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With a beak-shaped head protruding from a round body, a blood red parrot cichlid adds visual interest to your freshwater tank. The colorful fish are a hybridized breed that doesn't exist in the wild and males are usually infertile. The blood red parrot cichlid can live from five to 15 years in an aquarium setting, but life span varies widely depending on water conditions.
Water Quality is Paramount
While most species of cichlids are known for their hardiness in a variety of water conditions, the blood parrot cichlid is more sensitive. A 30-gallon tank for one fish and an additional 10 gallons for each additional cichlid is the minimum to keep ammonia levels in the water below 5.4 milligrams per liter with proper maintenance. Higher ammonia levels set the stage for disease that can shorten your blood red parrot cichlid's life dramatically.
Cosmetic Enhancements Reduce Longevity
Not all blood red parrot cichlids will turn bright orange or red. Some keep their pale coloring throughout life. These are often the target of enhancements such as dyeing them bright shades of blue or purple or removing their tails to produce a heart-shaped fish as their ventral and dorsal fins grow out. The modified fish generally experience shorter life spans and may only live one to three years on average, although hardy individuals may live much longer.