HELP with Breeding Discus

Discussion in 'Discus' started by karen, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. karen
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    karen Noob

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    Hi

    I need some help with breeding discus. Two of my discus have recently paired up, so I moved them to a tank on their own. They have hatched about 14 batches already but none survive after 3 days. All the tank parameters are correct and I have also tried covering the tank so that they are not disturbed too much.

    I think that the female eats the babies after looking after them so well.

    Any advice will be gratefull.


    Regards

    Karen
     
  2. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Karen,

    Are the fry actually hatching or are the eggs going rotten before being eaten.

    What does your tank look like? Filtration, heating, lighting, water parameters, I mean pH, and more. What strain of discus are these, how old are they, where do they come from. Without this information one can only guess at the problem.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  3. karen
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    karen Noob

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    Hi Dirk

    it is a 100l Boyu FX600. pH is 6.2, Temp. 28-29 degrees. The eggs actually hatch and the parents look after them quite well until they are about 3 days old and then they start dissappearing. I got the parents at the same time from the same place. AquaPets being the supplier. They are possibly 2 years old.

    Hope this will help.

    Karen
     
  4. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Karen,

    Strain of discus? It is crucial that I know this.

    What you are saying is that they eat their eggs, not hatched youngsters?

    Lighting, substrate, what are they laying on, plants in the tank? I need exact information or else I cannot help.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  5. mattie
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    mattie Noob

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    try removing one of the parents next time.
    they fight with each other trying to look after the eggs/babies and in turn swallow the eggs
     
  6. tyronegenade
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    tyronegenade Specialist

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    You could also supply a "target" fish for the male. This worked many times with angelfish parents. What may be a good idea is to move them back into their original tank and let them spawn there a few times and learn to take care of their young. Again, this has worked with angelfish. I rarely had trouble with angelfish eating their eggs if they had spawned in a community tank setting and been left alone to try raise their young. They never succeed but I never had a pair eat their own eggs---that only happened under breeding tank conditions. Same thing with kribensis.

    Is this a 100 L long tank or some odd size? If it is long then stuff like rainbowfish or large tetras would work well. Just give them somewhere to hide on the other end of the tank (far away from the parents).
     
  7. karen
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    karen Noob

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    Hi All

    I am not sure of the strain so i have posted a picture of the pair. The substrate is silicone sand. The tanks is 600l x 380w x 450h. it has 2x T5 14w lights, on for 9 hrs/day. They lay their eggs on either ceramic cone. They always seem to move the eggs from one spot to anther. Even when they have hatched, the parents still move then. They do seem to be swallowed when they are being moved. Why do they move them all the time? The eggs do hatch and actually become free swimming for about 3 days before they disappear. It was suggested that I cover the tank with a black bag in order for them not to be disturbed all the time, which i did, but nothing has changed. I still need to identify some of the plants.

    Thanks,

    Karen

    http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x46 ... G_0583.jpg
     
  8. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Karen,

    All discus will move their babies after hatch, this is the standard pattern and there is nothing wrong with that. Why they do it is because of they want to move them away from the remaining unhatched and rotten eggs. I think your fishes are basically good parents and there is no reason to take away one of them as Mattie has suggested.

    However, there are two reasons why I can see that you are having problems:

    Baby discus which become freeswimming have to find their parents so that they can eat the slime off their bodies. With the amount of plants and the darkness in that aquarium (perhaps the pic is on the dark side and the tank is not so dark), the fry are simply going to get lost.

    The second problem that you have is that your fishes are pidgeon blood discus. The one is perhaps a red pidgeon, the other a more standard one. Pidgeon blood discus do not have the ability to show dark stress bars, they possess this pidgeon blood mutation which changes that and it changes the ability to show normal colour. The biggest problem for you though is that because of this mutation they do not possess the ability to go dark and to produce normal slime in order to feed the fry. Also because they do not go dark, the fry do not know where to swim because they are actually looking for a dark body, that is what they will aim for and home in on.

    You have one option, and as far as I am concerned that is the only one, and that is to put them into an aquarium completely without gravel which has cream or very pale blue sides and in which all the pipes are light coloured. The aquarium must not even have black silicon. Because this aquarium will be light, you must not have bright lights. Under such circumstances, the fry MAY be able to find the parents and then grow. However, even then you may find that the amount of slime these fishes produce is just simply too low and that they will not survive. You would also have to start feeding with freshly hatched brine shrimps earlier than with normal discus if the fry are to have a chance of survival.

    Many pidgeon blood discus fry are raised by crossing a pidgeon blood discus with a normal discus and then the fry feed off the normal parent. Alternatively, surrogate parents are used. It is my personal opinion (NOTE MY PERSONAL OPINION) that such fishes are unnatural because of this. What I also find worrying is that the tendency in discus breeding in Singapore and Malaysia, which I am sure is where these fishes will come from, is to move away from straight pidgeon bloods. However, some still appear as throw backs in the breeding of red sunset discus, and I think this is what you are seeing here. Such discus would be sold very cheaply and are the types that are then imported into South Africa. Unfortunately here in SA the game is all about price. If you want better discus, you have to pay and buy from a reliable source. These words are perhaps harsh, and I apologize for this, this is a not a criticism of your fishes, I am making a general statement and this may allow you to understand better why these fishes are sold here in the first place.

    Let me know if you need more help, you can also send me a PM if you need greater detail.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  9. karen
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    karen Noob

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    Hi Dirk

    Thanks for all your advice. I will see how much of it I can do. The filter pipes in the tank are black and I am not sure how I could change this, but the rest is possible. I am very interested in getting certain discus. These being a golden yellow, white ghost, peach white and royal blue. I also would like to get them at a size similar to the ones I already have. Do you have any advice as to where I could get these strains. I Know these would be more expensive, but if they are quality fish, I am prepared to pay within reason.

    Regards,

    Karen
     
  10. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Karen,

    If the filter pipes are black, they are going to have to go or else you can forget raising the youngsters. I would buy some see through pipes and some irrigation fittings and then you can replace only those portions of the pipes that stick into the aquarium.

    I will send you a PM of some persons that you can contact about obtaining good discus as any statement here will be interpreted as advertisement.

    What I want to mention though with regard to the discus varieties that you mention are that golden yellows, white ghost and peach whites are all highly mutant varieties that have inbreeding problems and problems in raising their young. If you want to breed them you are headed for difficulties.

    The name "Royal blue discus" is actually a name for a wild blue discus that has blue lines over the full body, not only on the head and dorsal and ventral fins. Such wild types are only imported rarely from the wild and only very rarely reach South Africa. What are often sold as royal blue discus are then actually older turquoise varieties that have blue lines over the whole body. There is however nothing wrong with this and these discus tend to be easier to breed and tougher than all the modern hybrids and I would actually recommend that you rather try to get some of these first.

    I would advise that you do some careful reading about strains and perhaps invest in a good book, but there are an ENORMOUS amount of rubbish books on discus out there which just have pretty pics and very little good information so you have to be selective about what you buy.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  11. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    Fantastic information.

    Is there any book(s) that you could recommend?
     

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