A Singapore fish supplier claims to have acclimated Blood parrot cichlids to live in salt water, says a report in The Electric New Paper.
Gary Kwan is reported to have told the paper that he has developed a method of keeping the hybrid cichlids in a marine aquarium, and claims to have had the fish living in his saltwater aquarium for four months. However, he would not reveal the method by which he claims to have acclimated the fish to an unnatural life in saltwater.
Kwan told The Electric New Paper that Blood parrot cichlids normally sell for $8 (around 2.65 UKP), but he hopes to sell his marine versions for around $8888 (just under 3000 UKP), because they're considered "auspicious" in Singapore, much in the same way as the Flowerhorn cichlid was.
Since the decline in popularity of the Flowerhorn cichlid in the UK and abroad breeders in Singapore are looking for new ways to make lots of money from fish.
Kwan is reported to have told the paper: "Three years ago I tried the experiment. But the freshwater fish became weak in saltwater and I stopped the conversion before any died.
"People say I'm just wasting time and money converting freshwater fish to saltwater fish. My friends say the fish will not survive."
Kwan told the paper that Blood parrots have declined in popularity due to the Flowerhorn and Asian arowana and he wants to make them popular again.
He told the paper: "At one time, the luohan could fetch a price of $100,000 . I hope to achieve the same with my blood parrots, now that I have a head start."
Practical Fishkeeping's Technical Editor Matt Clarke said: "The osmoregulatory systems of freshwater fishes aren't designed to tolerate high levels of salt. We highly advise readers not to attempt to try this with their own fish, as it's quite likely to result in stress, disease or death."