Home Information Flowerhorn fish – Questions Answered (Updated 2023)

Flowerhorn fish – Questions Answered (Updated 2023)


This cichlid, the Zhen Zhou, is a hybrid of Asian origin “created” on the year 1999 when crossing the first race or generation of the Flower Horn Lou Han (across is believed with Amphilophus Citrinellus, Amphilophus Trimaculatus, Paratheraps Melanorus, Paratheraps Fenestrata and finally, a Parrot net) with some pearly American cichlid, it is believed that it was with a Herichthys Carpintis but its crossing is unknown.

Being across with Amphilophus Citrinellus have a similar appearance, robust body and laterally compressed, pointed fins, in the males a large bulge in the head, in some occasions the females can also develop that protuberance or nuchal hump, but if they develop it will be lower than that of the male, base of the head red to the middle of the body, the other half of the body together with tail fin, dorsal and anal, very light gray sometimes with black edges.

With bulging eyes wide and powerful mouth, It has a black lateral line. The name Flower Horn the translation would be the flowery horn that is due to a black spot in the form of flower located at the base of the hump. Body with pearly spots that vary from white to blue, Zhen Zhou means pearly


The males can reach 30 cm, females smaller than 20 cm.

Big Flowerhorn With Big Kok

Sexual differences:

Sexing Flowerhorn Fish – How To Do That? Males larger than females, these develop a bulge in the head, females usually have black spots on the dorsal fin but not always, and sometimes the male also has them. The males have a red color more bright and strong than the females. Sometimes it is difficult to sex to sexual maturity.

Parameters of water:

Ph between 7 and 8 prefer slightly alkaline waters, Kh between 5 and 16o, temperature between 26o and 30o being the ideal 28-29o C.


Highly territorial, it is not advisable to keep them in community aquariums. They show excessive aggressiveness in the breeding season so you have to be careful sometimes when it comes to joining the two sexes if you want to reproduce them. Care must also be taken when maintaining the aquarium by introducing hands in the aquarium at the time of reproduction.


They need tanks from 200 litters, with a filtration no less than 1000-1200 l / h filter flow with a good biological and mechanical filter base with good lighting. Refrain from decorating the tank with roots and branches if the water has a low pH as these make the water even more acidic.

It can also be dangerous to have branches and sharp edges can cause cuts and wounds on the skin. If you want to decorate the tank you can use rocks and stones with smooth and smooth edges that cannot move and depending on the kH and pH can be limestone or calcareous if the water is soft and we want to maintain a stable pH or siliceous if the water is already hard enough and we do not want to increase it.

The best gravel of light colour and with a granulometry greater than 5 millimetres since sometimes very fine and can lodge in the gills, these fish like to dig a lot, it can also be left without gravel and it is much easier to clean the undone, it would suffice with a net to pick them up and pass some kind of scraper or sponge on the floor minimum once a week, if the waste is collected once a day much better, this way we do not saturate the filter. It can also be placed as a gravel a few ceramic combs or filtering material such as porous stones, this way we will increase the nitrifying bacteria responsible for recycling the organic waste previously contained in the gravel.

Flowerhorn In a Big Tank

The Flower horn requires great luminosity so it is advisable to line the back and the ground (if you decide to leave it devoid of gravel) outside the aquarium with a light colored sheet well glued on top to prevent water from entering and stains are formed when it evaporates (usually splash a lot), the most recommended is the colour blue. It can also be lined with adhesive vinyl, painted with acrylic paint or liquid spray that can be removed easily and without damaging the glass if we get tired of that decoration.

Selection of nice Flowerhorn aquariums (minimum : 34 gallons)

You can check our resources page where we are proposing some suggestions about : food, heaters, chillers, filters, cleaners, substrate and water treatments.

Taking care of this fish is not an easy task and one might end up having several queries. So here are the results of all the queries that one has when owning a Flowerhorn fish:

What substrate is to be used for the tank?

I would recommend you, record with a size of 3 to 5 mm as they are fish that were hybridized among Americans, their hobby is to scab the substrate. It can be a dark color preferably.

Aquarium substrate

What kind of decoration?

This should be based on trunks and rocks, since it is not found in nature because it is a hybrid, we take the fish biotope that is its base, in this case, The Amphibious Thrimaculatum, in my country I find A. Thrimaculatum in almost all the rivers of the south, its biotope is practical, fallen trunks and rocks.

Aquarium Décor

What background color?

You can put a background color based on rocks, or simulating a wall.

Aquarium Decoration

What kind of filter?

