Last month we went over breeding tank set up, this month we will go over getting a pair.
You will find that the triggers for getting Flowerhorn are pretty much the same as other Cichlids. Once they go into pre spawning mode, the fighting will decrease, but rough mating will start.
The technique that works the best is hard for most of us aquarist to do, as it goes against everything we strive to accomplish with our aquariums. With that said, it works and does not hurt your Flowerhorn in the long run.
The best way to get a pair of Flowerhorn to spawn is to let their aquarium conditions become very poor for one to two weeks. This will include, taking the filter pads out of the filters and running them without the pads (they need to run to keep the water circulating), letting algae build up in the aquarium and letting the water level of the aquarium get low. Please make sure that you leave aeration in the tank so the water does not become oxygen depleted. I also recommend that you feed them at about ½ the normal amount during this time. Once the conditions in the aquarium have deteriorated to the point where it is becoming stressful, do a complete water change and cleaning of the tank. You will find that most pairs will spawn within one or two days (often within hours) of the completion of the cleaning.
Other techniques are:
• Change the water temperature to 72 degrees for a few days and then bring it up to 84 degrees over about 12 hours and then leave it at 84 degrees for the remainder of a week.
• Feed them heavily for a few days, then stop feeding them for two days, followed by feeding them live food for three days.
• Leave the tank dark for two full days and then turn the lights on for two full days.