When people talk about parrot fish, they are most often referring to the hybrid cichlid sold as a blood parrot. These fish have only been around since the 1980s and are not well thought of among aquarium hobbyists, as they have a number of deformities such as bent spines and poor swim bladders which give them a unique shape but make it difficult for them to move around. Blood parrot cichlids may lay eggs, but these eggs will almost always be infertile. In some cases a spawning between a parrot cichlid and another variety of cichlid may produce eggs which hatch. In either case, there is very little for you to do to care for the eggs, once eggs are produced. Cichlids are good parents and they look after the eggs and the young themselves.
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Things you need
- pH test kit
- Water heater
- Brine shrimp
Remove other fish from the tank. Once the blood parrots have built a nest and laid eggs, they will guard the eggs, hovering over the nest fanning it with their tails. Removing the other fish in the aquarium will prevent stress to the parents, as well as prevent the eggs or any resulting young from being eaten.
Keep the water at a steady pH. Check the pH regularly. It should be kept just under 7, ideally around 6.8.
Keep the water temperature slightly warmer than usual, around 26.7 degrees Celsius.
Watch the eggs. Most likely the eggs will not be viable. If they turn white, they have a fungus and are not going to grow. In this case, the parent fish will eat the white eggs to keep the fungus from spreading to the other eggs.
Leave the fry with the parents. In the unlikely case the eggs do hatch, the parents will continue to guard their young. Feed the fry brine shrimp as they grow, and remove them to a tank of their own if the parents stop caring for them.
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