Fish Profile

King Kong Parrot Care: Tank Requirement, Lifespan, Breeding, Tank Mates

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The King Kong Parrot Cichlids is also known as the Super King Kong Parrot and is one of the most gentle fish from the cichlid family. They are manmade fish and are hybrids similar to the Flowerhorn cichlids. They can grow to 12 inches in length and 8 inches in width and naturally come in different colors like red, orange, yellow, and pink. The King Kong Parrot Cichlids are some of the best fish to keep in a large Cichlid only Aquarium. They have a lot of personalities and become the center of attention in your aquarium.

Origin of The King Kong Parrot

The King Kong Parrot Cihcldis are not found in the wild they are manmade hybrid fish. The Parrot Cichlids were first produced in Taiwan around 1986 by breeding different types of South American Cichlids. Fish like Midas Cichlids, RedHead Cichlids, and Red Devil Cichlids were repeatedly cross-bred to obtain a new species of Cichlid fish. This fish had a large body, characters of all three cichlids, and was later named as the King Kong Parrot.  It was introduced to fish keeping in around the 2000s where it became so popular that many new breeding facilities had to open to fulfill the demands of the customer.

Appearance of The Fish

King Kong Parrots is one of the most beautiful cichlids in my opinion. These fish are different than the normal Blood Parrot cichlids. They closely resemble Midas Cichlids and Redhead CIhclids. The color of this fish can range from Dark red to light pink. They have a long and broad body and unlike the regular Parrot Cichlids, their mouths are fully functional and close completely. The Male King Kong Parrots Parrot is most likely to grow Nuchal Hump or Kok. These are some of the largest cichlids and can easily grow up to 12 inches.

A bright red King Kong Parrot with a Nuchal Hump can easily be confused with a Red Mammon. Most sellers tend to take advantage of this fact and sell the King Kong Parrot as Red Mammon to make some quick money.


The King Kong Parrots are bred commercially in large numbers in fish hatcheries from Thailand, Bangkok, and other countries. So you can easily get yourself a pair of King Kong Parrot from your nearest local fish store. But if you are searching for a high-grade King Kong parrot you will be better off contacting local fish breeders who breed high-quality King Kong Parrots.


The King Kong Parrots are fairly priced. They may be a bit expensive than the normal Parrot cichlids. But the size of the King Kong Parrot makes up for its price. A juvenile King Kong parrot will cost you around 15$ – 25$ and an adult full-sized pair of King Kong Parrot can cost you anywhere around 50$ – 100$.  The price of the fish varies for different factors. A bright-colored King Kong Parrot costs more than a dull-colored fish and the body shape also determines the price for your fish. I’ve even seen an adult King Kong parrot Cichlids go for up to 500$ per pair.


The lifespan of the King Kong Parrot is very long compared to other fish. Your King Kong Parrot may outlive almost all of your other pet fish. If you can take proper care of your fish, give it enough room to swim in, and provide a good diet your King Kong Parrot can live up to 12 years. Unlike other fish, these fish grow to a massive size and also grow very slowly. And if you take proper care of your fish it is most likely that your King Kong Parrot Cichlids will live for more than a decade in your aquarium.

Sexual Difference

Differentiating the male king Kong parrot from the female king Kong parrot can be a hard job. Some of the differentiating signs of a male King Kong Parrot is their body size, a male fish will have a larger and broader body compared to the female counterpart. Male king Kong parrots also have a nuchal hump which is absent in the female King Kong Parrot. The colors in the males are a lot darker and vibrant. However, these signs are not always reliable.

If you want to be 100% sure about the sex of your fish you must vent them. If you carefully absorb the anal pore of your king Kong parrot you can Sex them with almost 100% accuracy.

A male King Kong Parrot cichlids anal pore will be oval and pointy and resembles the letter V. And the female fish will have a more rounded or O shaped anal pore. The female fish are also usually smaller in size.

Social Behavior and Tank Mates

King Kong Parrot is very shy and timid when it is small and becomes semi-aggressive when it fully grows out. They are not very territorial and will do well with cichlids of similar sizes. However, each fish has a different personality so some of them can be aggressive towards the other fish but most of them are calm and until you provide them with a spacious aquarium they won’t start up fights in your aquarium.

South American Cichlids do very well with King Kong Parrots. You should make sure that all the fish that you decide to keep with The King Kong Parrot Cichlids should be of similar sizes.  Fish like Oscar Cichlids, Vieja Cichlids, Red Mammon’s, Red Devil Cichlids, Severums, etc. are some of the best tank mates for the King Kong Parrot. And you can always keep a community tank full of King Kong Parrots by themselves.

Fishkeeping Difficulty

The King Kong Parrot cichlids are very easy to keep. These fish are very hardy and strong so it is a perfect fish even for a beginner fish keeper. As long as you keep feeding these fish with good fish food and do regular water maintenance in your aquarium tank you should be good. The only thing that you should be concerned about is the size of the fish. The King Kong Parrots grows to a large size so you will need a big sized aquarium to accommodate the fish properly.

