Polar blue parrot cichlid is a man-made hybrid of convict cichlids and parrot cichlids.
They are named after their color, a mix of white and light blue. They have irregular black stripes from their nose to the end of their caudal fin.
The unusual yet cute look of polar blue parrot cichlids made them one of the most popular aquarium fish. They are a good choice for both beginners and experienced aquarists.
If you are comfortable keeping middle-sized, peaceful fish, Polar blue parrot cichlids make a great addition to your tank. This article will direct you through the basics of keeping this fish.
What is polar blue parrot cichlid?
- 1 What is polar blue parrot cichlid?
- 2 Appearance
- 3 How big do polar blue parrot cichlid get?
- 4 Is polar blue parrot cichlid aggressive?
- 5 Polar blue parrot cichlid behavior
- 6 How long do they live?
- 7 One look care guide
- 8 Polar blue parrot cichlid care
- 9 Polar blue parrot cichlid breeding
- 10 How to feed polar blue parrot cichlid?
- 11 What fish can live with polar blue parrot cichlid?
- 12 Related questions
- 13 Conclusion
This fish is a hybrid between Male Convict Cichlids and Female Blood Parrot cichlids. These fish usually do not breed in the wild. Hence you can see this hybrid species only in captivity.
It is believed that these fish were first produced in the early 2000s in China. The first polar blue parrot cichlid was recorded in Taiwan, China.
Since then, these fish have been bred worldwide and are currently quite popular among cichlid hobbyists.
Since they are a hybrid of two cichlid species, they inherit the characteristics of their parents.
Male convict cichlids are usually black with a few blue markings, while female blood parrot cichlids are pink with a black tail.
So, the offspring of these two fish will usually have a mix of black and blue markings on their body, along with a pinkish hue.
The body size is similar to the convict cichlid with a protruding mouth like the blood parrot cichlid. The body shape is compact, not broad. Further, the body has a glitter-like appearance that comes from the blue scales.
According to their parents ‘ characteristics, the color and other features slightly change as polar blue parrot cichlids age.
How big do polar blue parrot cichlid get?
The size is around 6 inches like their parent species, the convict cichlid, but they can grow up to 8 inches in length.
Is polar blue parrot cichlid aggressive?
They, like their parent species, are semi-aggressive fish species.
They will be peaceful with their own species and other similar-sized cichlid species. But they might be aggressive toward other fish species.
So, if you want to keep these fish in a community tank, make sure you do not add any other aggressive fish species.
Polar blue parrot cichlid behavior
They are very calm and peaceful fish that can do well with other peaceful fish.
They may get aggressive toward other fish only if other fish try to start a fight with them. These fish are relatively small but will not hesitate to defend themselves if a large, aggressive fish attack them.
They are usually not territorial but will become highly territorial when they breed. So, it is essential to remove the breeding pair from the tank when they are about to spawn.
These fish generally stay on the bottom of the tank, exploring their surroundings. They are active during the day and do not like to be disturbed at night.
They will eat most types of food but prefer live food.
How long do they live?
The lifespan of a polar blue parrot cichlid is around ten years.
However, these fish can live longer if kept in proper tank conditions with a high-quality diet. They may only live for about five years in poor water conditions and/or a poor diet.
One look care guide
|Scientific name||Cichlasoma sp|
|Common name||Polar blue parrot cichlid |
Hybrid parrot cichlid
Polar blue cichlid
Polar parrot cichlid
|Native to||Man-made hybrid|
|Color||Polar blue with black stripes|
|Tank size||20 gallons minimum|
|Preferred temperature||76-82 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Other water parameters (ammonia, etc.)||Ph: 6.4 to 7.6|
Hardness: 2- 25 dGH
|Preferred salinity||No salinity|
|Life span||Ten years|
|Recommended tank mates||Own species |
|Feeding frequency||Two times per day|
|Breeding||Easy, egg layers, show parental care|
Polar blue parrot cichlid care
Caring for them is not difficult. These fish are hardy and can adapt to most water conditions.
However, they prefer a spacious aquarium with a good quality filter. Even without these conditions, polar blue parrot cichlids will still survive as they are very hardy fish.
Therefore, these fish are recommended even for a beginner fish keeper as they are less demanding, and require very little attention and care.
size of the fish
The maximum size is around 8 inches. So, make sure your aquarium can accommodate a fish of this size before you purchase one.
A tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for a single adult polar blue parrot cichlid. Increase the tank size if you want to raise more than one fish.
How many should polar blue parrot cichlid be kept together?
Because these are calm fish, you can keep as many as you like in an aquarium as long as the tank is huge enough.
However, to prevent any fighting among the fish, it is best to keep 6 or fewer fish in a tank for ideal results. For every additional fish, increase the tank size by 10 gallons.
It is ok if you want to keep only one polar blue parrot cichlid. These fish can also live in solitary without any problem.
A tank set up for a polar blue parrot cichlid should include a good quality filter and a spacious tank.
Even though the minimum recommended size is 20 gallons, these fish will thrive in much larger aquariums. So, if your budget allows, always buy a larger tank for these fish.
They are known to dig the substrate. So, when you add a substrate, you should be careful to choose one with soft edges. A substrate with sharp edges can damage their delicate skin.
You can use either sand or gravel as the substrate, but be sure to go with a muddy color or dark-colored substrate as a light-colored substrate will look dirtier soon after these fish dig around.
If you use a light-colored substrate, you will have to clean the tank more often.
These fish like to hide and explore their surroundings. So, adding plenty of caves and hiding spots will make them feel comfortable and help reduce stress.
You can use live or artificial plants to decorate the tank. However, make sure that any live plants are not poisonous to these fish. Further, these fish like to uproot plants and so you will need to plant them securely in the substrate.
These fish will do fine in moderate lighting. However, if you have live plants in the tank, you will need to provide brighter lighting. You can use either fluorescent or LED light for this purpose.
If you don’t grow any live plants in your tank, you might want to go with a store-bought aquarium light. Any color would work fine, but the white and blue color does best to show the colors of these fish.
Filtration and other equipment
A high-quality water filter is essential for any aquarium.
Further, you will also need a heater and thermometer to maintain the water temperature. As mentioned earlier, they can adapt to a wide range of water conditions, but it is still recommended to have a heater and thermometer to be on the safe side.
They prefer gentle water flow as their compact body and short fins are not strong enough to hold on to strong flows.
If kept in a tank with too strong a water flow, they may become stressed and develop health problems.
So, make sure the water flow in your tank is not too strong. You can use an air stone or a bubbler to create a gentle water flow. If you use a hang-on back filter, you may not need an air stone or a bubbler.
Water quality condition
Since cichlids are tropical freshwater fish, polar blue parrot cichlids also require tropical water conditions in their surroundings.
These fish require hot water conditions throughout the year. So, it is essential to keep the water temperature in your aquarium between 76-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use a thermometer to check the water temperature and a heater to maintain the desired temperature.
Your fish may survive in slightly cold temperatures, but the temperature must not fluctuate for them to be healthy.
The water should also be clean and pollutant-free. You can use a filter to keep the water clean and replace the water regularly to maintain water quality.
The ideal ph range for these fish is 6.4 to 7.6. Check the ph level with a ph meter and use a ph adjuster to keep the ph at the appropriate level.
The hardness of the water should be between 2 and 25 dGH. If you can provide soft water conditions, it is best for these fish.
You can use a water softener to soften the water or add peat to the filter to achieve the desired effect.
Polar blue parrot cichlid breeding
They are among the easiest cichlids to breed. They will usually reproduce without any assistance from the aquarist.
If kept in perfect tank conditions, these fish will breed once every three months.
Polar blue parrot cichlid male or female identification
Polar blue parrot cichlids show sexual dimorphism. However, these fish should reach their maturity to distinguish between the sexes.
The male fish has a more elongated body and a broader head than the females. The males are also more brightly colored than the females.
On the other hand, the female polar blue parrot cichlids are smaller and fatter than the males. They are also duller in color than the male fish.
The abdomen of the female specimen is more distinct when they are gravid. The color of the stomach will become bright yellow or orange when they carry eggs.
Further, the male specimens have a reddish caudal fin while the females have a light bluish caudal fin. You can usually sex the fish when they are about 6-8 months old.
Identify pregnant polar blue parrot cichlid and polar blue parrot cichlid pregnancy stages
Polar blue parrot cichlids technically can’t become pregnant as they are egg-laying fish. When these fish carry eggs, they will be called gravid.
You can easily identify a gravid female fish by her bright yellow or orange abdomen. The eggs will be visible through the stomach of the fish.
Once the female fish lays eggs and the male fertilizes them, the eggs will hatch in about 3-4 days, and the fry will be free swimming soon after.
However, the parent fish continue to protect their offspring until they can defend themselves.
Polar blue parrot cichlid breeding
Breeding of these fish is pretty straightforward. You will have to maintain clean water conditions in your tank and provide a stress-free environment.
These fish usually lay eggs once every three months. However, you can hasten the process by providing hormone-inducing, high-quality food.
If your fish lives in a community tank, separating the breeding pair into a breeding tank is better.
The breeding tank should have a cave-like pot or a smooth surface on the bottom so that the female fish can lay her eggs inside of it.
For filtration, use a sponge filter to make a gentle water flow. Keep the water conditions in your breeding tank as close as possible to the water conditions in your main tank.
Polar blue parrot cichlids’ breeding process resembles the breeding process of convict cichlids. The gravid female will clean the surface to make her nesting area.
When she lays her eggs, the male fertilizes them. The egg-laying process can take about 12 hours. After laying eggs, both parents will defend the eggs by taking turns.
The color of the eggs before fertilizing is transparent. Once the male fertilizes them, they change to a darker color. Unfertilized eggs turn into opaque white color.
How many babies do polar blue parrot cichlid have?
Polar blue parrot cichlids can lay about 100- 300 eggs. However, the quantity of eggs that will hatch is determined by the quality of the eggs.
If the eggs are healthy, most of them will hatch. If the eggs are not healthy, only a few will hatch.
Polar blue parrot cichlid fry care
You don’t have much to do with the fries in the first few days as the parents protect their offspring for several days.
You can, however, feed your fry with newly hatched brine shrimp or baby food. When the cichlid fry is about a week old, you can provide them with finely powdered foods. You can begin feeding them live food as they grow.
Eventually, the fry will be able to eat flake foods and pellets. However, it is always a good idea to keep giving them live food to help them grow.
How to feed polar blue parrot cichlid?
Polar blue parrot cichlids are omnivorous and will eat anything available in their tank.
You can feed them various food such as pellets, flakes, brine shrimp, blood worms, daphnia, and krill. You can also provide vegetables such as blanched spinach, zucchini, and peas.
Since these fish have compact bodies and small mouths, you shouldn’t feed them heavy foods. Heavy foods can cause bloating in these fish. So, it is always a good idea to feed them with small and easy-to-digest foods.
Do not overfeed your fish as it may lead to several health problems. Feed what they can eat within 3 to 5 minutes, and two times feeding per day is more than enough.
What fish can live with polar blue parrot cichlid?
Polar blue parrot cichlids do best in a species-only tank.
As these fish are semi-aggressive fish that stay calm among peaceful tank mates, they will do fine with their own species.
Therefore, you can have as many polar blue parrot cichlids as possible in one tank. However, make sure that the tank is large enough to accommodate all your fish.
Other than their own species, these fish will do fine with other Central American cichlid species like Severum, parrot cichlids, Angelfish, and Jack Dempsey.
You can also keep some non-cichlid fish such as barbs, tetras, and danios. But avoid keeping nippy or aggressive fish as they may bother your polar blue parrot cichlids.
Further, if you keep smaller peaceful fish with these fish, be sure to provide plenty of hiding places for the small fish as they may become prey to the larger fish.
Polar blue parrot cichlids can cohabit well with bottom-dwelling fish like cory catfish and bristlenose plecos. These fish will help keep the tank clean by scavenging on the leftover food.
Are polar blue parrot cichlids rare?
As polar blue parrot cichlid is a man-made hybrid species that breed easily, these fish are not rare and can be found in most pet stores.
How long does a polar blue parrot cichlid live?
A healthy polar blue parrot cichlid can live up to 10 years. However, if they are kept in poor conditions, they may not live more than a year.
How much is polar blue parrot cichlid?
As there is no standard for pricing these fish, the price may vary from store to store. However, these fish can cost anywhere from $15 to $25.
Polar blue parrot cichlids are beautiful and easy to care for fish that make a great addition to any tank.
With their bright colors and friendly nature, they will bring a lot of joy to your home. So, if you are looking for a new fish to add to your tank, be sure to consider a polar blue parrot cichlid.