Friday, March 8, 2019

Discus Fish Feeding & Nutrition

By: ExtraFunnyPicture On: March 08, 2019
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  • In the dark, murky waters of the Amazon, wild discus fish typically feed on small worms, crustaceans, plant matter, insects, and detritus that gets flushed out of the surrounding forests by rainfall. In aquariums as pets, however, discus fish are much more picky eaters, as each fish, with its own individual personality, will prefer different types of foods. The topic of discus feeding and nutrition is one that many novice aquarists find to be quite challenging. One discus fish in the aquarium might eat flake food the second it touches the water, while another discus fish would rather starve to death than eat the flake food. Using the right combination of live, frozen, and freeze-dried food, however, is the key to maintaining healthy, well fed discus.

    One of the biggest mistakes made by beginners is that they simply overfeed their discus fish. Overfeeding can lead to fish obesity, which comes with a whole list of health issues, and a dirty tank. A general rule of thumb used by many discus keepers is to feed them about 3% of their body weight per feeding. For example, an adult discus weighing 75 grams should be fed approximately 2.25 grams of food per twice daily feeding. Smaller discus will feed much faster than larger ones. If food is not consumed within 15 minutes of administering, then the food should be removed to maintain proper water cleanliness, something that discus fish are especially sensitive to. Live food should be administered as clumps directly into the tank, while flakes and freeze-dried food should be sprinkled on the surface of the water.
    In the natural habitat of the Amazon, discus fish are carnivores, so those kept in aquariums should be fed a diet that meets the same nutritional needs as their relatives in the wild. Mature discus fish should be fed a diet that consists of about 35-45% protein, while younger and newly hatched fry and juveniles should be fed a diet containing up to 50% protein in order to accelerate their growth. It is important to note that their entire diet is not protein, however, and must be supplemented by both fats and vitamins. In order to obtain all of the correct ratios of protein to fat, fat to vitamins, etc., a combination of live food, frozen food, and freeze-dried food must be used. It is highly practical to have live food on hand, as newly born and recovering discus fish will most likely prefer to eat live food than freeze-dried flakes or frozen food right away.
    Discus fish, like every other living organism, require certain vitamins in order to maintain their nutritional needs. Vitamins do not provide a source of energy, but instead provide the necessary building blocks for proper functioning, immune, reproductive, and digestive systems, especially for the production of enzymes within the body. Some of the best sources of vitamins for discus fish are crustaceans, vegetables, and algae.
    Bloodworms, which are actually the larval stage of the mosquito are a very popular food type for discus fish. Bloodworms are rich in protein and can be administered live, frozen, and/or freeze-dried. Tubifex worms, which were a staple of the discus diet by breeders in the past, are another food source that is still used today, but much less often. Tubifex worms naturally feed on feces, so feeding a contaminated tubifex worm to your discus fish could result in food poisoning. Unlike humans, who are sick for a few days and recover, discus fish, when they consume contaminated food, will turn a blackish color and then die shortle after. Some people have had no problems and still use tubifex worms as a main food source, but others choose not to use them at all as a precautionary measure. White worms are another very popular live food to feed discus fish. White worms are stock full of proteins and are especially good for picky discus. At only half an inch in length, this protein packed discus superfood is easy for owners to cultivate home using just a plastic container and layer of peat soil. By feeding the worms a diet of bread, oats, and raw sausage mixed with water, one can easily establish their own breeding colony of white worms to serve as food for their discus fish. White worms are also especially beneficial for stimulating the conditioning and breeding of discus fish as they are also high in fat, allowing the fish to quickly add size and mass.
    Another popular food type among discus keepers is beef heart, which is typically frozen. Discus beef heart, however, is not as easily attainable as the above-mentioned food types. Typically, to obtain beef heart, one must contact their local butcher days in advance and specifically ordered for. Beef heart must be used with caution, however, as it is not a normal part of the discus diet in the wild. Containing upwards of 18% saturated fat per serving, too much beef heart can lead to digestive issues and other related illnesses, but when administered in small, carefully regulated amounts, it can be highly beneficial to the fish. Countless discus breeders use beef heart to fill out smaller discus as it quickly adds size to make discus fish look bigger and stronger. It is also a quick way to raise baby fry. Some discus keepers choose to add combinations of different vegetables such as peas, carrots, cabbage, and red peppers to create a beef heart mixture that can be scooped into small spheres and placed at the bottom of the tank or to the sides. Chicken, turkey, and mutton hearts are also commonly used and mixed in with the beef heart to provide a variety of tastes to the finicky discus fish.
    In addition to protein, discus fish also need an ample amount of fats in their diet in order to maintain optimum health. In addition to the live white worms mentioned above, crustacean oil is also an excellent source of fats necessary for the nutritional needs of the discus fish. Crustacean oil is typically omitted from flake foods so what many discus breeders choose to use are brine shrimp. High in both protein and fats, brine shrimp are an ideal food source, especially for young fry and juvenile discus. Like the white worms, brine shrimp can also be cultured at home, however it is slightly more difficult. The best method for cultivating brine shrimp seems to be using a large glass jar with thick walls and slowly producing enough algal growth to support the brine shrimp. By maintaining an ample amount of algae for the brine shrimp and keeping the salinity and oxygen levels at the appropriate parameters, the brine shrimp will be able to grow and eventually reproduce, a process that normally takes a relatively long amount of time in comparison to the rearing of live white worms.
    Chris Ingham, author of the book Discus World: A Complete Manual for the Discus Keeper, has many years of experience in the art of discus keeping, and has developed his own line of discus food that features a combination of the above food sources as well as additional vitamins and nutrients that meet the nutritional need of discus fish. Discus Delights, is a popular option as it contains seven packets of food, one for each day of the week, that does not need to be frozen or refrigerated. Containing a mixture of beef heart, brine shrimp, granules, earthworm, and tropical flake medley, these packets offer discus keepers an easy and convenient way to properly administer the correct combination of protein, fats, vitamins, and nutrients that are essential to both growing out and maintaining discus fish.
    When it comes to providing the proper nutrition and diet for your discus fish, it is important to invest the appropriate amount of time, money, and energy. Cutting corners, and not being fully invested into providing your discus fish with the optimum amount of care, will result in an unsuccessful and unhealthy discus tank.
    Make sure to read our previous article on discus fish origin & history!


