Flowerhorn is a type of ornamental fish that is used mainly for keeping in the aquariums. People love this fish because of the bright body colors and flower-shaped head, from where it has acquired its name. The scientific name of this fish is Cichlid, as it belongs to Cichlidae family of the fishes. However, this fish is mainly developed by the enthusiastic fish hobbyists for bringing variations in their aquariums. If you too want to artificially breed this Flowerhorn fish at home for your aquarium, you can get all the necessary information in this article.

Breed Flowerhorn Fish

What are the steps to be followed for breeding Flowerhorn fish? Firstly, you need to select the parents of new Flowerhorn fish, as per your choice of traits to be seen in the baby fish. Then these parents should be kept separately, by putting a glass divider between them in a large aquarium. They should be well fed to make them healthier before mating. The temperature of the water should be maintained at an optimum level and pH of the water should be neutral. Air should be supplied to the aquarium with an air stone and many decorations should be introduced to that large-sized aquarium. A plate with plain surface should be kept in the aquarium so that the female fish can lay eggs on it. The water of the aquarium needs to be treated with an anti-fungal solution before lifting up the glass divider. After the two fishes mate, the female fish lay eggs either over the given plate or on any smoother surface. Then the male fish spread its milt over those eggs to fertilize them. After a few days, the eggs will hatch into tiny Flowerhorn fishes that are termed as fries. Then the parents are taken away and these fries are given special care for proper growth.

Breeding Flowerhorns


This is a brief procedure of the entire breeding stages of Flowerhorn fishes. You need to know all the procedures in details so that you can avoid making any mistake while breeding new varieties of Flowerhorn or Cichlid fishes. You should also be aware of the scientific reasons of all the compulsory tasks that you have to do for sound breeding of these fishes for your aquarium.

This is a brief procedure of the entire breeding stages of Flowerhorn fishes. You need to know all the procedures in details so that you can avoid making any mistake while breeding new varieties of Flowerhorn or Cichlid fishes. You should also be aware of the scientific reasons of all the compulsory tasks that you have to do for sound breeding of these fishes for your aquarium.

What are vital things to be known for breeding of Flowerhorn fish?

Identification of male and female fish – The selection of the parents of a new variety of Flowerhorn fish is a very crucial matter. First of all, you need to specify the sex of the adult Flowerhorn fishes for keeping a male and a female fish together. The flower head of the male fish is comparatively larger than a female Flowerhorn fish. The male fish do not have the characteristic Kok or a nuchal hump while the female fish has a large Kok on its head that is an identification mark of Flowerhorn fish. The breeding vent of the female is much wider than that of the male fish; the vent of the female is U-shaped and curved upwards while in male, the vent is pointed or a bit rectangular and directed downwards. Moreover, the female fish lay eggs almost every month, without the help of any male partner.

Flowerhorn Eggs

Selection of physical traits in Flowerhorn parents – The color of the body of a Flowerhorn fish depends on its species that may differ from one to another. Some Flowerhorn fishes have silvery or pearly white dots all over the body while a typical variety of Flowerhorn is bright golden in color. Due to the repeated breeding, many new varieties of this fish are also now available in the market. Some Flowerhorn fishes have shorter mouths, or some have larger Kok or bumps on their heads. Some people have made hybrids of Flowerhorn with more colorful parrot cichlid fishes, to get more vibrant body colors in the new varieties of Flowerhorn.

The condition of the water of aquarium – The water of the aquarium should be absolutely clean and in a favorable condition for breeding healthy Flowerhorn fishes of bright colors. So you should clean all the residual dirt from the aquarium water by using a mechanical filter. The ideal temperature of the water for the best health of Flowerhorn is 28 – 30 degree Celsius, which can be achieved by using a special aquarium heater for warming the water, mainly during winter. Since pH of this water should be neutral, all types of chemicals need to be eliminated from the water to make it safe for the fishes. There are some water conditioners available in all the local fish stores, under the names of StarRight, Stress Coat, and many others, which can eliminate chlorine, ammonia, and all types of heavy metals that usually found in ordinary water.

