Flowerhorn fish care guide

We will talk about flowerhorn fish care in this blog post.We will also discuss important factors such as their habitat, types,lifespan,tank set-up, water parameters and healthcare, etc.Everything you need to know about flowerhorn fish care will be briefly discussed.


In this blog post we will discuss

  • Key specifications of flowerhorn fish
  • Why is flowerhorn fish care important?
  • How many flowerhorn fish should you start with as a newcomer?
  • Habitat of flowerhorn fish
  • Types of flowerhorn fish
  • Different strains or colours of flowerhorn fish
  • General and physical attributes of flowerhorn fish
  • Flowerhorn fish lifespan
  • Flowerhorn fish tank set-up
  • Flowerhorn fish diet and feeding requirements
  • Flowerhorn fish healthcare and health conditions
  • Flowerhorn fish daily care and Bi-weekly care tips
  • Summary

Key specifications of Flowerhorn fish

NameFlowerhorn cichlid
HabitatTaiwan and MalaysiaCentral americaHard tropical water (warm)Freshwater 
Lifespan10-12 years
Body sizeBody shapeColour
Special trait
Sexual dimorphism
16 inchesElongated body Red,purple,green,red and many to list downDistinctive head shape(bulged kok)Males are larger than females.
Another namesLuohans (original hybrid)
Optimum temperatureOptimum pHWater hardness80F-85F7.4-8.09-20 dGH
TemperamentBeginner or experienced Moderate-aggressiveBoth 
Care levelIntermediate
Tank size and set-up

Tank type (Prefered)
40 gallons (minimum)75 gallons (optimal)150 gallons (breeding pair)Planted tank
Preferred plants/decorationsNot required
Number of flowerhorn fish species found They come in huge varieties and strain.
BreedingNo of eggsParental careEasyUpto 900 eggsyes

Why is flowerhorn fish care important?

Flowerhorns are man made hybrid fish and  do not exist naturally.They are hardy species and can thrive well in any conditions.The only concern is their aggressive behaviour in the tank with other tank mates and decorative items.They get stressed or irritated by anything which comes their way and tend to hurt themselves.They are bit sensitive and because of their self sabotage behaviour need extra care.

How many flowerhorn fish should you start with as a newcomer?

Flowerhorns are aggressive pets and if as a newcomer then i would suggest you to get just one fish and if you’re planning to get 2 of them then get a divider along with the tank.They are territorial in nature and have the tendency to fight with each other.They are very costly aquarium fish,so in my opinion before buying them please do a thorough research about them their tank set-up, diets and everything properly from someone who is already handling them.It can definitely help you in long run.This guide is there too to help you out with everything about them.

Habitat of flowerhorn fish

Flowerhorn fish is a man made fish and are not found in wild habitats.This bloodline was first developed in 1990’s in Malaysia by cross-breeding and are derived from blood parrots,red devil and trimacs.

Types of flowerhorn fish

List of flowerhorn fish varieties : 

Golden monkeyZhen zhuKamfa (King kamfa,Kamfamalau)Golden base (golden trimac and faders)King Kong parrots and red ingotsThai silk

Different strains or colours of flowerhorn fish

They are naturally red in colour.

Elvis strainTan king

General and physical attributes of flowerhorn fish

Flowerhorns have an unusual appearance i.e nuchal hump or kok (bulging head) on their forehead.flowerhorn body structure is elongated,slightly compressed, rounded or disc shaped. Male flowerhorns are larger, more vibrant,have larger dorsal and anal fins and thicker mouth.Males have a very distinctive feature Female flowerhorns are shorter,have black dots on their dorsal fins and usually orange bellies.

Flowerhorn fish lifespan

Flowerhorns are hardy fish and have a lifespan of 10-12 years.House them in right sized tanks, with compatible tank mates, maintain pristine water conditions, proper filtration, feed nutritional and balanced diet.So if you are maintaining the optimal conditions your flowerhorns will thrive well in aquariums for longer time.

Flowerhorn fish tank set-up-

Tank sizeLight intensitySubstrateWater parametersTemperatureTank plantsTank mates

Tank size 

Flowerhorn are fast growing fish species,so you have to keep checking when they are increasing in size,and once they reach 5-7 inches in length then they should be shifted to bigger tanks.They need a spacious tank to thrive and get stressed and inactive in smaller tanks.So tank size is very important for their survival.

35-40 -gallons tank for juveniles (3 inches- 5 inches fish)70-75 gallons tank for one flowerhorn (fully grown one)150-gallons for pairs200-215 gallons with other tank mates

Light intensity 

They don’t need direct sunlightArtificial lights can be a good idea for your flowerhorns.