    The Blue Diamond Discus

    By: ExtraFunnyPicture On: March 08, 2019
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  • The Blue Diamond Discus has been selectively bred for its brilliant blue colouration. It's distinguishing feature is the small white markings on it's body. However, the overall coloration of Discus will vary depending on mood and overall health of the fish. The Discus has surpassed the Angelfish as the most popular freshwater aquarium fish. Depending on sub-species, the natural range of the Discus extends from the Amazon to the Rio Negro Regions of South America.
    The Blue Diamond Discus requires an advanced level of care due to its feeding habits and water filtration requirements. Territorial during spawning, this otherwise peaceful fish is among the schooling group, forming a well-defined nuclear family.

    Becoming slightly territorial when breeding, it is best to breed an established pair, or maintain a group of young Discus and allow them to pair themselves. Warm, soft, slightly acidic water is required for spawning. The pair will clean a flat surface (usually a broad leaf or the side of the aquarium) prior to spawning. The parents must not be removed from the fry; the fry feed on their parents' mucus.

    Largely carnivorous, the Blue Diamond Discus prefer freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, pellet food designed for Discus, high-quality flake food, and meaty frozen foods.


    Blue Diamond Discus

    By: ExtraFunnyPicture On: March 08, 2019
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  • Care LevelModerate
    TemperamentPeaceful
    Color FormBlue
    DietCarnivore
    Water Conditions79-86° F, KH 1-3, pH 6.1-7.5
    Max. Size8"
    OriginCaptive-Bred, Malaysia
    FamilyCichlidae
    Minimum Tank Size55 gallons
    CompatibilityView Chart


    The Blue Diamond Discus has been selectively bred for its brilliant blue coloration. It's distinguishing feature is the small white markings on it's body. However, the overall coloration of Discus will vary depending on mood and overall health of the fish. The Discus has surpassed the Angelfish as the most popular freshwater aquarium fish. Depending on sub-species, the natural range of the Discus extends from the Amazon to the Rio Negro Regions of South America.
    The Blue Diamond Discus requires an advanced level of care due to its feeding habits and water filtration requirements. Territorial during spawning, this otherwise peaceful fish is among the schooling group, forming a well-defined nuclear family.
    Becoming slightly territorial when breeding, it is best to breed an established pair, or maintain a group of young Discus and allow them to pair themselves. Warm, soft, slightly acidic water is required for spawning. The pair will clean a flat surface (usually a broad leaf or the side of the aquarium) prior to spawning. The parents must not be removed from the fry; the fry feed on their parents' mucus.
    Largely carnivorous, the Blue Diamond Discus prefer freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, pellet food designed for Discus, high-quality flake food, and meaty frozen foods.
    Approximate Purchase Size: 2" to 3-1/2"


    Blue Diamond Discus

    By: ExtraFunnyPicture On: March 08, 2019
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  • Blue Diamond Discus

    (Symphysodon spp.)

