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High Grade Flowerhorn

High Grade Flowerhorn

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About Flowerhorn Cichlids

  • Scientific Name: Unknown- Hybrid
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Origin: Variable
  • Common Names: Flower horn cichlid, Flowerhorn


Flowerhorns are extremely aggressive towards most tank mates, but some tankmates can coexist with flowerhorns. Flowerhorns tend to be aggressive towards anything entering their “territory” but still act like puppy dogs to their owners.


Flowerhorn Lifespan

Short bodied flowerhorns often only live for 4-5 years, while longer bodied ones live 8-12 years on average.

Recently, the expected lifespan has been lowered with the incoming generations, as the newcomers are more inbred than ever.


Flowerhorn Size

The size of your flowerhorn will vary greatly depending on the strain. King Kamfas, for example, reach sizes around 12-16 inches, while Thai silk often stay around 8-12 inches. Short bodied flowerhorns will be a few inches shorter than their long-bodied counterparts.


Flowerhorn Fish Care

Even though different flowerhorns, even ones of the same strain, have diverse genetic backgrounds, this care guide can be applied to all of them.


Flowerhorns are considered an intermediate fish due to their aggressive nature, massive size, waste production, and diet requirements.

  • Tank Size: Flowerhorns should have a tank size of 125 gallons or 150-175 gallons if you plan on housing a male and female pair. It is popular to grow them out in smaller tanks and graduate them to larger ones as they grow, but unless you have plans for the smaller tanks, it could be considered a waste of money. Smaller tanks technically have enough gallons for them to swim around in and dilute their waste, but they are often not wide enough to allow a flowerhorn to turn around. Some of the smaller strains can be kept in a 75 or 90 gallon, but all fish appreciate more space.
  • Flow: Flowerhorns are strong fish and can tolerate moderate to high flow, but it is possible to have too much flow. If your flowerhorn is being blown all over the tank, the flow is too strong. Many flowerhorn keepers install additional powerheads along the bottom of the tank to push the waste towards the filter.
  • Substrate: Most large fish that are kept with a gravel substrate run the risk of swallowing it with their food. The gravel can then become impacted in the fish’s intestines, preventing it from passing any waste and creating a serious health risk. Large pieces of tile, bare bottom, or sand substrates are popular choices for Flowerhorn Cichlids.

Water Parameters

Flowerhorns come from a huge mix of cichlids, most with different water requirements, which is why the fish never bred in the wild. Flowerhorns prefer soft to moderately hard water, but stability is more important than “perfect” water parameters.

These are basic guidelines for Flowerhorn water parameters:

  • pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 80-85°F
  • Alkalinity: 6°-20° dGH

Flowerhorns are sensitive to ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates, more so than other fish. Any measurable amount of ammonia or nitrite is actively causing damage to your fish, so cycling the tank beforehand is necessary.


Flowerhorn Diet

Flowerhorns are far from picky when it comes to eating, but they require a protein rich and strongly varied diet. Live foods are not necessary, as they will eat frozen and dried foods with no problems.

Flowerhorns need a staple pellet to provide micronutrients and vitamins as well as additions like sun dried crickets, grasshoppers, mealworms, anchovies, and frozen shrimp.

Worms, such as white worms, blackworms, earthworms and nightcrawlers can also be fed to Flowerhorns.

Since overfeeding can lead to excess ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, it is important to feed several smaller meals per day.

Flowerhorns are typically fed three times a day and the amount that needs to be fed varies on the type of food being fed and the Flowerhorn variety. Feeding what the fish can eat in 20-40 seconds is typically a good rule for Flowerhorns.