Flowerhorn Diseases and Treatments [2020 Guide]

Flowerhorn cichlids are one of the ornamental aquarium fish. Flowerhorn fish are noted for their vivid colors and as well as for the distinctively shaped heads “Kok”. These fish are named as Flowerhorn because of their head. These fish are man-made hybrids like blood parrot cichlids. And they are found in the wild only because of their release. The Flowerhorn was first developed in Malaysia, then in Thailand and Taiwan during the year 1993. These fish became very popular among the Asian fish keepers. These fish are also kept by American fish keeper in the United States and as well as in Europe, but are banned in Australia. The lifespan of Flowerhorn is about 10 years to 12 years. These fish require water temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Flowerhorn is a big fish so requires a tank with a minimum of 55 gallons for a male Flowerhorn depending on its size. This article will help you to learn about some of the most common Flowerhorn Diseases and Treatments.

You should always set up an aquarium for Flowerhorn fish the right way as the right water parameter and the right tank’s environment is the key to healthy flowerhorn fish.

Flowerhorn Diseases and Treatments

Prevention Is Better Than Cure:

Always Wear a Protective Mask when you go out. Its better to use a N95 Mask.
Always Wear a safety Goggles.
Make Sure you Wash your hand with a soap for at least 20 Seconds.
Carry A sanitizer when you go out.


Flowerhorn Sickness Prevention

Flowerhorn and other fish are also like human beings. They also get sick and get diseases. And to cure these sicknesses, you will need to take care of your fish. Usually, people think caring fish is just feeding them 2 to 3 times a day, but that is not enough. Caring also includes maintaining water qualities. It is also as important as feeding them daily. Fish also have the feeling like a human, you need to care them like a human.

The most important thing about keeping a Flowerhorn fish is to pay attention to the distinctive sign of diseases of the Flowerhorn. The fish keeper should observe their pet, Flowerhorn, carefully while feeding them. This will give us, hobbyist, a hint that Flowerhorn is sick or it has some diseases from its strange behaviors and as well as from its body languages. Once we get to see the strange behavior, we will need to identify the disease in Flowerhorn and treat them with care.

If you want to prevent the sickness of your Flowerhorn and keep them healthy then, you will just need to follow the following instructions.

Required Temperature

Flowerhorn grows well in the temperature in between 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. But we would recommend you to keep the temperature between 80 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 80-85 Degree Fahrenheit is the best temperature to keep your Flowerhorn healthy.

Also, keep a heater and an aquarium thermometer to monitor your aquarium’s temperature. Here are my top picks which I use in my aquariums.

Water Condition

You should be able to manage the proper water condition for your Flowerhorn. You should be able to maintain the pH level of the water where the Flowerhorn lives. We recommend you to maintain the pH level of water between 6.0 to 7.6. Use a digital pH tester to monitor your aquarium water pH. The drastic change in the pH level can be harmful to the Flowerhorn. If you really wish to keep your Flowerhorn healthy then you will need to check the pH level of water periodically. Similarly, you will need to maintain the ammonia in the water at 0 and the Nitrate should also be 0 in the water where you are going to keep your Flowerhorn. For this use Ammonia Tester, Nitrite Tester, and Nitrate Tester. Or what you can do is, you can buy a master test kit that has several other water test kit inside the package.


Flowerhorn basically needs enough Oxygen running in the tank. So you will require proper filtration process on your tank to circulate water. You will need to be sure that your tank is sufficiently bubbling. The filtration system also helps in pollutant like ammonia and nitrate in the aquarium. The filtration process helps in the nitrogen cycle of an aquarium. There are various filtration system and filtration methods you can choose. But, for filtering bigger aquarium what I found the best method is to use a sump filter, a sump filter is an aquarium that is converter as a filter using baffles that house various filtration media in it. However, if you don’t have enough room in the cabinet of your aquarium, I recommend using external canister filters. A canister filter is a great replacement to aquarium sump filter.

Water change

Water change is one of the most important factors in caring for your Flowerhorn. Your Flowerhorn will not like to live in a dirty environment so you will need to change the water. You will need to change 25% – 30 % of the water on a weekly basis. This will help you to keep your Flowerhorn healthy and disease-free.

The Python 25 ft. No Spill Clean & Fill can work with your faucet to siphon water from your tank directly into the sink, making water changes a breeze. However, if you choose to not use the faucet to create siphon, you can use the included Stressless Siphon Starter to create siphon. It also can refill the tank with water from the faucet (freshwater only) for ultra-quick water changes. -Amazon.


The other most important factor is feeding. A healthy appetite will help you Flowerhorn to be healthy. You will need to feed your Flowerhorn up to only they can consume. You will need to feed Flowerhorn 2 to 3 times a day. And you will also need to pick up all the left-over food after 5 minutes.

Flowerhorn Diseases and Treatments Guide



  • The cause of this disease is a ciliated protozoan called Ichthyophithirius multifilis (ICH ).
  • Bad water quality can increase the risk of ICH.
  • Temperature below 25 Degree Celsius is the ideal temperature for the ICH to breed.
  • Feeding you Flowerhorn live or frozen food that is contaminated with ICH.


