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Red Blooded Parrot Help

Hello! I am new to red blooded parrots and I just started a 100 gallon tank with five parrots on December 8th, 2016. Four are approx 2 inches long and a bright red color, the 5th one is approx 3-1/2 inches long and is pink in color. When I first placed them into the tank the smaller ones were visible for about an hour and then they went into hiding. As for the bigger parrot it stayed visible for one day but then it eventually went into hiding. I have plenty of places for the parrots to hide so they should feel safe until they are brave enough to stay out of hiding.

My concern is that I fed them two times but I pretty sure they never came out to nibble on the food and how long can they go with eating? Also when I do a water change what percent of volume of water do I change out and how frequent do I do the water changes?

Here are my water parameters as of December 12th, 2016:

Amonnia - 0

Nitrates - 0

KH - 107.4

GH - 107.4  if I add aquarium salt will it bring this number down?

PH - 7.9 to 8.2

Water Temp 80 F

You will notice that my GH - is high. But this what I get from my tap water, its very hard water.

What sould my water parameters be to keep parrots healthy?

Hope to hear from someone soon!

Regards,

Frankie G.

 

Comments

First-off, it's good to see that ammonia, nitrate [and nitrite(?)] levels are in check... And yes, a proper measure of aquarium salt will help, by relieving any stress they may be feeling from water-hardness. Your temperature is good, too. Acidity isn't so much of a worry, as this species are hearty enough to handle it... to a point. Relax... You haven't gotten there, and it appears you won't be going there with your water source. Also, although you haven't made mention what your filtration is, I can only imagine that it is setup to handle the "extreme" amount of waste these fish produce, especially with such a size of stock in a "less than ideal" total tank capacity. (Remember: 10-gal tank-size1"-fish stock when housing fish 3"-larger, and double the filtration required for total tank size) And about 50% once weekly--with whatever chemicals are added refreshed [after refill]--will do for water changes, unless the levels are hard to maintain. Then, 30% changes about every 2-3 days will do, with with the salt & stablizers done every 2nd change.

 

As for if their hiding & concerns over feeding, don't worry... They're just trying to get accustomed to both their new home and you. Spending time-around the tank, within their sight and sitting calmly--about a 1/2-hour daily as you read a book, listen to music or even just watch TV--will help them adjust to your presence, sometimes if done after introducing food. And if the food you use is of a pellet or granual type, you need no worry about watching to see if they'll consume it... As I've found they will do so when they're comfortable. 

 

 

Hello Mike, first I would like to thank you for giving me the help I asked for I really appreciate it!

I might be a little confused. But are you saying that 4 parrots in the 100 gallon tank I have might be to small for 4 parrots?

My filtration for the tank ia a bilogical system with many bilogical balls in four compartments which are located behind the false wall I have in the tank. The first compartment is where the heater is, the second compartment is when the mecahancial filter is and then from there the water travels into the four compartments of biological balls. From the biological ball compartment then there is a sump area where the water is then pumped back into the tank by three pumps. Previously I had 15 convict cichlids in the tank which grew to 4inches a piece and the filtration system handle it with no issues. I had a sponge filter in the tank going back 2 years ago and I removed it. But I am thinking about putting it back in the tank which would increase the filtration. When I had the convicts I did a 80% water change and they loved it. As for the tank I purchased it from a company in California and at the time which was about 15 years ago it cost me 1800.00 dollars. The tank has a bowed front with a stand that has plenty of room for storage and a hood to match the stand. They acutally matched the hood and stand to my funiture right to the T.

I am about to do my first water change tomorrow, Thursday 15th of December and according to your notes I will be doing a 50% water change and I will also be purchasing aquarium salt today for the water change. I purchased a concentrated conditioner for the water when I purchased the parrots and it removes chlorene and chloramines and it also detoxifies ammonia, nitrite & nitrates, the product is Prime made by Seachem. When I add the salt about how much per gallon should I add?

The food that I have already which I purchased before I knew I was going to purchase are Tetra Cichlids Crips and Omega One Cichlid Pellets. The pellets are only being consumed by the bigger parrot because the smaller ones cant fit them in their mouths. But they eat the cichlid crips and so does the bigger one. Are these foods good enough for them?

Oh by the way, when I do feed them now they stay out in view for about 15 minutes then hide again. But at times during the day I go to the tank and there out there enjoying themsleves, lol. Today I sat in front of the tank for the 30 minutes after feeding them and they stayed out till I left.

One thing I would like to mention is that one of the smaller parrots has some black coloring on edge of his tail fin and it covers just the very edge of the whole tail fin. It is also the same coloring on his top fin just around the entire fin. It actually looks very nice. But I am not sure if it is something else.

Thank you!

Frankie G.

Hmmm... It all sounds good, but I see you need a bit of further advice. Before we go further, I must admit: It's late (12:58 P.M.) as I write this, and I can't recall ALL the guidelines... But I'd still like to help you as best as possible, so let's go over this item-by-item:

You have a sump? That's good! But, what's its capacity? And what's the combined turnover-rate (GPH) of those pumps? If you read my past postings here, you'll see I've almost gone mad over filtration flow-rates before being fored to quit this hobby.

Got [aquarium] salt? That's also good... but only if it's added in a proper measure to the tank's capacity. IIRC, with every 50% water-change I used about 1/2-cup for every 20-gal. [tank-size wise]. You might want to research that to make sure it's proper.

Okay... You've got something from Omega-One. That's very-good! But, I advise you replace that Tetra-brand food, as I've been told it's high in phosphates [or nitrates(?)], which is bad for their health. I used Hikari's Sinking Cichlid Excel Mini-Pellets, with their Sinking Carnivore Mini-wafers as a weekly treat, and it worked well in keeping them healthy, "regular" & happy! But, if I could do it again, I'd use their Sinking Cichlid Gold Mini-Pellets, to help their color. Also, I'd consider maybe a cube of frozen Blood-Worms as an occasional treat... possibly even hand-fed to them!

They're being less shy now? And staying present even if you aren't feeding them? Well, that's a good sign. And from what you state, it sounds like they see you as a provider & protector now... perhaps even curious, generally welcome sight.

Black marks? Typically, that's a sign of stress... if not a remote sign of possible illness. Once these fish are comfortable [and healthy], the black-marks will disappear. BTW: Did you properly quarantine these fish before adding them? I keep a 5.5-gal. tank as a "hospital" just for that. Also, it's advised that any new fish be quarantined for a month before introduction to the community. This is so they can adjust to the water quality of your supply, and eliminate any possible contamination to the community. Having both lost Angelfish & treating [twice] for a Hexamita scare, and rescuing other juvie Angelfish--their fins nipped to nubs--from being stupidly kept with Tetras at a superstore, I can attest to keeping such a tank as a "plus".

 

Mike,

As for my tank water turn around I have two pumps that pump 400 gallons per hour so that totals to 800 gallons per hour, I am sure that should be enough for the parrots.

As for the salt I started with one rounded table spoon per five gallons of water for the 50% water change and then I added another one rounded table spoon per five gallons for the other 50% water that was in the tank. I will research this to make sure I am adding the correct amount.

I didn't quarantine any of the parrots because there were no fish in my tank when I purchased the parrots. It just happens that one of them had the black marks.

Here are my test results for today:

Ammonia = 0

Nitrite = 0

Nitrate = 0

PH = 8.0

GH = 183.4

KH = 125.4

Again thanks for the information I appreciate it!

Frankie G.

I must admit envy, as even my best efforts with the hospital tank didn't yield such water chemitry levels. I must ask: What do you use in your filters?

BTW: I just remembered what treatment chemicals I used... API's Stress Coat+ and Stress Zyme+. The two together esentially did miracles to the Lake Michigan water I had available, thou I must admit hearing much good about Seachem's Prime. 

