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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following article was composed by the owner of flowerfish.com, one of the worlds leaders of quality flowerhorns. Rather then try to rehash anything he has said, its probably better to just share his advice with yall...... enjoy

My personal advice to all potential FH hobbyists/resellers is this. NEVER buy small FH that has not shown its colors or head, no matter what the sellers tell you. ONLY buy fishes that has shown its beauty and NOT "potential" beauty unless you are on a tight budget and want to take risk.

If you are a pet store or importer/reseller of FH fishes, you will be in trouble if your customers grow the small fishes and it turns out to be crappy. They will never come back and buy from you again because they will feel cheated.

At flowerfish.com, we NEVER sell any fishes smaller than 3". There are many unscrupulous breeders that sell small fishes fed with hormones and plagarising the famous names such as Blue Dragon and Red Dragons. These move very fast because at such a small size, the pearls and color will show already but it will fade in a week or two. The fishes will also be stunted with buldging eyes and very disease prone. These practice is called cheating the customers.

One reason for breeders/exporter to do such practice is because they do not have the infrastructure to individually house the fishes till 3". They will have to push their baby fishes out fast because they will start fighting at about 1". Most other so-called "farms" from Malaysia are actually fish-brokers that market other breeder's fishes on the internet. They will quote that they have a collective farm of 5 or 10 acres,or whatever grandeur, but most of these are home breeders or their friends with a breeding pair or two and not professionally full-fledged farms. Of course this statement is a generalization and there are also farms that are genuine, but very few.

There is a 50% chance that baby FHs will be females, which 90% of the time will not have a hump, if they are females. Out of the 50% that are males, only 20% of it will have good humps, if its from very good stock. (The highest % is the Blue Dragons which is about 25%-30%). And what more, if the top quality fishes should also have good markings, colours and nice body shape? With all these considerations, the chances of a top quality fish is only about 5% and I think its fair to pay a higher price for the top 5%.

Most farms will only yield about 5% top quality fishes, some even lesser and this result in farms trying to push out small fishes early and not taking risks growing them. If you buy these fishes, the breeders will pass on the risk to the buyers and making good and fast money in return.

Also, do check out http://www.flowerfish.com/articles.html and read on how to select the most beautiful FH fishes. This will give you a better idea on how to buy a good fish.
 

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Thanks for the info.

I have a split opinion on these fish. My first, strongest, feeling is: "great, let's keep these fish and not put pressure on wild fish", they are impressive cichlid hybrids. My second reaction is that there is a bit of hocus pocus as opposed to science involved with some of the flowerhorn activities.

This quote refers to one of the problems; hormones. That's being done with some african cichlids as well (2 inch long, bright blue Hap. ahlis.....yeah right). Other problems involve pseudoscience and the usual pet store/hobbyist stating ideas and guesses as fact. You can, for example, alter the sex ratio of fish such as this. It's a fuzzy frontier in cichlid sexual differentiation dynamics but social behavior appears to affect sex determination. This throws the 50/50 thing out the window.

Just a few thoughts. Sorry I went medieval scientific on this, but it is a sort of scientific situation!....and regarding science and fish sellers the old saying of believe nothing you hear and half of what you see is SOOO true.
 

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wow very interesting and thanks for sharing..i see blue dragon everywhere i go ..mostly 2 to 3 inchers...and at the price of 50 bucks..
 

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what he sells, while very true, seems to be common sense. If I really wanted a great looking flowerhorn I'd want to wait until it was showing the colors and hump on the head before I spent a lot of money on it. If I was looking to spend $10 and hope to get a good looking one that's only 1" I'd be gambling.

it's pretty much the same with all fish. If I want a 12" rhom I can buy a 2" and wait forever until it gets big and see how it looks, or I can spend a lot more money and just flat our buy a good looking 12".

and as a seller him saying that this is the reason why they wait to 3" and make sure that they have color and a hump has to help his profit margin a little bit :laugh:
 

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Hope this helped. I should add that in no way are any flowerhorns that you buy from a reputable dealer injected with any kind of hormones. This is a practice that is often used on fish like the red texas. Added Hormones make the fish sterile, which would not be good for the flowerhorn community. The super red texas fish you see are hormoned induced. When you go to a LFS you run the chance of buying these hormoned fish or ones that are going to fade and be worthless. Injecting a fish with hormones is a quick way to get the price up. The big dealers garuntee their fish for the most part.

Part of the reason i favor flowerhorns now is for the reasons acestro brought up. For the most part, i do not believe in keeping fish caught from the wild or F1, F2 fish because its really not fair for them. There have been so many generation of flowerhorns now that they have become accustomed to tank life which their shorter stuby bodies. They are very comfortable in their fish tank, unlike many other fish who will never feel at home. Obviously some fish cannot be bred in captivity and therefore it is ok to keep wilds, especially so that you have the chance of breeding them and increasing the captive population.

The reason they wait though has to do with not turning out a bad product. They only want to sell fish with big nuchal humps. If you buy a sony television you except there to be a sony in the box. What if you opened it up and there was a daewoo! Its all about customer satifaction and flowerhorns are a big business fish.
 

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I agree, but there's a reason you buy a sony and not a daewoo, quality, but you also pay extra for the added quality, same with the fish.

and quick question for you, BD, you don't believe in keeping wild caught fish? is there a place that's going to breed an 11" brandtii? I thought all brandtii were wild caught at this point? just wondering, I don't really care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thats what i was saying at the bottom. If no one has bred them then how would they ever breed if no one kept wilds. I started collecting the brandtii to attempt to breed them, and planned on getting them a huge tank or pond so they could do so. Not sure at this point if im still going to do that. Im not some save the animals hippy or something, just trying to be realistic about taking fish out of the wild.
 

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If no one has bred them then how would they ever breed if no one kept wilds. I started collecting the brandtii to attempt to breed them, and planned on getting them a huge tank or pond so they could do so. Not sure at this point if im still going to do that. Im not some save the animals hippy or something, just trying to be realistic about taking fish out of the wild.
Agreed. For most of these fish the real dangers are things like the building of damns or deforestation around their lakes/rivers. Overcollecting is only occasionally a big issue (Asian arowana perhaps).
 
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The fish hobby is for our enjoyment. People who are the "fish huggers" of this hobby should be ashamed of themselves. Lets face it..we kill more as a hobbyist then trying repopulate them. Sure the argument could be its better to be breeding them and not doing anything at all. But how many hobbyist you know are breeding f0 and releasing the spawn or even f2 back into their natural habitat. We get unknowledgeable / unexperience hobbylist that release fish that devestate the ecosystem in nearest lakes and rivers. People breed them for the challenge and mostly for the potential profit or some would refer to as regaining their investment. We are self serving whatever the reason maybe for keeping fish. To increase our knowledge, enjoyment, our net worth, or simply because we can. So enjoy the hobby and the only thing that should be a must for any fish hobbyist is to not let your enjoyment have no negative impact on nature and to spread your knowledge so we don't turn every state into another florida or another snakehead incident. It is up to us to make sure we don't hook wallago attu instead of LM bass.
 

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This is why guests shouldn't be allowed to post. I already called it to the attention of the mods/admins in the manner I was asked to...there's a thread in the Suggestion Box b/c of this.
 
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