Updated on: February 10, 2023 by Praveen Ghoshal | Reading Time: 9 minutes
Why keep your blood parrot fish alone if different tank mates are available?
I have been keeping four blood parrot cichlid fish in one of our home fish tanks. And as you guessed, I have kept them with various tank mates!
Spoiler Alert!: We have kept our blood parrot cichlids with these tank mates:
- Clown Loaches
- Common Pleco
And all the fish we mentioned above did quite well as their tank mates. And some of them, we still have with our parrot fish.
Read on to find the top 10 list of cool blood parrot fish tankmates you can try now and enjoy keeping!
Bichir is one of the best and most unique freshwater fish you can ever have in your tank. There are many types of bichirs namely, Dinosaur Bichir, Ornate Bichir, Saddled Bichir, Delhezi Bichir, and the Albino Bichir.
These species of fish can be pretty exciting to have in your tank, along with the blood parrot cichlids.
They don’t have the typical fish appearance. They look more like a snake, so having them in your aquarium, you can surely startle many of your aquarium viewers! 😀 (which is a great feeling, by the way, as a tank owner!)
The bichir looks unique, which is the main attraction point in any tank!
And you know what, we have been keeping dinosaur bichir (albino variant) with our parrot cichlids (since we first got each of them), And the combination has worked super well for us. So I highly recommend this tank mate combination!
Blood parrot cichlids spend most of their time in the middle or bottom part of the tank.
On the other hand, from our observation, dinosaur bichir swims at the top of the tank (especially during feeding) or at the bottom, where they lie on the substrate.
Caution!: Bichir is a predatory fish. They won’t hesitate to gulp any fish that are smaller than them. We had once made the mistake of putting them in the zebra danio tank. And the bichir just kept snacking on the zebra danios! They can be deadly, just as their name sounds.
However, you don’t need to worry if a fish can’t fit their mouth easily. They won’t just bother the large fish.
In our case, we have kept the relatively similar or smaller-sized bichirs than our parrot fish. And so far we aren’t having any problems at all. And when I say, I mean it! The parrot fish sometimes seem to be notorious enough to peck on a bichir resting over driftwood 😉
Fun Fact! Parrot fish have a variety of personalities. You can find them shy at one time, hiding somewhere in the tank. While at other times, you can find them aggressively fighting each other. (See: Why Parrot Fish Fight And How To Stop It)
They can also be curious about their tank mates. And having kept so many fish till now, they seem very lively, joyful, and enthusiastic. And who can ignore their cute smiley face staring at you all the time, lol!
#2. Oscar Fish
Yes, Oscars are another tank mate option you can try out with parrot fish. However, there are some essential considerations to note!
Except for some non-aggressive cichlid species, generally, most cichlid species are aggressive. (If you kept cichlids, then I’m pretty sure you could relate with me)
And if you didn’t know, let me tell you, both blood parrot fish and the Oscars belong to the cichlid family.
So by nature, they have aggression in them. And that’s why the tank size becomes crucial when you decide to put the blood parrot cichlids with Oscars.
If you have a big enough tank, there will be fewer chances of fish fights related to territorial dominance (protecting their region in the fish tank). Also, I would highly recommend you add as many hiding places as possible.
Depending on the size of the oscar fish and your blood parrot fish, make sure you have a large enough tank.
Considering The Size:
Since aggression is a prime concern with this combination, ensure that you put equally (or similarly) sized Oscars with your parrot fish.
If either of the fish is relatively small, expect them to be dominated by the others. So to keep the aggression in control, ensure they are similar in size. And you can even introduce them right when they are young, so they have enough time to settle with each other.
You can give the feeding adequately because when their tummies are complete, they are much less likely to engage in aggression!
Generally, any group of cichlids does well with parrot fish. After all, the parrot fish also belong to the cichlids family. To be more precise, blood parrot cichlids are nothing but a hybrid species in the Cichlidae family!
Consideration? Yes, tank size is the only primary consideration. As long as the fish have appropriate space to live, they won’t bother each other and be just fine.
Ensure to feed them properly and provide other necessary tank water conditions as you usually offer.
You can have a mixed group of cichlids like banana cichlid, bi-color cichlids, etc.
In our aquarium, we have kept the fire mouth cichlid and the electric blue acara cichlid! And still, we have them as our parrot fish’s tank mates.
Caution: In the past, we tried to keep very small cichlids like the polar blue parrot cichlid with our blood parrot fish and other cichlids. But it didn’t go well! Perhaps the smaller size of the fish made it an easy target for others in the tank to dominate and bully over. So we had to shift it to another tank.
But interestingly, in the past, we kept the Auratus cichlid, also known as Golden Mbuana which didn’t face any significant problem with the blood parrot cichlids.
It was neither too big nor too small than our parrot fish in the tank (so it can be considered medium-sized). And he was very active. So the moment any fish approached him, it would just vanish in a second.
Long story short, you can keep cichlids that are of comparable size to your parrot fish. Although the very small species are a big no-no, the medium-sized ones that are active enough, like Auratus Cichlids, can co-exist.
