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Parrot cichlid

Parrot Cichlid Fish:

Parrot cichlid is a variety of freshwater fish that is generally found in the wild regions of the Amazon basin and around the Orinoco river in South America, as well as certain parts of central America.

There are two varieties of naturally occurring species that can be categorized as cichlid: Hoplarchus psittacus and Hypsophrys nicaraguensis. A third variety of parrot cichlid, known as the blood parrot cichlid, is a hybrid species that was first created in Taiwan in the mid-1980s. The most common species that are used to produce this hybrid are the midas cichlid and the redhead cichlid.

The naturally occurring variety of cichlid is greenish in color. The fish has acquired its name because of the fact that its mouth is quite large and looks somewhat like the beak of a parrot. The hybrid variety ranges between orange and red in color and it is born with certain genetic deformities that have of late raised ethical questions concerning the artificial breeding of such creatures.

These fish can grow up to 8 inches in length and have been known to live for several years under ideal conditions. They come in a variety of colors like purple, red, pink, green and blue and have therefore acquired great popularity with those who like maintaining aquariums. Features that distinguish the males from the females are not known, though some people suggest that the latter are slightly fatter than the former. They are fairly non-aggressive creatures and live well with other species of fish.

These fish thrive well in fresh water, though the ones that are bred artificially cannot be said to have a natural habitat. They can manage quite well in water that has a pH range of 6 to 8. If they are bred inside an aquarium, one should take care to provide enough clear, open spaces for the fish to swim, as well as a few interspersed hiding spaces like tunnels and caves surrounded by aquatic plants. The temperature of the water should be maintained between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. These fish are omnivores and can be fed on live worms, flakes, frozen and dried foods and pellets purchased from stores. They tend to excrete a lot and therefore require that the aquarium be cleaned regularly and thoroughly. They spawn periodically on flat, smooth surfaces. However, many of the male fish of the artificially bred varieties are born infertile so the eggs remain unfertilized in spite of spawning.
  Submitted on May 7, 2010