Golden Monkey Flowerhorn 101, Tank Setup, Care, Breeding, Etc.

Golden Monkey Flowerhorn 101, Tank Setup, Care, Breeding, Etc.

Golden Monkey Flowerhorn

The golden monkey flowerhorn cichlid is an exotic, premium fish that has dazzling pearlescent spots covering its body.

These aggressive fish are popular in the aquarium hobby. However, they need a proper aquarium setup to thrive.

Let’s learn more about the golden monkey flowerhorns.

Golden Monkey Flowerhorn Overview

The golden monkey flowerhorn is a hybrid fish species known for its unusual head shape, called a nuchal hump, large size, and dazzling colors.

The only reason these hybrid fish can be found in the wild is due to their release by fish keepers.

They were first introduced into the aquarium trade in Malaysia during the 1990s, and they gained popularity quickly.


Due to their unique looks and large size, golden monkey flowerhorns are the perfect fish for freshwater aquariums.

They have muscular bodies, prominent chins, and unusually thick and tough tails.

While young, golden monkeys appear dull with brown and silver markings.

Adult golden monkeys have bodies with beautiful red and silver patterns with black and yellow markings on their fins and tails.


The flowerhorn is a hybrid fish that isn’t found in nature. It’s a result of cross-breeding in the aquarium hobby.

Like flowerhorn cichlids, the golden monkey flowerhorns have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years in captivity.

However, you can provide them with the best possible aquarium conditions and a nutritious diet to improve their lifespan.

Average Size

Golden monkey flowerhorn cichlids can grow between 12 to 15 inches in length. This makes them one of the largest cichlid species.

The largest golden monkey flowerhorn in an aquarium had reached the size of 15 inches in length and weighed around 6 pounds.

These fish need plenty of swimming space to thrive. So it’s essential to provide them with a large tank.

Golden Monkey Flowerhorn Tank Setup

Providing adequate space and stable water conditions is crucial to keep golden monkey flowerhorns.

Let’s understand the tank requirements of these fish in more detail.

Tank Size

The golden monkey flowerhorn cichlids need a minimum tank size of 70 gallons.

To keep an additional flowerhorn fish, you should add a minimum of 70 extra gallons of water to the tank.

You should keep these fish in a large tank as they need adequate space to swim and roam around.

This will reduce stress and help them adjust to their tank conditions more efficiently.

Tank Equipment and Decorations

Since golden monkey flowerhorns are bred in captivity, the natural habitat requirements of these cichlids are unknown.

To provide them with the best tank setup, add mono-colored gravel, rocks, and driftwood as the tank substrate.

Make sure to choose a smooth material so that their scales don’t get damaged because these fish love to dig in the substrate.

Flowerhorns like to create their territories in the tank by using decorations like caves and castles.

So ensure that these decorations are firmly fixed to prevent the fish from knocking them over.

Sturdy and deep-rooted aquatic plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Java Moss are excellent choices for aquariums with cichlids because they tend to stay put.

Given below are the items needed in a golden monkey flowerhorn tank:

  • Substrate (rocks or pebbles),
  • Aquatic plants like Anubias, Java Fern, and Java Moss,
  • Filter,
  • Heater,
  • Moderate lighting to support aquatic plants,
  • Thermometer,
  • PH testing kit, and
  • Hiding places like caves, castles, driftwood, etc.

Regular maintenance is essential to maintain the desired pH level of the aquarium water.

Golden Monkey Flowerhorn Care

Like any other fish species, providing golden monkey flowerhorns with a nutritious diet and appropriate care is essential.


Golden monkey flowerhorn cichlids are large-sized omnivores that need plenty of food. So make sure that they are well-fed.

To ensure adequate nutrition, provide these fish with a protein-rich diet to satiate their dietary requirements.

You can feed them a good balance of high-quality cichlid pellets and carotene-enhanced supplements.

Their diet should consist of approximately 30% plant-based foods.

Algae wafers, veggie fish food, and blanched spinach are excellent choices.

You can also feed them various live, fresh, and frozen food to meet their dietary needs.

Some of the live food that you must feed golden monkey flowerhorns are:

  • Bloodworms,
  • Crickets,
  • Earthworms,
  • Krill,
  • Shrimp, and
  • Nightcrawlers.

A flowerhorn cichlid must be fed thrice daily, at 5 to 6 hours intervals.

