Showing posts with label Discus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Discus. Show all posts


Effective Ways to Help Keep Your DISCUS FISH Free from Diseases

Photo prise en aquarium d'un discus Heckel du ...
Heckel Discus
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The aquarium is not typically what you would first think when talking about pets. In fact, most of us would instantly depict n image of a dog inside our mind, or maybe even a cat. But many homes today do have fish tanks and they are not just for ornamental or design purposes. Yes, they do look good, that is a given. Fish tanks and the fish themselves are also effective stress relievers. That’s why many people today would rather own fishes. And one of the fish breeds that many aquarists choose is the discus fish.

Before anything else, there are many advantages to owning a pet fish. First, you won’t need to take them for walks, you don’t have to give them baths, they don’t demand much attention, and you don’t really have to clean up after them after every while. Yes, they still need some looking after but not as much as compared to our canine and feline friends. This doesn’t mean though that once you have your tank, filled it up with water, and purchased your feed then your all done. There are still quite a few things that you have to do to ensure that they will live a long time and save you the anxiety of having to buy new fish every time.  

The big news is, most fishes, including the discus fish, maybe even more so, develop health conditions because of stress. Although fishes are fragile as compared to other household pets, they don’t really just die and wither if they are kept well. And all you really have to do is make sure that the tank is clean and feed them as scheduled, which is not really all the time. There are some factors though that can cause them stress and thus weakening their immune system. Here are some ways that you can do easily to keep your discus fish stress free and healthy.

Like air is to humans, water is the single most important aspect of fishes besides food. So make sure that their water is free from chlorine and other toxic chemicals, as well as heavy metals. You should also keep it a good temperature and pH level. Investing in a dependable purifier, filter, and aerator will make the water clean and livable. 

Vary the diet of your discus fish. Aside from the flakes and granules, feed them blood worms or fresh or frozen brine shrimp as discus fish are carnivorous.

Keep your aquarium in a quiet and solitary place. Too much noise and motion, like a door opening or heavy human traffic, can cause them stress.

Never overcrowd your tank. Discus fish are very protective of their space so they need an ample re to grow and breed. The bigger the tank, the better. 

Consistency is the key. Do not allow abrupt highs and low in the temperature and pH levels of the water in the tank. This can put them in shock.

Following these simple steps will help you keep your discus fish away from stress thus giving them a healthier and longer life. 


How To check The Sex of DISCUS FISH

Discus 02
Photo by wplynn
Among 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 found.  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 instance, 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.

A few 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 is 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 the 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 a lesser pattern.  I disagree because too many variables are in place here, so much the health of the discus, the water parameters, and feeding pattern.

In an interesting text by Jeff Richard, he discusses an article from Diskus Brief, a German publication, which reports a very successful way of determining the 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.  - Article Directory: EzineArticles


A Guide To Buying DISCUS FISH

English: a fish of the genus Symphysodon
A fish of the genus Symphysodon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 pressurized 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 are two reasons for this. They have a bigger selection of fish which means you are more likely to find something to suit you, and they 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 hideaway 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 are concerned, the things to be on the outlook for is fish that seems to be breathing heavily, fish with twisted mouths, poorly shaped fins 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 of 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 - Do's and Don'ts

English: a fish of the genus Symphysodon
Symphysodon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you are thinking about breeding discus fish, there are certain things that you need to know in order to make sure that the breeding process is a successful experience for you and the fish. Discus fish are great fish to breed and you can also earn a little extra money from selling the fry, but you need to know a lot about fish before you begin. But once you have done your research on this species, then you will be ready to think about breeding fish. Here are a few dos and don't of breeding discus fish.

DO: make sure that you invest in a bigger fish tank if you have a small aquarium. Discus requires a minimum of a twenty-gallon tank, however, twenty-seven gallons is ideal for breeding discus fish.

DON'T: forget that you will need a male and a female discus fish to begin breeding, it might seem obvious but a lot of people tend to overlook this fact!

DO: provide your fish with an area for them to lay their eggs. This should be a flat, vertical surface at the bottom of the tank such as an overturned empty plant pot.

