Best food for baby flowerhorn

Best Food For Flowerhorn Cichlids 2022 (Max Color & Growth)

Flowerhorns have taken the fishkeeping world by storm in the 1990s and haven’t let up ever since. As ornamental fish, they have vivid colors and attention-grabbing head protuberance that make everyone want to have them in their aquariums.

Yet, the nutritional needs of ornamental fish are often ignored.

Like any other aquatic species, they need a balanced diet if you want to maximize health, color and growth. If you’re interested to know about the best food for flowerhorn and its ingredients, continue reading.

Table of Contents

  • TLDR- Top Foods For Flowerhorn Cichlids
  • Flowerhorn Cichlid Feeding Guide
  • A Varied Diet is Best
  • Best Foods for a Flowerhorn Cichlids Reviewed
  • Final Thoughts On Flowerhorn Food

TLDR- Top Foods For Flowerhorn Cichlids

The best food, or rather best diet for Flowerhorn cichlids would be a rotation of the following foods: Omega One Super Color and the Fluval Bug Bites

These will give you the best results for health, color, and growth

Preview Product
Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, Large, 6 oz x1 Buy on Amazon
Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Pellets for Medium to Large Sized Fish, 3.53 oz., A6581 Buy on Amazon

Last update on 2022-12-27 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Flowerhorn Cichlid Feeding Guide

Flowerhorns have sparked the curiosity of many aquarists and scientists, especially when it comes to what they eat.

The truth is, nobody knows what flowerhorns eat when they’re not in captivity. Their natural habits are harder to track than the average fish because they’re human-made hybrids.  

They were made in the early 1990s in Taiwan and Malaysia. This creation involved crossing a variety of species of South American Cichlids together.

However, it seems like, over the years, fish keepers have had the best luck feeding this ornamental fish a primarily carnivorous diet. So, they mostly eat fish meat with some aquatic plants on the side.

Always Check the Ingredients

Beginner fish keepers tend to feed their fish any kind of fish food. However, you should always check the ingredients. Even “name brands” (like Tetra) actually contain lots of fillers that cause more harm than good.

Low-quality Ingredients to Avoid

Some of the highly common fillers in fish foods are fish leftovers, such as scales, skin, guts, and bones. They sound bad because they are, so try to avoid them at all costs

Also, try to stay away from filler grains such as wheat, corn, and soy. The problem with terrestrial grains and legumes is that they’re not meant for aquatic animals.  

Fish can’t digest grains, so they just pass through their bodies as waste, which means more tank cleanup for you and no nutritional benefits for your fish.

High-quality Ingredients You Want

The first thing on the list should be whole fish or crustaceans. These are the highest-quality source of protein for flowerhorns. Also, look for spirulina, easy-to-digest blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria that are packed with protein and vitamins.

Worms are another great source of protein. Black soldier fly larvae are perfect for insectivores like flowerhorns that can’t digest exoskeletons because they don’t have any. They’re also a source of protein.

A Varied Diet is Best

Most fish keepers resort to feeding their flowerhorns one type of food that’s more convenient for them or has “worked” for them. However, this is not what’s best for your fish, and what works for you may end up killing your fish or lowering the quality of its life, such as polluting the tank.  

Fish, like us, need a variety of foods to ensure they get all of the nutrients they need. So, make high-quality, commercially prepared foods the staple diet of your flowerhorns. In addition, mix in frozen foods and some veggies, like frozen peas, to spice up your fish’s diet.

Best Foods for a Flowerhorn Cichlids Reviewed

1. Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets (Top Pick)

Floating pellets should be the type of food that you feed your flowerhorn the most, and there’s no better option than the Omega One Cichlid Pellets. 

Omega One is the best fish food company in the business, famous for making nothing but high-quality fish food that’s packed with nutrients and free of filler nonsense. These Omega One pellets are on the larger side because they’re meant for adult fish. 

They include extremely high-quality ingredients, like whole salmon,  herring, and shrimp, making the perfect combination of raw, unprocessed cold-water proteins. As the brand name suggests, the essential fatty acids in seafood increase the immunity of your flowerhorn.

The pellets also include valuable ingredients like ocean kelp and spirulina, giving your fish exactly what it needs in a staple diet. I’ve also noticed that there isn’t much starch, so the pellets won’t directly turn into waste.

Not to mention the Super Color pellets contain natural color-enhancing ingredients, like beta-carotenes, to revive the beautiful, vibrant colors of your flowerhorn.

Finally, the pellets are naturally insoluble with a maximum of 8% ash, which means easier cleanup for you.

Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, Large, 6 oz x1

Last update on 2022-12-28 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Formula (Top Pick)

The Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Formula is another high-quality food, but it relies on insects instead of fish as the main ingredients. Not many fish keepers consider how beneficial some insects can be for flowerhorns, but here we are.

Unlike most fish food, the Bug Bites manage to stand out by having up to 40% black soldier fly larvae as the first ingredient, which is a great source of easily digestible protein, thanks to the lack of exoskeletons.

Better digestion means less waste and more benefits. Overall, black soldier fly larvae are a great option to rotate with fish-based proteins for a varied diet that doesn’t lead to too much waste.

The pellets are also high in salmon, which is rich in essential fatty acids that are important to the health of your fish’s skin, scales, fins, and so much more. 

