Parrotfish Parrotfish Parrotfish Parrotfish Parrotfish

 

  • Information
  • Care & Feeding
  • Cautions

Parrotfish are a large family of marine fish made up of over 90 distinct species. They are characterized by their parrot-like beaks which are made of tightly compressed teeth. In the wild parrotfish use their beak-like mouths to scrape algae off corals. Adult parrotfish often bite off large pieces of coral when feeding in this way and contribute greatly to bioerosion in coral reefs around the world. Although a peaceful and extremely beautiful species of fish, their highly specific dietary requirements make them unsuitable for beginner and novice aquarists. Most species are vibrantly colored and are adorned with fascinating color patterns and markings. They come in shades of red, blue, green, yellow, orange, grey and black.

Parrotfish are an extremely peaceful species of fish and make excellent additions to community aquariums. One of the most challenging aspects of keeping parrotfish is their very specific feeding habits. They enjoy grazing on coral and rock for algae and adult specimens can wreck havoc on a reef aquarium. Most species grow between 12-20 inches in length and should only be housed in large aquariums with sufficient swimming space. The aquarium should also be decorated heavily with rocks and live plants to provide numerous hiding places for the fish. Parrotfish also excrete a mucus-like substance to form a protective cocoon around themselves in the night. When given adequate care and attention, parrotfish can often live for up to 13 years in captivity.

Although parrotfish feed primarily on algae, they can also be trained to accept shrimp and seaweed sheets.

Parrotfish may prey on smaller species of fish and crustaceans on occasion.

 
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