DON'T: overfeed your fish. Make sure that you still feed your fish the recommended daily amount of food, do not overfeed them because this can result in illness and even death in some cases.

DO: give your fish a wide and varied diet, when fish are breeding it is important that they have a variety in order for them to begin mating. This can include discus food pellet and live and freeze-dried food such as bloodworms.

DON'T: leave food debris on the bottom of the tank, always make sure to scoop out any leftover food because this can dirty the water and cause bacteria to grow, causing your discus to become ill and hamper their breeding efforts.

DO: maintain a good water pH level and temperature; this is imperative for good fish health and breeding environments. Water should be kept at a pH level of 6.5 and a temperature of 86 degrees when breeding.

DON'T: become disheartened if your fish do not mate straight away, these things take time and you need to be patient and try again if the first time is unsuccessful, and never force the fish.



English: Red Turquise Discus Fish فارسی: ماهی ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Feeding Discus Fish can be challenging at times. While they have no specific nutritional preferences and can be fed on just about any high protein fish food, they're often extremely cautious to new foods and will go without eating for up to 4 weeks before accepting a new food.

This is obviously not very healthy, particularly not for younger fish, so the wise thing to do is to ask what they are being fed at the time of purchase, and then take things from there.

When trying to change their food, do not use the starving technique to get them to eat the new food, but rather feed them with a mix of the foods, and gradually change from one to the other.

The best thing to do is to, over time, get them used to a varied diet, rather than just sticking to one kind of food. So what kinds of food should be part of their diet?

Fish Flakes

Just about any will do - but it's better to stick to a top brand one for quality control purposes. Discus Fish prefer to be fed at midwater to bottom levels so you may have to soak and squeeze the flake food first.


Definitely a firm favorite with the discus fish, which can and should be used once daily. Make sure you use frozen irradiated worms because there's less chance of them having parasites in them.

English: Brine shrimp (artemia salina).
Brine shrimp (Artemia salina). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Brine Shrimp

Discus Fish love frozen brine shrimp, and they contain important vitamins and minerals that will enhance the color of the discus fish, and keep them in a good overall shape. Defrost and rinse them before feeding.

Granules and Freeze Dried

On this one, you're spoilt for choice, and they are all good for Discus Fish food. It's a good idea, however, to stick to the top makes (like Tetra Bits) to ensure good quality. Some of the cheaper brands can cause bloating and constipation, because they absorb water, and expand when the fish have eaten them.

Foods to avoid

Beef heart or pork heart has traditionally been fed to Discus Fish to promote good coloration and fast growth - but there are issues with feeding your discus a diet high in mammalian protein. Also, live foods should be avoided as the health risks involved in using them far outweigh the benefits.

Sticking to the menu above is well better - it's simply not worth taking the risk.

General feeding tips

As a rule of thumb - it's better to feed too little than too much - if you're not sure how much food to give. Discus Fish are slow eaters that will graze and pick at their food and should be allowed to do so at their own pace. 5-10 minutes is usually enough for them to eat well. If they are less than that you may want to feed a bit more - but be careful not to overfeed them - because this will affect the water conditions in a negative way.


Fact Sheet: DISCUS FISH - Symphysodon aequifasciatus

(Original Title: A Reference Guide for Symphysodon Aequifasciatus (Discus))

Snakeskin Discus Fish
Photo by Rego – 

This is general information on Discus, a member of the family Cichlidae. Although certainly not a complete reference guide, it will give those interested some background information on this exotic fish:

Symphysodon aequifasciatus (Discus)

Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (perch-like fish)
Family: Cichlidae
Scientific Name: Symphysodon aequifasciatus
Other Scientific Name(s): Symphysodon aequifasciata, Symphysodon discus aequifasciata, Symphysodon aequifasciatus aequifasciatus, Symphysodon discus tarzoo, Symphysodon aequifasciata axelrodi, Symphysodon aequifasciata haraldi
Common Name: Discus

Range: South America: Brazil, Peru. Found on Amazon and Solimoes rivers of Brazil, from the lower Rio Putumayo-Ica and from Benjamin Constant to Belém. Has been introduced to the Rio Nanay in Peru.

