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Weird Blood Parrot coloration

Discussion in 'Cichlid Discussion' started by Black Dahlia, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Black Dahlia

    Black Dahlia Small Fish

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    My old lady got us a Blood Parrot about a month ago from Petsmart and the thing is when she got him the only part of his body that was red was below his mouth and the rest of his body is black, brown tiger striped. Over the past month he hasnt gotten any more red coloration, in fact the tiger striping has gotten much darker (not splochy or anything like that just in general darker). I have consoled myself to the fact he probably wont get anymore red yet i really want to know whats going on, is this some bait and switch because my old lady said the sales people at Petsmart swore up and down that he would become red. Also those testamonials saying how friendly they are and how they recognize their owner well that hasnt happened in fact he just sits around in his little coner coming out randomly just to prove hes the dominate fish in my tank. This fish gets a big thumbs down, while all my other fish are getting more colorful and are recognizing who their owner is (when its feeding time they all come out to greet me and im sure ill have the Firemouth trained to eat out of my hand) the Blood Parrot just seems to be about the most uninteresting fish in my tank. If anyone knows whats going on please let me know whats up.
     


  2. SoulFish

    SoulFish Superstar Fish

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    Blood parrots are hybrids and are usually dyed, I would tell her you have a mutant freak that you should not have bought because you are supporting the sale of them and other hybridized and dyed fish.
     
  3. Managuense

    Managuense Superstar Fish

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    there was definately some "soul" behind that one!:)

    seriously though, he is 100% correct. you wont notice any more "friendliness" on average or anything of the sort out of a blood parrot than any other naturally occuring cichlid. they probably just told you this as a sales pitch.

    i also dont support the sale of these fish, or flowerhorns, etc. (give me a nicely colored trimac over a FH anyday:) ) either.

    however, if someone really likes these fish and wants to pay the high prices for them it is no skin off my teeth. so while i agree with soulfish for the most part, i really dont concern myself overly if others like to purchase hybrids, long-fins, albinos, etc.
    M
     
  4. colesea

    colesea Superstar Fish

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    Regardless of people =opinions= on blood parrots or other hybrid fish, here's the scoop:

    Blood parrots, as juviniles, are greenish-black in color, turning to red as they mature. Your fish is probably =not= a dyed specimen unless it is the unnatural colors of pink, purple, pastle blue, peachy coral orange, vivid pastle red, a deep blue, a pastel green, or anything else they have lately come up with. When the blood parrot matures, it goes through several nature color stages, the green-black tigerstripe stage, a yellow stage, an orange stage, and finally over to full red.

    The rate of maturity, thus the rate it turns the natural blood red color, depends upon four things; 1) the health of the fish, 2) the size of its tank, 3) the quality of the water, 4) where the fish falls in the pecking-order of the tank.

    1) If your blood parrot is eating regularlly and swimming normally, ususally it is safe to assume the fish is in good health. A fish that is fin-clamped, hiding all the time, has white specks or black specks on it, has shredded fins, or is showing other damage is not considered healthy. These can be caused by improper water quality or other fish beating the heck out of it, or parasites. A blood parrot that just does not look healthy should be medically treated in a Q-tank.

    2) Your tank is =WAY TOO SMALL= to house that many cichlids, much less to house them when they are all full grown. As well, you have mixed African cichlids, with docile community fish, with South American cichlids, and it seems to be slightly over-populated. Because your community is a little confused, so probably too is your blood parrot. Blood parrots, when full grown, can be the size of soft-balls. While most aquarist will tell you that tank size and population pressure does not matter to a fish's growth rate, the truth is it most certainly does!! With that much population pressure in that small a tank, your blood parrot will not reach his full growth size, and will take longer to go through the maturity process to red. Most likely, the long lived fish will either beat the crap out of the more docile ones when it gets to feeling too cramped, or it will die from stunting and bad water quality. It is usually accpeted that one full grown pair of blood parrots would need a 55 gallon tank to themselves. Please, your fish may appeare small now as juviniles, but if you intend to cherish them for many more years to come, start planning and saving for at least 90 gallons in the future.