In addition, they have essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, leaving nothing that your fish needs behind. So, who says commercial food can’t be good?


Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Pellets for Medium to Large Sized Fish, 3.53 oz., A6581

Last update on 2022-12-27 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Northfin Cichlid Pellets

If you’re looking for slow-sinking pellets that have what it takes to feed your ornamental fish, I highly recommend the North fin Cichlid Pellets. They come in a variety of pellet sizes good for small to medium fish, so there’s a variety of options.

These slow-sinking pellets provide an excellent variety of ingredients, such as whole krill, whole sardines, kelp, and spirulina. This selection of ingredients is abundant in nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, and more. So, it’s basically what your flowerhorn needs and more for a balanced diet.

If you want to enhance the colors of your fish with natural ingredients, you’re in luck. These pellets contain color-enhancing ingredients that will help the colors of your fish pop. Feeding your aquatic friend these pellets on a daily basis will make the aquarium come alive with colors.

Finally, another one of my favorite qualities in these pellets is the lack of fillers, by-products, and artificial pigments that wreak havoc on fish that consume them.

Northfin Cichlid Fish Food Pellets

Last update on 2022-12-28 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. New Life Spectrum Thera-A Large

If you have a new malnourished or stressed fish that needs some strengthening, the New Life Spectrum Thera-A Large will definitely help. The pellets are large because they’re meant for adult fish, but they’re also available in small sizes for smaller fish.

These pellets contain highly beneficial ingredients, such as whole krill and whole fish, as well as spirulina, omega 3, Ulva seaweed, and chlorella algae. The combination of fish and aquatic plants is interesting and beneficial for all fish, including malnourished ones.

They’re also fortified with extra garlic to support the immune system of your flowerhorn. It sounds like a balanced, digestible diet to me.

Thanks to natural color enhancers, such as beta-carotene, your fish will look more vibrant and active than it’s ever looked. Many fish have experienced dramatic transformations just because of this one ingredient.

As sinking pellets, they let your fish take their time finding and eating them as they slowly sink and settle on the bottom of the tank.

New Life Spectrum Thera A Large 600g (Naturox Series)

Last update on 2022-12-28 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Omega One Freeze-dried Krill

Omega One makes another appearance on my list because its foods manage to check all the boxes of what I’m looking for. 

Frozen and freeze-dried foods are the perfect treat for your flowerhorn. My favorite treat is definitely the Omega One Freeze-dried Krill. 

As you can probably tell from the name, it contains whole freeze-dried krill. I love it because it’s high in protein, which is exactly what your fish needs. In addition, a freeze-dried krill has the benefits of a live one without the risk of parasites or bacteria. So, everybody wins.

Finally, this food also contains the natural color enhancer beta-carotene. It has the ability to turn your fish from colorless and weak to reach its maximum potential of colorfulness, and who’s to say no to that?

Omega One Freeze Dried Krill, 0.74 oz

Last update on 2022-12-28 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Thoughts On Flowerhorn Food

As I’ve said before, a varied diet should be your top priority when feeding your flowerhorn. Unlike what amateur fish keepers may think, these fish need proteins, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and color enhancers to be in their best conditions.

You can easily achieve a well-rounded diet by including a mix of these nutritious foods and adding krill as a delicious treat.

All of these foods are great, but I have to admit that my favorites on this list are the Omega One Super Color and the Fluval Bug Bites. I rotate both of these foods with my big cichlids and have seen amazing growth and color. The krill also make a great treat that can help bring out the red coloration of your flowerhorn.

Preview Product
Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, Large, 6 oz x1 Buy on Amazon
Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Pellets for Medium to Large Sized Fish, 3.53 oz., A6581 Buy on Amazon

Last update on 2022-12-27 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Food for Flowerhorn in 2022

All flowerhorn keepers know just how hard it is to keep this species of fish. You need to keep the parameters of the tank and water just right. Of course, you will also need to provide them with the best food for flowerhorn. The right food will keep them looking and feeling healthy.

The flowerhorn is one of the most popular types of freshwater aquarium fish, so there are also a lot of brands of food for them. This article will give you a couple of pointers on how you can choose the right product. It will also provide you with a couple of product reviews to gain some insights into different brands.

After reading, you will know pretty much everything that’s needed to make an educated decision when shopping for the best flowerhorn fish food. Here’s to hoping that your flowerhorn will enjoy what you will be getting for it.


  •  Best Food for Flowerhorn Reviews
    • 1. Hikari Flowerhorn Fish Food
    • 2. OKIKO flowerhorn Cichlid Fish Food
    • 3. Fluker’s Freeze Dried Reptile Treats
    • 4. Ocean Pellets Humpy Head Xo Flowerhorn Food
    • 5. Appetizing Shrimp Mealworms
    • 6. Tetra JumboKrill Jumbo Shrimp
    • 7. Amzey Dried Shrimp Fish Foods
    • 8. Fluval A6581 Bug Bites Cichlid Pellets
  • What to Look For When Buying a Food For Flowerhorn
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Conclusion

 Best Food for Flowerhorn Reviews


Hikari Flowerhorn Fish Food

This particular product contains a well-calculated amount of red chili pepper. This will enhance the red coloration of flowerhorns. I have been feeding my flowerhorn with it for a little over three months and the improvement in its color has been so drastic. If you were to check its before-and-after pictures, the positive change is so noticeable.