Well, it has to be one that moves at least 4 times the volume of your aquarium since it is a fish that will grow a lot and the bigger, the dirtier. You must take into account the filtering material that you are going to use since it is an important base to keep your aquarium in good conditions.

With the size of the fish tank we are a bit short, we recommend 200l per adult specimen, however, a young specimen can have it without complications.

Aquarium filters

Is raw the only healthiest option for a baby Flowerhorn?

If one doesn’t find it comfortable to feed live and raw food to the fish, he/she can also give him frozen food which is not very old and kept in a dry place.

–    Siking, Dried Anchovies, Freeze grasshopper, dried worms, dried krill, etc.

–    Soak the cold and food for a while in a tank full of water this will help to not let any digestion issues occur for time being. They are not only nutritious but also include the same values to natural raw food.

Baby Flowerhorn

What is the balanced diet for a baby Flowerhorn?

As per the staple diet, one can feed baby Flowerhorn on high nutritious cichlid pellet, quality matters in all cases.  One should not buy cheap fish food and also should continuously change the given diet supplements so that it can have as many health benefits taken from different food and diets. As one see aging and growth in the fish, brine shrimps and tubifex worms can be given as diet also including black worms, insects, and even some other small seasonal fishes.

Why does a Flowerhorn fish spit out sometimes?

It is because the fish might have felt full. Flowerhorn does not like overeating so whenever they feel full, they usually spit out.

How often to feed Flowerhorn?

3 to 5 minutes 3 times a day is a good way to get your Flowerhorn obese.

Will the Flowerhorn die getting bored in that separator?  Is it okay for the FH to stay in that little separator?

Since many people saw fully grown Flowerhorns, it is mostly recommended that they could do well in a breeding box, if anything about the standard measurement of the occupancy vessel that is not specific, not about the size of the divider is being mentioned. So having no standards is indeed helpful, also it would be likely to emphasize that your Flowerhorn needs a regular occupancy vessel in place something that limits its space.

If there is only one female flower horn fish in my aquarium will it laid eggs? Or does it need to have male FH fish also?

Flowerhorn females can lay eggs without having a male in the same tank, so there’s no need to purchase a male in your case.

Female Flowerhorn

Are Flowerhorn Fishes dangerous?

Are Flowerhorn Fishes Dangerous? Yes, they can be dangerous. It is because of their aggressive nature. They do bite anything. So it is always recommended to keep them in a separate tank.

What is the recommended the diet chart so as to improve results in the health and fitness of the fish?

There are many commercial foods available that contain color enhancers and have a high protein percentage for quick growth; they all do the same job. You can mix them with the Beef heart but to keep the diet varied it would be good to feed them separately, giving the pieces of beef-heart to the Flowerhorns for some 2-3 times in a week.

Flowerhorn Food

One can simply remove the fatty tissues for the lean meat and then mince it; this will make a Beef heart. Many people also use to add a crushed tablet of children vitamins as well as some spinach, a little gelatine to bond the feed, mix it all up and place it into an old ice cube tray so that I could freeze it and just use as much as I needed each time.

What should be the size and age of Female Flower Horn Fish to lay their eggs? How many days does it take to lay eggs for the second time?

Typically it takes 6 months FH fish to become mature sexually. They should be usually 4 inches long in size that is roughly 10 to 11 cm. Once she lays eggs, she can breed every month.

Flowerhorn Laying Eggs

How can one deal with full and partial aggressive behavior when you put your hands and fingers in the tank?

Basically, your Flowerhorn has made himself at home on your aquarium; fingers in the tank are a threat to its territory so it is defending this and is perfectly normal. All of the large Cichlids will move the decor around to suit themselves so if you want it to remain in one place it will need securing. If you have a glass heater in the tank always use a heater guard as the Flowerhorn is more than capable of smashing the glass tubing, putting itself in danger so better safe than sorry. When your fish moves into the hollow in the substrate it is only resting which proves that it feels secure in your tank.

Why does the forehead of the Flowerhorn fish get shrunk when the tank water is replaced with new water?

As the quality of water changes, the accustomizing in this fish starts occurring, which leads to a sudden shrinkage in the forehead. The fish recovers this in a couple of days after getting settled with the new water.

Healthy Flowerhhorn

If the Flowerhorn fish is sick then how can you figure out that?

When the Flowerhorn suddenly turns to be very dizzy and inactive, it will also face the problem of appetite that is indeed the main reason for the change in the color of fish that turns to be pale. Find out what are the popular Diseases Affecting Flowerhorn Fish on our dedicated article for the topic.

How can one keep the Flowerhorn fish away from sickness?

