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FAQs on Discus Reproduction/Breeding

Related Articles: Plants + Discus = Wow! by Alesia Benedict, Planted Aquariums: Plants and Discus: What They Need To Thrive  By Alesia Benedict, Discus Divas, Glitz, Glam and Lots of Demands by Alesia Benedict, Juraparoids, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Asian Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in General

Related FAQs: Discus 1, Discus 2, Discus Identification, Discus Selection, Discus Compatibility, Discus Behavior, Discus Systems, Discus Feeding, Discus Disease, Cichlids of the World, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

Brandon R. Foster pic of his Discus spawning.

Female Discus chases all Males.      3/14/19
Hi Mate,
I have a scenario in my tank. One of the Female Discus (who is the Queen of the Tank) keeps chasing the Blue diamond males (Both small and big ones).
He does not seem to disturb the other pair.
In total I have:
Males: 4 (2 small Blue diamond, 1 Big blue diamond and 1 with green and blue patterns))
Females: 4 ( 1 Green and Blue pattern, 1 big with blue dots, 1 big with blue patterns and 1 small yellow).
Sorry for the rough description.
Please suggest what would be the correct ratio and what changes should I be doing to have the right ratio.
<Mmm; more really has to do w/ the amount of space/room for all... such that they can form pairs, engage in tolerable fighting (with enough area to get away; avoid further pummeling). Sex ratios of about 1:1 are fine. IF one or more fish are getting "too beat"... as evidenced by darkening, hanging out at an angle, in corners, the surface; it is best to immediately move the one doing the damage elsewhere.>
Waiting for your response as always.
Thanks and regards,
Shriram Natarajan
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Discus breeding       5/8/15
My name is Ted. I have a breeding pair of discus fish but the eggs always turn white over the 2 to 3 days following fertilization, then they eat the eggs.
<Mmm; a few possibilities...>
My discus water parameters are:
Temp. 86F
Ph 7.4
<Well; the water is a bit warm and alkaline... for cultured (generations)

Symphysodon; but not terribly so>
Nitrate 5
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0
GH 120mg/ L
<A bit hard...>

kg 70
<kg? Do you mean KH?>
I do a 50% water change every 4days and use de chlorination solutions from Flu Val to treat the new water(I am in an apartment and cannot use a os system or water storage).
The fish are healthy, eat hardly , fins up and clear of disease or fungus etc..
The hose for my air stone does have a slight white crusting on it.
What can I do to keep those eggs viable.
Thanks in advance for your help.
<The most likely situation... your male is infertile... or that you have two females. In such cases, commercial breeders "punt" and place the "pair" back in with a community of like-sized Discus hoping for a re-pairing that IS viable.
Bob Fenner>

Sir Please let me know a way to cure Fungus on my Hatched Discus Eggs    8/1/13
I am a hobbyist Breeder of Discus. Now a days I am facing huge problem with Fungi. Even totally hatched egg getting Fungus a lot.
And fries <fry> can't able to come out. I have tried MethylinBlue.
<A good, mild treatment>
 But still this kind of bad problem can't able to solve. Some one told me to use Formalin + MethylinBlue can solve this problem. But I want to know what should be the exact ratio. How many drop of Formalin I should add with Methylin Blue one Litter solution.
<Mmm, just one drop per liter if you're leaving in solution (vs. a dip/bath); but...>
If there any other way to solve this problem please let me know.
<Are you sure these eggs are fertile? If not, they will all fungus...>
May I use some Beneficial Bacteria to solve such problem? As I do not want to use tooo many chemicals.  I have AZOO BENIFICIAL BACTERIA for Fresh water fishes.
<No problem w/ AZOO products...>
<There's more to ask, consider here. Besides the question of fertility, what re your breeders genetic background (are these wild Symphysodon?), conditioning, water quality... The system/s themselves... Please send along a detailed description of the systems, water tests, foods/feeding. Bob Fenner>
Have received your mail. will connect you shortly. for more information    8/1/13

Please call me @09804305XXX
Best Regards,
re: Sir Please let me know a way to cure Fungas on my Hatched Discus Eggs    8/1/13

There one side started white. After that that fungi continue spreading and spread all over. Even Fries moving their body.
<? Something very wrong here if so; water quality wise most likely>
But in few minute
all getting cotton like white. I am breeding for long. But never face such problem. My water is Corporation water TDS 150 & PH 5.5 in breeding tank.
<Likely 6-6.5 would be better; need some alkalinity>
I know the cause of Fingus but I want to know the treatment.
<... I would leave the parents to remove the bad eggs, fan the rest... Remove the net barrier keeping them from the pipe/spawning medium>
Or remidies to avoid Fungus.
<See WWM re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwinfectdisfaqs.htm
and the linked series (above). BobF>

re: Sir Please let me know a way to cure Fungus on my <not> Hatched Discus Eggs; using WWM      8/1/13
Sir even at higher PH same problem coming. Can you please let me know how much methin blue Per litter water i should add to make a standard solution to store in Bottle?
<... this is posted on WWM... Methylene Blue... use the search tool; on every page>
 I have LOBAC Methylene Blue Powder. I use to make a solution but I am not sure about the quantity of the powder Methylene Blue per litter? How much Formalin can be add with the Methylene Blue to make mixture Solution to avoid Fungus problem? Please suggest me that.
<This too. B>

Re: Help Needed!!     12/14/12
Hello Mr. Bob
<Hey Kostas>
Been a while. I hope everything is good for you.
<Thank you>
Need your important help on a Species of Ancistrus and on a matter on Discus fishes.

