Not sure if something is wrong with my Blood Red Parrot Cichlid

Discussion in 'Parrot Cichlid' started by mandi85710, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. mandi85710New MemberMember

    I got my Blood Red Parrot today and it is acting really weird. It is hanging out at the bottom one minute behind one of the plants and then the next thing I know he is at the top of the tank in the corner facing downward. All of my levels are normal. I forgot to write them down sorry so I don't know exactly but I remember the PH was 7.2. I did research on them and they like the higher PH levels so I am not thinking that is too high for it and that it wouldn't make it act like this. I am really worried about him.

    He is in my 30G tank alone. I have never had any fish in this tank and it cycled for 2 months so I know it is definitely cycled properly. It's just really weird behavior. I am not used to Cichlids. I have mollys and platy's that I breed in several of my other tanks so I am used to them. I am not sure if he needs something different or if this is normal. I don't want him to die but that is kind of how it looks the way he is acting. I have seen other peoples posts saying that their fish were doing the same thing and that it was normal but I just got him home about 4 hours ago. He hid a little then came out and I fed him some brine shrimp. Then all of the sudden he started acting like this. Is it b/c he is alone? Do I need to go get him a buddy right away? I plan on getting another one next month b/c I am kind of tapped out for this month on extra stuff I can buy. I have all my chemicals and things like that that I need for all of my tanks and my food ect that I get monthly and have money put back in case of a sick fish to get medicine but I have ick and also fungal meds on hand at all times just in case.

    So basically what I am asking is is this normal or should I be concerned? I don't want to wake up to wake up tomorrow to a dead fish. I love him so much and he is so adorable and I have been wanting to try a new type of fish and did a lot of research on him but every where I look it says something different. So I am coming on here to ask all of you that have dealt with this fish in particular and would know more. Please help. :(

  2. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!!!

    Unfortunately, it does not sound normal :( . Do you know what your ammonia/nitrites are? And how was the tank cycled? Although they can be shy at first and hide allot, being at the top of the tank and hanging downward is very suspicious....

  3. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    I have a lot of cichlids, and the behaviour does sound odd. Does he have places to hide? Do you really know what your water parameters are? I have to admit I have a Blood Red Parrot that hangs upside down in a cave, kinda like a bat..... but this doesn't sound like the same thing. I should not be because he is alone either.:(

  4. mandi85710New MemberMember

    My tank was cycled using biospira. It was actually cycled after a week and ready for fish but I did not add anything until this guy. My level I just tested and ammonia is 0, nitrate is 48, ph is 7.4 and also checked the alkalinity to see what it was and it is 6. We have hard water here and I read while doing my research they do well with harder water.

    As far as him hanging upside down like that he seems to look like a bat like you said yours does. If I turn the lights off he comes out of the corner and roams around the tank like nothing is wrong. I feed him though and he hides and them when I turn the light back off he comes out and snatches up everything off of the gravel. I tried that last night to see if he was just scared. I did not get him an actual hiding place because research I did I found that they like the open area to swim and I had seen nothing that they like to hide. But when I saw him trying to get behind plants I moved them all away from the back of the tank so he could go behind them. I have a huge orange plant that has a rock base to it and he will hide behind there when I pass the tank if he is out.

    So basically from what I am seeing you say they like to hide so I will get him a hiding place. Is there something specific that is better than other things for them? Like I said I am not familiar with cichlids as much as I am with molly's and platy's. I did a lot of research on him but it seems everyone has different ideas on them b/c they are hybrid fish. I guess it just really depends on the actual personality of them once you get them home. Right now I can see him swimming around the tank. He like to be in the bubble curtain and also likes to float up on my clam shell ornaments So today he is acting better. But when he goes up to the top like that and hides in the corner it is dark in that spot b/c it is right next to the filter which blocks the light. I also have a black background and also it is on the side of the tank where he hangs as well b/c of the angle of my tank and the way I had to do some of the chords I wanted to not be able to see them so I added it to the side as well.

