Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Flower Horn Fish

Flower Horn Fish is basically from the Cichlid family, which is classified under the genus of Cichlasoma, which is commonly found in South America. This beautiful hybrid is thought to be the end product of cross breeding between the Cichlasoma Trimaculatus, Cichlasoma Festae, Jingang Blood Parrot. To date, many of the better quality Flower Horn have been produced due to the intensified eagerness of breeders to produce the best show quality fish for the market.

As stated in some reports, the Flower Horn Fish is also known as a "mutated" breed of fish. Rest assured that this is just a claim. Flower Horn Fish have gone through intense selective cross breeding in order to have the best characteristics of the respective strains of the Cichlid Fish family. For instance, most breeders are striving to produce Flower Horn with a bigger nuchal hump on the forehead, better coloration, bolder black marking on the body (which at times resembles Chinese characters), more elegant fins, and wider body. No chemicals, or bio-genetic engineering have been incorporated to improve on the traits / characteristics of the Flower Horn. Thus, the claim that this is a mutated fish is unfounded.

In addition, this fish is very hardy, and can endure water conditions that are not suitable for most breeds of aquarium fish. This is also part of the reason why the Flower Horn is well received by many tropical fish hobbyists. But the ideal pH level in the water required, should be around pH 7 to pH 7.8 with water temperature ranging between 27 to 32C. For temperate / colder climate regions, they just need a water heater.

The Flower Horn is from the South American Cichlid family, and this fish is very territorial. They are also very aggressive in nature. Co-existing with other fish is not advisable, especially smaller fish. Some parties have claimed that we can "play" with the Flower Horn. In actual fact, Flower Horn is actually trying to get rid of the "intruder" (be it a stick or a person's hand). Therefore, it is advisable that we keep our hands to ourselves as the fish has quite a nasty bite depending on the size of the fish.

Here are some varieties of Flower Horn

Zhen Zhu = RD and BD

JK = Golden FH

Kamfas = Synsphillium or Parrot x ZZ

ZZ = Zhen Zhu

RD = Red Dragon

POTO = Pearl of the Orient

RC = Red Crystal

RG = Red General

SDK = Super Dragon King

RPD = Red Pearl Dragon

TB = Tunder Bolt

SP = Super Pendian

RD = Rainbow Dragon

FD = Fiery Dragon

BD = Blue Dragon

BCD = Blue Comet Dragon

DBD = Diamond Blue Dragon

BFD = Blue Face Dragon

KB = King Baccara

EM = Eastern Maiden

OGD = Oriental Green Dragon

GFF = Golden Fire Face


SRS = Super Red Shock

RM = Red Monkey

RS = Red Shock

JH = Jin Hua

RK = Red Kamfa

OK = Orange Kamfa

OP = Oriental Phoenix

RP = Red Phoenix

RBK = Rainbow King

HBK = Hell Boy Kamfa = Eastern Maiden X KKP

Buffalo = KKP+ RD = Kamfa bred by 65rivi


BP = Blood Parrot

KKP = King Kong Parrot

Mammon = High Quality King Kong Parrot (Happy Breed Farm)

Darmo = High Quality King Kong Parrot (Rarefish)

DD2 = Desert Dynasty II
CGY = Colorful God of the Year
GD = Golden Dragon
JPG = Jing Ping Guo
JG = Jaded Griffin
KDC = Kimdingchu

Golden Monkey ALSO called KAMALAU
Kamalau is a Cantonese term which is the same as GM. In Malaysia, Singapore & Indonesia, this term is commonly use among hobbyists.

GM = Golden Monkey

KGM = King of Golden Monkey

MGM = Marine Golden Monkey

MK = Metallic Kamalau

BKM = Blue King Monkey

DM = Diamond Monkey

KGM1 = King of Golden Monkey Generation 1

KGM2 = King of Golden Monkey Generation 2

KGMF = King of Golden Monkey Flowerness

SML = SonMalau = New Generation GM

Diff b/w kamfa and ZZ

2.ZZ(Zhen Zou)

Sexing of FH.
#Age and length
2 months
(1mm - 30mm) .

1. Juvenile stage.
2. Colors and body patterns are not noticeable.

#Sexing Method
No known method.
Observations shows larger sized fish within the same batch tend to be males.

#Age and length
2 - 5 months
( 30 mm - 150 mm)

Colors and body patterns are becoming more distinctive

#Sexing Method
1. Distinctive black marking on the dorsal fin indicates that it is a female. However, this is not foolproof. The same pattern does exist on some male Flowerhorns.

