FLOWERHORN CICHLID INTRODUCTION:
How did the beautiful Flowerhorn come into existence?
Flowerhorn Cichlids are tropical fish with origins traced back to Malaysia. Here’s the timeline:
1993: Malaysians adored fish called Kaloi which means warships. They have protruding heads and long tails. Some Taiwanese consider these unique features to bring bad luck.
1994: Malaysia imported Red Devil Cichlids and Trimac Cichlids from Central America. They also imported Red Parrot Cichlids from Taiwan. These fish were all bred together which created the Flowerhorn.
1995: Parrot Cichlids were further crossbred with Human Face Red God of Fortune, creating a new breed called Five-Colors God of Fortune. The fish instantly became a star of aquariums all over Asia, because of its beautiful colors.
1998: Malaysia imported Seven-Colors Blue Fiery Mouth from Central America. They also brought Jin Gang Blood Parrot from Taiwan and they crossbred these fish together to create the first generation Hua Luo Han Flowerhorn hybrids.
The Flowerhorn has been crossbred and tweaked to achieve the largest nuchal humps, brighter colors, longer tails and the boldest patterns. Flowerhorns can’t be found in the wild. These man-made fish have been a huge hit in the aquarium hobby and have gradually become one of the most popular fish kept.
Providing a home for your fish
Due to its large size, which can reach up to 30 cm (11.81 inch) and sometimes even bigger, Flowerhorns need an aquarium that can accommodate 200 liters (52.83 US gallon, *Most hobbyist use the standard 55 gallon tank), in order for one specimen to live happily. They should have a lot of free space for swimming, substrate for digging and a cave or two for hiding. Although they are a strong fish that can live in different water conditions, it is recommended to provide between 25°C (77°F) and 30°C (86°F) of temperature. Ideally, pH value must also be controlled between pH level of 7 and 8. The water’s acidity affects the colors of the fish, It can also make them sick. To prevent your Flowerhorn from being vulnerable to bacteria that can cause sickness, avoid changes of temperature, monitor ammonia levels and avoid over feeding. The Flowerhorn fish is very messy and can cause nitrate levels to increase in the water, that’s why filtration is extremely important. There are two options, you can choose between internal and external filtration. If your aquarium does not have enough free space, external filtration will work better to leave more space for the fish to swim.
Before you decide to bring home a Flowerhorn, you should have a cycled aquarium for the fish. Maintaining the fishes environment is a must. Observe the water to make sure that you oxygenate it keep it at a temperature so the fish can thrive. In order to make the fish feel at home, tank decorations are important. You can use fine gravel but when you place them in the aquarium, make sure that the rocks are stable. Flowerhorn likes to dig a lot. Decorations must be secured as to not risk hurting the fish. Place live plants such as big Anubis because they are strong and won’t be mistaken by your Flowerhorn as food. Sometimes these fish crave plants so artificial plants are the safer bet.However live plants can help with oxygenation and filtration.
Flowerhorns are naturally aggressive and extremely territorial. That’s why it’s better to have it separated from other fish. Any fish that can fit in its mouth will be eaten, also any fish that is close to its size will be taken as a threat and you’ll have bullying at the very least. If you plan to keep your Flowerhorn with other fishes it is ideal to place them all in a large tank (i’d say 120 gallons and up). Provide each fish with the territory they can occupy to avoid fights. You can use accessories and decorations to divide the tank into those territories. When housing multiple fish overcrowding is also a good trick to minimize aggression but extra filtration is a must.