Are Blood Parrot Cichlids Aggressive?

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No, Blood Parrot cichlids are not aggressive for the most part. That being said, they are cichlids, which means they will display a higher predilection toward territorial and hierarchical violence.

This is the main reason why aquarists tend to keep Blood Parrots either as solos or in pairs.

That being said, you can keep Blood Parrots with other fish, provided you tend to some aspects first.

These include having enough space for all fish, providing adequate food, and avoiding pairing Blood Parrots with aggressive fish species.

To avoid Blood Parrot aggression, you must first understand what triggers their violent behavior, to begin with. So, let’s have a look!

Why is Blood Parrot Cichlid Aggressive?

Blood Parrots will rarely display violence, except under specific circumstances.

These include:

Overcrowded Tank

Blood Parrot cichlids can grow up to 8 inches, which means they require a healthy amount of space to remain calm and healthy.

A Blood Parrot requires around 30 gallons of water for itself. You should consider increasing the tank’s size by 10 gallons for each new Blood Parrot you add to the environment.

The space requirements will vary depending on the fish species you’re planning to add, how many fish you have, and their size.

Given that Blood Parrots are medium-sized fish, the ideal tank partners should be similar in size. Or at least large enough for the cichlids to not view them as food.

Angelfish, bristlenose pleco, gouramis, barbs, and ram cichlids are viable tank mates, among others.

All these fish will come with their own space requirements. Overcrowding them will result in increased aggression and fish stress which can be deadly.

It will also place a lot of stress on the environment as more fish equals more poop, increasing the risk of excess ammonia and nitrites.

Always stick to the space recommendations for Blood Parrots to prevent aggressive behavior and keep them healthy over the years.

Breeding Behavior

Blood Parrot males will become visibly more aggressive during the breeding phase. Their aggression is mostly aimed at other Parrot males, but male-female interactions may also appear explosive.

Parrot males will first assert their dominance in the face of other contenders, after which they will dig around the substrate and invite the female(s) to lay the eggs.

Blood Parrots can become quite aggressive during this time, bullying more submissive males into hiding. This behavior maximizes their chances of retaining their hierarchical position and passing on their genes.

In theory, at least, since most Blood Parrot males are infertile due to being artificially-created hybrids, unable to procreate. They don’t know that, though.

In this case, you should check your Blood Parrots’ dynamics to make sure they don’t go overboard. Cichlids, and fish in general, will display different personalities, so some Parrots may be overly aggressive.

If you notice any bullying behavior or repeated aggression, consider removing the aggressors to calm the situation.

Aggressive Mates

Despite not being aggressive themselves, Blood Parrots will respond to violence in a similar manner.

Pairing Blood Parrots will aggressive, or overly curious tank mates will result in higher levels of aggression from both sides.

The issues arriving from such situations include physical injuries and constant stress that will affect your fish’s health.

Always pair Blood Parrots with compatible tank mates to prevent this problem. This measure won’t guarantee a violence-free by itself, but it’s a good start.

Other measures should include providing the fish with more space, adding plants and decorations to break the line of sight, and removing pathological aggressors.

Do Parrot Cichlids Fight Each Other?

Yes, Parrot cichlids will fight each other for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Territorial reasons
  • In overcrowded tanks due to stress and food-related violence
  • During the mating phase
  • Until the eggs hatch, since Parrot cichlids display maternal instincts
  • Due to hierarchical differences between different Parrot cichlids, etc.

This makes it seem like Blood Parrot cichlids are aggressive by nature, but they’re not. They are actually quite calm and welcoming, provided you take some preventive measures.

These include adding more hiding spots, upgrading the tank’s size, ensuring they’re well-fed, and even separating the aggressor.

The latter is especially important since many aquarists don’t want to separate their fish. But, as you can see, sometimes you have to.

Some cichlids are simply not meant to get along with others, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

How to Stop Blood Parrot Cichlids from Fighting?

As I’ve mentioned, there are several ways of mitigating your cichlids’ violence.

These include:

  • Upgrading their tank to accommodate all Blood Parrots
  • Lowering the number of cichlid males since they tend to be the most violent overall
  • Offer numerous hiding places in the form of aquatic decorations, rocks, plants, or caves
  • Keep your Blood Parrots well-fed to prevent food-related aggression
  • Keep the cichlids’ water clear and healthy with stable parameters
  • Always check your cichlids for signs of disease and ensure fast adequate treatment
  • If the situation doesn’t improve, remove the aggressor from the tank

These measures should be enough to mitigate or even eliminate aggression from your cichlid tank.

That being said, don’t expect your Blood Parrots to become angels overnight. They will retain their behavioral tendencies, but these measures will tame them a bit.

How to Stop Blood Parrot Cichlid from Chasing Other Fish?

You can simply fall back on the preventive measures I’ve already mentioned. Provide your fish with enough space, prevent overcrowding, keep them satiated, and decorate the tank with a variety of hiding spots.

If nothing works, your only option is to remove the aggressor(s), which should stabilize the environment.

For a clearer view of the matter, always remember that Blood Parrot cichlids rank as semi-aggressive fish.

So, when you hear that Blood Parrot cichlids are peaceful, keep in mind that the notion translates to ‘peaceful by cichlid standards.’

Can Parrot Cichlids Kill Each Other?

This rarely happens and is almost always indirectly. Blood Parrot cichlids don’t have any way of killing each other directly.

However, they will poke and bully each other violently at times, leading to more severe consequences over time.

Bullied Parrots may experience weaker immune systems, which leave them vulnerable to pathogens like bacteria and parasites.

They may die due to infections and various diseases if adequate treatment is not available. Expect the same outcome if your cichlids sustain physical injuries due to their violent interactions.

Since Blood Parrots cannot kill each other directly, you have enough time to take measures to mitigate their violent behavior.

Do Parrot Cichlids Eat Other Fish?

Yes, they will. Blood Parrot cichlids will eat other fish, provided they are small enough for the cichlids to consume.

This means you should always pair your Parrots with larger fish species that won’t become prey.

And above all, ensure optimal environmental conditions to decrease the chances of your cichlids hunting or bullying them.


As semi-aggressive fish, Blood Parrot cichlids will display violence under certain conditions.

The good news is that you can identify and prevent those conditions, providing your Blood Parrots with a stable and calm environment.

If they exhibit abnormal levels of violence, consider dealing with the situation adequately and, more importantly, fast.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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