    Quick Care Facts
    Care Level: Moderate

    Temperament: Peaceful

    Maximum Size: 8"

    Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons

    Water Conditions: 78-86° F, KH 1-3, pH 6.0-7.5

    Diet: Omnivore

    Origin: Amazon, South America

    Family: Cichlidae

    Species: Discus

    Aquarium Type: Community

    Species Information

    Blue Diamond Discus were originally developed by breeders from Malaysia and Hong Kong, who found that some Blue Turquise Discus fry were transparent in color. When these transparent fry were grown out, their bodies were solid blue in color without any markings or patterns on their body, gill covers or fins. Quality Blue Diamond Discus should exhibit a solid blue body and red eyes, with some specimens exhibiting a slight yellow coloration on the caudal (tail) fin.

    Wild Discus originate from the Amazon River Systems of South America, where they were first imported into the aquarium hobby in the early 1930s. Ever since their introduction into the hobby to this day, Discus are considered one of the most colorful, demanding, rewarding and expensive of all tropical freshwater aquarium fish species. Due to their popularity and the high price tag that they command, Discus are very popular with fish breeders.

    Over the years breeders have not only raised enough tank-bred specimens to largely fulfill the demand from the aquarium hobby, but have developed completely new color strains and patterns as well. Discus are very popular amongst intermediate to advanced fish keepers, and are widely considered to be one of the most rewarding and challenging to keep of the freshwater tropical community fish species available within the hobby.

    In the wild, Discus are found living in the upper tributaries of the Rio Negro and Rio Madiera along with the surrounding lakes and flood plains. The water is very low in mineral content, which makes it "soft" water with a low pH ranging from 4.0 to 7.0. The water also maintains very stable and consistent water parameters year round, including water temperatures that range between 80 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit both during the day and night.

    When keeping Blue Diamond Discus in the home aquarium, it is extremely important to replicate their natural surroundings and water parameters as closely as possible. It is also very important to maintain very consistent water parameters that have very little pH, temperature and dissolved mineral fluctuations.

    Aquarium Care

    Blue Diamond Discus aquariums should closely resemble their natural Amazonian habitat with plenty of plants and branching root. Water parameters should be very consistent with a pH near 6.8 to 7.2, temperature between 82° to 86° Fahrenheit with low to medium water currents. Discus can thrive in a wider range of water parameters as long as the changes are not sudden and the fish has adequate time to adjust to changing parameters. Blue Diamond Discus should not be housed with aggressive or boisterous fish species or in aquariums with intense lighting or strong water currents.

    If strong aquarium lighting is used for plant growth, be sure that the density of the plant life is great enough to provide shaded areas for the Blue Diamond Discus to retreat to when needed. Strong biological and mechanical filtration along with weekly partial water changes are required to keep water quality high and water parameters consistent.

    When keeping Discus with live plants, it is best to keep the aquarium pH between 6.0 to 6.8 and a lower water hardness of 150 PPM or less. Lastly, be sure to maintain excellent water quality at all times as Discus do not leave a lot of room for error when it comes to water quality and consistency. Recommended tank mates include: most Tetra species, loaches, cory catfish, smaller Plecostomus species, Siamese Algae Eaters, Ottocinclus, Rams, peaceful Rasbora species, Rainbow fish, Hatchet fish and Pencilfish.

    Breeding Information

    Being closely related to the freshwater Amazonian Angelfish, it was assumed that Discus breeding requirements would be the same. Early hobbyists removed the eggs, attempted to hatch them in a separate tank and grow the fry on. We now know this is not possible with Discus because fry consume the mucus excreted from the sides of the parents. Discus were not successfully spawned until the late fifties with Jack Wattley in America and Eduard Schmidt-Focke in Germany doing the pioneering work.