Mike,

I really don't do anything to keep my water chemistry where its at. I just use the tap water from the house and that is it. I know it sounds crazy. But its the truth!

If you remember one of the smaller parrots had some black coloring on its tail fin and just a little on the upper fin. But overall it was just very little on both of those fins.Well two days ago the black coloring was just about gone. Then when I woke up on Monday the 26th of December I noticed that this parrot now has more black coloring on his upper fin and now the coloring is around his mouth and on different areas of his left side of his body. I am nervious because it just doesn't look good. The parrot swims around with no issues with swiming and it also eats whenever I feed it. I am not sure what to do with my situation with this parrot. I don't have a hospital tank and I am not going to start one due to no room in my house. What could be wron with this parrot? I am hoping you can help me out with this issue.

Thank you!

Frankie G.

 

Mike,

As per the comment I posted above this message about the black spots well after two days the spots are gone so is it poaaible that it is stress that is causing the black spots?

So far all of the parrots are doing well and are becoming very use to me. Now when I approche the tank they come right out of hiding. The only one that takes its time is the largest one. It seems that he or she is still timid. But once I put the food out he comes out of the castle that I have in the tank. But after it eats it goes right back into the castle. I have noticed the hole that he or she goes into the castle is getting tighter due to the fact that it must be growing, lol. Anyway I think I will purchase a new item that is bigger so the parrot has no problem entering and exiting.

Hope to hear on your comments.

Frankie G.

Frankie...

Yes, I would agree that the one you were most worried about was just a bit stress-out. Taking into consideration that all other conditions remained the same throughout this ordeal, if not better, that would be my guess.

As for the largest, don't fret... This might just be a quirk of it's personality. My Jude was much the same... Always residing in her Moon-Rock, only emerging for food or mating/spawning. She too began to grow rather quickly at one point, forcing me to increase her rock size. And in doing so, I learned this little tid-bit: If they cxan't easily enter/exit their favorite hiding-spot, it's time to provide one with a larger opening.

Mike,

I haven't responded to your reply just been to busy at times. Anyway I purchased a fake drifwood piece big enough for the larger parrot to go in and out of and matter of fact now it stays much longer in view instead of hiding all the time unless it is being fed, lol. So far all of the parrots are doing well and for the hell of it I installed a good size sponge filter in the tank, not that I really needed it. But you can never over filtrate your tank! As for the parrots there eating well and look healthy. I purchased some frozed blood worms and I never realized how much they love this meal. They just go bonkers when I feed them the worms. I only use the worms as a treat once a week. Is this ok or could I feed them more that once a week? As I have been doing since the start of my parrot tank 50% water changes once a week. My water numbers are great so would it hurt to a bigger water change like 70% or just stick with the 50% water change? I have seen videos of some people actually petting there parrots. Is this normal with all parrots or is it just a few that will allow this. If it is possible with all of them how do I approch this act?

P.S. I hope I am not being a pain asking all of these questions!

Oh well have to get back to work, hope I hear from you soon!

Frankie G.

Frankie!...

I'm glad to hear from you again... And from what-all you've posted, it's well-worth the wait. Now, going over this quickly:

Yes, it's just like I've said many times before to many others: You can never have enough filtration.

A treat they love? One weekly IS enough.

If all is in check [water-wise], then 50%-weekly is fine. Any larger or more frequent will uspet the bio-cycle.

Personalities vary from individual-to-individual, and the same is true with Blood Parrots. Some adapt more quickly than others to being comfortable to the presence their keepers than others, and some of those take more quickly to a keeper's interaction with them. And even fewer of those are willing to let it be physically... Especially to the point you've seen on YouTuber. But still, like learning to roller-skate, it takes time AND baby-step efforts to reach that point. Here's one idea to help get started on rolling-along:

When you feed them blood-worms, do you hold the thawed worms or just drop them into the tank? If you do the former and they willingly feed from it, you're off to a good start. If you haven't yet, try it... It might take some time for them to grow accustomed to it, but when they do, keep at it for awhile and then begin also giving them their regular feedings the same way occasionally once a week. This will slowly build a repertoire with them that allows them to become more comfortable in physical interaction with you. This is very-much like training, and as long as they see positive reward for every interaction with you, they'll gladly welcome your hand in their world... Just don't rush it!

