Some of my wilds

Discussion in 'Discus' started by Rowland, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Hi all

    As some of you may know, I decided to become the purist and keep only wild discus. All my tank bred varieties went to a breeder up north and I started my collection of wilds. Hopefully someday I will be able to breed some of these. For now they are eating and doing well, but showing very little breeding behaviour.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Two of my Red Spotted Greens
     
  2. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    This was sold to me as a wild brown. Really looks like some Alenquer form...comments welcome.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    And then my Heckel discus...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    These go under the name of Gypsy Discus, but more correctly should be called Semi Royal blue Nhamunda

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Peter
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    Peter Algae harvester

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    This is so cool........want some.....
     
  6. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Thanks Pete

    Just can't wait for my shipment from Europe, then I will put up those photos too
     
  7. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Rowland,

    Your fish look stunning, much more to my liking than all the new hybrids. In particular, I like the Nhamunda semi-royals, the red-orange colour is particularly appealing to me. Now you just need to get them to breed!

    I wish you the best of success with them.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  8. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Thanks very much Dirk

    Thats where I want my hobby to go now...breeding wilds.
     
  9. ivansa
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    ivansa Algae harvester

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    Wow, some good looking fish you have there.
     
  10. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Thanks Ivan
     
  11. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    Hey Rowland

    Those are really awesome looking fish... You might just get me to start keeping discus soon :)

    Let us know when you manage to breed them, although I guess you might have some problems with the Heckels. From what I heard they are just as difficult as altums to spawn.
     
  12. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Hey Andre

    Thanks for the kind words. You keeping discus is long overdue!! I have heard how difficult heckels are to keep and breed. Funnily enough I have found wilds far less finnicky, stronger fish to keep than their Tank bred hybrid counterparts. Must say however conditioning them to spawn is more difficult. Have heard too of pH nearer to 5.5 to breed them. Very reluctant to start playing with my water, so concerned it becomes unstable and fluctuates to easily.
     
  13. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    I'm sure they will breed for you in time.

    They look very healthy.

    How many do you have?
     
  14. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Andre, at the moment I have about 35 wild discus. 12 Heckels, 5 semi royals, 18 greens and some brown/alenquers. Am still waiting for my shipment from Europe. I have 22 coming in from them. William is also still going to replace the fish I sent to him. That would mean another 20 odd. Hoping for Red Spotted Greens...my favourite. That will push the total up. Then I will select out what I really would like to try breed with and perhaps this out on some of the others.
     
  15. ziyaadb
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    ziyaadb Algae harvester

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    wow beautifull man
     
  16. Cameron
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    Cameron Green fingers

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    Very nice indeed Rowland, beautiful Discus you have there.
     
  17. Peter
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    Peter Algae harvester

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    Hi

    From what I have read, some wild caught are very difficult to breed and artificial stimulation is used to induce spawning (a pictorial book on sexual positions for discus...lol). Once tank bred, I?m sure the fry on reaching maturity, have better success rates in breeding.
     
  18. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Dear Peter,

    From the discus literature there are a number of myths that I think need to be clarified:

    1. That wild-caught discus are very difficult to breed, and

    2. that in order to breed them you have to manipulate them to do so.

    I have kept and bred tropical fish for 40 years and have kept and bred discus for 20 years, and through my experience I can state that if you give any fish including discus the right circumstances (feeding, water chemistry, tank space, lighting etc) then they will breed. The trick is to create the right circumstances and they will do it. I believe that this is the challenge to the fish/discus breeder, get the circumstances right and they will breed, NO manipulation and treatment is required. In the discus literature one can find repeated references to manipulation and that this is required to achieve better breeding, better colour, better growth etc. I firmly maintain that if you adhere to the basic rules of trying to simulate nature, you will achieve success in maintaining the fish (discus or anything else for that matter) or breeding them.

    With regard to the fish that Rowland has shown us, the Nhamundas, Alenquers and Greens have been bred repeatedly and routinely. Given the correct circumstances in a tank they will breed, and it is not so difficult to get that right, there are numerous reports of breeding these fish, even if they are first generation wilds. For your information I have included a pic below of red-spotted green discus that were reported in the Discus forum, a German discussion group. NO manipulation is required, they breed well. I also maintain that if they are manipulated, the problems start appearing thereafter and many discus strains are so difficult to breed for this very reason, they have not been maintained naturally, they have been manipulated so that they cannot reproduce naturally and they actually are a major frustration for the hobbyist, they cannot breed WITHOUT MANIPULATION.

