Flowerhorn Info sheets

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Chrisplosion

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*Thread still under construction*

Flowerhorn Cichlids

Description

Common Names: Flowerhorn, Luohan

Flowerhorn Cichlids are a hybrid Central American Cichlid originating from Asia. Known species used the creation of Flowerhorn include Amphilophus Trimaculatus, Amphilophus Citrinellus, and Blood Parrot Cichlids. Flowerhorn have been In the hobby for over a decade now and to this day can still fetch a high price. Two signature features which the fish gets its name from are the black flower like spots and the large nuchal hump or “kok”.

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Social Behavior

Flowerhorn make great wet pets as they interact very well with their owner once they are settled into their home. Flowerhorn in general are very aggressive Cichlids and rarely tolerate tankmates of any kind. Flowerhorn typically attack and/or kill other fish in the aquarium so caution is extremely advised in attempting to house them with other fish. At younger sizes it may be possible to house them with Cichlids and other fish but at adult sizes it is recommend it be the sole fish in the tank. It is also possible to house Flowerhorn in very large tank with large foot prints with other fish. Another method shown to work is to house them in tanks with a very heavy stock. But again it is advised to have caution when attempting to house them with other fish.

An example of typical Flowerhorn behavior

[video=youtube;chvH6bOPmls]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chvH6bOPmls[/video]


Body Types

Normal Body

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Short Body: Size and shape will vary greatly from fish to fish. Anything that isn’t considered Normal Bodied or Bonsai falls into this category.

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Bonsai (also called Balloon, Round Body, or Coin): Typically is perfectly circle shaped or close. It’s a common misconception that this shape is created by breeding in Blood Parrot but that is incorrect. These are also sometimes mistaken as Kirin Parrots.

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Size and Growth

Final adult size is dependent on several factors such as body type, breed, and gender. Most Flowerhorn rarely push over 12” with around 10-11” being much more common. The average healthy growth for Flowerhorn is around 1” a month. Short body Flowerhorn will vary greatly from one another. They could reach anywhere from 6-10” typically depending on the degree of short body. The Bonsai body type rarely seen at 8”, they typically reach around 6-7” for males and 5-6” for females. Bonsai and short bodied Flowerhorn grow at a slightly slower rate than normal bodied Flowerhorn.

Nuchal Hump “Kok”

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The Nuchal Hump or “Kok” as it is often referred to as in the Flowerhorn hobby, is the hump head many sport. The kok is mostly seen on males but sometimes seen on females. The growth and size of kok is almost entirely dependent on the fish’s genetics. Most Flowerhorn you will find in a local fish store or chain store like Petsmart or Petco are low quality and do not usually have the genetics to grow a kok. High quality Flowerhorn always have a kok as it is one of the more important traits desired by enthusiasts. The kok consists of, which is tissue, that is mostly comprised of water.

There are 3 types of kok: hard, semi, and water.

Hard: Hard kok are the smallest kind and are more common on low quality Flowerhorn and like the name suggest is hard.

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Semi: Semi kok is larger than hard kok but doesn’t push too much past the head.

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Water: Water kok typically grow large and some very large. When help up to lights water kok are translucent.

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If your fish has the genetics for it there are a few things you can do to help promote the growth of its kok.

Tank Size

Normal Bodied: 75 gallon minimum
Short Bodied: 55 gallon minimum
Bonsai (Round Body, Coin): 40 gallon minimum

Water Condition

Temperature: 80- 86F (26 - 30C)
pH: 6.0 - 8.5

Flowerhorn appreciate temps over 80F. Its recommended to have a stable warm temp in the range of 82-84F for the best health and color. At temps lower than 80F they typically are more sluggish and don’t show color as well. pH isn’t too important, it’s more important to have a stable pH.

Feeding

There are many foods out on the market and most of them are either bunk or aren’t very healthy for your fish. If it claims to be for Flowerhorn then it’s best to avoid it. It’s better to feed your fish a healthier food than one pumped with hormones or other additives. It is recommended to feed brands like Hikari or New Life Spectrum. You will notice better results when a single food is fed exclusively.

