What kind of fish is Flowerhorn?
Flowerhorn is an improved breed of cichlid created by crossing flamingo cichlids and trimaclatus.
As its name suggests, it is an ornamental fish with flower-like horn-shaped bumps on its head , and its popularity has risen sharply in recent years. In this article, we will explain the characteristics of such flower horns and points to note about breeding.
Flowerhorn is an ornamental fish artificially created by crossbreeding flamingo cichlids and trimaclatus from Central and South America . Such hybrids are usually weaker than natural species, but this Flowerhorn is different.
Anyway, it is a big feature that it is durable and easy to keep even for beginners. This is one of the reasons why it has become a popular ornamental fish in recent years.
Its most distinctive features are the flower-like bumps on its head and beautiful black spots on the sides of its body.
In addition, the color, shape, and size of the hump on the head will change depending on how it is raised. The body length grows to about 30 cm.
Flowerhorn itself is a breed created by artificial crossbreeding, so it does not exist in nature.
Currently, it is very popular in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, etc., and there are many individuals farmed in Southeast Asia.
The lifespan of a flower horn is said to be about 10 years . However, life expectancy varies greatly depending on the breeding environment (filtration equipment, feeding method, breeding density, etc.).
Distribution volume and market price
Flowerhorn is a volatile fish and is said to be difficult to breed. Therefore, there are almost no specialty shops breeding in the country.
Most of the flower horns distributed in Japan are imported from overseas.
In addition, the selling price varies greatly from individual to individual depending on the growth of the hump, and the price ranges from several hundred yen to several million yen.
Flower horn specialty stores and retailers
Since Flowerhorn is an improved breed, there are large individual differences depending on the size and coloring of the bumps. Therefore, it can be difficult to purchase online.
If possible, it is a good idea to consult with a shop that specializes in cichlids or an ornamental fish shop that specializes in flowerhorns before purchasing live fish.
Flowerhorn types (variety)
Because flower horns have complicated body colors and patterns, there are large individual differences, and strict breed classification is not done. However, there are many representative types that are in circulation, so we will introduce them below.
flower horn thai silk
This Thai silk has a body color with a very pale yellow on top of metallic blue.
There are very few individuals that have bumps, and even if they do, most of them have small bumps, and on the contrary, individuals with large bumps are highly rare and trade at high prices.
flower horn lapis lazuli
It is characterized by red eyes and a pale blue body color, making it a very beautiful flower horn. The adult fish is about 30 cm, but the hump is not so big and the body color does not fade.
flower horn short body
It is a flower horn with a stout body. There are many individuals with bumps, and the body color is characterized by many individuals with a strong reddish color.
Perhaps because the short body puts a strain on the built-in parts, it has a shorter lifespan than a typical flower horn, and is said to last about 5 years.
flower horn big head
This is a type characterized by powerful bumps called flower heads. It has a tall body, a square body shape, and a wide variety of body colors, so that it is said that no two individuals have the same pattern.
Flowerhorn breeding basics
Flowerhorns are very strong and easy to keep even for beginners. Learn the basics of breeding.
Water temperature/water quality
Although a strong ornamental fish, the flower horn is also a tropical fish. It can be said that breeding in an unheated tank in winter is not possible. The optimum temperature is about 25-30°C.
Also, I am not very picky about water quality. There is no problem around pH7, which is weakly acidic to neutral . There are articles on the Internet that say that you can keep them in tap water, but it is difficult to do without bleaching.
Flowerhorn is a medium-sized fish that grows to about 30 cm. Normally, ornamental fish of this size require at least a 90 cm tank , but Flowerhorn is a fish that does not feel stress even in a small tank, so it can be kept in a 60 cm tank for a long time.
However, the Flowerhorn has a higher swimming ability than it looks, so a 90cm tank with plenty of room is recommended. An external filter with high filtering capacity is recommended.
As will be explained later, Flowerhorns will eat anything and will produce a lot of droppings. Therefore, it is common to breed in bare tanks that do not have bottom sand and do not contain driftwood or wills.
However, considering the stress of the fish, it may be a good idea to spread a thin layer of garnet sand.
flower horn bait
Flowerhorns will eat basically anything. Special artificial feeds are available, but frozen bloodworms, sludge worms, live food (medaka, goldfish, crustaceans such as shrimp and crayfish, etc.) are also often eaten.
For individuals with reddish body colors, try to feed them with red pigment if possible. However, the dirt in the water is conspicuous, so it is necessary to change the water frequently.
Flowerhorn aquarium layout
The Flowerhorn has a very strong appetite, so it digs up the bottom sand and eats up the roots of aquatic plants.
In addition, since they are strong swimmers, placing driftwood or rocks in the center of the aquarium can hurt their bodies without you even knowing it. Therefore, it seems that there are many people who breed in bare tanks.
However, if there is no sand on the bottom of the glass tank, it will shine by reflection, so if there are individuals who dislike such reflections, I think that laying a thin layer of maifan stone will make the layout look more natural.
Flowerhorn mixed swimming
The Flowerhorn is an improved breed of cichlid, so it is said to be very temperamental. So, is it okay to put Flowerhorn in a mixed swimming tank?
Mixed swimming with the same or related species
Basically, you should think that Flowerhorn cannot swim together. As a general rule, it is a fish that is difficult to keep alone, and you should never mix it with the same or related species (such as cichlids).
It relentlessly pecks its opponent, and because it has teeth, it can tear the opponent's body and fins to pieces, and eventually one of them may die.
Swimming with other species
As with the same species and related species, mixing with other species is basically impossible. However, it seems that there are cases where it is possible to swim with tropical fish that are larger than flowerhorns, but in such cases flowerhorns are often attacked.
A large tank is also required, so it is better to think that it is difficult in reality.
First of all, the main premise is whether the pairing will go well. As mentioned above, the flowerhorn is a wild aquarium fish that cannot be mixed with.
Therefore, even if you put a male and female in the same tank, there is a high risk that one of them will die due to a fight. For this reason, it is said to be a fish with high hurdles for breeding.
In addition, it is difficult to secure female flower horns because most of the flower horns in circulation are males. Most of the males that come to Japan are males, because males have larger bumps and are more colorful, making them more suitable for viewing.
If you see a female Flowerhorn, I think you should try breeding. Breeding is not impossible if the pairing goes well.
Flowerhorns are generally hardy and strong fish, but they can get sick from stress caused by sudden changes in water temperature or poor water quality.
The main diseases are white spot disease and parasites, but in many cases they will recover on their own with water changes. When you change the water, I think it's even better to take care of the flower horn with a special water conditioner.
Find your favorite Flowerhorn and raise it
Flowerhorn has a rough temperament and is difficult to swim with, but if kept alone, it will be a very strong tropical fish that is easy to keep.
In addition, the abundance of types is also attractive, as the bumps, body color, and patterns appear intricately. By all means, please visit various specialty stores and ornamental fish shops and find the individual you like among the many flower horns.
It is very easy to keep even for beginners, so why not start with an inexpensive individual?