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Why is my blood parrot always laying on its side?

I have had two blood parrots in a tank for roughly 2 months now. My entire journey has been very turbulent, but that's besides the point. One of my parrots is frequently laying on its side directly onto the gravel. The first few times I caught her doing it i panicked and thought she was dead or dying...but its been going on for a long time and she is still alive. When i push her she swims around all crazy like. She eats...i just don't get it? it looks so wrong...i feel like there must be a problem. Anyone have experience with this?


If she's laying flat on her side, there probably is a problem.

The first two things that come to mind are your water quality and possible swim bladder problems. What are your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates? Do you feed your fish peas once or twice a week?

What happens after you do a water change? Does your fish seem better or is there no change?

Ammonia is either very close to 0, or it is 0. My testing kit says that nitrates and nitrites are all at a safe level. I have never fed them peas, should i be doing this? Should i just go out and buy peas and throw them in the tank? I feed them a mixture of brine shrimp, blood worms, and cichlid flakes. They are still scared shitless of me after 2 months and i sometimes worry that they don't eat much. I rarely see them eat. There must be something im doing wrong because this doesnt seem right at all...

...thanks for your input by the way, i appreciate it.

I'm guessing you're using a test strip. I haven't actually used those. I have a test kit that uses test tubes. They are very accurate and easier to read. If you can at some point maybe you could get the individual nitrate and nitrite testers. You don't have to buy the entire kit. They sell replacements for the kit that you can buy individually. IF the strips give you a actual number, the nitrites should be zero and nitrates around 20.

flakes and pellets really don't have any fiber. Fish, especially BP's need fiber in their diet. Feeding them peas once or twice a week is a must.

Buy frozen peas. They will last you a really long time. Thaw them, shell them, then cut them up in bite size pieces for your fish. This will give them the fiber they need and will keep the swim bladder problems away.

I would do a water change and not feed them for a couple days. Then only feed them peas for a few days. See if the behavior changes.

Does your fish have any changes in appearance? black spots, white spots, frayed fins, etc...

As you probably already know, Parrots are a very shy fish. Im hoping that you have alot of hiding places and plants in the tank for them. Laying on their side, if al yor water is correct, is their way of telling you that they need a place to hide, they are insecure and not comfortable in their tank. Make it more homey for them.....