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Tank Mates

Hey guys, first time poster! I could really use some help, I have a large 2 year old parrot in my 55 gallon tank along with my 1 year old parrot which is medium sized. The large parrot constantly bullies the medium sized parrot to the point that I had to designate an area of refuge for the medium sized parrot. I've seen beautiful tanks filled with cichlids, especially parrots and would love to have my tank like that. Do you have any tips? Maybe add another parrot or 2 to take away from the bullying? 


Sizable groups of BPs seen in one tank are usually long-familiar with each-other... Perhaps all of them being from the same fry, even. But when one introduces even a small number of fish to a tank with an existing hierachy, the "new kid in school" scenario comes into play every-time. In your case, adding more would lessen the focus of the established "alpha" upon the newcomer, but you'll also be placing more stress upon the ecosystem of the tank unless you also increase one or two of the following considerably:

Tank Size - 10-gal of each inch of fish larger than 3" is the best rule of minimal stress upon the fish themselves.

Filtration - Regradless of tank capacity, you can never have enough or too-much of it, but about twice of what's required for the tank size is considered "bare-minimum". But with as messy as BPs get, bare-minimum won't do... Especially if you increase their numbers. Having once kept an overstocked 20-gal with clarity issues that cleared-up after switching from a 50-gal HOB to a big canister-style system, I can attest to this.

Tank Maintenance - Did I mention how messy of species BPs are? Whatever your current maintenance level is of your existing tank, prepare to increase it when you add more BPs! I'm talking twice weekly substrate cleanings, and 30% water changes three times a week... just to begin with. You'll also need to add proper measures of treatments--just as regularly--and do tests upon  the water almost daily, but not just after a water change.

I wish I could say "Go-ahead! Just throw more in!"... but I can't do that conscientiously, as we are not so much their keepers as we are their captors. And so, inline with that line of thinking, the least we can do is make them as comfortable as possible.

Just want to thank you for a great post.


Saying that full grown parrots are messy is an understatement! I've switched my filtration on my 55 gallon tank to 2 marineland emperor 400 overhang filters that are for 80 gallons a pop. While the cleanliness of the tank has definitely improved, my large parrot is as aggressive as ever. I'm still considering adding more BPs or gold severums into the tank to ease the aggression. Please let me know any experiences or suggestions!