When you think of ornamental fishes no doubt Flowerhorn will be one of the first choice. In the mid 1990’s the Flowerhorn cichlid was made in Malaysia. It was a hybrid fish and gradually it became popular. It got it name ‘flower’ from the dark spots that runs along its body along the lateral lines. Along with that the term ‘horn’ is added to show the nuchal hump that the adults of the fish has on their head. Flowerhorns are also known as “warships.”

The first Flowerhorns were developed with the cross breeding of the south and Central American cichlids and the trimaculatus. Hence, many of the specimens of the Flowerhorn have similarity to a trimac. Gradually as more and more types of cichilids were developed they were called Flowerhorns whether they had the dark spots on their body or not! Presently one will find different types of Flowerhorns and each of them have their own specialty.

Keeping a Flowerhorn at home

Undoubtedly the Flowerhorns are the most attractive fishes to be kept at home and thus they are costly many people tend to have the hobby of having Flowerhorns at their home. You need to be very careful when you are planning to have a Flowerhorn in your home, but before that it is necessary that you know about few things for giving the Flowerhorn the best environment.

  • The hump is the beauty of the Flowerhorn and thus make sure that you get one with a big nuchal hump.
  • You need to feed your Flowerhorn at least thrice daily. If you leave the Flowerhorn for few days and go somewhere else you will find that the hump had reduced when you return! Yes, it is accumulation of fat and when a Flowerhorn does not get its food from outside it uses the one in the hump.
  • Make sure that the tank where the Flowerhorn fish is kept is big enough. It should be at least 50 gallons.
  • The pH balance of the Flowerhorn is also very important.
Flowerhorn Big Hump

You can learn about all this later but first you need to know about the different types of Flowerhorns that are produced with time. Since they are genetically created there are different breeds now and each of them have their own specific characteristics. Although different breeds have different strains but the characteristics of different strains of Flowerhorns in the similar breed is almost same. One common characteristics of the Flowerhorn is of course its nuchal hump that makes it different from any other fish in the aquarium.

The list below enlist some of the most attractive types of Flowerhorn Cichlids that are available nowadays and are most popular. Before that lets learn about the origin of the Flowerhorns.

Origin

Breeders started breeding Flowerhorns during 1993 as the Malaysians always admired fishes with the nuchal hump. They used to call these fish warships. The forehead of the fish was slightly protruding and they had a long tail. It was believed in Taiwanese society that these fish brings in good luck charm. Later, in 1994, trimac cichlids and red devil cichlids were imported from Central America. Then in Malaysia, these were hybrid with the blood parrot cichlid that was imported from Taiwan. After they were bred together the birth of Flowerhorn occurred.

Trimac Cichlids

Breeders wanted to do more with the fish and thus in 1995 they further crossbred the blood parrots with the Human Face Red God of fortune. It produced a new breed that was known as the ‘Five colors God of Fortune.’ It has very attractive colors and become popular very fast. Selective breeding continued and different attempts were made. Some were noteworthy others were not. Later in 1998 the seven colors Blue Fiery Mouth were imported from Central America. Again there was another crossbred in between the fish from Taiwan namely, Jin Gang Blood parrot. The first generation of the Flowerhorn hybrids was born and they were officially known as the ‘luohans.’ Gradually different Flowerhorns were developed and the list below mentions a few of them that are most popular and attractive.

Blood Parrots

Kamfa

The Kamfa Flowerhorn is a bred that has originated from the luohans. They contained the main characteristics that of the Hua Lo Han. The fish has a fantail and the eyes were either yellow or white. The head bump of the fish is watercolored. The lips of the fish are smaller compared to another type namely Zhen Zhu. It has sunken eyes. The nuchal hump on a Kamfa is quite big compared to the Zhen Zhu and it has a large and square body type.

Kamfa Flowerhorn

Zhen zhu

Zhen Zhu is also derived from Luohans but they came slightly after the Kamfa. The ZhenZhu is also known as the pearl scale Flowerhorn and they have a larger mouth compared to the Kamfa with a rounder tail. The eyes are red and protruding and they have a prominent head bump. The breed is popular because of the pearling or the flower line. Many breeders’ tries to cross breed these cichlids because of this characteristic so that they can get better and attractive breeds of Flowerhorn. However, the risk of carrying of weak tails remains.

Zhen zhu Flowerhorn

Golden base

The Golden base variety of Flowerhorns mainly comprises of the faders and the Golden Trimac. They are termed as fader due to the characteristics they show. During their juvenile period their color starts fading and at one time they become black. However, gradually the black also fades away and then they get a vibrant color that is either yellow or red. Due to this vibrant color they are identified with the Golden Trimac.