    I am just really confused. Do they always just hide like this? I got him b/c all of the research said they love to move around and because he is a beautiful fish. I was planning on getting another one next month but now after reading some more last night I am thinking maybe not and to get him some other type of tank mates. B/C what I was reading was that they are mostly better alone as far as another parrot b/c they get territorial over feeding time ect. So I was thinking of trying some other types of fish in with him. I mean he is in a huge tank alone so I think a few more fish would be good for him. I don't want to add anything more until I know he is ok though. But he does seem to do fine with the lights off.

    Any suggestions to what would go well with him would be great. I don't want to add anything that he will get attacked by and since you have experience with them and I am assuming you have more than just a parrot in a tank I would really like suggestions from someone who knows instead of just research of people saying they could do well with these other types of fish. I want him to have the best home possible. But for sure I will try and find him a good hiding place as well.

    Also another question. Do you think I should switch out the filter I have for a bio wheel filter? The one I have on my other tank that has been established has a midline adjustable intake as well as the full top to almost bottom part. Since they leave a lot of waste and the tank that I have it on is my other 30G with my platies in it so switching them would not be a big deal b/c it is already well established and the one that he has is less powerful it seems than the bio wheel one on my other tank that seems a little strong for my little platies.

    Thank you both for answering my question and please any advice would be great. Also I am keeping a close eye on him just to make sure he is ok but as long as the lights are off he seems fine. So I will def get a hiding place for him to go into. I know that home depot sells 4X4 rocks for like $0.87 a piece and I could buy some and make something for him that is larger and he can still go in and out and hide but also have lots of room. I have some friends that have some different types of African Cichlids and they did that and also used play sand in their tank and their fish love it. You just have to let the rocks soak for 48 hours in water changing the water every couple of hours to make sure you get them clean. But they said you don't even have to do that just rinse them off really well but I think I would soak them to be safe.

    Also do you think sand is better than gravel or is the gravel ok? It seems like the days of research I did on him is just a waste b/c I am learning a lot of the things I was reading about seem to be opposite. Well thank you again for your help and if you have any suggestions please help me out with them I would appreciate it!!! :)
  5. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    Sounds like he needs a hiding spot. My 2 BP use terracotta pots and a cave. Mine are super shy. Only coming out to explore at night.
    Everyone says they will become friendly as time goes on.
  6. mandi85710New MemberMember

    Thank you so much!!! I was thinking that too. I have small ones for my platies and mollies in other tanks but I could get a big one for him. :)

  7. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    Here"s mine. Check out Aquarist 48, aka Ken's page. He has so many BP fish and good advice.

    Attached Files:

  8. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    20446.jpg My Blood Parrots (2) like to hide inside anything. I have a large hollow log that they like to swim into and hang out with one eye peeding through the hole. They will hide behind, in, and under things. Give your fish some time. It will start coming out when he warms up to you.... and yes he does know you so don't scare him. May him relate food to you, and quiet peaceful behaviour to you. They will hide until they are comfortable. Enjoy them, they do come out eventually. Especially at feeding time. Wendy:;tea
  9. mandi85710New MemberMember

    Aww so cute! I can't wait until he isn't shy anymore. As long as the lights are off he is good. I bought him a couple pots to go in which I also read terracotta pots help the ph levels in your water. Not sure if that is true or not but hey it can't hurt. The only thing I am worried about is if he is eating for sure and enough. I sat on the floor a little bit ago and my head was up by my tank and he kept looking at me and then he would turn on his side inside the pot and go to the top of it like he was thinking I couldn't see It was cute. I think maybe I will just have to remember when I do stuff around my living room I am slower moving when I go to pass his tank on the way to my bedroom. That way he gets used to me more and more. And maybe sitting by him like that for a few minutes a day letting him know I won't hurt him will ease his mind also!!! :)

    I love your set up and yours are so cute. I went out and got him/her I have no clue how u tell on But I went out and got a couple pots today and he has been in the one most of the day!!! As long as the light is off he comes out though but as soon as I poke my head up he goes and hides

    I have seen his page and albums and am SOOO I love my tanks but I so wish I could have a 225G one. That would be awesome. But I don't think my apartment landlords would go for But he does have awesome fish and they are not shy!!!

