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FAQs on the Flowerhorn Cichlid Reproduction

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 Feeding, Flowerhorn Disease, FAQs on Flowerhorn Cichlid Disease by Category: Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments,  Cichlids, Neotropical Cichlids,

FH, repro. f'    3/19/13
Good day :) I just want to ask, if what was it that my female fh secreted from her anus, it is a very shallow transparent jelly-like thing? My fh show signs of breeding. Thanks :)
<... likely the ovipositor. Bob Fenner>
Re: FH

It is very tiny. And went out from her anus after a while?
<... Google the words "cichlid ovipositor", look at "images". B>
Vent.... FH     3/24/13

Some articles says that when the vent becomes longer, that is the ovipositor, is that true? If not, where is it going to come out the anus?
Thank you!
<Are you talking about the genital papillae on fish such as cichlids? Then yes, on males in particular, the genital papillae is moderately long and pointed (typically, 2-3 mm on a 15-20 cm cichlid, for example). On females the genital papillae are shorter, broader, and have a more stubby appearance. Usually, the genital papillae on female fish will be visible for no more than 24 hours before spawning. On males, the genital papillae may be visible all the time, especially on large, sexually mature
specimens. Now, on most *bony* fish (cartilaginous fish are a bit different) their is a shared anal and urogenital opening called the cloaca.
Within the cloaca each opening is separate, one in front of the other, but yes, at first glance it can look as though they're all the same opening.
Cheers, Neale.>
Eggs.     3/24/13

Thank you bro! How about knowing if laid eggs are spoiled? How to determine?
<Fertilised eggs usually turn dark within a day of laying (the exact colour varies, but often greyish with dark speckles inside). Unfertilised eggs go milky white, and should be removed quickly. If you don't remove them, they'll become fungused, and the whole batch of eggs will be at risk.
Cheers, Neale.>
Behavior    3/25/13

My female fh is having a behavior, like staying on the edge of her pot and something like scratching her vent on that edge. Can you explain? Thanks bro!
<... Explain what? Please see WWM re Flowerhorn behavior and reproduction.
Male not fertilizing, more blather re FHs      4/15/13

Good day guys! I badly need your help and answers. I have observed my male fh while my female is spawning eggs ( in a proper distance). I think he is not fertilizing the eggs?
What do I need to do if my thoughts are correct. This happened twice already. I put them together 3hours before spawning, does that matter?
Thank you very much. I need your answers. Thanks
<Your emails make little sense to me... That is, I don't know what you're looking for... Again, just read what is posted on WWM... or go somewhere that qualified people/help know your native language. Bob Fenner>

Phase of breeding    3/6/13
Do you have any reason why a female FH darkens when it is ready to breed?
Thank you
<No, sorry. But many cichlids change their colours when courting. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Behavior, FH    3/25/13
How long should be the ovipositor before I let them together. Thanks bro!
<... keep reading. B>
Male FH not fertilizing egg.
I don't see my male fh fertilizing the egg. I hope he does. How to confirm if he really was not able to fertilize the egg. Thank you.
Female FH

My Female FH, just finished her spawning, but won't allow  the male to fertilize it but I didn't observe the whole time. Hoping that the eggs are fertilized. What do you think? Haha :) thanks for the help.
Male     3/27/13

Bro! Let me ask, when to know that a male FH is mature enough to breed? And if ever how to condition him for breeding. Thanks :)
<Male cichlids reach sexual maturity quite quickly, within 3-4 months in most cases, which translates to about half their potential adult size. However, there are good reasons to delay breeding until a fish is near fully grown, so that you can see that the male has good genes (size, colour, fin shape, etc.). In other words, for a Flowerhorn, wait 6-9 months before breeding the fish. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Male     3/28/13

Hi guys! Let me just ask, there is a whitish thing building up in my ever red pellets what could that be? Thanks.
<Are the pellets in the water? If so, fungus. Cheers, Neale.>

FH female condition, rdg.     2/27/13
My female FH seem to change her behavior when it comes to food, she doesn't take pellets, I just stop feeding her shrimps this day,
<... not a good steady diet... see WWM re, Thiaminase>
 but I notice that her belly is bulky and she always keep herself inside the pot, what must be her condition? Is she ready for spawning. Thank you very much.
<... need to re-condition this fish to a better diet. Read here:
Bob Fenner>
Re: breeding rituals   2/27/13

After an hour of being together, I saw male something like waving through the body of the female and wherever the female go, he follows, is it a sign that my female is ready for spawning? Or should I keep them apart 'til the tube comes out?
<See previous e-mail. You can certainly try keeping them in the same aquarium, but do have another aquarium handy. Any sign of trouble, like damaged fins or scratches, remove one of them fish to another aquarium. Do track down "The Cichlid Aquarium" for more. Cheers, Neale.>
breeding rituals, FHs     2/27/13
I am 17y/o new Flowerhorn hobbyist, 1st I would like to ask, is it okay to put male and female FH together even if the 'white tube' is still not able to come out from the female,
<It is not safe no. This isn't to say you cannot do this, but you MUST watch the two fish and be ready to remove the female if she starts being attacked. A good idea is to put two aquaria next to each other, one for each fish, so they can see one another through the glass. After a week, they should be used to each other. Hmm… do read Paul Loiselle "The Cichlid Aquarium" for much useful information on keeping, breeding large Neotropical cichlids.>
 because I already have seen the sign that she is about to lay eggs?
<When the "egg tube" is visible, that's when she's ready to lay eggs.>
2nd is it really natural that the male hurt the female a lot (jaw locking, body biting),
<No, it isn't "natural" for males to attack or kill females of their species. In the wild, the female will swim away if the male doesn't accept her. But in an aquarium there is no space for her to swim away, so she ends up being attacked or killed.>
because my female has been badly damaged as I introduced them and removed the glass divider and 3rd can you give me some breeding rituals after they fight.
<If they accept each other, they will swim next to each other, often side by side. They may clean an area before spawning.>
Thank you :) the lighter one is the male and the dark one is female, can you also give me their breed?
Thanks a lot fella.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

other pic even worse.

Re: Flower Horn that lost its markings, now re repro.      10/9/12
Sorry Bob,
There is yet another all important question that I would like to ask; Breeding Flower Horns
I've read a lot about care of the fish whilst they lay their eggs etc. etc. .... however, as we all know, FH's are generally an aggressive fish, and as mentioned in an earlier e-mail, we found that putting our two (now suspected females) together, they fought and even locked their Jaws together to the point that we had to pull them apart.
It is said that you can put male and female FH's together .... is this really true, how can one guarantee that they are not going to fight to the death ... ?
<No guarantee/s. This process needs careful observation, large systems... possible use of partition>
 As they are such expensive fish, I obviously don't want that to happen, plus, as I also have (in separate tanks) Shovel Nose Tiger Fish, Crocodile Fish, Striped Raphael Fish ... to name a few, I was hoping to avoid having to put yet another tank in my home. How old should the male be before he realizes what his manly duties should be ?
<Mmm, six months to a year>
Will our FH's lay eggs without a male, or do they produce egg's knowing that there is a male around to fertilize them ?
<Need a male to fertilize... two female cichlids can/do at times lay eggs... infertile>
Please advise in as much detail as possible !
I thank you once again in anticipation
Paul Simcock
<Do have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhornreprofaq.htm
Re: Flower Horn that lost its markings     10/9/12

Gee ... what a site ... and I thought 'I' was having problems
 .... thanks very much Bob .... a most informative site !
Regards, Paul
<And you, BobF>

please FH gender ....????    8/10/12
hi crew I am hiren from India
please identify FH gender 3 month old is it male or female.???
help me out...
<Looks like a female to me... so far. Read here:
Bob Fenner>

Flower Horn Not breeding!!! (From INDIA)    6/2/12
Dear Sir,
Am a FH Hobbyist I have a Monkey Head FH and a Female FH in a separate tank with the condition as stated below:
1. Have a Airstone and a Bio Sponge Filter
2. Have small stones as substrate
3. Have a Earthen Plate placed upside down for laying eggs
4. I have a HEATER which is at 29 degrees
5. Am planning to place a DOLPHIN FILTER as well ASAP
<Is there enough filtration is there currently?>
The behavior of my FH's:
1. Both the Male and Female are getting along fine
2. I also see my female at times going and gently tapping the Male's Body
<Above you state that they're in separate systems>
3. But the Male does not react much he stays idle at time he just pushes her off,    but do not attach her
4. They both have been together for ~3months
5. Also they eat fine no problems with that I believe I feed XO HUMPY HEAD
6. The MALE usually most of the times stay at the top of the water and breathes through his mouth, but he is very active no signs of any infection.
7. His HEAD growth is awesome and he is quiet healthy
8. My Female FH depicts black stripes on her body and I think she is ready to mate, but am not sure what is wrong with my male.
Also I have to tell you that I have placed this aquarium in a place where we sit so lot of human  activity goes on around the aquarium.
Looking forward for your reply.
<Re? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhornreprofaq.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Flowerhorn question, repro. 6/27/11
im having female Flowerhorn for how many days regularly it will lay eggs bcz it layed eggs bt I dint c it again wn can I expect it to lay eggs plz tell me this sir
thank u sir
<Do read here:
Details much like Cichlasoma trimaculatum, except fertility is very low.
Unless you plan to breed on a commercial scale, these are not cichlids worth breeding. Much easier, better choices. Do also fix your English if you write again; it's fine if English isn't your first language, but using "txt speak" is annoying and difficult to understand. Cheers, Neale.>

Flowerhorn Fish Eggs are not hatching? 5/11/11
Dear WWM,
I am Zaki Shaikh from Pune, India.
I have a 1 Male Flowerhorn of 5.5 inch & 2 Female Flowerhorn Fish 5 inch / 4 inch.
I tried to breed my male Flowerhorn with both the female.
<Mmm, breeding these hybrids is often problematical. You do realize that this fish is a purposeful cross? That is, that it is generated by cross-breeding other species of neotropical Cichlids? Many individuals are genetically sterile; unable to produce viable gametes (sex cells; eggs and milt), hence not able to produce young>
Till now each female laid eggs twice. and every time the eggs were not hatched and got attack with fungus. I have put the blue liquid every time.
What is the problem why the eggs are not hatched. Is there any problem with the male?
<Could be... or less likely, though possible, the female. However there are other possibilities... could be that the pair are "too young"... and that later batches will hatch out... Could be conditioning... food/nutrition issues. Perhaps water quality is in some way/s "so bad" that they're unable to develop here>
Please help me asap.
Thanks & Regards,
Zaki Shaikh.
<Please review by reading here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flowerhorn Fish Eggs are not hatching? 5/12/2011

thanks for your reply.
one problem is there.
I have male Flowerhorn Trimac and dragon female Flowerhorn fish. they both are happily living in a same tank together. the temperature is 30degree c. how many days will it takes Flowerhorn to breed?
<They may not period, and you should take great care to observe their behavior every time you're by the tank. In this small volume, it is all too likely they will fight, one kill the other. Bob Fenner>
zakir Shaikh
Re: Flowerhorn Fish Eggs are not hatching? 5/24/11

Hi Dear,
I need your help for Flowerhorn breeding.
Enclosed the Male red dragon Flowerhorn fish 7 inch photo.
Enclosed the Flowerhorn fish 5 inch photo.
My both the Male Flowerhorn formed pair with a female Flowerhorn.
Both Flowerhorn pair are in separate tank. I have a tank 3ft x 1.5ft x 1.5ft. in it a top filter and air stone.
Female laid the eggs even the male was following her behind. I can see the tube of male too.
even I added Methylene blue liquid but on 3rd day I can see the eggs turning white in color.
What is the problem? please help me I want to breed them,
Thanks & Regards
Zakir Shaikh
<Could be that one or the other is sterile; but likely the male... Or some other issue w/ water quality... which you give no values for. Have you read on WWM re?: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhornreprofaq.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flowerhorn Fish Eggs are not hatching? 5/24/11

