How to Artificially Incubate Flowerhorn Eggs with High Hatching Rate

There are instances when you would need to facilitate the hatching of the fertilized flowerhorn eggs yourself.

  • When the female has developed the habit of devouring her own eggs and fry
  • When the female has been heavily injured while mating
  • When you want to hasten the recovery period of the female flowerhorn as preparation for another breeding program
Preparing the Hatching Tank
You should prepare a tank with clean aged water, 8-12 inches deep. Use methylene blue to slow down fungi and other microorganism growth.
Check water temperature. It should be 28-31 degrees Celsius. Use aquarium heater to bring water to right temperature, if necessary.

There are cases where hatching rate is low because of water hardness. Use filtered water, instead. Minerals found in hard water are known to harden the surface of fish eggs.

Aerate the tank using air stones. You may also use sponge filters, but should still be supplemented by air stones. Make sure that there is water movement in all corners of the tank.

Removing the Eggs from the Flowerhorn Breeding Tank
Make sure that the eggs have been completely fertilized by the male flowerhorn before you separate them from the parents.

When you notice that the pair has stopped the egg-depositing-milt-spraying routine, they will start cleaning the site by fanning it with their tails. You may now remove the eggs if they are in a tile or pot.

Be careful though because the pair will attack anything that goes near the eggs. You may want somebody to help you isolate the parents using a fish net while you slowly move the eggs out of the flowerhorn breeding tank.

Place the tile or pot in the hatching tank you prepared beforehand. Wait for the eggs to hatch. Depending on water temperature eggs will start to hatch in 60 – 96 hours. Higher temperature results to faster hatching. However, do not exceed 32 degrees Celsius.

Using the Flowerhorn Breeding Tank for Hatching
There are instances when eggs are not deposited in the tile. When eggs are deposited in tank bottom or side, you need to remove the parents and use the breeding tank for hatching.

After you have carefully transferred the parents to separate tanks, clean the tank by siphoning all the dirt you can find. Make sure not to touch the eggs.

Remove excess water until only 8-12 inches deep is left. Introduce methylene blue. Reduce or turn off lighting.

Remove or disable aquarium filtration systems that suck in water. Replace with sponge type filters. Use a lot of air stone for water circulation. Keep air stone close to the eggs but regulate air flow so that eggs are not removed from tank bottom.

Place aquarium heater to keep water temperature above 28 degrees Celsius, if necessary.

Wait for 60-96 hours for the eggs to hatch.

Eggs Turning White
Do not fret when you see some of the eggs turn white. It is really seldom that all of the eggs will hatch.

What to Do When Eggs Start to Hatch
When you see the eggs start hatching, you don’t have to do anything yet. The wrigglers do not need to be fed anything at this point. The round sacs they have are all they need to survive this stage.

Just keep on checking water temperature and circulation.

You may need to conduct a partial water change if you think it’s necessary to keep the water clean.

However, make sure that the water you introduce to the hatching tank is aged. Temperature should also be the same with that of the remaining tank water.

Start feeding the fry when they start swimming around in about three days.