How To Care For And Breed Your Discus Fish, The Correct Way!

Ozzy47

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Over the years there have been more instruction manuals written about breeding and raising discus fish than any other exotic fish. This is due to the fact that they are highly popular with most pet owners. You will need to know the preferred living conditions, feeding and breeding habits of discus fish if you want these sensitive creatures to live long lives.

To keep discus fish happy, you should start by noting that they are native to the calm, warm waters of the Amazon. Discus fish constantly modify their behavior depending on the surrounding environmental factors.

Discus fish usually act rather shyly, but they are very territorial and will fight against other fish that invade their space. Generally, with this kind of situation the stronger discus fish will survive while the weaker ones will be attacked. Discus fish should be kept in-groups of at least six. By maintaining them in-groups it will generally tend to increase confidence among group members and decrease the chance of them misbehaving. There are difficulties and joys involved when keeping a discus fish. Here are some helpful tips that may help you...

Pairing:

The best way to form a steady pair of discus fish is to buy several unrelated fish that have the same color; they will choose their own mates, and won't do well if you choose mates for them. Spawning usually occurs when there 3/4 of their adult size, this might happen from when the fish are half grown. These fish will be mates for the rest of their lives.

Spawning:

Discus fish will choose a near vertical smooth site, which they clean. After which, the female will lay any ware from 80-400 eggs and then the male fertilizes them. Generally, it may take from fifty to sixty hours in order for the eggs to hatch and an additional thirty six to forty eight hours until they are swimming freely.

Breeding Tank:

The breeding tank works best if it is simple and has spawning locations and air-powered filters. Broad-leafed plants or slate, terra cotta cones are suitable but do not use any substrate. The water must be soft in order to allow the eggs to develop, as they should. The water temperature should be 84-88F and be of the best quality. A tank with the dimensions of 24x18x18 is also suitable.

Feeding and Conditioning:

The mother and father need to have a varied and a good diet to be able to condition them to spawn and also to provide them with nutrition while they feed their fry. Spawning may be triggered by rising temperatures, lots of feeding, or major changes in the water.

Fry Rearing:

The fry should be given more feedings with some specific small foods. (Also known as the BBS) Baby brine shrimp should be kept with their parents. Roughly 3-6 weeks after birth, the fry will be growing rapidly while the parents will be worn out, making this a good time to remove the fry. Lots of water changes are needed to achieve a decent growth rate. In the past I have grown circa. Approximately 40 fry could be kept in a 55-gallon tank, but the water had to be changed very frequently. So it is best to grow 20-50 excellent fry than 80 runts, seeing that the discus market is saturated with fish. The growth rate in this area is normal, but nothing too exciting.

If you are considering breeding discus fish I hope you have found some of these tips to be useful.

Source, http://www.articlecity.com/articles/pets_and_animals/article_2017.shtml
 

GTB

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By hatching brine shrimp?
yes, they feed from body of parents for around a week or so at first I think, been a while - and after a while you can see they get too big and the parent fish try and avoid them feeding off them. You then can only pretty much feed them newly hatched brine shrimps until they are big enough to start eating grated beef heart mix. That really is the most tricky part because you have watch for when the parents get fed up of fry feeding off them and time adding the brine shrimp in with parents removed from tank. The fry are on their own then relying on just you feeding them 5-6 times a day.

Keep in mind, you can't feed them brine shrimp you buy live in a bag, they are too large for the fry and you need buy brine shrimp eggs and be hatching them all the time between different bottles uses to keep a supply of them going. All takes work and time keep doing it! ;)
 
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Professor_fish

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Gut load the brine shrimp, feed young monia and daphnia until you can get them on a beef heart fine mix. But as soon as you use beef heart 50% min water change a day. OR ozone and skimmer
 

Professor_fish

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yes GTB is spot on, the brine shrimp need to be under 24 hours old
 

Professor_fish

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How do you get a skimmer to work in freshwater PF ?
Its a night mare.