    3) Blood parrots are sensitive to water quality. When the water is not optimal for them, many of them will display black on the tips of their fins, or black mottling on the body. This is a matte black different from the green-black stripes of youth. The best way to color up a blood parrot like this is to make sure they always have fresh water in the form of frequent small volume water changes. I would recommend 30% change once a week on your tank. You'll probably need to increase it to twice a week as your fish get larger.

    4) Blood parrots that are lower down on the hierarchy of the fish pecking order take much longer to color up than fish that are more dominate than they are. I've worked in an LFS where we'd get ten juviniles in at a time. You could tell the more dominate fish by how fast they colored-up. Fish removed from the group tank and placed in their own tanks colored up much faster as their confidance in their dominace increased. Your firemouth, or your agassizii may be bullies, causing your blood parrot to want to hide and stay out of their way, thus making him want to be dull, unnoticeable colors so as not to attract their attention. This will also have an affect on his shy behavior and hesitation to greet you at meal times.

    Blood parrots do have wonderful little personallities, and are IMO great fish dispite whatever their deformities are. Hell, goldfish have the same damn deformities, yet nobody gets up on a soap-box about them. Regardless, remember you've only had your blood parrot for a month, and a months time for a fish that can live around twenty years is not a whole heck of a lot in the way of getting personal with the aquarist. The best thing you could do for your blood parrot is get him his own tank, perhaps with another blood parrot buddy, and then you will see him flourish.

    Soulfish = You have stated your opinion on hybrid fish quite frequently on this site. But the soapbox at this point is not helpful to people seeking advice. If you cannot be impartial about helping other people, at least don't berate them for doing things you may not necessarily agree with. How would you like it if someone called you a "mutant freak"?

    ~~Colesea
     
  5. jaws2

    jaws2 Large Fish

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    well said for the 1696th time lol
     
  6. Managuense

    Managuense Superstar Fish

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    first, i want to reinfore the fact that i dont care in the least what someone else keeps in their fish tank

    my question is this--- do BP's have personalities that are so "above and beyond" that of other cichlids that it is worth paying the high prices for??

    that is really the only thing that i have yet to hear a good explanation for and that i am still confused about....

    this is not meant to be offensive at all, i am just curious about it (see first sentence)
    M
     
  7. Cichlid-Man

    Cichlid-Man MFT Staff

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    Yes your tank is to small.

    If you don't mind buying the fish then go for it. Its your money.

    I have no problem with cross breeding but i do with dying fish a certain color.

    But i do think Parrots are ugly.

    I personally don't think they are above any cichlid.....infact they are at the bottem of my cichlid list so there is nothing in my mind that makes them better than other cichlids.
     
  8. Oneworldonetrib

    Oneworldonetrib Medium Fish

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    just out of curiousity... do blood parots have a normal color or are they all dyed? its probly been said before... sorry if this is a repeated question...
     
  9. Black Dahlia

    Black Dahlia Small Fish

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    I do believe what Chilid Man said Blood Parrots are on the bottom of my list as far as Cichlids go, all my other Cichlids are quite interesting and I am going to be fabricating a 90 gallon tank here shortly. We really want to go with a Lake Malawi Cichlid tank and i'll put the Krib in there since ive read they can go with them, is that true? Personally I could care less if they are a mutant freak yet looking back I should have got a Severum instead. 30% isnt that pretty drastic, i thought 20% every two weeks or weekly 10% changes were the norm.
     
  10. mandi0808

    mandi0808 Medium Fish

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    I have 3 Parrots. It took quite a few months for their personalities to show up, but show up they did! When I lift the lid on the tank they go right to the feeding ring for food. I have one who loves to dig in the gravel. She will pick up the gravel in her mouth and spit it out. It's too funny. She just started doing this. It may take a while for their personalities to come out. Just give them time. I love mine and would not trade them for the world, despite the fact that they are hybrids....
     
  11. Managuense

    Managuense Superstar Fish

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    i am happy that you are enjoying your BP's. $20.00+ just seems a little steep when you can buy something like a convict, texas, JD, etc. which will do all of this same behavior for 1.99$ a pop.

    once again, i dont understand the attraction to this fish.

    the color?? i think JD's and other non-hybrids are just as pretty. (without looking like they have been kicked in the mouth)

    the fact that they are large and less aggressive?? so are severums, angels, festivum, uarus, discus, etc.

    once again, i am not arguing against the breeding of these fish since i really dont think it "hurts" the hobby, but i just dont understand why it is done.
    M
     
  12. itchy armpits

    itchy armpits Large Fish

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    why do people hate hybrids so blindly?
     
