Friday, 8 August 2008

Breeding Discus Fish -How To Raise White Worms For The Aquarium

Every successful breeder of tropical fish knows that feeding live foods to their charges is one of the best ways to maintain healthy and active fish.

Live foods are overall high in protein. They stimulate spawning, and help to intensify coloration. Live foods enhance the natural tendencies of fish to forage for their food as they would in their natural environment.

White worms (Enchytraeus albidus) are a great source of food for the aquarium. They are about 70% protein, 14.5% fats, and approximately 10% carbohydrate. The white worm in size is approximately 3/4" to 1 1/2", somewhere between Tubifex and Grindal worms. Fish love them, and they are appropriate for a large variety of carnivore fish, even the smaller cichlids.

Nick Lockhart, breeder for King Discus feeds white worms twice weekly to our breeding discus and juveniles. His goal is to provide a wide variety of food to keep the fish interested and feeding to stimulate breeding.

White worms are easy to raise. A plastic shoebox from the dollar store will meet the needs of most aquarists. As worms need to breathe, the container shouldn't be air tight. Cutting a small hole in the lid and placing a piece of breathable foam in the hole will suffice to allow enough oxygen to reach the worms.

Fill the container about 3/4 full with peat moss as the medium. The peat moss should be wet, but not soaked. Test by squeezing a bit of the medium in your hand. If a few drops emerge, then you have it right. If water emerges from the mass in a stream, you have it too wet.

Add your starter culture of worms. Finding a suitable starter culture can at times be difficult. A good source can be from auctions at local fish clubs, or from a fellow enthusiast. Also, looking in the classified in the back pages of magazines like Aquarium Fish Magazine or Aquarium USA can sometimes lead to a good resource.

Place a piece of wet crustless white bread on top of the medium for compost. Cover this with a sheet of plastic the size of the slice of bread. The plastic aids in keeping the bread from drying out. It is a good idea to bury the piece of bread in the medium when first starting a culture to prevent mold from occurring. Allow the worms a week to establish before feeding them. Check on them on a daily basis to insure that they are eating the bread.

White worms will need to be housed in a cool dark place, free from insects. We use an apartment sized refrigerator with a temperature control sensor that maintains the temperature at 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the best foods for white worms is Gerber's Baby Oatmeal. Add a pinch of active dry yeast to the mixture. The trick is to feed the worms enough to insure they thrive, but not so much that it will begin to mold. A good rule of thumb is to feed only what they will consume in three days. A little trial and error work is needed here. If mold occurs, simply spoon it out of the medium, and replace the food, using less the next time.

White worm cultures will "crash" if the population becomes too large. This can be noted by the worms attempting to crawl up the sides of the container. Simply dump the medium onto a sheet of newspaper, separate the medium into two parts, and you have another culture to fall back on if the first crashes. Get another shoebox, top to 3/4 full with dampened peat moss, and you have the insurance of a supply of white worms.

To harvest white worms, simply wait until a nice clump of them are underneath the sheet of plastic, pluck them out with tweezers or your fingers, and clean appropriately before feeding to your fish. rinsing with dechlorinated water, by pouring from one container to another will do the trick, removing any soil or left over food. You can then feed the worms to your fishes.

The biggest thing to remember about growing white worms is to never let the medium dry out. It is also a good idea to have two cultures growing at the same time, in case one of the cultures "crashes." Keep an eye out for mold, feed the worms appropriately, and you will have happy, vigorous fish!
Breeding Discus Fish

Monday, 4 August 2008

Breeding Discus Fish - A Guide To Buying Discus Fish

Buying discus fish for your aquarium should be pretty much the same as buying any other fish, yet it seems to give people all sorts of worries and anxieties, possibly because of the amount of money involved. Not many other fish has the price tag that Discus Fish has attached to them.

The main thing is that you have carried out your homework, so you know about the fish and their requirements, what to look out for, and what questions to ask, in order for you to be able to make a right decision. This may seem like common sense - but some people fail on this - and make costly mistakes!

Next - remember you're not in a race! If you are up against time or competition to get the fish you want, put down a deposit to get the vendor to keep hold of it for you, or let it go. Don't let yourself be pressurised into making a hasty decision.