  • Clearly defined small, pure white spots.
  • Looks like someone sprinkled salt all over the fish body.
  • A loss in apatite, fins may be clumped.
  • They may scratch their body against hard objects, decorations or gravels.


  • To treat this you will need to change 75 % of the water,
  • Immediately add water treatments like Aquarisol plus 1 tablespoon salt per 10 gallons.
  • Raise the water temperature little more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple of days.
  • Do 50% water change daily, and treat the whole tank once the fish is cured.


  • Always quarantine newly purchased fish for 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Need to do lots of water change.
  • You will need to avoid the cross tank contamination

Medicine for Ich

King British Methylene Blue

API Aquarium Salt

Seachem ParaGuard


Hole in the Head


  • Hole in the Head, HITH, is caused due to Hexamita Protozoa, that is highly contagious.
  • Poor water quality,


  • Small pits and pimples grow in fish head,
  • Small grayish worms crawl out of their head region.
  • Fish stops eating, loses weight, dark coloration, head standing, dark coloration, clamped fins.


  • You will need to change 75% of water from your tank.
  • Add 250 mg of Metronidazole per 10 gallons of water.
  • To make is more effective your fish will need to be forced feeding using a syringe.
  • Repeat the treatment once every 2 to 3 days, until cured.


  • Will need to change about 10-20% water once a week.
  • Need to quarantine doubtful looking fish.
  • Maintain water temperature.
  • Avoid cross tank contamination.

Medicine for Hole In The Head

Dr. G’s Anti Bacterial Caviar



  • Mouth Body Fungus is caused by the Flexibacter Bacterium.
  • The bacteria thrives in poor water quality.
  • A sudden change in water condition.


  • A loss in apatite.
  • Fins and Tails will start getting shorter.
  • White or grayish cotton wool like thing will grow on their skin, mouth, and fins.


  • You will need to do a frequent water change.
  • Need to quarantine infected fish.
  • Various water treatments must be used like Methylene blue, Acriflavine and many more.
  • Add 1 tablespoon aquarium salt per 5 gallons of water
  • Raise temperature to 80 to 80 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Treat with Metronidazole or Fungus care.
  • Do 30% water change in every 3 days and repeat the treatment.


  • Need to do a frequent water change.
  • You will need to avoid the cross tank contamination.
  • Always need to quarantine doubtful looking fish.

Medicine to Cure Fungus

API Melafix Fish Remedy for Bacterial Infection in Freshwater Aquarium

API PIMAFIX Antifungal Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Remedy

King British Methylene Blue



  • Fish will continually scratch themselves on the rocks and rough surfaces.
  • Gill plates of the fish will be close tight or not even functioning during breathing.


  • Will need to do 75 % of water change.
  • And treat the tank with the formalin.
  • Will need to wash all the filtration equipment.


  • Need to do lots of water change.
  • You will need to avoid the cross tank contamination.
  • Always need to quarantine doubtful looking fish.



  • Caused due to bacterial infection of your fish internal organs.
  • Poor water quality
  • Overcrowding and stress can cause this disease


  • You will get to see excess body fluid which builds up inside the fish.
  • Eyes and Scales are swollen more than normal.
  • Will stop eating food.
  • The fish may appear bloated.


  • Commercial treatment is available at your local fish store.
  • Act as soon as possible since this disease can kill your fish.
  • Never use aquarium salt while treating dropsy, this will kill your fish in short time.
  • You will need to use Tetracyclin, Maracyn, Kanacyn or broad-spectrum antibiotic foods, commercially prepared treatment available at your fish store.


  • Need to do lots of water change.
  • You will need to avoid the cross tank contamination.
  • Always need to quarantine doubtful looking fish for 3 to 4 weeks.

Medicine for Dropsy

API FIN & BODY CURE Freshwater Fish Powder Medication

King British Methylene Blue

White Poop Disease


  • Internal parasites inside the fish stomach cause this disease.
  • Frozen and live feeding.
  • Poor water quality.
  • High Protein diet causes the worm inside the fish grows.


  • A loss in apatite.
  • Fish starts pooping white sticky material.


  • Use CLEAR medicine by Aqua Product or OCEANFREE WHITE POOP for the treatment.
  • Increase the temperature of the water above 30 Degree Celsius.
  • Keep your fish without feeding for three days.
  • Remove at least 30% water in the third day.
  • Repeat the treatment until fish is healthy.
  • Feed the fish with low protein pallet.


  • Maintain your water quality.
  • You need to do a regular water change.
  • Move your sick fish to a hospital tank.

Medicine of White Poop Disease

Clear Medicine For FlowerHorn Fish for Treat white pooh and inflammatory bowel by CZ Aqua Products

Dr Tim’s Aquatics Natural Aquarium Products, Freshwater

Hikari Usa AHK73254 Prazipro for Aquarium

Video on Flowerhorn Diseases and Treatment

2 thoughts on “Flowerhorn Diseases and Treatments [2020 Guide]

  • January 30, 2020 at 09:28

    Can i change the water if the fish is weak?

    • January 30, 2020 at 09:38

      Hello Rocela,
      Yes you can change the water when the fish is sick. However, do not go 100% water change. You can go for 50% water change daily if your fish is in medication.
      The temperature of water that you are going to add on your tank should be same as the temperature in your tank. Sudden change in water temperature can stress our your fish.


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