Diet: Carnivorous. Frozen foods preferred, but will accept flake foods. Particularly like red bloodworms, but feeding "live" food is not recommended. Red worms, etc, should only be fed to discus once every other day. Beware of parasites or bacteria in the discus tank from live foods!

Temperament: Timid of strangers. Easily frightened, unless placed in a high traffic area. Can be very friendly to aquarist, oft-times eating out of the hand. If given a place to hide, they will tend to do so.

Sexing: Discus are hard to sex unless breeding. Normally, the male will be larger and will present with longer fin extensions and a wider forehead.

Breeding: Buy either proven pairs or a group of young fish and allow them to pair themselves. The eggs are laid on a breeding cone. A clay flowerpot turned upside down works well. The fry must be kept with the parents after hatch, as they "feed" off the body slime of the parents. Special care must be taken to ensure that fry does not injure the parents when getting larger. Watch for marks on the body of the pair, and if it begins to occur, the fry is ready to be moved to a community tank on their own. If left w/ the pair, serious injury can result.

Special Care: If kept specifically for breeding, a bare-bottomed tank is highly recommended.

Other Comments: To keep Discus well, water conditions are absolutely crucial. A PH of 6.3 to 6.9 is the optimal level for keeping discus.

Water Temperature: Discus like it warm. They come from the Amazon basin, so water temps for these fish should be 80-84 degrees F, although some aquarists set the temperature as high as 90 degrees F.

    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. 
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Different Sinking FISH FOOD for DISCUS

Aquarium - Dried foods for fishes
Aquarium - Dried foods for fishes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Beautiful and bright colored discus fish are very popular among novice as well as expert fish breeders. Both cultivated and local varieties of the fish are in great demand everywhere. They are also very easy to maintain, however like any other pet in your home the right discus food diet plays an important role in the well-being of the fish.

There are different types of discus fish foods, which mainly contains three categories:
Dry food, frozen food and live discus food. These can be further classified as sinking food, slow sinking food and floating fish food. Since discus, fish are mostly mid-water feeders slow sinking fish food for discus is most preferred.

Different types of sinking fish food for discus are:

Flakes: Flakes come under the category of top floating food but if you pinch them a big before feeding they sink down.

Pellets: Small and mostly round shaped, pellets are both sinking and floating. Giving dry pellets to fish can cause them to bloat, therefore, soak them in water for a little while before feeding.

Granules: These are smaller forms of pellets are can be fed in the same way you feed the pellets.

Wafers and tablets: These are one of the most popular forms of sinking fish food for discus. They have a very well balanced ingredient content. Although they sink rapidly but since they are small enough to be eaten in one bite the fish eat them up quickly. Also, they don't cloud the water.

Gels: These are preprocessed slow sinking food for fish. These then being thawed, then mixed with homemade food or other frozen food and then frozen again to feed the fish. They can be used to give your fish a varied diet.

Slow sinking discus fish food is preferred because then the fish can reach it easily. If the fish sinks too fast then they will not be able to reach it and it will rot in the bottom and can harm the fish. Discus fish follow a routine and therefore you have to keep in mind to feed them at fixed times every day.

Also, since discus fish like to follow a routine, therefore, feed them at regular intervals and give small feedings at a time. They like to eat frequently and hence if you give them to feed only once or twice a day, it will go waste and the fish will starve. Any variation from the routine will make them confused and disrupt their system.


The 2 Things that you Should Concentrate on When DISCUS FISH Keeping

When talking about the health of the discus fish, there are really only two main aspects where great concern should be focused on. These two will dictate highly whether your discus fish will be able to spawn or let alone be healthy and live a long life. These two is the water where they live in and the food they ingest. Another minor aspect that should also be kept in mind prior to owning a discus fish is the tank mates that your discus fish will have. Generally, it is recommended that the discus fish should be the largest fish in the tank.

It has always been said that prevention is better than cure, so knowing what signs to look out for to determine whether there is something wrong with the tank or with your discus fish. To be honest, it’s much more bothersome to be treating illness rather than just plainly keeping a routine of maintaining a clean tank, at least you can put it in your schedule. Besides, keeping your tank water clean is just one of the responsibilities of owning an aquarium.

