17 Best Blood Parrot Cichlid Tank Mates

Blood Parrot Cichlids are far more peaceful than other Cichlids. They are fantastic large fish in community tanks. Due to their relaxed attitude and tiny mouth relative to their body size, there are many different species to choose from as tank mates for a Blood Parrot Cichlid.

Some of the best tank mates for blood parrot cichlids include firemouth cichlids, angelfish, tiger barbs, rosy barbs, clown plecos, clown loaches, and swordtails. If you want to keep snails, apple snails make good tank mates for blood parrot cichlids as well.

This article looks at each one of these fish species (and quite a few more) and discusses what makes them compatible tank mates for Blood Parrots. Blood Parrot Cichlids require some experience to keep, but most of the fish on our list are easy to care for. You can focus your attention on looking after your Blood Parrot.

Firemouth Cichlid

Firemouth Cichlid or Firemouth Meeki, thorichthys meeki | Source: Deposit Photos

These Central American Cichlids are native to the rivers of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. Firemouths are named for the bright orange-red coloring on their throats. Their gorgeous looks have made them a popular aquarium species.

Firemouth Cichlids grow 5 to 6 inches long and grow very quickly. Two fish need at least a 30-gallon tank, and you should increase the tank size by 5 to 10 gallons for each additional fish. They are active and need space to swim around.

They get along well with Blood Parrots because they are peaceful and non-aggressive. Make sure that all their environmental needs are met and that the tank is stocked appropriately. Overcrowding and insufficient rocks and vegetation will cause stress and heightened aggression.

Tiger Barbs

Tiger Barbs | (C) Tiny Underwater | License: CC-BY-4.0

Tiger Barbs originate from Southeast Asia but have become popular aquarium fish all over the world. Their highly active behavior, coloration and patterns make them interesting to observe in the tank.

Growing to around 3 inches long, Tiger Barbs are definitely too small to be a Blood Parrot’s breakfast. They are tolerant to a wide range of water conditions, so they are perfect for beginner aquarists. 

Tiger Barbs are schooling fish that should be kept in small groups. A 30-gallon tank is sufficient for a group of 5 or 6. They need enough space to swim around to avoid issues with aggression. In a large enough community tank, they should coexist peacefully with a Blood Parrot.

Kribensis Cichlid

Rainbow Kribensis Cichlid | Source: Deposit Photos

Often the best fish to keep with Cichlids are other Cichlids! Kribensis Cichlids are a peaceful and absolutely beautiful species. They are a dwarf species that is native to coastal rivers in Africa. Growing 3 to 4 inches in length, they are about half the size of the average Blood Parrot Cichlid. 

In a healthy environment, their colors are much more vibrant. The males have elegant, pointed fins, and females have a distinctive red underside. Both sexes have red and yellow accents on their dorsal and tail fins. 

A single Kribensis Cichlid needs a 20 to 30-gallon tank to stay relaxed and happy. You can keep a pair of them with a Blood Parrot in a large community tank. 

Emperor Tetras

Emperor Tetra | Photo 28663404 © Mikhailg | Dreamstime.com

Many people think of Emperor Tetras as old-fashioned aquarium fish because they were first introduced in the 1960s. These South American fish are easy to care for and have become a staple among fish keepers globally.

Emperor Tetras are peaceful fish that are well-known for being the ideal fish in community tanks. They are very small, only reaching an inch or two in length, but are not naturally schooling fish.

You should keep a group of 5 or 6 Emperor Tetras with a Blood Parrot fish. Make sure there is only one male in the group, as this will keep aggression to a minimum. 


ID 167914917 © Bari Paramarta | Dreamstime.com

Angelfish are one of the most recognizable aquarium fish species. Native to much of South America, including the Amazon River, these gorgeous fish have become popular around the world.

They have beautiful, elongated fins and come in a variety of colors. Naturally, they are bright silver with vertical stripes. Angelfish reach about 6 inches long, and a pair needs at least a 20-gallon tank. To keep a small school, you need an 80-gallon tank.