    Now to just get him a couple friends so he isn't lonely and he will be set!!! :)
  10. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning Mandi,

    Give your fish more time to adapt to its new environment. The fish in the corner with the nose pointed downward is a defensive posture. It may take a few weeks before the fish feels comfortable enough to come out of hiding while you or others are in the same room. Be patient. :) I sit in front of my tanks too and coax them and help them to get to know me. After a while, it will be rare that they hide at all.

    Yes, Blood Parrots love to hide. Terracotta pots/ornaments make great hiding places and too with them being porous adds more surface area for beneficial bacteria needed to help sustain the tanks cycle.

    When the budget permits, I would also get it a buddy of its own kind, space permitting. My largest Bloody Parrot that I've raised from a juvenile is 10" x 8" and is 13 years old. :) For two Bloody Parrots I would suggest at least 55g, 75g would be even better. However, 30g would be a nice grow out tank for about 1 year or so. These fish are slow growers.

    A good staple pellet for your fish:
    I started with the small pellet and increase the pellet size as the fish grows.

    Fish foods I am currently using:
    A variety of foods is always good for your fish.

    Black spots:
    If your fish develops black spots/patches, don't panic. It's completely normal during the juvenile period and there is no need for treatment. It will stop once the fish matures.

    There is a video of my Bloody Parrots/265g tank, posted in my profile if you care to take a look. Just click on my name and then View Profile.

    More Information:

    :animal0068:I have moved your thread from Hybrid Fish to Hybrid Fish/Parrot Cichlid section of the forum.

    Have fun with your new fish. They are really an awesome species with so much personality! :)

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  11. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    Whats the test kit you are using? Keeping nitrates under 20 is best and 48 is a bit high. Do you know what your nitrites are? Although some have used biospira, it has been gone for some years(tetra safe start is the replacement) . If you got your hands on some, im wondering if it was expired ? As well your suppose to add fish with it not use it alone. Did you use another ammonia source?

    They love others of their own :)

    Adding another filter wont hurt as they are poo machines. But dont take the original filter off as thats where your beneficial bacteria hides out. Put a new one on for a few weeks then you can remove the old one :)
  12. mandi85710New MemberMember

    Thank you so much. They are awesome I love them. I did get him a buddy and they seem to get a long but he also pushes him out of wherever he is. It is so cute b/c he butt pushes I did also add another filter to my tank. They most def poo ALOT!!! I also upgraded to the 75G so they are great. I am just worried now b/c I am moving next month to the apartment downstairs from me and kind of not sure how to move them? Is a total water change going to be bad for them or will they be ok as long as I keep the same filter? Do I need to recycle my tank? I am so worried about this.

    Thank you so much aquariast48. Your fish are gorgeous. I hope my Spike and Max live that long. My mom keeps telling me she is going to steal spike because he has the greatest personality. He has started looking for her now whenever she leaves the room or house. It is cute but I don't want him liking her more than But I love all of your fish. I showed my mom and she is now wanting to get a 75G tank and 2 BRP's also.

    Any help with the questions on how to move my boys would be greatly appreciated b/c I don't want them to die in the transfer or adding them to the tank once it is moved. Thanks again for all the help everyone!!! :)
  13. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    So glad to hear that your fish are doing well and that you've upgraded tank size. :)

    As for the move, I would suggest that you add the fish and all of your filter media, anything porous such as terracotta into a cooler and add an air stone/supply line. The cooler will help to maintain the temperature of the water and keep the filter media wet. Keep your filter media wet at all times.

    Keeping everything wet will help to preserve the beneficial bacteria needed to sustain the tanks cycle.

    As long as you keep your filter media wet, the end result of the move should be just like a large water change for your fish. You should not have to recycle the aquarium. Keep the substrate wet too if possible. You do not have to keep the water, only keep enough water so that the fish to not have to acclimate again. Add the water in the cooler to the tank (once moved) along with the fish, fill it up with new water, match your water temperatures between the tank and the new water, start your filter/heater and so on and you should be good to go. :)

    Add some Prime or Nova Aqua +, something to reduce stress once in the cooler.

    Thanks for the kind words about my tank and fish.

    Keep us posted. Try not to stress yourself too much and keep it fun. Bloody Parrots are pretty hardy fish.

