To breed the Discus Fish, a bare bottom tall 20 or 27 gallon tank is best. A vertical surface for them to deposit their eggs on is best because discus lay their eggs just like angels. If so desired, a potted plant or two can be added to the breeding tank. This will provide shelter for the pair, but this isn’t critical. An outside power filter should be used to pick up an debris in conjunction with a sponge filter for the biological waste.
Discus come from the warm, soft, acidic waters of the Amazon River so naturally they’ll thrive if these conditions are replicated in home aquariums. The ideal conditions for breeding of discus are: the pH at 6.5 and the temperature at 86 F. if alterations need to be made to the water chemistry it should be done prior to the water being added to the tank. Water changes should be done weekly for general maintenance, however a small water change should be done every day, or, at least, every second day. Frequent water changes increase appetite and promote mating activity in discus. This is why discus will often spawn shortly after a water change.
Good water quality must be maintained if the discus are to have large appetites. Spawning discus should be fed frozen blood worms, frozen or live brine shrimp, Tetra Color Bits, live white worms or beef hearts. Care must be taken with beef heart to make sure nothing is left over because it will quickly foul the water. Never feed tubifex or black worms to discus at any time, as they will introduce parasites into the tank.
A breeding pair will lay eggs as often as every week and as many as fifteen times. They will usually go through two spawning cycles a year. The eggs are free-swimming and take about 48 hours to hatch. Upon becoming free-swimming the fry will move to their parents’ sides, and start feeding off the mucous secretion that are produced by the parents during this time. The fry will feed off their parents’ sides for as long as you leave them together, but newly hatched brine shrimp should be offered after being free-swimming for five days.
Remove fry between two and three weeks after reaching the free-swimming stage. If left in with parents the fry will start ripping off scales and bits of flesh from the parents. The parents will spawn shortly after fry are removed. Put the fry in a tank of their own and feed them six or more times a day. Newly hatched brine shrimp and chopped blood worms are the best food. The first few weeks there will be noticeable daily growth. Be sure to do a partial water change every night after the last feeding in the fry tank.
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