Is it not sufficient that our women (our men are not far behind) are all botox-ed, puffed and filled up with all sorts of artificial chemicals to satisfy the insane current norms of beauty, that it’s now time for our ornamental fish (yes you heard right our poor little fishies), to read beauty magazines and get depressed because they don’t look attractive enough!?
If you have ever wandered into an aquarium store in Beirut or its suburbs, then surely you must have come across a weird geisha looking fish with red lipstick and floral patterns on the rest of its body. Basically, it only needs an improvised kimono and it’s ready to start work at a nearby massage house! It’s no wonder they call it the Lipstick Parrot Cichlid. This freak of nature is in reality not at all that, but rather a man-made hybrid, which appears to be a cross between a South American cichlid, likely the severum (Heros severus) and a Central American cichlid, likely the midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) or the red devil (Amphilophus labiatus).
It is then artificially coloured to appeal to consumers. The procedure is horrifyingly inhumane and involves injecting repeatedly the fish with colour via hypodermic syringe to achieve the desired patterns tattooed onto the body. The fish is also dipped in a caustic solution to strip its outer slime coat, then dipped in dye, then dipped in more chemicals to restore the protective coat. Women reading this will make the immediate analogy with hair bleaching steps.
This method is reported to have a very high mortality rate. The ones that do survive are actually the unlucky ones, since they lead a painful life, hammered with all sorts of tumours, infections and with an overall shortened life expectancy. Wait there is more! The worst part is that the colouring of the fish is not even permanent, and usually fades away in six to nine months!!! These fish come in all sorts of colours: Blue, green, red, purple, etc...This is why they are also called jellybean cichlids! Many other species, including the Indian Glass Fish, Black Tetra, Oscar, Corydoras, Suckermouth catfish, and goldfish all receive the same honour.
So please if you were thinking of getting a blood parrot cichlid (or any other dyed type), but haven't yet, we strongly urge you to consider getting another fish. Maybe then retailers will think twice before selling dyed fish and indirectly encouraging these cruel practises, just to make a few easy bucks (or liras).
This Article was prepared by Edmond Bouclaous
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