One must have a look that the tank water quality is maintained throughout the time and also provide the same quality water when it is periodically changed. This will keep your Flowerhorn disinfected and free from any viral disease. Learn how to deworm your Flowerhorn here : https://flowerhornfarming.com/how-to-deworm-flowerhorn/

How to keep the live food of this fish protected from getting infected?

It is recommended for the small tank owners to apply a layer of solution which is harmless and also prevents bacterial infection.  Also, appropriate temperature and water quality should be maintained, so that in a couple of hours when this live fish applied with the solution can be placed in the water tank having suitable parameters.

Is processed food recommended for the Flowerhorn fish on regular basis?

One can try to feed the Flowerhorn fish at least twice in one day. But the processed meal should be of good quality having the trusted brand name on it can.

Beauty Flowerhorn Red Dragon

Will the Flowerhorn fish die out of hunger when you are out of town for a holiday?

One should not consider this to be harmful to the health or fitness of the fish and try to overfeed the fish. Overfeeding will be harmful. One should feed the fish as per how it is fed regularly on daily basis. One can also adopt an automatic feeder.

Is keeping the aquarium lights on throughout the day necessary?

A. One can keep the lights on for a maximum of 6 hours in the day. It will help in gaining some light to the Flowerhorn fish on daily basis as per its requirement. But during the sleeping hours, one should strictly switch off the light as it is the resting time of the fish.

How to select a background poster for the Flowerhorn aquarium?

As there are various design alternatives available in the market, but it is recommended to use a light color background as the Flower horn fish will need a bright and vibrant atmosphere in the daytime. It will also enhance the color of the fish by not merging with the context.

Why does the color of the Flowerhorn fish turn to be pale periodically?

As the different quality of water will have different acidity level, the suitability will take time to achieve for the fish. This turns the color of fish in pale shades. One should also check the pH level of water and then use it in the tank.

Why does the hump of few Flowerhorn fish too small?

As the “race” or we call it as the genetics of the fish, all the species will have different sizes of the hump in particular. It also depends on the environment at times when a sufficient amount of food is not been given to the Flowerhorn fish.

Here are 8 Tips to Grow Massive Flowerhorn Kok.

Flowerhorn With Big Hump

Why does the color of the fish turn dark that even makes it a shy fish?

If the fish is new to the atmosphere and introduced to you for the first time, it is naturally going to be shy at first. It will also change the pigmentation of the color combination on the skin, which turns to be dark. In this case, the fish should be given enough time to settle down in the new atmosphere. After a couple of days, the Flowerhorn will be back with its vibrant colors. During these days, one should take care of feeding the fish appropriately and try not to make the fish aggressive by having any rude gesture.

How to know if your fish is male or female?

When the baby Flowerhorn grows and becomes at least 4 inches long, one can determine the sex of the fish by observation and noticing the behavioral pattern. Generally, the female fish develops the ability to lay eggs. Determination of the sex can be done in a simple way by observing its anal pore. The male will have a V shape anal pore and the female will have a U shaped anal pore. The hump of the male fish is more developed than the one of the female fish. Also, the body figure of male fish is more dominant and bigger in size compared to the female fish.

Is maintenance of the Flowerhorn fish possible in cold regions?

One can simply buy and apply a water heater in the house or the interiors that will heat the water in the tank and make the water warm enough to swim.

What is the reason behind the female fish eating her own eggs?

When the Flowerhorn is too hungry or gets aggressive about her own eggs, it gulps down the eggs as it wants. So after the laying of eggs, a few days later the female fish should be kept in the separate area.

Female Flowerhorn Eating Her Eggs

How long can the Flowerhorn fish live?

The assumed number is 6 years as one of the oldest Flowerhorn fish was about 6 years old. It all depends on the type of the species and its type.

Is it okay to keep the Flowerhorn fish alone in the tank?

Frequently aquarists like to have much fish in their aquariums and sometimes we do not notice if the species are compatible in terms of aggressiveness and water requirements but, we put all together and “see what comes out”. Sometimes these cohabitations happen by chance if the founder has a large enough tank and an adequate filtering system, but, partners, if you want to have Flower Horns, the rule are: Avoid cohabitations.

The Flowerhorn is a very aggressive cichlid and cannot be maintained with any other fish as it will attack it to kill it, sometimes a cohabitation can work if you have a very large tank but as hard as any of us can maintain tanks of more than 600 litters then starting from this point,

What is the minimum space and size of the tank required for Flowerhorn fish?

The minimum space required for your Flowerhorn for life would be a tank of 270 litters, can be in smaller tanks while they grow, but for life is recommended 270, maybe you can get away with yours with a tank of 180 litters but not as the most recommended.

Is live food recommended for the Flowerhorn fishes?

