Where Did Flowerhorn Fish Come From?

In this post you will learn where the Flowerhorn originated.

Flowerhorn fish have continuously made a buzz among aquarium hobbyists and breeders globally. They are attractive species with vivid colors and unusual body types, like huge head bumps and small-rounded mouths. 

But did you know that Flowerhorns came from the family of Cichlid? It is a family of large freshwater species with over 1,000 estimated types. Flowerhorn fish have various species like Kamfa, Faders, Golden monkeys, and more. 

If you want to know more about Flowerhorn’s origin and history, keep reading.

Here is a summary of what you’ll see in this Flowerhorn history and origin article:

  1. History of the Flowerhorn
  2. The Modern-Day Flowerhorn
  3. Characteristics 
  4. Behavior
  5. Flowerhorn Lifespan
  6. Max Size
  7. Breeding 
  8. FAQs

Related Flowerhorn Posts:

Where did flowerhorn fish come from?

History of the Flowerhorn

Where did flowerhorn fish come from? Also known as the Flowerhorn Cichlid, Flowerhorn species are human-made fish created by cross-breeding different cichlid fish. This type of fish is one of the earliest developed but has undergone constant development.  

The Flowerhorn fish first originated in the 1990s in Southeast Asia, specifically in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand. Breeders hid the earlier species from the natural environment, and some that have been spotted were escapees. 

According to About Fish Tank, the first Flowerhorn breed was made through cross-mixing Blood Parrot Cichlid and Seven-Colored Blue Fiery Mouth. This fish breed is called “Luo Hans,” which later on was brought to South America. 

Since development, Luo Hans was traded and has traversed Central and South America, wherein breeders developed new varieties of Flowerhorn Cichlid. In estimate, breeders developed four new species of cichlids, and new types were also introduced years after trading. 

This trading and breeding continued until 1998; the Gold Tiger Fish got two new colors, developed in the USA. American breeders have crossed this fish with the Parrot of Blood. 

The breeding of Flowerhorn fish species has continued to rise as years passed. Generally, the popularity of artificial fish also started to skyrocket in the early 2000s. Up to this day, Flowerhorn species are still one of the most in-demand aquarium fish in the world. 

The Modern-Day Flowerhorn

One incredible legend about Flowerhorn fish is that they bring fortune, luck, and good health to those who collect them. Adding to this hearsay is also the beautiful aesthetics of this fish. This is why Flowerhorn species have maintained popularity among hobbyists and fish collectors until now. 

With that, check out the list of the most common and famous Flowerhorn in the market today. 

Kamfa Flowerhorn

Kamfa has been popular since it was first available in Malaysia and Taiwan in 2000. It is considered one of the finest Flowerhorn species as it embodies uniqueness and desirable traits. The Kamfa Flowerhorn species have big head bumps, yellow or white eyes, firm tails, and small-rounded mouths. 

Additionally, a red-colored base with a touch of light blue spots across the Kamfa body and fins adds flair to its look. 

Another famous species related to the Kamfa Flowerhorn line is the King Kamfa, which appears to share the same characteristics. However, the latter is proven to have more vivid and stronger traits. The King is also rare and hard to find. 

Golden Base Fader

This next species is another unique one that greatly possesses a Flowerhorn’s major characteristic: coloration. From the name itself, Golden Base Fader is a type of fish whose colors fade literally. 

At first, a Golden Base Fader could have a dull red and orange base color. However, as they mature, their colors turn black as part of the blooming process to have a bright, glowing color. 

Golden Base Fader’s ability to change colors is the main reason they are in demand. 

Zhen Zhu (ZZ) Flowerhorn

The Zhen Zhu Flowerhorn’s selling point is its adorable flower line body, which most fish collectors call “pearl.” ZZ has many strains, as they are one of the most common breeds in the US. It also has an interesting growth as they develop depending on how you treat them. 

ZZ is not only famous in the US but they are also considered a high-caliber strain globally. So, their appearances vary from the country they are bred. Generally, 2003 Red Dragon and Thai Red Dragon are popular in the market. 

Golden Monkey

Golden Monkey is the most in-demand and prized on the list as it’s one of the last Lou Han Flowerhorns. This species has a gold-colored base with splattered colors of gold, silver, and blue around its body. It also has mesmerizing red eyes and black flower straps. 

In addition, hobbyists believe that the Golden Monkey brings luck and prosperity. 


Flowerhorns are famous for the large bump on their heads and the vivid colors they possess. Their overall body structure is also very different from other fish in the pond. Flowerhorns usually have small-rounded mouths, colored eyes, and spotted bodies. 

Most Flowerhorns also undergo colorization. The quality of your care will determine their color brightness and vividness. Meanwhile, these fish species are semi-aggressive omnivores and can lay eggs. 

Things to consider in their habitat are a 70-gallon water tank, 7.0-8.0 pH, and 25-29 degrees Celsius temperature. 


Flowerhorn cichlids are fish that can easily adapt to the changes in their environment. So, if you purchase one, you don’t need to worry much about their adjustment in your fish tank. 

They are also an investigative type of fish. Unlike other aquarium species that roam in a specific tank area, Flowerhorn goes to every corner. Sometimes you might see them hiding, on the surface, or browsing substrate. 

Additionally, you must know that they are aggressive and territorial, so they are recommended to be kept alone. 