This fish food is not just for good looks but will also greatly improve the overall health of your fish. One of the most important ingredients in this product is stabilized ascorbic acid. This helps in boosting the immune system of the fish.

Aside from vitamins and minerals, this fish food also contains a good amount of beneficial gut bacteria. These bacteria will inhabit the gut of the fish and help break down food more efficiently.

In other words, your flowerhorn will be able to absorb more nutrients from the food it eats. Because the fish breaks down its food more efficiently, you can expect the creation of only minimal waste.

I have a very picky flowerhorn. It will only eat a handful of brands of fish food and I am fortunate that I discovered this product as it is one of those that they like. It must be the freeze-dried krill meat that makes this food so appealing to my flowerhorn.

You would think I have not fed him the morning before. The reason is when it is time for the afternoon feeding, he would lunge at this food like he is completely famished.

I do have a couple of issues with this product but the biggest one is that it quickly clouds the water. Even when you are just picking a pellet out of the jar, it is already starting to fall apart. You need to feed your fish just enough food that it can eat in around five minutes or so and then fish out the leftovers.


  • Contains chili pepper, which helps enhance the color
  • Fortified with Vitamin C for enhanced immunity
  • Contains live beneficial bacteria to bolster digestion
  • Very flavorful – I noticed that even picky eaters love it


  • Has a very strong smell
  • Clouds the water

Of course, you want your flowerhorn to look the best that it can be and this fish food will do just that. In just a little under two months, your flowerhorn will have a bright, blood-red hue that you have always wanted for it. Not only will your fish look healthy but it will also actually feel it.

2. OKIKO flowerhorn Cichlid Fish Food

I highly recommend this fish food if you have a juvenile flowerhorn as this would greatly aid in their proper growth and development. A couple of months of feeding your young flowerhorn with this choice for the most suitable food for a flowerhorn baby will result in a bigger crest and brighter coloration.

I have been feeding my flowerhorn with this for almost two months and it now looks a whole lot different compared to when I first started.

One of the reasons this product is highly recommended is its high protein content. This fish food contains a lot of krill, which is a good protein source and lends flavor. This also contains spirulina, which is a superfood that aids in digestion and bolsters the immune system.

I also discovered that this product is a floating type of fish food, which makes it easier for flowerhorn and other surface feeders to eat. In addition, even after the fish finish eating, the leftovers will remain floating on top of the water. This makes cleaning up later a lot easier.

Another reason why I consider it one great choice for flowerhorn fry is that it does not easily break apart in the water. This means I won’t have to deal with a cloudy aquarium after every feeding session. Even after half an hour has passed after the fish finish eating, the pellets stay intact and afloat on top of the water.

Here is the biggest issue that I have with this product. It is labeled as large but the pellets are more medium-sized if anything. This is important because they are much too small for fully-grown flowerhorns. The pellets need to be at least twice their size for mature flowerhorns to eat them properly.


  • Contains a lot of protein, thereby promoting faster growth
  • Contains spirulina and krill – both of which help in improving coloration
  • Floats on the surface for easy feeding
  • Does not break apart easily and does not cloud the water


  • The pellets are too small for full-grown flowerhorn
  • Comes with broken English instructions and written details

If you have a young/juvenile flowerhorn, this fish food will greatly aid in its growth and development. However, once your fish fully matures, the pellets will be too small for them. This would have been better if the pellets were the “large” size that was printed on the label.

3. Fluker’s Freeze Dried Reptile Treats

Flowerhorns, just like any other large cichlids, need a lot of protein to maintain their body mass and promote optimum health. There are few other better sources of protein for fish other than dried shrimp.

This product contains nothing more than natural, dehydrated river shrimp, which is a good source of natural protein. It also apparently tastes great since my flowerhorn just loves it.

Aside from my flowerhorn, I also keep a couple of turtles. I also have a koi pond and they also love these dried shrimps. The turtles cannot have enough of this. I would throw a couple of shrimps into their tank and they would tear it to shreds. I was also told that axolotls love this food.

I also liked that this product does not contain any dust in the packaging. I have had bad experiences with fish food that contained a lot of dust at the bottom of the packaging. This only contains whole dried shrimp and no trace of dust that will only cloud the water.

These shrimps also underwent proper processing. This means they are all completely dry. There is no chance of mold growing in the packaging. This makes the shrimps easy to crumble, which is important for small fish and reptiles as these might be too big for them.

I would be more enthusiastic in promoting this fish food if only the company had better quality control. The quality of the shrimp they used has dropped significantly in the last couple of batches. The last two jars I have bought from them smelled a bit off and my flowerhorn refused to eat them.


  • Provides a good amount of protein
  • Great for feeding reptiles, amphibians, and other aquatic creatures
  • Cleanly packaged – You can’t find any dust that adds to the weight
  • Completely dried and easy to crumble


  • Inconsistent quality
  • The shells are a bit tough

It is quite unfortunate that the quality control of this brand is almost non-existent because I would love to use this all the time. I hope that the future batches would be consistently good quality like they were in the past.

4. Ocean Pellets Humpy Head Xo Flowerhorn Food

Despite having a goofy name, this fish food is quite good at promoting faster growth and development in flowerhorns. It contains a lot of protein, thanks to having krill as one of the main ingredients. This is an ideal feed for juvenile flowerhorns as it will make them grow faster and bigger compared to just feeding them with mealworms and the like.