When you feel you've got these bases covered - you're ready to go! So where do you go?

Discus Fish are generally available from 3 sources: Importers/Dealers, Pet shops and Home Breeders.

If you're a beginner - whether you never had discus before or are starting as a fish keeper in general - always go to the specialist shops. There's two reasons for this. They have a bigger selection of fish which means you are more likely to find something to suit you, and the have specialist knowledge for you to draw from at the time of purchase and after.

For the more advanced Discus Fish keepers - by all means try other avenues - but take care. While the fish may come at less of a premium - you'll often find that the quality of the stock isn't always all it's cracked up to be.

So what do you need to look out for? Most people will tell you to search for Discus Fish with perfectly round shaped bodies and small bright eyes. Even though this is correct - there's more to it than that.

Apart from finding the fish with the colour/pattern (don't worry too much about their names as these tends to vary from place to place), it's important that you spend some time watching the fish closely and monitor their behaviour.

Healthy Discus Fish should be bold and alert, and not shy away from the front of the tank. Do not go for fish that hide away at the back of the tank or behind plants etc., as that is a sign that something is not quite right.

As far as bodily defects is concerned, the things to be on the outlook for is fish that seems to be breathing heavily, fish with twisted mouths, poorly shaped finns and tails, odd or big eyes and short gill covers. These are all signs of poor breeding practices.

Also, you should not look at the fish themselves only. It's equally important to look at the bottom of the tank, to see if you can see any if their waste. Discus Fish pass their faeces regularly, and it the fish are healthy it should be black in colour. If they're white or clear this indicates that the fish may have intestinal worms or similar internal problems, in which case you shouldn't buy them.

So what about the questions to ask the dealer? Well - first and most importantly - ask if you can see the fish feed. Healthy discus should, though they are slow eaters, respond fairly quickly to food. Any dealer who really wants to sell his fish will agree to do this. Otherwise walk away.

Other information you need to obtain is how long the dealer has had the fish (less than two weeks suggest that they may not be fully quarantined), where they originate from (import or bred in-house), and if they have been subject to any medication or de-worming cures? Any decent dealer will have an immediate answer to such questions - and it will give you an idea of the fish's history as well as the dealer's knowledge.

Finally, remember to ask about the water conditions the fish are in, so you can make sure your aquarium offers the same conditions before bringing the fish home. If this is not the case, go and make the necessary changes to your water, before bringing the fish home.

Again - if you have seen the fish you want - put down a deposit, and go back a couple of times to check on their conditions, while you're in the process of changing things. It's another chance for you to make sure that the fish you're buying is in good health.

If possible - buy medium sized Discus Fish - adolescent in want of a better word. The reason for this is that they will find it easier to adapt to a new environment than older fish, and they do not require as many regular feeds as the young growing Discus.

Breeding Discus Fish

Breeding Discus Fish - PH Levels in The Discus Tank

Because it is imperative that discus fish have optimal water conditions, much has been written about this subject, This is the plan put in place to insure proper PH water levels in our hatchery.

Allnut Enterprises' breeder, Nick Lockhart of Noblesville, Indiana, has many ingenious ideas as to how to accomplish things in the hatchery. We begin our experiment with two matched pairs: two red melons, and two leopardskins. They are lovely, friendly fish, and have been getting acclimated to our tanks and the aquarist since the end of June.

Initially, we begin to prepare for the new arrivals by setting up the tanks in this manner: water was tested for PH and nitrite levels, and a proper ecosystem for active bacteria was begin by populating the tank with cichlids that Nick has been raising prior to the purchase of the discus. When we felt that the water/bacteria levels were correct, we set up the meeting with the breeder, and made the trip to Bloomington, Indiana.

Upon arrival at home base with a travel time of about an hour and a half, we immediately begin to acclimate the pairs to their new home. We were advised by the breeder to let them acclimate to the new tank water by "floating" the bags containing the fish for approximately one hour to equalize the temperatures, and to add a cup of water to the bag from the tank to equalize PH levels.