They are great tankmates for Blood Parrots and enjoy the same tank conditions. They like a soft, sandy substrate to dig in. 

Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami | Source: Deposit Photos

Dwarf Gourami come in a range of color types – powder blue, flame, honey, blue, and neon blue. They are all equally vibrant and captivating, not to mention easy to care for. These fish originate from India but are popular in aquariums around the world.

These fish have a very shy and easy-going temperament, making them ideal tank mates for Blood Parrots. Dwarf Gourami grow 3 to 5 inches long and are a schooling species. A small group of 3 need at least 10 gallons of tank space.

Clown Loaches

Clown Loach w/ Albino Rainbow Shark in Background | Source: Deposit Photos

Clown Loaches are brightly colored little fish that make wonderful tankmates for Blood Parrot Cichlids. They are available from aquarium shops as 2 to 3-inch fish but grow to around 12 inches long. 

They enjoy the same environmental conditions as Blood Parrots – a soft, sandy substrate and lots of rocks, vegetation, caves, and driftwood to hide in. They need quite a large tank due to their body size. To keep a blood parrot with a small group of 4 or 5 Clown Loaches, you will need at least a 150-gallon tank. 

Corydoras Catfish

School of Bronze corydoras swimming in aquarium tank,Corydoras aeneus | Source: Deposit Photos

These peaceful bottom dwellers are super popular aquarium fish for aquarists of all levels of experience. There are different types of Cory Catfish, but they generally range in size from 1 to 4 inches. 

With their appearance of having bony plates of armor, Cory Catfish have an interesting appearance. These social fish like to live in small groups of 5 or 6. A group this size needs a 20 to 3-gallon tank.

Like Blood Parrots they prefer a soft, sandy substrate in the tank. They love having lots of vegetation to hide in. Their sweet, peaceful temperament makes them ideal tank mates for Blood Parrots and many other fish. 

Clown Pleco

Clown Pleco | Photo 91699604 © Guinapora | Dreamstime.com

Clown Plecos are popular amongst aquarists because they are low-maintenance bottom-feeders that are very easy-going and can be kept with many different tank mates, including Blood Parrot Cichlids. 

Growing 3 to 4 inches long, they are quite small. Because they do not do a whole lot of swimming around, a single Clown Pleco only needs 20 gallons of tank space. Provide lots of hiding places for them in the tank and some driftwood to nibble on.

Clown Plecos generally keep to themselves and hang around the lower level of the tank, so you do not have to worry about a Blood Parrot bumping noses with them. 

Yoyo Loaches

YoYo Loach (Yo-Yo Loach) | Photo 172609464 © Darko Cvetanoski | Dreamstime.com

This type of Loach is perfect for a large community tank with a Blood Parrot. Unlike many other Loaches, the Yoyo Loach is not shy and timid. They are rather energetic fish that are known for their sweet personalities.

Often Yoyo Loaches only reach about 2.5 inches long but given enough room in their tank they can grow up to 6 inches long. An individual adult needs at least 40 gallons of tank space. It is not recommended to keep them alone. A small group of Yoyo Loaches need about 100 gallons of space.

Like Blood Parrots, they enjoy a soft, sandy substrate in the tank. They mainly stick to the lower levels of the tank, so they will happily share a tank with a Blood Parrot. 

Apple Snails

Apple Snail | Photo 112215073 / Apple Snail © Cacalealcaca | Dreamstime.com

These peaceful little snails are great to have in a community tank because they help to clean algal growth from the sides of the tank. Their shells are too hard for them to be an attractive snack for Blood Parrot Cichlids.

Apple snails can grow quite large – up to 6 inches wide! They come in a range of colors. Yellow is the most popular, and there are black, green, and brown varieties. Each snail needs about 3 gallons of tank space. 


