Man's Best or Worst Creation?

This cross-bred fish is loved by some, but ignored by more

by Michael McEwan

The Blood Parrot is a brightly colored, odd shaped Cichlid. As its name suggests, the fish has a red body and a mouth that resembles a beak. These fish somewhat resemble fancy goldfish and appear to swim awkwardly due to their deformed swim bladders.

You may be wondering why you haven't seen much information on these fish before. This is because they aren't a true species, but rather a cross between a Severum and a Red Devil. This often renders the fish infertile. Many hobbyists are against the "creation" of these fish, and rightfully so.

Tank Setup

These fish should be kept in community aquariums with other small, timid fish. Nippy fish such as Tiger Barbs generally make poor tankmates because the Blood Parrot makes for the perfect target. Plants and hiding places should be provided along with good filtration.


Because of their small mouths, these fish sometimes lose out to more aggressive fish at feeding times. They are omnivores and should be fed accordingly. They will accept live or prepared foods, including pellets, flakes, worms and chopped beef heart.

Water Chemistry

Follow recommendations for other American cichlids when it comes to water chemistry. A neutral pH and temperature between 72-82 degrees F should be used.


Differences in sexes are unknown. While Blood Parrots will spawn in the usual cichlid way, they usually cannot produce fertile eggs, thus rarely ever produce fry.

Blood Parrot; Red Parrot

Sci Name:
No Scientific name
Man made
Max Size:
72-82 F.
Tank Size:
35 Gallons