We did not, however, follow this procedure. We took approximately six hours to acclimate by adding a cup of the tank water to the bag each hour, and keeping a close eye on the discus and PH levels, because they were stressed from the trip. A Hanna PH digital meter was used for testing, which gave us a very accurate reading. As large changes in PH in a short period can shock the discus, we were careful in this approach. Our water at the time matched the water in PH levels from the breeder closely.

Because the two pair were bought for breeding purposes, Nick was not comfortable with the PH level, which at that time was at approximately 7.5, high for optimal breeding conditions of 6.5-6.9. What to do?

We had read that hanging a mesh bag of peat moss would help to lower the PH, but were not happy with the idea of having debris from the Peat in our tanks, which are kept scrupulously clean. We knew there had to be a better way to accomplish this goal.

Because Nick lives in town, and has city water, he uses a Reverse Osmosis filtering system to insure that the water is free of chemicals and suitable for the aquarium. Knowing that Peat Moss will lower the PH in an aquarium system, and having a large bag left over from making culture for Grindal and White Worms, he took a 5 gallon pail, and drilled a series of holes around the perimeter of the bottom of the pail, using a 3/32" drill. He then lined the bottom of the pail with a think layer of regular aquarium filter floss, and topped that off with a thick layer of Peat Moss, with the finished pail being about two-thirds full.

The outlet hose from the RO system was then allowed to drain into this pail. Setting the pail over the top of the holding tank, the water slowly drained down through this medium into the holding tank.

Initial test of the recycled water showed a drop in PH to below the base of 7.0. We have been adding the water to the discus tanks slowly through water changes so as to not shock the fish, and at our business meeting this weekend, Nick informed me that the PH levels in the discus tanks are now at approximately 6.6, which is the optimal level for breeding discus.

Cost of the project? If you already are using an RO system, and have a holding tank, you will spend a twenty dollar bill getting the Peat Moss and filter floss. Not bad, considering a breeding pair of dicus can run you $425 dollars!

Breeding Discus Fish

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Breeding Discus Fish - How To Determine The Sex of Discus Fish

One of the biggest question asked of the discus breeder is "how do I determine the sex of my fish?" There are very few easy identifiable identifiers in this process. Here, we will discuss the methods used by some of the top breeders.

In juvenile fish, determining sex is almost impossible. It is only when they begin to pair off that an opportunity arises to help in the determination of sex. Juvenile fish, both male and female, have a rounded dorsal fin, and it is not until they begin to mature that a difference can be detected. As it is never wise to excessively handle the fish, close observation is in order to aid the breeder.

In Allnut Enterprises' King Discus Hatchery, for example, it is an easy process to determine who is who, as we have observed these fish for a while, and can determine the sex of the pairs we own. This would be true in any hatchery. But to the uninitiated or casual observer, this would not be easy to do.

Some of the identifiers: The male will have thicker lips to aid him in his fight to protect the female, and will be more aggressive. He will be larger than the female, his forehead is thicker, and we have observed that if the discus are a bit shy, the male will have a tendency to stay between the female and the observer.

The dorsal fin of the male will be pointed, and the female's dorsal fin will be rounded. Note that in juvenile discus, this is not apparent.

The breeding tube of the female, between the anus and anal fin, is broader and rounder than the male, and will have a blunt tip. The male, in turn, has a smaller, sharper breeding tube. Be aware that this is only evident during spawning, and should be closely observed.

It has been said that the male discus fish will tend to have a less intense color and more pattern while the female tends to be more colorful but with lesser pattern. I disagree, because too many variables are in place here, such as the health of the discus, the water parameters, and feeding pattern.

In an interesting article by Jeff Richard, he discusses an article from Diskus Brief, a German publication, which reports a very successful way of determine sex of a discus by using simple geometry. Jeff reports, and I quote: “Picture a discus facing to your left ... you would be looking at its side. Find the Dorsal (Top) and Anal (bottom) fins and look where the fins slope down toward the Caudal (tail) fin ... make sure you're looking at the fins after they have curved back toward the tail. The Dorsal and Anal Fins become (almost) straight after the fins curve down (or up) toward the Caudal Fin ... extend an imaginary line along this straight section of the 2 fins back toward the tail which just touches the Dorsal & Anal Fins past the Caudal Fin. These two imaginary lines should intersect behind the fish. The key to sexing the fish is where the lines cross the Caudal fin. If they pass through the Caudal Fin, the fish is most likely a FEMALE. If they miss or just touch the Caudal Fin, then most likely it is a MALE.” Thanks, Jeff!

