Introduction of flowerhorn
Flowerhorn cichlids are ornamental fish recognized for their bright colors and unique head shape. Their head bumps or Kok is, formally termed a nuchal hump. Like blood parrot cichlids, flowerhorn cichlids are artificial hybrids that exist in the wild only because of their release.
Just keep in mind that because the flowerhorn cichlid is an artificially hybridized fish, it has a very distinctive characteristic that it is unique. The flowerhorn is a kind of fish cultivated artificially, so it can not be duplicated.
The original first-generation flowerhorn cichlid is called the blue dragon tiger. It is a male fish with a slightly swollen head and a comprehensive and smooth body shape. Although the improved flowerhorn The original first-generation flowerhorn cichlid is called the blue dragon tiger. It is a male fish with a slightly swollen head and a comprehensive and smooth body shape. Although the improved flowerhorn cichlid still retains the characteristics of the blue dragon tiger. It has dramatically improved in various aspects, especially the head has become more beautiful. Through further improvement, the flowerhorn cichlid has a broader body shape, a better expression of color and pattern, a big forehead, and is very attractive.
These are the essential flowerhorn care tips for beginners
The Flowerhorn Cichlid Fish is well-known aquarium fish with an interesting behavior, temper, and unique appearance. Flowerhorn cichlids are incredibly aggressive and usually very territorial. They will become very aggressive when introduced to other fishes. Still, you will not regret owning a Flowerhorn cichlid as a pet. The Flowerhorn is Manmade Hybrid Fish, which means they are not found in the wild. The unique, eye-catching appearance results from the interbreeding of different cichlids. And also, Flowerhorn care is straightforward since the fish can adopt a wide range of water perimeter. Regardless, you should set up a tank for flowerhorn fish the right way.
Taking care of Flowerhorn Cichlids, as a rule, aren’t very critical when choosing their pair. Hence, they can make a pair not only with their kind but also with other cichlid types. This peculiarity gave Flowerhorn breeders the possibility of obtaining a fantastic broad hybrid kind of fish. Not all hybrids are successful though hybrids fishes can pair them with any cichlids. Some have good body structure coloration or become sterile (unable to produce children) like the parrotfish. Parrotfish, one of the most well-known cichlid, is precisely the best result of artificial cross-breeding that is sterile. The evolution of Flowerhorn Cichlids came from thorough and continuous cross-breeding of various types of cichlids by Malaysian breeders.
One of the fascinating features of the Flowerhorn Fish is that it changes its coloring marks during its life, and develops until it evolves into a fully mature adult fish. So, suppose you are interested in keeping a Flowerhorn Cichlid with a specific color pattern. In that case, you will have to select the fish from mature fish. Or else, if you decide to purchase a young fish, you can look forward to watching its color and patterns develop. Either way, Flowerhorn fish is always an excellent pet to own.
Flowerhorn Cichlid is easy to manage and are hardy fish. They can adopt a broad range of temperatures and water boundaries. Flowerhorn cichlids are massive fishes; they can typically grow between 12 – 16 inches or 31 – 41 centimeters in size. Thus, they require a large tank of at least 75-Gallons in volume for themselves. Flowerhorn fish are territorial and aggressive and best kept singly as a show fish.
If you want to put them with other tank mates, they should be kept in a tank larger than 175-gallons. And also love to dig into the substrate and consume any plant matter in the aquarium. Because Flowerhorn Cichlids have an affinity for digging, they can move a significant amount of substrate and other hardscape materials like stone decorations due to their size. So, instead of placing decorations and rocks on the substrate, I recommend putting rocks and other decorations directly on the tank bottom.
