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Blood Parrot Cichlid Food (What Should You Feed Them)

This hybrid fish got a mouth that never closes, which makes it somewhat difficult for these fish to eat peacefully. More importantly, we also have to know blood parrot cichlid food and feeding behavior to feed them properly.

Blood parrot cichlids are interesting fish species because of several reasons. They are a man-made hybrid fish species, intelligent, and have a cute-looking beautiful body shape.

Blood Parrot Cichlid

Blood parrot cichlids food eating habits

When it comes to blood parrot fish, there are a few things that you should probably know. They are man-made hybrids from other types of fish, so they have a mix of different characteristics.

They are usually red or orange in color, and they have a very cute-looking body shape that even young kids can enjoy.

But, these fish find it hard to eat food even if the food is a bit larger than their mouth. As they have limited ability to move their mouth, they can not open them wide either.

So, it is essential to crushing the food before feeding your blood parrot fish.

The best way to feed your blood parrots is to make the food sink. But interestingly, we have seen some fish that eat from above the water surface from human hands.

So, how should you feed your blood parrot cichlid? Well, that question is up to you. As these fish are intelligent, you can train them to eat however you want.

What do you feed a blood parrot cichlid?

Blood parrot cichlids are omnivore fish like their parent species.

They will eat a wide variety of food, including worms, insects, and plants. Therefore, it is a good idea to offer a mix of different food types so that your blood parrot cichlid can get the nutrition it needs.

Bloodparrots will enjoy live food like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia, but be careful to buy this food from a reputable source as live food may have parasites that can harm your fish.

You can also offer frozen food like krill, Mysis shrimp, and cyclops, as well as freeze-dried food like tubifex worms and plankton.

When it comes to feeding your blood parrot cichlids, variety is the key. So, mix up the food type you offer to keep your fish healthy and happy.

When feeding these fish, you need to know that their diet should contain more protein than other fish types.

Most people feed their blood parrots with flake food, but that is not wise because fish flakes tend to float. And blood parrots usually find it hard to eat floating fish food.

When it comes to blood parrots, you always have to be careful about the size of the food you offer. Because of their small mouth, they cannot eat large chunks of food. So, you must crush the food to make it easier for them to eat.

Can blood-red parrot cichlid eat betta food?

Yes. Blood parrot fish can eat betta food. Betta fish are carnivore fish.

So the food prepared explicitly for betta fish contains a large portion of proteins. As blood parrots are omnivore fish who prefer to eat meat-based food, they can actually safely eat betta food.

Further, betta food pellets size is small that is easy for blood parrots to eat. So, you can actually offer betta food pellets to your blood parrot cichlid without worrying much.

If you are wondering if blood parrots eat betta food when they are small, the answer is yes. They can eat it. You have to remember that do not feed them too much betta food.

It is good for their health to offer betta food to them once in a while. But, betta food as the sole food source is not ideal for these fish as they also need plant-based food for optimum health.

How often should I feed my blood parrot?

Blood parrot cichlids are voracious eaters. So, they will eat whatever you feed them. They will feed themselves even when you offer food too much in most cases. And because of that, it is easy to overfeed them.

When it comes to blood parrots, overfeeding is one of the most common mistakes made by fish keepers.

Overfeeding will not only make your fish sick, but it can also lead to poor water conditions and dirty aquariums. That is why you must feed your fish the right amount of food.

How often you should feed your blood parrot fish really depends on the size of your fish, the type of food you are offering, and your fish tank’s filtration system.

For example, if you have a small fish in a big aquarium with a sound filtration system, you can feed them every day. But if you have a larger fish in a smaller aquarium, you need to feed them twice a day.

In general, you should feed your blood parrot cichlid once a day. But, you can adjust the feeding frequency depending on their body condition and the water conditions in your aquarium.

How much should I feed my parrot cichlid?

As we said before, it is important not to overfeed your blood parrot cichlid. Therefore you should know how much you should feed your fish. 

The amount of food you should give to your blood parrot cichlid really depends on the size of your fish, the type of food you are offering, and your fish tank’s filtration system.

But, in general, you should feed them as much as they can eat within 3 to 4 minutes.

However, if you have any other voracious eaters other than blood parrots, leave the food a bit more time as blood parrots usually cannot compete for food with other fish species.

Once they finish eating after about four minutes, immediately remove the excess food to keep your aquarium clean. Otherwise, it will pollute your water and make the water condition worse.

How long can parrot fish go without food?

Blood parrot cichlids are medium-sized fish, and they can hold out for about a week or two without food.

However, it is not ideal, and they will become weak over time if they do not eat. Generally, you should give them food every day unless they are sick or just recovering from surgery.

Will blood parrots eat other fish?

As blood parrot cichlids are omnivore fish, they naturally eat other fish if they fit into their mouths. However, this does not mean they will eat every fish they see.

They usually prefer to eat other small fish and shrimp. So, if your fish tank has other small shrimps and fish species that are not thick-bodied, they will eat those.

But, if the fish and shrimp you keep in your aquarium are thick-bodied, like catfish or well-grown guppies, they will not eat them.

Blood parrots usually avoid eating fish that are above them in the food chain. If you have small-sized fish, keeping them in a separate tank might be better.

How do I know if my fish are hungry?

Aquarium fish, in general, sense when their owner gets closer and rushes to the water’s surface, expecting you to feed them.

Most fish are opportunistic feeders. So, when they get a chance to eat food, they don’t usually pass up the opportunity. Fish know that they get food through you. That is why they are “begging” for food every time you go near the tank.

If you see your fish coming to the surface of the water frequently (without you showing up), it means that they are hungry, and you should feed them soon.

But when you see the same action when you pass by, they are probably not hungry and try to take advantage of you.

Several other signs indicate your blood parrot cichlid is hungry such as their behavior and how fast they are swimming. Here are some.

  • Your fish will search for food by digging around the substrate.
  • It will wait at the top of your aquarium for a long time. This usually happens when feeding time is near.
  • Your fish will show aggressive behavior than usual.
  • It will swim slow or show sluggish behavior.
  • If you observe carefully, you will see a change in size/weight.

If you notice any of these signs, it means that your fish are hungry and should be fed soon.

What can you feed fish if you run out of fish food?

Fish pellets and flakes are the favorite choices of aquarium owners because they are easy to feed and provide all the nutrition for your fish.

Therefore many aquarium owners are used to feeding their fish only fish food. But, there can be times when you might run out of fish food or find it too expensive to buy every time.

At least, there are two ways that you can feed your aquarium fish.

First, you can buy frozen food such as blood worms and brine shrimp 9or baby brine shrimp) from your local pet shop.

It is usually affordable, but it is not the best choice because you need to thaw them before feeding your fish. You also need to make sure that they are completely thawed before feeding.

Second, you can feed your fish raw vegetables such as zucchini and cucumber from the grocery store. These food items can be an excellent alternative to fish food, but you need to remember that not all vegetables are good for fish.

Some vegetables, such as peas and carrots, are not good for fish when fed directly. You will have to boil or steam those hard vegetables before feeding them to your fish.

Also, you will have to chop those vegetables after boiling them into small pieces so that the fish easily eat them.

Overall, you should try to give your fish a variety of food items. This will not only make them healthy but also help to keep your aquarium looking great.


This freshwater fish got a mouth that never closes, making it somewhat difficult for these fish to eat easily.

They are omnivore fish that eat a wide variety of food, including worms, insects, and plants. The best way to feed your blood parrots is to make the food sink.

It is important to crush the food before feeding your blood parrot cichlid as they can not move their mouth like other fish.

Credit to : Sassonic Aquariums
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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.