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FAQs on the Flowerhorn Cichlid Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Flowerhorns by Ong, Blood Parrots & Flowerhorn Cichlids: maintenance and healthcare of two popular hybrid cichlids by Neale Monks, What do you think of Flowerhorn Cichlids? By Neale Monks, Cichlid Fishes

Related FAQs: Flowerhorns, Flowerhorn Identification, Flowerhorn Behavior, Flowerhorn Compatibility, Flowerhorn Selection, Flowerhorn Systems, Flowerhorn Disease, FAQs on Flowerhorn Cichlid Disease by Category: Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments, Flowerhorn Reproduction, Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, African Cichlids, Angelfishes, Discus, Chromides, Neotropical Cichlids

Jellybean Cichlid; foods, fdg.      3/30/17
We have a jellybean cichlid along with 2 jewel cichlids in a 55 gallon tank. They all get along fine but my jellybean is always begging for food.
We feed them the cichlid flakes since they never took to pellets. Is there something else I should be feeding him so he's not always begging?
<Ah yes; need more sustenance, substance than flakes; I would train them on nutritious, palatable types of pellets, possibly laced with frozen/defrosted foods. Please read here:
Thank you
for any input.
LeeAnne Degler
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Holiday food for Flowerhorn     10/30/14
I have Flowerhorn fish about 12 inches long, I wanted to know if it is okay to feed him something called "holiday food" .
<Most vacation foods are garbage, but some brands are okay... Need to know which you're referring to here>
Because i will be gone for 4 days and nobody's home to take care of the fish. I just wanted to know if its safe for my fish to feed the holiday food which we get here at the pet store, so the pet can survive for days on that food.
<If it were me, mine, I'd skip feeding period for these four days. All will be fine. Bob Fenner>

can i feed Spirulina to my red dragon Flowerhorn?    1/6/12
I am curious about feeding Spirulina to red fish!
<Yes, you can.>
I got a red dragon Flowerhorn and i saw a thread about feeding Spirulina to Flowerhorns
I also heard of Spirulina enhance the blue color of Flowerhorn, can u enlighten me about this please?
<Algae can, in some cases, make the existing blue colouration on a fish even bluer. Same sort of way crustaceans tend to make the red colouration redder.>
Thanks for the answer :)
<Welcome. Neale.>

FH, fdg., freeze-dried shrimp use       11/29/12
is it ok to feed my Flowerhorn freeze dried shrimps on a daily basis?
<Due to Thiaminase issues and just too much fat content, no... Better to use as a periodic (weekly) treat.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Hello.. FH fdg.     11/30/12


Flower Horn cichlid will not eat     9/6/12
Good Evening,
    I recently purchased a Flower Horn cichlid about 3 days ago and he's roughly around 2-2.5 inches. I have had many different kinds of cichlids both South American and African so I am fairly knowledgeable about them but this is my first Flower horn and he will not eat. I have a 30 gallon long
<Will need something larger>
and my PH is at about 7.4-7.6 a little high but I have city water and it is hard to keep down, but I do use Seachem's Neutral Regulator
<The mid 7's pH is fine for this neotropical cichlid cross. I would NOT adjust it>
 but wont seem to put the pH. at neutral even though all the decorations (i.e. fake log, river gravel, plants, slate cave) are all for fresh water and new. The only other fish in the tank are a few fast moving tiger barbs
<Fine for these small minnows as well>
which pay him no mind and visa versa. He, as well as the barbs seem to be just fine and not stressed or anything like that and both seem to have good food drive, only the barbs will eat and he will not.
<Their presence, swimming activity may be annoying the FH... also; does this tank have a background? Internal reflection may show the one fish that there are "other" FHs present... I'd cover the back and one side w/ paper>
I have brand (Tetra) Cichlid Flakes as well as small dried shrimp which i break up into small enough pieces to eat and he shows hunger right away when i open the tank lid and he goes for the food and will grab it and seem to swallow it but then either instantly spits it out or will hold it in his closed mouth for 5-30 seconds and then will spit that out and will retreat back to his previous spot. Im almost worried that something possible could be blocking/stopping him from swallowing. That is the thing that gets me is that he shows interest and isn't scared and wants to eat but wont. I have been reading through your page (which by the way is Great) and it says the pH. is with in range and it clearly states that flower Horns are not picky eaters and will eat most foods. So please any help or advise would be GREAT. Thanks so much in advance.
<Let's have you (re) read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhornfdgfaq.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flower Horn cichlid will not eat

Thank you very much for the advise and such a quick response. And to answer your question, I do have a background on the tank so i wouldn't think that's the issue.
<Mmm, well, just a guess. I would place paper on one end as well... to see>
 And I forgot to add the water Temp in my last message, it stays between 75-79 degrees F
which after reading through all the stories from the link you gave me is pretty good. And the tank has a great underground filter on it. After reading all the stories a lot of them mentioned a new fish being (imprinted) on a certain sort of food from previous owner/home. Would you think that's the case and if so should i try and replicate that food? Or should i just try a new short of food like peas, pellets etc.? Thank you very much again.
<I would experiment w/ other foods, including earthworms of small size.
Re: Flower Horn cichlid will not eat
Ok Thank You! I'll try it out!

Flowerhorn; system; diet     8/16/12
Hi there
<Hello Salai,>
This is my new big head
It cost me 30$
I wonder is my 20 gal tank appropriate to pet him?

<For a few weeks or months, yes; but not in the long term. If you keep a Flowerhorn in a small aquarium (anything smaller than 55 gallons for a specimen 3-6 inches long, and 75 gallons for an adult 6+ inches long) it will likely become stunted to some degree. Indeed, it may even get sick and die because limited water volume (high nitrate, low oxygen) make cichlids extremely prone to latent protozoan, bacterial infections (such as Hexamita, Octomita). Either way, it won't be an attractive fish. Do bear in mind Flowerhorn cichlids get their "looks" from a combination of genetics
and good care. There are no magical foods that make up for poor care or breeding.>
He is about 2 inches I guess.
<Will grow very rapidly.>
And i can only buy OceanFree pallets here is this food effective?
<Together with cooked peas and cooked spinach, yes (these are a source of fibre, crucial to avoiding digestive tract problems).>
And I got earth worms in my yard can I feed them?
<Provided you do not use chemicals (insecticides, herbicides) in your garden, yes; these chemicals are poisonous to your fish.>
I also plan to feed chicken heart
<I would not do this.
These fish evolved from omnivorous-to-herbivorous ancestors, and "meat" in the general sense is not a necessary or perhaps even a healthy addition to their diet. Instead concentrate on providing green foods; without green foods, cichlids are prone to constipation and bloating, as well as vitamin deficiencies that seem linked with Hole-in-the-Head and similar syndromes.>
Will it b OK?
Thanks for your former answers I am Ivan Bob
<Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FHParrotCichArtNeale.htm
There's nothing special about these hybrid cichlids that makes them different to any other large cichlid. They need a big aquarium, a strong filter, and regular water changes. A varied diet with some green foods is essential. Cheers, Neale.>

Help with new Flowerhorn please... fdg.   3/18/12
Hi WWM Crew,
Firstly, thanks for the excellent resources on WWM. You have solved a majority of my problems from Tank Setup to Cycling. Kudos to you!
<Thank you>
But every now and then, one comes up with that weird little problem and I have something similar this time.
I have a ~ 67 Gallon aquarium (3 x 1.5 x 2). It was cycled and yesterday, my LFS tested the water parameters and said it was safe to add fish.
<Mmm, best to have your own basic test kits>
I immediately purchased a juvenile Flowerhorn that is about 2 inches long (head to tail).
This is my first experience with Flowerhorns though I have previously successfully kept Oscars and Bettas.
I acclimated the Flowerhorn to the new tank water and released him in yesterday. He has been very active and playful, exploring the tank and dancing in the filter current.
Though he was washed out yesterday, today he is almost back to his normal color. He is not scared of me and always comes over to that side of the tank to which I move!
*Now the problem:*
He was always fed live worms at the LFS right from birth I guess! I do not
plan to do that as I think that it is unhealthy and unhygienic!
<Depending on the species of worms, I agree>
So, I offered him 2 baby pellets of Hikari Cichlid Gold today afternoon.
He promptly gulped it only to spit it out immediately! He never tried it again after that! I removed the uneaten food from the tank.
I am pretty sure that he is hungry and would eat if I offered him live food. I can say so coz he tries to eat his poop that is moving around in the tank and looks like a tiny worm!
He has no symptoms of Ich/ick or of any intestinal infection (no stringy poop) nor is he lethargic or lazy. In fact, I think he is super active!
I believe he is just being picky about the food. My earlier fish (Oscars and Bettas) have never taken more than 12 hours to start taking pellets.
My LFS says that I should starve him for as long as it takes! I think that it would be cruel to do so! Can you please guide me about this issue?
<I would do as they suggest... try twice a day... this fish can go w/o food for a few to several days>
How long can he survive without food? What are the chances of his eating the Hikari pellets? Or will it be me eventually succumbing to his food strike?
<In almost all cases, this and other Cichlids will take prepared foods in time>
Thanks a lot in advance... Lots of Love and regards,
Keep Swimming!
- Nihal Adsul,
Mumbai, India.
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Help with new Flowerhorn please...   3/18/12

