Breeding Discus

Breeding Discus

Discus fish are one of the most elegant aquarium fish and also one of the most difficult to breed. As with other cichlids, it is best to bring up a batch of youngsters and let them select their own mates. Start by purchasing half a dozen young fish. When 10-15 months old, pairs will form. Each pair is then transferred to a 24 x 15 x 15 inch tank. The spawning act is similar to that of angelfish, eggs are laid on a broad-leaved plant or flat stone. One or both parents fan and look after the eggs. The young hatch out and hang on mucoid threads. It is generally accepted that it is necessary to leave the brood with the parents, for once the yolk sac is absorbed the young feed off the mucous secretion from the bodies of the parents. Nevertheless, on some occasions fry resulting from the eggs hatched away from the parents have been reared on fine, sifted, newly hatched brine shrimp. Once the fry become free swimming the young are quickly reared on usual foods.

Egg rearing without the parents involves transferring the eggs to a container of distilled water (with a few drops of methylene blue added), immediately after the spawning is complete. Add a small bubbler to oxygenate the eggs, allow a gentle stream of bubbles to flow over the eggs. It is not recommended to attempt the removal of dead chalky white eggs, since these actions usually injures neighboring eggs. Methylene blue is added to prevent fungus growth on the eggs, the water should be deep blue in colour to ensure adequate protection. When the fry hatch they with clump on mucoid threads. Once the fry absorb their yolk sacs they may be feed newly hatched brine shrimp. Do partial water changes about once a day. The methylene blue should be removed by these changes within a few days, this is important since brine shrimp do not live long in the presence of the dye.

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