Flowerhorn

The Flowerhorn belongs to the family of South American c ichlids (Chiclids). It is a result of the crossbreeding of different South American cichlids. The Flowerhorn has first appeared since the 1990s, probably originating in Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand.

What are the characteristics of the Flowerhorn?

Flowerhorn
Inkpassion, Gallery 19 68 148247, CC BY-SA 3.0

Very different aquarium fishes are subsumed under Flowerhorns, which can differ greatly in their appearance (size, colors). The largest fish grow up to 30 cm long. Just this variety and the fact that they are quite undemanding and very robust has made Flowerhorns popular among breeders.

The appearance of Flowerhorns

Flowerhorns are especially popular because of their vivid colours and the characteristic head shape in the form of a hump. However, this hump can become so large that the fish have difficulty coordinating. Therefore it is sometimes called torture breeding. But fascinating are the many shades of colour in which Flowerhorns appear. Further special characteristics are the black marks and the oval, compact fish body. The fish body is also covered with blue and green scales.

Housing conditions

In the following the most important key data for the keeping:

  • An aquarium of the size of at least 500 litres is necessary.
  • The water values must be stable.
  • Water hygiene and good, generous filtration are important.
  • The water should be changed regularly.
  • Stones and roots should be present in the aquarium as a retreat possibility.

Sex differences

In contrast to the females, most male Flowerhorns are not capable of reproduction. It can be difficult to find a male fish that can reproduce. But even then it takes about 8 to 10 months until it reaches sexual maturity. Only then can an attempt be made to mate it with females. Breeding is therefore difficult.

Water values for Flowerhorns

The following are the key data for the desirable water values:

  • The water temperature should be between 25 and 30 degrees.
  • The pH value should be between 7.0 and 8.0.
  • The total hardness of the water should be about 5 to 20 dGH.
  • A minimum size for the aquarium of 500 litres should be aimed for.

Feed and nutrition for Flowerhorns

With regard to feeding, Flowerhorns are unproblematic, so that the usual offers in the aquarium trade can be used. However, it is very advantageous to supplement this food with frozen and live food such as mealworms, small fish, shrimps and mosquito larvae.

The ideal aquarium for Flowerhorns

Flowerhorns feel comfortable in large aquariums where the water is fresh and clean and is changed regularly. As they produce many metabolic products, good filtration is important. Flowerhorns also like moderate temperatures and a slightly alkaline pH-value. It is important for them to find retreats such as roots and sticks in the aquarium to hide more often. Planting is less desirable, however, as the Flowerhorn likes to dig.

However, if you want some green in your aquarium, you can use floating plants and sit-on plants. Sudden changes in water quality are not at all appreciated by Flowerhorns. Keeping them together with other fish is problematic because the Flowerhorn is aggressive. If two Flowerhorns are kept together, the aquarium with accessories should be divided so that they can divide the territory.

Special features

Unfortunately, in Malaysia and Singapore, flowering hornets were simply released into the wild, where they reproduced unhindered and developed into so-called neozoa (introduced species). As they are also very aggressive and compete with native fish, this has already had a negative effect on the balance of the ecosystem in many places. It is also difficult to breed flowerhorns. Critics also argue that it is ethically unacceptable to breed fish that are so deformed that they have problems with coordination.

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