You are here

Parrot fish coloration/baby parrots

Hii I was wondering if all parrot fish eventually turn orange. At petsmart they have large parrot fish that are a pretty orange and then they also have tiny parrot fish that are black with stripes. I'm assuming these are babies but when I asked the woman at the fish counter she said they will not turn orange as they age and that they were bred that color. Is this true? Thanks!


I bought a baby just a couple of days ago, he was grey with some black stripes, but today he has lost most of the black and starts to show a light orange coulor. It looks as he will be completly orange soon. However I am not sure if all of those other black/grey babies will change to orange.

Yes and no. Here is my female I bought back in March from Petsmart

99% of all blood parrot will change color to orange when they reach adult size. use tetra aqua safe plus. Last week i bought a BP with almost 75% body with black marking & spot. After pouring in about 50ml of aquasafe she turned back to orange. my tank size is 2½ feet x 1½ x1 ½

The black you were seeing was cause by stress and was not baby coloring.

Nope. Most will eventually fade, but most of the culls (the ones they sell for $9 at petsmart, just the random "everything else" that isn't red) fade to other colours. They could fade to yellow or white or "piebald" if they have more midas gene, as well as fade to grey with bars if they carry the "barred midas" gene, albeit this is more rare. Most rare of all, however, is synspilum colours. I have a parrot right now that is the colours of a synspillum, along with many that are yellow and some that are red. I think it is interesting to note though that of my parrots who fade to orange, they do so at a much advanced age, at almost twice the size of the yellow parrots. I believe this is because the "RED" red they have comes from the red morph of synspillum (srs or red shock) more than it does from the "red" of the midevil. This time is the reason they hormone inject (and subsequently sterilize) many bp you see for sale en masse, and it is also responsible for their higher price. Some parrots will also turn the colours of a synspilum before they fade to red (or whatever). I've even had brown parrots at one point or another