  14. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    So glad to hear the update. One of my BP was confirmed a girl this week w/ eggs. Only one of the BPs has started warming up to me. Both still very shy. I sit about 5 feet from the tank so they can't see me and watch them.
    I had to separate their pots due to a very defensive mama. The other one seems to appreciate her pot and me more now.
  15. mandi85710New MemberMember

    Thank you so much that helps me out a lot. I was thinking I was going to have to keep all the water. Kind of figured about the filter so at least my brain is thinking somewhat I hate moving so much. Never had to do it when I was younger when my dad was in the Air Force they came in and packed and moved everything so I kind of got

    Spike and Max love their new tank. Spike the orange one comes out to me now as long as I scrunch down and kind of crawl over to the tank and don't look so Then and at feeding time. So that is making me happy! I did notice Spike started getting rather aggressive though for 2 days and then he stopped and now the little one Max is doing it.

    I think Spike might be a Spikette also b/c he/she is about 4in and Max who was about 1 1/2 in a month ago is now 3in and almost as big as Spike. Still black with stripes though no orange yet so I am wondering when he is going to start changing color?

    But the rate he has grown compared to Spike I am thinking for sure Max is a boy and Spike might need to be called

    I have no clue how to sex them. I read about venting but that freaks me out and then looking at the pictures of what a male should look like and a female I think it would be really hard to tell anyway. So too much stress on me and WAY to much on them to do that to them and me still not be able to tell. I have nothing against people doing it who know what they are doing though as long as it doesn't hurt their fish.

    Also the comment you said about the little black dots I have a question. Spike all of the sudden got a big brown spot on his nose one day then the next up towards the back of his head and one on his tail. I have tried to take pictures but there is a glare off of the lights and you cant see them and when I turn them off its too dark. So the best I can describe them is as brown for sure not green or white and not tiny dots more like bigger spots kind of like a dalmatian would have on its body but still smaller in the spot size ratio to the body.

    Then another question sorry I know it's a lot. Max since he has had his little aggressive stage (still having and chases my 8 in pleco) his body looks best way to describe would be to say like he has really dry skin. He will not come out for me to take a picture. I get him to come out like I do with Spike by crawling but as soon as I put my phone up to take a pic he zooms off. I don't know who said these guys are slow b/c mine are super So wondering what that could possibly be also. Should I maybe treat him with melafix? My fish guy swears upon that stuff for everything from ick to anything bacterial. But I am not sure what is wrong with him. I will try and see if I can get a pic of him still but probably not.

    Another thing was is it 100% proven all males are sterile?

    Also one more thing I was cruising through youtube and found the funniest BRP video and it just shows how smart these guys are so wanted you to see it. So adorable.

    Thank you again for your help I really appreciate it!!! :)

  16. mandi85710New MemberMember

    That is so awesome I hope one day I will be able to tell with mine! Glad that they are getting not as shy. :)

  17. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    The only way I know to sex the Bloody Parrot is to see who lays eggs and who doesn't. :)

    You may get lucky and have a fertile male but I wouldn't count on it. No, not all Bloody Parrots are sterile, as Rogue mentioned above, he has had fertile males and successful spawns in the past. Out of 14 or 16 Bloody Parrots that I've had over the years, none of mine have been fertile.

    The brown spots you are seeing are more than likely normal. I wouldn't recommend any treatment at this point. Keep an eye on them and see if they fade away on their own over the next few days. In the link below, you can see Lovely (same photos in the link below 3/11/12, and there are some photos posted there where a fish is covered with black or brown spots too. See photos in post #16 and 18.

    As for the dry skin look, not sure about this one. Was the fishes color faded too? These fish can change colors that are simply amazing. Check out the photos in the link below and take a look at my girl Lovely. She was in full spawning mode when these photos were taken. Look at the photos taken 3/12/11 (dated in the bottom right hand corner, these are Lovely:
    Normally she is full bright orange just like the others.

