This breed originated from Louhan. It's main characteristics are white or yellow eye (red eyes possible but not common), fan tail, water head, sunken eyes, smaller lips than Zhen Zhu. Generally has a larger and more square body shape than that of a Zhen Zhu. Head flowers can be found on the Kamfa, but not as prevelantly as Zhen Zhu.
Kamfa's typically are viewed as being much more difficult to breed. Their time to breeding maturity is much longer than that of a Zhen Zhu. In addition to a longer maturation period Kamfa's also have fertility issues. A general rule of thumb is that fish with red eyes tend to be more fertile on the whole, than those with white or yellow eyes. Since most Kamfa's have yellow or white eyes they tend to be less fertile. Because of these fertility issues refined kamfas are hard to find. Most Kamfa strains are the result of an outcrossing resulting in a few specimens of superior quality and hybrid vigor. Since Kamfas are more difficult to breed on the whole they are also more expensive than most other breeds.
Kamfa care and upkeep is a little more intense than most other breeds as well. They have a greater sensitivity to fluctuations in water parameters. This is especially true for older Kamfa strains, They actually prefer aged water (water that has been conditioned, heated and aerated for a period of at least 24hrs prior to adding to the tank). Newer Kamfa strains are not as finicky about the water used but do require diligent tank and filter maintenance to look their best.
Kamfas also differ in the way they act and interact with their environment and owner. Generally Kamfas are thought to be more aggressive than other breeds (although aggressiveness also comes down to the individual fish). They also use a more rear propulsion method of swimming style which give them a different look and feel in the owners tank. Many people enjoy the way their behaviour manifests itself in the fishes interaction with the owner. Kamfas are great "finger chasers" and delight in defending their tank and territory even from a well-meaning owner. Their territorial nature is important in the way a Kamfa looks and matures. A Kamfa that is not happy with their tank placement, waterparameters, tank mates, etc will not show off their true potential. It's important to try different methods for a Kamfa that is not up to par. Some common practices include:
Add a mirror to the tank - Some hobbyists use a mirror to induce the fish to spar with itself. One must be careful not to place the mirror in an area where the fish can injure itself while sparing. Placing the mirror outside the tank could cause serious damage to a fish, including spinal fractures from the impact against the aquarium glass
Adding a Tank mate or blood parrot - Using a divider some hobbyists will place a smaller fish or "Target fish" on the other side of the divider or in a protective mesh net. This strategy works well for those fish who've figured out the mirror trick. The more dominant and comfortable the Kamfa feels the better his appearance. There are some drawbacks to this method however. If the tankmate is permanent the tank will require more upkeep and cleaning. If the target fish ends up to be more dominant than the Kamfa, the Kamfa will be worse off than when started. Some Kamfas do not do well with tank mates at all. Even a simple pleco can make some fish feel vulnerable in their own tank. This method can work exteremly well for some individual fish and backfire for others
Corals and crushed corals
Many Kamfa owners add crushed corals or whole coral pieces to their tank. The coral acts as a PH buffer to decrease the fluctuation in water parameters that occurs doing a water change. Given a Kamfa's sensitivity to water parameters this can aid greatly in their development. In addition coral pieces provide great surface area for in-tank biological filtration.
The background on the tank can greatly influence the look and appearance of an individual fish. Some Kamfa owners use a colorful saltwater tank background to encourage the fishes color to become more vibrant. Other types of Kamfas, like King Kamfas, do better with a black background. This can help set off the double flower row that KKs are known for and make them appear more solid and less faded.
No matter which combination or combinations of the above it's important to understand that not every method will work for every fish. So if your Kamfa is not looking as good as you think he could, keep experimenting with these environmental factors until you find the combination that works best for your individual fish.
An absolute must read. In the breeders own words:
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