    The exception is, however, the Heckel discus, which is definitely more difficult to breed. It strictly requires softer water and I think that it also requires one to keep the fish in darker and more covered tanks to keep it happy and to try to induce it to breed. It has been done repeatedly though and again I believe that manipulating them with whatever chemical will just cause the next set of problems.

    A horror story that I have heard is that heckel discus, after they are caught in South America, are then often kept in tanks and treated with testosterone treated food to induce them to show more blue colours. After this they are then sold as blue-headed Heckels, a desired peculiarity, at the appropriate high prices. After arrival, these fish then wane because they are no longer being treated with testosterone and are also no longer fertile because of this treatment. This then extends the illusion that they need to be treated with some stimulant to get them to breed and are difficult to keep.

    All I can say is that if these beautiful fish are kept under conditions that are a good simulation of what they are exposed to in nature, they will not be difficult to keep and to breed as well. I am a firm believer that the never ending manipulation of these fish has lead to a string of hybrids that are so difficult to keep and to breed for that very reason.

    I visited Dr Eduard Schmidt-Focke in 1990 and he was completely disillusioned by what had been done to discus through manipulation and I am a firm believer that no manipulation is needed of you keep discus under conditions that simulate what goes on in nature properly.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Peter
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    Peter Algae harvester

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    Hi Prof Dirk

    I?m glad your busting myths, there is a lot of info that I ?learn? from the net and as I said before, hard to differentiate fact or fiction and happy that you are able to separate the two.
    From what I have read, testosterone when dosed in water, though it does increase ?sex drive?, does not affect the quality of gametes. I have found a lot of ?breeders? on the net (in forum discussion) who use this method, not just on wilds but hybrids as well to develop the ?elusive strain.?

    Andrew Soh, who?s been breeding/keeping discus for over 30 years (now retired and author ?Discus the Naked Truth?), has disclosed some of these methods (I?m sure not to encourage the hobbyist), he has however, advised in the correct way in doing it, (bringing awareness), rather then allow the hobbyist to kill or damage discus as you have mentioned.
    He has since developed two products ?Pro-Grow? and ?Pro-More?. Pro-Grow when added to the feed, allows the discus to grow faster to its genetically size, compared to that of ?normal? feeding. Pro-More (which I find interesting) increases sex drive and?good gametes, further to this, increase in eggs and milt.
    This to me sounds like a wonder food with no adverse affects, as such, was what I was referring to. I?m hoping to get some in to try for myself.

    But what could he possibly put into this ?secret formula? that has the discus community confirming performance of these products?

    One more question if I may Prof.

    With regards to growth, do discus also emit a chemical/hormone to inhibit the growth of smaller discus. The reason I ask this, I have 4 spawns from the same pair all in one tank (as I lack the space until my fish room is finished) I can?t find anything to confirm this, though I have read this to be possible.
     
  20. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    I am so glad this thread has "gone there". These are the exact things I have been wondering about. Dirk, with regards my water chemistry, when I was keeping the tank bred strains originating in the far east, I took your advice and rather than adapt the water to them , I let them adapt to the water. This kept them happy and healthy and they spawned.
    Now, with fish having originated in natural conditions with low pH, low conductivity etc, do I try simulate those conditions in order to get them to breed, or do I try get them to breed at the "stable" conditions I am keeping them at now?
    I say stable in inverted commas as what I may regard as stable may well not be so. Obviously parameters are free of nitrate, ammonia etc. I am keeping them at a pH around 6.8 to 7. This does drop slightly between water changes, but goes back up slightly, after a water change as my water is closer to eight. I heat and let my water stand for 48 hours prior to doing water changes which drops the pH to about 7. One of the water drums is filtered by a fluval containing peat. This water is spread across all my tanks during water changes to keep the pH of water added as close to the existing water.

    Should I be keeping my water softer and more acidic?
    I so what is the best way to do this?
    Or...should I get my wilds to adapt to the parameters I am running and hoefully breed in that?

    Best regards
    Rowland
     

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