Imagine, what would life be if we don’t have air to breathe? Water is air to the discus fish. If your breathing in thick smog all the time then it’s a certainty that you would get sick, maybe develop cancer, or even choke to death in an instant. So, in maintaining the water of your tank, you not only need to keep it clean, but you also have to get the right pH levels and the proper temperature which will simulate the waters where the discus fish came from, which is the Amazon river.

Changing the water in your tank should be done at least once or twice a week. A partial change will also be good and it will require less handling of your fish. Changing at least a quarter to half the water in the tank will suffice as long as you have a good biological filtration system installed. In some cases, some aquarists would just add some medication to clear up the dirt. This though should not be done often.

As for their food, you should ask the store clerk what food they have been accustomed to. Discus fish can be picky so you need to ensure that you can, maintain the food that they usually eat. Make sure though to never overfeed your fish. The extra food will just become dirt inside the tank. For younger discus fish, you should feed them about four times daily, older fish only needs to be fed twice a day. Growing fishes need the food more.

Discus fish should also be fed live or frozen food from time to time. As they re carnivorous, this will add protein to their diet, protein they need to stay healthy. Usually, they would prefer bloodworms or shrimp brine.

To help keep the tank clean, always clean your tank two hours after you have fed them, remove the excess food right way.


DISCUS FISH BREEDING - Simple Ways to Breed Your Fish

My New Discus Fish.
Photo  by g_aquarian 
Simple Ways to Breed Your Fish

The most fascinating fish you can keep is the Discus. Well, of course, this is just my opinion. These beautiful creatures are very expensive and can cost in the hundreds of dollars for a single fish. I myself find this to be a crazy price tag on Discus and I would never recommend anyone pay over 70 dollars for a single adult. In Michigan, this is where I have my aquarium shop. The going rate on Discus is about 45 dollars for a juvenile and around 70 dollars, on the high end for an adult. With the high price of Discus, I want to give you some secrets which will save you money on your fish because when you do these tips correctly you may never have to purchase another Discus again.

The Next Step

Keeping a Discus aquarium is a blast, however, there is more to the hobby. Even know I love caring for my discus, breeding them is the next level of the hobby. This is fun and is also a great way to save money at the expense of the fish. Breeding discus can be difficult, however, with some proper guidance, it can be a really easy experience. When you care for discus you know how expensive the fish can be. This is why breeding is extremely popular among discus enthusiasts. The Discus is great breeders and in some instances, they will breed in your main tank without even knowing it. This ends up being a nice surprise, so pay close attention if you think this happened. You will see fry swimming around in a few weeks.

Time to Get Started

I want to show you some different ways to start your Discus fish breeding process. I will show the easy and expensive option and also the less expensive method to use. The easy option is to purchase a breeding pair. When purchasing a breeding pair let your dealer know what you are interested in. They will give you some options and pricing information to get you started. Dealers and people who don’t mind spending money prefer this route due to the fact, you can have the fish start mating in a couple of days. The only drawback is this method is very costly. Mating pairs are expensive costing between 200 and 300 dollars for the pair.

You will want to use this next option to save some money on your breeding costs. With this option, you purchase a group of at least 6 discus juveniles. In this method, you are hoping the sexes of the fish will be different. This is not a hundred per cent guaranteed. I can say though this method has never failed me when setting up new tanks and I sue it all the time. I would definitely recommend this option for someone who is just starting to set up their new aquarium.

The Mom The Dad

With some time, in your main tank, you will start to notice who the mating pair is going to be. Discus like to establish a territory within your aquarium. When you see two fish defending it against their other tank mates they are getting ready to breed. Keep an eye on this because these two fish will become mom and dad. Now it’s time to move them both into the breeding tank. A breeding tank is a tank separate from the main tank where you keep your fish. When breeding discus fish it is advised to have at least a 20-gallon tank for the two fish.

