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Hello. Newbie here.

I am so thankful to have found this site. Thank you for accepting me into your group. I have this big, fat, puckered lipped ball of scales and personality and there is no one here who cares to listen about his antics. If the fish isn't filleted, breaded and pan fried, my husband isn't interested. I had no clue that the day I brought little Nibbles home in his plastic bag that I was going to literally fall in love with him. I swear that darn fish has a sense of humor. Anyway, Thanks again. I look forward to reading about your little guys and girls and seeing your pics too. I have a lot to learn!

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It's always good to see new members join our community. And the more we share--in relation to the hobby--the bettere we all can do & the more we can get fdrom it, and the lives of our favorite species. And with that, let's begin with the most common questions:

How old/large is your Blood-Parrot(s)? And what is it's gender?

How big is your tank?

How is it's tank setup? (Size, filtration, community(?), lighting, decor...)

What conditions (water-tempurature, water hardness, water salinity, etc...) are they kept in?

What, and how, are you feeding it?

Do you spend time with it? If so, how so & for how long? And how often?

I'm sure all this seems overwheming, but as you said: There is much you need to learn... And answering these questions will help you do so immensely. And remember: The more you can tell us, the more we can help you... And the more you can feel & be part of the community!

Hi Mike,

I was afraid you'd ask me.   I am pretty sure I have broken EVERY rule in the Fish Tank Keepers handbook.  Hold on to your stress ball.  Here goes:

How old/large is your Blood-Parrot(s)? And what is it's gender?

Nibbles is at LEAST 6 months old.  He was an impulse buy 6 months ago during a trip to Petco for dog food.  He was about 2 inches long then.  I'd say he's about 5 inches now.  I just pulled out the ruler to measure him and he almost shattered the glass in an attempt to bolt into his hidey hole.  So, length is a guestimate.  

Oh, I am also guessing that he's a he.

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How big is your tank?

I hope you have that stress ball.  If you are a smoker, light up now.

His humble abode is a 29 gallon tank.  And no, he is NOT the only occupant.

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How is it's tank setup? (Size, filtration, community(?), lighting, decor...)

Great.  There he went barreling through the fake plants into his hidey hole again.  The tank measures 2.5 feet wide , 1.5 ft high and about a foot deep.

I have 2 filters on the back.  An aqueon quietflow 20 and an aqueon quiet flow 30.  There is also an air bubbler in there.  Here is where a shot of Bourbon will come in handy.  Also taking up residence in this tank is:

3 sunset thick lipped gourami

1 neon dwarf gourami

2 sterbai cory

2 panda cory (I've heard that sterbai's like warm, pandas like it cooler and they should be kept in groups of 5 or more of their own kind, but these guys are so attached to eachother it's just not going to happen.)

2 adult Cory Zygatus

and 2 young (5 mo.'s) Cory Z's that we raised from little eggs.

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What conditions (water-tempurature, water hardness, water salinity, etc...) are they kept in?

I hope you are not regretting welcoming me!  if you are still with me, here goes.   Water temp - 80

Tank has been cycled for about a year. (ammonia 0 / nitrites 0) ph 7.4.  Not sure about salinity.  Nitrates between 20 - 40.  I use Prime with every water change.  And my water bill would knock your socks off.  

What, and how, are you feeding it?

Hikari Cichlid Gold broken up so he can get it in his mouth.  I just drop it right in there. He looks like a baby bird at feeding time.

He also dines on broken up Omega One shrimp pellets, Tetra Color Tropical flakes, the occasional pea, San Francisco's frozen emerald food, The Corycats' hikari sinking wafers and Algae wafers.  His occasional treats include Tetra Baby shrimp, Hikari Tubiflex worms, and Fishes Choice freeze dried blood worms.

I feed him 3 times a day.  He has poops the size of tootsie rolls.

Do you spend time with it? If so, how so & for how long? And how often?

Oh boy, DO I SPEND TIME WITH HIM?!!!!!!!!  If I could throw a coat and hat on him I'd take him out for walks with me and the dog!  His tank is right next to my bed and I have been homebound recovering from an illness.  So, I spend way much more time with this fish than I care to admit!

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I'm sure all this seems overwheming, but as you said: There is much you need to learn... And answering these questions will help you do so immensely. And remember: The more you can tell us, the more we can help you... And the more you can feel & be part of the community!