Would be possible to help me out??
<Certainly. If not I than others here at WWM>
Best regards
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Help Needed!! Symphysodon repro.     12/14/12

Thank you for your fast reply
So I need your knowledge about Discus Genus.
<Mmm, am an adherent to Heiko Bleher's in-print notions re>
IS it true that if you let 2 male discus all alone to live in a really small aquarium for a long time maybe the stronger discus make the weak one lay eggs that can not be fertilized as they are seedless???
<Never seen this; no. Their sexes are determinant. Either permanently male OR female>
I will also send you a picture of an Ancistrus and need your help on recognizing it.
<Yikes; and I'll be sending it on to Neale>
Bets regards
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Help Needed!!    12/14/12

Yes I know that their sex is determined. So no chance for a male to lay seedless eggs on any circumstances??
<Not that I'm aware of, no. BobF>
Best regards
Re: Help Needed!!    12/14/12

Thank you for once more!!
<Ah, welcome! B>

urgent discus question, repro.    10/3/11
Hi there,
I have a question regarding a breeding pair of discus and I searched all through your web page but couldn't find the answer so if you could please help me in this regard, it'll be greatly appreciated.
<Will try!>
I have a breeding pair of discus that are about 11 months old, the male is cobalt blue torques and the female is red leopard with yellow background.
The story is that when I bought them they were 6 months old and approximately the same size, from then till now they have laid eggs about every 8 days (as many as 21 times till now) and their eggs hatched only three times and became free swimming babies but were never successful, only one of these 3 times the free swimming fry stayed alive for one week after they became free swimming (its important to mention that the male fish was feeding the fry more than the female because his colour is darker and attracted the fry more). I've done daily water change and all the water conditions (pH 6.5, temp 28, soft water) were perfectly maintained and the fry died because their parents started fighting and thus moving quickly so the fry got lost and the left over ones were eventually eaten by their parents. So cutting the story short the major problem now is that the pair are fighting seriously and injuring each other severely before and after spawning. The male has grown to be 1. 5X the size of the female and to deal with the problem I tried separating them for a while but as soon as I re introduce them they start fighting again. It's important to mention that they started fighting after their first semi successful spawning (mentioned above where fry were 1 week old) and have been fighting more severely ever since. So can you please suggest what I could do to solve the problem?
Thanks very much
Best Regards
<Unfortunately, cichlid bonds are not necessarily stable. Sometimes males and females stay together without any fuss, but other times they only work together in the presence of a threat, what Loiselle calls "target fish". In any event, the best approach is to separate the pair with a screen (egg crate is ideal) that allows them to see and smell one another without being able to touch. Take particular care to "condition" the female with the best possible diet -- many females are rejected because they aren't ripe with eggs, so the more eager the female is to breed, the more likely it is the male will accept her in his territory. Do bear in mind that this can take time, weeks, even months. Do also try and get a copy of "The Cichlid Aquarium" by Paul Loiselle to fully understand the problem and its solutions. Cheers, Neale.>

How to Protect Discus Fish Eggs
Discus Eating Eggs - 9/20/11

HI crew, My Red Turquoise Discus fish are always eating eggs..
I put allumium net to protect the eggs..
but the eggs catched fungus which spread on all eggs?
Guide me what to do?
< Young discus pairs are inexperienced and don't always know what to do. If the eggs die off, it may be that they are infertile and were going to die anyway. If you want to try and hatch them artificially it is pretty easy.
Set up another small tank with the same aquarium water as the adults. Place the object with the eggs into the tank. Add strong aeration and a few drops of Methylene blue to prevent the water mold that is often called a fungus. In a few days the eggs should hatch if they are fertile. Use tweezers to remove any dead eggs when first observed. After three days the fry should be up an swimming. Usually the fry feed off the slime of the parents. When raised artificially they can be fed a powdered egg yolk mixture until they
are large enough to eat baby brine and Microworms.-Chuck>
Re: How to Protect Discus Fish Eggs

Thank Crew
Shifting Cichlid Eggs To A New Tank how to shift the eggs in other tank?
I am using pvc pipe.
<Cichlid eggs are actually very tough. Simply pull out the pvc pipe and set it in the new tank. Don't keep the pipe out of the water so long that the eggs will dry out.-Chuck>
Re: How to Protect Discus Fish Eggs
Shifting Discus Eggs To A New Tank II 9/22/11

Can I change water of tank in which the eggs are there?
< The eggs should not need a water change for the three days it will take the eggs to hatch. Do small water changes when the fry are free swimming.-Chuck>

urgent Discus fish laid eggs again.     8/6/11
Dear Sir,
My Discus fish already has 6 days old (from free swimming) babies. and today again they laid eggs.
I am confused what to do now?
please guide me sir
<Remove the free swimming fry and rear them in another tank, or else in a floating breeding trap. Alternatively, let the Discus deal with the problem themselves. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: urgent Discus fish laid eggs again.     8/6/11
Every day I change 50% water. should change water now also?
<Yes, though be careful not to disturb the fish. Perhaps change 20% per day instead.>
Sir I am feeding hatched brine shrimp to discus fish babies now & doing 50% water chat everyday.
<Sounds good.>
Should I change water twice a day?
<Yes, if you can. But again, don't frighten the parents or they will eat the eggs/fry.>
guide me to grow babies faster.
<Feed 4-6 small meals per day. Don't overfeed though. Very small meals!
Keep nitrate level as low as possible. Clean out any dirt from the bottom of the tank. Good luck! Neale.>
Re: urgent Discus fish laid eggs again.     8/6/11
thanks sir
<Most welcome! Neale.>
Re: urgent Discus fish laid eggs again.   8/7/11

