Once you see the Flowerhorns you identify this fish with its vibrant colors and the little nuchal hump that it has. This nuchal hump is also known as Kok and the main aim of any Flowerhorn lover is that they want to see their Flowerhorns with large Kok. Some breeders’ aims to increase the colors of the fish and make it look more brilliant while wanting the Kok of the fish to grow and show its supremacy. Actually, the Kok of the Flowerhorn is like a crown that they wear and it shows there supremacy.
Before going in deep into the growth of the development of Kok of a Flowerhorn, let’s check out the history of the fish. They are engineered fish and were first developed in Malaysia. They were developed by the breeders in Malaysia by cross-breeding different South American Cichlids. Gradually with their vibrant colors and the nuchal hump, they started attracting attention from the fish lovers. Gradually there was a development of different types of Flowerhorns and today you can find different type available both at the stores and online stores.
The Flowerhorns are believed to be a lucky charm in Fengshui. It is believed that the size of the Kok tells about the luck of the person owning the Flowerhorn. As the Kok keeps on growing the luck also starts favoring the person who owns the Flowerhorn. Thus, many people want to ensure that their Flowerhorn has a massive Kok that will bring is a fortune to them. Apart from the fortune hunters Flowerhorn, big Kok is also important for those who love the vibrant color of the fish and wants to ensure that they have the best one in their aquarium.
It may be a challenging job to make your Flowerhorn grow its Kok but with these tips, it will become a little simple. However, before you start work on the Kok of your Flowerhorn cichlids its time to know something about the Kok.
Flowerhorn Kok makes them the king
The crowning glory of Flowerhorn makes them look different and attracts fish lovers towards them. This nuchal hump is the storage area of fat of the fish. It is sometimes considered as the lucky charm too. The bigger the hump is better is luck. That means the more fat is stored in the nuchal hump the breeder considered it better. Not only that the hump of the Flowerhorn is associated with luck but it is found that the bigger the hump is the more aggressive the fish becomes. That is why it is said that the hump gives them a King like attitude in the aquarium.
The Kok of the Flowerhorn is differentiated based on its size, type
Basic types of Kok
They are more significant in the old school Flowerhorns. Hard Koks are mainly the small protrusion found on the forehead of the male Flowerhorns. It has got it name as when you touch the Kok you will find it harder and flat. This is because of the minimal amount of fat that is deposited in the nuchal hump of the Flowerhorn. They become attractive when they have wonderful pearl and color patterns.
Semi water Kok or soft Kok
Semi water Kok Flowerhorn are the combination of hard and water Kok. It is sometimes known as soft Kok too. The semi water Kok also do not grow enormous but they grow to a size that is harmonious to the size of the fish and they do get an appealing appearance. When you press the Kok lightly you will feel the softness but beneath that softness, you will feel that it is hard. It can be felt with a little harder press. It looks vibrant if you shine a light just behind the Kok area. At that time the translucent part of the Kok becomes prominent.
It is the most sought-after Kok. Not only that Flowerhorns with this type of Kok looks great but they can grow to enormous size. When you touch it you will feel the softness and if light passes through it the appearance is translucent. The Kok may be of different shapes. Some can be bubble shape while some other can be pointed shape. There are ones with ball shape Kok and some other have Kok that seems like a helmet on their head. Whatever shape the Kok has, it gives the Flowerhorn an attractive look that has made them so popular.
It is natural that most people will prefer to have Flowerhorns in their aquarium who have water Kok. Now, the question is when you buy the cichlid how you can understand that it will be having a water Kok. The best way is to ask the breeder who will have an idea about the gene that the Flowerhorn bears. Genes play a vital role and along with that, it is the male Flowerhorns who are found to have a nuchal hump or the Kok.
Being a Flowerhorn lover by now you must be thinking about how you can grow the Kok bigger. Here are a few tips that will help you to grow the Kok of the Flowerhorn :
Tips to Grow Massive Flowerhorn Kok
1. Check what you feed the Flowerhorn
In order to be happy and stay healthy, the Flowerhorns needs good quality food. If they are fed with the right food at the right time and in right quantity then there are high chances that the Kok of the Flowerhorn will grow big. Naturally, Flowerhorns loves eating and they keep on eating food, they are big-eaters thus, you have to keep feeding them with high-quality food. Now, when they are eating much they will produce a lot of waste too. Be careful about that.
