Posted by Steve Mac Donald on May 07, 2014
Return To; Keeping Discus Fish
Discus fish can be difficult to keep, and breeding discus fish is even more complicated. Discus are very sensitive, and you must be very careful in maintaining their tank. Discus are tropical fish that originate from the Amazon River basin. Their tank must be kept like their natural habitat, so the water must be very warm. In addition, they prefer slightly soft and slightly acidic water; a pH of 6.5 to 7.0 is ideal and tank temperature should be 84 degrees. They also like plants in their aquarium so that they can hide when they feel the need to. Plants also keep the ammonia and nitrite levels down; discus cannot tolerate either of these. Discus do not like noise or disruptions to their tank. Any plants in the tank should require minimal maintenance so that you can avoid disturbing the discus.
If all of the above requirements are met satisfactorily, then your discus fish may attempt to breed. Before breeding discus fish, you should either put the mating pair in a separate tank or move other fish out of their tank. If other fish are around, they may eat the small discus when they hatch, or the parents may eat them to protect them from predators. If you have a pair of happy and healthy discus fish, they may begin to mate. They will first find a suitable place for the female to lay her eggs. This involves clearing out a spot in the vegetation, and the pair may clear several places before deciding where to spawn. After the female lays the eggs, the male will immediately fertilize them. The eggs take 3 days to hatch and another 3 days to become free swimming.
When the eggs hatch, the fry will be fed by their parents. The parents secrete slime from their body that provides the fry with the nutrients that they need to grow. The secretion will be their sole source of food for about two weeks. During this critical period for breeding discus fish, it is vital that the water be kept clean and at optimal parameters or the fry may not survive.
After a couple weeks, the fry will be able to eat finely ground regular foods. You can feed them baby brine shrimp or small pieces of frozen bloodworms and finely ground flakes for protein. With proper care and a healthy diet, the young discus will reach about 2” within three months, they will be less susceptible to predators, and you will have successfully mastered discus fish breeding.
Patience is the key to successful discus fish breeding, remember there is nothing you can do to speed the process and the discus fish do all the work, not you.
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