We Need To Set Up the Breeding Tank

You want to keep your discus stress free during the tank exchange. Use the water from your main tank to fill the “Discus fish breeding tank”. This will maintain the pH level your fish are used too. Remember to leave the bottom of the breeding tank clear. You do not want to have any rocks or gravel on the bottom of the tank. There is a reason for doing this step. You want to make it as easy as possible to remove leftover food and debris. The only decor which is necessary is a vertical surface for their eggs. “Aquarium Discus Fish” lay their eggs like angelfish do.

Both of these types of fish prefer to lay their eggs using a vertical surface. You will have many options of vertical surfaces. Most people go the easy route and use either a plant such as a Java Fern. What I like to do is use a ceramic pot flipped upside down. When you think your tank looks a little bare I advise to put a potted plant in a corner to give your discus some shelter. All though this is not necessary, remember this tip if your fish feel stressed. Another key in the discus fish breeding process is filtration. I use a sponge filter for the biological load plus I like to use small power filter as well and put a little bag of peat moss in the back to keep the pH level in check.

The Easiest And Most Important Discus Fish Breeding Tip

Keep in mind the Discus fish breeding tank is a usually a lot smaller than your original tank. it is crucial you remember this fact. Check the breeding tank regularly for ammonia spikes and water temperature. Check the water every day and clean the waste out of it every day. This practice is very imperative when breeding discus fish. Discus are very particular about their water conditions when they breed. When your water quality is poor the fish will not even attempt to mate.

Author: Stephen David Jones - Article Source:



Blue Discus
Photo by Jessa B.C. 
Just as dogs make great companions, discus fish make a great show. Breeding discus as a hobby has become so popular that aquariums all over the world have become the home of this king of the exotic species. For some breeders, discus as a hobby means an immense satisfaction particularly when one manages to get some baby discus too. It is truly rewarding to see that what started with discus as a hobby has turned into a lifetime experience and a true friendship. What is so special about discus as a hobby? Apart from the great beauty of these fish, the discus is unique in their social and loving behavior.

Those who breed discus as a hobby will be more than surprised to notice that the discus show signs of connection to the environment outside the tank. For instance breeding discus as a hobby implies spending lots of time around the tank, cleaning, feeding or simply watching the discus. They are said to recognize the owner in time and they can get as close to you as to eat out of your hand. When breeding discus as a hobby, some owners have noticed that the discus will watch you move around the room or even react to TV noise.

Apart from such social behavior, discus enjoys silence and a close community with other fellows from the same species. If you take discus as a hobby, you may want to take into consideration that they prefer living in close communities that is together with several other members. The dominant discus would be the first to couple, followed by the others if proper conditions are met. Even if you breed discus as a hobby you may still have to separate the couples in a different tank allowing them to raise their fry.

For everyone who takes discus as a hobby, it is important that all the proper living conditions are kept under constant observation. You should not use for instance a too powerful lamp for your discus; as a hobby, you’d like to keep them in the spotlight, but this warms the water above the accepted level and reduces the oxygen quantity. There is a short step to take between breeding discus as a hobby and breeding them at a professional level, after all, discus requires the same attention no matter your devotion. Even if you take discus as a hobby, you still have to pay attention to their needs all the time! Refer to  Discus Fish As Hobby for more information.


Tips on Sexing DISCUS FISH

English: a fish of the genus Symphysodon
A fish of the genus Symphysodon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Do you have some adult discus fish and want to know whether they are male or female. In this article, I'm going to share with you some of the tips and techniques you can use to determine the gender of your discus or those you wish to buy.

First of all, know that these are only guides and they are not always 100% correct as in some circumstances females have male characteristics and males have female ones.

Here are ways to determine the sex of your discus

1, The dorsal and anal fins
Take a good look at the dorsal and anal fins of your discus. Are they rounded or are they pointed? Males tend to have pointed dorsal and anal fins or sometimes have extended growth on the end rear of the dorsal fin. Females tend to have rounds rear fins.

2, The colour and pattern of your discus
Please look at the colour and pattern of your discus fish, compare them to one another in the tank. Some fish will hopefully have more intense colour and some discus will have more pattern. Male discus fish tend to have less intense colour but have more pattern while the female tends to be more colourful but with a lesser pattern.