The Red Texas Cichlids are produced by breeding the Mammon with the green Texas cichlids and they are related to the Golden base family. In order to achieve the red color, they are crossbred with the parents mainly the King Kong Parrot. According to any Flowerhorn hobbyist, the color of the red Texas cichlids is most important feature.

Red Texas Flowerhorn

Thus, depending upon the grade of the color red of any Red Texas Cichlids their value decreases or increases. The lowest grades are the ones who are unfaded. The ones with yellow color are considered to be the second grade Texas. Then comes Orange and most of the Texas are of this category. However there are ones who have a coral pinkish color and although they are less sought after than the red one, but are in demand. The most desirous of all these was, of course, the Red Texas.

Apart from the color they also have pearling that distinguishes then from other breeds. It also makes them look attractive.

Golden Base Flowerhorn

King Kamfa

King Kamfa also belongs to the Kamfa family but is a bit different. They have yellow or white sunken eyes and there is a rare possibility that the King kamfa have red eyes. Along the lateral line, they have double flower row of black color. This is one of the most distinctive features of this fish. This fish too originated from Thailand but it is also found in Vietnam. Its body is similar to any other kamfa with a difference in the fantail. It is considered to be one of the most sought after species of Flowerhorn and is very costly. King kamfa can be of total black color or total white but the pearling makes them look brighter and different from the Kamfa.

King Kamfa Flowerhorn

Kamfa malau

After the male Kamfa was crossbred with the Malau female the Kamfa malau Flowerhorn was found. The face and the body of the Flowerhorn resembles a typical Kamfa and the fins and the sunken eyes resemble that too. Again the Kamfamalau has pearling that is one of the main features. The fins have frosted pearl look and this look is not easily found in any other type of Flowerhorn. Unlike any other Flowerhorn, the pearling of the Kamfamalau crosses till the head bump and crosses it easily.

Kamfa Malau Flowerhorn

Thai Silk

Also known as Titanium the Thai silk is a comparatively new breed of Flowerhorn. It has a metallic blue, white or gold color. The origin of this fish is not clear. Another new strain of the Thai Silk is developed that has the Kamfa body type and it has blue, red or white eyes. It is believed to be the crossbred between the Texas Cichlid, white tigers and the Vieja.

Thai Silk Flowerhorn

Golden Monkey

Actual golden Monkey are very rare to found and very few of them are available readily. Golden Monkey is also known as Golden Fortune as was bred by Lam Seah and Lam Soon in Bercham. After that when the third generation evolved all of them were sold to the best Aquariums during the year 2001.

This Flowerhorn is an original Luohan and not a missed type like the Kamfa or the Zhen Zhu. This is one of the most priced Flowerhorn.

Golden Monkey Flowerhorn

King Kong Parrots and Red Ingots

The King Kong Parrots were the early stage of hybrid Flowerhorns that were developed by breeding. They were then developed into Blood Parrot that are considered to be the first hybrid cichlids. The key features of the blood parrot are its big head and a comparatively smaller body. It has protruding eyes along with a V- shaped mouth. A red devil cichlid has similarity with the shape of the King Kong and after reaching the size of 18 cm its mouth shape transforms into a triangle. Then it has protruding jaws that are distinct.

As the King Kong parrot grows larger it develops a reddish orange color along with a dorsal fin that is shorter compared to the anal fin. The weight of this strain of Flowerhorn is mostly below half a kilogram after maturing. By using pigment injections the color of the King Kong parrots and the Blood parrot are changed to blue or purple. However, for the fish, this is not a healthy practice. Moreover, the color of the fish fades away with time. When the Parrot cichlids are fed with natural colorants they will develop a natural red color that is quite vibrant.

King Kong Parrot Flowerhorn

The Red Ingots are another type of Flowerhorn that has a round body shape and their anal fin and dorsal fin is larger compared to the tail fin. Its mouth opens and closes naturally. The nuchal hump of the red ingots is quite large and it weighs something around 1 kilogram when matured. They have clear eyes. Whether its Red Mammon or Red Ingots, both the strain of Flowerhorn is hybrid cichlids. They are considered great for Feng shui. The Red mammon has a bog head and nuchal hump and thus it is considered that it wears a hat by the God of Fortune. It is considered that bigger is the nuchal hump of the fish in your aquarium better will be your luck.

At their early stage, both the Red mammon and the Red Ingot grows faster. They grow about 20 cm during their early years and then later after two years they grow to about 26-28 cm in size and that is quite fast. The final size of the fish grows to something around 30 cm or more. The aquarium where the fish is kept should have a water temperature of at least 28°C along with the pH is 6.5-7.5 which means it requires slightly acidic water.