Tank Size

The King Kong Parrot cichlids are one of the largest fish from the Cichlidae family. They can grow up to 12 to 15inches in length so you will need a large tank for them to swim properly. These fish should not be stocked in a small tank. You will need to set up at least a 100-gallon aquarium for a full-grown pair of King Kong parrot. The large space in the aquarium will ensure that the fish has plenty of space to swim in and if anyone of the fish gets territorial the other fish can hide in a different spot in your aquarium.

If you are thinking about getting a pair of King Kong Parrot I would suggest you get at least a 100-gallon aquarium and if you want to add newer fish you should increase the aquarium size by 20 gallons per pair of new fish. And a bigger sized aquarium is always better for you fish.


There is no particular requirement of aquarium lights for the King Kong Parrot. However, aquarium lights are usually used for the aesthetics purposes of your aquarium tank. Any type of store-bought aquarium light should do the job. But if you want to step it up, I would suggest you use an Aquarium tanning light. The Aquarium tanning light will bring out the colors of your fish.

Substrate and Decoration

Like the Aquarium Lightings, there are no specific requirements of substrate and decorations for the aquarium housing the King Kong Parrot cichlids. People had success with keeping King Kong Parrots in a bare bottom aquarium. It all depends on your preference. I would suggest you use a darker shade of sand as a substrate in your aquarium. The darker shade of your substrate will intensify the color of your fish and make them darker. Parrotfish are very shy and timid. I would recommend you to put some sort of clay pots in your aquarium. The fish can hide in it when they feel shy, threatened, or stressed. A pot is more of a functional addition than a decoration piece.

You should never add any type of live plant in your aquarium. Your fish will tear up and destroy any type of live plants in their aquarium.

King Kong Parrot Diet

The King Kong Parrot Cichlids are large Omnivorous fish. You can feed them with almost any type of commercial fish food. They will accept flake foods, pellets, frozen worms, bloodworms, etc.  These fish do prefer live food sources and foods with high protein content. You should use a good staple food as a primary feed and give live foods like bloodworms and frozen worms now and then.  You should use fish pellets having high protein content along with Spirulina and carotene to enhance the bright colors of your fish.

Some of the best foods for The King Kong Parrot Cichlids are Hikari Carnivore, OF BP-G1, Okiko Super Red, XO Ever red, Grand Sumo Red, etc. You should mix some live fish food like Brineshrimps, bloodworms, etc with these pellet food for the quick growth for your fish.

You should only feed enough food for your Parrot that they can consume within three minutes and you should remove any uneaten food left in your aquarium. The uneaten food will degrade the water quality in your aquarium.

Maintaining Water Quality

You can easily maintain the water quality in your aquarium if you follow water changes and aquarium maintenances routinely. Big fish like these produce a lot of waste so the aquarium filter should also be of good quality and should provide adequate filtration in your aquarium. You should perform a 30% water change every week or a 15% water change every 4 days. You also need to keep the aquarium filter once every 15 days. If you’re able to perform these routinely the water quality in your aquarium will be stable and be perfect for your fish. You can clean the algae in your glass by using a magnetic cleaner.

Water Temperature

The temperature of water in your aquarium should be between 76° to 84°. The King Kong Parrot Cichlids prefer water on the warmer side. You should set the water temperature in your aquarium to about 84°F for the proper growth of your fish. A constant stable temperature will ensure a healthy metabolism and a good immune system in your fish. You should always run an aquarium heater in your tank regardless of what season it is. Sudden changes in water temperature can affect the fish and stress them out.

Water pH

The King Kong Parrot should be kept in slightly basic water conditions, the pH of the water in your aquarium should be around 7.0 to 8.5. Ideally, the pH of the water should be around 7.5. The King Kong Parrots prefer softer water so if the water in your tank is different from what the fish requires you should use different types of water conditioners to make the water suitable for your fish.

Water Filtration

The King Kong Parrots are some of the largest Cichlids so they produce a lot of biowaste and debris compared to smaller sized fish. You will need a heavy-duty aquarium filter to keep the water clean in your aquarium housing the King Kong Parrots. Small filters like Sponge filters and corner filters are not capable of cleaning the water in a large tank so you should not use them for your aquarium. I would suggest you use a Canister filter, Powerhead filters, or a sump filter. Canister filters will work great for your aquarium. It provides good filtration and also has a good flow rate which is very essential for a healthy King Kong Parrot.

Fish Disease

King Kong Parrot Cichlids are susceptible to many diseases like any other fish. Some of the commonly occupying diseases are

Black Spot Disease

Black Spot Disease or diplopstomiasis is a fish disease most commonly seen in Parrot Cichlids. It infects the fish due to poor water conditions which makes the fish prone to disease. Several black spots appear in different parts of the body of the King Kong Parrot. These worms will stress out your parrot cichlid and might kill the fish if it’s not treated on time.