3, Size of the discus
Compare the size of your discus. Male discus tends to be bigger than the females but the size can also depend on whether the fish was stunted or are just small in genetic makeup.
I hope these three tips have helped you to sex your discus and will help you when selecting adult discus fish from a shop or dealer.


Unpacking and Acclimatizing Your New DISCUS FISH

English: a fish of the genus Symphysodon
A fish of the genus Symphysodon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I often get a knock on the door and am welcomed by a carrier holding a polystyrene box covered in 'Fragile' and 'this way up' stuck all over it. My face will instantly light up and my hands rub together.

I'm sure you have or will be wanting to order discus fish from the internet or over the phone. If so, there are a couple of important factors you must first take into consideration. The main one is that you need to be sure you are getting quality fish, this may require looking at pictures of those fish and talking to the breeder or importer.

What I want to tell you about today is how to unpack and acclimatize your new fish.


You need to unpack one box at a time, don't go and open every box if you have 4 or 5. I know you want to look at your discus fish but please take your time. Take the lid off the first box and take one bag at a time out. Then open the bag, roll down the bag and float it in the water. Do this for the first box and then move onto the next stage.


Now the bags of discus are floating in the water, you need to use a little jug or something similar to gently pour tank water into the bag. You need to do this every five minutes for the next 30 minutes. This helps the fish get used to the difference in ph and water hardness. Then one bag at a time, tip the bag on its side and let the discus fish swim out in its own time.

Once you've done this for the first box then move on to the next.

You can also add some 'stress coat' or 'melafix' type of product into your tank. I sometimes do this and have had positive results with discus settling a little quicker.

Leave dim lights on and don't feed for 24 hours.

Your discus should then be settled in fine within a week


DISCUS Fish Photos

English: a fish of the genus Symphysodon
A fish of the genus Symphysodon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you want to create a show fish tank and are undecided as to which species of fish to include in it, just take a look at some discus fish photos and I assure you, the type fish to show off will no longer be a concern. You can find an abundance of photos online real easy by just doing a simple search for the type of photos of interest. You'll see an assortment of species, various sizes, and color. Not all, but a great number of photos online are for commercial advertisement purposes. As promotional tools, professional breeders, use these photos to develop their business, which works well for them, after all this is how they make a living. But you can find quite a few other sites were breeders or people who just share the same hobby.

Now that we have settled the choice difficulty issue, looking at these fish photos can be useful in other ways, for instance. Owners may notice some irregularities going on with their fish. They seem to look unhealthy or have developed some kind of bodily changes. A comparison of the photos to your fish may help you to pinpoint any abnormalities that may be affecting your pets. For instance certain white spots on the body of the fish, a common parasite that can be easily identified using discus fish images. Just think, what a cost-saving asset for you these photos could be, especially with the high cost of veterinarians' services and a life saving one for your pet.

Quality is always important, especially when choosing a good reference book or guide. Scientific data description manuals or guides without relevant discus fish photos to compare would not be the first choice to buy as it only seems to keep you in the realm of the abstract. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to find large private collections or exhibitions of discus fish. Discus fish are quite unique in being among the wide life creatures that can live happily in captivity.

As mentioned earlier, fans of discus fish can quickly and easily upload or download free photos from various web pages and forums. Equally available to buy are entire galleries devoted to these magnificent creatures. Many professionally done discus fish photos, which I hear, is quite a lucrative business, may even be sold to special wildlife magazines. However, taking discus fish photos in the wild is another subject in itself.

To Your Success!

    Arthur Raymond, Jr. 
    Arthur's About Discus Fish blog will have the latest news and articles on Discus Fish including tips on how to breed Discus Fish. Many informative sites online can help you obtain more detailed information on discus fish one place to start your searching is at where you will find the latest news and articles including tips on how to breed Discus Fish. 
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What Does it Take to Artificially Raise a DISCUS Fry?

English: An adult discus with two of its young...

Discus are like the kings and queens of the tropical fish world. With so many colors, it's no wonder. They are very sensitive fish, so being able to raise them and keep them thriving is a great feeling and ego booster at that!