This product also contains ingredients that promote the growth and prominence of the head bump of the flowerhorn. The hump is the main distinguishing factor of flowerhorns. Genetics is also the factor that mostly determines its size. However, it did seem like this food had a significant effect on the growth of the hump of my fish.

Aside from krill, this fish food also contains spirulina. Spirulina is a superfood that helps improve fish’s digestion and immunity. Moreover, spirulina improves the colors and patterns of the flowerhorn. I have been feeding my flowerhorn with this product for maybe two weeks and it is now a brighter red than it was before.

Aside from my flowerhorn, I also feed this to my other cichlids and they are looking healthier and more beautiful as well. My white Oscar seems to be the one that benefitted the most. Its stripes are now clearer and more vibrant than it was before.

I have only been using this product for a couple of weeks, so I do not have much to complain about. However, because this product is shipped from Singapore, I am a bit worried that there is no customer service number that I can call. Also, it is clear that whoever wrote the details in the back, his first language is not English.


  • High in protein for faster growth
  • Contains ingredients that help the flowerhorn’s bump grow larger
  • Contains krill and spirulina that help improve coloration
  • Other cichlids can benefit from this food


  • Ships from Singapore so customer service might be non-existent
  • Instructions are unclear due to being written in broken English

The language barrier problem is understandable given that this product came from overseas. Other than that, I have not had any problems with this product, and I consider it as one of the top foods for Thai silk flowerhorn.

5. Appetizing Shrimp Mealworms

This product is the perfect type of food for making your flowerhorn grow bigger and healthier. It contains dehydrated mealworms and shrimp – both of which are great natural sources of amino acids and proteins. This means that this food can help promote the proper growth and building mass in flowerhorns.

Another nice thing about this product is that it is 100% natural. There are no artificial preservatives or ingredients. This means that it is perfectly safe for your precious flowerhorn. I feed my flowerhorn as much of this product as it can eat and it has not shown any negative reaction whatsoever.

It is also easy to store because it does not require refrigeration. The mealworms and shrimps are all completely dry so you just need to store them in a cool and dry place. I suggest that you transfer the contents into a plastic, airtight container, and maybe throw in a desiccant pack to keep the contents dry.

What I liked the most about this fish food is that it does not cloud the water. It is also easy to clean the leftovers. I do not usually need to clean up after my flowerhorn as it often devours all the shrimps and mealworms. However, if necessary, I just have to skim the surface for bits of this fish food.

I do not have any serious complaints about this product, but I have a couple of aquarium-keeping friends that do not like it. They say that their flowerhorns did not like the food and they have to starve their fish to make them eat. I am fortunate that my flowerhorn would eat anything but if yours is a picky eater, it may not like this food.


  • Mealworms and shrimp are rich in amino acids and proteins
  • No artificial preservatives added
  • No refrigeration required
  • Does not cloud the water and flowerhorns just love them


  • Picky eaters may not be fond of eating this food
  • Subpar packaging

I would have liked this product better if it came in better packaging, like something that is resealable. Despite this, I liked how beneficial this product is for my flowerhorn. It bulked up quite a lot. I also noticed its color becoming brighter and its patterns getting clearer.

6. Tetra JumboKrill Jumbo Shrimp

These freeze-dried shrimps contain astaxanthin, which is a natural nutrient that can make fishes’ colors brighter. When I first got my flowerhorn, I thought that it was mostly white with red stripes. After feeding it with this top-rated food for flowerhorn color for several weeks, my fish is now bright red. It also has more pronounced stripes.

Aside from making your fish look brighter, the jumbo krill also contains a lot of protein per pound. This aids in the faster growth of your flowerhorn. This is highly recommended for juvenile flowerhorns as it makes them grow faster and bigger than they would have otherwise.

In addition, the jumbo krill are freeze-dried whole, complete with shells, heads, and legs. Not only does this mean that your fish are getting more than enough calcium but it will also improve your fish’s digestion. This means that the more your fish eats this food, the more efficient its digestion will be.

This fish food is not just for flowerhorns. Other fish and animals also liked this a lot. I have a couple of red-eared turtles and sliders and they love this jumbo krill. I also feed this to my bettas but I had to crumble them so that they would fit in their mouths.

The only problem I have with this product is that the packaging contained a lot of shrimp dust at the bottom. There were so many crushed-up shrimps that it seemed like such a waste.


  • Contains natural astaxanthin that promotes brighter colors
  • Has a lot of proteins for faster growth
  • The freeze-dried krill improves the digestion of the fish.
  • All sorts of fish love this fish food


  • The bottom of the can contains a lot of crushed krill, which only clouds the water
  • A bit more expensive compared to other similar products

Although this fish food only contains one main ingredient (and a couple of nutritional additives), this is one of the most trustworthy flowerhorn foods I have used. You will be surprised at just how bright your flowerhorn’s colors can be when you feed it with this.

7. Amzey Dried Shrimp Fish Foods

This product consists entirely of freeze-dried shrimp, so you know that it contains a lot of protein. This means that your fish will be able to grow bigger and its crest will be much bigger. The shrimps were also preserved whole, so your flowerhorn will also get quite a lot of fiber from the shells and heads.