Hey Bob,
It's me again. I just wanted to inform you that my Flowerhorn has started eating his pellets. I gave him 6 baby pellets (Hikari Cichlid Gold) one by one and he ate all of them. I stopped at six though.
I guess I was freaking out unnecessarily. Sorry for the trouble caused. I guess I should have waited a bit more before bugging you.
Thanks again...
- Nihal Adsul.
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Flowerhorn diet  2/27/12
hi, i brought a 5 inch flower horn. I really want to know is it good to feed it with Japanese cup fishes. Tq
<What is a "Japanese cup fish"? If you mean a live feeder fish, then NO, it is not a good idea. EVER. Use a good quality pellet food daily, with fresh green foods (to prevent bloating and constipation) once or twice a week.
And follow the links therein. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Flowerhorn diet

hi, this are the pics of Japanese Koi carp that i fed the Flowerhorn
<Do not use feeder fish. These cichlids are not fish-eaters, and feeder fish will introduce parasites.>

but the fish that i fed is smaller of the same type. I too would like to know yesterday i saw my Flowerhorn skin was slightly peeling and it was slightly red. I would like to know is it normal?.
<Read where you were sent:
And also read here, and the links at the top to other Flowerhorn disease pages:
Almost all problems with Flowerhorns come down to their environment. To recap, you need at least 75 gallons, a very strong filter, weekly water changes, a varied diet, and hard, alkaline water chemistry (10+ degrees dH, pH 7.5-8.0). Look at what you're doing, and what you're not doing is probably what's causing the trouble. Cheers, Neale.>

weird question... FH, fdg./beh.    1/12/12
hi, my Flowerhorn is a red dragon male of 3.5 inch as your crew said me to feed him food only 2 times a day. so i gave him food in morning and then after 3-4 hrs i have noticed that the color of flower horn became white and her eye color i.e. orange circle became black. when fed him it became normal. can you tell what happened ?
<Likely just the reflection of light... but could be a diurnal behavioral (colour) change, due to mood...
Bob Fenner>

some questions about FH
Flowerhorn Questions, fdg., hump dev./beh.   1/10/12

Hi Crew,
I am from India, bought a Flowerhorn 2 days ago which is 60 days old and it is a Red Dragon (male) and the size of my Flowerhorn is of 3-3.5 inch's. From this afternoon my Flowerhorn started eating xo humpy head food which was referred by the seller. For now my flower horn is doing fine but after some time it waits and watches the humpy head box for a long time and then I feed him 2 pellets of humpy head but still after 30 min.s it does the same. I don't want to over feed my fish. Please tell me how many time's should I feed the fish in a day and how many pellets in each feed ?
< Feed once or twice a day and only enough food so that it is completely gone in a couple of minutes.>
 There is also other question I want to ask is that the fish does not have hump for now when inquired to the seller, he said that the hump will be visible when the fish size grows to 4-4.5 inches and he said that the father of the fish is red dragon and the mother is KOK as I was confused that the Flowerhorn that I got is a kamfa. As I have done lots of browsing its mentioned that the male gets the hump fast compared to female so how to check that my fish is male or female?
<Flowerhorns are a cross between a few different cichlids but they all have similar secondary sexual characteristics. Males are usually larger and have longer unpaired fins. Mature males may get humps on their forehead.>
Also the seller said that he shipped me a yellow red dragon but the fish I got is a combination of white and
pink, when inquired he said it will change the color with in 2 days as because of travailing the color has been changed to white and soon it will change to yellow. I have attached the pic's of my Flowerhorn please check it and let me know. Please tell me that my fish is a kamfa or a red dragon and a friend said that red dragon hump growth is faster than the kamfa hump growth. Sorry for such a huge mail as I am new to this stuff I am confused btw things. Thanks Regards Ali
< Since the Flowerhorn is a cross there are many "types' available. I would recommend getting photos of the pair to make some determination of how the fry will turn out. Maybe the seller could refer to online photos to what his fish look like.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn... hlth., nutr.  12/2/11
Good Day.
<And you Binesh>
This is Binesh here from India.
1 week back i bought a male and female Flowerhorn. The male is 4-5 inches and the female 2-2.5 inches.
I kept them in a 200 ltr tank and separated them with a glass partition. The female occupies 25% space and the male 75% space.
When i started feeding them ( XO Humpy head) the male was not taking the food immediately and the female ate this very quickly.
The male fish used to take the pallets in his mouth and then spit it. But after some 1 hour it starts chewing it and would spit all the food which deposited in the bottom of tank.
This went on for 2 days. After 2 days i changed the water 100%. But still the male is repeating the chewing and spitting practice and the female eats it as usual.
<I would try other foods w/ both of them>
The male is not playing with us as Flowerhorn usually does, but the female do plays a bit.
The male fish is moving around in the tank very freely and does some exciting act towards the female but not to us. The earlier Flowerhorn i had used to play with us very much.
I enquired about the same to the pet shop and they advised me to put 800 mg of Flagyl ( Metronidazole) into the water and change the water 50% on alternate day. I did it and still the male behaves the same way.
<Mmm, this is a very powerful medication...>
Then one of my friend asked me not to put Flagyl and try 10 tablets of tetracycline hydrochloride capsule along with half kg of salt and 10 drops of a medicine called rid all. I have put this yesterday. He advised me to change 60% of water tomorrow and repeat the same cycle.
<I wouldn't treat these fish with this antibiotic either>
Will my fish be cured of whatever disease it has and start being active with humans and start taking food.
Please advise.
I have maintained the water temperature to 28 degrees.
With best regards,
<Best to just be patient. I doubt that the one fish has a biological disease here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flower horn 12/2/11

Hi Mr. Fenner,
<Hello Binesh!>
Thanks for your quick response.
I have done the second part of water change yesterday and repeated the process of salt and tetracycline. Tomorrow i am again going to repeat the same.
Please advise what other food can be given
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhornfdgfaq.htm
 and also advise what is biological disease. Is this curable?
<... ones caused by living agents... as opposed to nutrition, environment.....>
Also please advise if you have any other medication to suggest.
I love the fish that i bought and don't want to loose it. Please help.
Thanks in advance.
Best regards,
Re: Flower horn, fdg.  -- 12/5/11

Hi Bob,
I don't get such fast responses from my vendors, which i get from you.
You were of great help in guiding me for the faster recovery of my fish. Thanks a lot.
I have got the fish food Hikari food sticks. My FH is eating this very well.
<Ah, good>
The cover of the food reads ideal for top feeding carnivores.
But the shopkeeper told me that the food is for Arowanas only.
<... No...>
Please advise if I can continue this.
<You certainly can... B>
Re: Flower horn

Hi Bob,
Thanks a lot for all your valuable advises.
I have zeroed in on the supplier of Hikari foods in India and he is sending me Cichlid Bio Gold.
I hope this is fine?
<Oh yes>
Once again thanks for all your support.
<Welcome Binesh. B>
With Best Regards,
6Re: Flower horn -- 12/6/11

Thanks Bob,
Thanks for all your help.
<Welcome Binesh>
Here in India the general conception is that Humpy head is the one and only food which is good for FH.
People believe that it will increase head growth.
I was also under the same impression before i started reading articles in your site.
Thanks for suggesting Hikari to me.
Once again thanks for your time and i hope i don't disturb you in near future.
<And you, B>
Re: Flower horn, hlth., nutr.  -- 12/03/11

Hi Bob,
I did a 100% water change today, removed all the medicines, put some more rocks and stones, added one more filter.
Changed the food to dry shrimps. He initially did not touch the food.
But then suddenly he took all of them into his mouth.
I put one more and he ate it well.
<See WWM re Thiaminase>
Think the diet has improved. But the humpy head pallets remain untouched.
<Throw it away>
Thanks for your advise of changing the food. Is it OK that in future i feed him with only the shrimps.
<No... see above and where you were previously referred. BobF>
Re: Flower horn -- 12/03/11

Hi Bob,
<Big B>
Thanks for the quick responses you give.
As per your below mail, understand that i should not give more of shrimps to my FH as it contains Thiaminase and can cause a deficiency of vitamin B1.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
<You are correct... Did you read here:
So I should start giving peas and spinach to the FH. But is this enough for FH?
<I would feed a staple... pelleted food. My fave is Spectrum... if you can't get this where you are Hikari and Tetra also make excellent dried-prepared foods for Cichlids>
Is there any specific tinned food you can suggest me? Need your help here.
<And you. BobF>

flower horn and Arowana not eating   9/26/11
Dear WWM Crew, we had bought a flower horn and a Arowana last week and put then in a tank, we set the temperature is fixed at 28 deg. Celsius, fitted a water filter and added salt in the water.
<Why? Salt is stressful to Arowanas. They are soft water fish. The right way to keep them is in a big, spacious aquarium with a good filter and regular water changes. Let's say you're keeping an Asian Arowana, Scleropages formosus. These get to at least 60 cm in captivity, and potentially 80-90 cm. So we're talking about a 200 US gallon/750 litre aquarium, minimum. 20-25% water changes weekly, and a filter with a turnover rate of at least 6 times the volume of the tank per hour, and ideally 8-10. Ammonia and nitrite must both be zero; nitrate levels as low as possible, certainly less than 20 mg/l. Water chemistry should be middling hardness for this combination of species; around 10 degrees dH, pH 7-7.5.>
Our flower horn is almost 5'' inches and the Arowana is around 9" inches of length.
<Even if your Arowana is a youngster at 9 inches/22 cm, that fish will still need a very large aquarium, 450 litres/120 US gallons. Such a tank would be adequate for a few months, but why waste your money on such a tank? It won't be useful for more than a year, at most. Arowanas grow extremely quickly in the right conditions. Throw in a cichlid as well, and the importance of aquarium size and filtration are even more critical.>
Both the fishes are quite active and moving around the tank but Flower horn use to hold a corner of the tank most of the time but both the fishes don't eat anything , We gave them Tetrabits, shrimp and humpy head and even chili red but doesn't work at all. We are very much worried because we are very new with fishes and don't know about them.
<These fish can take a few days to settle into their new home. But they will only become settled if the aquarium is correct. How big is the tank?
What sort of filtration are you using?>
Please suggest us how to maintain the aquarium and give them a better habitat and make them healthy and start eating.
I will be very obliged if you can reply to my other queries. Awaiting a response from your end.
<Can't really offer advice without knowing more about your aquarium.>
Thank you
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: flower horn and Arowana not eating   9/26/11
Thanks for your suggestion.
<You are welcome. Now, please don't write messages in ALL CAPITALS again! I
changed this message for you because I'm a nice guy. Some of the other folks here would simply ask you to resend your message.>
We are using a tank with 24",10",18" as length breadth and height,
<Much, MUCH too small for an Arowana or a Flowerhorn, let alone kept together!>
a water filter
<What sort? How much turnover?>
a oxygen pump
<An air bubbler?>
a heater with temperature is set on 28 deg.C.
We put stones in the bottom but the water gets dirty as the fishes doesn't eat anything,
<The water is dirty because the tank is too small for these fish.>
we don't have anything to measure the ph level.
<pH isn't a critical issue provided extremes are avoided. But you should test the pH of your tap water at least once just so you know what it is.>
As we are using the same water in another tank with different fishes like goldfish
<These are much tougher animals that Arowanas, so this experience is irrelevant.>
and shark
<Shark? You mean a Shark-Minnow, like Epalzeorhynchos bicolor?>
and they are very comfortable in that.
<Water chemistry may well be fine. But the tank is too small. These animals will be stressed, sickened by their "world". You need a much bigger home for them. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: flower horn and Arowana not eating   9/26/11