Unfortunately, in the course of breeding, sometimes the fry have to be artificially raised for one reason or another. Maybe the parents stopped taking care of the eggs or maybe due to stress they started eating them (gasp!). Or perhaps the discus fry are already free swimming, but the parents aren't taking care of them and aren't letting them eat their milk.

In cases like these, what can you do? What steps can you take to successfully raise them artificially?

1.Discus eggs and babies are very sensitive to changes in water quality, pH, and temperature. When changing the water, you have to make sure all parameters are the same as the water that is currently in the tank. As a best precaution, test all water going into the tank to make sure everything is the same.
2.You have keep the tank very clean which means all uneaten food must be siphoned out.
3.To remove the eggs, wait a couple hours before scooping them out with a container.
4.A tank should be prepared ahead of time to make sure the water is exactly the same as the water they will be coming from. This is the tank you will be moving the discus eggs to.
5.They should hatch within 48 hours and you should see tiny free swimming fry in 72 hours.
6.They need to be fed 4 to 5 times a day in very little amounts. The first few days, feed them with a liquid fry food. After that, start them on newly hatched brine shrimp. 
7.Keep their tank very clean, watch them grow, and increase their food and change it accordingly, and you should soon have a batch of tiny discus! 
8.As they grow, you will want to move them into bigger and better aquariums.
It takes time, but it is worth it in the end.


What You Need for Your DISCUS FISH

English: Discus fish (Symphysodon aequifasciat...
Discus fish (Symphysodon aequifasciatus)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You've been to every local fish store in your area. You've spent hours online looking at Discus galleries. You've started thinking of things you can sell to pay for the Discus fish and aquarium set up. You've put your couch in the garage to make room for the aquarium. It sounds like you've been bitten by the Discus bug. Now, how do you get started?

There are as many opinions on how to properly raise Discus as there are websites devoted to them. You will find debates over planted tank vs. bare bottom, tap water or RO, what to feed them, how often to change the water and how much, it goes on and on. These debates contribute to making Discus keeping fun or a real pain. It really depends on your likes and dislikes. If you enjoy the excitement and challenge of learning something new and are able to successfully translate many different opinions into "what works best for you", then keeping Discus will be a fun rewarding undertaking which you can enjoy for years to come. With that being said, the following are some guidelines to what I've learned over the years and what works best for me in setting up a new Discus aquarium.


In choosing the tank, start with a minimum tank size of 50 gallons. Make sure you have a suitable place to set up your aquarium. You will want a very sturdy support for your tank which you will position in a location that doesn't receive direct sunlight. The filtration system will be made up of two extra large sponge filters run by an air pump along with an external box filter such as an Aqua Clear properly rated for your tank size and containing a pre-filter sponge on the intake tube. You will need a heater with a ratio of 5watts/gallon, meaning a tank size of 50 gallons would require a 250-watt heater. The tank needs to be covered and there are hood options available when you purchase your tank. You will want one with a lighting strip as well as a cover for the tank. In a pinch, you can always pick up a piece of Plexiglass from your local hardware store and cut it to fit. In order to keep the tank clean and maintained, you will need a siphon hose, a five-gallon bucket, and a clean utility sponge.

Preparing for Your Discus' Arrival

You will want to have your aquarium cycled before adding your Discus. This means that the beneficial bacteria has been established in your filtration. There are many methods of cycling your tank so be sure to do your research and choose the option that fits for you. It is a very important step and is absolutely necessary. Putting your new Discus in a tank that hasn't been cycled is a death sentence for the fish.

Buying Your Discus Fish

An absolute must is starting with healthy Discus. If you are lucky enough to have a reputable breeder in your area you are ahead of the game. If not, mail order is also an exciting option. There are a real rush and excitement to having Discus delivered to your front door. Make sure to research any online vendor you may want to order from. There are some great breeders out there with a great selection. On the downside shipping usually runs from $50-$75 depending on the service. If mail order isn't an option and you are left with your local fish store you'll need to take some precautions and do your best to pick out healthy fish. If possible try to find a shop that specializes in higher end tropical fish and avoid chain stores. Find out what the shop's quarantine and guarantee policies are. Ask them how long the Discus should be quarantined once you get them home. If their answer is "you don't need to", this is a major red flag. Ask questions to get a feel for how well they support and care for their product.