    Too, check out the link below and notice the lighter patches of scales. Is this what your fish is displaying? If so, it's normal. It's more of a color fade than dry skin/scales:

    Going to check out the video now. Too cute! lol Sebastian is adorable. A while back, I could do a circle on the glass with my finger and the fish would do a complete circle swimming up side down and was funny to watch. These fish will swim in every direction possible. I've seen mine swim up side down all the way across the 7' tank. :) Too, they may sleep completely on their sides in a cave or pot.

    My Bloody Parrots have been slow growers over the years, they may get a growth spurt and then slow down a bit. These fish can swim fast when the want to :).

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  18. mandi85710New MemberMember

    Good Morning,

    I thought you would like that video he is so cute!!! :)

    The brown spots don't really look like that. Last night after being on here I kind of got a picture of Max and then got a really good picture of Spike's brown spots on his face. They look a lot darker in person but you can get the idea by the pics hopefully. So I will keep an eye on it as you suggested and then go from there. He has been acting weird last night after I posted on here. I honestly thought he was going to die. I flipped on the light (I turn it off at night) and he was completely upside down. I had never seen him do that before. I have seen him go on his side all the way in the pots like you said yours have done. They both did that a lot when I first got them. So he scared me a lot when that happened. He has the best personality of any animal I have ever had and I do not want to lose him.

    As far as colors on the link you posted, Spike the bigger and orange one gets like that a lot where there are lighter spots. As for Max he is still black so it is hard to say but it does look as though his color has faded a little and gotten a little lighter. I got a picture of him under the bridge I have in my aquarium and he is starting to poke his head out a little so the light hits him so you can see him. Looks like he has a little yellow on him. I will still try and get a better picture at some point when he decides to come out when the lights are on. Well I could feed them a little early and see if he will come out long enough for me to get a good one. I will try.

    Its kind of funny I haven't turned my aquarium light on yet but I can see Max and Spike swimming side by side up and down and all over the place and they haven't done that in a long time. Well I shouldn't say a long time I have only had them for a little over 2 months I think now maybe less can't It is only 4am so my brain is still trying to wake up.
    But that is a little bit odd for them to do. Maybe it is just b/c they are hungry. I am going to feed them a little snack really quick and see if I can get some pictures of Max! :)

    Well I got him to come out and I am no longer worried about him because he has a lot of yellow and orange on him today. I will post a pic with this as well as one of Spikes nose. I guess he was just going through a color change. At least I hope I will still post the pic so you can see. It is a little blurry because he was zooming to catch some falling pellets I gave them. I figured it would be the best thing because he would be poking around the bottom for a minute so I would be able to get a

    Seems as though Max's aggression is still pretty bad though. He is picking on my poor pleco. Weird because it is twice his size

    Your Lovely is gorgeous. Was she orange before she went into spawning and then when she was done went back to orange or was that her juvenile color? She is just gorgeous as well as all of your fish but I have to say she is most def my favorite one being orange now or not because her face is so adorable. :) Well of course other than my His personality as I said is so amazing.

    I just don't get why people hate these fish and say don't buy them b/c they are hybrids. Well it's not their fault someone crossbred them and they have some what look like deformities but may not be at all. Maybe that is what makes them so much calmer than other cichlids. I get angry when I see people post about don't buy those fish they are just going to die of malnutrition because of the way their mouths are. I kind of went off on another site where I saw that through a google search I did. I told him if you feed them and take care of them properly they will live long healthy lives. I mean if people stopped buying them then they would be stuck in small tanks at a large quantity and have miserable lives b/c they are still going to be born wether it be a lucky fertile male or the breeders keep mixing the 2 types to breed them. I am assuming that is how they keep so many stocked in stores and other places since most of the males are infertile.

    Well as usual I have typed a bunch I talk a lot too so you can only imagine by how much I type how much I I really do appreciate all the help. I wait for your replies b/c I can honestly say I don't trust anyones opinion as much as yours or advice now since you have so many and are so knowledgeable about these little guys. But here are the pictures of my 2 I promised. I am also going to add one of them healthy! Well before any these issues. Since they may not be health issues. I love them so much. Since I lost my cat of 18 years in September of last year (same day I got her 18 years ago) I had been miserable and my mother suggested maybe an aquarium. Well I took it to the next level. She thought maybe I would get some goldfish or something but not me. I went straight for the big tanks and fish with the best personalities. My divorce is going to be final today and my guys have helped me by me just sitting and watching them. Spike looks at me and honestly I think he gets a little twinkle in his eye when I cry. He seems to know I am sad and comes out even more. OK I am making myself cry and not shutting Here are those pics. Let me know what you think about Max too if it is just his color change. :)