Thanks WWM
<Welcome Zakir>
If any of the male is sterile. can we cure the sterile male. is there any treatment?
<Not really; though again, I would not give up on this pair just yet...>
Please guide me about feeding the Flowerhorn breeding pair before laying eggs and after laying eggs.
<Please READ where you've been referred to. BobF>
Zakir Shaikh

how many days it takes Flowerhorn babies for free swimming ? 5/31/11
Dear WWM,
I have a breeding pair of golden Trimac male Flowerhorn fish & red dragon female Flowerhorn.
female laid eggs on 24 may 2011 at morning 11am. on 26may I saw both of them taking care of a bunch of black dots in the corner of tank. I thought the eggs got hatched.
but till today 29may the babies are not free swimming? parents are protecting the bunch. Tank has become very dirty. can I clean the tank? I am confused is the bunch are babies of Flowerhorn or not? even I saw the female picking them in mouth & throwing them back. I called my friend, he saw and said its babies in sack. please help me what to do?
<Greetings. Large cichlids produce fry that typically hatch within 3 days and become free-swimming between 3-5 days after they hatch. But all this depends on water quality, the good health of the parents, and especially water temperature. Because the adult fish are generally very poor parents, it is normal to remove them after spawning. Rear them yourself in another aquarium, using an airstone to keep the eggs well oxygenated and free from fungus. Once the fry hatch and have used up their yolk sac, you should be
able to get them eating brine shrimp nauplii and finely powdered flake food without much bother.
Cheers, Neale.>

need help in manually hatching Flowerhorn fish eggs 6/5/2011
Dear WWM,
my golden Trimac male & red dragon female Flowerhorn fish breed on Thursday 2 June 11 at 5pm. I put Methylene blue liquid in tank. next day afternoon I saw both male & female were fighting. so removed them both in a medical tank. today 5 June I saw the eggs turn black & shivering. but lots of white cotton like thing is there in between of eggs.
please let me know what to do now. guide me in complete details.
thanks & Regards
<Hello Zakir. There are two possibilities. First, that the eggs weren't fertilised. This is a common problem with hybrid cichlids. It can also happen if the male and female don't spawn properly. Aggression between them can prevent proper spawning. Secondly, that the eggs weren't looked after properly. You need a good, steady water current past the eggs to keep them clean. This mimics what the adults do when looking after their eggs. Try again, and keep reading about breeding cichlids until you get things right!
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: need help in manually hatching Flowerhorn fish eggs 6/5/2011
Dear WWM
I am sure that the eggs are fertilized. cause I can see the babies in sac.
<Very good. Fertilised eggs tend to go speckled grey within 24 hours, whereas unfertilised eggs go opaque white and then fluffy as fungus grows on them.>
now I m worried about that white thing
it must not harm the babies fry.
<Fungus will spread from unfertilised eggs to fertilised eggs. Yes, fungus can kill eggs and (immobile) fry.>
I have added Terramycin capsule in tank.
<Methylene Blue, if used correctly, should prevent fungus.>
guide me if I am wrong?
<Use Methylene Blue at 2 grammes per litre of water. Add in stages so as not to shock the eggs! Make up the required concentration in a jug or bottle first. If you buy the Methylene Blue ready made (e.g., Interpet Treatment No. 10, Methylene Blue) then again, add the necessary amount to a bottle of water first. Either way, pour the Methylene Blue solution from the bottle into the tank in stages, e.g., every 5 minutes across half an hour. This gives the solution time to disperse around the tank. Make sure the airstone is close to the eggs so there is a gentle current of water.
Strong enough you can see Methylene Blue flow past the eggs, but not so strong the eggs are bouncing about. This should be adequate until the eggs hatch.>
even I want to know to grow fry faster? how many times I must clean the tank?
<Once the fry hatch, do 5% water changes AT LEAST once per day, and ideally TWICE per day. Make 100% sure the water going into the tank has the SAME water chemistry as the water taken out. Keep the tank physically clean by siphoning out any debris on the bottom. Methylene Blue can reduce biological filtration, so water changes will be crucial for the first couple of weeks simply to keep ammonia and nitrite levels down. After a couple of weeks the fry should be quite active and feeding well, so the key thing now is to [a] provide them with regular small meals (ideally, 4-5 meals per day, enough that the fry look nicely "full") while also [b] keeping ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate at zero. Nitrate in particular is a stealth killer of fry, and if the tank water gets stale or old, you will lose a LOT of fry.>
Thanks & Regards
<Cheers, Neale.>

About Breeding
Breeding Flowerhorns 1/18/11

Hi, This is vj again thanks for replying for my previous question.
One of my friend has 2 Flowerhorn male and a female both are of about 5 inches they are kept in 2 different tanks, we just wanted to know are they ready to breed if yes what should be done and how should we take care of them. Can you please send me picture of Flowerhorn eggs?
Thanks, Vj
< The best way to get Flowerhorns to breed would be to get six small individuals and let them grow up together. As they mature the males and then the females create a pecking order with the dominant male usually breeding with the dominant female. Forcing a pair together is pretty risky.
If the female is not ready to breed then the male may kill her. Provide a cave or pipe that the female can get in but not the larger male. Feed them well and keep the water temp around 80 F. If the female is not ready she can hide in the pipe. Jaw locking and some flaring is normal but do not leave them alone. The male can quickly damage the female if she is not ready. Sorry, don't have pictures of Flowerhorn eggs but they look similar to substrate spawning cichlid eggs. If you Google cichlid eggs you can probably find cichlids breeding with eggs.-Chuck>

FH .. Urgent problem Female Flowerhorn Possibly Egg Bound 10/31/2010
Hey WWM. Salute you all. This is Sam again. I have the following problem. My female FH wants to lay eggs since past 6 days but is not able to or doesn't want to lay due to some reasons. Problem is she has a black spot and a tail like structure on her papilla. I don't know what is it. I even don't weather is is normal or not. I have attached some pics for the same. I also performed a water change ( 70% ) because I thought that water must be the reason. She has stripes all over the body and swims freely with the male. Her size is 3.5". Hope you reply me as soon as possible cuz this problem is not letting me sleep ! Thanz in advance ! WWM rockZ !! :)
< If the pair are acting like they are going to spawn, like digging a pit and flaring, then I would increase the water temp to the low to mid 80's F. That should get them going. If they are not going through the courting rituals then it could be an internal blockage that has forced the genitalia out of the body cavity. Treat in a hospital tank with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. If she is still eating normally then give her a medicated food with these medications already in them.-Chuck>

Urgent .. FH Breeding. 10/17/10
Hi WWM .. My name is Sam .. My tank setup according to guidelines of a local aquarist is as follows ..
- Tank size : 3ft x 1ft x 1.5ft.
<Much too small; a pair will need 100 gallons, at least.>
- Flowerhorn Breeding pair .
- Gravels.
- Mechanical, Biological, Chemical filtration system.
Flowerhorns have successfully mated. And have also had bred once. After female laying eggs I had removed the divider and also removed the female also. All was fine until on the 2nd day the eggs were gone. (Most probably eaten by Male). Why did this happen ? When approximately the next breeding session occur ?
Sorry for wrong English, Thanks in advance .. :)
<Hello Sam. The thing with Flowerhorn cichlids is that they are hybrids. In the wild cichlid breeding behaviour is reinforced over the generations. In other words, only those pairs that work together can successfully rear a brood of fry. So each generation gets better and better. In aquaria this doesn't happen if the aquarist removes the eggs and rears the eggs himself. Flowerhorns are almost always bred this way, and the sad truth is that they are TERRIBLE parents. Pairs are not very stable, and aggression by the male
towards the female is common. If you want to watch cichlid breeding behaviour, Flowerhorns are a very bad species to use. If you want to breed Flowerhorn cichlids, then after spawning you MUST remove the eggs. Place the eggs in another aquarium with an airstone nearby to create a gentle current of water past the eggs. Remove infertile eggs (usually white rather than grey) because fungus can destroy an entire brood within days. Methylene blue is commonly added to the water to prevent fungus. Most cichlids will breed again within a month, but it depends on how well the female is fed. The male will want to breed within days, but the female needs to "fatten up" on the best possible diet you can give her, typically live mosquito larvae, bloodworms and earthworms, though wet-frozen foods will do as well. For some reason, flakes and pellets don't bring females into breeding condition as quickly, but they do work eventually. Obviously,
don't use live feeder fish or any other risky food, such as Tubifex.
Cheers, Neale.>

mystery behind eggs, FH repro. 8/8/10
It has been five days since my Flowerhorn laid eggs,
<... should have hatched out by now... if viable>
but today I couldn't see any eggs and Flowerhorn are acting very strange (like something it is protecting in its mouth).
<Are not mouthbrooders... can/do move young about orally at times though>
I thought that it was the wriggles .could that be possible and also I want to know what to do further?
<Stay observant; wait for next spawning event. Bob Fenner>

Flower longhorn
Flowerhorn Questions, dis, breeding/sexing... -- 7/12/10

Hi, I have to say I've been reading your articles and found it very useful.
I have a couple of question
1) My flower longhorn recently attracted some type of infection, and have got some of capsule from the aquarium to treat it. I have to take him out every two days to treat him for 4 hrs. He now looks a lot better but have a split open wound across his forehead which before antibiotics had white fluffy stuff showing. It doesn't have the fluffy stuff now but a wide hole, will that heal back together?
< The white fluffy material was a fungus that is now gone. The wound will probably heal but there probably will be a scar.>
2)will my longhorns breed in a 125 gallon tank with 5 bloody parrots and a Arowana?
< When they decide to breed they will probably have no problem chasing the other fish away?>
3) I have what I thought was a male and female but recently saw the smaller one developing a hump and top and bottom fins to be longer then his middle fins, can it most likely that it is actually a male not a female?
< Longer fins are usually sexual characteristics of a male.-Chuck>

Re: Flower longhorn
Flowerhorn Sex Determination 716/10

Thanks for your responds. After asking you about the male and female I went to look at the female that has male features and it had a vent tube sticking out, can it possibly be a female?
<Both sexes can have tubes sticking out. The females would be much thicker and fatter than a males tube.>
The tube been there now for 2 days. Its not really long and kind of fat and round with a little black on the tip. Its chasing my parrots to the other corner of the tank and digging a hole in the gravel so I put a clay plate there.
< Sounds like you will find out shortly if eggs are laid.-Chuck>

Re: a little question pls.. FH repro. 6/25/10
hi wwc! my FH just laid eggs now a few hours after introducing a male. I think it was 9 hrs ago..the male is about four inches so as the female.
when I checked on the tank I found out that the female was biting and attacking the male and guarding the eggs.
<Happens sometimes.>
those this mean that the male failed to fertilize the eggs?
<Possibly, but could also mean she wants to rear the eggs on her own.
Because Flowerhorns are hybrids, their behaviour is very difficult to predict. Normally, Central American cichlids are what we call "biparental spawners", meaning both parents look after the eggs. But Flowerhorns have been cross-bred and inbred, so sometimes they are psychologically screwy.
They very rarely make good parents, and usually eat their eggs. So breeders normally remove the eggs and rear them manually. This requires an aquarium at least 10 gallons in size, a filter, a heater, and some methylene blue to
prevent the eggs become fungused. Put an airstone near the eggs to increase water movement around them.>
if so, is there a way to fertilize the eggs like taking them out in a different tank with a male on it?
<No. Once the eggs are laid, they quickly become "hard" and sperm can't get into them anymore. They have to be fertilised immediately.>
this is my first time to have a FH eggs.
<Now is the time to think what to do with the eggs. Selling Flowerhorn cichlids is difficult in some places. Here in England, very few aquarium shops will accept Flowerhorn fry because nobody wants them. In other places
Flowerhorn cichlids are quite popular. So whether you wash the eggs down the drain, or else rear them yourself in a separate aquarium will depend on your local circumstances.>
thank you..
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: a little question pls.. 6/25/10
oh ok ill do that..separate them in another tank. thank you wwc! you really are a helping hand. good day to you and thanks again..
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: a little question pls.. FH repro... no reading 6/27/10

hi wwc!
<We're WWM, not WWC.>
I would like to ask why some of the eggs of Flowerhorn are white?
<Usually it means they were not fertilised.>
does this mean that it's not fertilized?
<Can be. Flowerhorn cichlids are hybrids, and like most hybrids, their fertility is low. Plus, sexing Flowerhorn cichlids is hard, and sometimes even the fish themselves get confused. Sometimes two females will lay eggs together, and obviously these will not be fertilised. If you want to learn to breed cichlids, Flowerhorn cichlids are not a good choice to start with.>
thank you and more power!
<More capital letters would be nicer! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: a little question pls.. FH repro. f' 6/28/10
Ooops.. Pardon my address to you.. I know its WWM but since I'm talking to a person (crew) not to a media so I address it like that.
<Oh, I see, Wet Web Crew... okay! Forgive me.>
Anyways thank you for the advise..I'm not really breeding, but since I have males and a female that laid eggs I decided to take my chances hoping to have fry of my own..[?]
<Possibly, but generally not easy. You need a big aquarium, and probably egg-crate to create a divider between the male and female. If they accept each other and are ready to spawn, you'll see the female's genital papilla extended. Remove the divider, let them spawn, and then separate them again.
Remove the eggs, rear manually. Do see Paul Loiselle and others on breeding aggressive cichlids.>
Thanks WWM crew![?]
<Cheers, Neale.>

Pl Help
Flowerhorn Sexing 6/24/10

Hi WWM Crew I am having a Flowerhorn . He is housed in a 2x1x1 feet tank.
Approx 25 gallons. I have done the venting of my fish but I am still unable to determine the sex of the fish.
< Looks like a female to me.-Chuck.><<And this volume is too small for this fish. See WWM re. RMF>>

a little question pls.. FH comp., repro. 6/21/10
gud day wwc!
I have a male and a female FH and planning to pair them, there where a time I tried and for a day I think they get along with each other until a few days they where fighting.. biting each other..so I separate them for the mean time..is there a right timing for pairing FH?is there a technique pairing up my FH?
<There are no guarantees any two cichlids will get along. Males can kill females they don't like. Also, sexing these fish is very difficult. The size of the hump is not reliable. Nor is colouration. You MUST go by the shape of the genital papilla. Best approach is to rear a group of six or more juveniles together, and let them pair naturally. Alternatively, if you have adults, use egg crate to divide the tank into two. Leave the fish like that for a few weeks. If they get along, you will soon be able to see. If the male is constantly aggressive, then he is rejecting that female.>
hope you help me with this..
thank you in advance.. [?]
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: a little question pls..
oh ok..thank you wwc..
<You're welcome.>
more power..[?]
<Indeed. Cheers, Neale.>