2. Observations on the shape of the genital papillae. V-shaped papilla indicates a male fish, while a U-shaped papilla indicates a female fish. Gently squeezing the abdominal region may reveal the papillae.

3. Male Flowerhorns will have broader body with higher dorsal, anal and caudal fins. It is also observed that male Flowerhorns will have thicker jawline and more distinctive body color.

#Age and length
5 months and above
(150 mm - 600 mm)

Flowerhorns begin to mature. Distinctive and rather prominent head humps are visible on the male fish.

#Sexing Method
Female will start to lay eggs even without the presence of a male.

Some more characteristics to be observed.

#1 dorsal black spot:

flowerhorns are hybrids,therefore this method will not be 100%accurate.this method is usally use on pure bred cichlid
however the rest of the method we are going to talk about here will not apply to fries under 3 in therefore this one is included.

90%of fry with out dorsal spots,will be males.
60% of fry with dorsal spot will be females.

#2 body structure.

male flowerhorn often have more angular and muscular lines ,while females often have a rounder,smoother body line.

#3 Dorsal spine method.

look at the first 6 dorsal spines of your fh, males often have rounded and thick spines, while females have a more flatened and thiner look to the first 6 dorsal spines.

#4 pelvic fin and pelvic spine method.

female flowerhorn need to use their pelvic fin as a fan to fan the eggs while breeding,therefore when you touch the pelvic fin and pelvic spine of your fh,if it is soft,and the spine is not as hard that will make you bleed,your fish is highly possible to be a female.

#5 chest line(chin line) method.

if you view your fish from the side,behind the gill jucture and before the pelvic fin,right under the petoral fin,this is the chest of your fish,if your fish have a bulkier chest,the it is more possible to be male,females often have a smaller,and smoother chest(unlike human)

#6 anal venting method.

hold your fish upsidedown,look at the anal vent,males have a V shape and females have a U shape.
now look from the side,males should have their tube pointed toward the back ,while females have straight tubes
Male organism

Female Organism


Common Flowerhorn Diseases and Treatment

Caring for your Flower Horn is not just about feeding it, it's also about watching for potentially serious health conditions. Below are some of the problems your Flower horn might experience.

White Spot Disease

Cause and Symptoms

* The cause of this condition is Ichthyophithirius multifilis (ICH ) , a ciliated protozoan .
* Bad water quality can increase the likelihood that your fish will be victim to this parasite.
* Low water temperatures (< 25°C) are ideal breeding grounds for ICH.
* The most common way Flower horns get ICH is when they are fed live or frozen food that has already been contaminated with the parasite.
* The most prominent symptom of this condition are the pure white spots that will appear all over your fish. You may also notice the fins are clumped together, and they act a bit more lethargic than usual. Moreover, it's common for them to lose interest in food when ICH infects.


The parasites resides under the skin of the fish, hence it is not affected by water treatment or direct treatment applied to the fish . Break the breeding cycle of Ich by washing the tank thoroughly to remove the cysts of the parasite. Keep in mind that this is a highly contagious condition, so your entire aquarium must be treated.

To cure white spots:

* Place Kordon Ich inhibitor in your tank.
* Add aquarium salt at 3g/l of water every 3 days together with the medication.
* After 3rd day, tank must be washed thoroughly to eliminate the causative agent.
* Add Kordon Malachite Green treatment to your tank.

Preventive measures:

* Add Kordon Prevent Ich Fish Disease Inhibitor and Preventative to your tank.
* Quarantine new fish for three to four weeks.
* Avoid cross-tank contamination.

Hole-In-The-Head Disease

Cause and Symptoms

* The cause of this condition is Hexamita Protozoa , parasitic organisms that are highly contagious.
* These parasites thrive with poor water quality management.
* If your fish has this condition, you will notice the appearance of small pits and pimples mainly on the fish's head. These pits will simply grow and form bigger pits.
* The pits are white in color, and sometimes mucous are visible around them.
* In addition to losing weight, becoming lethargic, and losing their appetites, the fish will produce white, stringy feces.


* Add Dimetrydazole (5mg/l) or Metronidazole (7mg/l).
* Repeat treatment once every 3 days.
* Do a 20%-30% water change.
* It is sometimes necessary to inject Metronidazole, but injections near the affected area should be attempt only by qualified personnel.