Thanks Neale for helping me and ignoring my mistakes.
<Always glad to help.>
I'll bought a bigger tank and I had separated both the fishes (flower horn and Arowana) in different tanks individually.
need a suggestion, will I replace the tank water with mineral water (bisleri).
will it works.
<Plain tap water, with water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramine, is usually best. Do understand that Flowerhorn cichlids prefer somewhat hard water, and soft water will harm them. Arowanas aren't too fussy, but dislike very hard water. Cheers, Neale.>

Peas and Spinach for my Flowerhorn   9/15/11
Hi Crew, Neale to be specific,
Hi, this is Eric and I am wondering, I am going to start feeding my Flowerhorn canned peas and canned spinach. Is this ok or do they need to be fresh?
<Canned/tinned peas are best. They're nice and soft, and most cichlids, if sufficiently hungry, eat them. Try squashing them first. Canned spinach should work, too. Never tried it!>
The peas are sweet peas that contain water, salt and sugar, the spinach contains water and salt. Will these be ok
or should I use frozen peas and fresh spinach and just cook them? How often should I feed these?
<As often as you want. Plant foods contain little protein, so have little impact on water quality. In practise fish will stop eating them because they feel full, so even a big cichlid may only eat 5 or 6 peas in one
<Good luck, Neale.>

Flowerhorn Will Not Eat 9/12/11
Dear WWM Crew, We have a Flowerhorn fish for last 4 months. The fish was doing fine and we used to feed it 'Starry" an occasional live fish (rosy barb) brought from the local pet store. We did a total water change about two weeks back and since then the Flowerhorn has stopped eating anything. We tried changing to other fishes (molly) as well but to no gain. Yesterday we noticed some white mucus/floppy like substance also and changed the water again.
As we do not have facilities to check nitrate , etc contents of the water we are not able to do so. The heater temperature is fixed at 28C.
We would be grateful for your advice on how to make our Flowerhorn start eating?
< Live fishes used as food may carry diseases that might make your Flowerhorn sick.>
For how long can the Flowerhorn live without eating?
< Probably a few weeks.>
Is there any medication which we can use? We have read your FAQs and understand you have advised to treat with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace, or even use Epsom salt. But since these are not as such available at our location can you suggest some other easily available medication in India.
<You have no medications or test kits then keep the water clean with water changes and you might try to add some salt to the water. This is an old time remedy that might help. Add a little salt every day until you fish looks stressed and breaths very heavy or changes color, then start changing the water with fresh unsalted water.
You have also advised to feed cooked peas as a laxative. How do we feed the Flowerhorn since if we just drop the cooked pea in the water like any other feed the Flowerhorn does not bother to eat?
< When you fish starts to look hungry then add a couple cooked peas and see if he eats them. If he is not eating then wait until he starts to look for food-Chuck.>
We would be grateful for any advice you can send us. Thanking you, Best Regards, Kumar Guwahati, India
Re: Flowerhorn Fish not Eating
Treating With Metronidazole   9/15/11

Dear Team members, Thanks a lot for your advice. This evening we could hand feed our FH one boiled pea. We have also poured one
crushed Metronidazole (Flagyl) 200 mg tab in the aquarium water. The FH is swimming a bit on the top surface with its mouth pouting at the water surface. We have done about 30% water change twice today to keep the nitrate etc (if any) level low. Please advice if we should give metro every 8 hours and do water change at the same time. For how long should we give this medicine. Do we feed the FH as long as the medication is continued.
Thanks, Kumar
< Make sure the tank is clean because organic matter may absorb some of the medication. I would treat on day one, three and five, while doing a 50% water change on the second and fourth day. See if he eats after that.-Chuck>

Any way to find out what the species of this fish is?
Flowerhorn Cichlid Care   8/16/11

Hi Crew, My name is Eric and I live in Monroe Wisconsin, I recently (8 months ago)
rescued a fish that I was told was a Flowerhorn Cichlid. I am starting to wonder if this really is a Flowerhorn or if it is a Trimac Cichlid. Is there really any way to determine what this fish is?
< It is a Flowerhorn. Flowerhorns are a hybrid between a few different species.>
He/She is about 5 years old, 10 inches long, housed in a 75 gallon aquarium at 82 degrees. I have two Magnum 350 canister filters with bio wheels and two bubble curtains. I do a 25 percent water change every week adding aquarium salt and micro bacteria with every water change. The nitrite level is 0 and the pH is 8.4 and the ammonia level is 0.25. I am feeding him/her Hikari Cichlid Gold and Hikari Cichlid Staple, I am also feeding frozen beef heat and blood worms.
< I am not a big fan of beef heart or bloodworms.>
I really need to find out what species this is so if I need to I can change the water parameters and the feeding. I appreciate the help.
< Everything you are doing is fine for a central American cichlid.-Chuck>

FH fdg/rdg.    8/16/11
Hi Crew
This is Eric King again in Monroe Wisconsin. Now that I know my beautiful fish is indeed a Flowerhorn Cichlid I am wondering what you guys and gals would recommend as a staple diet for the fish.
<?... Please learn to/use the search tool/indices on WWM...>
I am currently feeding Hikari Cichlid Gold and Hikari Cichlid Staple. plus San Francisco Bay frozen beef heart and San Francisco Bay frozen blood worms.
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!!
Thanks again
Eric J King
<http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm ... Bob Fenner>

Flower horn sick after feeding pork....Please help!   5/1/11
I am Suresh from India. I have a 1year old Flower horn. She is normally very active & a voracious eater. But 3 days back I fed her pork after which she does not eat at all & is not active. She sits at the bottom of the tank most of the time. She also has developed a small bulge in the abdomen. I came to know after referring the net that pork is not suitable for flower horns'¦but what do I do now to make her well. Please help as I don't want to lose her.
<Greetings, Suresh. Hope you've learned your lesson here! Do not, Do Not, DO NOT give bird or mammal meat to aquarium fish -- EVER! In short, mammal and bird meats congeal inside cold-blooded animals, and in doing so, cause them varying degrees of harm. Of course some cold-blooded animals are adapted to dealing with such prey, like snakes, but not your cichlid. Your cichlid should be fed a mix of pellet foods, cooked peas, spinach, and small invertebrates such as earthworms. For now, you just have to wait and see what happens. Don't feed her until her belly comes back to normal. When she does start eating, give her just cooked peas (squashing the peas as well sometimes helps) -- peas are excellent laxatives for fish. You can also use Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate; not cooking salt, i.e., sodium chloride!) at 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons will help a good deal by loosening the muscles of the gut, reducing swelling. But that's about all you can do. Cheers, Neale.>

Help needed for Flower horn, fdg., reading   1/1/11
I bought a new flower horn which is 3 months old and is very active, I wanted to know what kind of food should I feed so that it can be healthy & active...I feed humpy head and live fish
<A VERY poor idea>
is that ok..please suggest, thanks
<... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhornfdgfaq.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

My FH is not eating... no reading   9/21/10
help My Flowerhorn is not eating for a week or 2 now.
<... have you read on WWM re?>
His body deceased his size... I think he had swallow a big plastic pebble because when I touch his belly its shape like the diamond pebble in the tank.
<Inappropriate substrate for this and other such fishes. Read here:
He's not active anymore.. before we used to feed him pellet Humpy Head then we buy him pellet for his color he still not eating at all.. we try to feed him live fish still not eating it...he's just in the bottom and not
swimming actively... unlike before he used to be an active eater and swimmer.... My fish tank water is clean... I don't know what to do with him anymore... I really love my fish... Please help....
<Help yourself. Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

FH, feeding as it relates to humpiness...    6/29/10
I just bought a new Flowerhorn. It has a very big head for a 5-6 inches long. Someone told me to feed him chicken liver because chicken liver is made up fat will increase his color and Nuchal hump.
<Rubbish. The size of the hump is almost entirely genetic. Since Flowerhorns are hybrids, it is very difficult to predict how large the hump will be.>
Will chicken liver kill my fish?
<Certainly is bad for them. Never, ever give mammal or bird meats to fish.
The fats in these meats congeal inside the fish, causing damage to their blood vessels. The exception is cardiac tissue, such as beef heart, but this should be used very sparingly, perhaps once a week.>
Do you know it will help the Nuchal hump to grow bigger?
<Nothing. It will get as big as its genes allow. Good water quality, a big aquarium, regular water changes, the right water chemistry all improve the chances of healthy development.
There are NO wonder foods that make cichlid humps bigger. Any food that says it will do that is a CON.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: re:
Thank you for your help. I appreciate for the information on my Flowerhorn.
<A pleasure to help. Cheers, Neale.>

switching to new food
Cichlid Imprinted on Food   5/5/10

Hi guys, My Flowerhorn is used to eating XO Humpyhead, I saw Cyclops food and wanted to try it out. I tried feeding it one but my fish keeps spitting it out. How can I make my fish eat a new brand of pellets? Thanks, Brian
< You cichlid is imprinted on a particle food. Do not feed him for three days. When he comes to the front looking for food then offer the new food. If it is not eaten in five minutes then remove it from the tank. Do the same thing every day until he eats the new food.-Chuck

hi WetWebMedia crew!! just to let you know that... FH, fdg...?   3/18/10
hi WetWebMedia crew!!
just to let you know that I'm from the uk and also that my Flowerhorn hasn't been eating. thanks
<Do start by reading here:
Without information on aquarium size, water chemistry, water quality and temperature, we can't say anything at all helpful here. Check you're providing the necessary conditions described in that article. If you're not, then that's probably why your fish isn't happy. Cheers, Neale.>