 

This is about all the advice I can give you, and I hope you eventually find the one among the many that welcomes you much the same as the one's on Youtube.

Good-luck, Frankie...

Mike.

Mike,

Thanks again for the great information you have giving me over the weeks. I have fed them the blood worms without thawing them out. But I throw in small chunks of the frozen worms. I know when the worms thaw out they get very soupy. Will it be possible to pick up the worms when thawed out?

Regards,

Frankie G.

Frankie,

From what I've seen, it'is totally possible to pick-up blood-worms when thawed. In-fact, there are videos on YouTube of people feeding them to their Blood-Parrots barehanded... So it doesn't seem that difficult. Just treat it like you would hamburger patties: Merely let it thaw to the point where the cube becomes soft yet it still holds together. Plus, make it easier on yourself by allowing the cube to thaw in a small plastic bowl. That way, if it does crumble as you handle it, you won't be worrying about pieces falling anywhere and not being cleaned-up.

Best-wishes & Bon Appetit,

Mike.

Hello Mike,

Again thanks for the blood worm tip! Here's something thats funny. I have my tank in the foyer area when you walk into my house and the right side of the tank is visible from my family room and now everyday that I am home the parrots hang at the right side of the tank like there waiting for me to show up at the tank. This is so funny! I hope they don't hang there all day they could get bored with out me being home when I am at work, LOL

Also I have tried to upload some pictures. But when I follow the instructions theres no icon button (mountains in background) to click on. Would you be able to instruct me on this? Maybe I am looking in the wrong area. Is it when your posting something? If it is that is where there is no icon button to click on for the upload dialog to appear.

Thank you,

Framkie G.

Hi Frankie,

First, don't worry about them becoming bored... Mine were always alert and would instantaneously react whenever I walked within sight of the tank. Otherwise, they'd just go about their day as usual, doing what they do for survival.

As for imbedding pictures, have you clicked on the filmstrip icon in the corner of the "Comments" frame? It's just to the right of the "embossed lettering" icon near the top-left. Otherwise, I have no-other advice to give here... This may be a subject the site's founder to resolve.

I hope you're successful & we see your babies soon,

Mike.

Mike,

I guess I will have to send a note to the site administrator to help me out. There is no icon to the right of the filmstrip.

Thank you!

Frankie G. 

Thank you for writing - I am very busy and don't get a chance to read everything on the site so didn't realize there was a problem. I have fixed the image upload. Please see the REVISED image upload instructions. 

https://parrotcichlid.com/node/17051

PCG

Mike,

I am just a little confused about shelled peas. Are frozen peas shelled because I would like to feed the parrots them to add roufage to there diet. Or is there another type of shelled pea I can feed them?

Also I am going to purchase some food and just want to check with you before I purchase any. Here is what I think will be good for them, I would like your imput on these:

Hikari brands: Sinking Cichlid Gold, Sinking Carnivore Pellets, Cichlid Bio-Gold, I not sure what the difference is between the Cichlid Gold and the Cichlid Bio-Gold also there is a Blood-Red Parrot (floating type) formulated exculusively for active color enhancement of Red Parrot cichlids

New Life Spectrum: Cichlid Formula

Let me know what you think!

P.S. I will be uploading some pictures on Sunday

Thanks,

Frankie G.

Shelled peas are peas that have been skinned... This is usually done by par-boiling them first, which you'll need to do before introducing them to your fish.

Hikari Foods: I usually fed mine Sinking Cichlid Excel (Mini-Pellets) with a weekly treat of Sinking Carnivore Wafers. I tried to Blood-Red Parrot--per the recommended time--but all it really did is choke-up the filter-inlet sponge. As for the difference between Cichlid Gold & Cichlid Bio-Gold, that's a decision you'll need to make after reading the back of the package.