The funny thing is that they are pretty smart with tricks and getting acquainted with their owners. But they are picky with tank mates as it’s hard for them to get along with other fish. Letting them coexist with other species could cause stress for both parties. 

However, don’t lose hope. You can still find the best tankmate for your Flowerhorn cichlids. Generally, the best mate you can find for them is a mated pair or the same species as the one you have. Bigger fish that can withstand aggressiveness could also be a perfect tankmate for your Flowerhorn. 

Specifically, here is the list of the possible tankmates for your Flowerhorn cichlids:  

  • Spotted Catfish 
  • Plecos
  • Oscar Fish
  • Silver Arowana
  • Huge Bichir 
  • Other Large Cichlids
  • Bristlenose Plecos 

Flowerhorn Lifespan

When buying any Flowerhorn species, you must consider it a long-term companion that needs long-term care. Flowerhorn cichlids have an average lifespan of 11-12 years, which is long considering that they are human-made. 

Additionally, like any other pet, the quality of care still dictates how long your fish pet would last. So, to give you some tips on managing your Flowerhorn better, check this care guide below: 

1. Overfeeding is a big no. Better to always check up on your fish’s eating habits. 

2. You must also consider the quality of the feeds you’re giving them. 

3. An efficient filter is key to keeping the environment clean. 

4. Make sure to maintain clean water in the tank. It’s advisable to replace 20-30% of it every week. 

5. Sustain great water parameters in your tank; best not to put chemicals. 

6. Flowerhorns are aggressive, so you must monitor their daily activities. 

7. Higher water temperature boosts their immunity to combat diseases. 

As mentioned, Flowerhorns need quality food to keep them in shape. Flowerhorn cichlids are natural omnivores, so they eat meat, plants, flakes, and pellets. You only need to ensure that their food is of high quality. 

Max Size

A Flowerhorn cichlid species can grow between 12 to 16 inches in length, with males being larger than females. They are quite huge fish, so you must ensure that your fish tanks can handle them well. 

If you keep them alone, 75 to 100-gallon of water is already sufficient. But, if you’re planning to have two or more, you need at least to have 125 to 150 gallons of water. It’s also better that your tank size is wide so they could have an amazing space. 

In addition, it would help if you also considered the sturdiness of the substrate you’re going to include in the tank. Because of Flowerhorn’s size, they could easily damage these elements without you knowing. 


Starting to breed your Flowerhorn cichlids can be a fulfilling moment, especially if you’re very enthusiastic about such species. And you might think breeding a Flowerhorn should be an easy deal since they are, in the first place, human-made creatures. However, it’s not always the case. 

One common and major challenge when breeding a new Flowerhorn species is fertility. Not all of them are fertile, so this will stop you from breeding even if you’re not starting. So, to make breeding possible, find a fish capable of such procedures. 

If you have found a match, prepare a separate tank that you will use to breed your baby Flowerhorn. It must contain 55-gallon water, sand bottom, and less than 40ppm nitrate. The temperature should also be one to three degrees higher than usual. 

See these step-by-step procedures to gain detailed and enough knowledge for successful breeding. 

1. Ensure that the pair you choose is at least one and a half to two years old. 

2. Separate the pair among the rest at least two weeks before the process starts. 

3. Conditioning is crucial to the breeding process, so give the pair high-protein foods and increase the water temperature. 

4. The sand bottom should be flat so that the Flowerhorns can lay their eggs safely. 

5. Use a glass divider to separate the pair for at least an hour a day. It is a tip that contributes to successful mating. 

6. Once mating is successful, wait for 4-5 days before the fry can move on its own. 

7. If the fry starts to swim independently, separate the pair to avoid aggression. 

8. Make sure to feed the baby Flowerhorns with shredded shrimp or feed them 4-8 times daily. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do wild Flowerhorns live?

There’s no such thing as wild Flowerhorns. This type of fish species does not naturally exist since breeders develop Flowerhorns by cross-breeding different types of cichlids. They have constantly done this for years.  

There were reports before that some Flowerhorns escaped breeders while being developed. So, they may live in a freshwater environment since cichlids are freshwater fish. 

Why are Flowerhorn heads so big?

The bump in the heads of Flowerhorns came from a feature named “nuchal hump,” which already appears to some wild fish. But the genetic component explaining the reason behind Flowerhorn’s Kok was not well documented. 

In recent years, Flowerhorn Kok’s shapes and sizes have been exaggerated through breeding. 

Is Flowerhorn fish lucky?

According to the Magic Bricks Feng Shui article, Flowerhorns are good to keep in the aquarium. These species are said to bring good luck and love to their owners. The beliefs are rooted in the physical beauty of Flowerhorns, hence attracting positivity.  

Flowerhorns can also bring a happy environment, improving your and your family’s well-being. 

What fish can breed with Flowerhorn?

Most of the time, it’s not the type of fish you need to look at. In breeding Flowerhorns, you have to ensure that they are fertile. It would help if you remembered that this species is human-made, so most of them are infertile. 

You can check the breeding process provided above for more details. 

Flowerhorn History & Origins Summary

Flowerhorns have a great history and origin that can be a great conversation starter when someone asks. Just like its appearance, it’s colorful and sometimes complicated. There are many things to understand and comprehend, like how things formed and started. 

Good thing that there are various articles, including this one, that could help you navigate your way through this topic. In a nutshell, Flowerhorn’s story was a simple breeding project in a small region. But as more and more people were told, it evolved and became one of the most popular aquarium pets globally.  

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.