Main photo: Flowerhorn Cichlid caught by Alan with Rattlin’ Rapala Bleeding FT
If there ever was a fish that is created to make money from, this must be it. The Flowerhorn Cichlid is a hybrid cichlid that was developed in Malaysia during the 1990s. Keeping Flowerhorn cichlids are considered to bring good luck and good Feng Shui by some asians. The belief that Flowerhorn cichlids are bringer of good fortune can be traced to the fact that the hump that the species develop as it matures are considered to resembles the Chinese God of Longevity. If the hump grows so does the good fortune of the owner.
The black markings on Flowerhorn cichlids also plays an important role in this species reputation as bringer of good fortune. These markings can sometimes create patterns that resemble Chinese signs. Examples of this are that some Flowerhorn cichlids display Chinese numbers on their sides and the owner of these fishes often play the number their Flowerhorn displays on the lottery. The story behind this is an incident where a woman won 1 million dollars and claimed that she had the play the number her fish displayed. Another is a Flowerhorn cichlid that displays the Chinese sign for luck on its side and that fish is hardly surprising considered as extra lucky.
When the Flowerhorn cichlids stock market crashed, i.e. the fad died down, it unsurprisingly brought bad luck for many investors that invested in Flowerhorn cichlid when the hype was at its peak. And here is where the problem started for the ecosystem. What do fish keepers do when they grew tired of keeping their luckless fish? Release them into the nearest body of water of course! Being hardy and ferocious fishes, these cichlids quickly breed and wreck havoc to the fragile balance of the ecosystem.
Hybrid or not, you should never ever release non-native species into the wild!
The infamous Peacock Bass also belongs to the same species of fish from the family Cichlidae.