Blood parrots are often bright orange in coloration, but there are other colors that they can have naturally, such as red, yellow or gray. Other colors may be produced by dyeing the fish, which can shorten life expectancy. Some fish have been injected with a colored dye by the breeder. Another modification, generally considered inhumane by enthusiasts, involves cutting the tail while small which causes the fish to grow into a heart shape and are usually sold under the name of heart parrots. As the press has brought this practice to light, the majority of fish stockists will no longer sell these modified fish. Adult fish can grow to a length of 8 inches (20 centimeters) and reach an age of 10 to 15 years older. Various breeds of blood parrots have been developed such as the king kong parrot which typically vary in color 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.