True Parrot Cichlid (Hoplarchus psittacus), Tank-Bred!
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The True Parrot Cichlid is quite a rarity among South American Cichlids, and it is also one of the most beautifully marked!
The True Parrot Cichlid (Hoplarchus psittacus) is a large South American cichlid species that matures to trememndous blue, green, olive, and turquoise coloration. Due to its size and later breeding age, it is not bred as commonly and frequently as many other New World cichlid species. It is, however, a very majestic and rewarding species that is long-lived and worthy of centerpiece display in the large aquarium. Please note that this is a pure species and is not to be confused with the various hybrid "parrot" cichlids such as the blood parrot.
The True Parrot Cichlid will thrive in a large aquarium with a sandy substrate and plenty of refuge, particularly in the form of plants. It does consume some plant matter, so artificial plants might be superior decor to live plants. This cichlid has a powerful bite and can be aggressive, so care must be taken in choosing tankmates. Territoriality is typically at its peak during spawning. Due to the eventual adult size of the True Parrot Cichlid, it should not be kept with most ornamental invertebrates. If spawning is desired, tankmates of other species should be avoided altogether. It should also be noted that the True Parrot Cichlid is typically more peaceful with tankmates when it is grown up with them from juvenile age rather than introduced as an adult. Powerful filtration and regular water changes are necessarry for this large species.
Feeding is simple for the unfussy True Parrot Cichlid. High-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods will all be readily accepted. Supplemental vegetable matter is also required. Quality and variety are the keys to a diet that will ensure that this fish maintains optimal health and coloration.
We are currently offering juvenile specimens of this magnificent fish.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful blue, olive, and turquoise coloration as it matures
- Very hardy with plenty of personality
- Possible to breed in the aquarium
- Rather uncommon species
- Potential to be a "centerpiece" fish
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 79° - 86° F (26° - 30° C)
- pH: 5.5 - 6.5
- KH: 2 - 12 KH
- Minimum tank size: 100 gallons for 1 mature adult, 150+ gallons for a pair
- Diet: Omnivorous. A variety of high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods is necessary for optimal health and coloration. Vegetable matter (blanched spinach, shelled peas, spirulina) is also necessary.
- Social behavior: Congregates loosely in groups as a juvenile. Both males and females can be territorial during spawning.
- Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous throughout the Amazon River Basin and other South American waterways
- Average adult size: Up to 18 inches (45 cm), although 10 - 14 inches (25.4 - 35.6 cm) is much more likely
- Average purchase size: Juveniles: 1 inch (2.5 cm), Medium: 2.8 - 3 inches (7 - 7.5 cm)