Flower horn Problem Plssss Help.....
Flowerhorn Won't Eat 12/20/09

Good day... Could you kindly help me... with regards to my FH. Its has been 2 weeks and its belly is growing big and its affecting his swimming.
He's not eating the pellets that I give him. He doesn't eat it. .Please need help Thanks....
<Your FH has an internal infection caused from stress like poor water quality or a bad diet. Check the water quality and treat with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. A quick treatment is the key to a full

Flower horn doesn't eat pellets  12/11/09
Hi WWM Crew
<Hi Musa.>
My name is Musa, two weeks ago I bought two baby Flowerhorns of about 7cms from tip to toe.
<Haha I'd be most worried about the toe.>
When I tried to feed them with pellets (of tetra Luo Han company) they did not eat them.
<Do you know what foods they were raised on? Sometimes it helps to offer what they're used to; later, after they get used to you and the new tank, you can begin to experiment.>
Later when I put some feeder fishes they ate them,
<Are you breeding these feeders, or quarantining them for a month before feeding? The problem with feeders from pet stores is that they're terribly filthy, and you really don't want them anywhere near your prized Flowerhorns! Also, fish typically sold as feeders, such as minnows and goldfish, are high in thiaminase, which can also cause a lot of problems for your fish. Try reading here on thiaminase: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/thiaminase.htm>
I also fed them once with a hen's heart they enjoyed eating the heart, <I'd also avoid feeding this with any regularity; it's fine as a treat, but it's going to cause problems with water quality if used on a regular basis. Also, they can be tough for your fish to digest.>
I want to know whether I should continue feeding them with feeder fishes and later try feeding them pellets when they grow big?
<I'd first, if you can, try to figure out what they've been eating in the store or the breeder's tanks. If you can figure that out, go ahead and feed that food and then try other things. I'm going to include a link here to a page of FAQs on Flowerhorn feeding so you can peruse it and get some ideas. However, I've never known a Cichlid (or any other fish, for that matter!) to refuse Bloodworms. You can buy them frozen and thaw before feeding. Try and feed the wet-frozen type, as too much dry food, when not mixed with wet-frozen, can cause constipation/digestion issues. Also, you could try peas, pieces of seafood (shrimp, clam, and squid are all available both at the seafood counter and in the pet store), and, last but not least, try offering a different pellet! Maybe the ones you're offering just aren't stinky enough to be enticing... I prefer to feed my larger Cichlid Hikari Cichlid Gold as a staple. He can't resist it! I hope this information helps; and here's that link so that you can read on your own and get some ideas that I may not have mentioned, as well:
<Lastly, I'd run tests for Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate, to rule out any problems with water quality. If you find Ammonia and Nitrite at 0, and Nitrate below 20, then you can assure yourself that these little fish are just being picky, and move on to trying new foods. If you test and find these levels above what is stated, then the loss of appetite is most likely being caused by poor water quality, and you'll need to fix those issues before the fish will get their appetites back. This, obviously, may not be what's going on, but I didn't want to neglect to mention it, only to find that they won't eat anything else, either, because of water quality issues.>
Thank you
<You're welcome! -- Melinda>

Flowerhorn Doesn't Eat  11/20/09
Hello, I have a 72 gallon bow front with a 10 inch FH and a common plecostomus.
I have had the FH for about 4 months now. Up until about a week or 2 ago I noticed that he had not wanted to eat as much and now not at all. I have 2 under gravel filters and a magnum 350 filter also, plenty of oxygen (2-4 inch air stones, 1 large Volcano (air pump) I clean the tank once per week (15% of the water) The water tests good, my water is very hard. I have added aquarium salt to the water, and vitamins to make sure he is getting nutrition. My Pleco eats like a pig (he loves his zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower and algae wafers.) I noticed when I went home last night that my FH has a raised bump on his head (under the skin above the bridge of his nose on his kok) Otherwise he looks good, but that did concern me and the fact that he is not eating. Sometimes he hovers at the bottom of the tank or in the corner by a plant, but
otherwise looks at the top of the tank for food. I feed him PE mysis and he will not eat it now, he is a finicky eater, so this is what I fed him. I offer him food and he looks at it and lets it go to the bottom or
doesn't bother with it. He usual gets excited when he sees me and comes to the top and I rub his head, but its getting to where he isn't doing this as much and I haven't seen him rearrange his tank in a few days.
Any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you,
Dee Lopez
<One of two things is going on here. The first, your fish has been imprinted on a certain food type and will not try anything else. Do not offer food for three days. He should be pretty hungry by then. Offer a quality food and leave it in the tank for five minutes, then remove any uneaten food. Try this every day for a week. If he still does not eat then there may be an internal infection. Treat with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace.-Chuck>

Re: Flowerhorn Cichlid
Finding Medications Online  11/21/09

Chuck, Thank you for your help. Do you know which website sells Nitrofuranace?
I am having trouble finding it locally or on-line. Dee
< Most fish stores carry the medication. If you are having trouble I know DrFoster&Smith carry it for sure.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn Food.  10/9/09
Hi WWM crew
I am having an Amphilophus trimac approx 5 mths old.
<Flowerhorn cichlids are *not* Amphilophus trimaculatus.>
I would like to know which is the pellet food which can be given to my fish to develop good colour and also the food for developing diamonds on the fish.
Further how many times should I feed the fish and approximately how many pellets at one time
<Like all cichlids, two small meals per day is better than one big meal.
Don't overfeed, and provide a healthy, balanced diet avoiding things like feeder fish, but including unshelled crustaceans and plant foods such as cooked peas. Do read here:
No food will make the colours or the hump any different from what its genes will allow. So, to get the best possible looks, you need to provide a healthy environment. There's no point looking for a "special food" if you aren't providing a big aquarium with clean water.>
Hope you'll will answer this query.
Thanks in advance.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Some queries regarding Flowerhorn. 10/4/09
Chuck / Neale
<Both apparently out. This is BobF, who "cleans up" all "next day" unanswered queries>
I am having an Amphilophus trimaculatum about 3 and half months old. As per your confirmation from my previous mails sent to you.
I have certain queries regarding the fish, hope you will do ur best to try to solve them.
1. Do water temperature and Water PH aid in growth and colouration of the fish. Secondly I am based in India and I am unable to acquire a PH testing kit nearby . So in the absence of PH kit, is there any other method from which we can come to know the approximate PH of the water in the tank. How to maintain the PH to 7 in the absence of the testing kit.
<There is no way to adjust pH w/o knowing where you're starting from, going to, but doing regular water changes... a quarter every week or so... Read
here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2ochgs.htm>
2. As per your directions, I am feeding my fish with Chili super red pellets, freeze dried blood worms etc. I am surprised to see the growth of the fish. It is really satisfying. I wanted to ask u whether can I feed
the fish with cooked beetroot, finely cut chicken heart(Raw). finely cut raw fish and cooked soya chunks.
<I would avoid terrestrial animals... their fats are too hard to digest, but the others are worth trying>
I will be very obliged if you can reply to my other queries.
Awaiting a response from your end.
Thank you
Amit S Ghosalkar
<Welcome Amit. Bob Fenner>

How can i identify Flowerhorn male and female... gen.  9/30/09
Is it possible to keep male and female FH in same tank?
<Depends how big the tank is. But normally, no, you cannot keep more than one Flowerhorn cichlid per aquarium.>
I feed my Flowerhorn only XO HUMPY HEAD is it a proper diet for it?
<It's okay, but lacks fibre.>
If not then pls suggest me sum name of ready made food
<Cooked peas, spinach, and other green foods should be offered regularly.
Live foods such as earthworms and river shrimps, but NOT live fish are also helpful, once in a while. Cheers, Neale.>

FH... hlth... Fed "feeder fish"...  9/10/09
dear sir.
I am iqbal from India i have a FH of short body of 8 month from 3 days he is not having any food period it was on feeding fish that is gold fish and red cap and humpy head but today morning my FH is not able to swimming any is lying down in tank so pls help me regards
<Hello Iqbal. I need information here. How big is the aquarium? What sort of filter do you use? What is the water chemistry? At minimum, tell me the pH. What is the water quality like? At minimum, I need the nitrite level. Usually, when Flowerhorn cichlids stop eating, it's because they are stressed by their environment. A Flowerhorn cichlid needs a tank 55 gallons (about 210 litres) in size, and the tank needs a big filter, ideally rated at a turnover 6 times the volume of the tank or more, i.e., at least 6 x 55 = 330 gallons per hour for a 55 gallon tank. The pH should be 7 to 8, the hardness 10 degrees dH or more, and temperature about 25 degrees C. There should be 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. Nitrate level should be low, certainly less than 50 mg/l and preferably less than 20 mg/l. So check all these things. Secondly, DO NOT USE FEEDER FISH! Any fish cheap enough to use as food will not have been cared for properly. Feeder fish are "parasite time bombs" and the most stupid thing any aquarist can do is use them to feed a valuable fish. Furthermore, Goldfish (and other cyprinids, including minnows) contain lots of fat and a substance called thiaminase. Thiaminase breaks down Vitamin B1, and over the long term makes fish very very sick.
Fat also causes problems, and the use of fatty foods is a major cause of mortality among carnivorous fish. Your Flowerhorn is a hybrid bred from cichlids that ate invertebrates, organic detritus, and plant material.
Offer it a varied diet of things like chopped seafood, insect larvae, cooked peas, algae, and so on. Don't feed it if it is not hungry! Healthy cichlids are ALWAYS hungry, so if a cichlid isn't eating, it means something is WRONG. So go back and check your aquarium. Cheers, Neale.>

help needed, FH fdg.    9/9/09
Hi, this is mansoor ali khan from India .
I have a 4 month old FH and Everything was well until 2 days ago.
I've been feeding him humpy head but he stop eating it and only eating feeding fish.
<Don't use "feeder fish"! These are very dangerous. The problems are these:
[a] feeder fish contain too much fat;
[b] feeder fish contain thiaminase, leading to vitamin-B1 deficiency; and
[c] feeder fish are very likely to carry parasites and bacterial infections.
If a fish is cheap enough to use as a feeder fish, it hasn't been looked after very well. So why risk it? If your Flowerhorn doesn't like Humpy Head pellets, then try something else!
These fish are omnivores, and should eat all kinds of things: chopped seafood, cooked or tinned peas, algae, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, earthworms, etc. There are numerous good quality dried foods too, such as Hikari Cichlid Gold. There's nothing magical about Humpy Head, and the size of the hump on the cichlid is largely genetic. If your fish has the genes for a big hump, it will grow one. It's like how tall a human being can get.
Provided a human has an adequate diet, he or she will get to a certain height dictated by his or her genes. Likewise, if you give your Flowerhorn cichlid a balanced diet, it will grow to its full potential.>
The activity is the same though. Then just this morning I noted that his feces, that was usually red in color became white and red in color. Hope you could help me.
<Cheers, Neale.>

what breed is ma FH and why he's not eating....-- 08/14/09
Flower Horn Not Eating

