bored or lonely. Perhaps I should get him some company?

I read that some parrots can be aggressive towards other fish, but I have no way of testing if mine is. Is there any way to know other than risking another fish's life?

I once tried placing some pleco sized caves, driftwood and a young bristlenose pleco with him. While I saw no reaction from the parrot, poor pleco appeared to be scared out of his wits. He hid in one of the caves and I didn't see him for hours. He didn't show up even after leaving fresh cucumber at the entrance of his hiding spot. He normally loves cucumbers and can find them anywhere in the tank within minutes of placing them in the water.
I felt sorry for the pleco and eventually fished him out together with his cave. His behaviour went back to normal literally minutes after returning to his old aquarium. Was I wrong to remove the pleco too soon (he was with the parrot from early morning until late evening)? Were they simply not compatible? Size wise parrot is 20cm (8 inch) and bristlenose just 8cm (3inch). The bristlenose will grow some more, but it will never get anywhere close to the size of parrot.

Should I try again? Do the parrots even care to have company? Do they ever get bored or lonely?


They don’t need company but that being said you can have tank mates if you want. Alot peaceful-semi aggressive fish work well with them. Do you have any ideas on what you want?


I've never kept cichlids but everytime I watch the YouTube fish guys their plecos are always hiding in stuff and appear to be shy unless maybe it's feeding time.

That's a good size tank you should be able to put something like 5-10 emperor Tetra's and 5+ Cory's with it for starters. You could maybe do some Rummynose Tetra's or other variety. Angelfish would work too maybe 1-3 and some Cory's...Parrot cichlids have pretty small mouths for their size so don't think they'll make a meal out of most fish unless they're like small ember Tetra's, neons maybe....stuff like that.

I would only have one fish in a 66gal if it was something like a Flowerhorn cichlid.

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