Swordtails feeding on bottom of aquarium | Source: Deposit Photos

Swordtail fish are very closely related to Guppies and Platys. They are live-bearing fish that reproduce prolifically in tanks. While their spawn may fall prey to a Blood Cichlid, mature Swordtails will happily share a tank with a Blood Cichlid. They grow to around 5.5 inches long.

They come in a wide variety of colors, from red and black, to orange. The males have a long caudal fin that resembles a sword. These fish are tough and adaptable, doing well in community tanks. 

Rosy Barbs

Rosy Barbs | Source: Deposit Photos

Rosy Barbs are peaceful, easy-going fish that are highly suitable for a community tank. They are active fish that school together and swim around the mid-levels of the tank. Rosy barbs are a beautiful red-pink and their color compliments that of Blood Parrot Cichlids. 

They reach maturity at around 2.5 inches in length. However, they can grow up to 6 inches long. They are social fish, so keep a small group of Rosy Barbs together, otherwise, they will become stressed. A small group needs at least 30 gallons of tank space. 

Kuhli Loach

Kuhli Loach | Photo 174806634 © Joan Carles Juarez | Dreamstime.com

Resembling miniature eels, Kuhli Loaches are fascinating fish to keep in a tank. Their bodies are long and slender, with banded patterns. As nocturnal fish, they mainly hide away during the day and come out to scavenge at the bottom of the tank at night.

Kuhli Loaches have a very peaceful temperament and are good fish for community tanks. They can happily share a tank with Blood Parrots. 

Growing 3 to 4 inches in length, a small group of 4 to 5 Kuhli Loaches need about 20 gallons of tank space. You can easily accommodate them in a community tank, along with Blood Parrots and a few other species. 

Glass Catfish

Glass Catfish | Photo 38010859 © Mikhailg | Dreamstime.com

Native to Thailand, Glass Catfish is a unique looking species that is simple to care for. Unlike other Catfish, they do not just dwell on the bottom of the tank. They are a lot of fun to observe swimming around the tank.

They are sometimes referred to as Ghost Catfish because their bodies are completely transparent – you can even see their organs!

Glass Catfish are great tankmates for Blood Parrot Cichlids because they enjoy the same water parameters and are very, very peaceful. 

Silver Dollars

Silver Dollar (Metynnis hypsauchen) | Source: Deposit Photos

Silver Dollar fish are compatible tank mates for Blood Parrot cichlids, and because of their durability and small size, they are perfect for keeping in giant community tanks, along with Clown Plecos, Kuhli Loaches, and Corydoras Catfish. 

They are active fish that school together in the upper levels of the tank. They have a calm, peaceful disposition and are never aggressive towards their tank mates. 

Keep at least 5 Silver Dollar fish together. A small group needs at least a 75-gallon tank. Therefore, to keep Silver Dollars with a Blood Parrot, you will need a very big tank. 


Banded Cichlid, AKA Severum (Heros severus) | Source: Deposit Photos

Severum Cichlids are medium-sized fish that reach around 8 inches in length. They are a South American species but have become popular aquarium fish worldwide. They come in a range of colors – green, gold, turquoise, brown, and red – and will certainly complement a Blood Parrot Cichlid’s color. 

They are semi-aggressive in temperament but will happily live in a community tank along with a Blood Parrot. They enjoy soft, sandy substrate to dig in. 

Due to their size, it is important to give them a large enough tank. A pair can be kept in a 50-gallon tank, but they need at least a 100-gallon tank if you want to keep them with other fish. 


There are just so many species to choose from when selecting tank mates for your Blood Parrot Cichlids. These fish are easy to care for, even for beginner aquarists, and are thoroughly rewarding to keep. 

A few of the best tank mates for blood parrot cichlids include:

  1. Firemouth Cichlids
  2. Tiger Barbs
  3. Kribensis Cichlids
  4. Emperor Tetras
  5. Clown Loaches
  6. Yoyo Loaches
  7. Rosy Barbs
  8. Silver Dollars
  9. Severums