Sexing Discus is difficult at best. The easiest way to do so is to raise a group of at least six to eight discus, and allow them to pair off when ready. It is a beautiful sight to see this happen, and makes the hobby well worthwhile.

Alden Smith is a published author, and has been marketing on the internet for 7 years. His website, King Discus, is an active gathering place for discus breeders and lovers of discus fish.

His wife Betsy is the administrator of All The Best Recipes a site rich in online recipes and cookbooks.

Breeding Discus Fish

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Breeding Discus Fish - 3 Ways to Encourage Spawning

So you have a mature pair of discus fish that have shown an interest in each other but there not laying any eggs.

The most important factor in discus breeding in the water quality, make sure it is soft, acidic and clean. If you have this water, your most likely stressing over why there isn’t hundreds of eggs in the tank. If you have discus ready to lay eggs there are a few ways in which you can give them a helping hand.

The first way you can tempt them to lay is to feed a rich diet of frozen bloodworms for about a week. Feed it everyday as well as their other meal. This should condition the female and get her ready to breed. Other foods that are good for breeding discus are white worm, adult brine shrimp and chopped up crab sticks or prawns. Make sure you buy frozen food as there is less chance of disease.

Another way to encourage your discus to breed is by doing a 25% water change but drop the temperature by a couple of degrees of the water going in. This imitates there natural habitat and can trigger spawning. This is a little trick I use on all my young pairs when trying to get them to spawn. Make sure all the pH and hardness is the same making only the temperature different.

The third trick in getting your discus to breed is by separating them for a couple of days before reintroducing them. To do this you can add a tank divider or move the male to another aquarium. Make sure the female gets plenty to eat when the male is away. When you reintroduce the discus just keep a close watch over the next 24 hours as males have known to be aggressive towards the female. They should start the courtship over the next couple of days and hopefully lay eggs after.

There are more ways to encourage your discus to breed as well as many more tips on breeding and caring for discus fish on my site

Rob owns Discus Fish Secrets website helping begginners and advanced fishkeepers with discus problems including keeping and breeding them. Please visit the site for more information on breeding discus.
Breeding Discus Fish

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Keeping An Aquarium Fish Tank Is A Great Hobby For Children

Aquariums come in all shapes and sizes. Setting up an aquarium or fishtank is a great hobby for young and old alike. A great way to get your kids involved in keeping fish is to take them to the local aquarium. They will see a variety of fish and aquatic life and will learn about their habitats. Seeing the fish close up will inspire them to want to keep their own fish. Keeping an aquarium will not only teach your child responsibility for another living creature(s) but many other things that will help them with their school work. They will have to understand water quality and how to maintain the water so that it is habitable for the fish. This will help them in science and chemistry at school. They will be a witness to the life cycle of many fish species and this will help them with biology. They will also get great pleasure out of watching the personalities of the fish come out. Some will be aggressive, some will hide behind plants and there will be much pleasure in watching their own little world take shape.

Children who would like to keep some aquarium fish in their bedrooms will be successful if they study fish before they set up a fish tank. There are many books in libraries or book shops that cater for children. They explain the basics and help them to start their first tank. Probably the first bit of advise they will need is to start small and build the aquarium up as they become more experienced. Choose aquarium fish that are hardy and adaptable to water conditions. Good fish for new aquarium owners include include goldfish, danios and angelfish. These fish survive well, but they must be cared for properly. The care of these fish is usually a great learning experience for young children.

Most people start with tropical fish tanks because they are easier to look after. You can get all types of fish in a tropical fish tank but the cichlid varieties seem to be the most popular. Cichlid fish are found in tropical regions in parts of South America, Asia and Africa. They are popular because they are quite active fish and have elaborate courtship and behavior routines. Some cichlids, like the discus fish, have beautiful coloring and are fascinating to watch. Watching fish can be quite therapeutic and stress relieving.