Dear Sir,
Discus fish eat the eggs & babies too very sad
<Does happen. Try again, and this time read up on cichlid breeding and act accordingly. Often cichlid pairs take a few attempts before they get it right. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: discus fish treatment, now breeding questions   7/26/11
do discus fish breeding pair need light always ?
<Absolutely not. In fact they prefer low light.>
they get stress in dark.
<They shouldn't do.>
now I have 15 aquarium tank due to this lots of mosquitoes are their in room. can I use mosquito coil? or liquid?
<Don't understand what you're saying here. No, you can't add mosquito poison to an aquarium with fish. No, insect-killing sprays are not safe around fish tanks and can kill fish. Yes, you can use electronic mosquito killing machines safely.>
guide me
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: discus fish treatment  7/26/11
thanks sir :)
<You're welcome.>
I purchase a new breeding pair of sanmaira discus fish. when ever they breed the egg catch fungus.
<Common problem. Use Methylene blue.>

the treatment of tank is around 31 to 32 degree c.
<A bit warm really. Discus should breed happily at 30 C/86 F, and the warmer you make the water, the less oxygen is dissolved in it. So there's no real advantage to keeping Discus excessively warm.>
my friend who is a breeder for discus fish. he say at the time of eggs hatching the of tank must be 30 degree c. if its above this then egg will catch fungus due to moisture.
<Moisture? The eggs are already wet -- they're underwater! Fungus happens when unfertilised eggs decay. Normally cichlids remove unfertilised eggs, but sometimes they don't, and the decaying eggs become covered with fungus.
Also, lack of water movement and less than perfect water quality will cause fungus to be more likely. Methylene blue works well for this and shouldn't harm the eggs or fry.>
guide me
<Cheers, Neale.>

Discus fish eating eggs ?    7/5/11
Dear WWM,
I am having a breeding pair of Map discus.
I am Facing a problem that Discus fish eat eggs on 4th day after laying eggs.
Can you Guide me why they eat eggs?
<Happens quite often w/ "new parents"; particularly if "nervous" from other tankmates, the location of their system being in a busy setting>
What is the solution for it?
<I advise just being patient... Likely the next batch or two they'll leave alone, raise them just fine...>
Thanks & Regard
<... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/discusreprofaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Discus fish eating eggs ?   7/5/11

but till now they have eaten eggs for three time. and this time they eat on second days. should I remove the parents.
<Read where you were referred... and search first before writing us. B>
even I have a pair of super melon discus. and they are male female around Four inches. how to make them breed?
Thanks & Regard
Zakir Shaikh

Mated Discus Pair laying eggs, need help please!!!    2/22/11
<Hi there>
My husband and I have a mated pair Blue Diamond girl and a Blue with red wriggly lines boy (both 6 inches, maybe a little more), and we had no clue of this until a week ago
<... should hatch out in about four days...>
when she laid eggs and he fertilized them behind her. We also have a red one with blue wriggly lines (same size), but they are now chasing him/her away from them.
<May well need to be moved... if this system is too small....>
We have had the red and blue diamond for about two years, and the boy only a year (raised as a baby with them in the same tank, I know now, a miracle that we never should have tried- but he got as big as them in half the time, so he is obviously a strong boy!!)
However, we know for sure the eggs were fertilized because the first golden batch got sucked up the bottom filter's plastic tubing,
<? Symphysodon eggs are adhesive>
and we dumped them in a bowl of water once we discovered this a few days later, and the eggs were hopping around trying to hatch. We put them in the tank, but, no joy. The few that did not get sucked up that they spent two days fanning and guarding, the female (we assume) ate on the third day (or second night) much to our chagrin. Now, we put a divider in the tank, and she has laid a beautiful batch on a piece of slate, and we watched him go right behind her each time, and again for two days they took turns with the fanning and guarding. The second night, I turned the light on to check on them at about 11 p.m., and they were all gone (I would guess at least 300-400 eggs)! We were so upset! We love these fish, and had no clue they would breed for us unexpectedly, and to find all of those eggs gone the second time was just a huge blow.
<What you describe is not atypical behavior for new breeders>
My question is, she is getting ready to lay again. They are cleaning the same piece of slate and defending that area, and I read somewhere that when she does lay, if I remove her before the second night and leave them just with the father, that he alone will raise them. Is this true?
<Mmm, can be, but...>
Should we attempt this?
<I would not. Better to keep pairs together...>
If so/or not, do you have any suggestions for us? If he did raise them, should I put the mother back in at some point? If they get to the feeding off of the side point maybe? Or would she harm them, resenting being left out? Any help would be very much appreciated, as we truly want these babies to survive (as it seems a miracle to have them at all).
My husband is an avid hobbyist and takes care of changing/testing the water etc. with the ultimate care and dedication, but we never expected such a rare thing like this that even experts have trouble with happening for us- and we want to see it through! My husband loves those Discus like his children! Again, thanks so much for your time and consideration. If you could answer as soon as possible, I would truly appreciate it, as I said she is going to lay anytime. I have read it is a week apart, she did these two broads three days apart. Thanks much.
Alicia and Chris H.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/discusreprofaqs.htm
and consider (strongly) buying or borrowing (the library) some of the many excellent books available on Discus husbandry. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mated Discus Pair laying eggs, need help please!!! Wackier  2/23/11

