How Long Do Flowerhorns Live? Let’s Dig a Little Deep

Ornamental fishes have been in great demand among aquarists for a long time. They increase the beauty of your aquarium and give your house an aesthetic look. And there is no doubt that Flowerhorn Cichlid fish are one of the most attractive water “pets .” Its unique look and interactive nature make it the first choice for any aquarist.

Apart from looks, they have many unique, playful characteristics, making them exceptional in many ways. They are even bred specially to interact with humans. But before you bring them home, make sure you know every detail about them. How long they live, what they eat, how to take care of them, etc.

Keep reading the article to get every detail about your favorite Flowerhorns.

Where do Flowerhorns belong:

Flowerhorn Cichlids hail from the Cichlid family. These are exotic fish, and they are found naturally. Instead, these are a result of the cross-breeding of Cichlids. The fish has its roots in Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand.

But eventually, over the years, it spreads across different parts of Asia. Also in Central America, the United States, and Europe.

How long do Flowerhorn fish live for? Generally, these fish for 11-12 years. Yes, they live quite a long time. But their lifespan depends on how you take care of them. Like any other fish, its life span depends on several factors. Like, their environment, water quality, food, etc.

These are pretty aggressive. So you need to handle your fish with patience. If you can manage to take proper care, you can surely keep them from dying.

Types and characteristics:


There are four types of Flowerhorn fish. These are Golden Monkey, Zhen Zhu, Golden Base, and Kamfa.

Flowerhorns Types

But the most widely sought out type is the Red Flowerhorn type.


The Flowerhorn fish has a very unique and attractive look. It is one of the reasons they are loved so much. The following points will tell you briefly about their characteristics:

  1. It has a big horn and also a nuchal hump or Kok. These fish are very interactive, and a fun fact is that they lift their head above water so that you can pat them.
  1. These fish have a bright color and have protruding eyes. These fish have black markings on their body.
  1. These fish have a color-changing property. They change color as they grow.
  1. The fish grow up to a size of 12-16 inches. The male fish is relatively larger than the female ones. Also, the male fish weigh more than the female ones.
  1. Though these are bred to interact with humans, these fish are pretty aggressive.

Tips to take care of your fish :

After reading the above lines, you indeed gathered quite a lot of information about your fish. One crucial question is still left to be answered, i.e., How do you keep Flowerhorn fish healthy?

Now just like humans, good health comes with good care. And factors like the size of the fish tank, water quality, food, etc., affect the health of your water “pet.”

The following points will make you walk through the steps of best care tips for Flowerhorn fish.

Use a big tank:

Flowerhorns are big in size, and hence they need a big tank to live comfortably. Some aquarists keep them in small tanks of size 75-90 gallons. These tanks have enough space to swim but have a short width. The fish faces difficulty in turning around.

Hence, it is better to keep them in large tanks of 125 gallons or 150-175 gallons. If you plan to transfer the fish to a larger tank once they grow up, it will be a waste of money.

Use proper Substrate:

Substrate plays a vital role in any aquarium. It provides a pleasant habitat for your fish. Also, they help in water chemistry and filtration.

Substrates like big stones, tile pieces, sand, etc., are best for your fish. Never use gravel substrate for your aquarium. Because your fish may swallow the gravel substrate with their food. This gravel then reaches their intestine and prevents them from passing waste. It will become very harmful to your fish.

Create proper water conditions:

Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates are harmful to any fish. But, Flowerhorns are especially very sensitive to them. Even the presence of a small amount of ammonia will cause harm to your fish. So do cycle the tank beforehand.

Changing water removes nitrates to a large extent. So do change the water for your tank even if your tank looks clean.

Also, make sure your water is perfect in all the parameters. You can follow the points below for correct measurement:

  • The pH level of water should be between 6.0 to 8.0.
  • Maintain adequate temperature. Keep the temperature between 80-85°F.
  • Keep the Alkalinity level between 6°-20° dGH.

Use proper filters:

Large tanks need good filters to keep the water clean throughout. Never compromise on the quality of the filter while buying. Because the quality of water has a significant impact on your fish.

Check the link below for some good quality filters you can use. Also, check their price:

Go for good quality heaters:

Maintaining the temperature in your aquarium is very important. For that, a good quality heater is something you should never hesitate to spend money on.

The link below will guide you to select good-quality heaters. Also, check their price:

Maintain proper diet:

Like humans, fish also need an appropriate diet for healthy living. Flowerhorns are not picky about their food, but they need protein-rich food with a varied diet. You can feed them with white worms, blackworms, earthworms, nightcrawlers, etc.

Now among all these choices, you think, What is the best food for Flowerhorn?

Any protein-rich food is good for your fish, but it is live fish if you ask for the best food. You can also give them some shrimp.

Always make sure you do not overfeed your fish. Overfeeding will increase the amount of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. It is more harmful to the fish.

At this point, you may ask a question, How often should I feed my Flowerhorn?

The answer is quite simple. Always give them smaller meals in regular intervals of time.

Flowerhorn diseases and cure:

How do you keep Flowerhorn fish from dying? Do you have an answer to this? Well, the actual answer lies in the fact that you need to find out the common diseases that your fish are prone to. Curing those diseases will let your fish live longer.

Flowerhorn diseases

Following are some common Flowerhorn diseases:

White spot disease:

This disease is also called Ich. It is one of the common diseases found among tropical and coldwater fishes.

Many aquariums contain a protozoan parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. It causes this white spot disease. Another reason which causes this disease is poor water hygiene and stress.

The disease causes skin irritation of the fish. The fish starts to rub their body on the aquarium walls or substrates to relieve irritation. If the fish remains untreated, the parasite will block your gills. And the fish will die not being able to breathe.

The hole in head disease:

The hole in head disease, also known as Hexamitiasis, is caused by Hexamita. The disease is deadly but treated appropriately; the fish will survive.

Prevention of the diseases:

As they say, “prevention is better than cure.” You can take simple steps to prevent these diseases and give your pet a healthy life.

Make sure your aquarium water is clean and filtered. Change aquarium water after days, even if the water looks clean.

How much you need to pay:

Flowerhorns are available both online and in fish stores. But it is better to buy them from the store itself.

What do you think, how much do these fish cost?

Well, the price of these fish generally varies depending on several factors. Like, age, color, marking, etc.

Small fish may cost you $20, but larger fish are pretty expensive. They will cost you $100 and even more.

Final words:

Flowerhorn Cichlids are unique, attractive, and interactive water pet. They live comfortably and do pretty well if you keep them in the large tank without any tankmates. Keeping any fish is not an easy job, but it becomes a little more challenging for Flowerhorns. You need to handle your aggressive pet with patience.

You must have gathered enough knowledge from the article. So if you are planning to buy Flowerhorn, go for it with a second thought. Also, don’t forget to give your new member a cute name.

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