About Flower Horn aka Hua Luo Han 花罗汉
During the past 5 years, a new species of Cichlid known as Flower Horns aka Hua Luo Han 花罗汉 has taken the Aquatic Hobbyist in Asia by storm. Even aunties and uncles keep them for one main purpose, to strike windfall luck.
Luo Hans also have the ability to protect the house and family members from harm and evil because they are produce Yang (陽) energy. The redness on its body, the strength, alertness and aggressiveness makes it a very Yang (陽) fish.
Flower Horn originated from Malaysia – Penang, Ipoh and KL and they only became famous around 1996. The origins of this hybrid fish can be traced from the Cichlid family, which is classified under the family of Cichlasoma. It is believed that this fish is a descendant from a wild caught Cichlid known as “Amphilophus Trimaculatus”. Formerly, it was used as a feeder fish for Arowanas.
Now, you can find Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Hongkong, Philippines, Indonesia coming up with their own breeds of Luo Hans罗汉. Even places like America has Chinese keeping Luo Hans 罗汉 there too.
Malaysian fish farms and breeders cross-bred them with many other kinds of Chiclids and the last strain used was the King Kong Blood Parrot from Taiwan. The appearance of the fish changed slightly and look somewhat different from their wild ancestor. The newer breeds are known as Jin Hua Luo Hans 金花罗汉 .
During the first years, and even now many people are telling that this is just a fad and it will be gone in a year or even months. But even in difficult times of economic slump, this fish rejuvenate the fish trade industry in the whole of Asia.
However, it came and go just like storm. The Luo Hans 罗汉 were so expensive and easy to breed, thus many home breeders emerged to set up small fish shops taken over from those who failed in the Bubble Tea craze and started this Luo Han craze ongoing. However, not all breeders could afford good pairs of Luo Hans 罗汉, thus, they used the lower quality fishes to breed. Once the Luo Han 罗汉 grows up, they are not nice and neither do they have the big hump on the head.
Thus subsequently, people gave up this hobby because they were disappointed every time they paid tonnes of money which ended up in the drain. As the downfall of Luo Hans 罗汉 started, many fish shops with low grade Luo Hans closed and all the low grade fishes were dumped into drains and ponds all over the place. This has actually created a disturbance and upset to the ecological system because the Luo Hans 罗汉 started to breed and attacked / destroyed other fishes.
Currently, the remaining and experienced breeders of Luo Han 罗汉 are focusing on breeding good breeds which has a hump in the head at around 2 to 3 inches and the price is far more competitive as it is not as popular as before. Good to see these fishes coming back and with more potentials at a lower price.
The Flower Horn or Hua Luo Han 花罗汉 has been touted as the Feng Shui fish for the present period of 8 (beginning in 2004 and will end in 2023), just as the Arowana had been dubbed the Feng Shui fish for the period of 7 (which began in 1984 and ended in 2003). It is said to bring its owner lots of prosperity, luck and good fortune in everything ranging from wealth and fame to love and happiness. Those real hobbyists and fish lovers will even stretch their hands into the tank and play with the Luo Han, which behaves just like a little puppy.
The Kua for Period of 8 is Ken 艮 which symbolizes the mountain and the earth element. The Luo Han’s 罗汉 most important distinguishing feature – its nuchal hump that protrudes from its forehead which is actually the excess amount of proteins congregating at the forehead – represents Wealth, Longevity and also the strong mountainous force. This fleshy hump combined with its muscular bulk contributes to its overall squarish profile, which represents the earth element.
Another distinctive trait of the Luo Han 罗汉 would be its Flowery black markings on both sides of its body. These side markings are said to resemble 4D numbers, Chinese characters or even Arabic wordings. Well-developed adult fish with exceptional markings can be sold for thousands of dollars in the early days when they were so popular.
How to select a good and powerful Feng Shui Luo Han 罗汉?
First of all, the fish must be active, aggressive and alert, able to follow your fingers when you play with it in front of the tank. Followed closely by its colours, the more redness on the Luo Han 罗汉, the better. This is because Chinese believes that Red is an auspicious colour for auspicious event, for example, Red Packets (Hong Bao) issued during Chinese New Year for good luck and also issued on other auspicious events such as traveling overseas to tour, work or study, marriages and birthdays.
Then the nuchal hump on its forehead must be big and round. This represents Prosperity, Longevity and Wealth. The body of the fish must be thick and squarish to represent the strong Earth Element and stability. Lastly, the Flower markings on both sides of the body must be black and distinct so that you can one day “see” its lucky numbers and strike windfall luck too. I have struck a few times from observing the numbers on its body and my friends even struck 4D and won Mahjong games on the very day they brought their Luo Hans home.