Thank you for your quick response.
A couple of very tiny bumblebee gohbi's
<? Entirely incompatible>
and two on the smallish side green-armored Cory's snuck in between the divider both previous times, could they have eaten the eggs? We did not think they would be a threat, we figured with both parents taking turns fanning and guarding they would be fine- and the Cory's would be good to keep in there for the waste aspect.
<Not a good idea>
They laid today again on the slate at about 6 p.m. (we are in Maryland), a good number of eggs, all now golden, and we made sure it is just the two of them on their side of the divider and everyone else on the other side (55 gallon tank). It is not evenly divided, we only gave the Discs a small portion of the tank.
So we should be ok with leaving the female in, and not worry about it being her eating all of the eggs tomorrow night as that is not atypical new breeding behavior?
<Keep reading... re these species water quality preferences, needs. What you have mixed here won't work>
Maybe it was the other fish in there with them mentioned above the last two times? Just want to clarify, as we would love to see this batch get to the three day mark and begin hatching!!
Thanks so much for your help! We really appreciate the advice. We cannot seem to find any up to date books at the library or in our local big aquarium store, so I think I need to order the two books you had recommended to others from Amazon or something. Thanks again!
<Welcome... BobF
Re: Mated Discus Pair laying eggs, need help please!!! - 2/23/2011

Thank you for your quick response once again, I will let you know tomorrow if they are still there!!
<No thanks... please, take my advice or go elsewhere. You NEED to read. B>

Discus problems w/ breeding  11/14/10
Hi Guys,
Once again I would thank you for your web site and past help with questions.
<A pleasure, self-assigned duty to share Deb>
I have been in the hobby for almost 30 years and a professional hobbyist for 25 of those years. In the past couple of years my company has added a lab to breed and raise fish. We have been successful with a number of different fish, angelfish being one of my favorites to breed.
Last February I received my first Discus, as far as I'm concerned the "holy grail" of freshwater fish. The Discus arrived in perfect condition. Six beautiful "Green Leopard" Discus. I was so excited as I was acclimating them I was shaking. I can't believe I waited this long to get these fish.
<Symphysodon spp. are really neat>
The fish were placed in a 70 gallon planted tank by themselves and adjusted very quickly, eating like champs in less than 5 hours later. Time passed and they grew quickly and soon started to pair off. By the end of June they laid their first eggs.
<Mmm, I would separate the "pairs", place them in their own systems>
Soon those eggs disappeared and a few days later they did it again.
<Being laid on a particular medium?>
At this time I started to intervene. I thought I would put a divider in the tank so they could have some peace. It was egg crate covered with nylon screening. This seemed to help because the eggs would hatch and become a group of fry even at one point starting to get on to the parents to feed, but the next day they would be gone. At first the fish were progressing in their learning how to be parents, but now they seem to be regressing. Now when the eggs hatch they are gone the next day.
<Someone's engaging in "egg-eating"... might be incorrigible>
The fish seem to be happy and not stressed at all, and they eat UV sterilized blood worms and UV sterilized brine shrimp in the AM. Afternoon feeding consist highly nutritious flake foods including Spirulina.
<Mmm, I would definitely change this diet... Have you (recently) read any of the "standard works" on Discus keeping... by Bernd Degen, Eduard Schmidt-Focke... writings (in TFH) Jack Wattley...>
I give twice weekly water changes of about 30 to 40 % with RO water.
<Need some small amount of TDS>
The water temp is 85F, the pH is between 6.2 to 6.8, I do have a little trouble keeping it stable.
Ammonia is 0. Nitrite is 0. Nitrate is usually less than 20 ppm.
<Should be less than ten>
I have a Eheim 2213 canister filter and a Aquaclear 300 power filter.
My next thought is to give them their own tank.
I feel like I have done everything I can, and maybe their just not getting it? They have spawned probably 15 times or more. Am I missing something?
<Just some fine-tuning of water quality, nutrition, and moving them into pair settings>
I have read all I can find on Discus breeding and it seems I'm doing all the right things, but something is definitely not right.
Any ideas you can think of would be greatly appreciated. I really want to help my fish and myself be successful. Thanking you in advance!!
Deborah Cheney
<Do please write back re your further experiences. Bob Fenner>

Re: Discus problems w/ breeding, & UNE Fish Hlth Conf. 2011    1/12/11

Hi Guys,
<And gals Deb>
Thank you so much for your response to my original Discus breeding questions. I took your suggestions and gave my mated pair their own tank, more frequent water changes of about 40%, bringing the nitrates to around 10ppm or so, keeping the pH more stable at around 6.8.
This pair has continued to spawn over and over again, with the babies getting to the point of being free swimming and trying to get on to the parents to feed.
It seems the parents ignore the babies and actually swim around too fast for the babies to latch on to the parents to feed. I have even tried to supplement the feedings for the fry by putting in newly hatched brine shrimp or rotifers.
But the fry do not survive. I have thought of taking the fry right out of the tank and just raise them like my angelfish, but I read that there is an important element in what the parents produce in the slime coat that is vital to the development of the babies. Is this true?
<Mmm, no; or shall I state, "not really". There are cases, folks who commercially raise the young apart from their parents>
If not I'll just separate them from the parents. In the mean time I have another that has paired off in the original tank. And they act the same way as the pair I've been having problems with.
I'm beginning to wonder if the guy I bought the fish from genetically designed them to not be able to successfully reproduce for his benefit.
<I doubt this>
I don't dare call him and ask!!
<? I would>
Oh well, any further suggestions will be much appreciated.
Deb Cheney
P.S. Bob if you happen to be the one to get this email, just wanted to let you know that my company N.E. Aquarium Services and University of New England will be doing another fish health conference in August 2011.
<Ah yes. RickO has been in contact w/ me re>
We are starting to get a list of speakers lined up and would love to have you again. Let me know what you think.
<Mmm, I'd like to help in determining topics, maybe suggesting some other presenters of worth. Thank you for your efforts.
Bob Fenner>