    During the 1970s breeders began to concentrate on producing more colorful Discus with a broader range of colors and patterns. They selectively bred specimens for their blue striations that eventually produced Turquoise and Cobalt Discus, while other breeders intensified the natural red striations that later produced Blue Diamond Discus and Blue Diamond Discus.

    The 1980s and 1990s saw an explosion in new Discus mutations with the development of the Ghost, Snake Skin, Pigeon Blood, Blue Diamond, Snow White and Albino Discus variations. Through selective breeding, todays aquarium hobbyists can choose from a wide variety of brightly colored and varied patterned Discus now available within the hobby.

    Feeding & Nutrition

    Blue Diamond Discus should be fed a variety of nutritional meaty foods including: white worms, blood worms, Tubifex worms, high protein pellet and flake foods. Juvenile Blue Diamond Discus should be fed at least 3 to 5 times per day, while adult specimens should be fed 2 to 3 times per day. Their overall diet should be higher in proteins and fats then the average tropical fish species.

    As with most other fish species, they should be fed an amount of food that they will consume within 10 minutes, with leftover foods removed from the system by either a quality mechanical filter or manually if strong filtration is not present.

    Beautiful Blue Diamonds Discus

    By: ExtraFunnyPicture On: March 08, 2019
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  • Common Name: Blue Diamond Discus, Discus
    Scientific Name: Symphysodon Aequifaciatus sp.
    Average Adult Fish Size: 8 inches / 20 cm
    Place of Origin: Amazon basin of S. America
    Typical Tank Setup: Well planted with driftwood / bogwood and some rock work.
    Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 40 gallon / 160 litre
    Compatibility: Discus are a very peaceful fish and should be kept with other peaceful fish like some of the S. American dwarf cichlid species and tetras. They do best when kept as a group of 6 or more.
    Temperature: 82 – 88 Deg F / 28 – 30 Deg C
    Water Chemistry: Juvenile and wild F1 Discus generally require softer water and a lower pH than tank raised Discus. The best thing is to simulate the conditions your Discus were raised in. Wild Discus require pH 6.0 – 6.5 while tank raised Discus can go all the way up to 8.0 pH.
    Feeding: When purchasing, always ask what they are being fed. Discus can be quite particular when it comes to food, but can be trained to readily accept almost any type of food. Tank mates that eat the food that you want them to eat will encourage Discus to eat it also. They WILL eat a broad range of foods from flakes, small pellets, frozen, and live worms along with brine shrimp, but not always on the first attempt. DO NOT feed them tubifex worms. Tubifex carries too many pathogens and the risk of introducing disease to your Discus is too great a risk. Hole-in-the-head disease (HITH) is associated with poor water quality and feeding tubifex.
    Sexing: Venting is the best way to sex Discus.
    Breeding: Discus will lay their eggs on broad leaved plants like Amazon Swords or almost any vertical flat surface that is to their liking. Fry are best kept with the parents as they will eat the slime that the parents secrete. At two weeks of age they will start to accept finely ground flake food or baby brine shrimp.
    Additional Information: There are almost too may different color variations of Discus with new ones coming out all the time. They are not difficult to keep as long as water parameters and temperature are to their liking. They can be a shy fish, because of this the aquarium should not be placed in high traffic areas where people are always walking by. A novice fish keeper will have better success with Discus that are larger than 3 inches in size.
    Blue Diamond Discus were originally developed by breeders from Malaysia and Hong Kong, who found that some Blue Turquise Discus fry were transparent in color. When these transparent fry were grown out, their bodies were solid blue in color without any markings or patterns on their body, gill covers or fins. Quality Blue Diamond Discus should exhibit a solid blue body and red eyes, with some specimens exhibiting a slight yellow coloration on the caudal (tail) fin. Wild Discus originate from the Amazon River Systems of South America, where they were first imported into the aquarium hobby in the early 1930s. Ever since their introduction into the hobby to this day, Discus are considered one of the most colorful, demanding, rewarding and expensive of all tropical freshwater aquarium fish species. Due to their popularity and the high price tag that they command, Discus are very popular with fish breeders. Over the years breeders have not only raised enough tank-bred specimens to largely fulfill the demand from the aquarium hobby, but have developed completely new color strains and patterns as well. Discus are very popular amongst intermediate to advanced fish keepers, and are widely considered to be one of the most rewarding and challenging to keep of the freshwater tropical community fish species available within the hobby.