Preventive measures :

* Change your water regularly.
* Quarantine new fish for three to four weeks.
* Avoid cross-tank contamination.

Mouth, body and tail fungus

Causes & Symptoms

* This condition is caused by Saproglenia and other related bacteria.
* Bad water quality only causes these kinds of bacteria to thrive.
* Sudden changes in the water condition can also cause this condition in your fish.
* If your fish has this condition, you will notice cotton like tufts at the mouth, body, fin and tail.
* You may also notice your fish losing weight.


* Add Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Aquarium Salt to your tank.
* Adding Jungle Labs Fungus Eliminator will also help.
* Be sure to treat the whole tank, but quarantine the most seriously ill fish.

Preventive measures :

* Change your water regularly.
* Quarantine new fish for three to four weeks.
* Avoid cross-tank contamination.


Causes & Symptoms

* This condition is caused by a bacterial infection.
* Poor water quality, overcrowding, and stress can make your fish more susceptible to this condition.
* If your fish is affected, he may appear bloated and stop eating


· Do not add aquarium salt to your tank.

· Use a commercially prepared treatment available at your local pet shop.

Preventive measures :

* Change your water regularly.
* Quarantine new fish for three to four weeks to avoid the introduction of new, dangerous bacteria.
* Avoid cross-tank contamination.

Fin & Tail Rot Disease

Causes & Symptoms

* This condition is caused by Pseudomonas and other related bacteria.
* Poor water quality causes these bacteria to thrive in your tank.
* If your fish is affected, the fin and tail appeared eaten away and white edged. You may even notice the fin or tail beginning to literally dissolve.
* The color of the fish may dull, and the fins may clump together.
* This bacteria is highly contagious.


* Treat the whole tank, but quarantine and treat the heavily infected fish.
* Tetracycline should be added.

Preventive measures :

* Change your water regularly.
* Quarantine new fish for three to four weeks.
* Avoid cross-tank contamination.

Air Bladder Disease

Causes & Symptoms

* This condition is caused by a number of things, but the most likely problems are a virus or a bacterial infection.
* If your fish has this condition, you may notice they have trouble swimming correctly, or they tend to swim upside down.


* Because it can be hard to determine the cause of this problem, it can also be difficult to treat it, but in general, an antibiotic agent should take care of the problem.

Preventive measures :

* Change your water regularly.
* Quarantine new fish for three to four weeks.
* Avoid cross-tank contamination.

Velvet Disease

Causes & Symptoms

* This condition is caused by a fungus living in your tank.
* Poor water quality causes this fungus to thrive in your tank.
* If your fish is affected, he may stop swimming, and he may begin to look ill.


· Add Copper Sulfate (Blue Crystal) to your tank. Be sure to use the ratio of 1 g Copper Sulfate and 0.25g Citric Acid to 1 litre of distilled water. Dosage instructions: 12.5 ml to 10 litres of aquarium water for 10 days. Administer half of this on days three, five and seven.

Preventive measures :

* Change your water regularly.
* Quarantine new fish for three to four weeks.
* Avoid cross-tank contamination.

Ammonia and the Nitrogen Cycle
With some fish, high ammonia levels are a horrible problem. It is astonishing, though, that Flowerhorn fish have good tolerance towards high ammonia levels in a water system. However, in order to optimize your Flowerhorn's potentials and beauty, good water quality management is essential. The nitrogen cycle is a big part of water quality management, and understanding it will truly help increase the success level of your tank.

All organisms excrete ammonia as waste. Proper waste management is crucial in order to maintain a healthy living environment. In aquatic environments, aquatic organisms excrete ammonia into their own living system. The nitrogen cycle takes place throughout a mature system in a man-made tank. In this environment, nitrogen products are recycled by different colonies of beneficial bacteria into different forms. The highly toxic forms of these nitrogen products are ammonia and nitrite.

In a matured fish tank system with a well circulating nitrogen cycle, many other toxins, mainly ammonia, are converted into harmless nitrate, nitrous oxide and nitrogen gas. This cycle will make sure that the nitrogen level in the water is in check, hence, maintaining it below the toxic level in your fish tank.

Normally, in a newly set up tank, the nitrogen cycle may not yet be mature, which means it may not be a complete one. There will be a surge of ammonia and nitrite in the water system (New Tank Syndrome) mainly due to amount of food the fish are fed and the wastes that are produced. This may cause your Flowerhorn to die if the ammonia level in the tank reaches the toxicity point. This is commonly known as ammonia poisoning. For a new tank, frequent water changes (partial wayer changes) are advisable even if there is a proper bio filtration system in your new tank. It normally takes about 1-2 month's time for the cycle to stabilize, then less frequent water changes are necessary.