Flowerhorn Gender
Sexing Flowerhorns 5/18/10

Can you please tell the gender of my Flowerhorn?..Thank You!
< In the first photo there is some reflection/glare in the vent that makes it difficult to see. The second photo is needing a little better focus to be sure. By looking at the length of the ventral fins, the vivid coloration on the flanks of the fish and no distinct differences in the openings in the ventral area, I would say that this fish looks like a male.-Chuck>
Flowerhorn Gender
Can you please tell the gender of my Flowerhorn?..
Thank You!
<... please read here:
Bob Fenner>

yet another Flowerhorn needs sexing 3/25/10
Hello again crew,
I'm sending a photo of my Flowerhorn while venting please can you tell me whether it is a male or a female.
Thank you.
<It's a girl! Please do learn how to tell these fish apart. We've sexed a few of your fish already. It isn't difficult to do yourself. Cheers, Neale.>

Re Need help and response as soon as possible. FH repro. I think 3/25/10
Hello and thanks for the previous reply.
But I have a problem with breeding, actually the female is dancing by wagging its tale but the male is hitting on the glass partition as the female comes closer.
<Aggression; normal. The male will be aggressive to the female. Try removing the partition and see what happens. Watch carefully. If they display and spawn, you're fine; if the male becomes aggressive, then restore the partition. As stated several times now, a glass partition is not a good idea. Use egg crate or plastic mesh instead.>
Otherwise its busy transporting stones. Its been only two days they met.
Please help me out.
Thank you.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Need urgent help. Not. FH reading 3/20/10
Hello crew,
My question is that my Flowerhorn has its dorsal fin bigger than its tail so is it a male?
Thank you.
<... usually the unpaired fins are longer, more pointed on New World Cichlids. Read here:
Bob Fenner>

Setting up a pair, FHs -- 03/18/10
Hello crew,
I have a male FH and I want to buy a female to breed.
Q.1:What things should I look for while buying a female to breed?
<Quality. If you're planning to breed fish for profit, then you want the best possible female you can get. The idiot approach is to throw two second-rate fish together and hope for the best. The wise approach is to have a sharp idea of precisely what features you want the offspring to have, and choose parents that have those features. If those features aren't clear on females generally, then find the father of the female, or find some of her brothers, and see if they have the feature you want. Don't bother buying a "cheap" female if she lacks quality: selling cichlid fry is
difficult, and most shops are inundated with poor quality fry. So you'll lose money doing this. In fact unless you are 100% sure you can sell the fry, don't bother breeding cichlids at all.>
Q.2:After I have bought the fish should I keep it in the same tank by immersing a glass partition or in an other aquarium where they could only see each other?
<Not a glass partition, no. That will (obviously) block water flow from the filter and the heater. Use plastic egg crate instead. Get a copy of Paul Loiselle's excellent book "The Cichlid Aquarium" before you do anything else if you have no idea how to introduce two big, highly aggressive cichlids to one another. Otherwise, if you do this wrong, the male WILL kill the female.>
Q.3:How much time does the eggs take to hatch?
<Varies according to water temperature, but the eggs should hatch in less than 5 days.>
Thank you.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Setting up a pair... FH repro. 3/21/10

Q.4: What should be the temperature of the water for the fry?
<Cichlids normally breed at a temperature slightly higher than normal maintenance temperature. So for Central American cichlids, 25 C is good for maintenance, and perhaps 28 C for breeding. After spawning you can let the
temperature drop down to the normal maintenance temperature. The fry will be fine at that temperature.>
Q.5: How much time does it takes for a FH pair to be left together? How will I know whether they have accepted each other?
<You don't leave the pair together at all, unless they're obviously sharing parental duties. Use egg crate to create the two compartments in the aquarium. You can cut a hole in the egg crate that allows the female to pass through but not the male, if the male is bigger than the female.
Otherwise, leave the egg crate in place, and because the two sexes can see each other, they may "flirt" with each other, exhibiting pre-mating behaviours. If they do, you can slide out the egg crate and watch what happens. If the two fish coexist, you're fine. If the female is chased, put the egg crate back. Usually males reject females because the females aren't sexually mature or ripe with eggs, in which case more time and better feeding will help. Introducing two sexually mature cichlids to each other is VERY risky in the case of Central American cichlids, and careless owners can easily end up with a dead female. The size of the tank is critical here, and be sure to provide some shelter for the female, e.g., flowerpots.>
Q.6: Can I set a pair of a 19cms male with a 10cms female?
<Depends on whether the female is sexually mature and ripe with eggs. Follow the protocol described above or (in more depth) described in Loiselle's "The Cichlid Aquarium".>
I am really very thankful to you,
Thanks again.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Setting up a pair, FH repro. 3/24/10

Hello again,
You told me about an egg crate to be used as a partition but I have put a glass partition to separate the FHs, will it be OK?
<No. Glass dividers stop water flow, prevent even distribution of heat, and prevent the filter cleaning wastes from water throughout the tank.>
Secondly you told me to make a hole in the egg crate partition (which can only allow the female to pass) will it be fine if I make that hole in the glass partition?
<Don't use a glass divider. Use egg-crate (or something similar) that allows water to flow through the tank while keeping the male and female apart. Plastic mesh of some kind might work if you can't find egg-crate.>
Thanks for helping me so much.
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>

My FH male or female 2/16/10
Hi WWM Crew,
My name is Musa,
I have a Flowerhorn of 16cms. I want to know whether it is a male or a female, it carries stones from one place to another and digs circles. It does not have a ribbon type dorsal fin. Please check all the photos.
Thank you.
<Hello again, Musa. As I think I've said about 17 times already, you can't sex Flowerhorn cichlids reliably from photos. Both sexes can have humps.
Both sexes can have bright colours. Both sexes move stones about. The ONLY reliable way to sex ALL specimens is to examine their genital papillae.
This is sometimes called the "spawning tube". Look behind the anal fin. On males this is long and pointed, and on females short and blunt. Cheers, Neale.>

Pl Identify the Sex of my Fish -- 02/25/10
WWM crew
First of all thanks for the prompt replies given by you to my queries.
<Happy to help.>
I am having a Flowerhorn approx 7 inches in length. I have taken a few pictures of the fish while venting. can you please confirm the sex of the fish.
<Looks like a female to me.>
My other query is knowing the amount of waste these cichlids make is it advisable to keep the fish in a bare bottom tank and avoid the gravel for effective cleaning of the tank.
<Fish hate bare glass. Or rather, they hate light bouncing off bare glass.
So if you do decide to go this way, don't light the tank from overhead.
Keep the tank dimly lit, e.g., by adding lots of floating plants. Cheers, Neale.>

Venting pics of Flowerhorn
Hi WWM crew
First of all thanks for the prompt replies given by you to my queries.
I am having a Flowerhorn approx 7 inches in length. I have taken a few pictures of the fish while venting. Can you please confirm the sex of the fish.
< Looks like a female to me.-Chuck>

Pl help
Sexing Flowerhorns By Venting 3/4/10

Sir I am having a Flowerhorn since last 6 mths. He is approximately 5 inches in length. I am attaching venting pics of my Flowerhorn. Is it possible to identify the sex of the fish.
< Looks like a female to me.-Chuck>

Pl Id my fish... FH, again... 3/8/2010
The INTERNET now has a personality. YOURS! See your Yahoo! Homepage.
<I think you hit the "send" button too soon. And for some reason, I feel a Flowerhorn question coming on... Cheers, Neale.>
Pl Id my fish
I am having a Flowerhorn since last 8 mths. He is approx 6-7 incher. I am attaching the venting pics of the Flowerhorn . Can you take a look and help me to identify the sex of the fish.
Also the strain of the fh is zhenzhou. Will it be able to develop a nuchal hump after its current age, if it is a male fish.
I would appreciate if you would help me in the regard.
Thanks in advance
<Hello again. This appears to be a female. Females have small, broad, rounded genital papillae, whereas males have longer, narrow, pointed genital papillae. This works for practically all cichlid species, not just Flowerhorns. Cheers, Neale.>

urgent response.
my 6cm FH just laid eggs without a male what should I do? I want to hatch them. 2/13/10

<Cichlids don't normally lay eggs without a male, and without a male to fertilise them, they won't hatch. They're infertile, and will soon rot, so remove them from the aquarium before that happens. Cheers, Neale.>

FH behaviour
Flowerhorn Sex 2/10/10

Hello crew Musa here. I'm very thankful to you people in raising my Flowerhorn.
Actually my problem is that my FH is 5.5 inches long, it is developing its hump.
The shopkeeper said he(Flowerhorn) is a male because it has a hump. But since last week my FH has started to pick stones in its mouth and transport them to other side. Today I asked my friend about it and he said that its
definitely a female. Please help me out in this and also tell me the reason behind the transport of stones. Thank you very much.
< Your Flowerhorn is probably a male. He has started to mature and get his hump. He is also starting to set up a territory by rearranging the tank to his liking.-Chuck>

MY Flower horn has bred.. I NEED URGENT ADVICE!! 2/1/2010
MY FLOWERHORN JUST BRED, The Female only laid 20 eggs, she is 3 and half inches long. is that normal?
<It is not uncommon for cichlids to spawn when not full size. They reach sexual maturity long before the reach their adult size.>
the 20 eggs survived and now living with father in separate tank, they are 1month old now.
the father and the fry are acting odd.. they all floating vertical on top of the water.. it looks like they trying to float and look out of the water, or they are suffocating and trying to get air. they been floating like that for 1 day now.
<Clearly, the aquarium has poor water quality or the wrong water chemistry.>
I have changed the water twice a week. and still acting like that.
<Water changes are part of what you need to do, yes. But there are other issues. Make sure the aquarium is big enough, at least 55 gallons, and realistically 75 gallons or more. Make sure the filtration is adequate.
There should be (must be!) zero ammonia and zero nitrite. Nitrate levels should be below 20 mg/l. Water chemistry needs to be hard and basic; aim for 10+ degrees dH, pH 7.5.>
Question1: WHY DID FEMALE ONLY LAY 20 eggs?
<Could be any number of reasons, not least of which most of the eggs could have been eaten by one or other parent. Check also water chemistry (crucial for egg-laying species of fish) and water quality (fungus consumes eggs
very quickly in foul water). Females must have a healthy, balanced diet. A mix of good quality cichlid pellets plus some green foods (like cooked peas) will do nicely. Do not live foods likely to cause nutritional or health problems, e.g., feeder fish.>
Question2: Why are the father and baby floating vertical ' looking like they need air?
<Almost certainly poor environmental conditions.>
Question3: What ph level is the best for my Flowerhorn? I bought the test kit.
:I tested water and hardness is max and ph is yellow around 6. I need urgent help on this plz!:
<Seems your water is too acidic. You need hard, basic water. Read here:
Cheers, Neale.>

Flowerhorn male or female 1/31/2010
How do you know whether a FH is a male or a female.
<You need to inspect the genital papilla of a mature fish. Males will have longer, narrower papillae than females.>
send photos of both
<We don't send photos. Cheers, Neale.>

Sexing Flowerhorns -- 01/12/2010
Hi Chuck, I have a Flowerhorn for the last 6 mths. I want to know that whether is there any other method than the venting method to determine the sex of the Flowerhorn. I know about the venting method and seeing the nuchal hump (but that is also not 100 percent foolproof because if the fish has good genes the female will also display hump). Can you please guide me on my query.
<Males are generally larger with longer fins than the female. When they are together as a group it becomes easier to compare.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn... sys., repro. 12/22/09
Hello again guys,
I'm Moosa,
<Yes you are.>
I wanted to know that what should be the temperature of the heater for a FH normally, for increasing hump size, and for breeding.
<The best all-around water temperature is 25 C/77 F. There is no point raising the water temperature except for breeding, in which case aim for 26-28 C. Warmer water contains less oxygen but speeds up metabolism. This
is a bad combination, which is why it is avoided. Nothing, repeat NOTHING, will make the hump bigger than its genes allow. Provide good water quality and a balance diet, and the hump will get to its proper size.>
Thank you.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Babies of Flowerhorn 12/20/2009
Hello crew,
<Hello Moosa,>
My name is Moosa. I'm very thankful to u guys, I got two FH and I'm scared that after they laid eggs they'll eat them as it happened before so can you please help me out.
<Egg-eating behaviour is VERY common with inbred cichlids. On fish farms, breeders rear the eggs manually. Always. So over time, the "bad" parenting genes aren't selected against. Whether the parents are good parents or bad parents, it makes no difference. In the wild, only good parents produce offspring. So in the wild, it makes a big difference. Anyway, inbreeding makes things worse. Breeders choose parents they think look nice, but pay no attention to behaviour. End result: fish that might look nice, but are very stupid. You can see this with all sorts of intensively farmed cichlids, most notoriously with Angelfish, which almost never rear their fry successfully. So, if you want to breed these fish, you will need to pull the eggs out and hatch them yourself. Move the eggs to a very clean
aquarium with an air-powered filter, and add anti-fungus medication (Methylene blue) at 50% the normal dose. Change 25% of the water daily.
Once the fry are free swimming, you should be able to feed them brine shrimp nauplii and/or commercial baby fish food.>
Thank you.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Male Cichlid Beating On Female Cichlid, FHs 12/6/09
Hello, can you please help me. my female Flowerhorn was attacked by my male Flowerhorn. so I removed the female Flowerhorn from the tank. now she is badly injured and can hardly move around. Do you know if there is anything I can do, to help nurse my female Flowerhorn back to health. Thank You.
< Usually the female is smaller than the male. Experienced cichlid keepers place a piece of plastic pipe that is only big enough to allow the female in and not the male. This gives the female a place to escape from a eager
male looking to breed. In the wild the male is looking for a female willing to spawn with him. He chases or kills the unwilling females and tries to attract another that will. If the pipe is not too attractive then others have been using ZooMed Aquarium Logs too. These have the additional advantage in that they float and allow the female a chance to get to food more easily. Now that the female is damaged you need to carefully nurse her back to health. Luckily cichlids are pretty hardy creatures and things may not seem as bad as they first appear. First keep the water very clean. High nitrogenous waste levels will lead to diseases that will kill if going untreated. Do lots of water changes and keep up on the filter cleaning.
Treat with an antibiotic called Nitrofuranace. It will work against disease causing bacteria and fungi. Add a little salt to the water. This will put a slime on the fish to keep parasites off. Look at some of the water conditioners that have some sort of wound control. Use these when changing water. When your fish acts hungry then go ahead and feed her. Good luck.-Chuck>