- Introduction of flowerhorn
- These are the essential flowerhorn care tips for beginners
- Origin of flowerhorn
- Types of flowerhorn
- Flowerhorn care difficulties
- Flowerhorn fish food
- Sex differences
- How does putting duckweed in your aquarium benefits your flowerhorn
Origin of flowerhorn
Flowerhorn is a hybrid fish artificially bred in captivity, which indicates the fish does not live in the wild. The first hybrid was made in Malaysia in the mid-1900s by Malaysian breeders cross-breeding various species of cichlids, mainly South American Cichlids. Breeders were astonished by its “Kok,” i.e., the hump on the head, so they started naming them “Karoli,” i.e., Fighting Ship. Many are still questioning what kind of South American cichlids were bred to create Flowerhorn. However, it is still a well-kept secret only known by the breeders who worked to develop these fish. However, aquarists agree that the Flowerhorn fish is the outcome of successfully breeding these different cichlids: Vieja Synspila, Cichlasoma Festae, Trimaculatum, Cichlasoma Labiatum, Cichlasoma Citrinellum, Cichlasoma.
Types of flowerhorn
When talking about Flowerhorn Cichlids, consider that different cross-breeding types of cichlids create these fish. Therefore, there are more than 1000 varieties of cichlids in existence. And it’s impossible to know how many kinds of Flowerhorn are in reality. Flowerhorns are prized for their Kok or hump on their head, colors, and Flowerhorn pattern.
These are some of the most widespread flowerhorn cichlids:
Kamfa is definitely one of the most sought-after flowerhorn types we know. Although they’re comparatively challenging to raise, I encounter many fish-keepers consistently selecting kamfa over other species like Zhen Zhus. A fish needs to have certain qualities to qualify as a Kamfa. Five are a square body, round mouth, wrapped fins, strong tail, and no underbite or overbite.
The rays in the caudal tail should be solid and upright – preventing the tail from drooping.
Zen Zhu is another flowerhorns breed derived from the Louhan bloodline. They appeared slightly later than Kamfas but rivaled them quite well in popularity.
A flowerhorn must possess some specific qualities to be a Zhen Zhu. For example, it should have a long, tapering body – as opposed to a Kamfa’s square shape.
Zhen Zhu literally translates to ‘pearl flowerhorn.’ So naturally, its strongest variety is suit pearling.
Other flowerhorn types are often bred with Zhen Zhu to produce better pearling (flower line) for the next generation. Yet, weak, drooping tails also get carried over usually.
Golden Monkey Flowerhorns do not look like monkeys; instead, they are super colorful and vibrant with a prominent nuchal hump.
Unlike Kamfa and Zhen Zhu, Golden Monkeys do not come from a hybrid bloodline. Instead, they are the original Louhan-based fish.
They have a muscular body structure with thick chins and hardtails at the end. As juveniles, Golden Monkey looks rather bland with brown and silver linings. But as they mature, they develop stunning red and silver patterns in the upper half of their body.
Golden base (faders)
Faders are called by that name because they lose their color during the juvenile period of life and go completely black. The black fades away as the fading process continues, leaving a more vibrant and beautiful color, usually yellow or red. They are also referred to as a golden base or Golden Trimce.
Thai Silk, also known as Titanium flowerhorn, is a moderately new strain. It has a stunning powder blue body with golden and white undertones.
The eyes are crimson red. And there has been a piece of good news that red eyes are connected with increased fertility.
The fish’s origin is ambiguous, but a recent strain has been developed to produce fish with square body shapes. Still, their eyes can either be white, yellow, or red.
Super red dragon
There are dozens of different flowerhorn breeds. Still, the most iconic, if not the most expensive, is the Super Red Dragon (just the male, females aren’t as stunning).
Super red dragons have a deep red body with a stripe of black markings or flowers down its side and a huge nuchal hump above the head, on which black flowers sometimes may appear.
The eyes are very red and hollow, and the teeth are tiny and sharp. The lower lip protrudes, and there’s also a Churchillian fold beneath the chin.
Both anal and dorsal fins have an extended, braid-like ending. Also, the tail is almost round. And due to their stocky body, super red dragons tend to swim pretty slow compared to smaller fish.
Flowerhorn care difficulties
Flowerhorn care is relatively easy; the fish is recommended for beginners familiar with their behaviors, aquarium setup necessities, and probable costs. Flowerhorns are hardy fish, but they can adopt a broad range of water parameters and accept any food you provide. Though, you should be feeding them a high protein diet. Flowerhorn fish food includes protein-based foods, like pellets, live foods, frozen foods, flake foods, etc.