    Tips on Increasing Discus Spawn Yields

    By: ExtraFunnyPicture On: March 08, 2019
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  • If you are not getting many discus fry from your discus breeding pair spawns, then try some of these tips below to hopefully help maximize your discus spawn yields.
    Lower Water Hardness in Breeder Tank- This is probably the first tip to try if your discus spawns are having terrible hatch rates. Having hard water in your discus breeding aquarium will cause the shell of the newly laid discus eggs to harden quickly. This makes it very difficult for the male discus to fertilize these eggs. Try lowering your water hardness to around 100 to 200 microsiemens. The softer water should give the male plenty of time to fertilize the spawn.
    Keep Breeder Tank Super Clean - It's important to keep your breeder aquarium very clean. Wipe down all the sides and surfaces when doing a water change. Try to do at least two 25% water changes during the week. Clean water will reduce the chances of bad bacteria or fungus killing your discus spawn. Keep your filters clean as well.
    Use a Diatom Filter - A diatom filter will help super clean your breeder tank. Diatomaceous earth filters can filter the water down to 1 micron. They'll even remove parasites, like gill flukes, that are a common killer of small discus fry. The best time to use the diatom filter is right after you've cleaned the breeder tank and did a water change. You only need to run the diatomaceous earth filter for a few hours.
    Clean all Spawning Surfaces - It's important to keep the discus fish spawning surfaces clean in your breeder aquarium. Clean all spawning slates, bricks, cones or PVC pipes in your aquarium at least twice a week.
    Methylene Blue - Adding Methylene Blue to your discus breeding tank after they've finished spawning will help protect the eggs from bacteria and fungus. Just remember that methylene blue will probably stain the silicon seals in your glass aquarium.
    Protect Spawn with Wire Mesh - Many large spawns are lost because the pair will eat the eggs or wrigglers. Try putting a stainless steel wire mesh around the spawn so the pair can still take care of the eggs and wrigglers, but will be unable to eat them.
    Remove the Bad Discus Parent - Many times it's only one mate of the discus breeding pair that has an appetite for eggs or wrigglers. Monitor a spawn to see which one is eating the eggs and remove it from the breeding tank. Don't leave the baby fry with the lone parent for a long time, especially if it's a large spawn. Start feeding baby brine shrimp 2 days after the fry are free swimming.
    Use Surrogate Discus Parents - If you have a pair that constantly eats it's spawn, you might want to remove the eggs and put them in a tank with another discus pair that also has a spawn. With luck, the other pair will take care of the 2nd spawn as its own.
    Treat Pair For Gill Flukes - If your discus fry starts dying when they are pea size, they probably have gill flukes. Treat the discus breeding tank for gill flukes.
    Stop Water Flow Near Spawn Area- If your pairs are in a central system, you might want to reduce or even stop water flow from entering the breeding aquarium while the discus pairs are spawning. Strong water current can flush the sperm away from the eggs causing them to remain unfertile.
    Filters or airstones near a spawn can also cause the water flow to flush away the male's sperm from the spawn. Move the filters or airstones away from pair while they are spawning. You might even want to turn off the filter while they are spawning. Just remember to turn it back on after the discus pair has finished spawning(usually less than 45 minutes).
    Try Using Another Male Discus - Unfortunately, many male discus are not as fertile as their owners would like them to be. Some causes might be from too much inbreeding or hormones given to them to enhance color when they were young. If your discus pair has spawned many times with very few eggs ever becoming fertile, you probably should replace the male discus with another fish. If it's a young pair, you might want to give them more time. A young male discus might need many spawns before he gets the fertilization process right. Breeding discus takes patience.
    Artificially Raise the Spawn - If both discus fish parents are egg eaters, wriggler eaters and free swimming fry eaters, then you just might have to take the eggs away from them and artificially raise the discus spawn yourself.


    Discus fish Information

    By: ExtraFunnyPicture On: March 08, 2019
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  • Introduction to Discus Fish


    Discus fish is the most beautiful of all tropical fish which is also known as Cobalt Discus, Blue Discus, Blue Faced Discus, Blue-Head Discus, Red Thunder Discus etc. They are also sometimes called the King of Aquarium fish. It is native to the Amazon River basin and its natural range extends down the Rio Solimões and along the main Amazon River between the Rio Putamayo in Colombia and Peru as far as the Rio Tocantins drainage in Brazil. It inhabits in the still or slow moving, soft, acidic waters and they prefer to live in deep sheltered areas around tree roots and rocks. It is a very friendly fish and it is often found in large groups in their native habitats and it likes to stay in the shadow during the day.






