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True Parrot cichlid now available on Tropicalfish2yourdoor
02 January 2018
The rarely seen Parrot cichlid, Hoplarchus psittacus is currently available on Wildwoods Tropicalfish2yourdoor online shop.
These fish are not the "blood parrot" hybrid cichlids somewhat like fancy goldfish in shape and colour, but large cichlids from the Amazon basin. Juveniles are silvery-green with dark green vertical bands. Adults will show the same colour pattern when alarmed, but are otherwise a rich metallic green in colouration, sometimes with red patches on the face and throat.
There are no obvious differences between the sexes.
In the trade these fish are rare and sometimes confused with chocolate cichlids, Hypselecara temporalis and Hypselecara coryphaenoides. Unlike those fish, this species is green (rather than varying shades of green, brown and burgundy).
This species has proven to be difficult to maintain in the aquarium. It needs very clean water that is slightly warmer than normal. This in turn demands that the tank is well filtered and not overstocked. They are blackwater fish and will not last long in hard, alkaline water. In essence, they require a system similar to that of wild-caught discus.
Feeding is generally easy, this species willingly taking bloodworms, daphnia, krill, brine shrimp, etc. But because they are so sensitive to water pollution, great care must be taken to prevent overfeeding.
In terms of social behaviour these fish are unpredictable. Juveniles are gregarious, but as they mature they become more territorial, and sometimes the fish will fight quite viciously. Because of their sensitivity to pollution and specific environmental needs, this species is recommended for community tanks.
Breeding has been observed in aquaria, but is rare. Pairs spawn on vertical surfaces in a manner similar to angelfish and discus. Several hundred eggs are produced. The fry, once free swimming, are small and need small live foods (such as rotifers and brine shrimp nauplii) to start with.
A challenging species for expert aquarists only.