The parrot fish is a hybrid of American Cichlid (the midas and the redhead cichlid). The fish was first created in Taiwan around 1986. The name of parrot fish sometimes is confused with other parrot cichlids or salt water parrotfish, in fact, it is freshwater fish.
Because it is a hybrid cichlid, it has obvious deformed mouth, which has only a narrow vertical opening. This makes some blood parrots somewhat harder to feed and potentially vulnerable to malnutrition.

Adult fish can grow to a length of 8 inches (20 centimeters) and reach an age of 10 to 15 years.
Various breeds of Blood Parrots have been developed such as the King Kong parrot fish which typically vary in colour from red to yellow. They have fully functioning mouths with less of a nuchal deformity and grow larger. They are usually considered more valuable than Blood Parrots.