Flowerhorn In An Aquarium

Healthy foods to be supplied to Flowerhorn fishes – The parent Flowerhorn fishes need to be fed well before leaving them together for mating, as they eat very little during the mating period. Usually, a balanced diet of living shrimps and pellets of readymade fish foods are provided to the adult fishes so that they can produce healthy eggs. After the eggs are hatched, the tiny spawns are removed from their parents and fed with live baby brine shrimps. As these fries of Flowerhorn grow very fast, they need to be fed almost continuously throughout the day. So you may need to add food to them around 10 times a day, to ensure that they grow with proper health. When these fries are about 2-3 weeks old, they should be given frozen Daphnia fish as baby shrimps may not be sufficient for them anymore. The Flowerhorn fries of more than one-month-old are given cichlid pellets and then OKIKO platinum for keeping them healthy.

Flowerhorn baby

Different common varieties of Flowerhorn available for breeding

King Kong Parrot and Red Ingot are the two oldest types of cichlid fishes, from which most of the other hybrid varieties are created. Red Ingot or Blood Parrot is deep red in color and smaller in size than the reddish-orange colored King Kong fishes. Kamfa fish has a square body and white or yellow eyes, with water colored head protrusion and sunken eyes. Zhen Zhu breed is smaller than Kamfa and bears round tail, large-sized mouth, and prominent head flowering. However, the most visible feature of Zhen Zhu is rapid pearling that is easily carried over to the offspring. Golden Monkey or Kamalau is an expensive variety that was originally bred from Luohan fish in Malaysia and noted for its brilliant color combination of red and golden. Golden Base or Faders are usually black during the initial phase after they are hatched from eggs. Later, this black color fades out and the bright red and golden colors develop on their skins. Golden Trimac and Red Texas cichlids also belong to the group of this Golden Base Flowerhorn. Kamfamalau variety is produced by cross-breeding a Kamfa male and a Malau female, resulting in the offspring that bears all prominent traits of its parents. However, rapid pearling is its main feature and its fins get a frosty look due to too much pearling.


King Kong Parrot Cichlid

Related questions

How often can we breed Flowerhorn fish?


The Flowerhorn fish can be bred all through the year as there is no definite time for their mating. So you can breed Flowerhorn of your choice at any time of the year, only you need to provide a proper environment for healthy breeding.

Why use an air stone in the aquarium instead of filters?


After the eggs are laid by the female fish, the filtration may cause damage to these tiny eggs. So it is best to place an air stone for keeping a steady supply of oxygen in the water of the aquarium.

Why is it necessary to keep male and female Flowerhorn separately before mating?

The male Flowerhorn becomes very aggressive towards its female partner and may even cause its death. So it is best to put a glass divider between them in the aquarium, till the aggressiveness of the male gradually decreases with time and it is ready to mate peacefully.

Why should you keep rocks and other decorations in the aquarium before breeding?

The female Flowerhorn needs to hide from its male partner if the male fish again turns aggressive while mating. So these rocks serve as the perfect hiding place for that fish, till it feels safe to come out.

Why should you separate larger and smaller fries of Flowerhorn?

When the newly bred Flowerhorn fries turn one month old, it is seen that some fries become larger in size than the others and eat most of the food added to the aquarium, leaving the smaller ones starving. So it is best to separate these differently sized fries to let the smaller ones achieve a healthy growth.

Why color enhancer is not recommended in Flowerhorn?

The most common natural color of Flowerhorn is red of different shades. But you can get Flowerhorn of other colors as well; mainly Thai Silk variety is available in blue, yellow and silver colors too. But the use of color enhancer to darken the body color of young Flowerhorn fishes can be harmful to their health, as many fishes show allergic reactions to those pigments and become much darker than desired. Moreover, they may be infected with diseases due to too much use of color enhancers.

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