Identify Flowerhorn at first look 9/30/09
how can we identify FH male and female at first look?
<You can't. Mature males *tend* to have larger nuchal humps, but that is not obvious until the fish is a year or two old. Normally, you sex them the same way as other non-dimorphic cichlids: by examining the genital papillae. Females have a short, blunt papilla only obvious within a few hours of spawning, whereas males have a longer, narrower papilla that should be visible 24-48 hours before spawning.>
Can i keep 1male and 1female FH in same tank?
I have a FH i don't know is it male or female how can we show its pic to u?
<You can't sex them from photos. Cheers, Neale.>
Is it male or female
<As I said before, you cannot sex them just by looking at a photo. You can wait a few years, and maybe the male will grow a bigger hump (though lots of males don't). Or you can look at the genital pore when a pair get close to spawning. But that's it. They're essentially impossible to sex otherwise. Cheers, Neale.>

Can a Male FH will be this much calm during breeding? 6/24/09
Hi, i am Ram.D from India,
<Hello Ram>
i have a male Flowerhorn, about 18 months old...
The fish looked very healthy and active for about 10 months, but after that it slow down,
mostly staying at the tank corners and not taking food...
<Mmm, unusual...>
For feeding i use good quality HUMPY HEAD pellet food only, while the fish was small i stopped feeding the live foods.
occasionally i feed flesh of shrimp. Recently, it stopped taking that too....
<What re the system?>
My FH fish tank size is about 4 feet in length and 1 feet in breath...
One day accidently one gold fish slipped into the FH tank and my FH not even bothered to chase that little gold fish...
i thought this behaviour is because of the stress or something like that....
So, couple of days back, i bought a female Flowerhorn and hoped that they two will breed.
<Yikes... I do hope you have a good physical separator... a partition to keep them apart>
The female is little smaller than my male Flowerhorn...
To avoid the territorial fight and initial aggression, i separated both fishes with a glass partition
<Ah good>
for about 2 days, and then i removed the partition.
For about 30 min.s they both looked ok and they both rubbed the body and not seemed to be in any kind of tension.
But suddenly the female Flowerhorn started to attach my male FH, Female FH started to chase the male FH to the corner of the tank.
Biting the tail and charging at the body...after sometime the male had blood in lips, almost looked like it is going to die...
So, i separated the both and i don't know what to do....
<Keep them separated... in another tank if you can>
Can u please help me out in this case, was my Flowerhorn is suffering with any disease?
<Maybe just emotional/psychological>
or is it natural that a male FH can be this much calm?
<Mmm, yes>
or is this aggressive behaviour by a female FH is normal during the breeding?
<Can be>
Looking forward for your advice..
<Best to keep in two aquariums where they can see each other, try re-introducing them in a month or so... with the same protocol you list...
In a larger system if you have it, when you can be present to separate them if their interaction becomes too agonistic. Bob Fenner>

Re: Can a Male FH will be this much calm during breeding? 6/25/09
Hello Fenner,
Thank you very much for your advice and suggestions.. sure i will try out your advice.....
<You're welcome Ram. BobF>

Flowerhorn breeding Issues -- 10/24/08
I have had my pair of Flowerhorns now over a year and a half, both in which I have had since they was about one inch in length. They Now are both over the ten inch mark, They have breed multiple times in which I have only seen one time that the eggs have hatched into fry and then slowly but surely eaten by the female.
<Extremely common with inbred cichlids; see especially Angelfish for a similar phenomenon. Many cichlids need to "practise" breeding to get it right, but inbred forms often seem incapable of getting breeding done naturally, surely because humans have interfered so often by pulling the eggs and rearing them artificially. In the wild Nature favours those cichlids that can "get their act together", but without that pressure in captivity, those hard-earned skills fade away with each generation. In any case, not much comfort for you, but there are some things that might help. The use of target fish has been discussed by Loiselle and is worth considering. Essentially you place a fish in the tank that isn't actually a threat, but is perceived as one by the parents. This strengthens their bond, hopefully to the degree they breed properly. To work, you need a big tank where the target fish is safe to swim away. If the tank is too small, there will obviously be scope for much death and mayhem. Do try and read one of Paul Loiselle's books to fully comprehend the theory before putting into action. If you get things wrong, you're essentially chucking some poor fish into a lions' den.>
Since that time they have breed and laid eggs but they have never hatched any since the first time they breed. I've even went as far as removing the only other fish in the tank which are two Plecos which both are about 6 inches in length.
<Plecs do of course eat fish eggs, both in the wild and in captivity. They are incompatible with breeding cichlids, not least of all because Plecs forage at night, when cichlids have minimal defences.>
My aquarium is a 75 gallon I have two power heads feeding a underground filter and I also have magnum 350 canister filter running on the tank. The Ph in the tank runs from about 7.4 to a 7.0, I've even done water changes on the tank.
<That's a lot of pH variation; remember, the pH scale is exponential, so small changes in terms of numbers on the scale actually mean big changes in terms of what your fish experience. These are classic hard water cichlids, so your job is to raise the carbonate hardness and so ensure pH sticks at around 7.5 within minimal variation.>
Even after all this has been checked and maintained they still have not produced like most cichlids. I understand that they are not your typical cichlids but they still have the same background as the others. Is there anything I can do to help them along or is this something that just happens? If they never spawn anything that is cool but would like to experience actually having more Flowerhorns possibly even better looking fish than the parents.
<I have to confess to not being wild about hybrid cichlids generally, not least of all because their behaviour is -- almost by definition -- unpredictable. Really the only practical thing you can do (if target fish don't help) is to keep swapping out adults until you find a pair that works. The reality is that you're in the same situation as angelfish breeders: you wait for the fish to spawn, and then you grab the eggs and rear them yourself the minute they're done.>
<Good luck, Neale.>

Flowerhorn, breeding 9/27/08 Hello, I'm writing you from Switzerland. <Hello, from England!> I started to have few FH at home for the past 6 months. Most of them come from Thailand. Although I can say that I have quite an experience in breeding fishes ( I have successfully bred discus for more than 12 years) I haven't been able to breed any of my FH. <Cichlids -- as you know -- don't necessarily breed when we want them to. The only reliably method is to keep a group of juveniles, and then let them pair off naturally. Flowerhorn cichlids are difficult/impossible to sex when young; such dimorphism as their is (nuchal hump for example) is unreliable and only apparent on old males anyway. Furthermore, Flowerhorn cichlids are, by their very nature, inbred. With all cichlids, the more inbred they are, the less well they perform as parents. The problem is that the traits breeders prefer, such as bright colours, do not necessarily go along with good behavioural traits. Angelfish exemplify this, with cheap Angels almost never being able to successfully rear their offspring on their own.> I have kept few fishes with separators but as soon as they are together they are fighting very badly. <Absolutely typical for any Central American cichlid, let alone ones as large as these. Do review the writings of Paul Loiselle, among others.> The only pair which seems to tolerate itself is not showing any interest for breeding. <May well not. If the female does not consider the male worthwhile, she won't breed with him. End of story. The male may get frustrated, in which case he will attempt to drive her out of his patch. Do also consider the size/age of the fish, presence of appropriate spawning sites, presence of target/dither fish, and so on. Paul Loiselle has written a great deal on these issues (for example in "The Cichlid Aquarium", an essential book for anyone keeping these fish.> They are well fed. Water parameters are fine and filters are clean. <All these things will help. Do review the topic of spawning triggers with regard to cichlids, in particular diet and water temperature changes.> Any tips to help the situation???? <Nope. You're in same boat as many, many others.> Patrick <Have patience, and experiment swapping out males with other males. Cheers, Neale.>

Breeding? FHs 5/2/08 Great site! Straight 2 the point! I've had a 200 gallon tank for 8 months now, I have 2 Pacu, <Will get huge over time...> 2 jack Dempseys, a Texas cichlid, a butter coffe, <Butikofferi, Tilapia...> a Oscar, a royal Pleco and now I've just got 2 flower horns, a male and a female. The male is real aggressive towards the other fish especially towards the Pacus. Is it possible to breed them with the other fish in the tank and if not who goes and who stays? Tye. <In this size tank, you may have luck with the FHs breeding and not killing all but the most oblivious tankmates (who don't stay out of their way)... But better to move them to their own setting really. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhorns.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

MY Flower horn has bred . Breeding Flowerhorns 4/1/08 I have pair Royal Degree Flower Horn that have bred. The female so far has laid her eggs, the male, I'm not so sure if he has fertilized the eggs. There is about 1000 eggs, its day 2 now, I have just done a 20 percent water change adding meth blue, neutralizer and aqua clear like normal, Most of the eggs are very small in size and clear looking, some have turned white and few of them (10) are quite larger and brownish/orange in colour. I haven't moved the pair nor the eggs due to that they seem to be getting along very well and are not harming the eggs. Is that normal? < So far so good. After 24 hours unfertilized eggs would soon turn white.> Those eggs are bigger in size and that a lot of them have stayed the same size ever since? < Since a flower horn is a cross between three different species there should be some size difference in the eggs.> When doing my normal water change is it ok to add all that stuff to it? example.. methyl blue, aqua clear, neutralizer. < If it doesn't harm the fish then it shouldn't harm the eggs.> Will it harm the eggs and prevent growth in any way? < No, not as long as you use these solutions as designed.> What will happen if the female doesn't remove the white eggs? Will it harm the other eggs at all? < This is usually referred to as a fungus but recent studies have determined that it is a water mold. Given enough time it will spread out over some healthy eggs and destroy them.> Cos' there is smaller eggs does that mean it wont hatch in time for day 3? < The difference in the egg size may be due to the genetic variability of this fish. All the eggs should hatch on day three.> What if day 3 they don't hatch? < Then they will die.> What do infertile eggs look like? < They turn white.> My water temp. is at 28 degrees is that ok? < That is fine.> What should I do after the eggs have hatch? < After three days the fry will absorb their egg sac and become free swimming. At this time they need to be fed or they will starve.> Do I need to separate the fry's even if the parents are not attacking? < When they become free swimming the adults may be attempted to eat the fry. I would look to remove them as soon as they become free swimming if you want to save the fry. In some cases the fry have been left with the parents for awhile so the parenting skills can be watched.> Is there anything I should add to the tank for the fry's to better growth and health? < Keep the waste products down and keep the fry well fed.> Please answer my questions, and give me some advice so that I know what to do to keep my eggs safe so they survive. Being my first time experiencing with breeding fish am worried am doing something wrong. Please get back to me thanks... Eric < They are actually very easy to raise on baby brine shrimp, microworms and finely crushed flake food.-Chuck>>