Flowerhorn cichlids don’t need extra supplements if their diet has a high-protein food item.

Water Parameters

Like other flowerhorns, golden monkeys also produce a lot of waste.

So maintaining conducive water parameters is essential for these fish to stay healthy.

The ideal water parameters for golden monkey flowerhorns are:

Water Temperature: 80°F to 89°F (26.6°C to 31.6°C)

Water pH: 6.5 to 7.8

Water Hardness (dGH): 9 to 20 dGH

Tank Maintenance

Golden monkey flowerhorns need clean and fresh water in their tanks for optimal growth.

So it’s best to maintain a moderate water flow in their tank to maintain the oxygen levels and remove toxins.

These fish are notoriously messy, so they need a powerful filtration system to keep the water clean.

Performing regular water changes and cleaning the aquarium filter, substrate, and decorations will also help to keep the water clean.

You can use a liquid test kit to check the water parameters to make sure that the aquarium’s water is within the required range.

Common Diseases

Flowerhorn cichlids need adequate care to avoid typical aquarium diseases such as bacterial, parasitic, or fungal infections.

You can give them a day off from food every week to clear their digestive system and reduce the chance of blockages.

Given below are some of the common diseases that can affect golden monkey flowerhorns:

  • Fin rot,
  • Ich,
  • Swim bladder disease,
  • Bacterial infections,
  • Parasitic infections,
  • Dropsy,
  • Hole in the head,
  • Digestive blockages, and
  • Popeye disease.

Change the water frequently and clean all the tank surfaces to maintain the health of your fish.

Golden Monkey Flowerhorn Behavior and Temperament

Golden monkey flowerhorns look friendly but are quite territorial. So they are usually kept alone.

These cichlids are known for their aggressive behavior, making them incompatible with most fish in the aquarium hobby.

They should be kept with other fish of the same size and temperament.

However, keeping flowerhorns in a community tank isn’t a great idea.

Golden Monkey Flowerhorn Tankmates

The aggressive behavior of golden monkey flowerhorns makes it challenging to find compatible tankmates for them.

The ideal tankmate for your flowerhorn is the one with similar size and speed that can defend itself or flee swiftly if needed.

So you must keep large fish that can hold their ground against the aggressive flowerhorns.

You can also introduce large bottom dwellers so that they don’t bother your flowerhorns.

Some of the compatible tankmates that you can keep with golden monkey flowerhorns are:

  • Blue Acara Cichlids,
  • Common Plecos,
  • Clown Loaches,
  • Giant Gouramis,
  • Jaguar Cichlids,
  • Midas Cichlids,
  • Ornate Bichirs,
  • Silver Arowanas,
  • Silver Dollars,
  • Spotted Hoplos,
  • Tiger Oscars, and
  • Tinfoil Barbs.

Keeping flowerhorns with koi or goldfish isn’t recommended because they need different water temperatures.

On the other hand, don’t keep them with small fish and invertebrates since they can end up being eaten by flowerhorns.

Given below are some fish species that you should avoid housing with golden monkey flowerhorns:

  • Small fish species,
  • Goldfish,
  • Koi,
  • Crabs, and
  • Shrimp.

In short, compatible tankmates for the golden monkey flowerhorns are large-sized fish that can withstand their aggression.

Breeding Golden Monkey Flowerhorns

Like flowerhorns, golden monkeys mature when they are 8 to 12 months old.

However, many breeders wait until 18 months to achieve better breeding success.

To breed golden monkey flowerhorns, select a male and female and move them to a sizeable 150-gallon breeding tank with a glass divider to keep them separate.

Then, give them a diet of live bloodworms and treat the water with an antifungal solution before taking out the divider.

If the pair is ready for breeding, the female will look for a flat surface to lay her eggs, and the male will pursue her around the tank.

After the male golden monkey inseminates the female, her abdomen will swell as she produces eggs.

The female fish will then lay between 700 to 1000 eggs on a flat surface, which the male fish will fertilize.

Both the male and female will protect the eggs for the next few days until they hatch.

It’s vital to feed the young golden monkey fry with brine shrimp and remove their parents after two to three days of hatching.

When the fish fry grow to two inches, feed them flakes, pellets, daphnia, and tubifex worms.

Once the young fry reach adult size at around 6 to 8 months, you can move them to separate tanks.

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