    I just went through all of my pictures and found some of when I first got them as well so there is something to compare them too. I hope there is no limit on pics you can post. I have like 6. Well here they are an hour and 15 minutes after I started typing and taking pics and :) I look forward to hearing what you think about the issues and also if you think my guys are as cute as I Anyones opinions are appreciated... :)

    I am not sure how to label each pic so I will look into it but from the preview of the post I will tell you which ones they are.

    First row
    1. Spike when I first got him and why I call him Spike
    2. Spike with Max next to him swimming. Max is a little ways back so you have to look b/c he is black. It was when I first got him a few days after I got Spike.
    3. Spike!!! This is where he looks like the one pictures you showed me on that link where he has lighter spots on him.

    Second Row:
    1. Max this morning with orange and yellow on him which wasn't there last night! (So hopefully the dry scales were just color change)
    2. Spike's brown spot on his nose and head. Hard to see because of the aquarium light but you can kind of see them. They are brown though.
    3. Max again this morning.

    Third Row:
    1.Max and Spike sideways in their little pot that is no longer in there b/c they started staying away from it and I got some better spots for them. This was right before Spike nudged Max He would always do that.
    2. Spike and Max both trying to fit into a tiny terracotta pot that was literally just a decoration but they decided to give it a go. Max even though there was 2 wanted to go in with his buddy!
    3. Max when I first got him. He has grown so much and you can definitely see the color change now that I went back and found this one compared to the ones I took today! :)

    Thats all. I have many more on my FB page over 70 of just them over the past 3 months but here are 9 that I think are cute and funny and then the ones to show you what I am talking about!! Thanks again for all your help and I am sorry this is so long!!


    P.S. Don't mind my tiger oscars they are the blur in the one picture. They are just in there b/c I took one of my tanks downstairs to my new apartment already so I put them in there. They actually all like each other. I thought I might of had to divide the tank but I didn't. They are small so I think that is why they are not picking on them too. Getting my 100G tank for those 2 once I get moved and settled!!!


    Attached Files:

  19. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Awwww Beautiful fish!

    Some folks like Hybrids and others do not. However, it's my tank and I'll stock what I choose to stock while keeping the fishes best interests in mind. :)

    I think your fish look nice and healthy! My oldest is 13 years old and is 10" by 8". :)

    Lovely is just as orange as all of my other Bloody Parrots. She changes colors with every spawning mode. They can be drastic color changes as you've seen in the photos. Lovely is a Love Heart Bloody Parrot and has no tail. I've seen information that the tails are chopped off at birth (which is most likely the case) and I've seen information that a particular gene was omitted when these fish were created. So...I bought Lovely before I joined Fish Lore and she is approaching 12 years old herself.

    I have never owned a more personable type of fish. I love them!

    There are several members on the forum that can also provide good information on Bloody Parrots. I'm sure others will chime in from time to time.

    One reason your Bloody Parrots may be picking on your Pleco is because they may eat the fish waste. Plecos digestive system is pretty much in a straight line so what goes in comes out quickly! It isn't a pretty sight to see but it happens. I have some Bloody Parrots that follow my 12" Pelco around the tank waiting. :) They have never harmed the Pleco though.

    Keep us posted and thanks for sharing the photos of your beautiful fish. :)

    Fish are so relaxing and calming. One of the main reasons I'm in the hobby! I can get lost in my own little world watching my fish. :)

  20. mandi85710New MemberMember

    Thank you very much. They are my babies. I will definitely keep you all posted as to what happens. Hopefully Max will start to turn more and more as time goes by. Well I know he will but it's just I love watching them swim around. To be able to do that all day and just relax would be incredible. I hope mine live as long as yours have because Spike is definitely a one of a kind and Max as well.

    Have a great day and thank you again for all your help I really do appreciate it and everyone elses as well. :)


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