Flower Horn Fish (Hua Luo Han, Cá La hán)

Flower Horn Fish or Hua Luo Han which is popularly known has taken the aquatic world (particularly in the South East Asian region) by storm within the last two years. Its popularity is gaining momentum day by day, and it is set to be an internationally known fish with the likes of the discus fish and arowana.

Luo Han fish is basically from the Cichlid family, which is classified under the genus of Cichlasoma, a specie commonly found in South America. This beautiful hybrid is thought to be the end product of cross breeding between the Cichlasoma Trimaculatus, Cichlasoma Festae, Jingang Blood Parrot, and etc.. To date, a lot of better quality Luo Han have been produced resulting from the intensified eagerness of breeders to produce the best show quality fish for the market.

As was stated in some reports, the Flower Horn Fish is also known as a "mutated" breed of fish. Rest assured that this is just a claim. We would like to stress that the Flower Horn Fish has gone through a lot of selective cross breeding in order to have the best characteristics of the respective strains of the Cichlid fish family. For instance, most breeders are striving to produce Flower Horn fishes with bigger nuchal hump on the forehead, better coloration, bolder black markings on the body (which at times resemble Chinese characters), more elegant fins, and wider body. No chemicals, or bio-genetic engineering have been incorporated to improve on the traits / characteristics of the Flower Horn. Thus, the claim that this is a mutated fish is unfounded.

In addition, this fish is very hardy, and can endure water conditions that are not suitable for most breeds of aquarium fish. This is also one of the many reasons why the Flower Horn is well received by many tropical fish hobbyists. As the Flower Horn is from the South American Cichlid family, this fish is very territorial. Thus, they are very aggressive in nature. Co-existing with another fish is not advisable, (especially smaller fish). Some parties have claimed that we can "play" with the Flower Horn. In actual fact, the Flower Horn is actually trying to get rid of the "intruder" (be it a stick or a person's hand). Therefore, it is advisable that we keep our hands to ourselves as the fish has quite a nasty bite depending on the size of the fish.

More articles coming soon:
- Judging and Appreciating
- Disease and Prevention
- General Illness
- Breeding Behaviour and Sexing of Flower Horn Fish
- Flower Horn And Feng Shui
- Cultivating a good relationship

Source: Flowerfish


Basics of Flower Horn Fish Keeping

This article below is a basic guide on keeping flower horn fish. It has been compiled by our experienced breeders. Be aware that there may be some information which are not available. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us; click here.


Like most tropical fish, flower horn thrives in temperature between 20-30°C. Ideal or recommended temperature will be around 28-31°C.

Water Condition

One of the important criteria in flower horn fish keeping is the pH level of the water the it lives in. pH level is actually the measure of acidity or alkaline of the water. The pH scales ranges from 0 to 14. Flower horn fish requires moderately alkaline water, ideally between 7.5 to 8.0. In order to maintain stable water conditions, it is advisable to have a regular water change interval of once a week. It is also advisable to mix a portion of crushed coral with the gravel. This will further maintain pH stability. Like any other fish, sudden or drastic changes on the pH level can be detrimental to the flower horn fish. As precaution, it will be great to check the pH of the water periodically.

Filtration System

On the overall, flower horn fish is easily maintained. No doubt that it is a hardy breed. But to bring out the best of the fish (be it coloration, nuchal hump and overall health), we should incorporate an efficient filtration system. There are quite a number of filtration systems in the market. Ideally the filtration system should have these criteria:
• Easily cleaned
• Efficient mechanical pre-filter
• A biological system that is protected from clogging
Last but not least, regular / periodic partial water changes is also important.

Water Change

For some hobbyist, water change is a chore that they dreaded most. In order to have a well maintained tank, periodic partial water change should be done at least once a month. Be aware that clear water with stable water pH and excellence water temperature does not indicate that the water in the tank is clean. Besides, there is no filtration system that is able to keep the tank 100% clean. Furthermore, regular water change will ensure the growth and health of the fish. Be doubly aware that regular topping up of the water in the tank does not count as water evaporates. The waste from the fish still stays behind.

Water Movement / Flow

Most of the time, the flow of the water in the tank is overlooked by hobbyist. But it is vital to the health of the fish.

Below are some of the important factors:
• Alleviate the possibility of thermal layering. In other words, uneven distribution of water temperature.
• It also helps to distribute oxygenated water in the tank.
• It prevents the formation of thin film on the water surface that will hinder the gaseous exchange between air and water in the tank.

Salt and its Benefits

Salt at times acts like a stabilizer. But in some areas, the dissolved salt content in the water is low, and the addition of aquarium salt might simply make the fish feel more “at home”. It acts like a disinfectant as it helps in killing certain parasites. Salt also provides sodium and chloride ions that helps fish stabilize.


Flower horn fish has very good appetite. This hybrid can either take live food or fish pellets. It is advisable to feed the fish several times a day in small quantity. Ideally to have a mixture of life and fish feed. This will make the fish healthier. Besides, the intensity of coloration greatly depends on the diet of the fish. Excessive feeding of color enhancer is not advisable as it may contain harmful chemicals. Please do it in moderation.

Tank Environment

In general, it is important that we provide some furnishings for the fish. The intent is to stabilize and make it feel more at home. All that is required by flower horn fish is to have a thin layer of gravel in the tank. Bare in mind that stressed fish will cause the fish to loose its coloration, nuchal hump and may stun its growth.

Basic Traits

As flower horn fish is from the South American Cichlid family (under the genus Cichlasoma), this fish is very aggressive and territorial in nature. Coexisting with other fish is not advisable. Thus, if you plan to have 2 or more fish in a tank, it is a requirement that you have the tank partitioned. This will prevent the fish from fighting that may lead to even death.

Flower Horn Fish Standards

1) Body Shape

Body of the flower horn fish should be thick and oval. Some new variants being almost round. Stomach should be full and not tucked in.

2) Coloration

Most flower horn fish, red is predominant from cheek to abdominal region. However, its background colors would do well to complement the red highlighs.

3) Pearl Scales

Most recent strains has bluish / green metallic scales covering most od its body.

4) Black Horizontal Markings

It will be ideal if the flower horn fish has a strong and thick black horizontal marking on its body. However, be aware that not all flower horns has this criteria. We should look at the overall of the fish.

5) Head

Irregardless of shape, size and coloration, a good nuchal hump is preferable. It will be ideal if the nuchal hump is proportionate to the size and shape of the fish.

6) Eyes

Positioned on the sides of its head. Eyeballs and the eye linings should be alert and distinct respectively.

7) Tail & Fins

The tail and fins should stay erect most of the time.

Source: Flowerhornxport




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