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Old 05-15-2018, 10:47 PM   #1
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Tips on maintaining water quality for blood parrot cichlid?

Hi all,

My Blood Parrot Cichlid is approximately 5 years old. He is the best fish I've ever owned, a complete ball of energy when I am around and has quite the personality--something they are known for.

He lives in a 36-gallon tank. I feed him a variety of foods such as cichlid pellets, bloodworms, and soft boiled deshelled peas. I perform a 50% water change every two weeks and use the Seachem Prime and pH regulator to maintain water quality.

Recently I stopped by a local aquarium shop and the owner recommended Piscine Energetics PE Pellets. Have not given it to my BP yet. Has anyone tried this product before?

The reason I started this thread is that while I have owned my BP for a while now and ensure he is healthy and the tank is maintained well, I am by no means an expert. I read online that Blood Parrot Cichlids can live from 5-15 years and that maintaining tank quality is a huge factor in the longevity of the fish. While there is a lot of information available out there on BP's, I would like to hear more about your experiences owning a Blood Parrot Cichlid. Any tips from fellow cichlid owners on maintaining tank quality or additional information on BP's, in general, are much appreciated. Thank you
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:40 AM   #2
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Being a Central American hybrid Cichlid, your BP might like warm, hard water with a higher PH. Central America, has vast geological areas dominated by Limestone, which substantially alter the water parameters towards the above noted suggestion.
Realistically, most domestic farm raised fish available can adapt to almost any water provided
as long as it's kept clean, and warm.
IMO, AA has several members that could be considered water management gurus. In particular, BBradbury, Coral Bandit or ZC, so I'll defer to one of them regarding an ideal water management routine.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:55 AM   #3
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For cichlids I think V227 knows what's up. I'm not much of a cichlid keeper myself. Africans once and the odd apisto / ram, but no larger south/central americans.

As for specific water quality, I think keeping the most stable water is the greatest hurdle. I would strongly urge against pH altering chemicals. A stable pH is the best pH. What is the pH of your water source?

With that said, as long as you are CONSISTENT with the pH stuff, and the fish is happy, it should be fine.

I would probably bump the water changes up to once a week though, keeping those nitrates down as much as possible. Try out some floating plants as they will help consume free nitrates and other organic compounds.

Don't skimp out on cleaning the filter sponges / media. Once every 2 or 3 weeks give the filter a cleaning in old tank water (during water change). Make sure to suck up any mulm/crap in the tank as well. This will ensure lower organics in the water to rot + foul the water over the course of your water change routine.

Look into some Seachem Purigen to further reduce organics (Purigen will also leave the water sparkling clean).

Quality food is also a plus. Look for foods where the main ingredients are not "meal". Whole fish, whole kelp etc. are better. And variety of foods is another key. Flake + pellets + wafers for example, offer some quality + variety for good response.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZxC View Post
For cichlids I think V227 knows what's up. I'm not much of a cichlid keeper myself. Africans once and the odd apisto / ram, but no larger south/central americans.

As for specific water quality, I think keeping the most stable water is the greatest hurdle. I would strongly urge against pH altering chemicals. A stable pH is the best pH. What is the pH of your water source?

With that said, as long as you are CONSISTENT with the pH stuff, and the fish is happy, it should be fine.

I would probably bump the water changes up to once a week though, keeping those nitrates down as much as possible. Try out some floating plants as they will help consume free nitrates and other organic compounds.

Don't skimp out on cleaning the filter sponges / media. Once every 2 or 3 weeks give the filter a cleaning in old tank water (during water change). Make sure to suck up any mulm/crap in the tank as well. This will ensure lower organics in the water to rot + foul the water over the course of your water change routine.

Look into some Seachem Purigen to further reduce organics (Purigen will also leave the water sparkling clean).

Quality food is also a plus. Look for foods where the main ingredients are not "meal". Whole fish, whole kelp etc. are better. And variety of foods is another key. Flake + pellets + wafers for example, offer some quality + variety for good response.

Hope this helps.
Hi ZxC,

Thank you for your response. I use the API 5 in 1 Test Strips. Here is the chart (image from Google).


From my water source directly, the readings are:
General Hardness (GH): 60
Carbonate Hardness (KH): Between 40-80
pH (fresh): 7.5
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0, but with a hint of faint pink

In the past, I have tried a floating moss ball and my cichlid chewed it up, didn't last for more than 2 days. He doesn't like foreign objects in his tank, very particular in that way.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by V227 View Post
Being a Central American hybrid Cichlid, your BP might like warm, hard water with a higher PH. Central America, has vast geological areas dominated by Limestone, which substantially alter the water parameters towards the above noted suggestion.
Realistically, most domestic farm raised fish available can adapt to almost any water provided
as long as it's kept clean, and warm.
IMO, AA has several members that could be considered water management gurus. In particular, BBradbury, Coral Bandit or ZC, so I'll defer to one of them regarding an ideal water management routine.
I maintain a steady 81.5 F in the tank. My water source pH reading is 7.5.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:59 PM   #6
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ZC provided an excellent reply regarding water management. It looks like you already have a pretty good grip on how to handle your tank. I'm assuming your ammonia reading is 0 followed by 0 / 10, which are really good parameters. Your PH and Temp. are fine.
Curious if there are tankmates for your BP. Post pics when you can.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:36 PM   #7
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ZC provided an excellent reply regarding water management. It looks like you already have a pretty good grip on how to handle your tank. I'm assuming your ammonia reading is 0 followed by 0 / 10, which are really good parameters. Your PH and Temp. are fine.
Curious if there are tankmates for your BP. Post pics when you can.
No tank mates. When we first started with BP's, we were inexperienced. Two of them (including the one I have right now) got sick. Despite treatment, one of them did not survive sadly. We have tried to include tank mates (not cichlid) in the past but it did not work out. My BP is VERY territorial and has zero tolerance for other fish in his tank.

Here are older photos of my BP, did not snap new ones recently.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:56 PM   #8
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Nice looking BP. If you want to add some color and movement to the tank, track down 4 or 5 XL Buenos Aires Tetras. They are fast and even a little bit mean. It would be very difficult to add another mid-sized cichlid.
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