Discus Breeding 7/29/10
Hi Crew,
I've had Discus before, but never any that laid eggs.
<I have>
Well, last night I noticed eggs on one of my filter return pipes. I was very excited!
<Ah, yes>
Unfortunately, this morning when the lights came on 3 of the adults were having breakfast.
<Not atypical... takes a few goes for parents to "get much of the knack".. And there's even a possibility that you have two females...>
So my question is, how long might it be before I might see eggs again? In other words, how frequently can a female discus have eggs if she doesn't have fry to raise?
<About two weeks>
Thanks, Pat
<Oh, and do read here:
Bob Fenner>

How to sex discus, & overfeeding FW Ray    7/5/10
Hi crew,
I have a couple of questions:
1) Can you tell me how to tell the difference between male/female discus?
<You can't. Of course, the genital papillae will be different, but by the time the female exposes her papilla the fish will be within hours of spawning anyway, so you'll likely know which fish are paired.>
2) I understand the concept of not wanting uneaten food remaining in the aquarium and rotting and fouling the water. But when I feed Blackworms, is it still a concern if there are any left?
My ray is always foraging, as are my discus. In fact, it seems that they can't seem to get enough. Will they stop eating at some point?
<Not really. If you're providing protein-rich, but fibre-poor foods, you're essentially asking whether a child will stop eating candy at some point -- yes, but not before that child makes itself sick.>
As their bellies swell, I figure that they've had enough. Is there a formula to follow?
<Experience; common sense. The aim is to provide enough to keep a normal body profile, but not so much they are swollen, or so little that their bellies have a concave profile. Under-fed rays lose condition quickly, while nitrate-rich water from overfeeding quickly stresses them. This is why you need a big aquarium and massive water changes to keep Stingrays healthy. Several small meals per day is better than one big one, and skipping a day doesn't do any harm.>
Also, is there a concern that overfeeding will cause more poop therefore fouling the water that way?
<Faeces are largely irrelevant, since they contain mostly material that doesn't decay into ammonia quickly/at all. The toxic ammonia comes from protein metabolism within the fish, and that's invisible to you. Uneaten food of course rots, and in doing so releases ammonia via saprotrophic bacteria.>
I have my tank on a "drip" water change, and this morning my Nitrates are less than 20ppm, judging by the color of the test strip, I'd say maybe 10ppm.
<20 mg/l nitrate is high by Stingray standards; you're aiming for near-zero levels, and preferably no higher than 10 mg/l. Anything above 40 mg/l quickly becomes toxic.>
As always your help and direction are greatly appreciated!
Thank you
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Discus/Uaru-related question   8/5/09
<Hello Gregg.>
Is it possible for a male Discus to fertilize the eggs of a Uaru?
I have a Uaru who laid eggs a couple of days ago, and one of my five Discus was right there beside her almost the entire time, which made me wonder what it was he was doing. Can any species of fish fertilize the eggs of another? If so, what would the offspring turn out to be?
<There won't be any offspring.>
<These are my favourite questions! Short and sweet! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Discus/Uaru-related question   8/6/09

That's what I thought. Thank you for confirming that. : )
<No problems. Enjoy your fish! Neale.>

Discus fry not eating   7/2/09
Dear crew,
A quick question about our discus fry, they are 3 weeks old and were removed from the parents a week ago, last night we found 5 dead doing our daily water change, (FYI, rio 300ltr, 25-50% water change a day (heated), temp 28c, water param.s e.g.. nitrate, nitrite and ammonia all nil, ph 6.5, gravel bottom, 1 piece of planted bogwood, external lac filter with sponge over intake.)
<I see; nothing here sounds problematic, though water temperature is on the cool side for Discus.>
These fry are a lot less active than previous batches and do not seem to be feeding, we have been using Liquifry, washed baby brine shrimp eggs (as we are having difficulty hatching Artemia eggs), and small pieces of algae wafer at night.
<May simply be a weak "batch". In which case, unless you're desperate to raise this batch, you could let nature take its course, and leave the healthiest (hungriest) to survive. Discus will spawn every couple of
months, so there will be more where these come from! That said, live foods are usually taken more immediately than other types of food, so it's worth persisting with the Artemia nauplii, or at least, try grabbing some algae from a fish-free pond so the fry can peck away themselves. There's a risk of introducing potential egg and immobile fry predators, such as Flatworms and Snails, so be careful with the latter approach.>
Recently it does not seem to be being consumed and fish are looking more lethargic by the day, hiding under sponge in corner.
<Hiding is often a sign of underlying problems: too much noise, too much light, varying water quality/chemistry, etc.>
Not coming out when food is put in the tank! have u got any ideas of what we can do to encourage our babies to eat? any help welcome, do you think raising the temp will help?
<Worth a shot.>
any other food stuffs to tempt them with? try to "shoo" the babies to the food? (tried before but can be a bit of a disruption!) please help us!
Thanks for your time and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
<Do make sure you don't "pull" the fry too soon; letting them feed on the mucous of their parents does seem to be helpful with Symphysodon spp; I'd leave the fry with the parents a good couple of weeks post-hatching before pulling them to another tank.>
JoJo and Harriotte
<Cheers, Neale.>