Red Ingots Flowerhorn

Few other types of Flowerhorn

Apart from the ones mentioned here three are many other types of Flowerhorn. Not that all of them are very popular but few with their majestic looks and features have been attracting the Flowerhorn lovers for years. Here are few of them

– Super Red Dragon

The name of the fish is due to its sharp bright red color. It is actually a natural breed native to Thailand but it is also known to be found elsewhere in different countries including Indonesia. The Super Red dragon has a nuchal hump that is protruding and give it an exemplary look which is actually great.

Super Red Dragon

– Rainbow King Fish

As the name suggests this Flowerhorn has won much international Louhan competition and is the king among them all. It has its origin in Singapore and in popularity, it is rasing every day. It is now more popular than the most popular breed of Flowerhorn the Kamfa. It has derived its name rainbow due to the color of its body that has different colors that of a rainbow. It looks majestic.

Rainbow King Flowerhorn

– Super Red Synspilum

Thailand is considered to be one of the best louhan manufacturers, thanks to the Super Red Synspilum. Earlier it is also termed as the Kamfa of Thailand however gradually it has developed its own identity. It looks exotic while it swims due to color it has. The red color of this Flowerhorn is mixed with orange and that makes it look great.

– Strom

Although this Flowerhorn strain is becoming popular but nothing is known much about its ins and outs. This fish is a crossbreeding product of the fish lovers of Thailand. It has a pearly presence in its head that is very much similar to the Texas cichlids. The horizontal marking makes it look elegant and while it swims with its own beauty.

To conclude the note

Thus, mentioned above are the different types of Flowerhorn from the wide variety of Flowerhorns available. It is up to you that which type of Flowerhorn you will like to have in your home. Having a Flowerhorn is not enough. If you choose any Flowerhorn based on its looks then you may not be able to take care of it for long. Thus, it is very much important that you learn about the environment that is required by the particular Flowerhorn for its development.

Being very aggressive and territorial fish you cannot have too many Flowerhorn together. Actually it is always suggested that you keep a single fish in a tank. This will let them grow happily. The bigger will be the size of the tank of the Flowerhorn better will be its growth. Most people assemble the nuchal hump or the kok of the Flowerhorn with Feng shui. It is believed that if the nuchal hump grows then the lock of the owner of the Flowerhorn also grows. For that it is necessary to maintain an optimum temperature of water in the aquarium that must be something between 27- 29°C. Apart from that it is also necessary that the pH level of water is also checked and it must be kept within 6.5 to 7.0 as most of the Flowerhorn prefers to grow in a slightly acidic water.

Along with maintaining the aquarium it is also necessary that the Flowerhorn are fed well. They prefer live foods like drain guppy, bloodworm, and shrimps. Many prefer to feed those pellets but it should contain high protein. The Flowerhorn loves to eat and thus they must be fed at least thrice daily.

Frequently asked questions

How to identify a Flowerhorn with good features

There are different kinds of Flowerhorns and you must be aware of that by now. Before going to buy a Flowerhorn you must have your budget. These Fish are not a cheaper options. They are quite costly and the vibrant beauty that they bring to your aquarium justifies the price. Once you know your budget you can start choosing among the types of Flowerhorn that can be bought by you.

After that comes the question of how can you features of the Flowerhorn. If you are buying fries of the Flowerhorn it is actually very difficult to understand the features apart from believing the words of the seller. Still you can ask if it is any cross breed. In case of cross breed make sure that it is not cross breed of same parents as then the result is not good. Apart from that different types of Flowerhorn has different features and you can choose one among them.

Are there any sexual difference in Flowerhorn and does it affects its looks

Of course, there are two different types of Flowerhorns the male and the female but much is not known about their sexual experience. Regarding the look of the Flowerhorn the male has a better nuchal hump or ‘kok’ compared to the females and thus they look more vibrant. If you want to know whether the Flowerhorn you are buying is male or female it is best to take the advice of the seller.

Still if you want you can try to check it out yourself as it is said that the vent of Flowerhorn is different for the males and females. While the male has V-shaped vent the female has U shaped vent and anus. There are few techniques that are applied by experts to understand whether it is a male or female and you can try them if you really want to confirm before buying one.

Is it tough to take care of Flowerhorn

Whatever is the type of Flowerhorn you have it is necessary that you take care of it. Actually, they are very hardy fish themselves and needs very little care. They can tolerate different kinds of environment that may not be tolerated by different other kinds of fish. They are mainly carnivores and thus loves eating different types of meats. For a beginner you should be prepared to provide it with a large space to live. The aquarium should be of at least 55 gallons if not more. The more is the space the better these fishes feels. They are very aggressive fish and thus you must not keep more than one fish in one aquarium. Do not have too many cichlids in the same aquarium as the Flowerhorn are very territorial and they will not let any other fish live near them. If you can maintain the temperature right and the acidity level of the water then it will not be very tough to grow them. Just keep feeding them thrice.

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