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Blood Parrot Cichlid Size (How Bigger They Get!?)

One of the most popular man-made cichlid species due to their unique traits that resemble parrots, Blood Parrot cichlids are hybridized cichlids first made in Taiwan in 1986. This article will discuss general information about blood parrot cichlid size, care needs, and personality.

You may not find these fish in the wild, nor are they common in the aquarium trade. Although breeders still refuse to reveal true parent species, many believe that it is a hybrid between Midas Cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) and the Golden Severum (Heros severus)  or the Redhead Cichlid (Vieja melanura).

Blood parrot cichlids are mid-sized aquarium fish that need moderate-level care. Due to their deformities, they require special feedings and have an awkward swimming pattern.

But they are popular for their bright coloration and peaceful temperament that allowed them to live in a community tank.

Blood Parrot Cichlid size

How big do blood parrot cichlids get?

Blood parrot cichlids’ average size is about 8 inches, but they can be a long as 10 inches if provided ample space and excellent care.

Blood parrot cichlid full size

The full size of this freshwater fish is about 8 inches. However, this length can change depending on the water condition, the quality of their diet, and several other reasons.

In rare cases, blood parrot cichlids reach about 10 inches. However, to reach this size, they need to be raised in a larger sized aquarium than the minimum aquarium size.

Blood parrot cichlid max size

The maximum size a blood parrot cichlid can reach is 10 inches. They can vary in color due to various cross-breeding, but their size always remains the same.

They can reach about 10 inches in length when given the proper care, contrary to their usual scope of 8 inches.

How long does it take for a blood parrot to reach full size?

Unlike other cichlid species, blood parrot cichlids take much more time to reach their full size.

It will take around a year to grow up to 5 to 6 inches (13 to15 centimeters) and several years more to reach their full extent.

After the first year, their growth rate decreases dramatically. It will take about 6 to 8 years for blood parrot cichlids to get their full size.

Blood parrot cichlid lifespan

Blood parrot cichlids have an average lifespan of 10 years in captivity.

However, they can live up to 20 years or more with proper care, including a large aquarium, good diet, and regular parrot cichlid tank maintenance.

What size tank does a blood parrot need?

One blood parrot cichlid requires at least a 30-gallon tank or larger.

If you expect to keep other fish with them, allow at least 10 gallons of tank space for each additional fish. However, these fish also prefer a much larger area to explore like any other fish.

Are blood parrot cichlids aggressive?

Blood parrot cichlids are naturally not aggressive. They are mostly timid species that prefer to live in a big community aquarium with other fish.

But like most cichlids, they may become aggressive if you restrict them to too small of an aquarium. If you want to keep blood parrots in a tank that is smaller than 30 gallons, then one blood parrot cichlid is preferable.

If you’re going to keep more than one blood parrot cichlid, then you will have to go with a larger aquarium.

Blood parrot cichlids may become aggressive if kept with aggressive fish species, including other cichlids. Therefore, it is important to avoid housing these fish with any aggressive fish species.

Are blood red parrot cichlids shy?

Yes. Blood parrot fish are shy and timid species. They do not get along well with aggressive fish species.

If kept with aggressive fish, they may also become aggressive and territorial, resulting in injuries to them more than other fish.

They can not compete well with other aggressive fish species because of their deformed body traits. So, they will always become the ones to get bullied.

Blood parrot cichlids also hide when introduced to a new aquarium as they are not used to the new environment. They require time to get comfortable with the tank, substrate, and other fish in their new home.

Once your fish get used to their new home, you will see them slowly interact with other fish species and feed well in your aquarium.

Do blood parrot cichlids require special care?

Yes, they do. Blood parrot cichlids are deformed fish with trouble swimming, especially when young. They prefer to remain at the bottom of the tank and require special feedings.

Blood parrot cichlids are omnivorous and require a high protein diet. You should feed them a variety of living, fresh, and frozen foods, including blood worms, brine shrimp, tubifex worms, and earthworms.

You should supplement their diet with vegetables such as algae. As these fish have difficulty in swimming, you will have to feed them with sinking fish food such as sinking fish pellets.

Also, it would be best if you crushed the pellets into small pieces so that the fish could eat them easily.

Blood parrot cichlids require a well-established aquarium with a pH of 6.5 to 7.4, water hardness from 6 to 18 dGH, and a temperature between 76 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Blood Parrot Cichlid size

Can blood parrot cichlids reproduce?

No. Blood parrot cichlid can not reproduce.

Due to their physical deformities, the male blood parrot cichlids are sterile from birth. Because of this fact, they can not reproduce, although female fish can lay eggs.

How many blood parrot cichlids can I keep together?

Blood parrot cichlids are schooling fish and would like to stay in groups. Therefore, experts recommend keeping about 3 to 5 fish together in a tank.

However, you can keep only one fish in your tank if you prefer. But this will result in more timid and shy fish in your fish tank. Further, it will cause several mental and health problems to the fish over time.

Blood parrot cichlids interesting facts

  • Blood parrot cichlids are a hybrid cichlid species artificially made by humans. You won’t find these specimens in the wild.
  • Their mouths have a form that looks like parrot beaks, and they are known as “parrot fish” because of it.
  • Blood parrot cichlids naturally come in only four colors; bright orange, red, yellow, and grey.
  • However, there are blood parrot cichlids in various colors. But these fish are inhumanely color injected by breeders. These color-injected blood parrots tend to have a shorter life span.
  • Blood parrot cichlids can not close their mouths due to hybridization’s anatomical deformities. Due to this fact, they are somewhat harder to feed.
  • Blood parrot cichlids are sometimes sold as “heart parrots” after performing some inhumane modifications by enthusiasts. To change these fish into “heart parrots,” breeders cut their tails when they are small.
  • Blood parrot cichlid named “King Kong Parrot” has fewer deformities and full functioning mouths than typical blood parrots. They tend to grow larger than other blood parrots and are considered more valuable than other varieties.
  • Most blood parrot cichlid males are infertile, although female fish lay eggs. There is no way to fertilize these eggs, and they usually develop fungus. Once the eggs develop fungus, the parents tend to eat the eggs.

Related Questions

Are blood parrot fish smart?

Blood parrot fish are smart and have great memories. They can recognize their owners and will come to the front of the tank when they see you.

They are also curious fish that will check out everything going on in their tank. However, you will have to house them as a group to see this behavior. Otherwise, these fish tend to be shy and timid when kept alone.

Why is my blood parrot fish hiding?

If you have recently introduced your fish to your tank, it may be hiding due to not being used to the new environment.

Your fish will require time to become accustomed to your fish tank. Once done, it will interact with other fish and know its place in the tank.

If it’s been a while since you introduced the fish to your tank, it may be hiding because it is depressed. It can get stressed very easily and will stop eating, stay at the bottom, and stay out of sight.

Blood parrot cichlids get depressed when they get bullied by other tank mates, when they don’t have enough hiding places in your tank or when they are kept alone in the tank.

This situation can cause serious health problems to your fish, such as bacterial and fungal infections, so it is best to consult with a veterinarian.


The Blood Parrot cichlid is a hybridized fish that has become one of the most popular man-made cichlid species due to its unique traits.

Their average size is about 8 inches, but they can grow up to 10 inches if provided ample space and excellent care.

It will take around a year before your baby fish reaches 5 or 6 inches (13 cm), several years more until it’s fully grown.

Blood parrot cichlids are moderately easy to care for and can live up to 20 years with proper care, so if you’re looking for an interesting new pet or have been considering adding more life into your aquarium, this may be just what you’ve been waiting for!

Credit to : Aquarium Co-Op
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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.