The red shrimp also contains a lot of astaxanthin, which is a natural chemical that will improve your flowerhorn’s red coloration. You will be surprised at how much brighter your flowerhorn’s color will be after just a couple of weeks. My flowerhorn started out more orange but now it is completely bright red.

Because the shrimps in this product are completely dried, you do not need to store this in the refrigerator. You just need to tightly close the cap and keep the jar in a cool and dry place. You can probably keep the product for a couple of months after opening, but I do not think there won’t be any more to store after a month.

My flowerhorn just loves eating these shrimps, and apparently, it tastes so good that my other fish cannot get enough of it, too. I have a couple of other cichlids in a separate tank and they go into a feeding frenzy for these dried shrimps. I also have several turtles and they also love this product.

Here is something that you need to know about this product – it stinks to high heavens. It is a good thing that this stuff comes in a resealable glass jar because once you open it, the entire room fills with the smell of the beach at low tide.


  • An excellent source of protein and fiber
  • Contains a lot of astaxanthin, which promotes brighter coloration
  • Easy to store – There is no need for refrigeration
  • Pretty tasty apparently


  • Has a very strong smell
  • Contains a lot of crushed shrimp

Although this fish food is quite smelly, it does provide a lot of benefits. Although not all my fish would eat this, my flowerhorn could not get enough. It also looks a lot prettier right now than it was a month or so ago. It has changed so much that you would swear that it was a different fish altogether.

8. Fluval A6581 Bug Bites Cichlid Pellets

The main ingredient of this fish food is freeze-dried black soldier fly larvae. These insects are just chock-full of protein, so much that you need to control how much of it you will feed your flowerhorn. I suggest that you only give your fish this food around 2 to 3 times a week.

Aside from soldier fly larvae, this fish food also contains salmon. Salmon meat contains a lot of protein and is rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which improve blood circulation and aid in proper growth and development. This is best for juvenile flowerhorns but if you have one that is recovering from sickness or injuries, this food can also help.

In addition to natural protein, this product also has vegetable fiber. It contains several kinds of vegetables to improve your fish’s digestive system. This means your fish will be able to absorb nutrients from its food better. When your fish can efficiently digest its food, it can produce less waste. The ammonia level in the tank will always be low to zero.

The best thing about this product is that it contains sustainably-raised insect larvae. Aside from that, it does not contain any artificial ingredients. This product contains all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, so you can be sure that you are feeding your fish with the right kind of food.

Even though I like this product, I do have a couple of issues with it. First, the size of the pellets is too small for full-grown flowerhorns. My flowerhorn, fortunately, would eat anything, but other fish might ignore these pellets due to them being too small. This leads to my next issue – that is the pellets contain way too much protein for small fish.


  • Contains nutrient-dense black soldier fly larvae
  • Has salmon, which is rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Comes with lots of vegetable fiber for improved digestion
  • Does not contain any artificial ingredients and preservatives


  • Not ideal for fully-grown flowerhorns
  • Too much protein, which is why it is advisable to feed it sparingly to small fish

This fish food contains so much protein that you will see noticeable growth in your flowerhorn after just a couple of weeks. Not only will your flowerhorns grow bigger but they will also be a whole lot healthier and more resistant to disease, all thanks to this best pellet food for flowerhorn.

What to Look For When Buying a Food For Flowerhorn

Picking food specifically for a flowerhorn can be tricky. Some brands are only for flowerhorns and then there are multi-breed fish foods that might also be beneficial. To help make your task a bit easier, here are a couple of the factors you have to consider:

Protein Content

Flowerhorns are large fish and it is possible for them to grow up to 16 inches in length, maybe even more. To ensure that your fish can reach its maximum growth potential, you need to feed it with a lot of protein. Protein and amino acids will promote the proper growth and development of your flowerhorn.

I suggest that you start by feeding it with a mix of dried shrimp and/or mealworms. They are excellent sources of natural protein. However, it is not good for any fish to just eat protein. It will need other nutrients to function properly.

Vegetable Fiber

It is quite possible for fish and other living creatures to starve to death even with a full stomach. If your flowerhorn has been eating nothing but proteins, there will come a time when it will lack the other nutrients needed for it to digest its food. So, it will starve even though it just ate.

To prevent this from happening, you need to give your fish some food that contains vegetable matter, especially fiber. This will balance out the nutrition that your fish is getting, and also improve its digestion.

Pellet Size

If you are buying fish food in the form of pellets, you will need to consider the size of your flowerhorn. If you have young fish, you need to feed them with small pellets.

After that, you can switch to larger pellets especially once they get bigger. Feeding a fully-grown flowerhorn with small pellets will not work as it would likely just ignore them.


Although you may not be able to test this parameter yourself unless you are an adventurous eater, you can tell if your fish likes it.

Aside from reading customer reviews, the best way to figure out if your fish will like a certain kind of food is to buy the smallest size packaging available. This way, you will not be investing too much money on something your fish might not even eat.


I know that expensiveness is purely subjective but you have already invested a lot in your flowerhorn anyway. With that said, it just makes sense that you feed it with the most common food for flowerhorn fish that you can afford.

Feeding your fish with cheap fish food may not provide the right kinds of nutrients he needs, which might cause him to get sick. Choose the best kind of food that you can fit into your fishkeeping budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I feed my Flowerhorn to Grow Faster?

