How Big do Flowerhorn Get?

The Flowerhorn fish is without question one of the world’s most popular aquarium fish.  The many features of the Flowerhorn make them the attractive and sought after fish that they are.  The striking looks of the Flowerhorn are the first thing that attracts people to this breed.  

The vibrant colors and markings found in the Flowerhorn are unique and not found in other fish.  Other notable features of the  Flowerhorn include its Nuchal Hump or Kok. The Flowerhorn is unique in that it is the only fish that grow these humps. Also, the Flowerhorn personalities are quirky and interesting, which makes them a favorite aquarium pet. People who keep  Flowerhorn state that their Flowerhorn knows them and want to interact with them. Besides all of the above, the large size of the Flowerhorn also makes them very attractive to their enthusiasts.

Flowerhorn are incomparable fish who combine size with beauty.  Flowerhorn size can range from 6 inches long all the way up to 14 inches long.  Some strains of Flowerhorn have even reached sizes of 16 inches long or more.

Multiple factors will contribute to the size your Flowerhorn will ultimately attain. While most of the things that control your Flowerhorn growth cannot be controlled, there is still much you can do that will help. Genetics are largely the best indication of how big your Flowerhorn will get. The environment you provide, the food you give your Flowerhorn, and its overall health are also important.

What Size Tank do I need for my Flowerhorn?

Flowerhorn fish should be kept in a fish tank no smaller than 90 or 100 gallons.   Your Flowerhorn needs to have plenty of room to move, and will not do well in a cramped space.  There are some enthusiasts who keep their Flowerhorn in tanks well over 100 gallons. These larger tanks are meant to give their fish the best possible environment in which to live.   Flowerhorn fish love to eat. Because the Flowerhorn can eat so much makes for another good reason for a large tank. A perfect example is that along with that large appetite comes the expected amounts of waste.  Water that is not kept in pristine condition poses a serious health risk for Flowerhorn.  A smaller tank can also mean weekly water changes may not be enough to keep your Flowerhorn healthy and happy.   

Do Genetics affect Flowerhorn Size?

There are many strains of Flowerhorn that have been developed since it was first noticed in the early 1990s.   Flowerhorn are hybrids of different Cichlid varieties.  While Flowerhorn shares most characteristics such as aggression and general behavior, size can fluctuate widely.  The largest Flowerhorn is the King Kamfa, who can grow to 16 inches at maturity. Rose Queen Flowerhorn are another large variety reaching thirteen to fourteen as adult fish.  The Red Ingot Flowerhorns are yet another of the strains that will grow quite large.  The smaller varieties of Flowerhorn usually grow no larger than six to eight inches in length at maturity.  Thai Silk, Bonsai, Bantam,  and other short bodied Flowerhorn is within this range.  Some Flowerhorn have so many intermingled strains, determining size is a challenge.  Regardless of the strain Flowerhorn, males are larger than the females by a few inches.

Does Diet affect Flowerhorn Size?

Flowerhorn enthusiasts are all extremely interested in what to feed Flowerhorn for Kok growth alone. Many of the food used to enhance Kok growth is nutrient dense and can help with body growth as well. Whatever you choose to feed your Flowerhorn will have a huge impact on its health in general, including how well your Flowerhorn grows.  For the best possible health, Flowerhorns need a varied and balanced diet. The most important ingredient in a Flowerhorn diet is protein.   Protein sources can come in the form of processed pellets, natural food sources, or supplements.  Shrimp, bloodworms, mealworms, and other small feeder fish are good sources of protein.  Some Flowerhorn enthusiasts choose to power feed their Flowerhorn for growth.  Power feeding is offering larger amounts of food more often than normal over the course of a day.  Unfortunately, power feeding can also result in obese or sick Flowerhorn.

What else can affect Flowerhorn Growth?

The growth rate of your Flowerhorn depends on several other factors. If the parameters of your water quality and environment are off, growth can suffer.  Overall health will have a huge impact on how fast and how well your Flowerhorn grows. Therefore,  a Flowerhorn that is stressed or unhappy may experience stunting in growth, not to mention being at risk for disease.  How dominant your Flowerhorn is in its environment is another consideration; the strongest and largest Flowerhorn are the ones that exert dominance over tank mates.  Less dominant Flowerhorn will generally be smaller than a more dominant and aggressive fish. Whether your Flowerhorn is male or female will affect growth as well. Also worth noting, most male Flowerhorn will increase in size more rapidly than female Flowerhorn.

How Fast do Flowerhorn Grow?

Young Flowerhorn fry have the fastest growth rate. As a result, healthy Flowerhorn fry should gain about an inch or slightly more than that every month or six weeks. This means that your Flowerhorn should reach its maximum size within eight months to a year from hatching. This impressive growth rate will continue throughout the first year of life for the Flowerhorn. There are some varieties of Flowerhorn with even faster growth rates, however, most notably the Red Ingot and the Red Mammon Flowerhorn.  Once beyond the first year, though, the growth of your Flowerhorn will slow down considerably.  Your Flowerhorn will continue to gain some size up until approximately 18 months to 24 months of age. You can usually expect your Flowerhorn to gain anywhere from one and a half to two inches in length at this time. Your Flowerhorn will stop all growth once they reach complete maturity.

Can I make my Flowerhorn Grow Faster?

Most of the emphasis regarding growth for your Flowerhorn is focused on growing an impressive Kok, or Nuchal Hump. There are still many hobbyists who wonder if it is possible to speed up the general growth of the Flowerhorn, but unfortunately, there does not seem to be a magic bullet to increase growth in your Flowerhorn.  Your Flowerhorn will grow at the rate their genetics have dictated, so the best way to help the growth rate of your fish is simply taking proper care of them. A Flowerhorn that is raised with love and care will mature into a fantastic specimen.    If you want a really large Flowerhorn fish, simply choose from a larger strain of Flowerhorn.  For example, both the Red Ingot and Red Mammon Flowerhorn are the largest varieties with the fastest growth rate and would be good choices.

Providing your Flowerhorn with the best care possible is clearly beneficial to your Flowerhorn. Of course, this includes paying attention to their likes and dislikes and being prepared to do what keeps them content and healthy. Flowerhorn fish are always meant to be the star of your aquarium. These wonderful fish can seem to represent a large commitment, but Flowerhorn are definitely worth it. The Flowerhorn enthusiasts who have the most show stopping fish consider the time they spend for their Flowerhorn true labor of love.  A Flowerhorn who has all of its needs consistently met will be a wonderful investment of your time.