SIZE: To 12" (30 cm)
HAB: Originally Central America, but now captive bred in Asia. Amphilophus citrinellus - Southern Mexico, Nicaragua (lakes-Nicaragua, Managua, and Xiloa; Rio San Juan), Honduras, Costa Rica (Costa Rica River and Cuba River). Amphilophus trimaculatum Southern Mexico & Guatemala (Chiapas and Huamuchal).
S: bottom, middle
TANK: A 48' (122 cm) tank with a capacity of 55 gallons (209 L) is sufficient for a specimen up to 8' (20 cm). Larger tanks are required for larger fish. The tank should be large with plenty of open swimming area. Provide plenty of hiding places with stones, cave, and roots. These structures must be well-anchored. Use live plants at your own risk -- plastic plants are a safer bet.
WATER: pH 6.5-8 (7.2), 6-25 dH (10), 73-86°F (23-30°C).
SB: A territorial and pugnacious cichlid, especially around spawning times. The Midas Cichlid can be combined with medium to large sized cichlids - small fish will be eaten. Mates form monogamous pairs and become fine parents. If the female is not ready to spawn, she may be bullied to death by the male. Keeping two mature males in a tank is not recommended - one will likely be killed.
SC: Other large sturdy fish. Cichlasomines, South American cichlids, Loricarids, Pimelodids, large Characins.
FOOD: Live; snails, fish, earthworms, insects; chopped meat; vegetables; spinach, peas, lettuce; pellets; tablets.
SEX: Males are slightly larger, more aggressive and haved a more developed nuchal hump on their forehead. Spawning season is easiest time to discern sex.
B: Similar to Amphilophus citrinellus. Increase the water temperature a few degrees to 79-86°F (26-30°C). As many as 1000 eggs are usually laid on a vertical surface (i.e. slate, pane of glass) or sometimes on rocks at the tank floor. The eggs are guarded by the female and the territory is defended by the male. The eggs hatch in 3 days and the young are moved to large, previously dug, pits where the parents continue their care. The fry can swim on their own after 5 days, at which time they can be fed small live foods. Occasionally the fry may adhere to the flanks of the parents in order to feed off a mucus sections produced by the skin of the parents.
BP: 6. Breeding is not especially difficult.
R: Flowerhorns display their best colors (and largest hump) when they are stressed (excited). Hence they are often kept in small tanks, with bright surroundings (colored gravel) and mirrors -- much to the detriment to the fish. Mistreatment of this species is widespread.
The Flowerhorn is the focus of a major craze in Asia and high quality fish fetch thousands of dollars on the market. Many varieties are available.
One of the factors behind this craze is the belief that the Flowerhorn may achieve feng-shui fish status. To date the Asian Arowana has held this title as thousands have kept Arowanas believing they bring balance and good fortune to the life of the keeper.
Many dedicated aquariasts (especially States-side and in Europe) are vehemently opposed to hybrids on ethical grounds and are quite vocal in denouncing this fish.
DC: 6. The Flowerhorn is an aggressive species which must be kept in a large tank.