Discus Fish Breeding – The Big Transition
Pets / Aquarium Fish
If you have already mastered maintaining a species tank, and are ready to move forward with breeding discus fish at home, you’re in for a treat today! We have hand-selected the most essential guidelines for breeding discus fish, so you can begin the preparation for the big transition: (Image Credit/Image License: CC0 Public Domain.)
Vital Information for Discus Fish Breeders
Guidelines on Breeding Discus Fish
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1. Our first advice to anyone who wishes to successfully breed discus fish is this: do not assume anything. Research and verify everything, and don’t rely on general knowledge regarding cichlids. Discus fish are cichlids, but their spawning and mating requirements are different from their cousins such as the more common angelfish.
2. You can definitely buy mature male and female pairs from private breeders. However, there is always a risk that a previously mated pair will begin to behave differently once they are removed from their tank and transported to another tank.
The worst-case scenario is that the discus fish will fight one another and act as if they were not a mated pair at all. If this happens, the private breeder has no responsibility, since the natural mating behavior of discus fish is beyond an aquarist’s abilities to control.
3. A tank of adult males and females will freely mate and spawn if tank conditions are right. Keep this in mind if you are aiming to produce fries of a specific coloration. Two phenotypic subspecies in the same tank will have no problems producing offspring.
4. There are two ways to produce an actively mating pair of adult discus fish. The first method is to buy a mix of adult males and females, and wait for them to mate.
This is the most expensive method, because adult discus fish can cost you up to $200 each. The less expensive method is to buy immature discus fish (both males and females), and just keep them until they mature.
You will need at least six in a species tank to ensure an actively mating pair. Putting one male and one female in one tank doesn’t necessarily mean that the two will form a mating pair.
5. The ideal number of mixed males and females in one species tank is ten. Of course, not every aquarist is willing to spend this much just to breed discus fish, unless of course the aquarist is planning to make money by selling the fries later on.
6. Culling is necessary if you want to produce the best offspring. Assuming that you have purchased a mix of immature males and females, you must be observant, and you must eventually remove the discus fish that do not present the best qualities that you are looking for.
This way, only the superior members of your tank will be able to reproduce. Discus fish that do not fall into the category of “superior” can be transferred to a community tank or any other separate tank. Or, if you are feeling generous you may give them away to friends or family who are also taking care of discus fish.
7. Softening tank water will cause mated pairs to begin spawning. The process of reverse osmosis is the most convenient method of softening the water in the tank. Water temperature must also be adjusted. The ideal temperature for spawning is 33 degrees Celsius.
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