Symphysodon (repro) 11/07/08 I have what seems to be a pair of discus. Last night one was laying eggs, but the other ate them.  Do discus lay eggs when their not mature fish. Do you know of any books on discus breeding thanks. Darby <Darby, there are many, many books on Symphysodon spp., and most will have sections on breeding. What you are describing is common with Discus and there is no quick fix. Some aquarists leave the parents to "get things right" by themselves, which might happen after a few attempts. This is especially the case with young, immature fish. But other times pairs simply never learn. Inbreeding has a lot to do with it, and if your pair is some sort of fancy (i.e., not wild-type) Discus, then you may have some stupid fish that will never learn. Remember, in selecting for non-natural colours (bright reds and so on) humans are making choices over which fish mate, not the fish themselves. So they do not get to make the intelligent choice of choosing a partner able to breed successfully. Often times the humans interfere with breeding process, rearing the young manually, or employing various tricks to stop "bad behaviour" being a problem. All this means that the genes for intelligence and good breeding behaviour are not selected for, while genes for colours that appeal to the fishkeeper are selected for instead. Long term, you end up with animals that may have brighter colours and longer fins, but are dumb as posts and have no idea how to rear their young. You'll find this trend in many fish, not just Discus, and captive-bred fancy Angelfish are now so stupid that they are virtually impossible to breed in the natural way. Anyway, one of my personal favourite fish breeding books is "A Fishkeeper's Guide to Fish Breeding by Chris Andrews". It covers Discus as well as all the basics; if you have never bred fish before, it's an essential read. Cheers, Neale.>

Question- Carbon Stunting Fish 06/15/08 A discus breeder I know, who appears quite knowledgeable, told me that activated carbon in filters stunts the growth of fish. Is there any truth to this? < I have never seen any scientific documentation validating this claim. If this breeder set up six tanks of baby discus with activated carbon in their filters and then set up an additional six tanks of baby discus without activated carbon, then raised them together with all the other factors being the same, then we can compare both the tanks to see if the carbon made a difference. Carbon removes organics from the water. A good example would be tannins from driftwood. What does affect fish grow is nitrogenous wastes. If the filter is not cleaned then the organics in the filter begin to decompose and these waste products inhibit the grow of fish. This is why water changes are so heavily stressed in raising baby fish.-Chuck>

Why do discus keep on eating their babies? 2-12-08 Hello Crew, <Angelina> Your website has been very helpful, which I thank you for, but I cannot find an answer for my problem. The problem is my 2 discus always mate and the discus babies always hatch. The moment they become free swimming the parents eat all of them, without hesitation. Also, the fry never feed off their parents side. The tank is a 33 gallon, which is planted and includes 6 Corys and 2 other discus <This is the reason> who always are hiding in the corner. <Avoiding the wrath of the paired Symphysodon> The nitrite is 0 and the nitrate is 80. <Yikes! Too high... I'd be reading on WWM re lowering NO3, doing more frequent, larger pre-made water changes if nothing else> I would move the breeding pair into a 29 gallon breeding tank to breed but I'm afraid they will stop being a pair. Any suggestions would be appreciated. <I would move the spawning pair into this tank... and their favorite spawning medium... whatever they've been laying the eggs on. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Breeding Discus  -- 04/29/07 My sister has recently acquired a fish tank with 3 discus fish and an assortment of other fish. She has just told me the discus have laid eggs. Help!  She doesn't know what to do. Should she leave them to it/ remove the eggs and  the fish to another tank she hasn't got a clue. <Sometimes in a new tank, with new water, cichlids like your discus get excited about the new environment and spawn. They usually lay the adhesive eggs on a vertical surface. They will guard the eggs for three days and then the fry will become free swimming in another three days at 80F. Discus fry are unique, in that the fry need to eat the slime off the parents for awhile. Keep the parents well fed and the tank clean and you will have discus babies. If the parents are not well fed, then they could eat the fry at any time.-Chuck>

On a side note, I have managed to get my Discus to breed thanks to you guys and a lot of hard work.  I am sending a success picture for you guys to check out.   <Cool photo!  Thank you for sharing.  Is always good to hear success stories!> <<Thanks for sending this along Brandon. Will place with credit to you. BobF>> Thank you so much for your help. <You're welcome my friend!  -Mich> Brandon R. Foster. 