I've had my FH for 6days. I put him a two foot tank and its big for him because he is small..Whenever I put a pellet in he will not eat it. He will see the pellet and just swim away. Same for the dried shrimp. Blood worm he will just eat a bit but then spit it out..I give him ocean free humpy head. Can you advise me accordingly. I've attached a pic of my fish.. Can you tell me what breed is my fish?. He has blue lining all over, pink on his chest and yellow below his mouth and tail. Thanks A lot
<..Your Flowerhorn may eat in a few days. Put the food in for 5 minutes. If he does not eat it then take it out. Try again the next day. In a few days he will catch on that he has 5 minutes to eat or he will go hungry. You definitely have a flower horn. What type of flower horn I do not know.
Continue to check the internet under Google images and type in Flowerhorn.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn feeding 08/02/09
,hi! just a couple of questions.,,first have a juvenile FH., just purchased last month.,when feeding, he seems not interested even though im feeding it twice a day.,
<What are you feeding it? Most fish will get bored with one single food, day after day. Moreover, you need to offer good quality food. Hikari Cichlid Gold is probably the best pellet food, but this should still be
augmented with other foods. Earthworms, frozen bloodworms, cooked peas, chopped seafood all make good foods for large cichlids.>
and when he starts to eat (after an hour or if there's no one near the tank), he's splitting it out.,is it ok?.,
<Depends how much he eats. Is your fish healthy? Is its body gently rounded? If it eats enough to be healthy, but spits out the rest, then give less food.>
second, he looks afraid if someone's near the tank, the FH stays on the corner.,
<How big is this tank? Flowerhorn cichlids are typical large Central American cichlids. In small tanks they will be nervous. They need plenty of space, a cave, and preferably some floating plants. For a Flowerhorn, the tank should be at least 210 litres/55 gallons, and there must be a cave (like a flowerpot, for example) big enough for the fish to hide in and feel secure. Add some floating plants, real or plastic, as you prefer. Fish swim in the open when they feel secure. There must also be good environmental conditions. Hard, alkaline water is important, aim for pH 7.5-8, 10+ degrees dH; and there must be 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. In poor
environmental conditions, fish become nervous.>
but looks ok if no one's around.,lastly.,when will it starts to show colors? I've ask the sales attendant and she
<Flowerhorns are hybrids, not a true species, and you cannot really guarantee anything about them. They were very popular for a while, and in Asia especially, still are. Farms produce them to a price, not a quality.
So you get what you pay for. If you pay a good price from a reputable breeder you can trust, you have a good chance of getting a colourful specimen. If you buy a cheap fish from a pet store -- well, maybe you get a good fish, but maybe not. A varied diet that contains both crustaceans and plant material will enhance whatever colouration your fish has. Good water quality will ensure the fish shows its best colours. A dark aquarium with plenty of shade and floating plants will encourage your fish to show its richest colours. If you feed an inadequate diet, keep the fish in a brightly lit tank, give it no shade, and make no effort to ensure optimal water conditions, your fish will never show good colours -- even if it has good genes! Cheers, Neale.>

feeding... same...  08/02/09
just a couple of questions,,
first, I've purchased a juvenile FH last month.
i noticed that every time i fed him, he seems not interested in food even though im feeding him twice a day, and when he starts to eat (after an hour or if theirs no one near the tank) he split it out.,is it normal?.,.,second,, he looks afraid and stays on the corner if some one's near the tank.,,i thought FH likes to stay in an open area.,lastly.,when will it normally starts to show colors?,,i noticed some redness around its
fin..and the markings are shining like greenish pearl when the light strikes on it.,,,hope for a quick response.,.,thanks in advance..
<Second question about Flowerhorns that won't eat in two days! In brief, Flowerhorn cichlids need a big tank to feel settled; aim for 210 litres/55 gallons. Water should be clean: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and nitrate less than 20 mg/l. Like all Central American cichlids, the water should be hard (10+ degrees dH) and basic (pH 7.5-8). Water temperature should be middling, around 25 C/77 F. Like all cichlids, if conditions aren't good, they'll become shy, nervous, and show subdued colours. Next, their diet should be varied. There's no point offering the same pellets day after day. They will get bored! Provided a mixed diet alongside good quality pellets (such as Hikari Cichlid Gold). Krill, cooked peas, bloodworms, chopped seafood will
all be readily accepted. Mixing crustacean and plant foods in their diet is important for optimal colours. Finally, if you see redness on the fins, this is often Finrot, and that's caused by poor water quality. Check the
ammonia and nitrite; both should be zero. Correct the environmental conditions, and treat with a suitable anti-Finrot medication. Cheers, Neale.>
<Ah, you're welcome, I think! Neale.>

Want to no some problems about my flower horn fish........
Getting A Flowerhorn To Eat A New Food 6/13/09

Sir / Mam, I brought a Flower Horn fish from a Aquarium shop. The seller told me it's an 8 to 10 month old male fish. I have noticed that it  is a very lazy fish it doesn't eat ready made fish food at all it wants to eat is live fishes. As per my knowledge, the fish owner had brought the fish from the beginning feeding it live fishes only because of this it is not taking ready made fish food. I bought (Ocean Free Humpy Head Food) as per the advice of the fish seller. I have left it in a 3 feet by 1 1/2 feet by 1 1/2 feet tank.
It's not at all playing. I want the fish to be active as per the Flower Horn fish should be so please help me what to do to make the fish active & play full. The fish shop owner told to put an antibiotic capsule (Amoxicillin 500 MG) in the tank. I did the same thing but still it did not work, & he told me to starve the fish for 1 or 2 weeks then it will eat the ready made fish food, but I am afraid to do this he also told it can live with out food for 3 weeks. I am feeding live goldfish. The fish eats the small gold feeding fishes & rests in a corner again. When it's hungry it catches some fish's eats & rests in a corner. Please help me I don't want to give away the fish I liked it very much I want to see my fish eating ready made fish food
I think I can get some good tips from you Sir / Mam.. Waiting For Your Reply I Am P Manjunath Rao From Bengaluru
< Your fish is imprinted on small feeder fish. Check the water temp. It should be up around 80 F. Your shop owner gave you some sound advice. Do a 50% water change and clean the filters. Feed the new food once each day.
After 5 minutes remove any uneaten food. You fish will be hungry and begin to move around. He will learn to accept the new food and will not starve.
The key is to remove the food after 5 minutes and never give him feeders again.-Chuck>

Flower Horn not eating since last 2-3 days 11/24/08
Dear Sir/ Mam,
I have a 4 inch flower horn in a tank size of 24 x 15 x 15 inches. Since last 2-3 days he has given up eating. No physical symptoms are visible so as to come to any conclusion as to why he has given up eating. I feed him Hi red, XO Humpy head and XO Red sync. Temperature of the water is constant between 25 to 28 degrees. I Have added Rid All General Aid and Anti Itch along with some salt. He is swimming as usual but is a bit lazy in between for some time.
What could be the problem?
Please help. I am worried about him.
<Amu, the tank is too small for this fish. Water quality is likely not good, and consequently your fish is stressed. When cichlids stop eating it is a very bad sign! These fish eat like pigs! Without upgrading the tank substantially, there's not much point worrying about what type of food you use, adding salt, or what medications. That said, randomly adding
medication (as you have done) will make a bad situation first. Please understand ALL medications are poisons, and have to be used carefully.
Cheers, Neale.>

