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FLOWER HORN CICHLID
Flowerhorn cichlids are ornamental aquarium fish noted for their vivid colors and the distinctively shaped heads for which they are named. Their head protuberance, or kok, is formally termed a "nuchal hump." Like blood parrot cichlids, they are man-made hybrids that do not exist in nature. First developed in Malaysia and Taiwan, they are now kept by fish hobbyists worldwide. Some critics have questioned the impact of flowerhorn breeding programs.
Flowerhorn breeding dates from 1993. Malaysians admired fish with protruding heads, known as Karoi or "warships," found in the western part of the nation. The slightly protruding forehead and long tail of these fish were prized in Taiwanese society as bringing luck in geomancy. By 1994, red devil cichlids (typically Amphilophus labiatus) and trimac cichlids (Amphilophus trimaculatus) had been imported from central America to Malaysia and the hybrid blood parrot cichlid had been imported from Taiwan to Malaysia and bred these fish together, marking the birth of the flowerhorn.[dubious – discuss] In 1995, the blood parrots were further crossbred with the Human Face Red God of Fortune, which produced a new breed called the Five-Colors God of Fortune. With its beautiful colors, this fish quickly became popular. Selective breeding continued through 1998, when the Seven-Colors Blue Fiery Mouth (also known as Greenish Gold Tiger) was imported from Central America, and crossbred with the Jin Gang Blood Parrot from Taiwan. This crossbreeding led to the first generation of Hua Luo Han flowerhorn hybrids, which were then followed by subsequent flowerhorn introductions.
Arrival in the West
When flowerhorns were first imported to the United States, there were only two breeds of these fish for distribution, flowerhorn and golden base.] Flowerhorns came in two varieties, those with pearls (silver-white spots on the skin) and those without. Golden bases also had two varieties, those that faded and those that did not. Among the flowerhorns, the ones without pearls were quickly overtaken in popularity by those with pearls, becoming pearl scale flowerhorns, or Zhen Zhu. With the golden bases, the unfaded ones developed an attractive golden skin in place of what had been the flowerhorn’s grey skin. As of 1999, there were four strains of flowerhorn available in the American market: regular flowerhorns, pearl scale flowerhorns, golden flowerhorns, and faders. Commercial breeders proliferated, and fish were selected for appearance with little regard for terminology. Consequently, names became confusing and parentage became difficult to track. Around 2000–2001, the Kamfa variety appeared. These were hybrids of any type of flowerhorn crossed with any species of the genus Vieja or with any parrot cichlid. These brought in some new traits, such as short mouths, wrapped tails, sunken eyes, and increasingly larger head bumps. Seeing this, those who bred the Zhen Zhus began line breeding their fish to develop faster and become more colorful, in order to compete with the Kamfa strains. 2010 Many states have started their own breeding organizations. Minnesota stands out as one of the leaders in flowerhorn breeding in the United States due to so many hobbyists importing fish regularly. Care Flowerhorn cichlids are usually kept at a water temperature of 80–85 °F, and a pH of 7.4–8.0. They require a tank of a minimum of approximately 20–30 gallons to grow. Being aggressive and territorial, two or more flowerhorns are usually not kept together, but the tank housing them can be divided up with acrylic dividers or egg crates.
General flowerhorn classification, containing several subsets of strains from different countries and breeders. The parent breed is called Luohan, from the Chinese word for the Buddhist concept of arhat. The four main breeds of flowerhorn are Zhen Zhu, Golden Monkey, Kamfa, and Goldenbase Faders. King Kong Parrots and Red Ingots The blood parrot was the earliest defined type of cichlid hybrid, whereas the King Kong parrot represents an early stage in the transition to flowerhorn breeding. The blood parrot is smaller, with a bigger head, more protruding eyes, and a V-shaped mouth. The King Kong parrot is longer, with a reddish orange color, and a dorsal fin shorter than the anal fin. The shape of the King Kong is similar to the red devil cichlid, and, when it reaches a size of 18 cm, the shape of the mouth changes to a triangle with a more protruding jaw. Only 20% of these fish grow to a size of a half kilogram. Blood parrots and King Kong parrots are sometimes colored purple or blue by pigment injection. This practice is unhealthy for the fish, and the color will fade with time. Parrot cichlids fed with natural colorants and attractants naturally develop a red color. With further breeding, a round body shape has been selected, with the dorsal fin and anal fin longer than the tail fin, and the mouth can open and close naturally. These fish have clear eyes, and 90% of them grow to 1 kg or above, with the characteristic flowerhorn head shape.] The Red Mommon and Red Ingot breeds are the most typical of these hybrid cichlids. Both of these fishes are appreciated for feng shui. The Red Mommon is named for its high forehead, which looks like the hat worn by the God of Fortune.
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