    Discus fish’s Overview


    It is one of the most popular ornamental fish species in the world. Body is almost circular or disc shaped with strong lateral compression. It has small mouth with a steep rising forehead, small bright red eyes and large extended fins. The body has nine dark and vertical stripes and their body base colors usually range from dark brownish to blue and green hues. They are also spotted and striated with blotches of black, yellow and red pigmentation. Dorsal and Anal fins are rounded with a long base while the caudal fin is indented and the pelvic fins are saber shaped. It is a carnivore fish and in wild condition, it mainly feeds on small fish and fry along with larvae, other aquatic insects and invertebrates such as worms. It prefers water chemistry with pH of 6.0-6.5, water hardness of 10 – 150 dGH and water temperature of 82.0 to 88.0° F. It can grow up to 22 cm in length and 250 grams in weight. It can live up to 10 years or more.
    Background of Discus Fish


    The Discus was first described by Dr. Heckel in 1840 and it was first imported into the United States and Europe in 1930 and 1940, respectively. It belongs to the family Cichlidae under order Perciformes of class Actinopterygii. According to Fishbase, there are three species of discus fish such as Symphysodon aequifasciatus – Blue Discus, Symphysodon discus– Heckel or Red Discus and Symphysodon tarzoo– Tarzoo Discus. Today, the Discus is listed as a Threatened species in the IUCN Red Data List due to over exploitation.

    Feeding Discus Fish


    Discus are a carnivore fish and in wild condition, they mainly feeds on small fish and


    fry along with larvae, other aquatic insects and invertebrates such as worms.


    In captive condition, generally they accept a wide variety of all kinds of live and frozen


    foods such as live brine shrimp, bloodworms, chopped beef heart and white worms.


    It also eats Tetra Min flakes, Tetra Color Bits, Tetra Prima, spirulina flakes, spinach,


    discus pellets and small fish. Feed should be supplied 2-3 times a day.






    Housing Discus Fish


    The Discus fish is one of the more difficult tropical fish to keep and it is not


    recommended for beginners. This fish requires 50 gallons aquarium with good water


    movement along with strong and efficient filtration. Carbon filtration can help


    maintain water quality. Discus fish prefers excellent water conditions with warm,


    soft and slightly acidic water. The tank should have an open area for swimming with


    some aquatic plants like the Dwarf Lily Bulbs, Water Onions, Ozelot Swords,


    Rangeri Swords and fern and moss type plants like the Java Fern and Subulata.


    It is a schooling fish and should be kept in groups of around 6 individuals or more.


    Suitable tank mates include Characin species like the Cardinal Tetra, Neon Tetra,


    Rummynose Tetra, Glowlight Tetra, Emperor Tetra or Congo Tetra. It should not be


    kept with Angelfishes and Corydoras Catfish. Discus fish is very sensitive to water


    fluctuations and at least 25 % tank water should be changed every week to make


    the tank environment healthy.


    Breeding Discus Fish


    The blue discus is an egg layers and it can breed in captive condition.


    The female lays 200-400 eggs which attach to plants, driftwoods, rocks and


    ornamentations in the aquarium. The eggs are fertilized by the male after the


    eggs are all laid. Water conditions for breeding should be slightly acidic, soft and


    warm with a pH of about 6.0 – 6.5, hardness of about 10 – 150 dGH and the


    temperature should be between 82 – 88° F. The parents guard the eggs.


    Eggs hatch in about 2 days. The parents should remain with the fry.


    The fry feed on skin secretions from the parents for the first 10 days, after


    which the parents should be removed from the tank.


    The fry should be fed with brine shrimp.

    Sexing discus fish


    It is hard to distinguish the sex. During breeding season, the males bear more pointed


    papillae while the female’s papilla is rounded. Males may be larger and some males


    have a more pointed dorsal fin and thicker lips.


    Discus Fish for sale and where to buy


    This fish is often considered as the most beautiful of all freshwater fish.


    It is called the King of the Cichlids by many hobbyists. It is available in pet store,


    breeders, especially dealers and online. It is moderate to moderately expensive.