Re: MY Flower horn has bred.. 4/4/08 Flowerhorn Eggs Are Really Baby Fish Hey Chuck, its me Eric again. thanks for your very useful reply to my letter. Im still having a major problem though, its day 5 now and ever since, everything I've stated to you previously in my letter has remain to be the same; The eggs, size and colour besides throughout this whole time the parents have moved away the white eggs and has dispose of them and have left a bunch of to me, seems like the fertile healthily eggs. With this bunch of very small, clear-looking, light in brownish-clear in colour eggs I have noticed they have relocated the bunch to several different places; at first when they where laid it was on a plate I left in there for them, next they moved it off they plate leaving only the white ones behind, then to another hole next to a plant they dug up, and now its in a barrel (looks similar to a beer keg) ive placed in there for decoration. Im concerned because you stated that if day 3 its not hatched the eggs are dead correct? Its day 5 now and doesn't seem like they have hatch but eggs are still present, still look they same and not at all white in colour which mean they have been fertile. But if they are dead because they haven't hatched why are the parents still relocating them? it seems to me their still protecting it? If the eggs are dead, won't they just leave it alone and carry on like normal? Makes me think they are still alive and need to be hatched is that still possible after 5 days possible? Will the parents know that the eggs are dead and leave them alone if they are? Seeing that they are still protecting it could it be possible that it is still alive and just delayed in hatching? What should I do now? Should I wait to see any longer or should I just give the tank a clean and dispose of all the eggs and everything I haven't been able to clean due to the breeding? Normally when day 3 comes and eggs are hatched, is it easy to recognize them? Will it be obvious to see the fry's? Cos' I got told, it looks like floating gel but cos' the tank hasn't been fully clean I cant seem to see any hatched and floating babies with all their food and waste and live food leftovers. thanks Eric. any information will be much appreciated. thanks chuck. <After 3 days all the viable eggs will hatch at about 80 F. When the eggs hatch they fry are not yet free swimming and are referred to as wigglers. If you look very closely at the eggs you will notice that they are alive and moving live a quivering bowl of jelly. In another day or so the fry will have absorbed their eggs sacs and now will begin to swim and look for food, At this time they need to be fed baby brine, microworms or finely crushed flake food.-Chuck>
Re: MY Flower horn has bred . 4/4/08
I have pair Royal Degree Flower Horn that have bred. The female so far has laid her eggs, the male, I'm not so sure if he has fertilized the eggs. There is about 1000 eggs, its day 2 now, I have just done a 20 percent water change adding meth blue, neutralizer and aqua clear like normal, Most of the eggs are very small in size and clear looking, some have turned white and few of them (10) are quite larger and brownish/orange in colour. I haven't moved the pair nor the eggs due to that they seem to be getting along very well and are not harming the eggs. Is that normal?> < So far so good. After 24 hours unfertilized eggs would soon turn white.> Those eggs are bigger in size and that a lot of them have stayed the same size ever since? < Since a flower horn is a cross between three different species there should be some size difference in the eggs.>> When doing my normal water change is it ok to add all that stuff to it? example.. methyl blue, aqua clear, neutralizer.> < If it doesn't harm the fish then it shouldn't harm the eggs.> Will it harm the eggs and prevent growth in any way? < No, not as long as you use these solutions as designed.> What will happen if the female doesn't remove the white eggs? Will it harm the other eggs at all? < This is usually referred to as a fungus but recent studies have determined that it is a water mold. Given enough time it will spread out over some healthy eggs and destroy them.>> Cos' there is smaller eggs does that mean it wont hatch in time for day 3?> < The difference in the egg size may be due to the genetic variability of this fish. All the eggs should hatch on day three.>> What if day 3 they don't hatch?> < Then they will die.>> What do infertile eggs look like?> < They turn white.> My water temp. is at 28 degrees is that ok? < That is fine.> What should I do after the eggs have hatch?> < After three days the fry will absorb their egg sac and become free swimming. At this time they need to be fed or they will starve.> Do I need to separate the fry's even if the parents are not attacking? < When they become free swimming the adults may be attempted to eat the fry. I would look to remove them as soon as they become free swimming if you want to save the fry. In some cases the fry have been left with the parents for awhile so the parenting skills can be watched.>> Is there anything I should add to the tank for the fry's to better growth and health?> < Keep the waste products down and keep the fry well fed.>> Please answer my questions, and give me some advice so that I know what to do to keep my eggs safe so they survive. Being my first time experiencing with breeding fish am worried am doing something wrong. > Please get back to me thanks... Eric> < They are actually very easy to raise on baby brine shrimp, microworms and finely crushed flake food.-Chuck>>>

Re: MY Flower horn has bred.. Feeding Flowerhorns 4/6/08 Hey Chuck. yeah you were correct. My fry are now wrigglers and now swimming everywhere. Thanks so much for your advice. At the moment I'm feeding them blood worms. Is that ok? Thanks for your advice again chuck . Eric. thanks < The fry should be fed baby brine shrimp. microworms or finely crushed flake food. Adults should have a varied diet including pellets, wafers flakes as well as bloodworms.-Chuck>
Re: MY Flower horn has bred.. Aggressive Male Flowerhorn Defending His Fry 4/17/08
HEY Chuck, Thanks heaps for the last reply.. Just wanted to ask, I mentioned in the first letter I wrote to you about my Flowerhorn Fry's; I've left them in the tank with their parents cos' their don't seen to be harming the fry's and are really excellent parents. The fry's are 2 weeks old since hatch from the egg and a day I feed 4 times, blood worms and daphnia for both parents and fry's, each serve is 4 blocks of daphnia and 4 blocks of bloodworms, is that too much? < If all the food is consumed in a few minutes then it's all right.> The last week or so the father ALWAYS seems to dive (doesn't bite) for my hand every time I go to feed why is that? (seems like he doesn't want me feeding them)? < He is protecting his fry form an unknown intruder.> Is that he's way of being friendly or aggressive? <It is always aggressive.> Is their any chance that im feeding the fry's a bit too much and causing the father to act that way? (cos the fry's have pretty bloated bellies) <His reactions have nothing to do with your feeding procedure.-Chuck

Should I turn off filter while my Flowerhorn fish breeding/laying eggs? 4/19/08 Hi Eric, I tried searching for this question/answer but I can't seem to find it. So there I need your help here as soon as you can... I'm just afraid the filter can suck in the fries... My filter is pretty strong one the Aqua Clear 110 Thanks, - James <No, don't turn the filter off. That will kill the bacteria. Most fry are perfectly able to avoid being sucked into the filter. If they're not, then move the breeding pair into a breeding tank equipped with an air-powered filter. The next batch of fry will be perfectly safe. That's Cheers, Neale.>

Re: MY Flower horn has bred.. 4/27/08 Hey chuck. its Eric. forget about the last message. i have new problems now. i took the female out of the tank after she laid her eggs.. because i wanted the male to survive and fertilize the eggs. the very next day, there where sum white eggs so i decided to put the female back in the tank and take the male out. so he wont die. hours went by and i look at the tank .. i realize the eggs are missing.. the female ate most of the eggs...! i suddenly took the female out .! there are about 100 eggs left and 20 white eggs. <The white ones are not fertilised.> what should i do without the parents in the tank?? <Raise the eggs yourself. Any book in fish breeding will tell you how. It is very easy. But before you do so, check you have a market for the offspring. Getting rid of Flowerhorn cichlids (or indeed any other hybrid) can be very difficult because so few aquarists want them. At least in the UK, you hardly ever see them in the shops. Whenever you breed fish, you need to be sensible about balancing the expense of rearing the fry against how easy they are to sell or give away.> what should i do with the white eggs, that are with the rest of the eggs? <You can't do anything really; trying to remove them will likely damage the healthy eggs. Add anti-fungus medication and increase water circulation to minimise the spread of decay from the infertile eggs to the fertilised ones.> i put methyl blue so the eggs wont get fungus. is there anything else should i do? <Increase water circulation to keep oxygen moving past the eggs. This is what the parents do by fanning the eggs. In your case, add airstones or additional filtration, as you prefer. Keep the tank spotlessly clean, removing 10-25% of the water daily and do regular cleaning of the bottom of the tank so there is *no* mess at all.> do i need to remove the white eggs?? its really hard though. <Indeed.> will the eggs survive? <Should do.> does the methyl blue kill the white eggs.? and it wont grow fungus, and kill the rest of the brown eggs? <Methylene blue prevents fungal decay.> get back to me chuck asap.. thanks heaps. <Please write e-mails with capital letters next time. Also, do buy or borrow a book on fish breeding. I think you will find that a useful read. Fish breeding is something where you often need to make snap decisions, and having to wait a day or two for us to get back to you isn't always ideal. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: MY Flower horn has bred 4/29/08 Flowerhorn Courtship Hey Chuck, Thanks for that lst reply. I've got another 2 of my Royal Degree Flowerhorns to pair up and breed and it worked. I got the female from the petstore recently, though the male I've had since he was small. She's about 20 cms big and he is about 7 cms big. He is a friendly fish and easy going, he has been in a tank with all males until she came along. She's quite fierce and mean and attacks all my fish because she's a lot larger. He seem to follow her around a lot and she didn't attack him as much as the others which made me think that they could breed. I separated the two into a tank of their own. Its been a week now and they seem to be compatible, though the female is ALOT larger than the male. Her tube came down last night, and today I placed 2 terra-cotta plates in there for them. By late afternoon/evening she started laying eggs. It has been a couple of hours now (midnight) and I just went down and they were fighting. The female had a hold of the males mouth and when they saw me they let go, his mouth is all cut and damaged, he seems pretty worn down. I waited a while longer to see if she was done with laying her eggs, I'm pretty sure she was because she was no longer rubbing her belly over the plate and was more focused on keeping the male away from the plate. Altogether about 1000 eggs were laid. One major problem and what I found different from the last pair of my Flowerhorns that bred is that she isn't letting him go close to the eggs and once he does she attacks. Because she is much larger I was worried he will eventually be dead. I took her out hoping that she was finish with laying her eggs and left him alone to fertilize the eggs without being torn to bits by her. Once that was done he didn't seem to be that scared but was looking around for her and vice versa with her (in the bucket). I'm also worried because he is still quite small and young he may not know what he is doing. He doesn't seem to be fertilizing the eggs. With my last pair that breed the male was constantly going back and forth on the plate after the female was done. Though the two of them got along really well and still remain in the tank with their fry's till this day. With this recent pair, they had to be separated and now with just him and the eggs he keeps wandering around the tank. Then every now and then he returns back to the plate and swims back and forth on top of the eggs (not for long though until he leaves again). My questions to you are: Is he to young to know what to do and not know how to fertilize? < Young inexperienced males may take a few tries to get he procedure down. He needs to fertilized the eggs soon after the female has laid them or they will die.> Was it okay for me to separate the female after she laid her eggs leaving the male behind? <If you are concerned about hatching the eggs and raising the fry then it would be best to remove both parents at this time. Usually the male is the worst parent.> Would she had killed him if I left them together? <These forced matings have mixed success. The jaw locking was a test of strength to see if the male is a good choice as a mating partner. If he's was not strong enough then she may have killed him.> Does she need to be there to fertilize the eggs? < Once the eggs are laid her part is over and the male needs to fertilize the eggs.> Within a couple of hours, if she is no longer swimming back and forth on the plate does that means she is done laying eggs? <When she stops she is done.> How long does it take to fertilise the eggs? < If the eggs are not fertilized in 24 hrs then they usually die.> How would I know if he is fertilizing the eggs? < He should be doing that back and forth motion over the eggs the same as the female.> Would I be able to tell? <After 24 hrs unfertilized eggs turn white and die.> What should I be seeing while he is fertilizing? < He should follow up in the same manner as the female.> Once the eggs are FERTILIZED? (some white and some still coloured), should I remove the male? <After 24 hours he can do no more.> Do I need him there to remove the unfertile eggs? < Usually both parents eat and remove dead eggs. The water mold that feeds on these eggs can spread to health living eggs.> Hope you can replay asap..any info, advice and answers to my questions would be much appreciated chuck. Thanks for your time.. If there's anything more than I need to know with this process please let me know. < These are pretty standard observations with many Central American cichlids.-Chuck>

Follow up on the fh's! 5/13/08 Female Flowerhorn Lays Eggs Hello to all! Love tha site as always. <Thanks for your kind words.> I think my flowerhorn has laid eggs on a tank ornament and has a little white thing sticking out of her bottom. My dad and cousins say that she laid her eggs in the ship that's in the tank, when I was away on a trip 2 Las Vegas. My question is if those are eggs in the tank, what's the next step? <Without a male in the tank to fertilize the eggs they will probably turn white in a couple of days and die.> I have other fish in tha tank and plan on getting a divider soon. How should I approach this special occasion if it is indeed a special 1? Thanks always you guys true fish savers!--getatdaboytye <If they die they will probably be eaten by the other fish. She may be able to spawn again in a couple of weeks but with the same results.-Chuck>