All creatures need protein to grow. It is the essential building block for muscle tissue. This means that you should feed your flowerhorn the recommended amount of protein-rich food every day.

Some of the best sources of natural protein that you can give your flowerhorn include freeze-dried shrimps, mealworms, and black soldier fly larvae. There are also plant-based proteins, like soy meal, but it will be a challenge to make picky fish eat them.

How much to Feed a Flowerhorn?

Typically, you should only feed your flowerhorn enough food that it can finish in 5-10 minutes, and then fish out the leftovers immediately. As for how often you feed it, I would usually feed my flowerhorn once in the morning and once early in the evening.


Flowerhorns are among the most beautiful freshwater fishes that you can own. In addition, they are among the most expensive to buy. If you want to protect your investment, you should only feed it with the most popular food for flowerhorn.

Now that you have reached the end of this article, you already have a good idea of how to pick the right food for your flowerhorn. Hopefully, you will find significant improvements in just a couple of weeks.

Flower Horn: photo, maintenance, compatibility, breeding

Flower Horn (Eng. Flower Horn), this is a unique fish for those who love bright and large cichlids. She has a very interesting behavior, character and a completely unusual appearance. Those who decided to get themselves a flower horn never regretted it.


  • 1 Flowerhorn information
  • 2 Living in nature
  • 3 Description
  • 4 Difficulty in keeping
  • 5 Feeding
  • 6 Aquarium keeping
  • 7 Compatibility
  • 8 Sex differences
  • 9 Breeding

Flowerhorn information

and with completely different types of cichlids. This feature made it possible to obtain many completely unimaginable hybrids from different types of fish.

Not all of them turn out to be successful, some do not shine with color, others after such crossing become sterile themselves. nine0003

But there are exceptions…

One of the famous and popular fish in the aquarium is the trihybrid parrot, the fruit of artificial crossing. So is the flower horn, a child of the genetics and perseverance of Malaysian aquarists.

It was in Malaysia that careful selection and crossing of various cichlids (which is still not clear for sure) was carried out in order to obtain healthy and reproductive offspring. This is a hybrid, but at the same time it is not prone to disease, beautiful and prolific. nine0003

An interesting feature is that the color of the fish changes throughout life, before reaching sexual maturity. So, if you are interested in buying a bright fish of a certain color, then you need to choose an adult fish, or grown up enough.

Otherwise, you may be in for a surprise, not always a pleasant one. On the other hand, if you buy fry, then a whole series of magical transformations will pass before your eyes, and who knows, maybe you will have a fish of rare beauty? nine0003

Flowerhorns are very easy to care for, they are hardy and hardy fish. It is worth noting that it grows very large, about 30-40 cm, and requires a spacious aquarium for maintenance, especially if you keep it with other fish.

Fish love to dig and eat plants, so you won't be able to create a beautiful aquascape with plants. Because of this hobby, and also due to the fact that the fish itself is large, it is recommended to install stones, driftwood and other decor on the bottom of the aquarium, and not on the ground. nine0003

Otherwise, they can move them as they please.

Flower Horn is best kept alone as a rare show fish. They are very territorial, aggressive and do not get along well with other fish (except in very large aquariums, from 800 liters).

In other volumes the neighbors will be injured or under stress.

Habitat in nature

Flower horn is a hybrid that is bred artificially and therefore does not occur in nature at all. The first individual was bred in Malaysia in 90-ies of XX century, by crossing several species of fish, mainly cichlids of South America.

They admired his appearance, especially the fat bump on his forehead, and they named him "Karoi" - which means warship.

There is still debate about what fish this species originated from. The true combination is known only to those who brought this fish. Aquarists agree that the fish is descended from Cichlasoma trimaculatum, Cichlasoma Festae, Cichlasoma citrinellum, Cichlasoma labiatum, Vieja synspila. nine0003

The first line of cichlids that appeared on the market was called Hua Luo Han. Hua Luo Han were bred around 1998. But, since then, it has become very popular, and an incredible number of different variations and hybrids have appeared.

With huge fat bumps (which increase with the help of chemistry), with a shortened body, or curved and other options.

The most popular at the moment are: campha (KamFa), Malau or Kamalau (KML), Zhen Zhu (ZZ) and Thai Silk (Thai silk). nine0003

Flower horn, has received a special, elite status among aquarists. In Asia, along with arowana, it is considered as one of the lucky fish by adherents of the Feng Shui movement. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese tradition that normalizes the arrangement of objects and things in the house in order to achieve maximum harmony with the outside world. And the aquarium in this current is one of the key topics for achieving wealth and success.

Accordingly, a flower horn, the pattern on the scales of which looks like a heart or a hieroglyph, can cost thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. nine0003

Even a particularly large fatty lump on the head of a fish can bring a tidy sum to the owner. It is believed that it is a symbol of the Chinese god of longevity, and the larger it is, the more luck it will bring.

True, the more modest fish sell for a reasonable price and are now widely available to aquarists.

Thai silk - juvenile:


The flower horn has a very dense, oval body with a huge fat bump on the forehead. Large individuals reach 30-40 s in length. The scales can be either metallic, gray, or pink or red. nine0003

Most species have a wide, dark stripe along the midline of the body, breaking up into separate spots. But, some variations may not have it. The dorsal and anal fins are elongated and pointed, while the caudal fin, on the contrary, is rounded.

