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6 years ago #1
lemurnandy
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I have 5 Parrot Cichlids in my 47g tank. Three were medium sized and bright orange when I bought them. The other two were small and white. I was led to believe that they would gain their coloring as they grew. One has started getting an orange tint, but the other has started getting these black streaks all over with barely a hint of orange. I am having a hard time finding information about their growth and how they develop so i can know what is normal and what to be concerned over.

1) Can anyone tell me if this is normal?
2) Can anyone give me a link to a site that describes their development patterns so I know what to expect?

Thanks in advance, everyone!

Posted on Tropical Fish
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6 years ago #2
achintya
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parrot or other fish grow and show its colour if you provide them proper feeding...so you can feed them... and these...and these are the 2 links from where you get information about parrot fish... http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/cichlid/ bloodparrot.php http://www.geocities.com/parrotcichlid/feeding.html

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6 years ago #3
Fishycrackerz
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There are many variations of Blood Parrots so their is nothing to be worried about. The one getting the black stripes is probably going to be a Red and Black Streaked Parrot.

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6 years ago #4
lemurnandy
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I have been giving them the frozen bloodworms and the bloodworm frozen variety pack. Is that the same as above, or should I be making a new purchase?

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6 years ago #5
johnarthur
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Variety and moderation are key to fish health. Several dry foods are made especially for Cichlids, and you may want to try a few. The same is true of frozen foods. Just be sure to avoid over feeding. About color changes: When a fish is under stress (e.g., moving to a new habitat) their colors often fade. Other symptoms of stress are clamped fins, lack of appetite, parasites, gasping at the surface, etc. I don't mean to imply that your fish are stressed, just that it's a good idea to be sure. Other color changes happen when fish mature and/or reach spawning condition.

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6 years ago #6
itzbrian
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how long have you had these?

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6 years ago #7
lemurnandy
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I have had the parrots for about two weeks. The two little ones are the ones growing like crazy and changing colors.

On a side note, I went to the store and they have a neon green, hot pink and two purple parrot cichlids. Those are not natural colors, I assume. Why would anyone dye a fish?

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6 years ago #8
Fishycrackerz
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I think the purple parrots are just a color morph not dyed. But the other two variations are obviously died. I asked myself that too. Why would anybody dye a fish? Well I am sort of biased because I am more into the natural stuff.

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6 years ago #9
itzbrian
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i'm not sure they are dyed, some parrots are hybrid and come in lots of different colors

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6 years ago #10
achintya
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hm,its true..i think only red,yellow areoriginal and others are hybrid....

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5 years ago #11
lemurnandy
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OK, I checked the water parameters and discovered that the ammonia and nitrates were still not zero, so I went and got bio ball and zeo carb for my fluval cannister and changed out the inserts. The parameters went to zero and all of the black streaks have gone away. That leads me to believe they had black spot and with the water correction, they have been cured!

Now I have a question about how the parrots do with the large snails in the tank. I bought 5 large snails to clean the algae off the tank (had bad luck with plecos so I don't have anything but the dwarfs in the smaller tanks). Well, I just discovered a nearly translucent snail shell in the bottom of the tank and two empty large snail shells as well as one snail that is sitting on the side of the tank in the bubble stream.

Do blood parrot cichlids eat large snails? Or did these just die and got eaten or something? Anybody know?

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5 years ago #12
johnarthur
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Most cichlids are very effective predators, so they may have gone after the snails.

It's good that you got the ammonia back to zero, but you may want to investigate the cause of the ammonia and check for nitrite. Ammonia can usually be controlled by weekly partial water changes and avoiding over feeding and over crowding. If you've done all that, the ammonia could be from the dead snails.

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5 years ago #13
lemurnandy
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OK, Ammonia has remained at 0, but per your suggestion, I checked the nitrites. Yesterday they were at 5.0 ppm, so I did a 20% water change and then checked it again. They were at 4.0 ppm or thereabouts. So I added AmQuel Plus to the water. Checked the nitrites this evening and they were at 4.5 ppm, so I wnt, bought 25 gallons of R/O water at the pet store and changed 23 of the 47 gallon tank. Checked the nitrites and they are at 1.0 ppm So for lack of any other ideas, I just put in another dose of AmQuel Plus. Any ideas, anyone?

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5 years ago #14
johnarthur
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When an aquarium is going through its nitrogen cycle, it will first have ammonia spikes. A beneficial bacteria then turns the ammonia into nitrite. Another type of beneficial bacteria then turns the nitrite into nitrate, which is converted to nitrogen and oxygen by yet a third bacteria. The presence of nitrite means the nitrogen cycle is in its second stage. The best thing you can do to get rid of the nitrite is a 20 or 30 percent partial water change every day until it measures zero. Chemical fixes can have bad side effects and don't help nearly as much as the water changes. It's a common mistake to add fish to a new aquarium before the nitrogen cycle is complete.

About reverse osmosis water: it's fine for some partial water changes, but it lacks the chemical buffers needed to control pH fluctuations. The same is true for distilled water. In most cases, tap water with a good conditioner will work just fine.

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5 years ago #15
lemurnandy
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I reread the nitrigen cycle this morning and realized I had my chemicals and timing backwards--I swear I am gonna figure this out. .

As for the water, my city's water supply has an unfortunately high amount of ammonia in it, so whenever I tried to do water changes with the tap water, even with Prime, the ammonia would go through the roof in the aquarium. I'm not sure what would bring down the ammonia in the tap water to safe levels, and my poor 29g fish kept dying whenver I would mess with it, so I just keep buying the R/O water and shaking my head. If you have any ideas as to how I could get my tap water to safe aquarium levels, I will give it a try.....