While the surge of ammonia in your tank is a problem for your fish, it will encourage the growth of nitrifying bacteria, Nitrosomonas sp., to process the ammonia into less toxic nitrite. The resulting surge in nitrite will encourage yet another group of nitrifying bacteria, Nitrobacter sp . to convert them to even less toxic nitrate. Nitrous oxide and nitrogen gas will then be produced with the help of other bacteria and aquatic plants. The complete nitrogen cycle will normally take 1-2 month's time to mature and fully stabilize. After this period, a healthy population of beneficial bacteria will then be able to work on harmful ammonia and nitrite in the water system. Nevertheless, the number of fish and the amount of food given to those fish is an important factor in contributing the amount of ammonia in a system. Too much food will be a problem for you fish. Moreover, you must be moderate when it comes to the cleaning of your bio-media filters. If your system is too clean, the beneficial bacteria will be eliminated. Partial water change and constant removal of excess food and solid waste from the filters are crucial to the health of your tank.

Deworming is basically an preventive measure to get rid of some common worms/bacteria/pasasites. Starving the fh once in a week is good. Apart from starvation, deworming can b carried out as follows..

Metronidazole, main ingredient of Metrogyl tablet, is best fed thru food than thru tank water. Also, under normal circumstances, fish will readily accept it thru food. Plus, by feeding metro thru food, we r preventing the nitrogen cycle from being wiped out.
Same with the other antibiotics like Terramycin (Ingredient- Oxytetracycline)

Metrogyl/Flagyl - for intestinal parasites/bacteria - One treatment of 3 days once in 3 months.

Terramycin - for gram-negative bacteria and columnaris virus - One treatment of 3 days once in 3 months.

Potassium Permagnate - as a 5 second bath - for most external parasites and worms - Once in a month (BE CAREFUL!!!)

Common salt - as long duration bath - as general tonic and stressbuster
as half an hour bath in concentrated solution - to get rid of ich - Once in a month.

Epsom salt - as laxative Once in 3 months.

Metrogyl treatment and Terramycin treatment is separated by at least a month. Other treatments can be carried out along with Metro/Terramycin treatment. Epsom salt treatment works great with Metrogyl treatment.

Note: This deworming procedure, suggested by our fh professor cum lover-Girish Bhai.
Common traits of a gud Fh
# Body Shape
Body of the flower horn fish should be thick and oval. Some new variants being almost round. Stomach should be full and not tucked in.

# Coloration
Most flower horn fish, red is predominant from cheek to abdominal region. However, its background colors would do well to complement the red highlighs.

# Black Horizontal Markings (flowerline)
It will be ideal if the flower horn fish has a strong and thick black horizontal marking on its body. However, be aware that not all flower horns has this criteria. We should look at the overall of the fish.

# Head
Irregardless of shape, size and coloration, a good nuchal hump is preferable. It will be ideal if the nuchal hump is proportionate to the size and shape of the fish.

# Eyes
Positioned on the sides of its head. Eyeballs and the eye linings should be alert and distinct respectively.

7) Tail & Fins
The tail and fins should stay erect most of the time.



Jack said...

Your posted was well informative, that every person who read or see this will get knowledge about you posted. you made a great job for this and thank you for sharing your taughts on us..
discus cichlid


I am a fun of flowerhorn and im tracking the history of it.I;m thankful that i found your site and learn on it.

Thanks man...

indrajit said...

i actually loss 2 males and 1 female because of wrong handling thanks sir
because of ur website i got very useful information

badjaosss said...

i have a problem with my flower horn i baught this fish last month and it have a nice color but this few week my fh already loose color until now

badjaosss said...

my flower horn is agressive but only the color is my problem??

shreesha said...

hey i have a flowerhorn...
will all the flowerhorns get hump on their head???? pls.. tell me i bought it for 6$ in india and it is 3"...tq

shreesha said...

i hav a flowerhorn baby which is 3" and i bought it for 6$ in india will it get hump on head...and will all flowerhorns get hump on head..????

william benjamin said...

i had a monkey headed flower horn fish but suddenly the fish colour becums red what is the problem please tell me,,,

jacinth ruby said...

it depends on the parents if they have humps..