King Kong Parrots and Red Ingots
The blood parrot was the earliest defined type of cichlid hybrid, whereas the King Kong parrot represents an early stage in the transition to flowerhorn breeding. The blood parrot is smaller, with a bigger head, more protruding eyes, and a V-shaped mouth. The King Kong parrot is longer, with a reddish orange color, and a dorsal fin shorter than the anal fin. The shape of the King Kong is similar to the red devil cichlid, and, when it reaches a size of 18 cm, the shape of the mouth changes to a triangle with a more protruding jaw. Only 20% of these fish grow to a size of a half kilogram.
Blood parrots and King Kong parrots are sometimes colored purple or blue by pigment injection. This practice is unhealthy for the fish, and the color will fade with time. Parrot cichlids fed with natural colorants and attractants naturally develop a red color. With further breeding, a round body shape has been selected, with the dorsal fin and anal fin longer than the tail fin, and the mouth can open and close naturally. These fish have clear eyes, and 90% of them grow to 1 kg or above, with the characteristic flowerhorn head shape. The Red Mommon and Red Ingot breeds are the most typical of these hybrid cichlids. Both of these fishes are appreciated for feng shui. The Red Mommon is named for its high forehead, which looks like the hat worn by the God of Fortune. The Red Ingot is named for its yuan-bao shape, referring to odd-shaped gold or silver pieces formerly used as money in China.
The Red Mommon and Red Ingot grow faster in the first year, with a size of about 20 cm. They grow to 25–28 cm by two years later. Their maximum size is not yet known, and it is believed that the fish may grow to 30 cm or above in the future. Both of these fish are raised at 28°C water temperature, pH ~6–8 (with slightly acid water preferred), and kH ~3–6, while avoiding any sudden change in water quality. It is also common to test regularly for ammonia and nitrite. Both of these fishes can be bred with different kinds of cichlids.
The genuine Golden Monkey (also called Good Fortune) or Kamalau was bred by Mr. Lam Seah and Lam Soon in Bercham, Ipoh, Malaysia. After the third generation, all of them were sold to the A-1 Aquarium in 2001. This type of flowerhorn is an original Luohan-based fish and not a mixed type Zen Zhu or Kamfa. It can be a particularly expensive flowerhorn, carrying a price tag of more than one thousand dollars. The most expensive Golden Monkey was sold for 600-thousand dollars during a Malaysian exhibition in 2009. General features of GM's are a monkey like appearance when viewed from the front, square bodies, yellow coloration on the body or lower part of the body, strong finnage, and lots or pearling. Kamalau heads can explode but they are not known for having water koks.
This breed originated from the Luohan. Its main characteristics are white or yellow eyes (red eyes are possible but not common), a fan or wrap tail, a water kok head, sunken eyes, and even lips, smaller than the Zhen Zhu. This breed generally also has a larger and more square body than that of the Zhen Zhu. Head flowers can be found on the Kamfa, but not as prominently as with Zhen Zhus.
This breed originated slightly after the Kamfa, derived from the Luohan. It has a rounded or diamond shaped tail, large mouth, red protruding eyes, and a prominent head flower. Zhen Zhu means "pearl flowerhorn", however, many ZZ's lack pearling. ZZ's are known for having nice kok's and breeders often cross other types of flowerhorns with Zhen Zhus because they breed easily and can create better heads for the next generation. Weak tails are a ZZ trait and can also carry over, however.
Golden Base (Faders)
Faders are called by that name because during the juvenile period of life they lose their color and go completely black. As the fading process continues, the black "fades" away, leaving a more vibrant and beautiful color, usually yellow or red. They are also referred to as golden base or Golden Trimac. ZZ's or fish that have been bred with ZZ's tend to fade more commonly due to a recessive gene they carry, but all types of flowerhorns can fade.
Red Texas cichlids are related to the golden base family of flowerhorns. They were originally created by breeding a green Texas cichlid with a Mammon or King Kong parrot, then crossing the offspring back to the parents until a consistent red color was achieved. Hobbyists consider the most important feature of the red Texas to be the color. Red Texas cichlids range in colors, and are rated as:
• Unfaded: lowest grade of red Texas.
• Yellow: second lowest grade.
• Orange: the majority of red Texas fall into this category.
• Coral: pinkish but not quite full red.
• Red: most desirable color.
The second characteristic that sets the red Texas apart is the pearling. Red Texas can vary greatly in terms of the type of pearling.
This is probably the most argued and discussed about strain of flowerhorn. Whether, King Kamfa includes a particular pool of fish bred form a specific set of parents, or whether it simply denotes a certain quality of fish, this is by far the most sought after type of flowerhorn. I think for all practical purposes, King Kamfa today stands for an exceptional quality specimen of Kamfa. From the Kamfa family, this fish typically has white or yellow eyes, although red eyes are possible but rare. Distinctive features of this breed include an intense black double flower row along the lateral line, and very thick white pearling. Originating in Thailand, this breed has seen a recent rebirth in Vietnam. The body is typical of a Kamfa, with a fan tail, and a longer body than some other Kamfas.
This is a cross of a Golden Monkey male and a Kamfa female with Malau features. The body and face resemble a typical Golden Monkey (see above). The finnage and sunken eyes reflect the Kamfa genes. The main feature of a Kamfamalau is the pearling. Fins typically take on a "frosted" pearl look that is rarely found in any other breed of flowerhorn. Pearling usually crosses all the way across the head bump, another rarity in flowerhorn breeds. This breed should display the best characteristics of both Kamfa and Malau.
The Titanium, also known as Thai Silk is a breed of flowerhorn that is almost completely metallic blue. The ones with the fewest marking and largest nuchal hump are considered the most valuable.
A strain is a more specific subset within a particular breed. Strains can get as narrowly defined as all coming from one individual parent fish. Strains can also differ by country of origin and by breeder.
JPG or Golden Apple
Created by Ah Soon of Malaysia, these fish are characterized by a large stocky body, as well as metallic pearling.
These were created by the Indonesian Luohan Club (ILC), using a Golden Monkey (or Malau) female and a Zhen Zhu male. The second generation was spawned from the Elvis selection and a Golden Monkey female. The strain is characterized by extensive pearling all over the body, face, and head. What distinguishes an IndoMalau's pearls from that of a Zhen Zhu or a King Kamfa is that they are extremely fine. As the fish ages, the pearls become more intricately woven and thinner. Flowerlines vary dramatically; some only have a few flower spots. Most ILC IndoMalaus will include some singular flowers on the back line or "top row." The front half of the fish, from the pectoral fins forwards, is red. The back half is a golden gradient intensifying in color towards the tail. The body is very wide and high, a throwback to the original Luohan. There is a very pronounced chin or "gobbler." The head is usually forward-protruding. The tail is fan-shaped, close to that of a Kamfa. The dorsal and anal fins lack trailers, a common trait found also in Zhen Zhu. The caudal peduncle is very large and pronounced in this strain; this helps prevent development of a drop tail.
This strain was created by Mr. Tan of Vietnam, by crossing a Zhen Zhu with a Kamfa. It has pearls and a flowerline like a King Kamfa, but the body and fins are more closely related to the Zhen Zhu. Most have protruding eyes and a more rounded tail like a Zhen Zhu.
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