How to Breed Flowerhorn Fish?

One of the world’s most beautiful and exotic fish is the Flowerhorn Fish. The  Flowerhorn fish is a member of the Cichlid family. This lovely fish is a popular hobbyist fish because of the brilliant colors in each strain. The Flowerhorn is loved because of its habit of close interaction with its owners. 

Experienced fish hobbyists know how rewarding it is to be able to breed their own stock. Breeding the Flowerhorn fish can be just as simple as any other stock with the right techniques, tips, and knowledge.

Flowerhorn Fish can be bred by following some basic principles, guidelines, and tried and true methods for success. There are some items to consider prior to beginning. It is helpful to follow the suggestions outlined below. This will help you to get the most of your investments of time, interest, creativity, and dedication.

How to tell the difference between male and Female Flowerhorn Fish?

While male and female Flowerhorns may appear similar, there are differences between the sexes that are easily spotted. The Koks(nuchal humps)will be presented on the male in varying sizes regardless of type. Often the female Flowerhorn fish have no humps at all. The males are also usually on the larger side with more brilliant coloring. Lastly, the area’s reproductive organs are easily visible when one knows where to locate them. The male reproductive vent has a pronounced “V” shape, whereas the female reproductive vent will resemble the letter “U”.

When to Breed Flowerhorn?

Female Flowerhorn fish are generally ready to breed when they reach approximately 3.5 to four inches in size. Male Flowerhorns may display mating behavior at this smaller size as well. It is, however, more prudent to wait until the males are larger and more mature. It has been shown male Flowerhorn may not be ready to successfully reproduce until 1.5 to 2 years old.

Are All Flowerhorn Male Infertile?

Unfortunately, there are some strains of the Flowerhorn in which the males are not fertile. Which strains of this hybrid fish are infertile, or the most fertile remains a topic of debate among hobbyists. Breed your female Flowerhorn to a strain of male Flowerhorn known to be more fertile. This will produce better results. Beautiful young fry has been obtained this way.

How often can you breed Flowerhorn?

The Flowerhorn fish will breed year round so there is no specific time frame to accomplish this task. Observing your mating pairs and their subsequent behaviors both on their own and in relation to one another will let you know when they are once more ready to begin to spawn.

Is there a suggested diet to follow for Flowerhorn during spawning?

There is no prescribed diet that will increase the chances of a successful spawn for your Flowerhorn breeding pair. Many breeders and hobbyists state that providing meals that include shrimp, bloodworm, krill, and other high protein menu items in addition to a quality pellet type diet will provide the best nutrients during this time.

How often will Female Flowerhorn lay eggs?

A female Flowerhorn will lay eggs at least once a month, once they have reached sexual maturity and begin to exhibit spawning behavior. The number of times the female will lay eggs will depend on her health, her environment, and the type of Flowerhorn she is.

How many eggs will a Flowerhorn Female lay?

Typically a female Flowerhorn will lay somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 to 1000 or more eggs per occurrence. This will vary depending on strain of Flowerhorn. There is a number of factors such as the general health of your female Flowerhorn, age, and environment.

Can you tell when a female Flowerhorn is preparing to begin laying eggs?

Changes in eye color have been noted. Increased aggressive behavior is also common. Loss of appetite is another fairly good indication that a female Flowerhorn fish is preparing to lay eggs. Occasionally there may also be changes in body markings, but this may not occur with every strain of Flowerhorn. The organ used for producing the eggs will also begin to appear elongated. 

Will a Flowerhorn female lay eggs without the presence of a male Flowerhorn?

There does not need to be a male present for a female Flowerhorn to lay eggs. You will need the male Flowerhorn only for fertilization. The presence (or lack of) of the male will not affect egg-laying. The female will lay her eggs in a fairly consistent cycle.

What is the best environment for spawning?

The correct water temperature and cleanliness are crucial. It is also a good practice to provide an area that is attractive to Flowerhorn fish as a spawning area. This area must be flat, clean, and free of obstructions. Many breeders will use a ceramic tile or an upside down ceramic flower pot. The tank will also have to be large enough to hold the female and the resulting offspring.  

What types of behavior during spawning to expect?

When a pair is ready to breed, aggressive behavior should be nonexistent.  The male will prepare an area for spawning in many cases. He will try to entice the female to the area for breeding. The male will try to entice and attract the female by physical touch. If the female accepts the male, the touching will be reciprocated.  

Can breeding pairs be together?

The Flowerhorn is a fiercely territorial and aggressive fish. It is very important to monitor the behavior of both the male and the female when they are together. You may wish to keep them in separate tanks to prevent injuries. A permeable barrier is another option. This will allow fertilization of the eggs but will prevent injuries.

Care for egg laying Flowerhorn?

Flowerhorn females need peace and quiet during this process for the most optimal results.  Avoiding distractions or disruptions is very helpful.  Many people place newspaper on the outside of the tank to provide the privacy needed at this time.

How long will it take Flowerhorn eggs to hatch?

Fertilization of the eggs can take between three and four days. The hatching of the new fry usually takes as long as seven to fourteen days on average.

Will Flowerhorn eat their fry?

It has been noted that Flowerhorn fish are usually very good parents. They are extremely protective of their eggs and fry. There may be an occasion where the offspring may run the risk of injury by the adult fish.  It is also always a good idea to have a backup plan. Do this before problems begin. Aggression between the male and female can increase after the fertilization of the eggs. You may need to move the fry for their own safety.

Do Flowerhorn fish have as many fry as other fish?

Unfortunately, no, Flowerhorn is not quite as prolific as other breeds of fish.   Provide protection for the eggs and fry. Keep your water clean and all levels on par. Do not stress your breeding male or female. These suggestions will all aid in success in breeding your stock.

If you follow these suggestions it can increase your success at breeding your Flowerhorn. Doing relevant research before you begin will ensure your Flowerhorn stock will provide you with the best possible outcomes.