Angelfish and Parrot fish

In this post, we will learn about the relationship between Angelfish and Parrot fish. We will also discuss their requirements and biology.

Angelfish and Parrot fish

Angelfish and Parrot fish two species are admired by aquarists all over the world. However, keeping them together could be an issue. In general, this combination is discouraged. However, once they have similar sizes, individual soft behaviours, and enough space in the tank, they could become tank mates without major issues.

Parrot fish 

Parrot fish, also known as parrot cichlid, are docile and friendly fish. They have some peculiar characteristics that make them one of the most requested fish for aquariums.

The parrot fish has a very singular look and in some cases they have anomalies. They may develop defective fins making it difficult for them to swim. They usually have bumps on the face that look like cheeks and a beak-shaped mouth that does not close very easily.

However, there are several types and shapes of parrot fish, when they are born they all have a brown colour that changes when they reach adulthood and can become green, red, grey, orange, or yellow.


Parrot fish are omnivorous, there eat a variety of items. Although they have a preference for grains, live food, frozen food or any other fish food type that can be offered to them.

It is recommended to offer them live food such as small fish, insect larvae, earthworms, and small crustaceans only once a week, as well as vegetable protein.

Reproduction and sexual dimorphism

Although Parrot fish form pairs and lay eggs, they are not possible to reproduce. Most males are infertile, which makes natural reproduction almost impossible.

Regarding sexual dimorphism, it is only possible to distinguish the male from the female through further examinations or when they form couples, the female has a more protruding belly than the male.

Types of Parrot Fish

Like animals that are usually results of artificial reproduction, several colours are common to these animals, the most frequent are listed below.

  1. Blood Parrot fish

The Blood Red Parrot fish, although it is very docile when it is alone, can show perform highly temperamental and territorial behaviours towards other fish.

However, the males enjoy living in harems. The idea is that 3 to 6 females are placed in the aquarium for each male. It is important that they have compatible sizes and were placed at the same time in the tank to avoid any kind of awkwardness or dominance. 

The Blood Parrot fish can measure up to 10 inches in adulthood and can live for up to 10 years.

  1. Orange Parrot fish

Although the Red parrot fish is more common, the Orange Parrot fish and the Red Parrot fish share the same characteristics, only differentiated by their colours. Both can live up to 10 years and can measure up to 10 inches when adults.

Their behaviour can vary according to the situation they are subjected to, they are usually more docile and calm than the Red Parrot fish.

  1. Green Parrot fish

The Green Parrot fish is larger when compared to others Parrot fish, reaching up to 12 inches easily, so the aquarium should follow their size, especially if the tank is shared with other fish species, as they are usually territorial fish.

Ideally, they should be placed with fish of the same size in a compatible tank, avoiding stress and aggression. Their life expectancy reaches 10 years.

Parrot fish behaviour and compatibility

Parrot fish are, in general, calm fish. They are interactive with humans and can learn to eat directly from their owner’s hand. 

However, their behaviour can change according to the situation, for example, if they are in limited space or during mating season, they can become aggressive and attack other fish.

Besides these exceptions, they are very receptive fish and can be kept in community aquariums with other fish of the same size without major issues.

Tank requirements

Parrot fish require plenty of space to establish their territory without aggressive behaviours. It is suggested to place some rocks and gravel substrate so the fish can hide if it feels threatened, scared or angry. Otherwise, they can start attacking to defend themselves. As territorial fish, they tend to periodically move the rocks to the aquarium to make it more pleasant for them.

Avoid housing too many fish with them in small aquariums. It is recommended that for two 10 inches of fish the aquarium has at least 26 gallons of water, with pH levels between 6.6 and 7.0, and temperature varying between 71 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.


The original freshwater Angelfish was a standard silver. However, mutations in the pattern colours have occurred and breeders have capitalized on them to create many interesting and beautiful varieties. One of the most recent is the Philippine Blue Angelfish, which displays a blueish colouration.

Well-cared Angelfish can reach about 6 inches in length in adulthood, which is about 10-12 months of age. 


Similarly to the Parrot fish, the Angelfish are also omnivorous. Some of their feeding items can vary between live foods and plants. They require a protein-rich diet with enough fibres. 

It is usually best to offer a daily flake feed or a pellet diet formulated for Angelfish supplement with live food items, like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and newly hatched daphnia. Angelfish can also eat smaller fish that are in the tank, such as fingerlings and small tetras.

Sexual dimorphism

Unlike some other fish species, it is generally not possible to differentiate a male Angelfish from a female just by looking at them, unless the female is ready to breed.

Angelfish behaviour and compatibility

Often considered community fish, they can coexist with a variety of other tropical species.

As they grow, Angelfish become more territorial and aggressive. For this reason, it is usually best to house them in a separate tank as adults or introduce them while young to other fish species.

Angelfish can also become aggressive towards each other, which usually occurs during the breeding season. Males can fight other males for females, and females can be aggressive while protecting their eggs or young.

Angelfish predators can be any larger, carnivorous fish, or equally territorial, such as the Betta fish, for example.

Tank conditions

Always keep the Angelfish in the cleanest and largest tank you can provide. They require at least a 15-gallon per individual. However, they prefer being in small groups, thus at least a 55-gallon tank for a small school of 4-6 individuals. 

It is also recommended to have a good filtration system that does not create excessive currents, as Angelfish do not appreciate agitated waters. The right water conditions can also decrease the stress of Angelfish and keep them healthier and happier. With the right water conditions, you can expect an Angelfish life to be up to 10 years.

Does the Angelfish and Parrot fish combination work?

In general, the answer is No. Both species can show territorial and aggressive behaviours when threatened. Thus, keeping them together could be an issue and this combination is discouraged. 

However, once they have similar sizes, individual soft behaviours, and enough space in the tank, they could become tank mates without major issues.


In this post, we learnt about the relationship between Angelfish and Parrot fish. We also discussed their requirements and biology.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Angelfish and Parrot fish

Wil Parrot fish eat other fish?

Parrot fish may eat other fish. They can see tiny fish or fries as prey, and Thus, they may eat them.

What fish can be kept with Parrot fish?

Parrot fish should not be kept with other aggressive fish. Additionally, other territorial fish should also be avoided. Some good tank mates are larger tetras, danios, and catfish.

Are Parrot fish aggressive?

Parrot fish are semi-aggressive species. They are, in general, peaceful fish that can become aggressive when facing specific circumstances such as territorial disputes and breeding periods.

How big do Parrot fish get?

Some varieties of Parrot fish can grow to a length of up to 12 inches and reach an age around 10 years when kept in good conditions.

Are Angelfish aggressive?

Angelfish are semi-aggressive fish. They are, in general, peaceful fish that become aggressive when threatened or under specific conditions, mainly when pairing off and during breeding periods.

Can I put Parrot fish with Guppies?

It is not recommended to out Guppies with Parrot fish. Guppies are small fish that can easily be eaten by the Parrot fish. Thus, this combination is discouraged.


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Robert. 2019. Blood Parrot Cichlid Care Guide & Species Profile.

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Moyer, J. T., & Nakazono, A. (1978). Population Structure, Reproductive Behavior and Protogynous Hermaphroditism in the Angelfish. Centropyge interruptus at Miyake-jima, Japan. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 25(1), 25-39.