But the best and the safest combination would be choosing the relatively bigger cichlids like the Firemouth Cichlid!
#4. Golden Severum
Golden Severum is another tank combination you can try out with parrot fish. The only consideration is to have a large tank that can easily accommodate both species.
Generally, Golden Severum are pretty gentle and peaceful fish. However, they can reach up to 6”-8”. And on top of that, an adult blood parrot cichlid can grow to a length of about 8 inches.
So that’s why having a large enough tank becomes important. Rest, everything is excellent with this tank mate combination!
Angelfish is also a good tank mate for the blood parrot fish. Angelfish also belong to the cichlid family, so, you can keep them with parrot fish without any problem. However, just make sure that the tank is large enough so both species can cohabit easily.
Angelfish is quite a delicate fish, as you may know. But, on the other hand, our parrot fish generally have a pretty solid build. So you can imagine if, by chance, they engage in any confrontations!
Hence, to avoid fights, having a large enough tank and hiding places is the answer!
And yup, the size of both the fish is also important. Avoid putting a small young angelfish with an adult parrot fish. Who knows, your parrot can easily knock it over and dominate.
But if the fish are similar and the tank is big enough, they won’t bother much.
Handpicked Angelfish Articles:
#6. Silver Dollar Fish
Are you looking for a schooling fish to add to your parrot fish? Then silver dollar fish are your best bet!
These popular fish are somewhat round-shaped, silver-colored schooling species. Usually, you should have at least 5 of them in a group. And on average, their size is around 6 inches.
Hence, you need to have a large enough tank to accommodate all the species! And as usual, have enough hiding places and try to have similar-sized species.
#7. Bala Shark
Another fish you can successfully house with blood parrot cichlids is the Bala shark, also known as the silver shark.
However, they are schooling fish, so you shouldn’t keep them alone. As a general rule, you need to house the Bala shark with at least 4 of its kind because that makes them comfortable.
In pet shops, the Bala sharks are usually sold as young juveniles when they are only about 3-4 inches. However, the fish can grow even a foot or more! So considering all these, this tank mate combination can go well with your parrot fish only if you have a large tank!
Handpicked Bala Sharks Articles:
- Why Do Bala Sharks Twitch? All You Need To Know
- Bala Shark Has White Spots? (Reasons, Treatment, Prevention)
#8. Common Pleco
Yes, the common pleco can also do well with the blood parrot fish. So if you are looking for a bottom feeder fish with parrot fish, common pleco is one of the best options!
We had one relatively big pleco in our tank with parrot fish. Neither the parrot fish nor the pleco ever bothered each other.
So this tank mate combination can also do well without any problem. Plecos are most of the time busy munching on things 😀 and they just don’t bother with anything else except their task!
You May Like To Read: How Many Bristlenose Plecos In A 30 Gallon Tank?
#9. Clown Loach
We had clown loaches in the tank with our parrot fish. And to be frank, they just didn’t bother each other too much.
Clown loaches are typically bottom feeders. Whereas the blood parrot fish spends most of their time in the middle, and they are not the bottom feeders. So no problem at all keeping the species together.
Now although clown loaches are pretty active, they are schooling fish. So if you don’t add enough fish of the same species, they may shy away a bit.
Usually, clown loaches are supposed to be kept in a school of at least 6. And having less than six, you would find them hiding away.
In short, if you choose clown loaches as your tank mate, then be sure to have enough of them in the school. Secondly, the tank size should be big enough to accommodate all the fish species.
I also highly recommend hiding places, just in case your clown loaches are looking to rest somewhere!
If all the said conditions are fulfilled, clown loaches are one of the best tank mate combinations for your parrot fish!
Arowanas is another tank mate you can keep with your blood parrot fish. Except for the size of the fish species and the tank size, there’s no other significant consideration.
Generally, you can keep a silver Arowana with your blood parrot fish in the tank. Make sure that the Arowana is bigger than the parrot fish. The parrot fish may tend to bully any fish that are smaller than them. Therefore, having a comparable size is essential.
And also, the tank size is essential. If you are thinking of keeping a fish like silver Arowana that can grow up to 47 inches, you can’t compromise on the tank size.
The Arowanas spend most of their time at the top of the tank. On the other hand, the blood parrot fish at the middle part or sometimes at the bottom. Since the tank regions are differentiated like this, there’s significantly less chance of confrontations.
Overall, Arowanas (like the Silver Arowanas) seem compatible with parrot fish.
Any fish with similar or a bit bigger size, having similar tank conditions, and is either less aggressive or doesn’t bother others can go well with the parrot fish. So Dinosaur Bichirs, Oscars, Cichlids, Golden Severums, etc., can live with parrot fish if the conditions are met.
So I hope you enjoyed this list of compatible tank mates with blood parrot fish. Please share this article with other fish lovers if you found any value! Thanks, and happy fishkeeping 🙂
Recommended Read: Parrot Fish Breeding And Care