Do Blood Parrot Cichlids Bite?

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Blood Parrot cichlids can grow quite large by tank standards. Healthy adult Parrot cichlids can reach 10 inches which can be intimidating for someone who’s only had guppies to that point.

So, it’s natural to feel hesitant to place your hand into the cichlid’s environment, especially if you don’t know what it can do.

But should you be worried? Let’s see!

Do Blood Parrot Cichlids Have Teeth?

Yes, Parrot cichlids have teeth, but not like what you would expect. These cichlids possess pharyngeal teeth located deep in the fish’s throat.

The cichlid will use these teeth to break down the food before reaching the digestive system. These include corals, pellets, shrimp, or whatever the cichlid can swallow.

If you were wondering, no, these teeth aren’t made for biting since they’re located deep in the throat. They can only hurt you if you stick the finger deep into your fish’s mouth.

And even then, the pharyngeal teeth cannot inflict any significant damage since they’re rather tiny and not exactly sharp.

Are Blood Parrot Cichlids Aggressive?

No, Blood Parrot cichlids aren’t really aggressive. They rank as semi-aggressive, which is another way of saying they only use violence to respond to violence.

Blood Parrots are quite calm overall and will only display aggression in specific situations like:

  • Poor water conditions – Inadequate temperature, high ammonia, nitrites, dirty water, and fluctuating pH can stress out your Blood Parrot fast. As a result, the cichlid will grow snappier and more irritable and might resort to violence to vent out.
  • Inadequate diet – An improper diet or a faulty feeding plant could lead your Blood Parrot to starve. This will activate the cichlid’s grumpy mood, causing it to grow aggressive towards its tank companions.
  • Aggressive tank mates – Blood Parrots are more aggressive towards territorial and aggressive fish species. The ideal tank companions should be close in size and display a laid-back attitude, not to interfere with your Parrots.
  • Overcrowding – One Blood Parrot requires around 30 gallons of water, with each additional Parrot demanding additional 10 gallons of space. Overcrowding your fish will send them into a foul mood, causing them to become overly violent towards each other.

As you can see, Blood Parrots aren’t usually aggressive but will respond violently in some situations.

The good thing is that, with a modicum of practice, you can learn how to keep your cichlids calm and happy.

Do Blood Parrot Cichlid Bites Hurt?

No, because Parrot cichlids cannot bite you. If you’ve ever seen pictures of Blood Parrot cichlids, you may have noticed that their mouths always seem to be open.

That’s because they always are. Blood Parrot cichlids are hybrid fish which means they are the result of selective breeding.

The consensus is that the Parrot cichlid is the genetic offspring of Gold Severum cichlid and Midas cichlid.

Because of the selective breeding process, the Blood Parrot came out with several genetic faults that Mother Nature didn’t have time to correct.

One of these is the excessively small mouth that always stays open. This renders Blood Parrots unable to bite or cause any harm due to their lack of teeth.

When feeding, cichlids use a suction effect, sucking the food into the back of the throat.

That’s where the pharyngeal teeth come in handy, breaking the food into smaller pieces to ease the digestion process.

So, you shouldn’t worry about your Blood Parrot bites.

Can Blood Parrot Cichlid Bite Your Finger Off?

No, they can’t do that either for the same reasons we’ve already presented. The cichlid’s mouth is somewhat O-shaped, though, which means it could probably suck your finger if nothing else.

I don’t know if you need this image in your head, but here we are.

Can You Hand Feed Blood Parrot Cichlids?

Yes, you can feed Blood Parrot cichlids once they’ve become accustomed to your presence and touch.

I recommend getting your cichlids when they’re younger so that they’re easier to tame. This shouldn’t be too difficult since Blood Parrots are natively calm, friendly, and easy to befriend.

Feed them live food to peak their interest and make them come to you. Your Blood Parrot cichlids will catch on fast and will immediately rush to your hand next time you place it in their water.


Blood Parrot cichlids are friendly and lack the tools to inflict any damage with their mouths.

Unless you’re a tiny fish or a bloodworm, you have no reasons to fear the cichlid’s bite.

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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