Discus actually let the eggs hatch this time.  3/5/07 Hello Mich, <Hey Brandon!> Good news.  My Discus are not lesbians after all (they laid numerous clutches of eggs to no avail.  I thought there was a lack of gametes involved.  I guess they were just practicing.)   <Heee!> Yesterday morning I awoke to find twenty something fry in the tank.  Today they are swimming around the parents eating that wonderful mucus that they make.   <Mmm...Yum? I tried to get a picture, but that is a bit like nailing Jell-O to the wall.   <Have tried, is hard.  Ok well actually, not nailing, but sticking it to the ceiling...can be done.> I will try to get some when they get a little bigger.  I am ecstatic, and had to tell someone! <Congrats!  I'm very happy for you!  Only another fish geek would understand!> Mich Brandon

Re: Discus actually let the eggs hatch this time.  3/6/07 Hello Mich, <Hey Brandon!> <<Hello again Mich.>> Good news.  My Discus are not lesbians after all (they laid numerous clutches of eggs to no avail.  I thought there was a lack of gametes involved.  I guess they were just practicing.)   <Heee!> <<Not any more.  Then daggum Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma group that I put in the tank to cycle it many moons ago, decided to eat the fry.  I took the five black hearted (no pun intended) buggers to a fish store today and gave them away.>> Yesterday morning I awoke to find twenty something fry in the tank.  Today they are swimming around the parents eating that wonderful mucus that they make.   <Mmm...Yum?> I tried to get a picture, but that is a bit like nailing Jell-O to the wall.   <Have tried, is hard.  Ok well actually, not nailing, but sticking it to the ceiling...can be done.> I will try to get some when they get a little bigger.  I am ecstatic, and had to tell someone! <Congrats!  I'm very happy for you!  Only another fish geek would understand!> <<However, on the upside, it looks like they are making another nest.>> Mich Brandon <<Brandon>>

My discus laid eggs...now what?   10/1/06 Hi I have a 45 gall tank with 2 4-5in discus that was set up in April, 2006. Today they laid eggs on the Visi therm heater. What do I do now? <Mmmm... prepare to care for them... wait/see if they hatch out> will the heater kill the eggs? should i get another heater and unplug the one with the eggs on it? <I would, yes> I know these are eggs, they are brown and the fish are rubbing against the heater both of them) and rarely leave the eggs alone. what should i do? if i end up with many discus where do i sell them? thanks <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/discusreprofaqs.htm and the linked files above. I would invest in one or two "complete" Discus books... more modern ones that touch on commercial possibilities. Bob Fenner>

Re: my discus laid eggs...now what?   10/2/06 Hi I wasn't able to buy another heater (too expensive), but I would be really upset if these eggs don't hatch. <First batches... generally are a "no go"... and you may have two females... not fertile> If they don't will my pair lay eggs again? <Likely so> and the heater I'm assuming is only as hot as the water, so would that really kill them? <Mmm, the area next to the element gets very hot... Bob Fenner> thanks again

Discus farm... RMF NOT a directory  9/25/06 Hello, I have a 88000 sq ft. land at a prominent place on National Highway 4 in India. I want to set up a discus farm. I'm an amateur in the field but am looking forward to seek guidance from experienced person like you. I have read a bit about Lo Wing Yat the discus breeder from Hong Kong. I have plans to visit Hong Kong in the coming months as you have been making your purchases from him I would like to visit him. Please provide me with his address and contact number. Also I'm looking for financial partner from any part of the world for the project. I hope to receive your guidance and kind co operation. Thank you, With Best Regards, S. D. Desai < http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=PCTA,PCTA:2006-31,PCTA:en&q=Lo+Wing+Yat+the+discus+breeder+from+Hong+Kong BobF>

Getting New Discus Hi, I am Brijesh from India and am planning to make a discus aquarium for myself. I am very afraid because I have heard that discus die soon. Is it true that they are delicate? < Discus can be less tolerant of poor aquarium maintenance than many other fish.> I do regular water changes once a week. Which types of discus do you recommend to start with? < There are really only two types. Wild and aquarium bred strains. The aquarium bred strains can be easier to keep if they are properly raised. Your choice is simply a matter of personal taste.> I am planning to buy a 24x12x12 inches tank for it without any gravel. I am getting the fish from a dealer who has agreed to quarantine it for me for a week is it enough? < I would recommend at least a two week quarantine period. Longer if the fish develop any problems.> I am sure that if the discus is healthy I will be able to take care of it. I am getting these babes from Bangalore which is 400km from my place. Is it safe? Will they catch any diseases due to stress? < Shipping fish always puts a strain on them. If you are getting your fish from a professional breeder then they will know how to ship them in a way to minimize the stress. Many discus have been "hormoned" to give the young color so they can be easily sold. These fish soon lose their color in the aquarium and become difficult to breed later on. As the person you are buying the fish from if they have been hormoned. I would stay away from these fish if they have.-Chuck>

Discus breeding help Hello all , I am in need of some advice concerning a recent and first spawning of a pair of one year old red turquoise and a orange turquoise, they have both been attentive at watching their eggs but are they are all unfertilized and now quite fungused it has been four days now and they continue to guard the eggs although one more vigilant then the other, I have observed one of them getting a mouthful of food and spitting it at the eggs several times as if to say 'eat you little eggs'?? my question is how long should I let them watch over these unfertilized eggs, should I remove the cone and remove the eggs and replace in the tank and let them try again? Or will they eventually give up and clean/eat the eggs? Could it be I have a pair of lesbians or just a inexperienced male? They are in there own tank with a sponge filter,  daily water changes with /RO water with electro right and discus essentials and proper PH 6.5  any info would be appreciated. Thank you for your time: Alex Petrovics <Hi Alex, if the eggs are not fertilized I would remove them, all they will do is foul your water.  It is not uncommon for a pairs first spawn to be unsuccessful, I would not worry too much just yet.  Best Regards, Gage>

