Red parrot - The king of monstrosity
This article was submitted by one of our users and aqua-fish.net doesn't guarantee its accuracy!
They are sold under the name of Red Parrot or Bloody Parrots, but these fish must not be confounded with parrot Cichlids (Hoplarchus Psittacus) or with marine Parrot fish (Callyodon fasciatus). The real Parrot, Hoplarchus psittacus is an American Cichlid which lives in the Amazon waters and has a green color. This is extremely pretentious species and it has been successfully spawned only by few American breeders.
This article is not a description of this fastidious fish; it is about the baggy hybrid which can be found in pet shops. Maybe some of us are not long time experienced breeders, but certainly we are not blind.
Yellow, blue, red, fluorescent green, pink - it is amazing how sublime these parrots, a laboratory fishes, are. We only have to breed them in orange and fluorescent water, given by a cool light, with ultra colored sand and plastic plants and the kitsch is perfect!
Anyway, let’s hope that at least for Christmas they will be taken out of the aquarium because we have a Christmas tree to decorate. Thought, it’s good that if we decrease the temperature a little, the fish will change their color. And this is not all - lately we can also find neon zebra, the first copyrighted fish called Glofish. This fish was "created" in order to take water tests. It changes the color depending on the water hardness: in hard water they are red and in soft water they are green. Be careful with sudden water changes: Glofish may be stressed trying to change the color fast and it can also die (chameleon effect).
But where can reach the stupidity of people? The worst thing for these little creatures is that there are plenty of people who buy them.
The parrots might be the most controversialist hybrid which has been realized till now. Many fish breeders consider that these fish should be present in pet shops. Though, other breeders are on the opposite side and some of them even boycott the stores which sell them. The Red Parrot is the "fruit" of some bad intentioned fish breeders who only care about money. Controversies exist even over their ascendancy. The most hybridizations were made between Amphilophus citrinellus and Vieja synspila or between Heros severus and Amphilophus labiatus. The most Parrot fish from pet shops are the result of the last type of hybridization. It is possible that some Archocentrus species were also used. One thing is sure: except the ascendancies, these fish do not exist in nature.
The hybridization has many effects on the fish. Red Parrots have anatomical distortions. The first aspect is their mouth, which is very small and has a strange shape; it has consequences over the fish feeding. The swimming bladder is also deformed affecting the swimming of the fish. It is revolting that these living beings are manipulated this way and it is more revolting the fact that there are pet shop owners who accept to sell this kind of fish. Money is the only reason they are sold for and this fact affects the nature and the science. This is similar to the American who introduced jelly fish DNA into rabbit cells. When the rabbit is exposed to UV light it becomes fluorescent.
And now maybe you wonder how the colors are obtained... The process involves several baths in chemical products. The first bath is taken in chemicals which open scald proteins in order to permit certain coloration. The second bath is taken in the desired color chemicals. In the end, the third bath is taken in chemicals which fix the coloration. We can wonder how comes that some fish breeders support to look without horror to these animals.
Why don’t people try to improve the genetics of these species by careful selecting, which should be inspired from nature? Why don’t they offer optimal living conditions instead of creating such mutations? I wouldn’t wish to be one of those who created them or who sell these monstrosities. Why do they bath them in chemicals just because they only care about their wallet? It’s a shame that research is oriented only to make profit.
It is not too late to react; if we don’t do that, these monstrosities will invade pet shops. We’ll face big problems when the countries which export wild fish won’t do it anymore (Brazil is going to) or when we won’t be able to keep a fish alive for more than 6 months. The main thing we should remember is the moral aspect: an aquarist is the one who loves fish. Then why do we still strive to assure them living conditions if we play with their body and aspect? Trying to create monsters is not only useless, but it is also dangerous for our pets. So don’t avoid acting when a pet shop assistant tries to sell this kind of fish to someone who doesn’t know their past. Being an aquarist doesn’t involve only breeding fish, it is also a spirit state.
I could also write about at least other 10 species: Disco fish - Parambassis ranga, Osphronemus goramy - looks like having smallpox, White Skirt Tetra - Gymnocorymbus ternetzi, Botia modesta - also painted, Coydoras, Oryzias latipes, etc. They are all the result of some kind of painting and the shops keep selling this kind of trash. Most of the victims are beginners who don’t know what they actually are and buy them.
Creating this these kinds of fish is not only immoral, but also cruel.
Author bio: Laurentiu Craciunas has been breeding tropical fish for about 10 years and wants to share his experience with other tropical fish breeders. You can read more aquaria related articles on his Aquarium Fish website.