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Breeding Discus Fish - Some General Tips

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Breeding discus fish is perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing tropical aquarium enthusiasts today. By nature, discus are extremely picky, and if their living conditions aren't exactly perfect, they will flat-out refuse to breed.

But there are a few ways to make sure your discus fish are happy in their home. And if you can keep them happy, there's a good chance you'll end up successfully breeding them.

A Tank of Discus Fish by Marisa Roman
Natural Environment
Discus fish come from the murky, warm waters of the Amazon River in South America, so it makes sense to simulate that natural habitat. The way the fish see it, happiness starts with the right aquarium environment, and when they are happy they are much more likely to breed.

Water Conditions
Make sure the water temperature stays somewhere in the mid 80's F. Many breeders keep their discus aquariums at 85 degrees, but say that a slight deviation (by one or two degrees at the most) shouldn't cause any problems. Also, Discus fish prefer pH levels between 5.5 and 7, so aim for this range.

The Amazon River is full of places to hide - in fact that's how the Discus survives, by ducking away from predators and laying low most of the time. Try to mimic this in your aquarium. Discus love to hide, and become stressed if not given adequate cover. And if your fish is stressed, you can forget about breeding them! So provide plenty of places for them to hide.

One of the easiest mistakes to make, especially as a beginner, is to introduce some Discus into an aquarium with no cover features at all. While it is nice to watch them swim out in the open, it puts big stresses on them. And breeding discus fish that are stressed is impossible.

Make sure your fish are happy with the meals you give them by including frozen blood worms, beef heart, brine shrimp, and/or white worms. These foods promote general health which makes breeding discus fish that much easier.

A Note About Diet
If the water quality isn't perfect, your discus won't eat. If they're not eating, it's usually because of an environmental stress. Evaluate your water conditions immediately and make corrections. Discus are picky fish, and flat-out refuse to eat if they're not happy. Unfortunately, they'll literally starve themselves to death doing this, so take action as soon as you recognize a problem.

When Discus fish are happy, they eat like pigs. That's how you'll know you've got all the conditions dialed in perfectly. And when they are happy, they're more than willing to mate. In a way, successfully breeding discus fish comes down to keeping them happy.

By keeping the water conditions and diet just right, you'll soon be well on your way to breeding discus fish.

Author Resource: "Discus" David Teasock has been raising and breeding discus fish for 10 years. He understands the frustrations people have, and encourages everyone to visit his blog


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