Mike??? you there Mike??  And you were concerned with ME being overwhelmed!!  BWAHAA HAA.  No, you are NOT on candid camera or getting punked.  There ARE THAT many fish in my 29 gallon tank!   I do a water change every other day and test parameters often.  I provide plenty of hiding spots and strategically place decor to break lines of site.  Somehow, they ALL get along?  And are healthy! For now anyway.  I'm still working on the old man to let me get a 55 gallon tank in here.  He's concerned there aren't enough floor joists to support the weight. I have to choose my battles wisely.  

Comments are welcomed, just please be kind.  

I know just what you mean about their personalities. Feel free to ask questions or tell us about some of his funny behaviors. There's a lot of information you can search for here! Try searches like "tank mates", "black spots", etc.

ParrotCichlidGirl

 

Okay... Might as well start with the most pertinent:

29-gal, eh? That's awfully small for the total size of stock that makes up it's community. But, I myself seemingly had equal in a 20-gal... and it didn't seem to truly clear-up until I installed my first canister-style filter! But then, I didn't change the water as often (50% weekly) as you do with yours, and I suspect I didn't quite initially cycle it properly. Plus, I had a Irridescent Shark in it as well... and when they go [poop], they go!

That reminds me: I see you're learning just how messy Blood-Parrots can be. Again, it's good you change the water as often as you do... Especially with as much as you're feeding the community. But three times daily? Twice should be enough, even with as large of community as you have. (BTW: Use Omega-One flakes instead of Tetra's. Tetra's are high in phosphates, with is bad for the water)

My sympathy over your illness, and it's good you have this community you've assembled within sight to keep you at ease. Watching my tanks helped do so, especially when I'd see them perform non-routine interactions... Like their mating-ritual! (<-Caught that on video once!)

It seems that you have everything well in-check, and it's good to hear you're planing to increase the tank size. All-too-often, we diligent fish-keepers learn of over-stocked tanks, or poor/under-sized tank & tank arrangement selections made for keeping even just one fish. The 1-gal/in. of fish rule isn't bad when the the fish in question is less than 2-inches long. But when it grows longer, well... Did you ever learn about how veal is created? Imagine some poor, full-grown Oscar being kept in a 10-gal. tank. Now imagine a fancy Goldfish in a bowl--a MAJOR "no-no" in the Goldfish keepers community--so-crowded with objects & plants as decor, the fish can't move. Ridiculous, huh?

As for your husband's concerns, just remember: Water only weighs 6-lbs/gal, and a proper cabinet & tank to hold 55-gal. should weigh well-less than that. But, of course, you could also just get a bigger tank that's less than 55-gal... Even a 36-gal would be an improvement. I came to keeping mine--along with the "shark"--in a 40-gal. breeder-style tank, which I got from PetSmart during one of their "$1/gal Fish-Tank Sale". But then, I did keep it in a well-built finshed wood entertainment-center... in a semi-sunken basement apartment w/concrete floor.

(Hehe-heh) Your comment about "If I could put a coat & hat on him, I'd take him for a walk..." reminds me of something I did that falls along those same lines:

While musing ideas for tank designs, I took a 1.5-gal. clear glass tea-jug w/handle, made sure the drain/pour spout at the bottom was water-tight, rinse-washed it thuroughly with the hottest water i could and added a Tetra Whisper 3i in-tank filter, with a sponge over the inlet for coarse mechanical flitration. Since it was air-powered filter, I merely employed a small, battery-powered air-pump--found among fishing supplies in the sporting-goods section of any local superstore--with it's clip hung into the same original hole in the jar's lid... Which I also fed the air-line through.

Whenever the hospital-tank was occupied and I needed to quarantine a single fish from the rest... or needed to take one or two to be examined by my local aquatics-veterinarian... I'd fill the jar with tank-water to just below the filter's spout, place whatever fish I intended it for inside and add a battery to the air-pump. People would marvel at it, and be amazed at how I made such a "cute" fish carrier w/functional fitration. Even the vet was impressed!

If iI were to do this again, I'd look into a jug made of BPA-free plastic--for both toxic & handling safety--and see about adding a nano-tank "smart" heater... If I can get it to be powered by a reasonably sized battery.

I started with a 35 gallon tank five years ago and now I have a 190! Your tank will grow as your fish grow and need more space. My adult blood parrot would hardly be able to turn around in a 29 gallon tank. Blood parrots do well with almost any fish, from my experience. They are big enough to hold their own against bigger cichlids and they are nice to each other and smaller, peaceful fish. Just nothing that is too small to be mistaken for food! Mine have th most personality of all the fish in the tank. I swear they recognize me! I have one who loves his picture taken and another who will sit in my hand when I put it in the tank. Your ball of scales will only continue to grow on you!