Types of Parrot Cichlids and Jellybeans

Perhaps the earliest type of Jellybean/Bubblegum Parrot and more widely known is simply a dyed Blood Parrot. These are bred to be light colored or albino and then are dyed. Here are some pictures:


The 2nd type of Jellybean/Bubblegum Parrot is actually a double hybrid fish from a Blood Parrot and a Pink Convict. (I have read some cases of the Blood Parrot being bred with other Cichlids, but this I would guess is not widely done). I say double because the Blood Parrot is itself a hybrid.

There are also 3 kinds of Parrot Fish:

  1. One is called Hoplarchus Psittacus, and is a real fish found in the wild and is rare in the aquarium industry because it has been hard to breed.
  2. Another is a saltwater fish (Callyodon fasciatus).
  3. The 3rd, which is more known is the cross breed.

The Fresh water Parrot:


Hoplarchus psittacus is the original parrot cichlid. It is a large green cichlid coming from the Amazon and Orinoco River drainages of South America. Large males can be well over a foot in length. It got its name because of its large parrot-like mouth.



The Saltwater Parrot:


the parrot fish, which is found in the Scaridae family... These gentle, colorful fish with their somewhat long bodies and large heads, have very interesting large teeth at the front of their mouth that are fused to form a sort of parrot like beak. The parrot fish can be found in tropical oceans throughout the world, varying in size from eighteen inches up to four feet long. Found in the order of Perciformes this interesting fish is known to feed on algae which it scrapes off the reef with its beak like teeth.

See a picture of one here:


The Blood Parrot:


The parentage of the Blood Parrot is a secret hidden away with the breeders of Taiwan. The most common suggestions for the two parents are:

Midas Cichlid (Cichlasoma citrinellum) and the Redhead Cichlid (Cichlasoma synspilum),
Severum (Heros severus) with the Red Devil (Cichlasoma erythraeum)


The most common suggestion is that they were made by breeding the Midas Cichlid (Cichlasoma citrinellum) and the Redhead Cichlid (Cichlasoma synspilum). However, below is a list of every pair that I have seen suggested.

Severum (Heros severus) and the Midas Cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) or the Red Devil (Amphilophus labiatus)

Gold Severum (Cichlasoma severum) and Red Devil (Cichlasoma erythraeum)

Midas Cichlid (Cichlasoma citrinellum) and the Redhead Cichlid (Cichlasoma synspilum)

Severum (Heros severus) with the Red Devil (Cichlasoma erythraeum)

Red Devil (Cichlasoma erythraeum) +Gold Severum (Cichlasoma severum)

Red Devil (Cichlasoma erythraeum)+Green Severum (Cichlasoma severum)

Red Devil (Cichlasoma erythraeum)+Quetzel (Cichlasoma synspilum)

Back to the Jellybean/Bubblegum Parrot. As noted above there are 2 kinds, I will now go further into the double cross bred one. This comes from the Blood Parrot and the the Pink Convict in most cases. The male Blood Parrot is infertile but the females are fertile. There are cases of some males being fertile but this is rare, and there are reports of male Blood Parrots being injected which allows them to become fertile and thus breed with the female Blood Parrots. There also is a report, by the way, that Blood Parrots have been bred to be salt water fish:


Because this double cross breed is 50% convict there are reports that these fish are aggressive. Mine are not, more on mine later. The female Convict tends to be less aggressive and thus this trait may be found in the hybrid as well. They also are prolific like Convicts and mate easy and often. They are reported to breed at the size of 1 inch. My female is less than an inch and a half and is breeding. My male is slightly bigger than an inch and a half. During their breeding they do become more territorial and aggressive.

Before I forget, many of these crossbreeds are dyed as well, thus the name Jellybean or Bubble gum. But I think more and more are not dyed. You can see a couple of pictures of this cross breed here:


You will notice less of a Parrot beak on the 2nd picture and this is what mine looks more like.
These fish are not deformed as the Blood Parrots are, but are much smaller.

Let me now tell you my story. I never owned any Parrot fish, including the blood parrot, and have no experience with them. I also am new to cichlids in general. I have years of community fish experience and decided about 6 months ago to get some African Cichlids and started a tank for them. About 3 months ago I saw a "pink fish" at Walmart. It was labeled a Parrot Fish. I went to the Petco where the guys there know me, to ask about this fish. I was told it was more of a community fish than a true cichlid fish and should thus go in my community tank. Which is where I wanted it because my community tank is color themed, as I get every colored fish possible in the rainbow for that tank (undyed). I had never seen a pink fish, (I had forgotten I had seen the pink kissing gourami's, but they were too aggressive and grow too big I had read). I am not a rich man, I work in fast food and this fish was the most expensive fish I had ever bought. It was about $6 or $7. It did very well in the 55 gallon community tank and within a week decided to get a yellow one. In less than 2 weeks they had claimed the cave beneath the driftwood as theirs and became territorial of it, especially at feeding time. Then about 2 weeks later, perhaps a month after I 1st got them, I came home one day to see baby fish on the bottom of the tank and what looked like these 2 fish eating them. I at first thought they were guppies as I had just released a pregnant female into the tank. I went and got my breeding net and tried to catch the babies before they were eaten. There seemed about 40 of them. It was then I discovered that the yellow and pink Parrot Fish were not eating them but collecting them in their mouths and bringing the babies into their cave and spitting them out there. I also noticed 95% of all the other fish were cornered to one side of the tank and these 2 were keeping them there. The Parrot fish bit me during this operation just as described on the following page for breeding habits of Convicts:


After netting most of the babies I decided to separate the parents too and then spent several hours on the internet finding out what these fish were with the info I have shared above. I now have moved these fish to their own 20 gallon long tank shared only with a Pleco and they have already made new eggs in less than a week in it.

Just like Convicts they will breed as often as every 2 weeks. I have read that like many live bearers the Fry can eat flake particles (Convict breeding tips) but brine shrimp will make them grow faster. They also will eat the yoke sacs the 1st 2 days and will need food after that. I also have read that the parents will sometimes get food and break it up for the spawn. I have also read the babies will eat algae and other small things found in the aquarium. My babies died but will try and raise more and perhaps sell them and continue to breed more and more. I wish to discover if my fish are dyed or not, their colors are more pastel than bright. But the female which is pink gets yellow coloring from time to time, especially when she is breeding.