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5 years ago #16
johnarthur
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I'm really surprised that the city water supply has ammonia. Depending on levels, it's toxic to humans as well as fish. Live, floating plants like hornwort and water sprite will directly metabolise ammonia, so that may be the best thing. If you can't find the plants locally, try Aquabid.com. Like all plants, they may experience transplant shock. They also do better in large bunches. If the situation is desperate, you could always put in some duckweed. However, it's invasive.

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5 years ago #17
johnarthur
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And one more idea: use Amquel Plus as a water conditioner.

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5 years ago #18
lemurnandy
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Tap water has ammonia of 1.0 ppm and a nitrate of 5.0 ppm Sorry, forgot to mention that.

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5 years ago #19
johnarthur
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That's too much for fish; I'm not sure what levels we humanoids can tolerate. I mentioned Amquel Plus, because an experienced aquarist I know uses it for every partial water change. Is there a chance that your ammonia test is not accurate? It may be worth your time to contact the city water department about the ammonia. They could be using some chemical additive that produces false readings in an aquarium water test. Ammonia comes in at least two forms and is a reactive compound of nitrogen and hydrogen.

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5 years ago #20
lemurnandy
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In my vast cabinet of aquarium products I did find two bottles of AmQuel Plus. The bottle says "Each standard dose will remove more than 1.2 ppm (mg/l) of ammonia, 2 ppm of nitrite and 13 ppm of nitrate, as well as detoxify all the chlorine or chloramines added by public water suppliers." So, based on my readings of the tap water, I am taking a chance. I did a partial water change using Amquel plus treated tap water and the appropriate amount of aquarium salt. I have a test strip ammonia reader on the side of the tank and am keeping a close eye on it to see if the ammonia spikes, and after 45 minutes, it still shows yellow (0 ppm of ammonia).

My test kit is one of the liquid ones for freshwater, so I am not sure about it's accuracy. It tests for Nitrite (NO2) and Ammonia (NH3, NH4+). Not sure if those codes mean anything to y'all, they looked like period table elements to me. I only made a D in chemistry, so I haven't a clue-LOL.

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5 years ago #21
ally995
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oh thats bad i had thoes probloms wehen i was little and the one that was chanchen the rong coler it might be dien or difernt kind of fish angel fish do that

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5 years ago #22
lemurnandy
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Good news! Ammonia is still at 0 and the nitrites are down to .5 ppm, so it appears that the AmQuel Plus does work on my cities water...Woohoo!

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5 years ago #23
achintya
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hm good work....and now try to down the nitrite level to zero...

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5 years ago #24
johnarthur
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I haven't seen a periodic table of the elements in years, but I know that nitrite is fairly reactive. The city water department probably has an analysis of the municipal water, and they may even be interested in your test results. You probably already know that nitrogen compounds are used in some explosives, and that has some strange ramifications for water pipes and aquariums.

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5 years ago #25
lemurnandy
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Nitrites are still at .5 and ammonia is still at 0. However, I had a new situation arise. I cleaned my 29g tank and thought I would just check the parameters on the 10g. Apparently, in my concern over the new Parrot Cichlid tank, I have neglected my poor 10g. The water was toxic! So I figure, do a water change, that will fix it. Sadly, all that did was churn up a bunch of muck and make the situation worse.

Long story short-the 10g's 12 neon tetras, 1 mini albino catfish and the miniature pleco are now all toodling around the 47g with my 6 small/medium blood parrots, and the 12 neon tetras I already had in there. And the 10g is now sitting on the back porch.

My poor blood parrots are hiding in the stump and refuse to come out. I am asuming that the 47g is now overloaded, but can anyone confirm? I hate to try and take them back-they are such a pain to catch!

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5 years ago #26
johnarthur
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You could probably get the ten gallon tank back in operation fairly quickly. Save out a cup or two of substrate material and any plants, then clean the rest of it. A small aquarium with a good start on the bacterial colony may cycle in a week or two. In the interim, the neons may be in danger of becoming food. I believe the ten gallon tank was also a little over crowded. Problems develop much more quickly in a relatively small volume of water than in a large volume.

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5 years ago #27
lemurnandy
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UPDATE! Went last night to check the tank and discovered it had Nitrates of 80, ammonia at .5 and nitrites at .5 ppm so I thankfully, had already treated 25g of water the night before and it was just sitting there ready for the emergency. I changed 23g of the water out last night. The readings as of 5 minutes ago are: Nitrite down to 0, ammonia down slightly to .25 and the nitrates are at 40 ppm

Sadly, I no longer have any large snails in the tank, they have all gone to meet their maker. And one of the little neon tetras passed on today. Other than that, at least 6 of the blood parrots, 23 of the little neon tetras, the little white catfish, the miniature pleco are all doing fine - the blood parrots have also all lost their black streaks and are back to orange only.

I have decided not to reassemble the 10g tank, I really did not like it much, and frankly it was more of a pain than it was worth.

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5 years ago #28
johnarthur
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Probably I already mentioned this, but over feeding and over crowding can produce nitrogen compounds in an aquarium. Any amount of nitrite or ammonia is bad for fish.

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5 years ago #29
lemurnandy
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Is it normal for Blood parrots to not like the dried blood worms? They scarf up the frozen kind, but when I fed them the dried blood worms, they didn't even give it a second look. And I swear one of them actually turned its nose up at it....

Also, I forgot to put the frozen food back in the freezer and it mostly thawed out. I quickly refroze it, but is that food any good now? The package does not specify.

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5 years ago #30
johnarthur
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Most fish like frozen food much better than any sort of dry stuff, but they need both kinds. You can test the blood worms by thawing out a small portion and giving it a good smell. Blood worms stink, but they should not smell rotten. If the fish lose interest in all food, they are stressed.

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