One cannot fully disagree with this, The Flowerhorns are expensive and you will not want to give pathogen carriers to your fish of more than 2 thousand pesos so that they get sick and die, so minimum live food is to be given unless you give them away perfectly well wormed, otherwise nothing.

Making divisions in the tank is a feasible option?

Do not put two Flowerhorns in the same tank with a division that allows them to see each other, remember that they have to be only if you want them to develop all of their potentials.

Two Male Flowerhorns Togethers

How to know if the female Flowerhorn Fish has laid eggs in the tank? What is the color of the eggs and how many days or months or years it takes?

Rather than go by the age of Flowerhorn fish, one should prefer to use the sizing method to know if the fish are mature enough to breed. These cichlids will be able to breed once their size reaches 6 inches, unlike most hybrid fish, this fish is fertile and will then produce young. The color of the eggs should be a rich orangey coloration and they do spawn a lot of eggs with each batch, often up to 2000 due to the high mortality rate.

Will the dark colored background help the fish?

If you are going to put substrate to the tank make sure that is not black nor do you put a black background. The Flowerhorns like illuminated spaces and with color and if you put black that will make the fish to not develop its color as it should be.

If you follow these basic tips and also try that your fish tank is always clean with one or two efficient filtering systems, you can make a couple of water changes of 20% a week, you give your FH a diet based on two good brands of Pellets such as Ching Mix, Grand Sumo or Spectrum and complement it from time to time with some pieces of salmon and thawed shrimp, your Flowerhorn will grow healthy and happy, also accompanying you for many years.

Q.    If I will keep one pair of Flowerhorn fish in the same tank, how many days they can live virgin before mating?

A.    Generally, we cannot say how many days they will take to mate. Also, you cannot take guarantee that you have a female and a male. Sometimes they will take weeks to mate.

Male And Female Flowerhorn Separated

Q.    Does division means that the Flowerhorn fish gave up on appetite?

A. It is normal. It occurs due to some changes in the environment, especially when fish were used to the tank setup, it may change the feeding habits of your fish. Other habits usually also may be affected.

Q.    Can I give medicine to my Flowerhorn fish?

A.    If your Flowerhorn fish has some digestive problem, it will put pressure onto the swim bladder that causes its balance problem In this case, you can add medicines to tank as a last resort. In most of the cases, if you have spotted its symptoms early enough, there are many other ways you can try.

Q.    How many times in 1 month should I clean my aquarium for the Flowerhorn Fish?

A.    The water test is necessary. Keep testing water of tank for the presence of nitrites, ammonia, and nitrates. If you find it something wrong, you may clean your aquarium. You should test water at least once a week. If the size of your aquarium is big enough and it already has many plants and bacteria, then you do not require changing water every month.

Q.    If I feed my Flowerhorn Fish once in a month, does it affect it?

A.    Feeder fish is a good protein source. If you will feed high protein diet to your fish, it makes her more active but also it will make the lifespan of your fish shorter. So it is advisable to feed your fish feed occasionally, not on an everyday basis.

Q.    I cannot see any hump sign on the head of the fish. When it is visible and when it will become redder on the body?

When can it be seen and when will there be a bright red color on the body?

A.    The hump (properly called the Nuchal hump) develops as the fish matures. It is usually forming by fatty deposits and when the fish is fully grown it will have reached its maximum size. It is said that as humans, all of the fishes are different and the size of the hump also can vary from fish to fish. These fishes tend to display their best coloration when mature. Also, water acidity affects coloration. If water becomes too acidic, its color will not be as bright.

Q. How to sort out the bullying issues between elder and younger Flowerhorn fish? What is the reason behind their behaviors among the siblings?

A. If they both are males Flowerhorn Fish, it is no wondering that elder one bullying younger one. In this case, it is advisable to use a fish tank divider. When they will remain separated, feed the younger one more so he’ll get bigger. When they both are of the same size, you can then remove the divider.

Q. I have noticed, my Flowerhorn fish gets frightened by my presence and it hides behind the corals in the tank? How to make friends with it?

A. If you Flowerhorn fish gets frightened by your presence, start moving here and there in front of your tank more often so your fish gets used to it. It may take the month or more but she will get used to it and then she will not hide if you will come closer to the tank. Also, try to feed your fish more often but make sure to give a little amount.

If you are feeding your fish 2 to 3 times in a day, start feeding her 6 to7 times instead with little food every time. In this way, she will get to know when you come closer to the tank; it is the time for food. It takes time, nothing good comes overnight, bear this in mind.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Buy your flowerhorn online now

Wide range of live Flowerhorn fishes on sale on Ebay