The problem as i am sure you know is bubble size. So the trick is to get ultra fine bubbles rising up and the water flow in a large narrow column going down. The method normally tried is using a compressor to pump high pressure air through a sintered glass unit (like that used in chem labs for filtering). It dosnt work well, so my method............

$ feet tall acrylic column, roughly 6 inch diameter, glass frit 12 inch from bottom, the air line from this goes securely through the column, the end of airline is open just above the top of the tube.

The water enters 6 inches below the top of the sealed column via a fitting and leaves the bottom around 2 inch near the bottom via similar fitting.

The top of the tube is connected to a vacuum pump, so when the water is pumped down through the tube/column, the vac pump tries to pull it up and lowers the pressure. The glass frit being open at the airline end lets air in to equal the pressure. The frit size is number (extremely fine) the pic is the type of filter thing i use for the frit, but the frit in the pic is larger pore size. My pore size would filter 5 micron or maybe less.

The froth goes into the vac airline, so you have to use dreschel bottles to catch the froth in compressor oil before it hits the pump.

Its a real PITA and you cant run the pumps more than 6 hours at a time (well mine you cant). I will do a drawing of the set up when i get a chance and take some pics, the pics are not easy to work out without the drawing.

In other words the air bubbles rise against the water down flow if that makes sense, but the main issue is how to get ultra fine bubbles in fresh water, hence the frit. you cant use compressed air because it breaks the frit.
 

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CarpCharacin

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Carp, a skimmer is typically used in saltwater applications, it a great piece of equip. but as PF said its very hard to get it to work in freshwater.
There are protein skimmers and surface skimmers. That is why I asked. Now I know you meant a protein skimmer
 

Professor_fish

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NP, how interested in fresh water protein skimmers are you?

The system i have working and use, is not easy to take pic of because of how its sited etc. BUT if your really interested I can maybe mock up a smaller one next week and photograph that. I have a larger pore size filter i can use and a smaller vac pump, but i should be able to get it to work well enough to show you the principle.

The big difference between mine and the others you see is the fact i dont use compressed air, i use a vacuum to draw air through the bubble maker.

The upside is mine is way way more effective, the downside is it needs more maintenance and you have to replace both the wash bottle compressor oil and vac pump oil once a month or so, it dosnt use much oil but it is a royal PITA to set up properly and clean.
 

Angelphish

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NP, how interested in fresh water protein skimmers are you?

The system i have working and use, is not easy to take pic of because of how its sited etc. BUT if your really interested I can maybe mock up a smaller one next week and photograph that. I have a larger pore size filter i can use and a smaller vac pump, but i should be able to get it to work well enough to show you the principle.

The big difference between mine and the others you see is the fact i dont use compressed air, i use a vacuum to draw air through the bubble maker.

The upside is mine is way way more effective, the downside is it needs more maintenance and you have to replace both the wash bottle compressor oil and vac pump oil once a month or so, it dosnt use much oil but it is a royal PITA to set up properly and clean.
But can you hook me up with one?
 

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Yes but you will have to build it, you cant buy them as it was home made. It isnt hard and apart from the vac pump isnt that expensive,
 

Professor_fish

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shipping would be a killer or I would gladly make you one. Unless your in the UK? If so then it might be possible. If your UK then i can sort the skimmer but it would be alot cheaper if you sourced a vac pump yourself, I can spec it out for you though.

Do you want ozone adding to it? Really simple to add on and safer that straight ozone in a system.
 

CarpCharacin

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shipping would be a killer or I would gladly make you one. Unless your in the UK? If so then it might be possible. If your UK then i can sort the skimmer but it would be alot cheaper if you sourced a vac pump yourself, I can spec it out for you though.

Do you want ozone adding to it? Really simple to add on and safer that straight ozone in a system.
He is in Georgia.
 

Professor_fish

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Shipping from the UK to the states would mean its cheaper for you if i design it and you get one made there. We import stuff alot from the states and the tax and shipping triples the price.
 
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