Parrotfish | Info and Facts
Size: 12 to 20 in
Lifespan: 6 to 12 years
Temperament: Fairly calm
Information / Facts: There may have never been a more confusing description written about a fish. That's because a parrotfish can be female, change to male, change back to female and even change colors to mimic another parrotfish under certain circumstances. If that isn't enough, the name "parrotfish" actually comes because of it's teeth which forms a beak-like mouth. It uses the teeth to grind off and then consume coral to get at the algae it survives on. As a part of it's eating process (actually more teeth in the 'throat area'), the coral polyps and pieces are eventually ground down to sand and deposited. A typical parrotfish can create over 200 pounds of sand per year. These fish are fairly calm but some species create a "harem" with a male leader who can be aggressive in protecting his "harem". Typically 12-20" although some species will grow to 3' in length and the green lumphead can grow to over 4' in length
Pros: Very colorful, can be friendly and is quite hardy. Will take to life in an aquarium reasonably well and will co-exist with other parrotfish readily. Since they are essentially herbivores, as long as other fish and salt water creatures won't bother them, they can exist with other species of salt water life as well.
Cons: Will eat your coral. You will have to supply the parrotfish with large quantities of coral to provide them with the nutrition they require. You will also have to periodically dredge your tank to remove excess sand. If coral acquisition will be a problem or prohibitively expensive, you may wish to bypass parrotfish for your salt water tank.