Blood-red parrotfish are a man-made hybrid species commonly sold in pet shops. Breeders created the first specimens from male midas and female redhead cichlids in Taiwan during the 1980s. At the time of publication, blood-red parrotfish contain genes from a variety of South American cichlids, including midas, redhead, red devil, gold severum, green severum and convict cichlids. An acidic environment of pH 6.5 to a neutral 7.0 is the ideal level for blood-red parrotfish, but they tolerate a pH of up to 8.0.
About Water pH Levels
Domestic tap water has a different pH level in different parts of the country. The pH level is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, where 0 is highly acidic and 14 extremely alkaline. A pH reading of 7.0 is neutral.
Testing the pH of Your Aquarium Water
Check your tank water with a pH test kit. An aquarium pH test kit either comprises of a dip strip that provides an instant result or a chemical reagent that you add to a sample of water in the test tube provided. You must provide a stable environment for your blood-red parrotfish. Although it's unlikely, you may need to change the pH level of your tank to achieve this if your tap water is highly alkaline or acidic.
Adjusting pH Naturally
Fish are adaptable and tolerate slight changes in pH, but if your water isn't within the 6.5 to 8.0 pH range tolerated by blood-red parrotfish, you may adjust it. There are effective natural products available to help you create the proper environment naturally. Place a piece of decorative driftwood in the tank or a layer of peat moss in the filter to lower pH and increase acidity. Crushed coral or seashells in the substrate naturally raise pH levels and make the water more alkaline.
Increasing or Decreasing pH Using Chemicals
Chemical pH-adjusters often create more problems than they solve. There's a huge range of pH-adjusting products available, from broad-spectrum products that raise or lower pH slightly, to solutions that change your water to a specific pH. Chemical intervention isn't a process that a beginner should attempt without proper research or in-depth knowledge. Changing the pH of your aquarium water may cause damaging environmental instabilities in the long term.
Alex Burgess has been a professional writer since 1990, specializing in travel, herpetology, lifestyle, fashion, health and fitness. Her work has appeared in various British newspapers, magazines and international online publications. Burgess studied design before working as a journalist in England.