Need help! :o, FH... fdg., hlth. "feeder goldfish"...   9/27/08 "Hi. Can you please help me with my cichlid, commonly known as Flowerhorn locally. Our fish has not been eating for 2 weeks already, or maybe even more. Since then, his head lump decreased in size and even his body size decreased. <Starving... maybe has parasitic worms. Often happens when people use unclean live food, particularly live feeder fish, what I call "parasite time bombs"...> We changed water every after 3 days, put salt after every change. And for the past days, we've been dropping Methyl Blue and Melafix, since we've been suspecting that the fish is sick. The gills have some black stuff, seems like burns or bruise, a part of the tail has it too. <Salt irrelevant here. Melafix useless. Methylene Blue is a treatment for Fungus; not much use otherwise. Do attempt to ID the disease before randomly adding stuff to the water.> We saw a white, sponge-y thing inside his tank. And every time we remove it, some thing like it comes out again. A relative told us that it's probably fungus. It looks like cotton in the tank, but once removed, it feels like white-mucus. We're not totally sure where it's coming from. <Fungus does indeed look like cotton wool. Do also consider Finrot and Mouth Fungus, diseases that often occur in the same context: typically poor water quality.> Just today, we bought and submerged a water heater, <You were keeping this fish in cold water before...? No wonder its sick. Cichlids are extremely intolerant of cold water.> changed the water, dropped Methyl Blue and Melafix, and placed salt again. We tried feeding him but he didn't even touch the food. When we were removing the wastes, we noticed a scale detached out of his body. <Hmm...> He's usually playful and swims around the tank. But now, most of the time, he's just at the bottom of the tank, in one area and stays there for a long time. And seems like his mouth is almost always open (though I'm not too sure if the mouth is always open). <Have you done nitrite and pH tests?> Please do help. We're actually running out of ideas on what to do already. And we're hungry for answers already. And we really do feel bad for our pet. <I bet. Please review the needs of these fish. Flowerhorn cichlids are extremely demanding animals, and frankly cannot be considered "newbie" fish. You need a big tank (55 gallons upwards); zero ammonia/nitrite/ 20 mg/l or less nitrate; pH 7.5-8.0; and moderately hard water. If you're failing on any of these -- that's your problem!> The fish is actually a gift from a relative. He's been with us for months already, and never encountered any problem since then. <Hmm...> We've fed him fish food (pellets) and bloodworms bought from our local fish store. We've suspected that the bloodworms caused the disease, but we can't really point it out. <Bloodworms unlikely to cause parasitic infections... look at environment in particular...> I wanted to have the water checked for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, etc. since I've been reading that mostly, but I just can't figure out where I can have the water checked. <Where? At home: you go buy (minimum) nitrite and pH test kits.> We placed Tetracycline powder in the tank yester eve. The fish seems to be moving better, but he still doesn't want to eat. What else can we do for him? <Many things: in particular read up on Central American cichlids, review water quality and water chemistry.> Please do help immediately. We're worried and don't want the fish to die. We are even desperate for answers already! <Oh.> Thanks and God bless! :)" <Well, the Fish Gods will be expecting you to go test nitrite and pH, review water quality/chemistry issues, and evaluate whether the environment you have prepared for this fish matches its demands.> `Chrys <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Some more info (Need help! :o)...   9/27/08 Hi again. My Uncle told me just now, that the feeders we were feeding him is not bloodworm, we just don't know what it's called, but we got it from our local pet store. <Live food is fine, provided it's safe and clean. To that end, the live foods you should NEVER use are live fish or live Tubifex worms. Of the common live foods, these are safe: Daphnia, River (estuarine) Shrimps, Glassworms, Bloodworms, and Brine Shrimps. Earthworms collected from "organic" terrain are also good, but do bear in mind that if you spray pesticides in your garden, the earthworms can pick them up. Do also understand though that Brine Shrimp especially are not "complete" in the sense of having a range of nutrients. Fish eat them happily enough, but then people eat all kinds of stuff that isn't particularly nutritious as well. So live Brine Shrimp are fine as a treat, hopeless as a staple. Most cichlids are at least partially herbivorous, and some portion of their diet should be green foods such as tinned peas or Sushi Nori. Without the vitamins from green foods, they are more prone to nutritional problems and constipation.> I really am not knowledgeable about fishes, since it's my first time to really be hands-on with a fish. I checked on him after reading your site's FAQ, from what I got from my nights of researches, I am suspecting tail/fin/gill rot. Though I'm not really sure if that's what it is. I also saw some white spots at the bottom of his mouth. I think that it is a normal part of the fish's structures. <Difficult to say without a photo. Finrot is easily confused with Mouth Fungus (actually a bacterial infection, despite the name) and Fungus. All can be treated with Maracyn and/or eSHa 2000, so if in doubt, use them. Avoid medications based on Tea-tree Oil (e.g., Melafix); these are not consistent, and despite being cheap, aren't worth buying.> We bought a water heater, (Sera Aquarium Heater Thermostat) and set it at 32. <32 Celsius is WAY to hot for these fish. Do read, review the needs of these fish and act accordingly. If in doubt, 25 C is safe for most tropical fish.> We're planning on trying to feed him bloodworms and see if it will increase his appetite. Do you think this would be of help? We have been feeding him Ocean Free Super Red and Humpy Head interchangeably and some worms occasionally. <There's no need to cram food into a fish: it will eat everything you give it, but most will be egested as waste. Indeed, excessive protein and especially fat do more than harm than good. One or two small meals per day is ample for most fish. Mammals (like us) have evolved over millions of years to eat huge amounts of food relative to body weight, trading the effort involved in collecting food against the benefit (in the case of our ancestors especially) of being active at night when its cold. Fish don't work that way, and instead leave their metabolism to fluctuate up and down with the environment. They only need relatively tiny amounts of food for growth and repair, and of course reproduction. In real terms, the average fish gets by on 10% what a similar weight mammal would, and furthermore lives many times longer. It's a very VERY common mistake among newbie aquarists to overfeed their fish, compromising water quality and potentially causing harm to the fish. Again, read before doing random stuff.> Please do extend your help! We really are desperate to help our Flowerhorn. <Hope this helps.> Thanks very much for your time in advance. God bless, Chrys <Cheers, Neale.>

Flowerhorn Not eating properly.  9/27/08 Dear Sir, I m from Mumbai, India and I have a short body Flowerhorn fish gifted to me by my uncle. I have kept him in a tank with a divider and the other portion of the tank has a big parrot fish. <How big is this tank? Both these (hybrid) cichlids are big fish: Blood Parrots can get to 20 cm, and Flowerhorns to more than 30 cm. If this tank is not AT LEAST 300 litres in size, it's not big enough. Almost always, when cichlids go off their food it comes down to healthcare. If you're lucky, the fish is merely stressed by some environmental parameter such as water quality, water chemistry, or water temperature. Correct these and your fish should recover. Just to summarise, both are Central American cichlids (of a sort) and need water with zero ammonia, zero nitrite, less than 20 mg/l nitrate, pH 7.5-8, hardness upwards of 10 degrees dH ("moderately hard" to "hard"). If you are unlucky, the fish has gone past merely being stressed and is now sick. Cichlids are notoriously sensitive to things like Hexamita infections when stressed. Hexamita causes a number of very characteristic symptoms, starting with loss of colour, loss of appetite, and strong, white faeces caused by excess mucous in the gut. With time, pits often appear on the face and lateral line. The only reliable cure is Metronidazole: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm > My Flowerhorn is not eating food. I feed him before going to work but have never seen him eating the food as usually it is said that they should gulp the same within 2 minutes. The movements are slow and his discharges are white in color. he just sits at the bottom of the tank for the whole day...what might be the problem. I have treated the water with Rid-All Anti Itch and Rid-All General Aid so as to avoid/clear any infection if any. Will my Flowerhorn be fit and fine? <Almost certain this is Hexamita, likely brought on by environmental triggers. Do understand that Hexamita is likely ubiquitous among farmed cichlids, and it up to the aquarist to provide optimal conditions to avoid disease.> Regards, Amit <Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Flowerhorn Not eating properly.  9/27/08
Dear Sir, <Hello,> Where can i get Metronidazole in India. <Absolutely no idea. From my vantage point in England it's obviously difficult for me to make suggestions. You could also a vet or even your own doctor. Otherwise do contact fish clubs in your area. I will make the point that in many countries (including England) Metronidazole (also known as Flagyl) is only available with a prescription from either a vet (for animals) or from a doctor (for humans). This is, in part, because of concerns over metronidazole-resistant strains of bacteria.> Is it available at the local chemist shop? <In the UK, yes, with a prescription.> what's the dosage for the same... <Do read article previously linked, and the FAQs linked to that, in particular: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flagylfaqs.htm Your vet or doctor will give specific advice on dosages.> my fish tank is 30 inches x 15 inches x 15 inches <Your tank is a mere 30 US gallons, not nearly big enough for either Blood Parrots or Flowerhorns, let alone one of each! Do review environment; even the best cures won't stop these fish from getting sick again and again.> Please help me to survive my Flowerhorn...its too cute. <Being "cute" is nice, but these are animals, and inbred, rather delicate ones as well. So you need to provide them with the right conditions, as well as medication.> Rgds, Amit <Cheers, Neale.>

Flowerhorn diet, maintenance, need for research dear sir/madam i am Denver from Bangalore India i have a 146L tank i have two pearl FH i had separated theme for the first two days in my tank but then i removed the division for a little while they were lip locked i would like to know if that is a sign of mating could you please reply and tell me all the mating rituals of FH as i am new to this hobby and am very interested in breeding FH the two of them aren't fighting now they are getting along with each other and swimming together i do not see any eggs as i don't know how the eggs look or where the female would have laid them}. is it healthy to feed them feeder goldfish i give them about five to six fish each a day. the male and female both do not have any lump on their head but the owner who i bought it from said that they were male and female how do i tell the difference. could u please write and tell me everything you know about FH if you don't mind. thanking you, Denver drooge <Hello. For a start, 146 litres is too small for these fish! The chances are they are fighting. If they persist in fighting, you will likely end up with at least one dead fish. While you might be able to keep a single specimen alive in 146 litres if you have good filtration and do LOTS of water changes, really these are BIG fish that need BIG tanks. Do see here: Mouth-pulling is how cichlids fight. It isn't "kissing". It's a trial of strength. Sometimes potential mates do this, but so will fish getting really mad at each other! NO, feeder goldfish are NOT SAFE. Each goldfish is a chance of giving your cichlid an infection. Moreover, goldfish contain too much fat/thiaminase, so long term, you will have sick cichlids. These are basically hybrid Central American cichlids, so you need a diet that comprises insect larvae, small crustaceans, and a certain amount of plant material. I am not going to write back everything I know about Flowerhorn cichlids! That information is here at WWM. Use the search tool or follow the links. And next time, please remember to use capital letters where they're necessary! Cheers, Neale.>

Diet for my small Flowerhorns Feeding Flowerhorns   1/3/08 What and which fish foods I should feed to my small Flowerhorns? <Free swimming fry can start out eating baby brine shrimp or micro worms. As they get a little older you can add finely crushed flake food to their diet.> Should I feed them with shrimps or feeder fishes? < Feeder fish are never a good idea. They always have the potential to carry disease into the tank and make the main fish sick.. How should I treat the feeder fishes before feeding them? < If you must use feeder fish then you need to quarantine them for a couple of weeks and treat them for any diseases. Its just like adding any new fish to an established aquarium. They fish will be relatively disease free and be healthier because you have fed them well for that quarantine period.-Chuck> Please help me. Thanks in advance.......

