Knowing how much to feed your parrot cichlid is just as important as providing the right kind of food. Food is just part of creating a healthy habitat that ensures happy fish with a long lifespan. The blood parrot fish is a very popular pick for aquariums and usually eats by crushing or “chewing” its food with its throat muscles. In a cared-for environment, the parrot cichlids live anywhere from 3 – 12 years, and its diet plays a big role in this lengthy lifespan.

Since the parrot cichlid is a man-made breed stemming from the redhead cichlid and Midas cichlid, it doesn’t have a natural environment. Both redhead and Midas cichlids are omnivores, which means the parrot cichlid can enjoy a variety of foods including freeze-dried options, frozen choices, flakes, and even live food. One of the best diets you can offer is a high-quality pellet or flake created specifically for cichlids. Treats can include frozen or live brine shrimp along with blood worms—these treats are packed with much-needed nutrients and when given sparingly work as a supplement.

You can maximize the vibrancy of the cichlid’s colors by selecting foods that are rich in B-carotene and canthaxanthin (which you’ll find in a quality flakes or pellets). Feedings should occur 2 – 3 times daily at the same time every day. Whatever your parrot cichlid can eat in 3 – 4 minutes is the ideal amount of food per feeding. If you’re concerned your fish isn’t able to capture the right amount of food, then sinking foods will be a better option than floating options. Talk to your exotic fish supplier about any questions, concerns, and to get customized recommendations for your parrot cichlid’s diet.