Blood parrots breeding - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-07-2007, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Blood parrots breeding

We have 4 blood parrots in our 50 gallon tank. Apparently recently 2 of them felt so comfortable, that they decided to breed.

As far as we know, this species is sterile, so they cannot procreate. Is that true?

Well, anyways, they laid eggs over a rock in the corner of the tank and started guarding it day and night, biting other fish and me (very painful!) when i adjusted the plants with my hand.

Our black oscar was all stressed out and started having scales issues (skin hanging in spots, scales falling out) - we think it was because of constant biting by the parrot. These things bite!

After 2 weeks eventually the eggs went bad and were eaten. Our black oscar is ok now.

QUESTION: if they lay eggs again should we remove the rock and clean them off to prevent this aggressive behavior? Or will it stress out the parrots?

Anything else that can be done?

Thank you
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-07-2007, 06:57 PM
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Re: Blood parrots breeding

Originally Posted by twoinchina
QUESTION: if they lay eggs again should we remove the rock and clean them off to prevent this aggressive behavior? Or will it stress out the parrots?
I find the eggs best left with the parents but the parents must be isolated from the community.

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post #3 of 6 Old 10-10-2007, 09:04 PM
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Ok, there are a few options here for you. Apparently the chinese have now devoloped a strain of parrots that are fertile, but whether yours are or not is yet to be seen. It is possible the eggs went bad because they weren't fertilized... being a first spawn, there really isn't any way to tell.
If you choose to try to tell, you can move the other parrots and oscar to another tank for a while if you see eggs again, giving them a fair chance. Being cichlids, the parrots should be good parents if the eggs are healthy.
If raising the fry isn't an issue, pulling the eggs out of the tank should cure the aggressive protective nature of the parent fish.
One other option is to pull the eggs and put those into a quarantine tank to see if they are viable, and hatch them away from the parents. This would avoid the aggression in the main tank and also give the eggs a chance. If attempting to hatch the eggs, you will want to insert a container into the tank, fill it with water and move the eggs into the container and then lift it all out together, avoiding air contact with the eggs if possible. Make the transfer quick, and treat the water in the quarantine tank with methylene blue (check dosing on the bottle) and then put in the eggs. Regular water changes of 20% twice to three times/wk, using newly medicated water to put back into the tank should get you where you need to be for healthy hatching if the eggs are good. To see if the eggs are viable, watch the color within the first 24 - 48 hrs. If the eggs are good they will turn almost an amber color, if not, they will tend to grow a fungus on them right away. You could do all of this in a 10 gallon tank until the eggs hatch and the fry begin to grow, then move up in tank size as they grow. A sponge filter and heater (set for 78 degrees) is all that is really needed, and you can fill the 10 gallon quarantine tank with water directly from the main tank initially. If the sponge filter has spent a few days in the main tank, and moves with the water to the 10, it should be fairly well seeded to keep water quality in good shape and avoid cycling. Be careful not to place eggs directly in air or water flow from filtration but be sure to provide some an air stone near enough to the eggs to provide good water circulation around them, just not directly on/over them.. Do not use a light fixture over the tank with the eggs.
I hope this helps!

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-11-2007, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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thanks a million

Hi, thank you very much for taking the time to help us.

Since my last post the parrots laid eggs again - it happened yesterday. And you are absolutely right - they are amazing parents, but... they chase everyone around and bite, my black oscar is already bitten in a few spots and last time he took a while to recover. One of my flowerhorns has also been bitten judging from his color and acts nervous.

I don't want to risk the health of my fish not even knowing if the spawn is any good.

Last time the eggs didn't grow moss or anything, but they stayed white-ish for about 2 weeks, don't think they were amber. The parents move over and create water flow with the fins, the smaller one - the mother, I assume, - stays with the eggs all the time and hardly even ventures out to eat unless I feed her right above their corner.

Is spawning a sign of good water quality or do they spawn in pretty much any tank?

Thanks again
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-11-2007, 12:48 AM
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Unfortunately, that is a question for the chinese who are breeding them. Some fish its a matter of maturity or a specific change in water quality and/or temp... not always a "good shift"... but specific in nature such as a pH drop or temp hike/drop. I have seen piranah that would only spawn in an algae ridden "neglected" tank. Whenever the tank was cleaned they stopped until it got dirty and algae ridden again. Then, they'd spawn like crazy. Some fish rely on the lunar cycle, others on genetic instinct, such as a salmon. There is no information readily available about the spawning habits of parrots, but keep looking for it. If someone is doing it you know there is "business" involved, so eventually its going to get out there where money and "fame" await.
This would be something for you to study if you manage to get fry, taking pictures and such. The information you gather could be very helpful for the entire scientific community. Start a notebook and jot down notes as things happen and date it all, get photos and/or video if possible... there's a lot even you could learn to help yourself succeed in breeding later unless it turns out to be a sterility problem.
Keep us posted, and if you need "extra attention" type of help, feel free to PM me anytime.
Good Luck!!

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-04-2007, 01:50 PM
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well most lickliy you wont get and off sripring from this but its always good to know thatyour fish are happy and health
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