While choosing the food you should see that it is well balanced with vitamins, minerals and proteins as without that the Kok will not grow. You can include brine shrimps in their diet. These shrimps are like the ones human eat, but just a little smaller. It has a rich texture and strong flavor which is loved by the Flowerhorns. Moreover, the brine shrimps are packed with vital nutrients and proteins that are necessary for the growth of the head of the Flowerhorn. It is best to feed them live brine shrimp as the nutritious value is more for them.
Apart from brine shrimp, there are some other food items like vegetables and bloodworms that is loved by the Flowerhorns and is good for the growth of the Kok too. You can also feed your fishes with the fish flakes. They are prepared in such a way that they provide a well-balanced diet that you are looking for your Flowerhorn. You can feed each of this food separately or mix them and it can be a great platter for the Flowerhorn. Eating good quality food will always keep the fish healthy and will help in the growth of the Kok.
2. The frequency of feeding is also important
When you expect your Flowerhorn to have a great Kok then just feeding them with the right food is not enough, if you do not feed them after regular intervals. You should feed them at least 3 times a day and the quantity should also be checked. When the fish are fed more they will produce more waste, thus keeping checking if the water is clean. The platter in which you feed the fish is also important as if it is of not right size then apart from increasing the Kok size it will increase the waste produce too. In order to maintain the metabolism of the fish, it is best to feed them after a regular interval and it should be at least three times a day.
3. Size of the tank
Flowerhorns grows best when they have enough space to grow. The minimum size of the tank should be of 55 gallons. It is far better if you can have a tank that is of 75 gallons. Actually, the bigger is the size of the tank the more area the Flowerhorn gets to grow. When it grows bigger there are high chances that the fish Kok will also grow. When a Flowerhorn is packed in a small tank it affects its growth. You cannot expect the right growth from it and then the results will not be as expected. During the development stage, it is best to keep each cichlid with a particular tank. It will give them enough space to grow and their Kok too will grow.
The Flowerhorns are not very fond of greenery and thus you need not to have too many plants at the base of the tank. Just ensure that they have someplace where they can hide if they wish too. Little gravel at the base of the tank will give them a playing option. So do not forget to lay them on.
4. Maintain the filtration of the water and keep it clean
In order to let the Flowerhorn have great Kok it is necessary that the water is well-maintained. The well-being of the fish is affected by the water quality and the size of the Kok too. When the fish do not have any health problem it has a natural growth of its Kok, thus the water should be filtered properly. It is best of the filter that the aquarium has is able to process 10 times the water that the aquarium can hold in one hour. The filter should be able to conduct three-stage filtration so that the water inside the tank is pure and healthy.
There should be at least 30% partial water change in three days apart from regular filtration. You should also be able to clean the waste that lies there inside the tank. In case your filtration is not strong enough then you must change the water partially every two days.
5. Lighting plays a major role too
Most of the time people forget the effect of light on their life. This is true for the Flowerhorns too. The aquarium must get some sunlight. It has the natural elements that will help the Kok grow bigger. Try to locate the aquarium in such a place where direct sunlight can reach at least during a particular time of the day. This will give the fishes a natural feel and their Kok too will mature better. Apart from that, you can make an arrangement of lighting that will keep light inside the tank for at least 10 hours a day. That makes the Flowerhorn get a comfortable environment inside the aquarium.
You also need to maintain the temperature inside the tank. It should be something near 86 Fahrenheit or 30 degrees Celsius. In order to maintain the temperature, you can change some water if required.
6. Increase their aggressiveness
It is believed that Flowerhorns with bigger Kok is more aggressive than other ones who do not have a large Kok. Thus, the opposite can also be tried in order to increase the size of the Kok of the fish. When the fishes are in wild it is often found that the fish who are dominant have larger Koks. That means that those who are more aggressive have larger Kok. So, you need to increase the aggressiveness of the Flowerhorn. How?
You can bring a mirror and place it in front of the aquarium. Once the Flowerhorn notices the mirror it will feel like fighting against the other Flowerhorn. The more aggressive they become the better it is for the growth of the Kok. They will feel that they are fighting with a male and enjoy that too. The moment you remove the mirror the Flowerhorn will think that the other male was frightened and have run away. Thus he feels his dominance in the region!