Many cichlids are also pretty hardy fish that will survive in varying water conditions. However if you get a new fish then it is important to know all about it. You should know what type of water quality is best for it, what type of habitat it likes, what it eats and whether it will be compatible with the fish that you currently have.
Breeding Discus Fish

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Breeding Discus Fish - Now anyone can breed discus

Gone are those days when professional breeders bragged that they can only breed discus. With the development of internet and access to high quality information anyone can breed discus. Discus breeders have started their online stores and you can buy discus online.

Therefore if you want to buy some great exotic fish from an authorized discus breeder all you need to do is perform a simple search on the Internet and see which the closest facility in your neighborhood is.

Any careful discus breeder whether he/she is amateur or professional can be successful at forming a nice colony. There are many discus breeder forums on the Internet where you can join the discussions with other breeders to learn more about this. A few years ago, only professional discus breeders where likely to grow these splendid fish, but now they make the joy of millions of aquariums all over the world.

If you really want to be a discus breeder, it is a good idea to acquire all the necessary knowledge to make breeding a true success. . First and foremost, you should learn about the tank dimensions and adjust it to the area where you want to place it. Discus breeders often mention one important thing: to keep the fish away from noise or heat sources.

Whenever you are not sure, you can always ask a discus breeder for advice, especially when you buy the fish from an authorized facility. Such people have an experience of years or even decades in the field and can tell you the much needed information. Keep in mind that even if you buy the fish from an authorized discus breeder, you'll still have to keep them in quarantine in a separate tank before you put them together with your other fish. Creating the most 'natural' condition is what separates the professional from amateur but if you follow simple guidelines you can beat the professionals at their own game Click here for more information

Breeding Discus Fish

Breeding Discus Fish - Where to find Discus fish info

Discus fish info is available in many different forms both online and offline. If you search like a good detective you can find discus fish info in magazines, books and guides and also on the Internet. There are many hobbyists like you who provide discus fish info since they took a special interest in these creatures and breed fish as a hobby. Therefore the discus fish info found online is the voice of experience assisting you in preparing the perfect habitat for your pets.

In case you are looking for some very special discus fish info it is a good idea to ask the experts. You can also check with a few discus fish info pages and see what solutions they offer and whether they are the same. You can check with a guide or ask a vet if you find the info contradictory. Keep in mind that health problems may sometimes be addressed differently, depending on the conditions that led to a discus form of disease.

Moreover, discus fish info may prove useful in almost all the regular steps one should take in order to create a nice aquarium. Since every breed of fish has its peculiarities discus fish info is a must from filter and water nitration to choosing the best plants. What do you think will happen if you simply mixed different kinds of fish that are not used to share the same habitat? Ignorance is not a bliss when it comes to discus fish info as it may lead to you losing the fish and wasting lots of money; the former is more painful than the latter; hence better start looking for documentation instead of guessing what to do next.

Needless to say, online forums and chat rooms are a great source of discus fish info. These communities sometimes have separate columns for discus fish info and general news on breeding exotic fish. Its always a good idea to subscribe to e-magazines related to your hobby, in order to receive fresh discus fish info on a regular basis. When you are planning to change or improve something in your tank, make sure you get all the discus fish info necessary to keep your pets safe and prevent any disease or health issues.

Breeding Discus Fish

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Breeding Discus Fish - Discus fish secrets for beginners

Last week I was at an aquatic show in Las Vegas and saw those gorgeous colorful discuses. I spoke to a few people there and I was amazed to learn that, they thought discus fish secrets is only for professionals, and no beginners should endeavor to breed them in the show tank at home.

This is a myth long held by people who grow fish as a hobby: here are some basic discus fish "secrets" that will prove to you, discus are great pets. Basically discus fish secrets fall into four categories: food, breeding, water quality and collectivity.

You can notice a peculiar behavior of discus fish when it comes to eating food. They don't eat like there is no tomorrow instead they eat only when they need thus showing its characteristics of royal blood. Frozen foods and brine shrimp are ideal foods for the discus. They eat slowly and majestically many breeders know this discus fish secret.