Re: Flowerhorn Questions, Fdg, cleaning feeder goldfish... not likely   3/6/07 Hi Crew/Chuck, Your replies are awesome. Thanks a lot buddy. I have few more doubts, I promise to keep them short. 1)What are the treatments that I should give to feeder fish( I feed feeder fish only once in a week ( I give them salt bath to remove parasites and keep them in a bowl and add tetracycline) then feed them to my FH the next day is this enough? < A salt bath is helpful to remove some parasites like flukes and worms, but ich on an infected fish is under the skin where the salt will not be able to reach it. Some bacterial parasites will be affected by the tetracycline, but this medication is really only effective in soft water unless it is heavily overdosed. To be safe they should be held for two weeks, treated with Clout and Nitrofurazone. They should also be fed a nutritious food.> 2)I feed High red/ Humpy Head pellets they are costly and I believe imported is this ok? < Don't know anything about these pellets.> 3)My tank gets direct sunlight in the early morning say for 2hrs and then for few hours it gets sunlight which is reflected from the flooring is this ok and I have algae problem. My tank walls grow green in color is this dangerous to my FH?  Please advice. Thanking you, Arun <Algae is not a health problem for your Flowerhorn.-Chuck.>

Growing  A Hump On A Flowerhorn  3/6/07 Hi Guys, This is Ramanan. Pls find the attachment of my FH. I hope it is a male b'cos of its colour. Pls help me in growing his hump. I am feeding him with XO HUMPY HEAD, E-SHRIMPS and XO STARRY. Regards Ramanan < The hump on your male Flowerhorn will increase as he ages. This is a fat storage device. I am not familiar with the food items you are currently feeding him.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn Not Eating  - 12/12/06 Hello, I'm Aatif from Karachi, I brought this 4'' Flowerhorn some 2 months back. She used to eat fine in the beginning, but now she's not accepting any kind of food, but actually spitting food (I've tried Breadworms, Bloodworms, Flakes) she liked to eat the bloodworms in the beginning but now she eats nothing. Apparently, she seems fine, her color is intact, fins are erect & she's swimming fine. I've observed this white mucous feces so I did some research on the internet and found that it was supposed to be Hexamita, I 've been treating the tank with Metro for the last 5 days, but I don't see any improvements.... Some inferred the spitting to gill flukes, but I don't see typical Fluke symptoms...I'll be glad if you can provide me with a solution. Many Thanks ! < I think you awe on the right track with the Metronidazole. Do not feed the fish while medicating. Keep the water very clean. Metronidazole gets absorbed by organics in the water. Keep the tank dark. Light may break it down. I would recommend treating with Nitrofuranace at the same time in case the problem is bacterial. When the fish acts hungry and begs for food he is on his way to recovery. Some aquarists have reported positive results with Clout too.-Chuck>

Salt in FW systems, feeding FHs, worms that are larval coleopterans   9/15/06 Hi, it's me. Again. <<Well, hello again, Cecille.>> Thanks for the fast response. And, yeah that will surely help. <<Glad to hear it.>> But, I just have another question. I've been browsing quite a lot in the net about aquarium maintenance and such and some suggests to use salt. I have this 15 gallon tank. How much salt should I put in it? And, what good would that give, actually? <<Good question, Cecille. What you've read probably suggests one tablespoon of salt per five gallons of water. In your case, I would suggest a total solution of 2 1/2 tablespoons per volume of tank water. If, for example, you remove three gallons of water for a water change, dissolve 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt in the new water to achieve the 'recommended' solution rate. Obviously, you'll have to do some calculations for subsequent water changes to maintain this ratio properly. To be safe, err on the side of adding less salt than more during your water changes. (Remember that salt will not evaporate with water, which means that any evaporation that takes place effectively increases the amount of salt per unit volume.) As to the 'good' of adding salt, you'll find this debated among reliable sources. Most freshwater pathogens don't tolerate salt well and salt helps to keep these under control. It doesn't eradicate them but provides them with less than desiraable breeding conditions which keeps them at levels that the fish's own immune system can deal with. (Costia is an example.) Salt has also been cited as increasing a fish's ability to uptake oxygen from the water. This is true, particularly in the presence of nitrites in the water. Nitrites deprive the hemoglobin in the blood of oxygen and the sodium ions in salt (NaCl) combine with nitrite to become sodium nitrite which increases blood flow and provides oxygen to the oxygen-depleted areas of the body. Finally, salt increases the specific gravity of the water. In the event of physical trauma (injury) or, the like, swelling is caused by fluid build-up in the affected area. This fluid (low specific gravity) in injured area is released, via osmosis, to the surrounding water (higher specific gravity) relieving the swelling and increasing beneficial blood flow to the injury promoting healing. Now, is all of this enough to convince you to add salt to your tank? Possibly. Live plants are adversely affected by salt but, since Cichlids typically don't have these in their tanks, you might be inclined to give it a try.>> Okay, I have just another one more: I've been feeding my FH pellets for a few months now and a few brine shrimps whenever I could find them. But, the shrimps are really quite rare and a bit pricey, too. <<Your Flowerhorn definitely needs a varied diet. Good for you for adding the Brine Shrimp to its diet but I understand about price and availability. Just keep in mind that too monotonous of a diet can lead to problems no matter how high quality the food might be.>> A few days ago, my friend gave me a couple of worms. <<I tried that with my wife but she insisted on jewelry. :)>> Super worms, he said. Are those good food? <<They're beetle larvae, as you probably know. The exoskeletons of the 'Super Worm' (Zophobas morio) are reportedly more easily digested than typical mealworms and they grow larger. Beyond this, I have no specific knowledge of the food value involved.>> I haven't tried  feeding those to my fishes. He said it will enhance the "characters" in the fish's body. Is that true? <<I find that a debatable issue, Cecille. In my opinion, it sounds like "hype" though, again, I couldn't verify this for you, one way or the other.>> And, what do I do with them once they turn into beetles? <<If you plan on breeding them for more "worms", hang on to them. I've run across several sites that describe how to breed these. A simple 'Google' search will lead you in the right direction.>> Thanks in advance again. Cecille, <<Any time, Cecille. Glad to help. Tom>>  

Flowerhorn feeding   8/18/06 Hello again. <<Hello, Jesse. Tom with you this time.>> I have another problem with my Flowerhorn....SHE IS NOT EATING FOR ALMOST 5 DAYS!!! What will I do? And I saw white, thin worms swimming in my aquarium. What's that? <<The worms (flatworms, actually) are called Planaria. Harmless to your fish but indicate a problem, usually a surplus of uneaten food in your substrate/gravel. In turn, this could indicate poor water conditions, which might be leading to your Flowerhorn's "hunger strike".>> Is that the reason why my Flowerhorn is not eating? <<The Planaria aren't, no, but they could be an indication as to why it's not eating. Give the bottom of the tank a thorough cleaning with a gravel vacuum. In fact, I'd recommend 10%-15% water changes (along with vacuuming the gravel) over the next two, or three, days. Vacuum deeply, Jesse, all the way to the bottom of the tank. Don't try to do this all at once because it will stress your Flowerhorn. Better to do smaller changes more frequently. Also, do this after you feed your pet. This way, food that it isn't eating will be cleaned up. I think that with a good cleaning, leading to better water conditions, your Flowerhorn will start to get its appetite back. By the way, don't worry that your fish will starve. Fish can go for days, even weeks, without eating. We don't like to see this, of course, but I'm letting you know so that you don't worry unnecessarily.>> Please help me... Thanks again!!! <<Glad to help, Jesse. Good luck. Tom>>

Flower Horn Fish not eating   8/8/06 Hello Crew, Jessica from Singapore here. I am 13 years old. I have a Flower Horn Fish and it's been with me for around four years already. For the past four or five days, my fish hasn't been eating. I feed it with pellets and not any other food. Both my sisters had Flower Horn Fish too. And both of their fish died because their stomach were bloated. But before that, their fish didn't eat too. So, I am afraid that my fish would end up like theirs. So, I really look forward to your reply. Thank You. <Mmm, when/where in doubt, do water changes. Do you have water quality test kits? Is your nitrate elevated? I would immediately vacuum about 25% of the water out while vacuuming the gravel... Next, I would try a bit of live food... Earth or other large worms or suitably large (mouth-size) insect larvae... Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhornfdgfaq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Flowerhorn Doesn't Eat   8/6/06 Hi to all crews of WWM!! I had again a question about my Flowerhorn. I'm just a beginner so I am very curious about the behavior of the Flowerhorn. Last Tuesday I bought a baby Flowerhorn food, this are small pellets with krill, I think my Flowerhorn likes it. But yesterday, until know she doesn't eat it anymore. Please can you help me. I hope you will reply soon! God bless.... < Usually beginners over feed their fish. Wait a few days and then try again. Feed him once a day and then only enough food so that all of it is gone in a couple of minutes.-Chuck>
Flowerhorn Won't Eat II   8/6/06
Hi again to all crews of WWM! I have a few questions about the behavior of a Flowerhorn, because I'm just a new owner of this kind of fish. Can you give me a list. Also, I have a problem about my Flowerhorn, last Tuesday I bought a Flowerhorn small pellets food it contains krill. She wants it so much. But yesterday, I notice that when I give it to her, she ignored it and didn't eat it. Can you help me about this, what other food can i give to my Flowerhorn?? I hope you reply soon, thanks and GOD BLESS!!! < Flowerhorns are not too fussy when it comes to being fed. They will accept almost any kind of food. A varied diet is good so mix up different kinds of flake, pellets, frozen and live foods will be great accepted.-Chuck>

Flower Horn Not Eating From 3 Months!   7/22/06 Hi ! This is Avinash Jaiswal from India. I have a Flowerhorn about 1 feet. From 3 months he has stopped eating, he loves to eat fresh prawn but at this times he never turns back to see those prawns and his colour has also became dull and the size of his head has also decreased. <A bad sign of starvation...> Please help me this is not the first time I'm facing this problem 2-3 times this problem has occurred. I'm getting scare if something happens to him, he is my first Flowerhorn. Please reply soon I'll wait for your reply. <Just guessing here, but this sounds like a part of one of the prawns exoskeletons has become lodged in this fish's "stomach"... You might have some luck in trying to pass this with the addition of Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) at the rate of one level teaspoon per five gallons of water... Surgery to extract this mass might even be suggest-able... with the use of an anesthetic, reaching into the buccal cavity with blunt forceps. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flowerhorn Not Eating For 3 Months   7/24/06
As you have mentioned that the exoskeletons have in his stomach. Before feeding him prawns, I clean those prawns and remove their hard shells and I feed him only their soft flesh in which their seems to be no bones besides these I am feeding him OCEAN FREE's FLOWERHORN KING Pellets & BRINE SHRIMP. <Ahh, I see... it isn't the prawn skeletons then... These other foods should be fine, provide complete nutrition, though I would try an occasional earthworm or equivalent here. Bob Fenner>

