8 Tips To Enhance Your Flowerhorn Color (updated 2023)

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Just have a look at nay Flowerhorn and you will understand what makes them so special in the eyes of fish lovers. Their vivid colors, bulging head and the way they swimming the aquarium makes them all special. They have won many hearts since they were first bred. Their brilliant and vibrant color and won the heat of many and once you have a look at them they are going to astonish you with their beauty. Their nuchal hump or the ‘kok’ is thought to be bringing in good luck charm to those who own them.

Apart from the growth and prosperity, it’s also their beauty that makes them so special to the hobbyist. The beauty of the Flowerhorn does not depend upon the size of the nuchal hump only but also on other factors. The main thing is of course its color and the pearling. This is why most Flowerhorn owner wants to know about different ways by which they can enhance the color of this beautiful fish.

Taking care of a Flowerhorn

The basis of having brilliant vibrant color is that the Flowerhorn should have good growth and a healthy body. Thus, before you know the tips for enhancing the color of the Flowerhorn you should learn about different things that is necessary to take care of the Flowerhorn.

The first thing to note in regards to taking care of the Flowerhorn is the tank where you will grow them. The size of tank will depend upon the size of the Flowerhorn. When the Flowerhorn is small about 2 inches in size a tank with 20 gallons will be enough for its growth. However, as the Flowerhorn grows in size you have to increase the size of the tank. If you can have a tank of 75 gallons it is considered as the best size, otherwise you should take at least a 34 gallons tank. It will give enough space to the Flowerhorn to grow and they can live comfortably in it.

Here is a selection of tank with at least 34 gallons:


A Flowerhorn is aggressive and territorial fish and thus try not to keep other fishes with the Flowerhorn they may not like it. It is best to keep them aloof.
The water condition of the tank is also important when it comes to Flowerhorns. The best temperature is between 27-29°C. You also need to ensure that the pH level of the water is also maintained in between 6.5-7.0. This will give the fish a happy and healthy environment. Ensure that the tank water is oxygenated so that it can breathe properly within the water.

Keep the bottom of the tank clean so that algae and other bacteria do not grow over there. It will hamper the health of the fish. Also decorate the base of the tank because if you do that the fish will find it more natural. However, a Flowerhorn do not need too much decoration so keep things simple.
Finally, the food you feed them is most important. It is for their natural growth, color enhancement and of course growth of the nuchal hump. Thus, be careful while you feed them. They also love eating live food thus keep that in their diet too.

Once you have leant about taking care of the Flowerhorn you have to be very careful about other things that will enhance their color as the vibrant color of the fish has mesmerized many people in the past and will continue to do so if you can take good care.

Enhancing the color of the Flowerhorn

The Flowerhorn is naturally very colorful. This is because of their origin. When they were bred they had been done so from different colorful species of tropical fishes. The natural color of a Flowerhorn can be red, yellow, orange, silver, blue or even green. The most popular color of a Flowerhorn is Red but if you want to look for something else you can surely find it. There are ways by which you can enhance the colors and make them look more vibrant. The Flowerhorns have a different design on their body and while the color of the Flowerhorn is enhanced it should be noticed that the other designs are also enhanced so that the beauty of the Flowerhorn increases.

Golden base Flowerhorn

Here are a few tips that will help you while you work on enhancing the colors of the Flowerhorns:

Learn about the natural colors first

Before you know about enhancing the color of the Flowerhorn it is important to learn about its natural color. The most common color of a Flowerhorn as mentioned earlier is red. It is more popular for those people who have faith in Feng shui. Other well-known colors are orange, blue, yellow and silver. Now, you must be thinking that which color should be enhanced most.

Red Dragon Flowerhorn

Being the owner of the fish your aim should be to enhance the natural color of the fish first. You should not try to do something that will develop other colors more than the natural color. Like if the natural color of the fish is blue and you are trying hard to make it develop red color the result can be something that you didn’t expected. The fish may lose its attractiveness. Not only that it will lose its beauty it can have some allergies and in the worst case the fish may even die. Thus, always make sure that you are trying hard to enhance the natural color of the fish and not trying to develop any color that is not in it.

Intensity and Spread of coloration

While you are working on enhancing the color of the fish you should consider both the intensity of the color along with the spread of the color throughout the body of the fish. It should be intense enough so that the color is crisp and vivid. Along with that check out if the coverage is throughout the body. It must be as wide as possible as that will make the fish look better. There may be lines within the body of the fish that separates the color of the fish. While enhancing the color of the fish care should be taken that the color of the lines are not left apart. The lines colors should also be enhanced.

