The Flowerhorn chichlid is a result of hybridisation between different SouthAmerican chichlids.Flowerhorn cichlid is a big fish with compact body, it can reach 30cm in length and sometimes can grow even bigger. Intensive breeding has created a very peculiar fish that is becoming really famous and relatively common in the last few years; moreover breeders keep on trying to improve the fish qualities focusing on bigger hump on the head, new and better colours, wider body and fins, more peculiar black marks on the body, without the employ of chemical and artificial factors. For the importance of appearance, a good Flowerhorn must follow a standard that defines various aspects of its body:
- General body: the fish body must be oval and thick, with full belly and stomach; some new variants have anyway a more rounded shape.
- Hump: the hump on the forehead should be big and well proportioned to the fish size.
- Black marks: it is important that the marks are thick and well defined, this is one of the principal characteristic of Flowerhorn, anyway some new varieties do not give too much importance to them.
- Overall Colouration: the most common Flowerhorn have a predominant red colouration, anyway every colour should be bright and well defined.
- Scales: the entire body should be covered by light blue or green scales.
- Fins: both tails and fins should be widely spread the most of time.
Breeding flowerhorn is pretty simple, particularly at the time when they attain the length of 11 cm. to 13 cm. The anal hole of the flowerhorn fish has a V shape in males and a U shape in females. Their breeding activities are comparable to other tropical fishes. The female flowerhorn position her eggs on a plane surface on the aquarium or fish, while the male flowerhorn secure the fries and the female from other fishes.
When the fries are hatched, breeding flowerhorn pair hide the fries to a more secured place. You can feed them with hatched brine shrimps. Breeding flowerhorn is not easy if the female flowerhorn feel stressed or anxious. It ends up ingesting her eggs. But if your aquarium or fish tanks are in good shape and their habitat are comfortable, breeding flowerhorn fish is very easy to accomplish.
There are few things to consider in breeding flowerhorn fish and if you have the full knowledge you can have the breed you want. It is also good to know the flowerhorn breeding procedures.
A female Flowerhorn is capable of producing approximately 1000 to 2500 eggs at a time. The eggs will take three to four days to hatch. When this occurs, you must remove the flowerhorn parents. Once the parents are removed, be sure to practice proper fry management.
Flowerhorn like similar sized fish, astronotus ocellatus for example, need a live food integration to be healthy and in shape. Their diet can consist of live food, frozen food, and standard dry fish food. The live food should be of good dimension, or the fish could not notice it, earth worms and big meal worms or wax worm are accepted; moreover you can give small fish, poecilia reticulata could be a good choice since the high number of fry they spare monthly. Remember to feed every live food you choose, and in case of live fish be sure they are healthy.
Frozen food is another good solution, especially when you do not have the live one. Young Flowerhorn usually eat chironomus, brine shrimps and other frozen fish foods, while older ones could not notice them; at their place you can offer frozen fish for human use, you have a great choice, anyway if possible get freshwater fish and avoid the sea ones.
Both live and frozen food can pollute the water, so be sure that Flowerhorn eats all the given food in 5 minutes maximum, in case of rests remove them fast; for this reason it is better to have an aquarium set up that allow you to clean fast without needing to move objects.
Dry standard fish food is a good complementary option, especially if it is of good quality. You can find special foodproduced for cichlids that usually consist of big pellets that Flowerhornlike.
A Flowerhorn cichlid should be fed two times a day, everyday, anyway be careful with the quantities and avoid to overfeed it, reducing the food amount specially if it is really rich of nutrients.