Also, Omega-1 is Cichlid Flakes are also a good choice... It don't contain phosphates, which Tetra food-products are notorious for. (Phosphates are bad for the water!)

BTW: I suggest these as my Blood Parrot's mouths weren't large enough for the larger pellets & sticks during the time I had them, but if yours grow large enough....

Mike.

 

Hey Mike,

Well today I fed the parrots some shelled peas and it seems they took to it just a little. The larger parrott ate some of them but then started to spit them out. As for the four smaller it looked they enjoyed it. Anyway should I do this once a week and if the larger parrott doesn't take to the peas should I stop feeding them the peas. Or will it take some time before all of them will devour them?

Regards,

Frankie G.

Frankie,

I haven't much personal experience with feeding Blood Parrots shelled peas, as I only tried it once and they didn't take to it... But you seem to be having some success with the younger ones at least, so continuing feeding them peas until they quit taking to them--probably sometime much later--would be a good idea. As for the elder one... Again, I can't say. Just keep feeding all those good foods you've been using thus-far, along with whatever you can get of what i recommended, and they'll all do well.

BTW: I noticed you finally got your pictures up... What a lovely decor arrangement you have in their tank! It's sutble, allows plenty of space for swimming around in comfortably, and caters well to the nature of the fish you keep in it. Plus, I can easily see how big the elder of the group is compared to the juvies...My, they grow so-quick--it's hard to tell how much they have grown without something to give perspective. Even my Curio grew so quickly from being a juvie, it was a surprise to see her pairing-off & mating with Puff within just a few months of introducing her.

 

Glad to see things are going "swimmingly", and I wish you further luck...

Mike.

Mike,

Thanks for the comment on the pictures. I had other pictures of the entire tank. But for some reasson when I went to upload them to my computer I received a message that those pictures had an error with them. So I will re-take the pictures of the entire tank so you can get a better view of the tank. I will continue feeding them the peas until I reach that point where they won't eat them.

Again thanks for the help with everything, I appreciate it!

Frankie G.

Hello Mike,

Well here is a picture of my entire tank which is 100 gallons and the parrots love it.

On Thursday I gave it a shot and tried feeding the parrots from my hand and it was like they had been eating out of my hand for years, lol. Anyway they took the bloodworms right from my fingers and they enjoyed every bite! I ordered some real good food for them like you suggested and I should be getting it soon!

Take care and have a great weekend!

Frankie G.

 

 

Frankie...

It's good to hear they've taken so well to your hand-feeding, and how you've taken my advice as to what foods to use. I'm also glad to see how big of tank you now have for all your little darlings... I don't know if they'll all reach the average full adult size (8 to 9-in.) but they'll certainly have plenty of room to move & live comfortably in that arrangement.

 

Thanks for keeping in touch & continued wishes of good-luck,

 

Mike.

Mike,

There is one question I never asked you that is very important. Eventually when I leave for vacation during the summer time and I will be away at least one week from home. How long could the parrots go with out food? When I had the Convicts they were able to go with out food for one week and I had no issues with them when I returned home.

I also noticed that the bigger parrot sometimes goes after the smaller ones when I put food into the tank. It doesn't happen often but just once in a while. It's like he doesnt want the smaller parrots to eat the food, lol. I guess you can say he is a bully once in a while, lol.

Regards,

Frankie G.

Frankie...

I've never let mine go without feeding... Even when I was hospitalized, a friend took care of them. But then, she didn't ffed them exactly correctly. So....

Your best answer here is to obtain an automatic feeder. Eheim seems to make the best, and it's easy to use. Just fill it with whatever dry-food you most regularly feed them, set the timer and walk-away! It'll feed them for up to a week, so the only worry you'll have is just making sure to do a water change just before leaving.