Life expectancy is about 8-10 years.

In general, it is rather difficult to describe the appearance of horns. Many aquarists breed their own unique fish. If you buy juveniles, there is a risk that their coloration will change dramatically as they mature. And, instead of an attractive individual, you will get a rather gray one. nine0003

Adult fish are classified according to 7 characteristics: body shape, coloration, scale size, presence of a horizontal stripe, fat cone size, eyes, and straight fins.

Difficult to keep

Caring for the fish is quite simple, they tolerate water parameters that would be a problem for other fish.

They are also unpretentious in nutrition, and eat any protein food, from artificial to live.

It's worth saying that although it seems like a suitable fish for beginners, it's still not possible, for several significant reasons. nine0003

First of all, this is a very large fish that needs a spacious and large aquarium to keep. Secondly, the flower horn is very aggressive and territorial, it is desirable to keep it alone, without neighbors and even plants. Beginners can quite find a smaller and more peaceful cichlid.

Finally, the flower horn is so aggressive that it attacks the hand that feeds it, inflicting rather painful bites on the owner while he maintains the aquarium.

However, if you are absolutely sure that you want this fish, then no circumstances should stop you. Despite the obstacles listed above, this fish is suitable for beginner aquarists, as long as they study their fish and are willing to take on some challenges. nine0003


This is an omnivorous fish with a huge appetite and is difficult to feed. They eat all kinds of live, frozen or artificial foods, as long as they contain a high amount of protein.

Variety of food is just as important as nutrition and quality, so it is best to give: high quality food for large cichlids, shrimp meat, bloodworms, worms, crickets, flies, grasshoppers, small fish, fish fillets, gammarus.

You need to feed two to three times a day, especially if you are feeding food that leaves a lot of waste. nine0003

It is important to know that feeding on mammalian meat, so popular in the past, is now considered harmful.

Such meat contains a large amount of proteins and fats, which are poorly digested by the gastrointestinal tract of fish. As a result, the fish grows fat, the work of internal organs is disrupted. You can give such food, but infrequently, about once a week.

Feeding crayfish:

Aquarium keeping

Like other large Central American cichlids, the flower horn needs a very spacious aquarium. If you keep it alone, then the minimum volume is 200 liters, but even more is better. nine0003

If you keep a pair, then it is already 400-450 liters, and if you keep it with other cichlids, then 800-1000 liters. They love a moderate current and clean water, be sure to use a powerful external filter.

Weekly water changes and a bottom siphon are also important, as the flower horn is very littering during meals.

As for the decor, it is difficult to create it - the fish likes to dig, does not like plants. There is no point in planting plants in an aquarium at all, they will be destroyed.

It is better to use gravel as a soil, and large stones and snags as shelters, however, the fish does not like to hide and is quite active. nine0003

Make sure the stones, decorations and equipment are firmly set and will not fall, as the horn is quite capable of tipping them over.

The temperature for keeping should be quite high - 26-30 ° C, pH: 6.5-7.8, 9 - 20 dGH.


Flower horns are not well suited to keeping with other fish as they are very large, aggressive and territorial.

It is best to keep one fish alone or in pairs, and if you still want neighbors, then only in a very spacious aquarium. The fish will even attack you while maintaining the aquarium, and the bites will be painful. nine0003

To reduce aggression, you need an aquarium with plenty of free space, lots of hiding places and large neighbors.

Such fish will be: black pacu, plecostomus, pterygoplicht, Managuan cichlazoma, astronotus, giant gourami. But, as a rule, people who keep horns come to one conclusion - the flower horn must live alone!

If you want to breed fish, then remember that his aggressiveness extends to relatives. Keep a close eye on the couple so that they don't kill each other. nine0003

Astronotus fight:

Sex differences

A reliable method to distinguish a young female from a male is not yet known.

It is believed that the female has a black dot on her dorsal fin, which is absent from the male, but other aquarists refute this. When sexually mature individuals are ready for spawning, a thick ovipositor is visible in the female, and the papilla in the male.

The only technique that can be considered real in sexing a flower horn is that used by tilapia breeders. Take the teenager, put it on the palm of your left hand, and gently run the right hand along the abdomen towards the caudal fin with the palm of your right hand. nine0003

If it's a male, you will see splashes of clear liquid from his anus, this is not the case with a female. An adult male is easy to distinguish by a fatty cone and size.


Very often such hybrids are fertile, that is, they cannot produce offspring. But not a flower horn. To get fry the same color as the parents, you need to have a good idea of ​​how clean the line is, otherwise the fry can be very different from their parents in color.

Breeding is similar to that of other large South American cichlids. As a rule, they are bred in the same aquarium in which they are kept and the biggest problem is to save the female from the constant attacks of the male.

You need to equip the aquarium so that she has a place to hide, so that the male does not see her. Very often, the female is not yet ready, and the male is already starting to chase her and kill her.

Alternatively, you can divide the aquarium into two parts using a net, so that both the female is intact and the species of fish stimulates the start of spawning. nine0003

You can even use this technique, a large flat stone is placed near the net, and all other objects on which she could spawn are removed from the side of the female.

When the female lays her eggs on this stone, it is carried to the male (or the net is moved so that he is on his territory) and a stream of water is directed onto the stone, helping the male to fertilize it.

