Flowerhorn Cichlid

What Sets The Flowerhorn Cichlid Apart in the Cichlidae Family?

Members belonging to the Cichlidae family of fishes are native to several regions in the world, but the Flowerhorn cichlid cannot claim to be native to any of  them. The Flowerhorn cichlid cannot even claim to be one of the species that belongs to the Cichlidae family, since it is a hybrid, and was bred from two existing species of South or Central American cichlids, with and the names of the two species involved are being a closely guarded secret.

Even though the Flowerhorn will probably never be found in the wild, it has nevertheless become a favorite of tropical fish hobbyists, and a great favorite of those who specialize in any of the cichlid species. The different members of the Cichlidae  family exist in a great number of different shapes and sizes. The best known and most popular cichlid is probably the Angelfish.

The Distinguishing Characteristics Of the Cichlid

Since cichlids vary so much in appearance, what is it they have in common, and share with the Flowerhorn? To arrive at a partial answer, one would first have to dissect a cichlid, since one of its unique characteristics is that its small intestine exists the stomach on the left side.  The small intestine exits from the right side of the stomach in all other species of fish. The cichlid also has a single nostril, a characteristic shared only by the damselfish, and it has teeth in its throat as well as in its jaws.

The Flowerhorn was first bred in the mid to late 1990′s. There are presently a number of varieties on the market, and there has been so much cross-breeding done, and so many different names given to these hybrids, that it has become either very difficult or impossible to trace most of the hybrids back to the original hybrid.

Some Flowerhorns Cost More Than Others 

When purchasing a Flowerhorn, the buyer is often confronted with a choice. An adult Flowerhorn will cost more, but one can see what one is getting. Young or immature Flowerhorns usually cost much less, but one won’t know the colors or the patterns the fish will display until it matures. The fact that the patterns displayed by some Flowerhorns can drive their cost up to a thousand dollars or more tends to make the decision on what to purchase easier for those who simply want one or more of these fish in their home aquarium. With a young Flowerhorn,  you pay your money and take your chances.

Flowerhorn Cichlid Care

The Flowerhorn cichlid is a relatively easy fish to care for, but it doesn’t always get along well with other fish since it is by nature very aggressive and territorial. Those in the tropical fish business generally recommend that if you do plan to keep Flowerhorn cichlids, and you want to have other fish in the same aquarium, other species of aggressive cichlids make the best choices. The cichlids won’t kill one another off, as they are very tough fish, but it would be wise to do a little research before deciding how best to populate an aquarium.

The Flowerhorn can be a somewhat ravenous eater, although calling it a very healthy eater sounds a little more polite. It should be fed more than once a day, since placing a day’s worth of food in the tank all at once will most likely result in a great deal of waste. Most hobbyists feed their Flowerhorns two or three times a day. A fish that eats a lot will naturally produce a fair amount of waste matter, which means that an aquarium containing Flowerhorns, or many other cichlids for that matter, will probably need to be cleaned out fairly often. When cleaning out an aquarium containing tropical fish, it’s never a good idea to change out all of the water at once. A good rule of thumb for a tropical fish aquarium is to replace one-third of the water at a time, and with cichlids, replacing one-fifth or 20% of the water at one time is the usual recommendation. Even though most cichlids are not terribly fussy about the water they live in, or its temperature, the water in the aquarium should not be allowed to become overly contaminated.

When Good Luck And Money Go Hand In Hand 

It was mentioned previously that the markings on a Flowerhorn cichlid could be a determining factor in what a given fish might sell for. Among the most expensive Flowerhorns are those who display a pattern that resembles a Chinese letter, and the most valuable of all may be those rare fish that display a marking resembling the Chinese symbol for “luck”.

There are those who believe the Flowerhorn hybrid was created for the express purpose of making a great deal of money, and to some extent those critics have proven to be correct. It cannot be denied however that this particular hybrid, with all of its varieties, has become extremely popular among tropical fish hobbyists, most of whom purchase immature fish and, as if waiting to open a Christmas present, wait to see which colors and patterns the adult Flowerhorn will display.
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