10 Types of Flowerhorn Cichlids

Cichlids are generally among the most unusual fish species one could ever own. They have a peculiar personality as well as an easily distinguishable hump above their heads. And one of the ultimate decorative cichlids are definitely the flowerhorn fish.

This page may contain affiliate links, which will earn us a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

These have been started to be selectively bred across Malaysia during the 1900’s. And they make an ultra-popular ornamental addition to modern private and public aquariums. If you are looking to adopt one or a few of these spectacular fish, you should know there are more types available.

However, the golden rule is the larger the hump, the healthier the fish. Indeed, this is where they store their fat. If the hump starts becoming smaller in size, that means that they are not getting enough nutrients and are forced to consume the accumulated fat instead.

All in all, this is a truly mesmerizing fish that does require some extra attention from its human, but it is also well worth it.  

1. King Kong Parrot Flowerhorn

To begin, let us describe briefly one of the ˝originals˝. Indeed, this type of flowerhorn is the very first to ever be captive-bred. In nature, you can find zero of these beauties. They are characterized by vibrant red colors which are uniformly spread all over their bodies.

Their bodies are extremely small when compared to their heads, but they can reach a total length of even 15 inches. This makes them actually one of the largest cichlids available nowadays, so be sure to allow plenty of space to them if you are interested in adopting them.

For instance, a happy couple should be housed in nothing less than 100 gallons. Every next King Kong Parrot should have an additional 20 gallons of water volume.

If you provide them with ideal conditions and make sure to feed them high-quality food only, you can expect these wonderful creatures to grow slowly and live for at least 12 years.

2. Golden Monkey Flowerhorn

This flowerhorn is not called golden for no reason. In fact, this is one of the most expensive cichlids out there, and they are super-hard to find these days. Therefore, you probably will not be getting such a rare version as your next aquatic pet, but we can all at least admire its beauty for a while.

Their colors are simply spectacular and feature a never-seen-before deepness of vibrant reds and yellows across a fish body. What a dream fish this is!

3. Kamfa Flowerhorn

Kamfa flowerhorn cichlids are one of the first choices among experienced keepers, as they are a bit more difficult to care about when compared to most other flowerhorn types. What makes them unique is, first of all, the shape of their body.

This is more squared when compared to others. Also, instead of pointy lips, theirs are fully rounded. Furthermore, what is most characteristic for them is having such strong dorsal and anal fins which can literally wrap around their caudal fin. Their tail, however, should not droop.

When it comes to body coloration, kampas usually feature pastel palette combinations such as yellow or orange or even pink. Their eyes are either white or yellow and are usually placed deeper inside the head instead of being bulged.

Their sizes can vary a lot and can basically be anywhere from 6 inches from a standard kamfa to even 16 inches for a king version of the fish. They too can live for about 12 years in captivity but, as already mentioned, they are better suitable for experienced aquarists.

4. Zhen Zhu Flowerhorn

The zhen zhu cichlids are one of the most common choices among modern keepers nowadays, and they are surely one of the hardiest types available. Therefore, they make an excellent choice even for first-time keepers.

If we compare this type to the previously described kamfa fish, it is quite the opposite when it comes to its key characteristics. Their hump is distinctively enlarged, their eyes are mostly red and protruding towards the outside, and their mouth is also characteristically larger.

However, what makes the zhen zhu flowerhorns that special are their pearling factors. Such shimmering details certainly make them much easier to recognize than any other flowerhorn, and this is exactly what professional breeders mostly focus on when trying to create new and improved morphs.

The two most known strains of this kind are the red dragon and the blue dragon, and they mostly differentiate themselves thanks to the palette of body colors.

Nonetheless, on the particular strain, zhen zhu flowerhorns usually grow up to 14 inches in body size and are expected to live for more than 10 years with proper care.

5. Golden Base Flowerhorn

Golden base is a special type as it does not represent a specific flowerhorn for itself, but it rather groups some of their strangest varieties. These are mostly characterized by their colors, and the most unusual sub-group of them all are the faders.

Faders are such unique fish. First of all, they are born with colors, mostly red or yellow, or even a combination of these two. However, during their juvenile phase, they tend to lose such coloration, and their bodies basically become completely black.

After the ˝fading˝ process continues, they will lose their black coloration completely and will develop fully vibrant and vivid colors once again. How amazing is that?

6. King Kamfa Flowerhorn

As its name may helpfully offer a suggestion, king kamfa is both exceptionally large and awfully expensive. A true king among aquariums, one could say. Descending from the original kamfa which we described a couple of lines above, they have typically squared body shapes and rounded mouths.

Their eyes are sunken instead of bulged and can be mostly seen either in yellow or in white colorations. More rarely, their eyes can be red.

King kamfas truly do look as kings would. Their humps are unproportionally enlarged and their colors are magnificently vivid. On top of that, they have a beautiful and thick layer of white pearling, which certainly adds to their luxury looks.

King kamfas also feature a distinctively thick black double flower row along their lateral body line.

As already mentioned above, these fish grow to a fairly large size of even 16 inches. Consequentially, they also require a larger tank size.

7. Kamfa Malau Flowerhorn

The kamfa malau is a hybrid between the sub-types of kamfa flowerhorns and malau flowerhorns. Therefore, we could conclude that it gathers the best predispositions of both. They feature mostly red eyes which are as sunken as they are in standard and king kamfas.

Their bodies can be extremely colorful, but what makes them really unique is their pearling pattern. This is actually visible all the way along their fins and tails, and it usually reaches towards the beginning of their head hump.

Such diverse pearling pattern is extremely rare among flowerhorns, so the ˝wow˝ factor is surely guaranteed with these beauties.

8. Thai Silk Flowerhorn

For those who are looking to adopt a somehow smaller strain of flowerhorn cichlids, the thai silk variation may become their ideal new pet. These unique creatures are a relatively new addition to the aquarists hobby, and they are still not fully researched.

However, what we do know is that they grow to relatively medium size of around 8 or maximally 12 inches. And adding to that, they look simply spectacular.

This is one of the rare uniformly colored flowerhorns variations, yet they are fully metallic. They are mostly either white or blue or sometimes even goldish. A truly magnificent type of fish.

9. Rainbow King Flowerhorn

The rainbow king is another morph that mostly relates to the different body colorations. Indeed, quite remarkably to a rainbow, this fish does feature spectacular pastel colors ranging all the way from white to vivid pink.

The tops of its fins are mostly turning to white, but still featuring a nice and fairly decent pearling factor.

10. Albino Flowerhorn

As with any other animal or fish species, albino does not refer to a certain morph or sub-species or kind, but rather to the lack of color pigments. And when such uniquely shaped fish as flowerhorn cichlids lack their coloration, can you even imagine how spectacular they look?

Snow white bodies and pink eyes along with such special shapes certainly make an ultimate match for an utterly unique pet.

Albino flowerhorns are, as you may have already guessed yourself, extremely rare. And obviously, this makes their price to increase proportionally to their uniqueness. A true delight for any real aquarium enthusiast.

Wrapping Up

We know, you fell in love with flowerhorn cichlids just as the rest of the world has. And who would not? These creatures are so special and spectacular, and beauty is the largest thing they carry around their captive tanks.

Owning a unique pet like this certainly brings to pure joy, but it is also a long-term commitment. These long-living beauties can certainly require some extra care and attention, and space. Therefore, if you are not ready to take amazing care of a flowerhorn cichlid, you would perhaps like to re-think and find a hardier pet for your home.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *