01-16-2008, 03:35 PM
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Before I spend the time of going into a detailed description of everything involved, please let me ask... is this something you are thinking of doing, or already prepared for? Do you have any experience in just keeping discus?
Discus are sensitive to water quality, need softened water, high temps, lots and lots of plant life/shelter, and plenty of space. I would not attempt to breed them without first having kept them for a period of time (at least 1 yr) to understand their specific needs. Discus is not a fish just anyone can jump into and begin breeding... they are a bit more complicated than that. Minimum tank size for a breeding pair would be 90+ gallons, with another tank (75+ minimum) for a grow out tank for the fry. Discus are egg layers, and will breed on their own if there is a compatible pair together in optimal conditions. Some will eat their own eggs, others are great parents, some just need the experience of spawning to figure it out. Stress also causes them to eat their eggs. A female discus will lay eggs without a male, but without a male to fertilize them, they end up either growing fungus and dying off or being eaten by the female. There are ways to protect fertilized eggs, raise them without the parents, etc.. I can explain all of that in a later post.
While discus are a wonderful and awesome fish, they are not the easiest to keep or breed. I have a 120 here that is in prep for a breeding discus pair, but I'm having a difficult time locating the specific type of discus I want.... and the chances of finding a pair is going to be even harder. It's nearly impossible to sex discus until they are at least a year old. Many successful breeders start out with a group of them (which tanks a much larger tank)... 5 - 10 at a time, and raise them together to maturity, watching for those who pair off naturally from the group. They then seperate the pair for breeding. This method would take about 150 gallons for the group to be raised for about 1 yr. If you would choose to keep the other 3 - 8 fish, it would take a much larger tank or seperating them into other tanks of about 90+ gallons for each pair. Long term a 150 will only hold about 4 - 6 discus fish safely.
Does this help?