Acquired: Fish / pet store
Posted Jan 13, 2015
In a tank full of potential bullies, the Blood Parrot stands up for itself and doesn't take much guff from anyone, sometimes even much larger fish. In my tank, the parrot kind of ran the show, even keeping the oscar mostly in line. This is not to say that one can put a much smaller parrot with large fish, especially cichlids, because that will just lead to headache and heartache.
I found my parrot to be one of the more lively cichlids I had, and that is saying something since cichlids on the whole are pretty active fish. Though blood parrots can be overly aggressive once in a while, their small mouths inhibit them from doing too much damage to other fish, which can be helpful when keeping an aggressive/semi-aggressive tank. Female blood parrots will lay eggs quite often, and it's pretty entertaining. They will spend a lot of time moving gravel to form a pit of sorts, and eventually spread their eggs around inside. I've never tried breeding them, so the unfertilized eggs were eaten by the other tankmates, or perhaps even the parrot herself.
This nesting ritual can prove bothersome if you're a stickler for keeping your tank looking a certain way or if you have anything you'd rather not have uprooted, such as live plants, (though if you have cichlids, you're probably not going to have much luck with flora anyway, since they seem so intent on eating the leaves).
My blood parrots were a great addition to the tank for many reasons, but I learned that their red color often comes from a dye injected to infuse them with such hues, and I don't believe I could ever morally support that again. I imagine this practice would be avoided by reputable fish breeders, however.