Although they appear to be a perfect beginner’s fish, it is not recommended for beginners to keep the fish for a few reasons.
Firstly, Flowerhorn Cichlid is a considerable fish reaching 12- 16 inches. Therefore, the fish needs a large and expensive tank with a suitable filtration system.
Secondly, Flowerhorn Cichlids are very aggressive and are territorial. So, they are held individually in an aquarium without tank mates, substrates, decorations, and even live plants.
Finally, Flowerhorn Cichlids are tough to maintain due to their aggressive character. They usually bite their owner’s hand while feeding or maintaining the aquarium. And trust me, these bites are very painful ones.
Flowerhorn fish food
Flowerhorn Cichlids are a carnivore; they have a large appetite for live and dry foods. Therefore, their diet contains high-quality cichlid pellets, krill, earthworms, crickets, frozen bloodworms, nightcrawlers, and carotene enhanced supplements. But there is also a cheaper way to feed your flowerhorn; you can just provide them with a small piece of dried fish packed with nutrients. However, this fish is easy to underfeed, so you need to ensure enough food to feed the fish. In addition, the fish’s coloring can affect the food you feed them, so always provide them with high-quality foods.
Personally, I feed my flowerhorn with the following:
- Dilis a.k.a. anchovies. The scientific name of this fish is Stolephorus commersonii.
- Shrimps. (I usually choose the smallest size which looks like a shrimp paste.)
- I also breed small fishes like Zebra which will be fed to the Flowerhorn.
My flowerhorn loves both dilis and shrimps. I tried to feed the LIVE or at least the fresh dilis or shrimps (very tiny shrimps).
The reliable way to determine a male Flowerhorn and a female Flowerhorn is not yet been confirmed. However, many breeders often use a technique to differentiate male and female Flowerhorn Cichlids by taking the fish out of the water and laying them on the back of their hands. Then, gently press the belly from below the rib cage towards the vent. If it squirts out clear liquid, it’s a male; otherwise, it’s a female. The other method of distinguishing the fish is if the grown female Flowerhorn lays the egg every month even without the male Flowerhorn.
How does putting duckweed in your aquarium benefits your flowerhorn
Dead leaves, plants and fish, and other animals in the tank can produce excessive nitrates and phosphates, which are toxic to their overall health. If you keep duckweed in your aquarium, you can ensure the water will have lower toxin levels. As duckweed is an aquatic plant that feeds on nitrates and phosphates, it can consume these dangerous chemicals effectively. In addition, duckweed’s nutrition profile makes it an excellent food source for fish and aquatic life. This highly digestible plant has nearly 40% protein, 25% fiber, and 5% fat.
Its protein content is comparable to animal meat, making it a great source of protein for your fish. It also includes potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, and zinc.
The other toxins that duckweeds absorb are Ammonia and carbon dioxide. An exciting thing about duckweed is that you can use it to indicate water quality in the tank. Since duckweed grows fast in high-nitrate conditions, it gives you a general sense of the water quality.
Duckweed has short, hair-like roots that extend longer if they don’t receive enough nutrients.
Duckweed controls the spread of algae in your aquarium
Algae growth is a sticky situation for most aquarists.
It’s a mess in the tank reducing the aesthetic quality of the aquarium.
Duckweed is an ideal aquarium plant to subdue the growth of algae.
It blocks the light by making a green, lush mat over the water surface.
Plus, it consumes up all the nutrients necessary for algae to grow.
Duckweed also aerates your aquarium
Duckweed can be a good source of oxygen for your aquarium because it circulates air and produces oxygen.
Having duckweed means your aquarium will be safe against toxins, and your fish can breathe better.
In addition to producing oxygen, it helps enhance water quality by consuming CO2 from the water column.
Duckweed doesn’t need aeration since it still loves water.
You can ensure your aquarium has good oxygen levels even if it’s not moving.
However, dead duckweed uses up the oxygen to decompose, so always look out for dead plants and remove them from the water to guarantee the oxygen levels don’t drop.