So, what does a healthy Discus look like? Here some things to look for in the Discus you buy:

When you walk by the tank, the fish should be active and come up to greet you. Avoid fish that are dark, hiding or hanging behind uplift tubes. The water in the tank and the tank itself should look clear and clean. If there are dead fish in the tank keep walking. Now, (if you haven't left the store) look at the fish, they should have a full body that doesn't look sunken and is free of scrapes, bumps, visible injuries and or parasites. The body shape should have a nice round appearance void of bent, stubbed tails, and flat foreheads. Check the skin and make sure it doesn't have a dull, matte, or slimy look to it. The fins should look healthy and not have a cottony or milky appearance. The fins should be intact with no white specs or splits and not be clamped to the body. The Discus should be using both pectoral fins to move about. Watch for how the fish are breathing. An overly rapid gill rate or if the Discus looks to be grasping is a good sign of gill parasites. The fishes movement should be fluent and have no problem with balance. You don't want to pick a fish that can't hold itself level. The eyes of your Discus should have a healthy clean look to them. The eyes are a good indicator of how well it's been taken care of. You will want a fish with small eyes compared to its body with a centered pupil. Big or bulging eyes are usually a sign of neglect. Ask to see the Discus eat. Be wary if they feed live bloodworms or tubifex worms. Watch to make sure the fish are able to easily get the food into their mouth. Avoid fish that continually miss the food that is right in front of them or doesn't seem interested in eating. Most 2"-3" Discus won't have full body color or pattern at this size.

Installing Your Discus

For the proposed 50 gallon setup you will want to purchase from six to ten, two - three-inch juvenile Discus. Young Discus like the security of numbers. Make sure you follow standard acclimation procedures and that your tank is fully cycled as stated above. As your fish grow and mature a pecking order will develop. Eventually, the smaller weaker Discus will need to be removed in order to keep a 10 gallon to 1 Discus rule. In order to provide an easy way to keep a clean environment for your new fish, use a bare aquarium. That means no gravel or plants. The bare bottom tank makes it easy to vacuum fish waste and wipe down the glass. If you'd like, you can add a ceramic pot or two to give your Discus an anchor to establish territories but the pots will need to be moved and wiped down with your water changes to ensure they aren't trapping waste. Once a week you will want to clean your pre-filter and every few weeks, your sponge and box filters, being careful to use de-chlorinated water as to not harm the beneficial bacteria. A good tip here is to siphon some tank water into your five-gallon bucket and use that for your filter cleaning water.

Discus Water

Clean water is a crucial element in growing out your fish. You will want to match the water conditions as closely as possible to that of the source of your Discus. Daily changes of 50 to 60 percent are recommended and at least on an every other day schedule. You will want to provide new tap water that has been de-chlorinated and matches closely to the tank water in temperature at 84 degrees. Avoid using RO water for young Discus, they need the minerals of harder water to aid in their development. Once they have matured and if you're interested in breeding them you can dabble with softening their water. If you have purchased Discus from different places you will need to keep them quarantined separately for 4 - 6 weeks. Don't Cheat!

Feeding Your Discus

Your new Discus should greet you at the front of the tank with a voracious appetite. Happy healthy Discus is always hungry. You will want to break up their feedings over several times during the day adding up to six small feedings. Feed a variety of foods using quality brands of dry and frozen foods. A good tip is to feed dry foods which your fish may not like as much early when they're hungry from their overnight fast. Feed messy or frozen foods later in the day closer to your water changes.

The Discus hobby is a great one. It has its ups and downs just like anything. If you enjoy not only the beauty of the fish but actually watching their behavior, growth, and interaction, Discus keeping will stick with you. There's a lot to learn and this is just a small start. Make sure you do a lot of reading and ask lots of questions. Start with healthy Discus, keep their water and tank very clean, feed them well, and you're sure to succeed!