How to Breed Flowerhorns in Aquariums
To breed your Flowerhorn cichlids after choosing the parents you want to use you can proceed in the same way you would with many other large South and Central American cichlids, particularly at the time when they attain the length of 11 cm. to 13 cm. Which is quite natural since Flowerhorn fish is a result of selective cross breeding of different South and Central American cichlids. The anal hole of the flowerhorn fish has a V shape in males and a U shape in females. Their breeding activities are comparable to other tropical fishes. The female flowerhorn position her eggs on a plane surface on the aquarium or fish, while the male flowerhorn secure the fries and the female from other fishes.
Flowerhorn cichlids are best kept in large aquariums and should only be kept with other aggressive species. They can be very aggressive towards the other sex and the use of a separator is sometimes a necessity when breeding Flowerhorn cichlids. The holding tanks for Flowerhorn cichlids should be decorated with rock formations and it is beneficial if the decoration is designed in such a manner that natural territorial borders are created, especially if more than one Flowerhorn cichlids are meant to be housed in the aquarium tank. The water values are not a very important aspect in Flowerhorn breeding but a neutral to slightly basic pH level and a water temperature of around 28°C / 82°F is to be preferred.
Keeping your fish well feed is an important part of the Flowerhorn breeding preparations. This is however relatively easy since these fish accept most food sources and is easy to get into spawning condition on a varied diet with a pellets base. Flowerhorn cichlids eat a lot and this puts a big strain on the water. Large regular water changes are therefore a necessity and changing 20% of the water two times a week is recommended.
Flowerhorn cichlids lay their eggs on a flat surface and guards their eggs and fry. They are usually very good parents. You should however always keep a watchful eye on the pair you’re using for breeding your Flowerhorn cichlids since the male can become very aggressive towards the female, especially if something goes wrong during the spawning. A female Flowerhorn is capable of producing approximately 1000 to 2500 eggs at a time. The eggs will take three to four days to hatch. When this occurs, you must remove the flowerhorn parents. Once the parents are removed, be sure to practice proper fry management.
A method to avoid problem with aggressions while breeding Flowerhorn cichlids is to use a transparent separator that allows water to pass between the two segments. You should if you choose this method only provide the fish with one possible breeding substrate which should be place on the females side directly beside the separator so the male is able to fertilize the eggs from his segment of the aquarium. Always have the current in the aquarium go from the males to the female’s side of the aquarium. The urge to breed will under these grow so large that your Flowerhorn cichlids will spawn even though they are separated.
When the fries are hatched, breeding flowerhorn pair hide the fries to a more secured place. You can feed them with hatched brine shrimps. Breeding flowerhorn is not easy if the female flowerhorn feel stressed or anxious. It ends up ingesting her eggs. But if your aquarium or fish tanks are in good shape and their habitat are comfortable, breeding flowerhorn fish is very easy to accomplish.
The quality of the fry will differ greatly when breeding Flowerhorn cichlids. Most fry will usually be of low quality but some of them may grow up to be high quality Flowerhorn cichlids.