On the other hand another discus fish secret is that the fry feeding habits are entirely different even if you feed them thrice a day they will always fight for food

Now, Lets talk about the breeding discus fish secrets. A major problem for most owners is that they have a tough time coupling their discus. Again knowing another discus fish secret solves this problem its called collectivity. It simply means that these species like to live in groups and choose their own partners your job is to simply facilitate the right environment. Therefore, for successful breeding you'll have to form a specific discus community.

When it comes to choosing co-inhabitants there isn't much of a discus fish secret the only rule you have to follow is to make sure the discus are the biggest in the tank.

This is the most important discus fish secret, water purity Is very important to successfully breed these exotic fish As a rule of thumb avoid using more plants and use only clean water the pH level should be slightly acidic and the water temperature should be at 31 degrees Celsius at the maximum.

Breeding Discus Fish

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Breeding Discus Fish - Some Important facts about discus health

Many problems of discus fish that are being discussed on online forums relate to discus fish health. This is mainly due to their sensitive nature exhibited towards environmental conditions. In order to preserve discus health try creating the natural conditions of the wild like soft, slightly acidic clean water. Needless to say breeders do everything in their capacity to protect discus health. Many breeders go the extra mile to maintain special temperature and pH level.

Its advisable to prepare their tank well in advance before you buy discus so that you can make arrangements to preserve discus health.

Though there are many problems associated with discus health, we will look into the environmental ones, which seem to be the most common. Take for example the iodine deficiency may appear due to pollutants in water or improper feeding. Lack of vitamins is also a major problem related to discus health which results in low immunity against diseases.

Make sure you follow the directions when storing food since Vitamin C is lost through oxidation. Otherwise it may lead to some discus health issues like but not limited to bleeding, fin ulcerations and Ich

Ignorance of breeders is the main cause of discus health problems. In many cases the breeder fails to provide ideal living conditions. Once you take up breeding fish, there is a responsibility involved like with any other animal; should you find yourself overwhelmed, you can always turn to special discus health services provided by vet units.

You can also find information and tips on magazines and books on discus health. The authors of such books are usually experienced breeders from whom you've got lots to learn.

If you follow some ground rules discus health shouldn't be a problem. Take for example, the water cycle, which should always be functional and no waste or uneaten food should be left in it. Over-heating can also cause some discus health issues since the maximum temperature should be 31 degrees Celsius, otherwise it will lower the oxygen level in the tank and cause your fish to suffer from oxygen starvation. Always keep a watchful eye on discus health. If possible check the living conditions several times a day.

Breeding Discus Fish

Breeding Discus Fish - How to find the best discus fish book

Since many people are involved in growing and breeding discus more and more information is becoming available in the marketplace. Each publication takes great efforts to make theirs the best discus fish book.

You may need comprehensive material handy when keeping discus fish look for the top of the best discus fish books you can find on the Internet. Ebooks are also written on this subject that can be downloaded to your computer in minutes.

Many of the best discus fish books are guides written in layman's language so that any reader can understand the information they provide. Its advisable to see some sample pages before you buy one of those advertised best discus fish books online. Choosing the best discus fish book very much depends on your personal background; be that as it may, the common thing all such guides share is the reader-oriented feature.

These best discus fish books are greatly documented and usually comes from the experience of professional breeders which will save you a lot of time and energy.

The authors of the best discus fish books are people who walk the talk they have made water biology not just a profession but a life style. You can avoid lot of mistakes by learning from mistakes of those who have gone before you; thus, the best discus fish books provide a way of avoiding the trial-error system that may often cost you the lives of your pets.

Before you buy the best discus fish book or ebook, always check the contents of the book you order online or buy from the book shop. You need to see what topics of interest in the fish breeding they cover and make sure they contain the kind of information that you're after. Look for pictures and detailed information for various discus varieties. In order to recognize some common diseases you may need illustrations in that best discus fish book or you may simply trust your guts and buy the best discus fish book One popular ebook on this subject is available on the internet Click here to go to the website.

