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RED PARROT CICHLIDS  I
an article by Francesco Zezza





RED PARROT CICHLIDS

RED PARROT ...aka the "man made" cichlid

So here he is …: nice red/orange/pink/yellowish colour, funny swimming position, all in all mild mannered (when compared to cichlids) not “cheap” (at least from the enthusiast’s point of view) … OK, fine! Who's he, then? It’s … the Red Parrot in plain word the “man made” cichlid … The “Red Parrot” doesn’t exist in wild and, to say the whole truth, I suspect it’s “sparkling” colour(s), odd swim aren’t supposed to help him to survive out there! All in all, slowly, Red Parrots started to be appreciated and, consequently, aquarist started to ask about him: Who's that fish, where does he come from? How does he spawn? And so on … As long as this fish it’s a “man made” specimen all possible attentions have been undertaken by it’s “creator(s)” to void the spread of “true” information. Lot of cichlid’s keeper (and I’m among them) do not “agree” on this fish but provided he exist and, after all, it’s a Living Creature we cannot pretend to go ahead as if he’s not true. That’s why I decided to investigate a little on him, and that’s what I’ve found:

Name and Origin: It’s said “Red Parrot” (Cichlid) is a crossbreed between (among many options) Amphillophus (Cichlasoma) labiatum & Gold Severum (cichlasoma severum); Red Devil & Green Severum; Red Devil & Quetzel (cichlasoma synspilum). Many peoples are likely to believe this story as NOT true because of the differences among, previously, named fishes and different habitats they’re coming from. It’s, finally, worth adding that, to many, Red Devil is one of the common name (bad habit should I add …) of Amphilophus (Cichlasoma) citrinellum aka Midas Cichlid.

Tank size: Of course there’s not an original biotope to refer to and few, further, suggestions are available: tank size (for a “pair”): 160 lt (about 40 Us gals) , water temp 22° - 26° C, pH 6.6 to 7.0.

Food: flakes and pellets (animal and vegetal matter), because of mouth’s shape some difficulties in chewing/swollowing are reported and, also, because of the “odd” swimmimg posture (consequence of a, some way, deformed swim bladder) be sure Your Red Parrot(s) cat get enough of food. Check in this same site George’s experience in keeping this fishes.

Tankmates: a friend of mine keeps his two Red Parrot – see pic - with American cichlids (H. Severus and T. meeki) and catfishes (ancistrus sp.) and all fishes, so far, seem to get along well. George reports his pecimens are doing great in a Malawian tank so, in the end, it's up to you. My suggestion, then is simple: void extreme conditions on both side (neither too alkaline nor too acidic)

Further Remarks: Rumors have started to go around of fertile spawning from “Red Parrots” since, from others, those fishes are considered Red Devil mutans whose low fertility is a consequence of  the high inbreeding occured when, in the beginning, the “characters” of this fish were fixed. As fas as this theory is true a second question arises why (coming from a Red Devil root) Red Parrot are so mild mannered? Again the same theory refers to repeated indreeding to explain this temper: their own shape, swim position and so on “force” those fellow to be quiet. How, any way, so mixed (see above: Name and Origin) genomes should/could result in parents able to spawn and, possibly, give actual birth has, still, to be explained/proved. George’s reports say (BTW) of unfertilized eggs, guarded by the pair until they get rotten.

Going beyond: To finish up, further info on this matter can be found at the following URLs:

http://redparrotcichlid.cjb.net/

http://cichlidresearch.com/i and namely http://cichlidresearch.com/parrot.html (Ron Coleman’s site)

Click next for more photos.

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