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This profile comes from the Flower Horn Fish Resource Center, he has allowed me to gather information and use his photos. Ong has also written and article that can be viewed by clicking this link. Flower Horn Fish in General
Flower Horn Fish or Hua Luo Han
General Body Form:
As was 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. We would like to stress that the Flower Horn Fish has gone through a lot of 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 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. Chinese call the flower horn cichlid "Hua Luo Han".
Coloration (as you can see from the pictures )can vary from the native locale and the age of the fish. All are stunning, bright and can command a high price
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 should be around pH 7 to pH 7.8 with water temperature ranging between 27 °C to 32°C. For temperate / colder climate regions, just need a conventional water heater. With regards to aquarium size, try to have at least 4 feet (length) by 2 feet (width) aquarium. The tank should be decorated in typical Cichlid fashion, providing open swimming areas as well as caves and driftwood for hiding. Plastic plants are best as they will dig. They are very aggressive in nature. Coexisting 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.
Sexing the flower horn can be attempted the following way: The most
accurate way is look at the anal pore of the fish. The male fish has
a V-shaped anal pore. As for the female, it will have a U - shaped
anal pore. Generally, it will be easier to identify the sex of the
fish when it is around 4 inches in length. Breeding should be typical
of any of the large parent stock like Cichlasoma Trimaculatus or Cichlasoma
Here is a movie of a pair in the spawning act
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