In any of the options, even with a net, even without, you will need to create conditions stimulating the start of reproduction. Water should be about 28 ° C, neutral water - pH 7.0 You need to feed plentifully and good food, you can also replace most of the water with fresh water. nine0003

Parents will guard the eggs very jealously. Even if the couple is kept separately, and there is no threat, the male may decide that the female is superfluous here and start beating her. In this case, it is better to deposit it, or send it back to the dividing grid.

Caviar and fry are large and easy to care for. You can feed the fry with brine shrimp nauplii, crushed food for large cichlids.

[photo, description, care and maintenance in the aquarium]

Flower Horn (Flower Horn) is a freshwater hybrid fish, which is becoming more and more popular among aquarists nowadays. This article will tell you about the features of keeping and caring for this cichlid. nine0003

Domain (Regio) Eukaryotes (Eukaryota)
Kingdom (Regnum) Animals (Animalia)
Type (Phylum) Chordata
Class (Сlassis) Ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii)
Detachment (Ordo) (order) Cichliformes
Family (Familia) Cichlids (Cichlidae)
Genus Cichlasoma
Species Flower Horn
  • one Description
    • 1. 1 General characteristics
  • 2 Content
    • 2.1 aquarium requirements nine0008
    • 2.2 Water requirement
    • 2.3 What to feed?
  • 3 Compatibility with other fish
    • 3.1 Compatible
    • 3.2 Not compatible
  • 4 The difference between a male and a female nine0008
  • five Breeding
    • 5.1 spawning requirements
    • 5.2 Breeding procedure
  • 6 Diseases
  • 7 Interesting Facts


- Advertising -

Flowerhorn is a fish that does not exist in nature. She has been bred in captivity for many years. It was first introduced in Thailand, then in Taiwan and Malaysia. Over time, interest in this cichlid spread to other parts of Asia, Central America, and eventually the US and Europe.

General characteristics

The flower horn has an elongated body, slightly laterally compressed. One of their distinguishing features is a bulging head, with deep-set eyes. Their anal and dorsal fins are long-tailed. Their tail is almost round and thinner than other fins. Their pectoral fins are very graceful, sometimes almost transparent, but much shorter than all the others. This peculiar form is combined with a very rich variety of colors: they can be from golden to fiery red and light purple. nine0003

These cichlomas live on average 8-12 years.



When it comes to finding the right tank and breeding conditions, cichlid care is not difficult. If you give them the space they need and make sure the water conditions are stable, you should not have any problems.

Aquarium Requirements

  1. Aquarium size: it should be about 250 liters if you want to keep one fish, or from 350 liters if you also want to grow other types of cichlids. nine0008
  2. Filtration: due to their fast metabolism, these cichlids can create a large amount of waste that pollutes the aquarium water. Therefore, an indispensable element of your aquarium will be a filter system.
  3. Lighting: Cichlazomas are not demanding on lighting, they can be grown in any aquarium light.
  4. Flower horns tend to kill plants, but you can try planting harder ones by placing them on aquarium rocks, such as anubia and java ferns. nine0008
  5. Large stones and driftwood are a great addition to cichlazoma. They provide shelter and playgrounds for the fish.
  6. Use sand or large pebbles as a substrate.

Water requirement

- Advertisement -

Flowerhorn cichlazoma prefer soft to moderately hard water, but its stability is much more important than "ideal" water parameters.

General recommendation:

  • pH: 6.0-8.0;
  • temperature: 26-29°C;
  • hardness: 6-20°dGH.

These fish are more sensitive to ammonia, nitrite and nitrate than others. Any change in the amount of ammonia or nitrate is harmful. Therefore, do not forget to change 20-30% of the water in the aquarium every week.

What to feed?

- Advertisement -

Flower Horn are not picky when it comes to food. They require a protein-rich and highly varied diet. Live food is not needed, as the fish will eat frozen and dried food without any problems. For feeding, you can use, for example, dried crickets, grasshoppers, worms, anchovies, frozen shrimp, and so on. nine0003

Compatible with other fish

Due to their aggressive nature and large size, it is recommended to place the flower horn alone. However, it is possible to house them with some other species, but they need to be monitored closely for the first few weeks.


You can post a view from:

  • Brocade pterygoplicht;
  • Common pterygoplicht;
  • Astronotus;
  • nine0007 Nile multi-feather;
  • Other large cichlids;
  • Flower horn of the opposite sex;
  • Aravanoy.

Not compatible

Flower Horn should not be placed with these species:

  • Any fish less than 25 centimeters: such a fish of a peaceful nature will not survive with an aggressive horn. It is recommended to place them in an aquarium only with other large cichlid species that will match the level of aggression.
  • Invertebrates: Flower Horn will eat any shrimp, snail or crayfish. This means that you can keep some invertebrates and breed them as food for your cichlases. nine0008

Difference between male and female

The males are brighter in color and have large humps that most females lack. Also, males show higher aggression, especially during spawning. Females often have a black stripe on their dorsal fin. They may have a very small hump, or none at all.


Breeding the Flower Horn is a labor intensive process. The main and most significant obstacle is that many of these fish are sterile. Therefore, for starters, it is important for you to find a pair of fish that can breed. nine0008

  • Flower horns like to lay their eggs on flat, rough surfaces, for this they use floor tiles or broken plates.
  • Dilution procedure