Maintaining the balance of the color

There are different Flowerhorns with different color variation. They have colors with different intensity and width. While the color of the Flowerhorn is enhanced it must be taken care that all the colors are enhanced equally. If the intensity of any one of the color is low then care should be taken so that it is enhanced and made equal to the other colors of the Flowerhorn. This will give an overall bright look to the Flowerhorn. No part of the Flowerhorn will look dull in this way.

Blue Flowerhorn

You should also be careful about sudden darkening of the color of the Flowerhorn. The main cause of discoloration of the Flowerhorn is certain type of allergies that might affect the body of the Flowerhorn. The basic reason for such allergy is using too much color enhancer. Like, if you are feeding your blue dragon Flowerhorns with red color enhancing pellets with the thought that the fish will become red color then you may find that the result is something different. The fish may start turning dark although you continue feeding it with red pellets.
It’s not only that feeding wrong color enhancer will turn the fish dark, but there can be some other causes too. Like, poor water condition, disease, stress or even some kind of injury. You may also notice that the golden base Flowerhorns normally turns dark in a particular period. This is because they start shedding off their scales and their true colors reveal. Later they gain regain the color.

Apart from all these, there are certain fishes that have a naturally dark color and nothing much can be done to change or enhance the color of such fish. Thus, if you wish to have bright colored fish then choose light colored ones as sometimes nothing can be done with the dark-colored Flowerhorns in terms of enhancing the color.

Using pellets with color enhancement pigment

In order to enhance the color of the Flowerhorn, there are pellets available that have color enhancing pigment in them. When you feed the fish with those fish food the color of the fish enhances. Among these fish food, the most common one is astaxanthin. This is mainly used for enhancing orange and red coloration of the Flowerhorn. Different fish food for enhancing the color are mentioned below. Before you learn about them always remember that such fish food should be used that has a balanced amount of fish pigmentation.

You can use these fish foods for enhancing the pigmentation of your Flowerhorn if you have plans of participating the Flowerhorns in any competition.


This is mainly used for enhancing the red and orange colored Flowerhorns. Among all the different fish food for Flowerhorns that are used for enhancing the color of the Flower, this is the most popular one. It is derived from different kinds of natural sources like shrimps and krills. The synthesized form of astaxanthin is canthaxanthin and thus if you find any fish food containing the latter you can understand what it is.

It should be remembered that while you are feeding astaxanthin to the Flowerhorn make sure that they are not any blue based Flowerhorns. This will cause some allergic reaction in the Flowerhorn that may turn devastating. There are different fish food available in the market that contains astaxanthin and some of them are Alife, XO Ever Red, XO Super Red Syn, and Cyclop Flowerhorn Food. You can buy any one of these but before that, it is better if you conduct your own research on which of these will be good for the Flowerhorn.


When you want to enhance the color of a blue-based Flowerhorn head to get some Spirulina. They are available in nature in the blue-green algae. Naturally, it is found that the blue based Flowerhorns are mainly dull in coloration and thus to increase their color you need to feed them with Spirulina rich pellets. If you do that consistently then you can get some good results. However, if you wish to see the results within a few days you may be disheartened. You may have to wait for three months or more before you start noticing any change after feeding the Flowerhorn with Spirulina based food.

Not only for the blue based Flowerhorns can you use this food for those Flowerhorns who have wormlike pearls or pearly dots on their body. Such Flowerhorns mainly belongs to the ones from the new strain.


When you want to enhance the yellow color of your Flowerhorn then you must feed them with Xanthophyll. There are very few choices when it comes to this food fish. Still it is very good for enhancing the yellow color of the Flowerhorns. If you do not get any do not worry and try to look for fish food that are mainly for the gold fish.
For enhancing the yellow color of the Flowerhorn you can also look for some other ingredients like dried egg, marigold powder, or corn gluten meal.

Live food is also necessary

Even live food is also good for increasing the coloration of the food. All you need to know is learn about which food should be fed for enhancing which color best. If you want to enhance the redness of the fish then try out some frozen bloodworms and shrimps. When you are trying to enhance the yellow color then you should include some dried egg yolks in the diet of the Flowerhorn. However, you have to be very careful while you use this food as sometimes these may lead to some disease in the Flowerhorn. Thus, make sure that if you find any such signs then you stop feeding them any food for the sole purpose of enhancing the color.