FH Pairing Flowerhorns Reacting To Red Light -- 03/08/08 Hi to all the crew, I'm Lance from the Philippines, sorry if I just sent you a trial mail just now. I was trying to send you my query since this afternoon but failed so I tried to look for another way. Anyway here are my questions. I have this FH that I bought from different owners. I am not sure if the pair are male and female. I have read some of the reply that you have made to most of the people asking you and I have compared some facts regarding this issue. The other one is that I'm sure that it is a male for it's hump that is quite visible than the other one and the round shape of the body which is full. The other is with a long face and flat belly. Is this a female? < The best way to determine if you have a pair is to examine the genitals. It is also called venting. Take the fish out of the tank and look at the belly of the fish. Just at the base of the anal fin you should see two openings. If the two openings are the same size then that should be a male. If one of the openings is much larger than that should be a female. Secondary sexual characteristics would be longer more pointed fins on the male. The female would be smaller and not have a hump on her head.> This FH has been in the tank for 3 weeks now without partition. They have been able to coup with each other very well until last night that I have decided to change the light from a regular fluorescent lamp to a colored one which is RED. As soon as I have turned on the light they both became so uneasy and start biting each other. They have been biting and locked lips or jaw whatever you call them and can not separate for maybe around 10 minutes. I decided to separate them with a partition and still they are banging their heads on the glass portion as it they were attacking each other. As a result they have both scratches on their heads and lips some on the side. Anyway, I was afraid that this can lead to serious injury as one of your articles said. So what I did is that I turned OFF the RED light that I have installed and for a surprise they stopped for that behavior. I read also from your articles that this are some of the signs of mating so what I did is that I just turned off the light. I was not really convinced regarding the light so this morning I turned ON again the RED light and they went back to the attacking behavior. So my question is that does LIGHT affects FH? Specially the RED color? secondly is that the one that I have described a FEMALE? Thanks and more power on your sight, really helps people like me who are fascinated with this variety. Actually I have already 4 of them. Those pair that I put in the tank are 6 inches by the way. I'll wait for your reply, Godspeed Lance < What is very interesting about your question is the effect of red on your Flowerhorns. One of the cichlid species that makes up the Flowerhorn is the red devil. This red coloration seems to indicate dominance to other non red red devils. It appears that the red coloration projected with the red light has stimulated this behavior between your two Flowerhorns. If they are a pair and are thinking about spawning then the color of the light really shouldn't matter.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn Cichlids Mating, Chuck's go 12/29/07 Hello, First a little info on my tank. It is 75 gallons, with 4 fish in it (varying sizes). One convict cichlid of about 3 inches, one wolf or jaguar cichlid of about 4-5 inches (not sure which one it is and two Flowerhorns, of which I'm not sure of any specific classification. One I would assume is of common origin (3-4 inches) (S/he is greenish in the background and reddish on the belly, with a yellowish tinge on the face, and flowers all down the side as well as on the dorsal fin.) and the other I was told at the fish store is a Trimac Flowerhorn (6-7 inches) (S/he is completely orange with white spots throughout his/her body. I've attached photos. I don't know what is going on in the tank. Less than two days ago, the "Trimac" was chasing the other Flowerhorn all over the tank, like he had a mission to kill the fish. Now, they are actually free swimming around without a care in the world together. They've been moving a lot of gravel around as well. Is it possible for different species of Flowerhorn to be attracted to one another? < Flowerhorns are a mix of three different true cichlid species. This leads to lots of variation between the possible color forms available. All are capable of reproducing with one another.> I'm also not sure what sex they are. I believe that the smaller one is female and the larger one male, but I'm unsure. I originally thought that the larger one was female, due to the lack of Nuchal hump, but now I'm not so sure. < Males are typically larger with longer fins. The hump on the forehead stores fat and its appearance is a combination of genetics, nutrition and environment.> I haven't seen any lip locking but they have been doing something that I have never really seen any of my fish do. The only way I can describe it is as if they are shaking or shivering. Its like they are shaking they're head or something, but it's not just their head, it's their whole body. I originally thought that they were sick, but now I believe it may be some sort of mating behavior, but I haven't read anything from any web site stating that it is a characteristic mating ritual or behavior. < This display o shaking is part of the courting ritual.> I have read though on your web site that you suggest removing the parents from the tank, but I was curious as to why. I have previously bred convicts and I never removed the parents, yet the parents never ate the babies. They actually guarded and protected them, until they were probably about 1/2 inch in length and then they continued trying to spawn, without eating any of the fry from the first generation. I was under the assumption, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the assumption the Flowerhorns were cichlids and that cichlids were magnificent parents. <Flowerhorns are a cichlid hybrid but still spawn in a typical cichlid substrate manner. Not all pairs are able or willing to provide the same level of care of their eggs and fry as your convicts. To guarantee that you get some fry I always recommend moving the fry away from the parents.-Chuck> If you need any further information I will gladly provide what I can about my tank situation. Thank you in advance for all of your knowledge and expertise. I would greatly appreciate a quick response. Orlando, Fl Jeff Flowerhorn breeding behavior, RMF's go 12/29/07 Hello <Jeff> First a little info on my tank.75 gallons, with 4 fish in it (varying sizes) 1 convict cichlid of about 3 inches, 1 wolf or jaguar cichlid of about 4-5 inches (not sure which one it is. and two Flowerhorns, of which I'm not sure of any specific classification. <See WWM re this cross> One I would assume is of common origin (3-4 inches) (S/he is greenish in the background and reddish on the belly, with a yellowish tinge on the face, and flowers all down the side as well as on the dorsal fin.) and the other I was told at the fish store is a Trimac Flowerhorn (6-7 inches) (S/he is completely orange with white spots throughout his/her body. I've attached photos. <None came through> I don't know what is going on in the tank, less than two days ago, the "Trimac" was chasing the other Flowerhorn all over the tank, like he had a mission to kill the fish. but now, they are actually free swimming around without a care in the world together. they've been moving a lot of gravel around as well. Is it possible for different species of Flowerhorn to be attracted to one another? <Not a different species> I'm also not sure what sex they are. I believe that the smaller one is female and the larger one male, but I'm unsure. I originally thought that the larger one was female, due to the lack of Nuchal hump, but now I'm not so sure. I haven't seen any lip locking but they have been doing something that I have never really seen any of my fish do. (the only way I can describe it is as if they are shaking or shivering. like they are shaking they're head or something, but it's not just their head it's their whole body. I originally thought that they were sick, but now I believe it may be some sort of mating behavior, <Me too> but I haven't read anything from any web site stating that it is a characteristic mating ritual or behavior. I have read though on your web site that you suggest removing the parents from the tank, but I was curious as to why. <So they don't kill the other fish present?> I have previously bred convicts and I never removed the parents, yet the parents never ate the babies. they actually guarded and protected them, until they were probably about 1/2 inch in length and then they continued trying to spawn, without eating any of the fry from the first generation. I was under the assumption, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the assumption the Flowerhorns were cichlids. <Oh, they are...> and that cichlids were magnificent parents. If you need any further information I will gladly provide what I can about my tank situation. Thank you in advance for all of your knowledge and expertise. I would greatly appreciate a quick response. Orlando, FL Jeff <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhornidfaq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Flowerhorn breeding behavior... 12/31/07 View full size <No pix... need to be attached...> These are the parent Flowerhorns.? I thought they were both female.? but now I'm not sure...please help me.? thanks.? My Flowerhorn eggs have started to turn white...is that fungus?? <Likely so... could be infertile...> if a few of the egg get fungus will all of the eggs get fungus?? what should I do? <Read... on WWM, elsewhere re... Maybe start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlvstkind2.htm the third tray down... Bob Fenner>

Want to breed Flowerhorn 12/25/07 I have tried to breed many fishes many times but I could not do so I don't know any thing about how to take care of them and till know which ever fishes I have brought such as goldfish, fighter, mollies, guppies, etc. die in a month or less. <Well, before buying any more fish, do buy A BOOK! None of the fishes listed here are terribly difficult to keep. Goldfish can live 30 years when properly cared for; if yours died within one month, then you've kept them for 0.27% of their possible lifespan. Not good.> once even I brought a pair of male and female Flowerhorn for breeding, even they led the eggs, but both of them died. now I am having five small Flowerhorns they may be up to one inch. <Hmm... typically when breeding fish, the idea is to have healthy fry and healthy parents. In any case, do review the requirements of fish before keeping them.> tell me how to take care, how much and how I should feed them, how much water should I change every weak? how to clean the tank? I am having an underwater filter and a power filter in my tank. <See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhorns.htm And linked articles.> my tank size is 36 inches in length, and 12 inches in breadth, and it's height is 15 inches. <Too small...> please tell me everything I need to know. please reply soon. thank you in advance. <No time to tell you everything! Read, review the articles here and the many, MANY books on cichlid aquaria. Once you've mastered the basics and have specific questions, feel free to write again! Cheers, Neale.>

Breeding Flowerhorns 11/15/07 I am confused. I have a pair of Flowerhorns that I am trying to breed. I keep them in a large tank with a separator. Every 3-4 weeks the female turns almost black with large stripes and becomes very aggressive to the male on the other side. I have tried everything, when I open the gate they lock lips and they look like they are very passionate to each other. The male never fertilizes the eggs that the female laid. I have keep them together until it's obvious they were hurting each other but the eggs were never fertile. After I put the separator back in the tanks and they are on each side of the tank the female takes very good care of her eggs but within a few days they turn white and need to be removed. What am I doing wrong? I am afraid the leave them together any longer as I am afraid someone will die. Any help would be deeply appreciated. Thank You Deni <Flowerhorns are a mixture of three different cichlid species. They are a man made cichlids that are not found in nature. Many times a female will lay eggs alone or with another female. Just by matching up a pair does not guarantee that they will be compatible. I think that you are doing everything right and you unfortunately don't have a compatible pair. Try to lower the water temp to 75 F for a couple of weeks to take them out of the mood and see if they get along then. If they do you can slowly ease the water temp back up to 82 F and get them to breed. Normally I would recommend six small juveniles and then let them grow up together and they would normally pair off.-Chuck>

Flowerhorns Courting Tough On All -- 10/01/07 I have a very large male Flowerhorn who I just recently pared up with a female. They did exactly as expected. I kept them separated in the same tank with a separator when her tube came down I opened the separator and they looked like they found true love they were locking lips and encircling each other this lasted about 1 hour and finally they went there separate ways and did not fight at all, she did not lay any eggs although she was cleaning her area off to prepare for laying eggs. They both looked kind of beat up although neither one was really aggressive to the other. Today I woke up to my male with his eyes protruding like they are ready to explode I never saw anything like this is he sick? Or did she do something to him I tried to stay in the room during there mating and neither one really was in any danger or I would have ended it. When will she lay eggs? Her tube is still down and will my male be ok? Thanks so much Dennis < Do a 50% water change and clean the filters. The courting ritual is usually tough on both sides. If the female was not tough enough the male may have killed her. Keep the water temp at around 82 F and you should see eggs soon. The pop-eye on the male may have been caused by stress during the courtship ritual. He has bacteria growing behind his eye and they have created an pocket of gas that is pushing his eye out. In a hospital tank treat with a combination of Nitrofurazone and Metronidazole. Some salt added to the water can't hurt either.-Chuck>

Sick Baby Flowerhorns 7/21/07 Please help, I was given about 30 baby flowerhorns. I put them in a separate tank at 80 degrees. All water conditions are perfect I do water changes everyday and they are dying. They look like they have a skin disease of some sort but it does not resemble ick. What am I doing wrong? I have many other tanks of fish and none are ever sick. How should I care for these little guys? Thanks for the help < Hard to tell. Cichlids are really pretty tough. First check the water for ammonia and nitrites. Readings should be zero for both. If the water is Ok then they may have a bacterial infection from the previous tank they were raised in. Baby cichlids grow very quickly and generate a huge bioload . Under crowded conditions they become ill very quickly. they may have been ill before you got them. If the water is good and they are eating then I would recommend an antibiotic like Nitrofurazone. Follow the directions on the package.-Chuck>

Need help... FH repro. 5/13/07 Hi guys! I need some help. My FH is around 1 1/2 y/o. She laid eggs every month but stopped (for 5months now). Her tubes shows every month and her stomach enlarges, but she never laid her eggs. Is it possible that there is a block somewhere? <Yes... but much more likely "something else" at play here... Lack of a male, water quality stimuli (temp., level, dilution of metabolites...)... "Cues"... perhaps a lack of conditioning is playing a role here as well...> Her stomach continues to enlarge. My fish also does not eat, and read in your site to put Metronidazole in the tank... it worked, then after a week, she will not eat again...its like a cycle....i treat her... gets better and then she'll get sick again. I also noticed that even though she does not eat, her stomach still gets bigger. What do i do next? Hoping you could help me out guys. Thanks in advance!!!!! <... Water changes... Please re/read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/flowerhornreprofaq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Breeding Flowerhorns 3/30/07 I recently brought a pair of flower horns from Thailand (a male and female), male slightly bigger than the female (the male is about 6 inches long, the female 4 inches long). Now I see the male and female attacking together. Few hours, I saw the male has some scars on his body and the female get scratch at her mouth (upper lip). Should I now remove the female or is this a temporary action by mating???. Thank you in advance!!! How do I know male and female are matting??? I am using divider. Can you show me clearly and step by step for breeding??? < Although Flowerhorns are not a real species, they still spawn like the cichlid species that they were derived from. Usually these cichlids have a test of strength in which there is some flashing of fins and some jaw locking to determine suitability to mating. This courtship can get pretty rough. If the female does not pass the test or is not ready to mate then she can be killed by the male. If she passes the test the pair will pick an area to spawn. They will clean the area and chase all the other fish away. If they are properly conditioned and the water is around 80 F then they will lay a few hundred eggs on some substrate. They both will guard the eggs for three days. Then the eggs will hatch. In three more days the fry will have absorbed their egg sacks and become free swimming. At this point they need to be fed baby brine shrimp, microworms and finely crushed flake food. The fry should be removed before the adults decided to spawn again or they will eat the fry.-Chuck>

Sexing Flowerhorns 2/28/07 I've two flower horns. They all are between 6 to 6 1/2 inches long and about 1.5 year old. My tank size is (3'x1.5') and put in 22 gallons of water. Is it OK? < Your Flowerhorns may be getting bigger. Some get up to 12 inches. A bigger tank will be needed to keep them healthy.> How much require salts in my tank? < They are not a salt water or brackish fish so no salt is required to keep them healthy.> I changed 20% of water every 3 or 4 day. I put them together. They are some time fight (mouth locking). This day they rubbed their mouth and body on the big rock. Is that want to lay the egg? < Prior to laying eggs, cichlids tend to clean the area first, and then lay their eggs.> Please open my attachment. My first fish, which have forehead and a little black spot on the top fin. I guess my second fish is female because many black spot on the top fin and have no forehead. So who is male and female? < Males tend to be larger than the females with longer fins and they may have a hump on the forehead.> Can only see huge hump on male? < Males usually have the hump.> Mouth locking is only happen between in couple, is that true? < Sometimes when cichlids fight, there is some lip locking involved. This may not lead to actual mating.> What kind of breed my two flower horn? (e.g.: red dragon, etc.) < Flowerhorns are a hybrid between a number of different Central American cichlids. This means that their coloration can be variable. Check the Flowerhorns out on aquabid.com to see what kind of Flowerhorn you have according to others.> Please answer my question and give me some advice for my flower horn. I'm waiting your reply. Thanks alot!

