Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breeding Flower Horn

Breeding Flowerhorn cichlids are easy but it can be hard to get the offspring you want as this requires selective line breeding. You have to carefully choose the parents you want to breed from if you are looking to get a specific type of Flowerhorn fish as the outcome of the planned spawning.

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. Which is quite natural since Flowerhorn fish is a result of selective cross breeding of different South and Central American cichlids.

This text will teach you the basics surrounding Flowerhorn breeding and is assuming that you have basic aquarium and breeding knowledge.

It is best to keep your Flowerhorn cichlids in a large aquarium to breed them and to decorate the aquarium so that there are hiding places for the female and so the male doesn't always have a clear line of site to everything happening in the aquarium. Flowerhorn cichlids can be very aggressive towards their partner and a well decorated aquarium is not always enough to protect your female from the male's advances and aggression. Keep and close eye on the couple and if you se that the male is to aggressive you should remove the female from the aquarium . You will in that case have to attempt Flowerhorn breeding using a separator so that the male can't get to the female and hurt her. Leave a small gap between the bottom of the aquarium and the divider. The gap should be too small for any of the fish to fit through. The only decorations in the breeding aquarium should be a flat stone placed with the female next to the divider. This is done to force the female to deposit her eggs on the stone where the male still can fertilize them thanks to the gap between the bottom and the divider. The filtration in the aquarium should when attempting Flowerhorn breeding be arranged in such a way that the water flows from the males side to the females side as this facilitates fertilization. Flowerhorn breeding can be achieve in most water conditions but a neutral pH level and a temperature around 28°C / 82°F is optimal.

You will have to condition your Flowerhorn cichlids prior to breeding. This is relatively easy achieved since Flowerhorn cichlids accept most kinds of food and a diet consisting of pellets and some shrimps and other food for variation will do well. Feed them several times a day and do regular water changes as the large amount of food will but a large stress on the water.

The spawning is preceded by the usual cichlid courting behaviour the eggs are than deposited on an flat rock or other flat surface. Flowerhorn cichlids are usually very good parents once you gotten you Flowerhorn fish to breed. They guard their egg and fry fiercely. The fry is relatively large and will accept newly hatched brine shrimp once they are born. After a week or two you can start to feed the fry crushed flake food and pellets.
The potential problems that can surround Flowerhorn breeding is not over just because the fish spawned and the eggs have hatched. You will still have to keep a close eye on the fish since the male sometimes becomes aggressive towards the female and guards the fry from the female. The female must in such situations be removed or she will most likely be killed.