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Bought a third Blood Parrot, bullying ensued. D :

Okay, so I am completely new to keeping Blood Parrots (but I promise, I did my research beforehand don't you worry!).  I fell in love with them about six months ago, and have been waiting to find the ones who stick out to me.  A month ago, I finally found my babies.  They were at a pet store an hour away from home, in two seperate tanks.  One was a piebald, seperated and priced higher, and the other was regular with another blood parrot in with it.  Both only 2 inches or so.  I felt terrible for taking the remaining Blood Parrot's only tankmate, and worried about him constantly.  I revisited the store multiple times to check on him.  He ended up COVERED in Black Spot Disease from stress, trying to crush himself into the corner of the tank he was in, terrified.  I spoke to my mother, and just two days ago (a month after my original purchase), she surprised me with him!  I was SO excited, and so relieved that I could get him back to good health.

But there's a problem.  My Blood Parrots have grown.  A lot.  He hasn't.

The fish he was originally in with is now nearly twice his size, and has been chasing him around the tank for about twenty minutes.  No matter where he goes in the tank, he gets bullied.  He hides, he gets sought out and bullied.  Because they are so small, they're in a 40 gallon breeder with a Cascade 1000 cannister filter, along with a sponge filter.  There are currently five seperate hides, and several Anubias in the tank to break up the line of sight.  I made sure to rearrange the entire tank just before putting him in, and added two of the five hides so they're new.

They're only two and a half inches, are they already trying to spawn?  You can BARELY even see their breeding tubes.  They're just little nubbins!



If I'm reading your staement correctly, can't say this is a surprise. Even so much as a week of separation from a long-familiar tank-mates can cause fish to become astranged to one-another. And like another I've just responded to the comment of, I advise taking the same measure: Create a place that the little one can fit into--but the larger ones can't--with plenty of outward visability so they can keep watch for bullies. Moon Rocks, arrangements of pipes (PVC intersections come to mind) or even just some fancy piece of decor, like sunken ship, make great hide-aways for smaller fish that tend to be bullied by larger ones. 

As for your note about the larger pair mating: don't be surprised. Even I was shocked at how young some of Parrot Cichlids I kept paired-up... Even while still in quarantine! The real surprise is if they successfully spawn... Which if they do, you effectively just won the lottery! Pure-bred Parrot Cichlids are quite rare, and can fetch more than you may believe on the market. In-fact: you can practically name your own price for them, and reputable LFS & hobbists will flock to your for such special offspring!

For days, I've been rearranging the hides, trying to get one JUST the right size for him, and yet his butthole sibling (at least, most likely sibling) insists on trying for 20-30 minutes at a time until he manages to wiggle into it himself.  I've tried making every hide smaller, and no matter which one I minimize, that is the ONLY one the bully wants for himself.  I'm afraid he'll get in and be unable to get back out, so I'm continuously rearranging the decor.  The small one is starting to get the idea that he can fight back, and my sweet little piebald sticks up for him when she sees Calcifer going after him, so it's getting better.  Thank you for the decor suggestion- I'll keep trying!