Purchasing and Selecting a Juvenile Flowerhorn

How can we be sure what we are holding on to is a Flower Horn fish that will grow up to be a big and beautiful fish, with a big, rounded and bulging nuchal hump ? The answer is, you can never too be sure but you can always try it. It all depends on foresight and luck. So what do we mean by foresight?
The first of these criteria is the genetic lineage. In basic terms, genetic lineage refers to thefamily tree of the Flower Horn fish. This is one of the most important criteria. If theparents of a Flower Horn fish do not possess brilliant or distinct coloration, or broad, rounded and wide bodies, or do not have prominent nuchal hump, the chances of their offspring having all these characteristics and traits are very slim.

Therefore, knowledge and observation of the brood stock is another very important factor. If you know the brood stock well, you will able to tell if the fry will inherit the much sought after features.
Inbreeding is also a crucial factor inbreeding the Flower Horn. Many people have personally witnessed fish that have matured and lay eggs at only 2” in length. If the offspring of these 2” fish are kept and allowed full grow, the inferior genes of the parent Flower Horn fish will be passed down to them. Inbreeding of inferior Flower Horn fish is highly undesirable and such practice is strongly discouraged. Fry from inferior inbreeding should be rejected or used as fish feed, and should never reach the market for sale or breeding purposes.
When selecting a fish from a batch of Flower Horn fry, do keep a look out for the most dominant Flower Horn fish in the water. Most of the time, it will be thebiggest Flower Horn fish among the fry. It will also tend to be the most active Flower Horn fish in the same batch.
At the same time, look closely and try to compare the forehead of this dominant Flower Horn fish with the others. However, the selection process can be difficult as most of these Flower Horn fish will have a slight hump on their forehead, even if they are only 1” in total length.
Selection by the coloration of the Flower Horn fish is not encouraged. This is because on many occasions, the most colorful and vibrant Flower Horn fish turns out to be female (assuming you are looking for a Flower Horn fish male).
Thirdly, the pattern formation and the shiny spots or dots on the body of Flower Horn fish are other good indicators of a good Flower Horn fish. Most of the time, the pattern formation of Flower Horn fish and spots will start to develop, increase in intensity and contrast as the Flower Horn fish continues to grow bigger. Therefore, it is vital to select a Flower Horn fish of your choice with all these features.
Last but not least, there is one physical feature found mainly in prized Flower Horn fish only. This feature is the broadness or thickness of the Flower Horn fish’s body. The broadness or as some would prefer, the thickness of the Flower Horn fish’s body, is due to several factors.
For a start, the fish must have the genetics for a broad body i.e. the parent Flower Horn fish have to have a broad body. Next in consideration is the feeding routine. This routine must be carried out consistently and the Flower Horn fish must be fed to satiation i.e. they must be fed sufficiently, or they will not expand in physical broadness. Thus, while selecting juvenile Flower Horn fish from a batch of well-fed fry, make sure to look for those with a broad body and which have had proper feeding. Having made sure of this, you will have a higher chance of buying a Flower Horn fish that will grow into the desired body shaped. May be you have seen three-month-old fry that are very tiny. These are under nourished and it is very unlike they will grow up to be huge or even healthy Flower Horn fish adults. These Flower Horn fish are often the result of inbreeding.

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