The flower horn fish is also known as the lump head cichlid, the Malaysia rajah cichlasoma and the hua luo han in Chinese. It is the result of cross-breeding different species of South American cichlids, including the Cichlasoma trimaculatus, the Cichlasoma festae and the Jingang blood parrot. The flower horn fish is a popular aquarium fish.
The flower horn fish can grow to be nearly a foot in length. It has a compact body with a distinct hump on its forehead. Most flower horn fish have a predominantly red coloration, which ideally should be bright and well defined, as well as defined black stripes on the back.
The flower horn fish is an extremely hardy tropical fish. They require water that ranges from between 7 and 7.8 on the pH scale. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 and measures how acidic or basic a liquid is. The higher the pH rating, the more acidic the water. A pH of 7 is neutral, so the flower horn fish needs water that is neutral or very slightly acidic. They also need water temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A single flower horn fish needs at least 120 gallons of water to be comfortable and healthy.
Flower horn fish can be fed a diet of live food, standard dried food or frozen food. Larger flower horn fish can be given earthworms and meal worms or wax worms, while smaller fish can eat snails or smaller fish. Brine shrimp and chironomus are both good frozen food options. Flower horn fish will also eat pellets intended for cichlids.
Because these fish can be messy eaters, a high-quality water filtration system is important to the fish's health. Watch the fish when it eats. A flower horn fish that doesn't finish eating all of its food within five minutes is getting too much food. The less wasted food left in the tank, the better the water quality.
The flower horn fish is considered an aggressive fish. Males are more aggressive than females. As such, two males should not be housed together. They will eat smaller fish in the tank and injure fish that are of a comparable size. While some people recommend playing with flower horn fish by running a hand along the outside of the tank, doing so just incites an aggressive response in the fish, which only causes unnecessary stress on the fish.