Flower Horn Fish is basically from the Cichlid family, which is classified under the genus of Cichlasoma, which is 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 Flower Horn has been produced due to 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. 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 with bigger nuchal hump on the forehead, better coloration, bolder black marking on the body (which at times resembles Chinese characters), more elegant fins, and wider body. No chemicals, or biogenetic 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.
This fish is very hardy, and can endure water conditions that are not suitable for most breeds of aquarium fish. This is also part of the reason why the Flower Horn is well received by many tropical fish hobbyists. But the ideal pH level in the water should be around pH 7 to pH 7.8 with water temperature ranging between 27 °C to 32°C. For temperate / colder climate region, just need a conventional water heater. With regards to aquarium size, try to have at least 4 feet (length) by 2 feet (width) aquarium.
As Flower Horn is from the South American Cichlid family, this fish is very territorial. Thus, they are very aggressive in nature. Co-existing with other fish is not advisable, especially smaller fish. Some parties have claimed that we can "play" with the Flower Horn. In actual fact, 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. Flower Horn is not selective on food and their consumption is high. Worms, small shrimps and pellet fish food will do fine. What type of food or whether their stomach is fully filled are not a major issue, but the type of food which do not pollute the water should be taken into consideration. You can underfeed but not overfeed Flower Horn, thus it is advisable to feed them two to three times daily. Flower Horn may grow up to approximately12 inches in length depending on its breed and may live to 8 to 10 years. I have seen Flower Horns that were 16 inches long, breed by a skillful fish breeder.
You can visit www.FlowerFish.com , which have lots of other interesting photos and information on Flower Horn Fish.