Did Parrot Fish Lay Eggs?


Ive had my fish for about 3-4 months now. I have 5 german blue rams, and 2 blood red parrots in the 65 gallon tank. To my surprise today there were white eggs all over the gravel. It looks like the parrot fish are being protective and not letting any of the gbr near there and will chase them away. The 2 fish are fighting between each other around the eggs also. It looks like one of them tries to eat them. One of the parrot fish has something sticking out of its back you can see in the pictures.

My question is are the eggs from the parrots or the gbr? And how can I tell if they are fertile? I will be leaving on a 10 day vacation so will not be able to see if they end up hatching.


Hi, most of the time parrot fish are not fertile so you don't need to worry about babies, but either way unfertilized eggs will grow fungus and the parents will eat them. The thing sticking out of it is a breeding tube.

I think if they are defending the eggs, it is the blood parrots'. Mine often get defensive and fight when they are in breeding mode, but calm down as soon as that's normal so I think yours are also behaving normally. Try to watch them carefully because they can become quite aggressive and you don't want them to injure the ram cichlids.


Females normally lay fertile eggs, males normally are sterile. If you have two females the eggs won't be fertilized and will turn white.
Whoever is defending the eggs is the producer of them most often.


Females lay viable eggs, but they're not fertile until they've been fertilized, which male Parrots cannot do because of internal physical deformities. From the breeding tube on the fish in the photos, I'd certainly say she laid those eggs. Usually they place them on a rock or other object, so being on the gravel is a bit unusual.

Not much of a chance that they will hatch. Infertile eggs will turn white within a couple of days, and are usually eaten by the parents or other fish.


BPs get very territorial once eggs are laid. Mine laid eggs and the male got really aggressive took/guarded 3 ft of my 100 gallon 5ft tank pushing all other BPs to a corner. I have 7 BPs and the male is the 'alpha' since he's a little bigger than all the other fish, probably 0.5" to 1" longer. Any fish comes within that 3 ft the male will be charged down all the way to the other side of the tank. My other BPs were so scared they were swimming/ pushing against the wall as if they wanted to get out of the tank.

The female pretty much doesn't eat I'm guessing, it will try to sneak out and rush back to protect the eggs once in a while but it mostly doesn't have an appetite. It will either eat very little or it will take the food and spit it out outside the nest. Male BPs are pretty much sterile so nothing happens to the eggs. After 2-3 weeks the eggs will turn kind of whitish and the Male or Female will eat it, don't know which one I don't watch super often the eggs, they just disappear over night. I'm guessing it's the female. The reason for that is my female had eggs that didn't hatch so somebody ate it, but 3-4 months later it laid eggs again and another 3-4 later same thing.

If you have problems with territory issues, it's probably good to get a tank divider unless your'e going to move the pair into another tank.

I got a divider. Dividers can be very expensive especially to find if you have a large tank. My tank is 18" wide/ or depth so I just bought an acrylic sheet, rinse and wipe with some Seachem Prime, some suction cups and put it in the tank. Just make sure you have the right measurements so the acrylic sheet fits nicely between 2 suction cups. 1/8" thick acrylic should be enough.

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