Parrot cichlids need territories in which they can retreat to. Although this fish can be fairly aggressive, it seems that they do have some trouble defending themselves. This is because this is a hybrid species, and it is common for them to be born with an array of different birth defects. Their organs such as their spines and swim bladders can be deformed at birth. The fish that are born with these deformities learn to conform to their handicaps and learn to live with what they have. Parrot cichlids, born with deformed mouths learn to crush food in their throats because their mouths cannot move so they lack the ability to chew. These fish have deformed spines thus their high backs, so they learn to maneuver through obstacles even though they do so with less grace than normal fish. This fish might be handicapped he is not necessarily aware of it.