Flowerhorn help Hi I've been addict in Flowerhorn fish since 2000 when I saw the flower horn in my friend the color is saw great and the hump is so big my question is what kind of natural food or live food will I feed to my flower horn in order to gain a giant and wonderful nuchal hump? <Try fresh washed earthworms. The hump is a storage unit for fat. > my fish don't like to eat a pellets of feeds like grandsumo. What diet will I Apply? < Try spectrum pellets. They are a high quality food that will bring out the color as well as encourage their growth of the hump. Fish seem to like these pellets long after they get tired of other types of pellets.-Chuck> My Flower horn is about 3-4 Months old Thank you and hope for your apply soon

Flowerhorn questions from India Hi, my name is Rohan, I am an aquarist from India. I have mailed a few times and have been fortunate enough to receive quick and very good responses from you to which I am very grateful and thank you. I have a pair of Flowerhorns. I have a few enquires to ask you, concerning the about two. 1) When do I know that the Flowerhorns are ready to breed? < The male and female will be flaring at one another, their tubes from the anal region will become more prominent and they will have cleaned an area to lay their eggs.> 2) Whats the average size of the male & female when they are ready to breed? < They can breed as small as 4 inches.> 3) I have noticed that my female FH changes her body colour often (from pale to dark green), is this a cause for concern? < Flowerhorns are an artificial man-made fish. Their colors are a reflection of their mood, food and genetics.> 4) when going out for the week end how much should the fish be fed. < None. I never feed my fish while I am out of town for a week or less. Fish are cold blooded so I lower the water temp. to 75 degrees to cool them down and lower their metabolism so they won't be as hungry and will not breed or tear each other up while I am gone.> and lastly, 5) I read in a website (not yours) that you can underfeed the FH not over feed is it true? < You can always overfeed or underfeed your fish. I feed only enough food so that all of it is consumed in a few minutes once a day. Over feeding creates internal bacterial problems like bloat and dropsy. If you check out our website often then you have seen these emails with people who have fish like Oscars that are bloated and lethargic. These people thought that they could not over feed their Oscar.-Chuck> Hoping to get a reply soon. Thanking you, Rohan

Flowerhorn Diet  9/21/05 Thank you for your reply. Now I am having a different problem. I even think it is worse than the Flowerhorn not eating pellets. Now it is not eating at all. It doesn't look sick, but sometimes I find it only in a corner of the aquarium but most of the time it is swimming around. Another question. is it ok to feed the Flowerhorn pig's fat? < If your Flowerhorn won't eat then you need to feed him once a day. Try premoistened pellets soaked in vitamins. Place the pellets in the tank and then remove them after two minutes. Do this only once each day. If he is still not eating after a few days he may have an internal bacterial infection that will require a treatment of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace.  Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Heat the tank up to 80 F. Feed a high quality pelleted fish designed for your fish and skip the pig's fat unless you want your Flowerhorn to bloat up like a balloon and die.-Chuck>

Re: Asking advice about my FHorn Dear Sir, I have some question to ask you. The effect of Tetracycline and Nitrofuranace is the same or not? < While they are both antibiotics, there effectiveness is different depending on the water conditions and the bacteria type you are trying to control.> How long do I need to keep in my tank? < Depending on how far along the disease has persisted maybe up to a week if the water is good.> Do I need to let him in the pure water for 3 days before starting medication with the chemical water you recommended as he is not still in anti-fungus water yet as I'm a bit worried for whether he still has resistance for these treatment or not? <No, Clean the tank as recommended and then treat the tank right away. Don't worry about the other medication.> Can they effect the coloration of my baby fish? <Flowerhorns are a variable fish as far as color goes. Bacteria may leave scar tissue that will be dark and may never color up like unaffected areas of the fish.> How many amount shall I use? < Follow the directions on the package. Look at the expiration date of the medication and make sure it is still valid.> Nitrofuranace is the same as nitrofuration or not? Is it a kind of Nitrate? < Nitrofuranace is an antibiotic and nitrification is the process that breaks down fish waste like ammonia to a less toxic nitrite and finally to an even less toxic nitrate. There are no nitrates in Nitrofuranace.> I also feed my FHorn very special dry food, not raw food but the hole in his head also appeared. Thank you so much for your advice. Thanks a million, sir. I really and truly appreciate your very genius advice. I hope my baby fish will be fine soon. < These specialty foods are to enhance the color of your fish and not to provide any optimum nutrients and minerals. Clean water and a varied diet will help.-Chuck> 

Flowerhorn Problems, Playing the Guilt Card? I kindly request your help. Unless you help, my fish will be suffering this disease very disappointedly for such a long time. The fish that I have is Flower Horn, Red Texas. It's baby fish but the scales have just growing during these day. The first time I'm aware of these black spots on the skin of my fish is when I lighted the fluorescent lamp. It seemed to be small black surface when they unite each other. With the ordinary light, we can't see them. They all seemed to be formed under the skin. So I think it's a kind of fungus inside the body.  So, I put some anti-fungus capsule and some salt. As soon as I put some powder from the capsule, the water is turning green gradually. But, it seemed to me that the fungus are not faded away till 5 days after I use these capsule. Then, the fin of the fish become close and doesn't seem to work very well like before I put them into my tank. Almost all the time, he seemed to get itchy skin and he always rub his body with the undersurface of the tank very harshly. Starting from this time on, he can't even swim as much as he can and always stay calmly and quietly in one place for a very long time.  So, could you please answer my question? < Sure> What kind of fungus did he have? < I don't think he had a fungus but a bacterial infection instead. Fungus usually only attack dead or dying tissue. Bacteria may have initially attacked the fish and the fungus turned out to be a secondary infection.> What kind of treatment shall I take? If you know some way of curing this or some effective anti-fungus medicine, would you please let me know? < Once again I think it is bacterial. I would change 30% of the water and vacuum the gravel. then clean the filter. Once the tank is clean I would treat it with Nitrofuranace as per the directions on the package.> Is it a kind of fungus and how long it will take to completely recover from this suffering? < Recovery always depends on how quickly the fish is treated. Usually I think you should see some improvement in three days or you have the wrong medication.> Why has his fin been becoming close and close day by day? < As the infection spreads along the skin the fish tries to reduce its surface area to the bacteria.> I would be glad if I got your very detail answer. I'm looking forward to hearing from you in a near future. Can he died of fungus disease? Thank you so much. < Absolutely. The bacteria will attack the gills and suffocate the fish.-Chuck> 

Feeding flower horn (non-native writer)  11/20/05 Hi WWM crew. An excellent site for aquarists. I have a question.  I have a flower horn that has been not eating. It has been over a month.  I fed it on chicken liver. <Mmm, I would not do this> I performed a 25% water change but no luck.  It does not appear to be affected by any disease.  What do I do? and will the chicken liver help in the development of the hump and the colour or should I feed it on chicken heart or mutton heart/liver?  Any advice will greatly be appreciated. Thank you <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhorns.htm and the linked FAQs file... and on to cichlid feeding... Bob Fenner> <<And feed ME the chicken livers.. yum!  Marina>>

Flowerhorn Not Eating 10/31/05 I recently bought a young Red Dragon Flowerhorn probably around 2 inches in length. I noticed that it is not eating the pellets that I'm putting into the fish tank. I'm using a 10 gallon fish aquarium. Please help as I'm afraid that the FH's failure to eat properly may cause it to stop growing. Thanks! < Keep the water temp up around 80 F. fed once a day. Place the food in the tank for only two minutes once each day. Remove all uneaten food after two minutes with a siphon. Repeat the next day. After a couple of days you should be see some feeding while the food is in the tank. If not then there may be an internal bacterial infection blocking the intestine and you will need to treat with Metronidazole.-Chuck> 

Flowerhorn Doesn't Eat Much  11/28/05 Hi crew. I want to first thank you for your quick replies to my questions. The replies have helped me a lot. Now here is my question. My Flowerhorn has low appetite. It is not affected with any disease. What do I do? < Increase the water temp to 80 to 82 F. Offer the food once each day for two minutes. If it is not gone then remove the uneaten food. If the fish doesn't eat after three days then it probably has an internal bacterial infection and needs to be treated with a combination of Nitrofurazone and Metronidazole.> My smaller Flowerhorn has good shape and coloration but has no head. Even the special FLOWERHORN foods have not helped much. Will feeding it on shrimp meat help in the enlargement of hump? <The large hump on the forehead of Flowerhorns is a fat storage device. It is usually larger in males but I guess some females could have it too. The difference between the two could just be heredity.-Chuck>

Request advice as My Flowerhorn is not eating, NNS- 2/28/2006 Dear WWM Crew, <Hello there> Greeting to you from Bangalore, India. I bought a Flowerhorn ? FEMALE almost 6 months back age being probably 2 to 3 years old. It was very active and used to play with us the moment we went near the tank and would go after the live fish and eat them instantly. Later almost 45 days back I cleaned the tank <Not all the water I hope/trust. Best to retain a good 75% or so and replace this if you have occasion to dump the whole system> and filled in fresh water and later observed it was not active and was hiding behind the filter most of the time and used to ignore the live guppies or small gold fishes. Then on keen observation I saw hordes of white minute dot like insects all over the tank. I put a locally available Mr. White medicine around 25 drops. The next day they were all over the tank like a white sheet. I separated the flower horn gave a potassium permanganate dip as advised by my dealer, <Yikes... a strong oxidizer. So dangerous that it's rarely sold for American aquarist use> cleaned the tank thoroughly and reintroduced the flower horn and put tetracycline 500 mg in the tank, She seemed to get better but it is almost 2 week now her appetite has not improved does not feed on live fish eats only the regular fish food that too only after 2-4 hrs. Kindly advice. I do not want HER to die. I also observed that of late She keeps jumping in the tank throwing most of the water outside. Kindly advice. Regards. G. KRISHNAKUMAR. <Very likely all you need to do is actually stop treating this fish. Leave off with medicines, add activated carbon to the filter and in a few days it will likely return to feeding. Bob Fenner>  

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