A new species of cichlid was introduced in the latter part of the 90’s in Malaysia. It was done by cross-breeding several South American cichlids which resulted to what we now know as the flowerhorn fish. Flowerhorn fish have a prominent hump on their heads and black markings on their sides. These markings were believed to bring good fortune, especially when they resemble Chinese characters, such as the one for luck. The hump on the head of the flowerhorn is also another feature that is believed to bring good fortune for it resembles Shou Xing, the Chinese God of Longevity with its high forehead. These features appear on both male and female flowerhorns.Both the male and female flowerhorns are fertile and capable of reproduction. Being capable of breeding and being associated with being bearers of fortune, the flowerhorn sale boomed at the initial years after being introduced to the market.
Flowerhorn fish are easily maintained. A 200-Liter capacity will be enough to house one flowerhorn fish. Flowerhorn fish are able to tolerate minor changed in the water condition of the aquarium. However, it is advised to have a water pH slightly basic or close to neutral since acidic conditions tends to fade the color of the flowerhorn. Flowerhorns can be kept up to a group of three in aquariums, provided that ample space is there and that there are accessories that will act as the partitions of the territories. Male and female flowerhorns can also be kept together, especially when breeding for flowerhorn sale is the concern. When trying to breed, a flat surface should be provided where the female flowerhorn will lay her eggs. While the female flowerhorn guards the eggs, the male flowerhorn protects the territory by keeping other fish away.
Male and female flowerhorns tend to look almost the same when they are small. However, when they reach about 10-12 cm they can be distinguished when the anal pore is checked A female flowerhorn is characterized by a U-shaped anal pore while a V-shaped anal pore is distinctive of the male flowerhorn. Another way of differentiating between the sexes of the flowerhorn fish is that the female flowerhorn have a relatively smaller hump compared to their male counterpart Despite the slight difference in appearance, the flowerhorn sale for both male and female flowerhorns are at par.
The price of flowerhorns nowadays is not as extravagant as it was in the start The flowerhorns that are of great value are those that have very distinguishable markings on them that was greatly associated with luck and good fortune. However, this has not stopped breeders and enthusiasts to stop breeding the hybrid cichlid to enhance the features of the fish. Breeding of the flowerhorn fish is still being done to further develop and create flowerhorns with more distinctive markings and colors.
Despite its popularity among fish enthusiasts and breeders for being fabled as bringers of good luck and the relative ease in keeping them, the flowerhorn did not come without opposition. Since the flowerhorn fish was a result of human manipulation, some religious groups as well as environmentalists do not like the idea of having something that is not of nature. There are those that said that since the flowerhorn fish was a result of extensive inbreeding among different species of cichlids, it was an abomination to nature. Being created in captivity, the flowerhorn fish is also considered a threat in an ecosystem since it has not natural predators and could upset the balance of nature.
The flowerhorn fish was able to create a name for itself. With both the grandeur and criticism that it has attained, people will continue to appreciate the flowerhorn fish be it for its beauty or for the associated good fortune that awaits those who keep them.