Lighting has its role too

It is a part of the whole arrangement where you keep your Flowerhorns, but remember that lighting too plays a major role when it comes to enhancing the colors of your beloved Flowerhorn. When any fish is kept in dull area where there is almost no light then they will have colors that are dull. They will not have vibrant and vivid colors. On the contrary, when your Flowerhorn gets ample amount of direct sunlight throughout the day you can find it is developing natural brilliant colors naturally.

Flowerhorn in Tank with nice lighting

Thus, always remember to keep the Flowerhorn tank in such a place where there is direct sunlight. It should be placed in a well-lighted room and where there is some source of direct sunlight. Artificial lighting that is used for decorating the tank should be avoided for prolonged period. It is best if the tank is illuminated for about 12 hours a day. This will enhance the colors naturally.

The age can make some changes

Even the age of the Flowerhorn has its role to play when it comes to their color. When they are about two to three inches in size they start to develop their colors. The spread of color is different for males and females. For males, the colors continue to develop and intensify till they grow to the size of about six to eight inches. The colors keep on spreading till these days. After this, it is found that the colors start fading this is mainly because of the aging of the Flowerhorn.

Flowerhorn in Tank with nice lighting

When the golden base Flowerhorn is about 3 to 5 inches in size the Flowerhorn keeps changing its color. This is because it is shedding of its old color and regain new color after some time. The new color will intensify after a period.

Breeding makes a difference too

When you are breeding Flowerhorns you should stop feeding them with any color enhancing food. This may have any off effect on their growth.
Apart from this, it should be noted that the color of the Flowerhorn will also depend on the breeding process. Some of the Flowerhorn strains have vibrant colors while others do not have. Thus, just do not try out everything without noticing the type of Flowerhorn you have.

Flowerhorn that loosed it’s color

To end the note

Finally, to sum of the whole thing it can be said that the color of a Flowerhorn can be enhanced if you take care of it properly. When you maintain the exact temperature that is required and the salinity in the water then you will expect your Flowerhorn to be healthy. Anything that is healthy will give you healthier results. Thus, whether you feed the Flowerhorn with color enhancing pellets or try out something else if the fish is not in a healthy environment then you cannot expect it to grow and mesmerize you with its eternal beauty.

There are different colors of Flowerhorn and it should be noticed that when the color is enhance nothing is forced on the Flowerhorn. If the Flowerhorn is forced with a certain color then the results will be bad and much is discussed about that already.

Frequently asked questions

How to decorate an aquarium for a Flowerhorn?

When you are enhancing the color of the Flowerhorn it is natural that you will like to keep it somewhere that has a beauty of its own and will increase the beauty of the Flowerhorn in all. Thus, the aquarium or the tank where you keep it is most important. The best way to decorate as well as give the fish a good environment to live is decorating the floor of the tank with pebbles and rocks, glittery stones and colored stones. They must look vibrant like your Flowerhorn.

Do not put any real plants on the floor as the fish may start eating them. The Flowerhorns do not require many things around but whatever décor you provide them to make it simple. They love to live in an area that is clean and tidy.

What are the ideal temperature, pH, and water volume to keep Flowerhorn fishes?

Much has already been discussed about the ideal temperature that must be maintained in the Aquarium. In order to maintain a temperature ranging from 27 and 29 °C, you should keep it checking. If there are any changes in the temperature then make sure that you have cleaned the water and have made arrangements for maintaining the temperature. The water should also be kept clean as if there is dust and other particles then they may be the cause of any disease. Also, remember to keep changing the water as if you do not change it the result may be similar.

Can any disease affect the color of the Flowerhorn?

When there is any life there can be disease and the Flowerhorn can also have them. When they Flowerhorn has any allergies or any other disease there are high chances that the color of the Flowerhorn will be affected. In order to check that you need to maintain the beat environment where there will be the least chances of getting affected by any disease. In case you find any problem do check it and give the necessary medicine to the Flowerhorn.

Can the cross breeding increase the attractiveness of the Flowerhorn?

After the first Flowerhorn was developed there were many more researches done and now there are different types of Flowerhorns with different kinds of patterns and colors. This is mainly because of the cross breeding. They are done in such a way that the attractiveness quotient is increased with every effort. It’s true that all of them may not be successful but most of them good results and you get a great Flowerhorn to keep it at your home aquarium. A Flowerhorn lives for about 12 years and during this period you will get enough from them and can enjoy their beauty always.

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