Flowerhorn Cichlid (Cichlasomatinae) Fish Species Profile
Flowerhorn Cichlids are an excellent fish for hobbyists that are looking for a large and unique Cichlid. These Cichlids have a great personality and are very engaged in their surroundings. Those who purchase these fish can't help but fall in love with them. This hybrid is one of the most eye-catching cichlid interbreeding results, and they have become prevalent in the aquarium hobby.
These Cichlids are very easy to take care of as they are pretty hardy. However, they can grow rather large, requiring a relatively large tank and much larger if you plan on keeping them with tankmates. These Cichlids appreciate having rocks in the tank to hide behind them occasionally, but they will spend a lot of their duration out in the open. These fish love to dig around in the substrate and consume any living plant in their aquarium, so it is advisable not to keep plants in the tank.
The Flowerhorn Cichlid is best kept individually as a display fish. They are very aggressive and territorial and aggressive, so it is advisable not to keep them in a community tank unless it is enormous. Any tankmates should be observed closely for signs of stress or injury. These fish have even been known to bite hands, causing marks and lacerations on human skin. It would be better if you keep other fish out of their 'line of sight' as this will help lower aggression, so make sure you decorate your tank in a way that provides natural borders for its territory.
The Flowerhorn Cichlid is a human-made creation, and you cannot find them in the wild. The growth of the Flowerhorn came from the intentional cross-breeding of multiple types of cichlids by Malaysian fishkeepers.
One exciting feature of the Flowerhorn Cichlid is its colouring and patterning shift, which will continue to change and evolve until it becomes a fully mature adult.
These Flowerhorns come in four different types, and they are the Regular Fowerhorns, the Pearl Scale Flowerhorns, the Zhen Zhu and the Golden Flowerhorns.
The Flowerhorn Cichlids body is very thick and oval, and they have a protruding nuchal hump on their head. It is a large cichlid, and its scales can range from a bluish-green metallic to reds and pinks in the body's front half. They display a black horizontal marking although some lack this feature. The anal and dorsal fins are unusually long and pointed while the caudal fin emphasises a rounded, spade-like appearance.
|Other Names||Hua Luo Han Cichlid|
|Aquarium Level||All Levels|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Loners|
|Lifespan||up to 10 years|
|Maximum Size||up to 40.5 cm|
|Temperature||80 - 89 ℉ (26.7 - 31.7 ℃)|
|PH||6.5 - 8.0|
|GH||9 - 20|
Origins of the Flowerhorn Cichlid
Because these fish are a hybrid, Flowerhorn Cichlids are solely domestic and only found in aquariums, not in the wild. The first hybrid was created in Malaysia's mid-1900s by cross-breeding several different fish species, primarily South American cichlids.
The first generation of Flowerhorns is called the Hua Luo Han Cichlids. These hybrids were developed around 1998 by producing the original Blood Parrot to the hybrid Jingang Blood Parrot. Originally, there were only two kinds of Flowerhorns available in the United States, the Regular Flowerhorn variety and a Golden-based family, and both of these had two types themselves.
Flowerhorn Cichlids are carnivores with a huge appetite and can be easily underfed. So it is essential to make sure they are getting enough food.
Flowerhorns can eat all kinds of fresh, live, and good-quality frozen foods. Food variety is just as crucial as quality and quantity, so be sure to feed them a good mixture of high-quality cichlid pellets, bloodworms, krill, earthworms, nightcrawler crickets as well as carotene enhanced supplements.
Breeding the Flowerhorn Cichlid
Breeding the Flowerhorn Cichlid reliably can be quite challenging because they have the ability to attack one another.
Unlike other hybrids, the Flowerhorn Cichlid is fertile. The first step in breeding these fish is to be aware of the ancestry of the fish you are producing. If you are generating specific colours or patterns, you must be careful; otherwise, you can end up with young, displaying none of the colours or patterns you require.
The Flowerhorn Cichlids breeding needs are similar to other South American Cichlids. You should provide the female with plenty of places to hide so that the male cannot see her at all times; otherwise, the male will attack her when he is aggressive. If he starts to get overly aggressive, put in a divider with the bottom elevated enough that they can interact without getting through. In this case, you can put a flat stone next to the partition.
You should remove other possible spawning locations to force the female to deposit her eggs in a place that the male can fertilise them. Making sure you direct the water to flow so that it travels from the male's side to the female's side; this will help the male fertilise the eggs.
Once it has been established whether you can keep them together or separate them, you should condition them with lots of frozen and live foods like any other breeding cichlid.
It would be more beneficial to raise the temperature to the higher end of the range, have a neutral pH, feed them several times a day, and perform frequent water changes to prevent the increasing bioload from ruining the water.
The Flowerhorns will guard and protect their eggs and fry with everything they have. Even if the parents are getting along, the male may decide that the fry are his and will attack the female to keep them away from her. If this does happen, you should remove the female at once.
When the fry hatch they do not require much care and are large enough to accept newly hatched brine shrimp after around a week or two, you can feed them with high quality crushed flakes and pellets.