South American Cichlids • Newbie question about blood parrots

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Newbie question about blood parrots

Postby WorkinOnIt » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:10 am

Hello,
First post here. Before I ask my question, I'll lay out my info for you experts out there:

Equipment:
60 gallon
Penguin 330 Power filter with biowheels
Penguin 350 Power filter with biowheels
I also run a Powerhead for extra oxygenation

Chemistry:
Temp: 76 degrees
Ammonia: 0ppm.
I have not recently checked the other chemistry, so I don't have those handy. I have normal tap water I treat with amquel for chlorine - I believe the ph is 7ish.

Maintenance:
I do 50% changes about every 2 weeks. I know I should do these more often. I'm workinonit.

Tank occupants:
Bushy-nosed Pleco (about 4", maybe a little longer - hard to say as he only comes out late at night from his hiding place)
Tiger Oscar (about 3.5")
Blood Parrot X 2


Here's the thing. Due to hurricane Ike, I lost several fish. The power was out for 8 days and I just could not keep it going even after lots of water changes and using the waterfall method of manual oxygenating. Since the storm I started again with 2 Tiger Oscars and a single Blood Parrot. One of the Oscars must have been sick and did not make it too long so that took me down to just the Oscar, Parrot and Pleco. I was sorry about the Oscar, but later realized the tank was going to be too small for 2 Oscars anyway...

Now the remaining Oscar has been a hoot. He acts like a normal fish, just chillin out and occasionally racing around. He'll see me coming and come up to the glass and wait patiently for me to sprinkle his flakes in for his dinner. Every few days I'll throw a Hikari frozen cube in there and he LOVES those and will chomp on it while I hold it in my fingers. Whenever I just put flakes in he looks dissapointed like 'wheres the cube'?

Ok I digress. The main issue is with the Blood Parrot. HE STAYS IN THE BACK CORNER OF THE TANK AND NEVER COMES OUT!!. I spent $25 on him and he is the shyest fish (besides the pleco) I have ever experienced. I understand fish need hiding places so they can feel comfortable enough to venture out knowing they have a place to hide, but believe me he has lots of places to duck out to. Still, he just does nothing!

So, my brilliant idea :oops: was to get a second blood parrot to maybe help him with his insecurities. Nope. The new one stays in the corner too! They don't fight, but just huddle together in thier corner. Now I have $50 worth of fish that will not leave thier #$%%@ :x corner :x :wink: :? :-? .

Is this normal behavior for Blood Parrots? Are they normally this shy? I am thinking of taking my second parrot back to petsmart and getting $25 of something else. I have heard ditherers? (sp) might help the situation.

I have been watching the Oscar closely to see if he is bugging them. He occassionally hangs around the Parrots corner, but the parrots will gently nudge him and make him move on. So I don't think the Oscar intimidates them, but maybe something is going on there on a subliminal level? :-?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Wow - long post. I can be a little wordy :oops: :P ...

:fish:
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Postby MidNightCowBoy » Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:47 pm

I'm just a little surprised your spending 25 dollars on BPs. :lol:

It would be good to know what your nitrite and nitrate levels are. It is possible that your tap water contains nitrates, or that your tank hasn't cycled completely yet after your power outage. So I'd suggest getting a test kit that enables you to do a full test of your water chemistry.

Another thing I wonder about is your water temperature. It seems a bit low, you might try raising it to 80 degrees.

I don't think the Oscar would "bother" the parrots as they are pretty mellow for the most part, so I think it is something else. And lasty your tank is too small for a full grown oscar, they get quite large.

Hope that helps. I'm sure others will chime in with advice as well.
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Postby StillaZilla » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:25 pm

My blood parrot is very active, tries to be the boss of the tank sometimes, but fails. So I would say, based on the experience of one fish only, that the typical behaviour or a BP is active and slightly aggressive.
And yes, Cowboy, a BP here in my hometown sells for ~$25 also. (about 3" variety).
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Postby gage » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:59 pm

me to, BP = 20-45 bux depending where i get it.

but anyways, id wait before getting rid of them, mine has always been out in the open and hes with fish tonnes more aggressive then an oscar, i think they will come around.
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Postby WorkinOnIt » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:54 am

Excellent. Thanks for the information folks. I bumped the temp fro 76 to 78 degrees, but will leave other things as is and hang on to them and give them a chance to come out of their shell (corner).

I have fake driftwood and caves at the bottom layer, but perhaps I need more fake plants to provide some coverage at a mid-level point in the tank. This might give them more cover to let them feel comfortable leaving their corner.

It is so strange. They just lie around in thier corner all day and when dinner time comes they at least perk up, but they still stay in their cave. They'll barely come out to get a bite, but there is such a behavior difference between them and the Oscar.

I have cranked up the heat more now. I am thinking 76 was too low like MidNightCowboy has said.

Again, thanks for the info and I will continue my research into these guys.
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Postby montemandan » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:09 pm

i bought my parrots as babies at walmart for 6 bucks. they were shy until i put two black skirt tetras with them and they started coming out lot more.
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Postby montemandan » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:33 pm

even tho all the controversy is goin on bout bp 's i am glad i bought them they are my favorite fish i own. full of personality. not to sure if they are male or female tho. best fish i have ever owned.
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Postby montemandan » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:34 pm

even tho all the controversy is goin on bout bp 's i am glad i bought them they are my favorite fish i own. full of personality. not to sure if they are male or female tho. best fish i have ever owned.
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Postby LG0815 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:32 pm

well my blood parrots wouldnt come out of hiding for about a month
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Shyness in blood parrots

Postby DianaLynn » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:57 am

This is very normal and not indicative of the BP after some time (A week or month) has passed. Their way too curious to sit still too long. :)

Good site to explore BP behavior is:

http://parrotcichlid.com/tracker
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Postby littlebeagle » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:36 pm

WorkinOnIt,

Did raising the temp help for your Blood Parrot? We've had one for MONTHS now and it won't come out of the corner, except for feeding time... and even then, he snags his food and heads back to the corner.

Please let me know what helped your BP.

Thanks!
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Postby StillaZilla » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:06 pm

That sounds like my JDs. They never come out where I can see them. But my BP is a showboat. 8)
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Postby JALOOS » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:21 am

In my tank I have 6 blood parrots and 2 oscars. The two original bp's were they shy ones at first and did hang out in caves. Turns out they were male and female, they have laid tons of eggs but with bp's the males are sterile and the eggs wind up food. The biggest change for them shy wise was adding in the other 4 parrots. This provided enough action for them and they were fine after that. Alot of people make the mistake with shy fish to tip toe around them so they dont get disturbed. I just treated them like any other fish and was not concerned about the maint and action around the tank. They got used to it and thats just the way it is.
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