Flowerhorn Cichlid Eggs 1/10/07 Hi! What do Flowerhorn eggs look like and how will I know if my fish is laying eggs? em-em a. Villanueva, md < Flowerhorns were derived from substrate spawning Central American cichlids. The small eggs would be laid on a hard substance like a rock, log or even the side of the glass. They would be about a 1/16th of an inch and clear. The parents will be guarding them and keeping them clean. Depending on the size of the parents there could be thousands of them laid at one time.-Chuck>

Undergravel Fish? 11/7/06 Hello, <Hi Mark, Pufferpunk here> I have this problem with my Flowerhorn fry. They seem to always try to get under the gravel. A lot of them are not getting back out. I want to try to vacuum the gravel but afraid that I might crush the fry while doing it. So, is this a big problem or the fry should be able to get themselves out? Please, need help fast--don't know if they can survive that long under the gravel. <Are you speaking of below the undergravel filter plate? I can't imagine anything else you might be referring to, unless your gravel size is huge & they are being caught between the pieces. If you are referring to the undergravel filter plate, the same thing happened to my Cory catfish fry. I took the down tube out & lifted the plate by the hole slowly, letting the gravel drop to the side. All the fry were fine after that. Please correct me if my assumption is wrong & describe the problem better. Also, it would be good for the fry to have some fine-leaved plants (live or fake) to hide out in. ~PP> Thank you very much, Mark

Fry Caught in Gravel 11/8/06 Sorry if I wasn't clear before but I meant that they were getting caught in between the gravel (no under gravel-filter). I will leave the tank empty next time though, I think it is too late for all my fries. <I corrected in your earlier email, it's spelled, "fry"> I took the mother out for a day and when I put her back with her fries, she started to eat the rest of them. <Yup, other than mouthbrooders, cichlids will eat any fish they can fit into their mouth--even they're own.> I'm pretty sure I'll do better next time. <I suggest finer gravel. ~PP> Thanks a lot, Mark

Flowerhorn Genetics - 10/22/06 Hi guys awesome website and info. I will make this brief. I have a few breeding pairs of Flowerhorns, trying new things and pairs. I have a few red dragons with brilliant color. I see these Thailand and Philippine Flowerhorns in all different strains. What are they crossing to make the red so bright and covering the whole body? < The Flowerhorn itself is a cross with at least three species of cichlids. One of them is the Red Devil. The amount of red is a genetic trait but the color can be intensified with breeding and diet.> I realize a lot of this is genetics. Is it red devil? < Bingo!> My newest breeding project is a red dragon FH crossed with blood parrot. I have seen offspring of these and they are gorgeous producing a rich color. Guess my question is...What are they crossing with the Flowerhorn to produce these colors? Especially the whole body covered. < I would suspect that they are being line bred and selecting for the intense color. The adults can have as many as a thousand fry so selecting a red fish would be easy after a couple of generations.> Also strains like pearl of the orient, with the body full of pearls. You know what is crossed to make that? Could it be a Texas cichlid? Anyway, any help or input would be greatly appreciate thanks...Alan < I haven't personally seen this fish, but crossing a Flowerhorn with a Texas cichlid would not be very difficult.-Chuck> Bloated Flowerhorn 9/12/06 Hi, I have a Flowerhorn. I noticed that my fish didn't eat for a few days then the stomach got bigger (bloated stomach). How do I treat this? What's the best medicine? Regards, Sam < Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace or Clout. Follow the directions on the package. Lots of info already on WWM website. Google bloat or dropsy.-Chuck>

Male Flowerhorn Breeding cycle? 8/18/06 Dear WWM, I recently succeeded in breeding a pair of Flowerhorns that I have (blue dragon ZZ and a ZZ). It has been a week since the male fertilized the eggs, <Mmm... http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&ie=UTF-8&q=breeding+flowerhorn+cichlids> I want to know how long before HE can spawn with another female? <... not likely... neotropical cichlids for the most part "mate" with only one partner...> For example I know that Female Flowerhorns can lay eggs again in about 4-6weeks. Can a male Flowerhorn breed with a new female every week, or 2 weeks? or 4-6weeks or ???? <More likely to kill it> I ask this question because my other female Flowerhorn seems like she is ready to lay eggs in a week or so, because she is cleaning the rock in her tank. <May "lay eggs" by itself. Please read the first few citations on the search/link above. BobF> Thank You, Rodney.

Breeding Flowerhorns 7/24/06 Hello Bob ! <Actually, it's Pufferpunk here today.> I am getting sick of wasting money on flowerhorns pair. I have bought many flowerhorns pair after watching them doing well from several days but when I purchase them at put them into my aquarium they start fighting. At first I was having a 4'l X 2'h X 2'w tank, so I thought that to enlarge the tank would be a good idea to stop them from fighting, so I made a tank of the following size: 10'l X 3'h X 3'w but this idea also failed. Many Flowerhorn killed their own mate. Till now I have purchased more than 75 pairs of flowerhorns. <Over 150 dead huh??? Kinda defeating the purpose of breeding them? Some fish are just too aggressive to be kept together. I suggest keeping them in 2 separate tanks that are directly next to each other, so the fish can see each other. When they display breeding interest (female will drop down a ovipositor tube), try putting them together for spawning but watch them while they are together. Any sign of aggression, they should be separated again. Eventually, with patience, you will have luck this way. ~PP>

Reproduction, Flowerhorn 6/17/06 How long does the egg of a Flowerhorn hatch, <About four days at tropical temperatures... if fertile> how does it hatch <The apical end of the attached eggs rupture, the young wriggle out> and how do we prevent the female fish from eating its eggs? <"Keep them satisfied", little outside activity, separate from the eggs/young. Bob Fenner>

Raising Flowerhorn Fry 6/3/06 Hello! My female Flowerhorn laid eggs and my male Flowerhorn got to fertilize it in time. Now the eggs are hatched it's been a week since the eggs have been laid. What are the factors that will aid the growth of my Flowerhorn fry? thanks < Clean water, good food and reasonable temperatures. Ammonia will definitely impede growth. So will nitrites and nitrates but not to the same extent. With lots of fry it is easy to overcrowd a tank. You will need very good filtration and lots of water changes. You will need a food that is high in protein. The water temp should be at least 80 F for good fast growth. Too much higher than that really starts to impede the waters ability to hold oxygen.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn pair behavior Respected sir/ madam, I recently brought a pair of flower horns from a local dealer (a male and female), male slightly bigger than the female (the male is about 8-10 cm long, the female 5-6cm long). Now I see the male attacking the female and the female has some scars on her body. should I now remove the female or is this a temporary action by the male. Hope to get a reply soon. < Remove her to another tank or he will kill her. Many times pair bonds are broken when fish are moved and need to be reestablished. Try dividing the tank and keep each one on its own side. When the female is ready to spawn she will begin to start to flare back at the male. You can try and put them together for a short time and see how it goes. Be aware that he can decide to kill her in just a few hours so only put them together when you are home watching them. Eventually when they start to breed again you can start leaving the female with the male, but there is no guarantee when large cichlids begin to breed.-Chuck> Thanking you , Rohan

Re: Separated Cichlids Respected sir/madam, I wish to thank you for giving me the solution for my problem so soon. I have as suggested by you. I have divided the tank into two by placing a glass piece in between the two, hopefully this solves the problem. One other thing I wish to ask is I was thinking of introducing a albino parrot fish with the male flowerhorn (of the same size), do you think its safe to do so & what are the signs to look for to separate them. Can I maintain the flower horn on dry worms alone. Well I once again thank you for your suggestion. Thanking you, < Big cichlids get very territorial, so much to the point that they don't even like some people in the same room with them. This makes them very personable but also a pain to match up with other fish. You can try and put them together. Rearrange all the decorations and put them together at night. It is best to do this if you are going to around for awhile to see how it goes. If they don't like each other you may need to get another tank. -Chuck> Rohan

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

Differential Flowerhorn growth Hi, This is a hobbyist from India. I have a pair of flower horns which I bought a month ago. I would like to ask the following questions : 1> I have noticed that the growth in the male is faster than that of the female is it natural or is some thing wrong with my female FH. < It is not unusual for cichlids to be sexually dimorphic according to size. The cichlids from which Flowerhorns were developed have larger males.> 2>I would like to know whether flower horns( in general any fishes) sleep, if they do when do they. 3>should I switch off the light in the aquarium during the night? < Fish sleep or at least rest. The lights should not be on all the time and they will benefit with a rest6 period.-Chuck> Hope to get reply. Thanking you, Rohan

BREEDING FLOWERHORNS I have a three 3-month old flower horns. They have separate water tanks. One of the fish laid hundred of eggs yesterday. Do I have to put one male fish to make sure the eggs will hatch or these eggs will hatched by themselves? < Only in very rare instances will the eggs become viable.> How will I know their sexes? < Males are usually bigger and have longer fins.> How long will it take the eggs to hatch? < If the eggs are fertile they will hatch in three days at 80 degrees F.> How will I know that the eggs were not fertilized. Hope you can help me. MAR PANGAN OF THE PHILIPPINES < In a day they will turn white and probably develop a white fungus over them.-Chuck>

How to breed Flowerhorns Hello! I have a pair of flower horns. When I put them in the same tank, it seems that they are mating coz each of them are flaring to each other. After a day or two, I saw the eggs on the hatchery. However, after laying eggs, I noticed that my pets are now fighting? Which should I leave in the hatchery, the male or the female? For how long should I place one of them on the tank where the eggs were laid? Please help on this matter. I've been experimenting 4x already and up to now, I can't them to hatch their eggs. Hoping for your immediate response. Thanks! Dale Dwayne < Flower horns are a man made fish that have been developed to show certain traits that are favorable to the Asian culture. If you want to save the eggs then they can be taken away from the parents and hatched artificially. Fill a 5 gallon tank with the same tank water that the parents are in. Remove the rock or stone with the eggs and place them in the 5 gallon tank with an airstone to provide aeration and current. Put a few drops of Methylene blue in the water to inhibit any fungus growth. Keep the water at 80 degrees. In three days the eggs will hatch and they will turn into a little wiggly mass of fry. At the end of three days the fry will have absorbed their egg sack and they will become free swimming. At this time they can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food. If after a few attempts all the eggs die (Turn white) you either have two females or an infertility problem.-Chuck>

Baby Flowerhorn/red rose fish Hello, My Flowerhorn and red rose bred for the 2nd time and the eggs hatched 1 Dec. I removed the parents cause the 1st time they ate the babies the same day a few hours later. What should I feed them? < They will become free swimming in a few days depending on the water temp. At that time they can be fed baby brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food.> And the best way in a 55 gal tank. < When the fry become free swimming they will gather into a little school. The fry food can be dropped over them. they will feed as the food slowly drops down around them.-Chuck> Today I gave them a little red Tubifex worms. Thanks, Leo

Flowerhorn Hello, I have a male Flowerhorn and female Rose flower that mated and laid eggs. The Rose is swimming across the eggs in a rubbing motion while the Flowerhorn approaches periodically. Which eggs are fertile the white or clear and how long will it take for the eggs to hatch? < The clear eggs are fertile and the white ons are dead and need to be removed by the female before they fungus up and destroy the rest of the eggs. They should hatch in three days at 80 degrees. Three days later the fry will become free swimming after absorbing their egg sac. At this time they need to be fed baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food.-Chuck.> Thanks, Leo
Re: Flowerhorn
Hi Chuck, Thank you for your timely reply. What if the female does not remove the white eggs....should I try to do something? Today is the 3rd day! <Flowerhorns are actually a cross between a few different fish so it may not be that unusual to have a few non fertile eggs. If the eggs are fuzzy then they should have some Methylene blue or some other antifungicide added to the water. Add an airstone to the area to increase the water circulation. You could always use a 5 gallon aquarium and remove the eggs an continue to hatch them artificially. You should be seeing some wiggles by tomorrow.-Chuck> Leo
hi Chuck, You are right the wiggles appeared this morning however very hard to see unless you focus. It is like vibrating gel! The female [Red rose] is scooping the fry in her mouth and spitting them back out. what does this mean? < She is probably cleaning them and moving them around.> The Flowerhorn sometimes picks in the area of the hatchery but eats what it puts in its mouth. The hatchery is now mixed with sand which is the tanks bottom glass. Could the fry survive without the parents if I take them out. <Sure. Fill another container with the same tank water and then get some clear air line tubing and siphon the babies to the new container. When they become free swimming, (in about three days), they can be fed baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food.-Chuck>> Is it safe to remove them of course using the same tank water. What do I have to feed the fry? Sorry for so many questions and emails first time grand-pa! Leo
Hi Chuck, What will the young fry eat for the first 2 weeks? < The parents are not required and they can be fed crushed flake food and baby brine shrimp until they get up to 1/4 inch. Then they could be fed flake food and fine pellets.-Chuck> Do they need their parents to feed them? Leo