Substrate and decoration

You can use thin  and  mono-coloured substrates or little to no substrate.They have the habit of digging up the substrate.Very Sharp and edgy objects should never be included in the tanks for decoration purposes.If you are using rocks and driftwood in their tank chances are there they will bang their kok on them and this will in turn damage or deflate their head, which is their prominent feature in their whole body and is one of the costliest aquariums for their koks and solid colours.Flowerhorn tanks don’t need much decoration because they are aggressive and territorial and tend to destroy whatever comes their way.So minimum to no decoration is recommended in my opinion.

Water parameters 

Prefers clean water so maintain pristine water conditions.Water movement should be slow in the tank.Water flow should be good in the tanks for proper aeration.Flowerhorns are messy guys so frequent water changes and tank cleaning is recommended.A good filtration is really important for your flowerhorns to avoid blockage in the tank.As we know that flowerhorns are aggressive eaters and due to it they will produce large amount of waste in the tank.Uneaten food and poop can increase ammonia in the tank, so it’s very important to use good quality filters for their aquarium.You can go ahead with overhead filters as they are quite efficient to maintain.Canister filters can also be used. The choice is totally yours.Water changes can be done either once a week or 2-3 times monthly.Water test kits,pH kits and water conditioner kits can be used to maintain the correct water parameters.Water hardness- 9-20 dGHpH-7.4 to 8.0 (moderate level)


Flowerhorns are hard tropical fish.An optimum temperature of 80 F-85F should be maintained in the tank for their proper metabolism.Heaters are important in the tank to keep the water warm at all times.

Tank plants

Tank plants are not required in flowerhorn tanks.Flowerhorns are considered a beast among aquarium fish that dig the substrate and uproot live plants and anything which blocks their way.They might end up eating live plants.

Tank mates

Flowerhorns are a bit aggressive species and won’t get along well with everyone.I am listing a few compatible tank mates for your flowerhorns, you can also ask the pet shop owners more about them in terms of their suitable mates,which one to keep and which one to avoid in their tanks.In my opinion try avoiding small,hyperactive, weaker and slow swimmers in their tank.They are territorial fish and end up eating small fish within seconds.I have even heard that they can’t be kept with fish of similar size,because of their aggressive behaviour they end up fighting with them and this can potentially damage their koks.

List of some compatible tank mates:

Some plecos- leopard plecosCichlids like jaguar cichlids Pacus like pirapitingaSome gouramis Few catfish can also be included.Other flowerhorns can also be included but they might end up fighting with each other because of their aggressive temperament.

Flowerhorn fish diet and feeding requirements

Flowerhorns are voracious eaters and are known as the hungriest fish in aquarium hobby.They would happily accept whatever you offer them.Being omnivoros they tend to eat meaty as well as plant based diets.Give them protein enriched balanced diet and feed them on time 2-3 times a day with proper care as they can attack their owners during feeding time.And never overfeed your pet.Overfeeding can upset their digestion, moderation in diet is a key to good health.Good health means they can live longer and can entertain you with their beautiful appearance.some best cichlid food is available in the pet shops you can buy those and feed your flowerhorns in moderation.

Live food (make sure they are not carrying any infection and feed them once in a week)Frozen food (defrost before feeding)Plant based diet (full of fibers)Dried food- available in market especially for flowerhornCichlid pellets/slow sinking pelletsFeeder fishIf possible try to avoid food which is given to improve their colours.Consult the pet shop owners if they are feeding them such enhancers.One of each type (small portions) of meals a day for three times to keep their Kok hump and colours healthy.

Flowerhorn fish healthcare and health conditions

Digestive blockagesIchHole in head diseasehexamita

Flowerhorn fish daily care and Bi-weekly care

Daily care tipsBi-weekly care tips
They need bigger and more spacious tanks.Select their tank mates wisely.Put a divider if adding more flowerhorns together.They get aggressive with each other.Maintain pristine water conditions.You can change water once a week,up to you.Feed them 2-3 times a day.Don’t overfeed.Keep the tank free from detritus (waste debris)Filters are really important.Check if all the tank equipment is in working conditions or not.Separate unwell fish in a hospital tank until they recover.Live food should be fed once a week.Frozen food should be given twice a week.Avoid giving colour improvement food in excess. You can change thrice in a month (25-30%)Quarantine new members at least for 2 weeks before adding them to the main tank.Keep feeder fish one month before adding flowerhorns in the tank to ensure that they are healthy enough to feed them.


  • They are beast, incredibly aggressive, impatient and crazy fish.
  • Hardy species.
  • Costly
  • Not a schooling fish
  • Little to no substrate.
  • Minimum to no decorations 
  • Recommended for experienced fishkeeper enthusiasts.
  • They are extremely beautiful aquarium fish and popular for their presentation, and to be honest you don’t need any tank mates with them for display in your aquarium, flowerhorns are sufficient.

Frequently asked questions on Flowerhorn fish care

Are all flowerhorns identical?

No two flowerhorns are exactly identical.

Are Flowerhorns poisonous? 

No, they are aggressive but not poisonous at all.