As for your "lunchroom bully"... That won't really be a problem. Since it's only ocassional, he won't be a threat to the others well-being while you're gone.

Good-luck again & I'll be seeing you when you return...

Mike.

 

Hello Mike,

So far it looks like all the very good new foods I have been feeding them are working fine. I have two questions:

1. In the morning when I am about to feed them the largest parrot is very bright red/orange in the morning. But as the day goes on he seems to lose some color in the side and belly area is this normal? The other four parrots are always bright red/orange all day and never seem to lose color.

2. In the last two days the parrot that is smaller than the large one. But bigger than the other three has been hiding under one of the shells and doesn't want to come out from the shell even when it's time for feeding. He peaks out and looks for food that is falling. But never comes out of hiding all the way to feed. It seems that all of a sudden in the last two days that he is afraid of the largest parrot. What do you think is going on and how long can he hide with out eating properly?

I am not to concerned. But just a little at this point! I am hoping you might have an answer for his hiding all the time.

Thank you,

Frankie G.

Frankie...

When my older Blood-Parrots seemed to lose color, I took it in stride... Seems part of what effects it is the total amount of lighting they see, in both brightness & exposure time. Remember, they don't like verybright lighting... Nor should they really see more than 10-hrs of light in their tank daily.

So your second largest is usually in hiding these days? Double-check the trailing-end of it's doral fin, as you might have a female that's nesting. Jude, who's picture I've posted link to, would tend to stay inside her moonrock whether she had laid eggs or not, just waiting for food or the rare ocassion to swim-about. But then, she was almost as big as Puff--the Alpha-male, but not her mate--so she might have been avoiding his bullying, though he tended to spend the day with his mate Curio, just excavating the gravel down to the tank's floor. But again, these fish are pretty territorial, so she might just be defending what little space she could find for herself in the tank.

I wouldn't worry... The moment it gets hungry enough, it'll muster the courage to seek food during known feeding intervals and be fine. Remember: This species is far-more intelligent than most give them credit for... Sometimes more intelligent than then those that wouldn't give it to them!

Good-luck, Frankie... And please let me know what solution you've gone with for their care while you're away.

Mike.

Mike,

My solution to feeding the parrots while I am away is my very good neighbor. He will feed them each day while I am away.

I forgot that I asked him a couple years ago to feed my convicts while I was away. But I totaly forgot that I asked him back then, LOL.

Parrots have been doing fine and the one that was hiding did come out to feed just like you said he would.

The only thing left to do is name my parrots. I am not good at this so I was hoping you might have a suggestion on how to name them?

Have a great day!

Frankie G.

Frankie...

I'm actually not too-good at putting names on a whim, especially if I don't really know the nature of the recipient that well. We--my friend & I--got lucky with discovering Jude being female after-the-fact, and I named Puff for how he tended to breathe initially... And Curio for how she was the only one that showed interest in one piece of decor I tried-out. And Spot, my Iridescent Shark, was obvious because of his/her marking.

In short, I find that it's best to leave naming pets--that lack pre-existing monikers--to their keepers and what behaviors, personalities & visible distintive features they note. You will notice what there is for each of them in time... And when you do, you'll connect with them all the more, because it was you whom named your babies.

Good-luck!

Mike.

Good Morning Mike,

I have been curious about the colors of my parrots. I know I asked you about my largest parrot and I understand. But how about the smaller parrots they are very bright red/orange color. Will they lose this color as they grow or will it stay the same?

Oh one other question. When I feed my parrots if it's twice a day or once a day they seem to be gluttons, they just keep eating what ever I feed them. What is the general rule when feeding parrots as far as how log of a time frame when feeding them? All they can eat in one minute? Two minutes? Three minutes?

By the way today I did a water change and after that I put my entire hand in the tank and I guess they thought it was food. But after a few seconds they realized it wasn't so I kept the hand in the water and in a matter of a minute or so they started swiming around my hand and I was able to touch all of them with out them being frightened. I cupped my hand and the smaller parrots swam through my cupped hand. Wow this is just amazing!!!