Black Spot Disease is caused by a larva of a flatworm. You can easily treat Black Spot disease by maintaining clean water in your aquarium. YOu can treat your fish by salt bath method if the condition of the fish is not getting better.

White Spot Disease

White Spot Disease or ick is also a common disease in Parrot Fish. This disease is caused due to poor water conditions and decreased immunity of your fish.  Most of the Juvenile King Kong Parrot suffers from white spot disease and healthy adult King Kong Parrots are very less susceptible to this disease. Tiny white flake-like spots will occur in the body of your King Kong Parrot. Eventually, the spots will get bigger in diameter and will multiply in number completely covering the fish if you don’t treat it immediately.

It is a very easy disease to treat, but if you ignore it for too long it will spread to other fish and may kill all of the fish in your aquarium. You can increase the temperature of the aquarium which helps to get rid of the ick disease. If the condition of your fish is getting bad. You can use medicines like Malachite Green, Methylene Blue, and Mepacrine Hydrochloride.

Swim Bladder Disease

Swim Bladder Disease is a common disease in big fish. If your fish is swimming oddly or having a bad time staying afloat, your fish is probably suffering from the swim bladder disease. King Kong Parrots are very prone to this disease. Usually, a fully grown Parrot Cichlid is susceptible to this disease. It occurs when your fish collides with something and injures its swim bladder.

It is not the easiest disease to treat in a fish. And it might kill your fish immediately if proper actions are not taken to your fish. If you King Kong Parrot are suffering from Swim Bladder Disease you must immediately shit the fish to a hospital tank. The hospital tank should have plenty of airflows and a low level of water so your fish can stay in an upright position. You can feed your fish with boiled peas with their shells removed which will help the fish up to some extent. There are no medicines for Swim Bladder Disease. So if the trauma is too big your fish might end up dying.


It is not exactly a disease. However, it is a genetic disorder that makes almost all the Male Parrotfish infertile. This won’t be an issue unless you want to breed your fish. But now there are different ways of making the Male Parrot cichlids fertile. People have been injecting different types of hormones in the male parrots to make them fertile. Hormones like GnRH, LHRH, and Gonadotropins are frequently used in hormone-induced fish breeding.

If the condition of water in your aquarium is good, you can prevent these diseases in your fish. But if your fish does get infected they are fairly easy to treat and the medicines are also commercially available in your local fish stores.

Breeding King Kong Parrot

You cannot breed King Kong Parrot Cichlid in your aquarium. Over 99% of male Parrot Cichlids are sterile due to hybridization. The remaining 1% of the fertile male Parrot cichlids are kept by breeders and distributors and are later sold for an expensive price. It is very less likely for you to get a fertile male King Kong Parrot. But almost all of the female Parrot Cichlids are fertile. They begin laying eggs from 2 years of age and can lay an egg for as long as 10 years. Since all the male Parrot cichlids are sterile female Parrot cichlids can breed with almost any South American Cichlids.

If you tend to breed Parrot Cichlids in your aquarium you’ll either have to pay a lot of money to buy a fertile male Parrot Cichlid or crossbreed the female fish with other cichlids. Male fish that will easily breed with Parrot cichlids are Flowerhorn Cichlids, Convict Cichlids, Green Texas Red Devil Cichlids, and Red Head Cichlids.

If you get your hands on a fertile pair of King Kong Parrots, they are pretty easy to breed. The female fish will lay their eggs on a smooth surface and the male fish will fertilize them. It takes about 2-3 days for the fertilized eggs to hatch out and the unfertilized eggs are eaten up by the parents.

I would suggest you do a daily 20% water change in your aquarium once the eggs are laid in your aquarium. This will make sure that none of the eggs of the fish will rot.

Caring for the Fries

The fries of the King Kong Parrot are completely different in appearance than what the parent fish looks like. The fries are usually white, pale black or brown until they reach a certain size. The fry’s looks are nowhere close to what it will look like later when it grows out.  They have normal elongated body shapes and small markings may be present in their body. Once the fry reaches about 2 inches in length the shape of the body and the color of the fish start to change. The color of the King Kong Parrot fry starts with light pink and gradually develops into a dark shade of red.

You should feed your fry’s with high-quality pellets. After the fry hatches out of the egg you can start by feeding them with baby brine shrimps twice a day and as they grow up you can feed them regular fish foods. Some of the best foods for the fry are Hikari Gold Floating Pellet, tetra Cichlid Balanced Diet, Northfin Cichlid formula pellet, etc.

The water conditions should be excellent for the proper and quick growth of your fry. I would suggest you do a 20% water change every other day. It will keep the water clean and promote the quick growth of your fry.


The King Kong Parrot cichlids are big bright fish with a lot of personalities. If you want a large cute looking fish for your aquarium this is the fish to go for. The King Kong Parrots are very intelligent and it recognizes its owner. Your fish will interact with you every time you go to feed your fish.

If you like keeping Cichlids and want a big sized bright colored fish you should try keeping The King Kong Parrot, it differs from the regular parrot because of its large size and is a perfect wet pet for your aquarium.


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