Breeds of Flowerhorns
In fact, there are hundreds of different breeds nowadays, and each breed has its own specific name. Yet, they still share some common characteristics, which is the hump. Most of the time, flowerhorns were crossbred to produce high quality possible. Scientifically, breeding within the same genes, such as brother and sister, would not give a good result. This has a high influence on breeding flowerhorns. By experience, first generation (F1) of flowerhorns whose parents had the same genetic make up, i.e., parents from the same parents, would still be fine. However, if crossing F1 with F1, a great number of the fries were deformed and did not turn out great.
Due to the fact that breeding them from same bloodline would result in deformed fries, breeders almost always crossbred between different flowerhorns whose parents came from different places. Because there are many breeds exist, it is hard for flowerhorn hobbyists and breeders to keep track on the breed history. However, experienced breeders would keep track of the history of the breeds, as far as they can, to ensure the quality of the resulting flowerhorns. Since flowerhorns have been crossbred for a long time, now there hundreds of breeds. Most of the time, the breeder will give a name to his or her own batches. Therefore, the numbers of breeds increase very rapidly. On the other hands, the breeders can keep track on the breed history usually two or three generations.
However, although there are hundreds breeds nowadays, most flowerhorns fall into certain categories, i.e., red dragon, kamalau, kamfa, etc. Therefore, in the United States, most people call flowerhorns that have red color as red dragon or super red dragon depending on the intensity of the redness. Likewise, they call the tan or orange looking flowerhorn kamalau. The following are a few common breeds:
There are several types of kamfa. However, in general, kamfa were crossbred between either a male or female pearlly flowerhorn and a vieja synspilum cichlid. The goal is to get the hump and pearl from the male or female flowerhorn and white eyes and aggressive looking face from the vieja synspilum. However, a very few percent of the resulting fries have both physical characteristics of both parents, and the rest were not as good as fish hobbyists would want. Some hobbyists tried to breed selected best fries from first generation resulting from flowerhorns and vieja synspilum parents. Still, there were very few percent of obtaining best quality fries. This makes kamfa flowerhorn expensive than other type of flowerhorns in general.
2. Red and Super Red Dragon
As mention above, the name red or super red dragon depend on the intensity of the red color the fish have. These fish were crossbred between red dragon themselves that from different parents. The resulting fries maintain their redness, humps, flowers, and body shapes as of their parents. Moreover, these fish have a high percent of obtaining good and best quality fries per batch.
Kamalau are similar to red dragon. The breeding technique is similar to breeding red dragon as well. However, most kamalau have tan to orange color.
4. Thai silk
As the name suggest, Thai silk was bred by a group of Thai flowerhorn breeders. The resulting fries were almost entirely covered by silvery pearl except the forehead. They do posses other characteristics as other flowerhorns.
5. Red Texas
Red texas are not considered as flowerhorns. One of the reason is simply because red texas do not have flowers and horns. They are red and covered by white dotted or pearl through out the entire body. Recently, red texas are as expensive as flowerhorns, and many hobbyists raise red texas along with flowerhorns. Some hobbyists accept them as flowerhorn cichlids. These fish are crossbred between one parent that have very red color and the other parents was dotted white pearl. The most common parents are red blood parrots and green texas cichlids. About 10% of the resulting fries possess both physical qualities from both parents. Most of the fries look like green texas. Some fries have red blood parot body with green texas color and pearl. The ones that are considered best quality fries are those have both characteristics of both parents.
Note: The above breeds are a few common breeds. They were also crossbred and result in a new and different breed. In reality, there is no true breed of flowerhorns. See Galleries for more breeds.