How to Take Care of Kissing Parrot Fish

A blood parrot swimming in an aquarium.
A blood parrot swimming in an aquarium. (Image: Photo courtesy of George Chernilevsky under the GNU Free Documentation License.)

Blood Parrot fish are sometimes called "kissing" parrot fish due to a kissing motion they make. Known for their bright orange coloring and gentle temperament, Blood Parrots are a man-made cross-bred fish that can grow up to 8 inches long. Because the Blood Parrot is a hybrid fish, it suffers from anatomical abnormalities like a deformed swim bladder and a beak-shaped mouth. Some fish enthusiasts believe the Blood Parrot should not be bred because of these abnormalities.

Purchase a tank for your Blood Parrot fish. A 55-gallon tank works well for adult Blood Parrots. The aquarium should have a good filtration system and low to moderate lighting.

Create an ideal environment for your Blood Parrot fish. Use smooth gravel to cover the bottom of the aquarium since Blood Parrots like to dig. Then, place driftwood and large rocks into the tank because Blood Parrots like multiple hiding spaces.

Maintain the water of your tank. Keep the water around 80 degrees. Lower temperatures will cause the fish to lose color. The pH level should be 6.6 to 7.0, and the water should be soft.

Choose friendly neighbors for your Blood Parrots. Because Blood Parrots are peaceful by nature, they should not be kept with aggressive fish. Tetras, angelfish, swordtails and catfish can be good tank mates for your Blood Parrots.

Feed your Blood Parrot fish daily. Blood Parrots will eat flake, frozen, live and freeze-dried foods. Try to find food rich in b-carotene and canthaxanthin to maintain their color. Also, purchase sinking foods rather than floating foods since Blood Parrots have an easier time eating sinking food.

Keep the tank water clean. Since Blood Parrots tend to be messy, make sure to change their water at least 25 percent every week. If the water quality is not properly maintained, your fish may become sick.

Tips & Warnings

  • Feed your Blood Parrots live brine shrimp as an occasional treat.
  • Do not purchase dyed parrot fish. Some pet shops will dye blood parrots in different colors. This dye shortens the Blood Parrot's life and makes them more susceptible to disease.

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