Flowerhorn demand in decline

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Demand for the Flowerhorn cichlid has declined in Malaysia and breeders are starting to turn their attentions back to other fishes.

The cichlids, which are man-made hybrids produced by crossing various varieties of large Central American cichlid, such as "Cichlasoma" trimaculatum, have been selling for large sums of money and there have also been reports of fish being stolen. Before the "marketing" of Flowerhorn cichlids, most hybrid cichlids were considered worthless.

Some UK dealers have told PFK that there has been a reduction in the availability of certain species, such as Discus, because breeders had stopped producing them in order to cash-in on the lucrative business in producing hybrid cichlids.

According to The Edge Daily, Xian Leng Holdings Bhd expects to see a decline in revenue this year now that the excitement over Flowerhorn cichlids has declined. The supplier is intending to focus efforts on the production of Asian arowana - a species in which demand far exceeds supply.

In March a Practical Fishkeeping survey showed that around 80% of readers thought that Flowerhorn cichlid production could be potentially damaging to the hobby and believed that shops should not be stocking them.

The production and sale of hybrid cichlids is frowned upon in the UK, but several major retailers are currently stocking some quite expensive Flowerhorns, so there is obviously still a demand for the fish.