    Prices vary depending on size and variety. There are many online vendors that


    specifically sell Discus. See below online vendor and you can buy your favorite


    fish that I would recommend from.






    Caring for Discus Fish

    By: ExtraFunnyPicture On: March 08, 2019
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  • Discus - also called Pompadour - fish are one of the most beloved group of species for aquarium lovers. Discus (Symphysodon), in their three species, are cichild fish from the Amazon river. These species require a well-adapted aquarium due to their particular constitution.
    The temperature, pH and hardness of the water, as well as the vegetation and decoration of their new habitat, must be perfectly adjusted to preserve their health. To learn more, stay here at AnimalWised and read our guide on caring for discus fish.

    Aquarium

    An aquarium for discus fish must have a capacity of at least 300 liters. The temperature must be steady at 28º C (82.5º F); below 26º C (78.8º F), your discus fish will get sick.
    The water's pH must be 6, and the general hardness index - the dGH - must be of 5. This means that the water must be soft.

    Decorating the aquarium

    Discus fish are native of the Amazon river. They inhabit slow, slightly murky backwaters; these kind of waters are also inhabited by piranhas in large numbers, so discus fish require dense aquatic vegetation to take refuge from their sharp, hungry teeth. You should reconstruct this habitat in your aquarium with the appropriate plants.
    You should have floating plants and ferns like Salvinia or Pistia on the surface of the aquarium; they will soften the light from the fluorescent lights, which if they are too harsh are very disagreeable for discus fish. At the bottom of the aquarium you should have plants like dwarf ambulia (Limnophila sessiliflora), Anubias or burheads (Echinodorus).
    The aquarium should be lined with pebbles, that is, small stones that have been rubbed smooth by the water currents. Branches without any sharp parts can also be useful. However, there must be enough space left in the aquarium for the fish to swim around freely.

    Cohabiting with other fish

    Discus fish, like most cichlids, are aggressive towards both their own and other species. Nonetheless, while they're small they can cohabit with other smaller fish so that the aquarium doesn't look so empty.
    These fish can cohabit for a time with false red nose tetra (Petitella georgiae), neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi), cardinal tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) or black phantom tetra (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus). Catfish like Corydoras or plecostomus are also good for this aquarium set-up.
    Discover types of fish for a community aquarium on AnimalWised.

    Dominant discus fish

    Discus fish are aggressive towards their own kind; there will always be one fish who will become dominant, have its own territory and be the first one to it. A 300-liter aquarium can hold three discus fish. However, such a small number creates a risk: If you have a dominant male and a dominant female, the third fish will have a hard time. This is an understatement - it can die of stress,
    This is why it's recommendable to have four or five discus fish, which will ease the pressure on the non-dominant fish. If you choose to do that, though, you'll have to take into account that you'll need 100 extra liters per new fish.

    Feeding discus fish

    Without a doubt, one of the most important aspects to take into account when caring for discus fish is their diet. Specialized pet stores sell specific feed for discus fish, both live (Tubifex) and in flakes. Your veterinarian will advise you on the best food for your discus fish.
    It's best to feed them twice a day, changing the food so they can have a balanced diet. It's good if they don't eat once a week.

    Caring for their aquarium

    If you want to take good care of your discus fish, you should take these tips into account:
    • Check the temperature, acidity and hardness of the water every day, correcting all observed deviations as soon as possible.
    • Change 10% of the water once a week to monitor the nitrate level and keep it low

    Symphysodon Discus - Pompadour Fish

    By: ExtraFunnyPicture On: March 08, 2019
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  • Symphysodon Discus are among the most stunning of all aquarium fish, have always been and still remain an oddity and a beautiful addition to any large show aquarium to this day. Originally, the Discus was made internationally popular by Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod.
    When Dr. Axelrod first introduced the Discus to the wonderful world of fish keeping, it was impossible for any but the most experienced aquarist to maintain a proper environment to house even one of these beautiful feats of nature, let alone breed a pair. Today, many enjoy whole collections of brightly colored specimens, though special care must still be taken for best results.