Thank You,

Frankie G.

Frankie...

Let me put your first concern at-ease, and remind you that part of what effects your BP's color I previously stated. As for your younger ones, if they see or have seen better care all their lives than your oldest, they probably won't lose color... At-least not as badly. 

As for feeding, well... Ever been in an eating contest? Does your lunchtime break seem too-short? Imagine that's how you must feed for every meal, or you'll eat too-much and/or your living environment will become unheathly. That's what fish go through, so the rule of thumb here is: As much as they can eat whithin about 2-min.

So they allow you to casually interact with them physically? That's great! Do this regularly, and soon maybe you'll be able to do with them what you've seen on YouTube. (Can't wait to see the video of that!)

Good-luck & keep things going "swimmingly",

Mike. 

Hello Mike,

Just as a heads up everything is going well with my parrots until the other day!

Well the other day I came home from work and I noticed that the largest parrot was hanging out with one of the small sized parrots by one of the big shells. I also noticed that the shell was turned on its back. I then noticed that the both of them wouldn't leave the shell area like they were protecting something. I then realized that the smaller parrot had to be the female and the larger the male and that they were both were protecting what I think were eggs in the shell. After looking with a flashlight I was able to see that the female did lay some eggs in the shell. I have read in previous articles that the male is sterile and that nothing will become of the eggs. But I am not sure about this so that is why I am asking what do you think?

It has been three days now since they started protecting the shell and I am curious on how long does it take before the eggs hatch or don't hatch on how long will they protect the shell? Am I still able to do a water change while all of this is going on or should I wait awhile?

One thing I did notice is that a tube was pertruding from the largest parrot for about two weeks. But I wasnt sure if I even had a female in the tank so I thought this could never happen. I am still amazed on how they were able to turn this big shell over on its back!

I just edited this post at 4:47 pm Friday and I justgot done reading an article on this site and it says if the eggs are white then they are considered no good. I just looked at the eggs and sorry to say they are white. Should I discard the eggs?

Regards,

Frankie G.

Hi, most parrot cichlid eggs will not develop. So yes, you can clean off the eggs if they have turned white. But you might have to wait till the fish lose interest to avoid riling them up too much - mine used to get very aggressive if I invaded their little egg-lair. You can do water changes, though.

Thanks for covering for me, PCG... I've been busy with my bro's li'l house & setting-up a new tank. No, not for more of our beloved species... I have limited space and only 10-gal. for even just one juvie would be cruel, even if I'd like to see it hunt Neons.

Speaking of which: Frankie, it's good to hear that you have a pairing. And as for the size difference, gender-wise... Don't worry about it. When Jude & Zera paired, I too was surprised, as Jude was the larger of the two. However, they made it work... Although they both grew too-large for both of them to reside inside the Moon Rock they chose as their breeding spot, Jude came toregularly reside inside of it while Zera usually swam freely about the tank. That is, when they weren't mating or he wasn't in his "cover-spot".

It was a shame the pair--or the other pair (Puff & Curio)--never yielded a fry, as I would've loved to see more full-blooded, closed-mouth versions of this species... But, that's how it goes when there's a 95-97% infertility rate among its males. So don't take their failure to heart.

As for the eggs: Well, I never removed mine... Eventually the parents just ate them, and there were no worries.

I'd like to say more, but I'm too excited to continue... I just saw a pair of Parrot Cichlids on a detective-drame I regularly watch, and want to make a statement about it.

Good-luck and here's hoping things keep going "swimmingly" for yours...

Mike.

Hello Mike,

Thanks for writing back on this subject. I won't take it to heart when it comes breeding, lol. But I was excited to see if the eggs would have developed. Maybe some other time in the future!

I was about to remove the shell with the eggs in it a couple of days after you described what to do. But when I went to remove the shell I noticed that all of the eggs were gone. So I am assuming that the parents had a very good lunch, lol.

Frankie G.