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KING KONG PURPLE PARROT

THE KING KONG PURPLE PARROT FISH MAY BE THE MOST FAMOUS FISH THAT NO ONE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT.  THE PARROT IS NOT A MIXED BREED BETWEEN A RED DEVIL AND A  GOLD SEVERUM!  EVEN AFTER BEING TOLD THIS FACT, MANY HOBBYISTS HAVE TRIED THIS MIX ANYWAY AND HAVE NOT GOT ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE TO THE PARROT.  XI ENG OF TAIWAN WAS THE ORIGINATOR OF THIS FISH COMMERCIALLY, AND HAS STATED AGAIN AND AGAIN THAT IT IS A CITRINELLUM "SPORT", NOT A MIX IN ANY WAY.   THAT BEING SAID, THE PARROT IS STILL A "MAN MADE" FISH, SELECTIVELY BREED TO ITS DISTINCT SHAPE AND COLORS. 

THIS BRINGS US TO THE NEXT BIT OF MISINFORMATION: COLORS.  THE PARROT COMES IN DEEP RED (TRADE NAME "PURPLE"), DARK ORANGE (TRADE NAME "BLOOD") , ORANGE, YELLOW, BROWN, ALBINO AND MIXES OF THESE COLORS.  THE "BUBBLEGUM" AND "JELLY BEAN" ARE FAKES, CHEMICALLY STRIPPED OF THEIR SLIME COATS AND TATTOOED WITH COLOR.  THE FAKE ONES FADE IN COLOR QUICKLY AS THE FISH GROWS. 

THE FISH COMES IN 3 MAIN BODY TYPES:  THE PARROT (THE MOST COMMON), THE KING KONG (EXTRA LUMPY AND HUMPY) AND THE PURPLE HEART (MISSING TAIL).   SOMETIMES THE LOWER JAW OF THIS FISH DOES NOT MOVE AT ALL.  THIS IS NOT CONSIDERED A DEFECT PER SE, JUST ANOTHER ANOMALY IN AN ALREADY ODD FISH.  PARROTS GROW TO ABOUT 8-9 INCHES IN LENGTH.

SEXING PARROTS IS AS EASY AS LOOKING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FISH, JUST BEFORE THE ANAL FIN.  MALES HAVE A WHITE "SPIKE" STICKING OUT, FEMALES HAVE A FLAT BOTTOMED TUBE, LIKE A TINY SODA STRAW.  BREEDING IS ANOTHER STORY ALTOGETHER, AS MOST FISH IN THE TRADE HAVE BEEN CHEMICALLY STERILIZED, TO KEEP THEM FROM REPRODUCING.  SOME HAVE EVIDENTLY ESCAPED THIS FATE, AS A FEW SPAWNINGS HAVE INDEED BEEN RECORDED.  FRY ARE BROWN UNTIL ABOUT 2 INCHES IN SIZE, THEN START TO COLOR UP.  OUT OF EACH SPAWN, MAYBE 15 GROW UP WITH THE COLOR INTENSITY OF THE PARENTS, THE REST APPEAR TO BE ORANGE OR MOLTED BROWN/YELLOW.  THIS IS MOST LIKELY THE REASON FOR THE RELATIVE HIGH COST OF THE PARROT; LOW YIELDS OF THE PRIME SPECIMENS (MUCH LIKE GOOD KOI).  THIS IS ALSO THE REASON THAT THE JELLY BEAN VARIETY ARE LESS EXPENSIVE THAT THE PURPLE PARROTS;  PAINTING THE POOR QUALITY ONES IS AN EASY WAY TO PROFIT FROM CULLS. 

GOOD TANKMATES FOR THE PARROTS REALLY DEPEND ON THE PERSONALITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL FISH.  MANY PEOPLE HAVE GOOD LUCK KEEPING THEM WITH LARGE ANGELS AND BARBS.  OTHERS HAVE REPORTED THEY HAVE KEPT THEM WITH OSCARS AND SEVERUM.  EVEN THOUGH THEY COME FROM CITRINELLUM ORIGINS, THEIR DEFORMED BODIES AND SOMETIMES INOPERABLE MOUTHS, REALLY CUT DOWN ON THEIR TERRITORIAL HOLDINGS. 

FINALLY WE HAVE TO ADDRESS THE QUESTION OF THE "ETHICS" OF OWNING A PARROT FISH.  BACK IN THE 1980'S, MANY IN THE HOBBY HOWLED IN PROTEST WHEN THIS FISH WAS INTRODUCED.  "HOW COULD ONE IN GOOD CONSCIENCE OWN A PURPOSELY DEFORMED FISH?" THEY ASKED.  THE SAME WOULD HAVE TO BE ASKED ABOUT ANYONE OWNING A CANINE BULLDOG.  THESE WERE CHOSEN FOR THEIR DEFORMED, SMASHED IN FACES (THEY HARDLY HAVE ANY BITING POWER AT ALL, BELIEVE ME, ONE OF THESE DOGS HAS NEVER BROUGHT DOWN A 1500LB BULL!).  OR THE MODERN COLLIE; THE EMPHASIS ON A LONG SNOUT HAS RESULTED IN A DOG WITH TERRIBLE EYESIGHT.  IN THE DEFENSE OF THE PARROT, MANY HAVE LIVED A HAPPY 10 YEARS OR MORE (LONGER THAN MANY BULLDOGS), SO ILL LEAVE THE QUESTION OF ETHICS TO THE PERSPECTIVE OWNERS.

 

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