    The Origin and Profile of the Discus

    The Discus, like the Angelfish (Pterophyllum) and Cichlasoma festivum, inhabit the gigantic region included under the name Amazonas, extending from the middle reaches of the Amazon River too far into the jungles of the Venezuelan and Peruvian flood basins.
    The Discus is quite commonly found there among profuse plant growth in the quiet bends of the rivers, under overhanging banks, and among rock crannies. In the shallow areas, it cares for its young beneath the numerous leaves of various Nymphaea species.
    Ever since the Discus Fish was first introduced to the aquarists in 1933, they created a sensation. For years afterward, the Discus was regarded as the king of the aquarium fish. Even today, many aquarists regard the Discus as the choicest tropical fish available, the most challenging of all freshwater tropical fish to keep and the badge of honor for those few aquarists who are lucky enough to have a Discus or two in their collection.
    It is easy to understand why the mature Discus Fish should be regarded as the most regal of aquarium fish. They swim about with a noble bearing and a touch of shyness. Fully grown, an adult Discus can reach as large as 6 inches end to end, and in good condition, they possess great beauty, both in bearing and coloration.

    Sexual Differences

    Can be sexed only by experts; at spawning time the genital papilla is pointed in males, flat and round in females. When viewed from the top at breeding time, females are slightly fatter, due to filling with roe (eggs).

    Common Behaviour

    Very peaceful, doesn’t burrow in the substrate (dig in the gravel like many cichlids) and does not dig up nor tear up plants. The Discus lives in harmony with other fish, except at spawning time, when they will vigorously defend their young. It is best to get a group of young Discus and let them pair off, a Discus will mate for life; it will be obvious when mates have found each other, and they will no longer hang out with the group, but stake out their own portion of the aquarium, establishing their own territory. Only one pair should be left in any one aquarium if you want successful breeding to commence. Remove the rest of the young to another aquarium, where it is likely another pair may find each other.

    Water Conditions

    The Discus needs very pure clear clean water, which is filtered through peat, and in a well established planted aquarium. The temperature should be a steady 82F, pH 6.5 – 7.5 1 – 12 dH. For breeding we recommend you read further articles, however in brief; 86F, pH 6 – 6.5, 0 – 5 dH.

    Feeding the Discus

    The Discus is a finicky eater, it is very important that you give the Discus a diet of live and frozen food. If you do not, they will quickly die on a diet of dry flake food, though it may be offered as a supplement occasionally. Also for rearing fry; you will find that the fry feeds off the parent's sides, yes just as you would image a mammal would feed off its mother, but this means they (both the male and the female) need extra protein.

    Aquarium Requirements

    An absolute minimum size aquarium for a Discus is 40 inches long by 20 inches wide and 20 inches tall for young Discus. Adult Discus needs a 5-foot long aquarium or about 75-gallon minimum to be happy and have any chance of breeding successfully. It can possibly happen in a smaller aquarium, it happens all the time, but for maximum success with one of the most finicky fish in freshwater fish keeping, we suggest 75 gallons minimum well planted and well filtered. Discus does not like changes in water conditions, and the larger the body of water, the more gradual the change in water conditions.

    More Facts About the King of Fresh Water Fish

    Viewed from the front Discus are extremely thin for their size, but from the side, they are nearly round. This is how they got the name discus, which is Latin for plate or dish. Their basic body color in nature is brown. Brilliant blue bars cover both dorsal and anal fins, and the bars extend onto the back and stomach. Dorsal, ventral, and anal fins are edged in bright red. There is a variety of discus, from Lake Tefe, Brazil, that has bright metallic green or blue bars all over its fins and body. This variety is occasionally called the Royal Discus.
    Over the decades, many varieties have appeared, red, yellow, even a beautiful orange to a yellow burst of color called the Sunset Discus. All of these varieties are not from nature, like many of the fish we keep in our aquariums today; they have been developed over many years of careful breeding by experts.
    One of the most exciting and unique things discovered about the Discus is the way they feed their young or fry. For the first 4 days or so the parents move the fry from one place to another in the aquarium, much like angel fish. Then, when the fry become free swimming, they go immediately to the parent’s side, literally.
    At first, it looks like they are clinging to their sides for protection, but upon closer inspection, you will find they are eating something from under the parent’s scales. The Fry will dig their heads in under a scale and jerk from side to side breaking off “food”. Eventually, the one parent tires of this constant pecking and shakes the fry off her sides, the fry go immediately to dad and do the same thing.
    Back and forth for weeks, until they are mature enough that the young discus is ready for life on its own among the plants in the aquarium. Great parents, great story, and if you have the patience and expertise to raise Discus, a great experience to keep the king of the aquarium, The Discus!