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Flowerhorns are the ultimate “pet” fish due to their extremely interactive nature! Flowerhorn cichlids have been specifically bred to respond to the humans around them and some will even lift their nuchal hump out of the water to get petted.
Flowerhorns are a hybrid fish that are based on one of the earliest man-made hybrid fish: the Blood Parrot cichlid. Since the first flowerhorns, often called Luohans, these fish have been hybridized with dozens of other cichlids since. Their genetic history is actually unknown and varies greatly with each strain. Started in Malaysia and Taiwan, the Flowerhorn was created by cross-breeding cichlids from Central America. The four main types are Zhen Zhu, Golden Monkey, Kamfa, and Golden Base or Faders. Various strains exist within these types. And the most famous type is named the Red Dragon Flowerhorn. Cross-breeding these fish has made Flowerhorns available worldwide!
Flowerhorns have a lifespan of about 10–12 years. They are usually kept at a water temperature of 76–85 °F and a pH of around 7.4–8.3. They require a tank of a minimum of around 50 gallons with 125 gallons being ideal! A breeding pair may require a tank of 150 gallons or more, depending on their size. It is very popular to grow Flowerhorns out in a smaller tank and graduate them to a larger one as they grow out. Flowerhorns are strong fish and can tolerate moderate to high water flow but it is possible to have too much flow. If your flowerhorn is being blown all over the tank, then the flow is too strong! You can install a powerhead along the bottom of the tank to push the waste towards the filter.
Some specimens of Flowerhorn have grown to sizes up to 18-20 inches making this a very big and MAGNIFICENTLY beautiful fish. Enjoy!