Pelvicahromis pulcher or Parrot (Pelvicachromis pulcher) – the most beautiful and therefore the most popular cichlid, which is divorced and contained in aquariums for the second century.
Habitat: The parrot common is the southeastern part of Nigeria, as well as West Cameroon and East Benin. Prefers overgrown with dense vegetation areas of water mixed with open ground.
Pelvicahromis lives only in fresh, stagnant or slow flowing water.
Description: under natural conditions, males can reach 9 cm, females – 7 cm. In aquarium conditions, fish tend to grow 2 cm less.
Title “Parrot” Pelvikahromis received because of the peculiar structure of the head: a slightly curved front, a sloping forehead and a small mouth resemble the head of a parrot.
Both males and females have a beautiful color. Males have a brown back, a reddish belly and casting a blue side.
The gray dorsal fin, sometimes with a dark spot, is framed by a shiny edging. The anal and ventral fins are blue and the pectoral fins are transparent.
The diamond-shaped tail fin at the bottom is silver and reddish at the top.
The female is fuller, its tail fin visually seems to be chopped off, on the dorsal there is a gold border with several dark spots. The belly is red-violet.
Gill covers brilliant purple.
Eyes Parrots bluish with a black pupil.
Fry less remarkable – their color is gray with a dark longitudinal stripe.
Arrangement and parameters of the aquarium: for a pair of parrots you will need an aquarium from 40 liters, in more spacious ones from 150 liters it will be comfortable for several pairs of fish.
Young individuals keep a flock, but, growing up, form pairs that occupy a certain territory. In nature, the natural boundaries of the chosen place are stones or snags, so parrots must be placed in the aquarium enough stones, snags, clay pots, which are conventionally divided into areas.
With the content of cichlid data, the choice of plants can be any, as the fish are absolutely indifferent to them, but it is advisable not to use plants that require a lot of light. With strong light, parrots fade and feel uncomfortable.
Optimum water parameters: 24-26 ° C, dKH 2 °, dGh 10 °, pH 7.0. During breeding, the temperature is raised by 2 ° C.
Water change and filtration with aeration are required. Water is best filtered through peat, then the color of the fish will be even more intense.
Parrots are quite peaceful, except for the spawning period and therefore they can be maintained with any fish of similar size and conditions.
Nutrition: in nature, pelvicahromis feeds on plant particles and the organisms living on them: small crustaceans, worms, insect larvae. In the aquarium takes flakes, tableted and live food. Cyclops and Daphnia stimulate fish to spawn.
Whenever possible, it is better to refuse a pipe worker, since he carries pathogens. Vege dressing has a beneficial effect on the parrots’ state of health.
Reproduction: couples, parrots (Pelvicachromis pulcher) create for life, so to separate the fish is undesirable. Sexual maturity comes to 9-12 months.
Fish are able to spawn in the general aquarium. During this period, their color becomes even brighter.
Spawning can be stimulated by regular water changes and increasing the temperature to 28 ° C. The most suitable refuge for spawning is a clay pot, in which the female lays 100-300 reddish-brown eggs, about 2 mm in size.
During the incubation period lasting up to 4 days, both producers, less often only the female, protect the offspring.
About a week later, the fry begin to swim independently and you can start feeding them with nauplii of Artemia and rotifers.
Sometimes, mostly young couples eat caviar. In this case, the substrate with the eggs is placed in a separate container with a sponge filter and intensive aeration.
During the first month of life, the fry have a dotted pattern, thanks to which they are practically invisible at the bottom, but by 2 months, pronounced horizontal stripes of black color are already visible. At about 4 months, the fry begin to change color and the habits of adults appear.