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Old 06-22-2004, 12:03 AM   #1
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Parrot issues - a couple of questions

I have a recently acquired red parrot that was completely bright orange-red when I brought it home a couple of weeks ago. Now, I've noticed that it appears to be turning black in some areas along its sides and even a little around its mouth. Is this natural? Should I be concerned about it?

I also have a couple of (now) larger parrots which I've had for a while and I've noticed them "digging" in the gravel on the bottom of my aquarium, by picking up small stones one at a time and releasing them onto an adjacent pile. This leaves somewhat of a crater at the bottom of the tank with a pile of gravel next to it. (I've also seen some of my other fish doing this from time to time, but the large parrots appear to be the most active at this.) Any idea why they would be doing this? Is this sort of activity very unique for fish?

thanks for your help.

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Old 06-22-2004, 12:09 AM   #2
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I am by no means an expert on parrots, but they are cichlids, correct? From what I have seen at LFS's and by reading others posts, cichlids are diggers. I know Menagerie has mentioned on numerous occasions her cichlids love to dig.

As for the colors, I am not sure. Was this a 'jellybean' parrot? If so, many times these colors are not natural but are dyed to increase desirability and price. These colors will fade over time. Other than that, I am not sure and would wait for someone who keeps these fish to share their thoughts.


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Old 06-22-2004, 12:15 AM   #3
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thanks... and I was hoping to hear that my fish are gifted
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Old 06-22-2004, 12:45 AM   #4
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The black spots are usually signs that the fish is stressed, they should go away eventually.
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Old 06-22-2004, 07:25 AM   #5
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Parrots are a hybrid/mutation that is very popular with people who don't know their background, and tends to be shunned by people who prefer natural fish. No one quite knows what they really are but they appear to be a Discus/Severum/Convict crossbreed of some sort and possibly a few other candidates. It sounds like yours may be a Severum/Convict cross.

They're generally sterile and can't have fry. The black bars appearing is what hints that yours has convict in it, since they have a similar feature. I've seen several of these parrots in the past, bright orange/red (Which is the "natural" undyed color by the way) but with faint black bar markings. If the markings are somewhat verticle, I wouldn't worry about it. If not, I probably still wouldn't worry about it because there's no telling what the parents of your fish were.

As for the digging, this is a mostly generic habit of large cichlids in general, especially South American ones such as yours (All of possible parents I know of are South American). Quite a few species dig pits for use with mating/breeding. Parrots can't breed (Well, there's a rare one that can) but they'd still have the instincts to perform this act.
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