If you are having troubles switching your Flowerhorn over to a new food it is usually recommended to not feed the fish any foods for a few days until it begins to except the new food.

Health Issues

*This section is still under construction*

Ick/Ich: As with any new fish, you might run into ick. Ick looks like tiny salt grains on the body or fins. Gone untreated it will spread to other fish and eventually kill the host. A very simple and cheap way to treat ick is to increase the temp of the tank to 86-89F and add 1-5 tablespoons of salt per 5 gallons depending on what other fish in the tank. Flowerhorn and other Cichlids can easily tolerate doses of salt as high 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon but this isn’t always needed. Depending on the severity it could take a couple weeks to treat.

Dropsy: Dropsy is an internal bacterial infection usually caused by poor water quality or high protein diets. Dropsy is very hard to treat and the fish usually doesn’t recover and dies. A fish suffering from dropsy typically has a swollen stomach and its fins start sticking out similar to a pinecone. A constipated fish is sometimes mistaken for having dropsy.

Hole in the Head: Also shorted to HITH, HITH is a common occurrence in large Flowerhorn and other Cichlids kept in poor water conditions and sometimes. HITH is holes that form on the head and face area. HITH is easily preventable is routine tank maintenance is done which can also reverse it when it is already present.

Hexamita: Hexamita is caused by intestinal flagellated protozoa and attacks the digestive system and the lower intestines of infected fish. Symptoms of Hexamita include white stringy feces and loss of appetite. For treatment of Hexamita read this http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/showthread.php?339362-Treating-Hexamita-aka-Spironucleus

Sexual Differences

*This section is still under construction*

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Chrisplosion

Mean Cat
Original poster
MFK Member
Jul 10, 2010
12,162
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0
Oregon, it's part of 'Murica!
Fader Flowerhorn

I thought that I would compile some info in regards to FH faders, where the fader gene originates from, and why it only surfaces in some fish.

Amelanism is a pigmentation abnormality characterized by the lack of pigments called melanins (black pigment) and can affect reptiles, fish, amphibians, etc. The appearance of an amelanistic fish (such as a fader) depends entirely on the remaining non-melanin pigments. In some cases where a fish does not completely fade or finish peeling, with some black pigment remaining, the condition is known as hypomelanism.

You can read more about these various color morphs in great detail in the following link.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Understanding-Reptile-Color-and-Correct-Color-Terminology


Oddball has a very good list of terms in the link below as well.
http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38534


Both A. labiatus & A. citrinellus are the species involved that introduced this "fader" gene into the flowerhorn mix. Faders are simply a genetic throw back to some of the amphilophus that have been used to create certain flowerhorn strains. There has been a lot of work done with the Amphilophus genus by George Barlow & others, and in the wild these genes only express themselves in approx 10% of the population.




"Most Midas cichlids are of the normal cryptic coloration, but about 7 to 10% are brilliantly colored. These bright morphs lack the species-typical markings and have lost the ability to change their patterns; they range in hues smoothly from white through yellow, orange and red, though yellow through orange prevail. All start life normal in color, but at highly variable ages they lose most or all of their melanin, revealing the bright hues that most of them possess. The degree of development of this xanthomorphism varies among the lakes and appears to be positively correlated with turbidity of the water."
The actual timing of de-pigmentation is determined by a different set of genes hence the reason why some fish seem to peel very early in life, while others are almost adult size before they begin to fade/peel. And of course in the wild fading/peeling at too early of an age/size makes the fish a much easier target for prey, so many wild morphs are late bloomers.

According to some of the earlier work peformed by George Barlow, gold morphs are most abundant at deeper depths, and in more turbid water. Lake Masaya has very turbid water, and gold morphs are very abundant in this body of water. Lake Apoyo has quite clear water, and while the gold morph genes are present in the fish, no true gold morphs are found. The fish in this lake have the typical spotted & barred patterns.

Source - http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/showthread.php?396860-Faders-explained


Example of the fading process







 
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