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Readers Respond: Blood Parrots - Great Pet or Abomination?

Responses: 77


I wouldn't trade mine for the world

My parrot fish big o has a personality and thinks he is human. People come over to see him because they have seen first hand that this fish is different. I would say he is the most intelligent fish ever! About keeping them as pets because they are man made definitely, they have to go somewhere I would not like to think that these very smart fish are being put down because humans decided to experiment.
—Guest BigOmybuddy

Livestock and pets genetically altered

Most of our livestock and cats and dogs have been genetically altered. No one comments on how cruel it is that bulldogs have been physically modified to look a certain way despite that they suffer from many health problems. We accept them because we are used to them and accept their issues if we get one. The same with bp's.
—Guest big mojo

My Experience with BP

My buddy gave me two of his. At first, my response was NO because of all the things I had read on the internet. After telling me he was going to freeze them I immediately changed my mind. At first, they were all I had. After realizing what a fascinating and incredible fish they were, I started making a hobby out of keeping my aquarium. Now, a year and a half later, I still have Athena and Neptune, my two AWESOME blood parrots, plus a whole armada of other cichlids a various fish. Long story short, Blood parrots are good fish, whether or not anyone agrees with the "lab-made" part. If you're unsure whether or not you want to buy, just buy it and worst casae scenario sell it back for more than you bought it for! But be warned if you plan on buying one, they do eat VERY well. Mine can eat almost a whole bag of Hikari Cichlid Gold in a week.
—Guest Cichlid_Bau5

Shouldn't happen

People shouldn't reproduce them. First of all they aren't really a cichlid and second the stupid things kill anything you put in the tank. And third [yes I owned a few and spawned them but they never hatched] they are stupid. When I had mine a few years back it didn't even know how to eat. All it did is fight my convicts until finally the convicts tore the bastards head off and there was peace once again. That is my story in conclusion I would rather own a REAL cichlid than one of these lab made fools. Reason I hate them by the way is they killed over 1000 dollars of my fish until finally I threw a breeding pair of convicts his way and off with his head.
—Guest Dman

Fish love

I got my first parrot fish a month ago been so happy with it watching it do random stuff in it tank I only have one but either way I stool remember the day I went to walmart and saw that fish. I though to myself that if I get it I would wake up every morning with a smile. And you know I do :)
—Guest Maria

Not all bad

While I do not believe in hybridizing rare or endangered species, I can't say I oppose the breeding of blood parrots. The species involved in their production are readily captive bred and common, unlike some others. The blood parrot is pretty docile. That's great, for people who want a big fish with personality but can't afford to dedicate a 75g tank just to one fish. Smaller, younger blood parrots are often very shy and take a while to grow into confidence- and also into their bodies. We have a pair at the shop I work in and they're lovely. Very active, very friendly, and while they aren't often bothered by the peacock cichlids they're kept with, they are capable of biting back. They enjoy crickets but due to the shape of their mouths have a hard time taking them off the surface- so hold them under. They'll eat right out of your hand. For the same reason, sinking food is best. That's the only special care they need, unlike what some people say. They are not heavily deformed.
—Guest H. Jones

As long as they are healthy...

As long as the BPs are healthy and not dyed or mutilated (as is the case with the heart-shaped, tailless ones), I see no problem with blood parrots. There are concerns about their deformities, but I have noticed lately a trend in the fish that Petco has been getting in towards a BP that can close its mouth fully and swims without any hindrance. The one I acquired from them in January 2010 is like this, and I enjoy him all the more because he looks much more like a "normal" fish than the more bulbous-looking, average blood parrot. If this is the result of selective breeding, then I hope it continues. I prefer these less-deformed fish, and I think other aquarists agree. I think anyone could easily fall in love with the blood parrot's personality - I know I have, despite Bubbles' tendency to eat his friends. The longfin danios were great tankmates... until he grew large enough that they could fit in his mouth! Good thing they're cheap, huh?
—Guest Janna

Love them!

I heard a lot of bad things about parrot fish; aggressiveness, that they were hard to keep, needed huge tanks, and were so deformed that it was sick. Well, mine are the opposite. They are friendly (if a little shy), get along great with the 5 other fish in my tank, and easy to take care of. One thing I noticed especially: they have no deformities. Everything I read say that have messed up swim bladders, spines, and mouths which made it hard for them to swim and eat. This is false, in my case. My two parrot fish (both who get along wonderfully) eat the best out of all my fish, and they are also the fastest swimmers and most agile of any fish I've had!
—Guest Guest

Love my parrot fish

I love my parrot fish. 4 years old great pesonalities. Need big space as they can get huge. Fantastic and fun. Love to rearrange plants. So cute!
—Guest Tamara Schuster

Man did not create

This is two different species of fish that mate together. They are not artifically inseminated therefore are not man-made. Many fish you get from the wild have cross-breed. Look at all the long-finned varieties out there now that have been created simply by putting certain fish together. Angelfish is a bit cross-breed fish as well as all the fancy goldfish. Flowerhorns, as well. But man-made? Nope.
—Guest Carolo

Great Pet or Mistake

Wonderful pets!! I adopted my BP from a friend and have really enjoyed this beautiful fish. He does not know he is a "mistake", he is curious,friendly, and comical in nature!!! Have never seen him have any other difficulties than any of my other fish, he has no trouble swimming, eating or seeing. So I really don't see what the problem is!!! We spend hours watching him each week and the grand kids especially love him as he follows them every where they move, he gets along great with his tank mates which are barbs, a gold severum and common pleco!!! I do not agree with the dyeing and mutation that is taking place, but really don't understand the controversy this fish has caused!! I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants a highly intelligent and social fish.

Create Fish ?

No way thats GODs place. I would never buy them but 3 were given to me.They are mean i will take care of them until they die i feel sorry for them. Thank for your site it has helped me a lot
—Guest kim ingrao

What a wonder is man

Look at all the cultivars of plants and trees and shrubs we have developed for ornamental purposes. There's no reason whatsoever we should not hybridize fish. Period.
—Guest Smell the coffee

Father owns 1

My father owns 1 of these guys. At first I didn't like him because of all the bad stuff I read on the internet. However he won me over with his cuteness. I love the look he gives me while he is hiding(so freaking cute), a nice contrast to my aggresive mbuna tank.
—Guest Sushi Chef

Buy Parrots to save Environment

I'm a fish seller. I think buying man-made fishes will lead to reduction in fish hunting from natural environment so buy man-made fishes to save environment

Should man create fish?

Blood Parrots - Great Pet or Abomination?

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Shirlie Sharpe
About.com Freshwater Aquariums

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