Breeding Discus Fish

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Breeding Discus Fish - An Introduction to Discuss Fish

The Discus is a large freshwater cichlid, native to the Amazon River in South America. They were first discovered/described by Dr. J. J. Heckel, an Austrian zoologist, in 1840.

His name is today used to describe the "original" Discus variant. They are increasingly difficult to come by, since most Discus Fish available today has been bred in captivity.

Originally the Discus had three colour variations: Green, Brown and Blue. However, with the Discus becoming more popular among fish keepers, and a lot of money going into research and development of different strains of Discus Aquarium Fish, You can get alomst any color you can emagineable these days

The Discus Fish is by nature a social, yet shy being. In their native habitat they live in large groups with advanced social behavoirs. It is really important when buying Discus Fish you purchase at least 4. This way they will develop their own personality.

Keeping Discus Fish has traditionally been considered to be difficult. The Discus Fish can be finicky, susceptible to disease and easily stressed if they are not kept under optimal conditions. It is getting easier, though, to keep Discus Fish. This is due to most of them being bred in captivity, and new technology being made available to help maintain optimal water conditions.

These days Discus Fish are very popular and a following rise in demand has made Discus Fish are widely available even in smaller aquatic shops, so you don't have to go to specialist stores anymore.

The Discus has been referred to as "The King Of The Aquarium", and though keeping and breeding them is certainly still a challenge for the inexperienced, the later can be very rewarding indeed.

Most Discus Fish Keepers will at some stage want to breed them. There's no doubt that doing so is a great experience - and with a bit of luck - it will even pay for the hobby.

The Discus Fish Tank

Once you decide that keeping Discus Fish is for you - the very first thing you need to consider is - "What size aquarium do I need?"

Obviously you need to stick to what you can afford, and the amount of space you have available, but remember that the aquarium you get is going to be home to your Discus Fish, so it has to meet certain standards.

You're more than likely going to have your Discus Fish on display and most experts recommend a fish tank no smaller than 120cm X 40cm X 50cm. Due to their body shape, Discus Fish tends to like deep tanks better. Also, to keep stable water conditions, you need an aquarium that will hold a lot of water.

Discus Fish are naturally rather shy, so you should keep them away from busy and noisy areas. Also, their tank should be kept away from direct sunlight and radiators(as should all fishtanks), to avoid excess heat and algae. Placing a Discus Fish tank next to a doorway is a big mistake.

Discus Fish also stress easy so it is a good idea to keep your tank at a good height. They get stressed and dont like over head movement.

What else can you put into your tank?

Putting some fine gravel in the bottom would be a good start.

If you want plants in your aquarium you can use both live plants, silk plants or plastic plants, according to your personal preference - but nothing really beats the real thing.

Other items you may want to add to your fishtank, to give it that all natural feel, would be rocks and driftwood. Both are quite welcome additions to a Discus Fish tank, as they're often present in the discus' native waters, providing them with shelter.

Gimmics like "No Fishing" signs and sunken ships or plastic figurines doesn't have place in a discus fishtank.

The decor should be kept to a minimum, as it will serve the fish tank best both functionally and aesthetically.

The Ideal Tank Conditions

Discus fish hail from the black water tributaries of the Amazon. The vegetation and substrate in these waters has a high level of humic acid that causes the water to be soft or have an acidic Ph level. The Ph level should be around 5.5 to 6.5 for Discus fish. The water temperatures range from around 26 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius. The water is generally slow moving.

Discus fish require very good water quality or they are likely to become stressed otherwise. Some people use Reverse Osmosis (R.O) water to get the quality right but as R.O. water is virtually distilled water it is not advised to use it without adding essential minerals and salts that all freshwater fish need. There are supplements that can be added to R.O. Water that will do this. Water should be changed regularly too.

The typical habitat of Discus fish is gentle water movement, a variety of plants and a diverse aqua scape of rocks, caves and bogwood. They prefer to live in a large tank.

Discus fish are generally placid fish but become very protective during breeding and nurturing of fry. It is sometimes a good idea to remove other fish during this time or partition them off.

They will eat most things from flake to live foods.

Discuss fish are some of the most beautiful cichlids you can keep however it can be a challenge to maintain the water quality to their liking. Soft water is often more difficult to maintain than hard water and discus fish are quite sensitive to this. This puts more responsibility on you to know how to maintain the fish tank and keep a regular schedule of maintenance.

Breeding Discus Fish

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Breeding Discus Fish - The secrets of breeding discus

Before breeding discus, you will definitely need to learn all you can on the habits of these exotic and charming creatures. Before breeding, discus like to choose their partner alone, which may make it a little difficult and even expensive for the owner. Breeding discus should be kept in groups of maximum four individuals as the ideal formation. Keep the water warm enough and feed them properly and breeding discus will be a true joy; it won't take too long before they will spawn. To understand the principles of breeding discus you've got a lot of things to read as there will be quite some changes in your tank.

First of all you should know that breeding discus will choose an almost vertical site for their mating and will clean it before laying eggs. Don't be surprised if they spawn on the bottom or the side of the tank. After laying the eggs and fertilizing them, the two parents will be guarding the perimeter preventing other fish to come close.

Breeding discus also means noticing behavior changes in your so calm and shy fish. They are not going to become aggressive to other tank inhabitants unless the eggs are in danger. Breeding discus sometimes means having some eggs sacrificed. Therefore, the parents eat the eggs they cannot protect. It is easy to find out when you've got a pair of breeding discus; once two of them start defending a perimeter in the aquarium, you need to act quickly. It would be perfect if the owner separated the breeding discus to a different tank set up for the purpose. Don't put anything on the bottom of the tank of the breeding discus as you'll have to clean it very easily. They only need a vertical surface to deposit their eggs. To improve the environment of the breeding discus you can add a small bag of peat moss in the power filter, thus recreating the natural water conditions of the discus.

Water and food are the two main principles for successful discus breeding. For assistance and useful information on how to deal with breeding discus you may visit the following web page: Practical information is always welcome particularly when you haven't been breeding discus before; so, enjoy the experience and don't forget that the appearance of new healthy fry is entirely your responsibility from the beginning to the end. Good luck!

Breeding Discus Fish

Breeding Discus Fish - Quick Tips For Breeding Discus Fish

You will find that many discus owners will come to a stage were they decide its time to start breeding discus fish. Its not impossible however it can be hard work, but if done correctly can be rewarding. Like all cichlids, discus choose a spawning site then guard and rear the eggs and resulting fry.

Here are some quick tips for you...

Pairing: Discus fish really don't take well to arrange marriages, the best way to get a pair to gather is to buy a group of young unrelated fish of the same colour type and let them pair up themselves. This might happen from when the fish are half grown, spawning usually occurs when there ? of their adult size. The fish will usually remain a pair until the remainder of there lives.

Spawning: Discus will choose a near vertical smooth site, which they clean and then the female will lay any ware from 80-400 eggs and then the male fertilises them. It can take between 50-60 hours for the eggs to hatch and another 36-48 hours until their swimming freely.

Breeding Tank: Its best to keep the breeding tanks simple and to have a simple air powered filtration, spawning sites (terracotta cones, broad leafed plants or slate) and no substrate. The water needs to be very soft so the eggs can develop properly. The quality of the water needs to be excellent and have a temperature of about 84-88F. Also a suitable tank size is 24x18x18.

Feeding and Conditioning: The parents will need a good and varied diet not just to condition them to spawn, but to provide nutrition when they are feeding their fry. Large water changes, a temperature rise and heavy feeding is often a good spawning trigger.

Fry Rearing: It's a good idea to give the fry additional feedings of small foods such as (BBS) baby brine shrimp whilst with parents. You will notice after about 3-6 weeks the parents will be exhausted, also the fry will be growing fast it's a good idea to remove them. This is where lots of tanks and water changes are needed to achieve a decent growth rate. I used to grow circa. 40 fry to just under 2" in a 55G tank, and this required heavy water changing. The discus market is saturated with fish, so it best to grow 20-50 excellent fry than 80 runts. Growth is reasonable, but not spectacular.

So if you're thinking about breeding discus fish I hope these quick tips have been of some use to you.

Remember it pays to do your research.

Breeding Discus Fish