  13. todd_norton

    todd_norton New Fish

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    $20? You must live in a BP deprived area. They're no more than $7 here.
     
  14. colesea

    colesea Superstar Fish

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    Blood Parrots don't cost $20 a pop, unless you purchase a fully mature softball size one that is of a really deep true red color. That's the same price you'd pay for a full-grown sevrum or JD or Oscar. Juviniles can go for about $5-$8, and that's the same price you'd pay for a decently sized JD, oscar, sevrum etc. Smaller, baby sized BPs can go for as low as ~$3, but I've not seen them cheaper than that.

    Blood Parrots do have a natural color. It is as the name states, blood red. Sometimes the red may be so deep in hue that it has a sheen of purple the way a crow's wings sheen purple under certain light. Like some other species of cichlids and other fish, they go through different color changes as they mature, and are dark green-black as juviniles, and yellow-orange as young adults. NOT ALL BLOOD PARROTS ARE DYED!!!

    Many other species of fish are dyed, including white skirted tetras, albino cories, albino tiger barbs, albino channel cats, albino convict cichlids, and painted glass-fish, not just blood parrots. Albino animals are just as "unnatural" as a hybrid creature, the lack of pigmentation specifically bred for by humans rather than just happening as a random chance genetic recombination. Albino animals in the wild are called lunch, which is why they are so rare in natural environments. But because albino skin lacks pigments, it makes it easier for artifical colors to stand out. Humans as a species are attracted to bright, colorful objects, and painted fish sell better than natural color fish or plain albinos. And painted/dyed fish are a quick subsitite for people who want the bight colors of a marine tank without the effort and expense of keeping a marine tank.

    The process of dying the fish is still under much debate as to whether it is humane or not because simply, the exact process is unknown to the general hobby populance at large. There are many different theories as to how the fish become painted or dyed, but nobody has ever published an exact method, as it is a guarded "trade secrete" of the suppliers of painted fish.

    It is very easy to tell a dyed fish from an undyed fish for those who are even moderately educated and want to take the time to look. First is a general awareness of what the wild-type or natural color of the species is suppose to be. Next is the awareness of various color morphs of said species, such as an albino animal, or melenistic pigmented animal, or regional differences of the same species. Next is knowledge of reproductive and marturity life cycles, since many fish will change colors based on age or dominace or reproductive readiness. The last is a knowledge of how environment affects pigmentation, such as fish becoming black when kept on black gravels, or of being pale when under bright lights.

    After you have absorbed all that, it is easy to pick out the fact that hot neon purple, while it might be the color of an impatient flower, or the top half of a royal gamma, is not a natural color on a white skirted tetra, cory, tiger barb, convict cichlid, or blood parrot, etc. But the novelty of such is what makes these painted fish so popular. A green tiger barb is a totally different speices from a green-dyed albino tiger barb, and if you observe the two next to each other long enough, you'll be easily able to tell the differance between the natural and unnatural coloration.

    It is generally agreed on by the whole of the aquarium hobby that these dyed fish do not retain their unnatural color for very long, leaving the aquarist with simply an albino fish. You do pay more for the painted fish, which is about the same price as the albino of the species, but is considerably more than the wild-type natural color of the species.

    The issue of hybrids has been discussed on many other threads in this forum, so a search at this site should produce various arguments and soap-boxes, so I'm not going to repeat myself here on that issue.
    ~~Colesea
     
  15. Managuense

    Managuense Superstar Fish

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    interesting. the only places that carry BP's around here are the occasional ones at petsmart...which they were asking 19.99. it makes more sense now that you mention how much cheaper they are available.

    thank you for not going into the hybrid thing.... i am sick of debating it also--and i no longer care to type about it.

    i am not interested in albinos, long-fins, albinos, high-colors, etc.

    however, i love long finned angel varieties..... so basically i am a big hypocrit. oh well...
    M
     
  16. mandi0808

    mandi0808 Medium Fish

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    I paid $10 total for my three. That's about 3.33 a piece...
     
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