7. Play with it for stimulating its Kok’s growth
In order to stimulate the growth of the Kok you also need to play with Flowerhorn. Apart from playing with the mirror mentioned above, you should also try to get it to indulge in different other games that will make it feel a strong Flowerhorn. While you give it food just do not throw the food in the tank. Play with it by trying to give it once and again taking the food away. They Flowerhorn must feel that it has snatched the food from your hand and they will feel much better with this.
Apart from that let the Flowerhorn play in the gravels that are laid at the base of the aquarium. You can move gravel and make it move another one. All this will help in the growth of the Kok pf the Flowerhorn.
8. Take care of the genes too
Although you do not have much to do in this regard, but it is often found that the Kok size depends mainly on the genes of the Flowerhorn. Comparatively, it is found that the male Flowerhorns have bigger Kok compared to the females but then again it depends a lot on the genes. What you can do is while buying the fries ensure that you are buying male ones so that they have great Koks.
In order to differentiate in between a male and female, you can check out their vents and anus. The male has rectangular vents while the females have U shaped vents. The anus of the males is not wider than the vents as in case of the females. You must remember that if the Flowerhorn does not have great Koks in its genes then anything you do will go to waste. Thus, while you buy the juveniles you should be very careful. Any professional can do this easily with their experience. If you are a beginner then you have to try your luck a few times before you learn the tactics. While buying the fish make sure that it has a little hump that can be a promise for having a bigger Kok when you take care of the fish properly. Whatever, it is after you get a good gene Flowerhorn following the above-mentioned tips will help you grow the Kok of the Flowerhorn.
The growth of Kok of a Flowerhorn no doubt depends upon the genes but apart from that if you follow the tips mentioned above you will find that the Flower horn’s Kok is growing better. It is tough to compare it with any other Flowerhorn but then you should take care that everything that it gets in its environment is helpful in keeping it healthy and helps in the growth of the Kok too. Every Flowerhorn has its unique beauty and apart from the Kok its color is also attractive. Just make sure that you do not concentrate on the Kok and in doing that the color of the Flowerhorn is not developed. Like, you must not feed the Flowerhorn with more than one cricket every day. Then the color may become dark. Take care of your Flowerhorn and gradually it will develop a Kok that will make you a proud owner of it.
Frequently Asked questions
Where to keep Flowerhorns?
Flowerhorns do not demand any special kind of aquarium other than that it should be spacious. Being a tropical fish they thrive better where the temperature is between 28 to 31 ℃. It is better if the water in the aquarium is alkaline with pH level lying in between 7.5 to 8. As the health of the fish depends upon the pH level it should be kept checked regularly. A filtration system within the aquarium will also be great for keeping them.
Why is the Flowerhorn aggressive?
Flowerhorn is aggressive by nature. It is believed that those Flowerhorns who have big Kok are more aggressive than ones who do not have big Kok. By nature, they are very territorial and they do not want to share the space with any other fish in the aquarium. Sometimes they are found to show their aggressiveness on another fish of their type. Thus, be careful when you are keeping couples together.
In order to decrease the aggressiveness of the Flowerhorn, you can increase the space as much as possible. The bigger space they get the less aggressive they will be. However, this is not true for certain types of Flowerhorns. Try to keep them along in the aquarium as they do not like to share their space with any other fish.
Why does the Flowerhorn hide?
You keep a Flowerhorn in your aquarium because you want to watch its beauty. Now, if the Flowerhorn hides then how can you enjoy the beauty of its Kok? Naturally there is not much reason that a Flowerhorn will like to hide, but still, you may find some of them doing so because they may not be habituated with the surrounding environment. It happens most when you transfer the Flowerhorn from one place to another. To make it feel comfortable you can arrange for a hiding place too. Gradually you will find that the fish is no shyer!
Why is Flowerhorn not eating?
In order to increase the size if the Kok your Flowerhorn must be fed right. Thus, when it does not eat properly it is an issue that needs your attention. The first reason for the Flowerhorn not to eat is that it can be stressed. The tension can be due to change in environment or addition of another fish in the aquarium. Whatever is the reason you should be very careful.
If there are no such changes in the surrounding of the Flowerhorn and it is still not eating then it may be sick. It may be suffering from any of the disease namely Hexamita, Fin and Tail Rot, Ichthyopthirius Multifilis, and Gill Disease. There are different signs to understand that. If you feel that the fish may have some disease then try to find out the symptoms.