Flowerhorns Mating Greetings, Well, I've got a cichlid which I called Canon. After that, I've got a flower horn who is Dranzer. I put them in the same tank, a ten gallon tank with a divider in it. A couple of days later, I found some eggs on Canon's part. I didn't mind it because it might not hatch. But three days later, it was filled with white fungus and was swept away. Another days later she laid eggs but the eggs were also filled with fungus. How can I keep fungus away? < The fungus is usually the result of infertile eggs.> Can a Flowerhorn and a cichlid mate? < A Flowerhorn is a man made cichlid that is a hybrid between three different species. It is possible it could breed with another Central American cichlid.> How can my Flowerhorn get good colors and a protruding head? < With good nutrition an good water quality you can get some pretty good results as long as the fish has the genes for those traits you desire.> How can I breed fishes? < Breeding cichlids is actually pretty easy. Make sure you have a pair and set them up with warm clean water. They will usually do the rest and even raise the fry.-Chuck> Hope for your reply, Nikki

Crossing Flowerhorns? 7/7/05 We have an A-quality female Flowerhorn that started laying eggs without any encouragement. We also have a mature, good quality male Midas. Weve read that crossing these two will still produce Flowerhorns. We know the breeding process is a rough one but were getting conflicting info from folks ³in the know. Since they seem to be very happy with each other (by their terms, anyway) should we separate them at all until eggs are laid and fertilized? <Female Flowerhorns will lay their eggs on a substrate and they need to be fertilized pretty quickly by the male to be any good. You need to keep both in the same tank.> And how long does it take for that to happen? < If a pair is ready to go then a female could be ready to lay in as little as a week, depending on her size and the water temp.> Does she need to rest? < She can lay eggs as often as every two weeks depending on how well she is conditioned.> He keeps her swimming a lot. But they have both been cleaning the slate. How soon do we need to remove the Midas once the eggs are laid to keep the risk to her minor? < After the eggs are laid and fertilized by the male then he can be removed right after spawning.> A local Flowerhorn shop lets the male/female raise the fry together. Is this unusual? < No not really. The parents will lay the eggs and guard them for three days until they hatch. Then they will hatch and become free swimming three days later. After that then they should be removed because the parents will be getting ready to spawn again and eat the fry.> We also have a young Flowerhorn that we believe is a male but he¹s too small for her right now. Would it be better to wait until he is larger instead of pairing her and the Midas? < Depends on what you want to do. Cichlids don't like to switch partners once their set up.> We¹ve heard that breeding pairs can get grumpy if split up and put with a different fish. Do they really know the difference? < Absolutely!> Is there a book on Flowerhorns that we could purchase? Thank you. Erin & Russ < There is a book that has been published a few years ago. You can check on eBay or Amazon.-Chuck>

Identifying Flowerhorn fry 8/20/05 Today I went into the pet shop in Chinatown, Manhattan, NY. I was looking to purchase some Flowerhorn fry's about 1 inch or less ... the pet shop guy showed me some "Flowerhorn fry" that were with parrot fish fry but to me when looked at the "Flowerhorn fry" they didn't have red eyes, very dark coloration, some spots, and really looked like some sort of other cichlid ...... my question is how do you tell apart Flowerhorn fry from other cichlid fry? What are the major or key distinctions to look for if any? thanks a lot. < At one inch Flowerhorns look like the fry of red devils from which they are partially derived. They may range in color from solid red to grey with stripes. This makes it very difficult to determine if you truly have a Flowerhorn. I personally buy fish from breeders if I am concerned about genetics. In this case I would ask the store to guarantee that they are truly Flowerhorns. If they are not, make sure you bring them back for a full refund. If the store owner declines then you already have your answer and you don't need to waste your time and money on a fish you have no interest in.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn Questions 9/3/05 Hey, WWM, Chuck, I was just told by my friend that I should put crushed coral into my Flowerhorn tank, because it promotes the hump growth and fish health by balancing the ph... or increasing it? < Crushed coral is simply calcium carbonate. In acidic water the shells dissolve and help buffer the water and keep it from crashing (Becoming too acidic). It may stabilize the pH and thus keep your Flowerhorn healthy. Especially if you live in an area with soft water.> Well I searched your forum and I couldn't find an answer... I want to know is Crushed Coral good for Flowerhorns? < In soft acidic waters it is probably beneficial to have crushed coral in the tank.> Are Flowerhorns hard water or soft water fish? < More hard water than soft water.> Can Flowerhorns survive in high ph water? < To a point. I would not go much higher than 8.> What are some signs that a female Flowerhorn is ready to spawn? < Heavy belly with a thin tube protruding from the anal region. The pair will usually be seen cleaning an area and chasing away other fish.> Can I put a Pleco or cat fish with my male Flowerhorn 8 inches big? < Big Central American cichlids are very territorial of their spaces. I probably would not risk it. Chuck> thank you very much

Pairing Up Flowerhorns 9/5/05 Dear, WWM, Chuck, I recent bought a male (huge hump, long fins, about 8inches) and what I think is a female (very little or no hump, short fins, fat belly, about 6inch), from separate owners. I have them in there own tanks, and they cannot see each other. I wanted to try an breed them, so, today I tried putting the female in the male's tank (hoping that they would pair up), but instead they immediately started fighting, by locking there mouths together, I watched them do this for about 5 min.s and saw the female was getting her mouth bitten up. So I took her back out and put her into her own tank again. I have seen that kind of fighting between male Bettas and sometimes when I am breeding Bettas also. My questions are... Can put these 2 fishes that are use to living in separate tanks, together to breed? < Playing match maker with adult Central American cichlids is very very risky. I would get some plastic egg crate used in home improvement store for lighting panels and make a divider out of it. Put the male in one side and the female in the other. This way they can see each other but not get to each other. If the female lays eggs the male can still fertilizer them fro quite a distance away.> What are the mating rituals of Flowerhorns? (like what kinds of things do they do before pairing up or mating? What are signs of mating?) < Courtship can be pretty rough. Lots of flaring and mouth locking. If they are compatible and the female is ready to breed then after the tug a war they will begin to clear an area for the female to lay eggs. The eggs are laid on a flat surface with the male following closely behind the female to fertilize the eggs.> How do you know when they are doing this ritual or fighting? < Sometimes it is difficult to tell. When one fish plainly gives up and runs for cover then it is time to get the loser out or they will be killed.> What is the average time for this mating ritual to take place? < Could be hours or days depending on the water temp and how closely matched the two fish are.> One of my friends has a pair, and they don't fight or anything, they defend there hole they dug in the gravel. I really want my 2 Fh's to live like that, am sure I have more questions, but I can think of them right now... I will have to send another email, but I'll wait for your reply on this one... Thank You So Much, you guy's are the best. < Compatibility among cichlid pairs is a touch and go thing. They may be fine one minute and then at each others throat the next. Good Luck.-Chuck>

Breeding Flowerhorn Cichlids 10/3/05 Hi you've been helpful since I started making Flowerhorns a hobby. I bought a 2 month old FH and it looks like a potential female Red Dragon. My question is it possible for it to mate with a FH that is 2 months older? < Once both fish are sexually mature then age does not matter.> By the way it has Ich/white spots it's very few, how will I be able to cure it? < Raise the water temp to 80+ F and treat with Kordon's Rid-Ich.-Chuck> Thanks a lot. Ja
Breeding Flowerhorns 9/21/05
Dear WWM, Chuck, Thank you for all you help so far, I was able to get my fighting male and female FH's to breed, I THINK? I have a few more questions, that I hope you can help me with. My female laid eggs and the male is on the other side of a divider in the tank...How do I know if the eggs were fertilized? < If the eggs were infertile then they would soon die and turn white.> How long does the eggs take to hatch? < About three days at 82 F> Should I remove the female immediately when the eggs hatch? < The female usually does a pretty good job taking care of the eggs. When they hatch she will no longer be needed to fan the eggs.> Should I remove the Male from the tank if the eggs were fertilized/hatched or leave him on the other side of the divider? < There are different ways of removing the fry from the parents. You could remove the substrate that the eggs were laid on after three days and place it in a separate tank under similar conditions. After the eggs hatch you could remove the parents or siphon out the fry into a separate vessel with airline tubing. The male may eat any fry that wander over to his side of the tank.> Are newly hatched eggs mobile? If not, how long should I leave the female in the same tank? < After three days the fry will absorbed their eggs sac and begin to swim around in search of food. The female should be removed after the fry become free swimming.> How long after the fry's hatched, would I be able to move them to a new tank? < Anytime. Just match the existing water conditions.> I took some pictures with a friends digital camera yesterday, but the eggs appeared today.... so here are some pictures of the set up. I attached... also you can check out more pictures on my website: http://www.kevynews.com/~rod/home/home.htm < Thanks-Chuck>

Male Flowerhorn Sterile? 11/22/05 Dear WWM crew, I had written to you about breeding Flowerhorns, before, but after a couple of tries at breeding, with no success I have a couple more questions to ask... Is my male Flowerhorn seems to be sterile...? <Maybe> The reason I ask is because my female has laid eggs twice and they all just died after 4-5days! <Could be you have two females even> I would like to know, how do I know if a male Flowerhorn is Sterile? <Mmm, your present observations> My male has a tube thing near the anus, but its black at the end of it, and its shriveled up... am not sure if that's a physical sign of an infertile male... <Mmm, no... though shape, size is often sexually indicative> What would be a good Visual way to know if a male is infertile? <Not possible... can/could be tested (most likely through sacrificing the fish), or somehow testing the fish through "stripping" and a microscope... But/and often cichlids don't "do it" correctly the first few tries...> Can Female Flowerhorn eggs be infertile? <Yes> I guess it would be hard to know if its since it lays the eggs....but if there is any way to find out, I would like to know about it. (you can check my site, and look at the album to see pictures of the fish, am not sure if that would help) Thank You Rod http://www.rodsfish.com <I am cc'ing Chuck Rambo here (he's been out of town a while) as he knows much more than I re such matters. Bob Fenner>

Breeding Flowerhorn Cichlids 1/20/06 Greetings! I am Leo Ilagan of the Philippines. I'm a new flower horn hobbyist and I would really appreciate it if you could help me out with some of my questions. First, Is it true that I can breed two flower horns even with a divider between them and a small space beneath it? < Yes, it is possible to breed substrate spawning cichlids using the divider method. This is often done with plastic egg crate type material purchased from a hardware store in 4'x2' sheets.> Second, is it still necessary to put gravel, plants, rocks or any other form of decoration in my tank? < Some aquarists have had better luck using a flower pot or a rock as a focal point for the spawn. It not used they will lay the eggs on the glass and then they cannot be removed and hatched artificially.> Third, I have a flower horn who remains small even after a month and I would like to ask if after separating him from the larger ones, could he still grow to his potential size and form? < Females stay usually smaller than the males. You could also have a "runt" that genetically will not grow to the size of the others.> And last, does chipped skin or scales grow back after being bitten by fellow flower horns? < Usually the scales will grow back but maybe not as nicely patterned as the original scales .-Chuck> Hope you can help me and I'm glad I found your website. Many thanks in advance. Breeding Flowerhorns - 1/30/2006 Hi, I've been reading your forum and it has informed me a lot, but still there are some questions that I have to ask. I am trying to breed my flower horn fish. I have a 35 gallon tank that has colored pebbles on the bottom with a 4x2 inch pot in the female side. I know that I have a pair with me right now and I did put them together in the same tank for almost a year now (with no divider), yes they would fight sometimes, some times I see my female getting worked but lately I noticed that the female has a big tummy with the straw sticking out her tummy, she was very red, and I saw the male got worked pretty bad, he lost his tail fins and scales. As a matter of fact he really got weak, so I divided them with a glass divider, now they mind each others business. The female had a big tummy for almost a month now and she lost the straw under her belly I don't see no eggs, but I see a pebble like cocoon that I know it came from her. My question is, how long before she would lay eggs and what is that cocoon like thing that I see on the bottom of the tank? By the way it is color white and is about half an inch looks like a pebble but am sure its not. When can I take out the divider and would the eggs mature even they are separated by a divider? Please I've me more info on hoe to successfully breed my flower horn.. I really need a lot of help, this is my first time to own a fish, any kind of fish. Eriq < To get the fish ready do a 50% water change, and clean the filter. Get the water temp up to 82 F. When you are going to be home for awhile to watch them, pull the tank divider and watch them. If they start to act like a couple then you can leave them alone for awhile. If they are going at it then you will need to separate them and try again later. Don't know what the pebble thing is. Get it out of the tank.-Chuck>

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