This paper presents a parallel framework for simulating fluids with the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method. For low computational costs per simulation step, efficient parallel neighbourhood queries are proposed and compared. To further minimize the computing time for entire simulation sequences, strategies for maximizing the time step and the respective consequences for parallel implementations are investigated. The presented experiments illustrate that the parallel framework can efficiently compute large numbers of time steps for large scenarios. In the context of neighbourhood queries, the paper presents optimizations for two efficient instances of uniform grids, that is, spatial hashing and index sort. For implementations on parallel architectures with shared memory, the paper discusses techniques with improved cache-hit rate and reduced memory transfer. The performance of the parallel implementations of both optimized data structures is compared. The proposed solutions focus on systems with multiple CPUs. Benefits and challenges of potential GPU implementations are only briefly discussed.