I am a huge fan of fish. Especially the flowerhorn fish. I think i have owned 15 or so flowerhorns up till now, and plan on owning another one soon. I haven’t started buying any fish since I moved to Las Vegas, yet. To me the flowerhorn wasn’t just a trend as it was for a lot of fish hobbyists out there. Anyone who has raised a flowerhorn before, will tell you about the attachment you grow to these fish.
The color, pattern, and shape of these fish play a big role in the value of these fish. There is no particular right or wrong way to grade these fish, however every flowerhorn enthusiast knows about the $600,000 Golden Monkey that was purchased before. I remember seeing an article about someone purchasing one at a show for $250,000 a few years back too. Personally, I never spent that kind of money on a flowerhorn before. Me and my close friend, who is also an enthusiast used to do a lot of searching and shopping for baby flowerhorns, that we would raise, and they would still cost several hundred dollars each. Like the one pictured above, I purchased this beauty in 2007 I think, from the Flowerhorn King, in Monterey Park, CA the day he arrived from Thailand.
As the Flowerhorn scene progressed, so did people’s wants. Initially, it was the breed, size of the flowerhorn’s head, also know as the “kok” or “nuchal hump” and color that people focused on. And then people started looking for pearl, the patterns on the side, short body, facial structure, and on and on.
I even had a flowerhorn at the center of my former office in L.A. People who didnt know what flowerhorns were used to sometimes ask me “Whats wrong with your fish? His head is about to explode” Did it offend me? Of course not, I thought the same thing when I first saw one. After a while, people used to love to watch me feed him, and our office workers loved to help with water changes too. Anyone who tells you that fish are dumb have no idea what they are talking about. My flowerhorns knew exactly when I was going to feed them, learned what to do and where to go when I do water changes, I even had one flowerhorn in my bedroom that used to splash water and wake me up in the morning when he got hungry. A lot of flowerhorn enthusiasts don’t use gravel to keep from the body getting scratched. We’ve tried big gravel, small gravel, no gravel, etc, however my personal favorites is red gravel, with slight red tint light, as in the video above.
So why are flowerhorns so expensive? Because they have to be raised a certain way? Some people think some particular ones bring them good luck? Because they are flown in? It can be a number of reasons, one thing I can tell you from personal experience, they are not that easy to breed. A lot of fish you can just get a male, get a female, and one day you have 200 more fish in your tank. Flowerhorns on the other hand don’t get along with other fish, let alone each other. Yes, 1 fish to 1 tank. That is the rule. So, as you can see in the picture above, when I tried to breed them, I had to use separators. (Some local dealers have told me before that when the fish are sent here, the breeders do something to them so they won’t be successful in breeding) But, also we have met people who were able to successfully breed them. Once we were able to find female flowerhorns, the harder part was finding a male that will not get killed by the female, and of course vice versa. Second we had to find a smooth rock, or plate, where the female will lay eggs. We got this far with a few of our pairs, but never got past this part, and the eggs never got fertilized. Females tend to show stripes, and a black mark on their fin.
There are some pictures below of flowerhorns that I found on google images.
Another fish that we’ve always wanted, and is super popular with hobbyists, are the colored arowanas. It’s too bad they are illegal to have here in the U.S. Yes, it’s not only illegal to buy or sell, but to even own one.