Discus breeding  I need some help (it is actually good help). Tonight I discovered I have a spawning pair of discus. <Congratulations!  Discus are said to be some of the hardest freshwater fish to breed.  Many experts are afraid to try their hand at it, so you must be doing something right!> So here are my questions. First, the eggs are brownish in color. Is this normal?   <Typically the eggs should be dark like that... perhaps the eggs are fertilized. If the eggs were white then it would show that they are not fertile. Which seems to be the case with many discus, it is not uncommon for a pairs first spawn to be unsuccessful.  But don't give up hope yet. chances are that the eggs are fertilized.  Be sure to look at our discus FAQ area on the site and see if there is something there that can be of assistance. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/discusfaqs.htm Also you should look at some of the discus forums online: http://forums.aquariumhobbyist.com/forum.php?catid=21 they are very knowledgeable folks there.> They are guarding and fanning the eggs. <Even if they aren't fertilized the parents will still fan the eggs until they are removed from the tank.  So, the act that they are fanning them doesn't mean that they are fertile.>    Second, what is the normal gestation period before hatching? < it's typically around 4-6 days depending on the water temp.> and how long should the fry be allowed to feed off of the parents slime. <typically they feed on the skin mucus during the first few days after that they start searching for other food sources.> Third, should I continue with my weekly water changes? <I would continue to do so, but be very cautious.  Possibly cut the percent of water change down while after the fry have hatched.  But with the eggs, it's good to have fresh clean water in there.> and last what size tank should I rear the fry in if I get that far and what should I feed them? <to be honest, not entirely sure my friend had her's in 20 gallon long tanks.  I'm sure that the folks at the discus boards would know.> What are some good books on breeding discus? <two of the best books I've read so far are Discus Fish -- by Thomas A. Giovanetti The Discus : An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Fish by Mic Hargrove > Thanks in advance for any input or advice. <Hope that helps and hope your discus do breed.  -Magnus>

Discus breeding space I have two discus I believe to be paired in a 55 gal tank. I perform water changes a few times a week. I use DI water and discus trace and a little Amazon extract as source water. I am running a wet dry with about 5 gallons of water and have a bag of peat in there as well. <The water seems fine for discus. They actually only require neutral clean water to be maintained. I would try a 50% water change to simulate the rainy season in the Amazon. Keep the temperature up at 82 degrees. If that does not get them interested then I would start to look at the diet. Try feeding them small earthworms. You may have to cut them up with a razor blade. Washed black worms may be substituted instead but they may carry diseases with them so they should be used with caution. You might try  frozen foods too. Small quantities at first and then larger amounts later if they like them.> My problem is that it seems as if the fish spend too much time cruising the whole tank instead of spending time on each other and getting busy. I have been told that they may have too much territory to think about and guard to breed. Is this true? < This does not make any sense since they come from fairly large river systems in South America> If so, can I put a  egg crate divider in the tank and add about 7 juvenile discus to the other side of the tank. < Try my suggestions above. You may not have a pair after all. Some of the best experts have trouble sometimes telling discus apart. If you really want to get a pair, then try six small fish and grow them up. You have at least a 90% chance of getting a pair. Probably 2 pair. -Chuck>

Discus Breeding Space Hey, thanks for the advice. I feed them bloodworms exclusively. I have tried to get them to accept other foods by fasting them and then offering brine and mysis as well.  < The addition of shrimp is a good idea to add minerals to their diet. They will probably get slightly better color too.>  They wouldn't eat it as far as could tell, but the may have snacked on it a little when I wasn't watching, as they seemed fine for about ten days until I got more bloodworms for them.  <This is what I meant by imprinting fish with a particular diet. As you can see it is sometimes difficult to get them weaned on to anything else. Sometimes the addition of other "dither" fish can stimulate their feeding behavior. The addition of this fish can trigger the feeding response and at least get them to try something else.>  I was doing water changes more frequently with water slightly cooler than the 82-84 degree water in the tank to simulate rainy season. This hasn't worked yet. I will try larger water changes in hope of stimulating a spawn. If not, it may be that they are just good buddies and not a pair.  < You might try adding some more discus to the tank. They match up with one of the originals.-Chuck> Thanks again!

Help!! I have a terribly egg laden turquoise discus Help!! I have a terribly egg laden turquoise discus that refuses to drop her eggs. She looks so bloated and uncomfortable. I am not able to remove her to a separate tank at this time. Is there anything that I can do to help her. I don't expect to have any babies until I can afford a separate 75 gallon just for my discus. Right now they are in with clowns (Botias) and panda Cory cats, which by the way produced a baby. Go figure. Any help would be much appreciated. Sheryl < If you are sure that you have a pair of discus and she is indeed egg laden then their really isn't too much you can do. On the other had if she is not eating and not paired off with a male then I would suspect that she is suffering from an internal bacterial infection and is very sick. I would recommend that she be placed in a hospital tank and treated with Metronidazole.-Chuck>

My discus - Follow-up Thanks for your answer on my discus. But in the same tank with the discus I have clown loaches and panda Cory cats. I know I can put Epsom salt in with both discus and clown loaches, but would it harm panda Cory cats??? < They really don't like it, but can tolerate it to some degree.> My discus has probably overeaten - I'm sure she doesn't have an infection because of the way she is acting - fantastic color, fins in perfect position, she is still eating and being bossy in the tank. Thanks again - Sheryl < Overfeeding discus can be very detrimental to their long term health. I always recommend feeding fish no more food then they can eat in a couple of minutes each day. With discus though I do feed them twice a day.-Chuck> 

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