Flowerhorn cichlids are ornamental aquarium fish known best for their extremely vivid colors and the distinctively shaped heads for which they are named: the head protuberance, or kok, is formally termed a "nuchal hump."
These species of fish are actually man-made hybrids that do not exist in the wild. They were first developed in Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan, with four variations that became available in America by 1999.
Since, Flowerhorn Fish have gone through intense selective cross breeding in order to have the best characteristics of the respective strains of the Cichlid Fish family.
It began in 1993, when Malaysians admired fish with protruding heads, known as Kaloi or "warships," inspiring an exploration in creating physical variations.
In 1994, red devil cichlids (typically Amphilophus labiatus,) trimac cichlids (Amphilophus trimaculatus,) and the hybrid blood parrot cichlid were bred together in Malaysia, marking the birth of the flowerhorn strain.
When they were first imported to the United States,
Flowerhorns came in two varieties, those with pearls (silver-white spots on the skin) and those without, but they now come in a great variety of colors and patterns!
Generally, the males are larger than the females, but there are some exceptions. Males have the kok, or the nuchal hump, on their foreheads. Males also usually have brighter and more vivid colors. For most breeds, the females have black dots on their dorsal fins, whereas males usually have longer anal and dorsal fins.
Flowerhorn cichlids have a life span of 10–12 years! They 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 55 gallons, with 125 gallons optimally.
Being very aggressive and territorial, two or more flowerhorns are usually not kept together, but the tank housing them can be divided up with acrylic dividers.
It is believed in the Asian cultures it originated that the Flowerhorn attracts positive energy, and this is one reason for the immense popularity this fish species has gained in the last several years.
Based on the Feng Shui cycle, a Flowerhorn with a fully developed hump on its head is said to bring its owner prosperity, luck, longevity, and good fortune in all things!
Now, Uncle Bill's Pet Centers is carrying the popular Magma Flowerhorn at our Greenwood store location! Feel free to stop by and see the visual fireworks that are the Flowerhorn Cichlid's brilliant colors and intriguing shape.
(*Images are for example only. Actual fish in stock may vary in appearance.)