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HOW TO: Breed Discus fish


hi everybody Joey here again and welcome
back so in today’s video the topic we’re going to cover is how to breathe disqus in this video I’m going to share
with you my experience with breeding discus it wasn’t too long ago where I
had a few breeding pairs and established a breeding program that produced about a
thousand disqus fried now just to be clear this video is not going to focus on how
to keep disqus in general I have an hour long video on that already and i highly
suggest you watch that in fact you should probably watch it
before you watch this I actually have a video on the breeding
process itself with Disqus which is extremely interesting and I suggest you
watch that as well finally I have another video on selling
discus and how i made approximately twenty thousand dollars off of those
thousand disqus that i told you about a moment ago that is a video where I
reveal the true details and the nitty-gritty important information about
what really goes on when you’re selling disqus why you want to breed disqus
doesn’t matter to me all I’m going to do is share my
experience and my advice with what i did and how I did it some of you will agree some of you will
do with different none of this is written in stone but i
do hope that you find something useful from this video at some point when it
came to disk is breathing for me there were three main aspects that I focused
on and really what I focused on throughout my entire hobby the first is consistency and simplicity
that will make more sense in a little while the second is there’s a
do-it-yourself aspect to almost everything that I do you also need to
put in a lot of work and have a lot of patience those are two things that most people
don’t want to do or don’t have ok so one last disclaimer and then we’ll
get started I swear for this video i decided i would basically do this in
conversation style basically sharing my accounts off the top of my head however i did take some bullet points of
things that i want to talk about and make sure i touch base on with that set
if I miss anything I apologize however we can revisit this
at a future time for example i do live videos on my Facebook fan page now this
is a great way to interact and ask me questions directly and potentially have the answer your questions live and
direct so do me a favor before you move any further with this video pause the
video and follow me on Facebook so you don’t miss any of my live videos then
come right back here and continue on I’m saying this because chances are i’m
not going to mention it again and if you’re anything like me you’re probably
going to forget links will be in the description and there should be a pop up
somewhere okay we have a lot to talk about so let’s get started the number
one thing everybody wants to know is how do you get disqus pairs how do you sex discus and
in my opinion there’s three main options that people turn to I’ll start with the least recommended
and then work my way up many people want to sex disqus they want
to go to a store and see at all disqus to say i want that female and I
want that mail and I want to take them home and I want them to breed and that’s
how it’s going to be that’s not the way it works even if you
could sex and adults disc is female in a data all disqus mail and bring them home
there’s no saying that they’re going to be compatible at all but chances are
you’re not going to be able to sex them in the first place they’re not really a fish that you can
tell their sex there will be people out there that will argue that the male has
more coloration yet the female will have more variation in its patterns the mail
will have more pointed dorsal fins the females will be rounded the mail will
have thicker lips so it’s able to lip lock and fight other males to prove
dominance others will say a dominant male will
grow with thick forehead yet others will say the anal fin on a
female is shorter on the body then on a male I mean the list goes on and on and on
and on and the fact of the matter is this there’s really no guaranteed way to sex
a discus based on appearance alone unless you see their breathing tubes
which only occurs when they’re starting to lay eggs know typically speaking your
chances are you’re not gonna be able to buy a lot of adults disqus anyways
because I’m typically not that commonly available you’ll probably run into
smaller discs that are two and three inches which are absolutely impossible
to sex at the end of the day though when it comes to finding out which one’s the
male and the female the female lays the eggs so if your mind is on going to the store
and bought and sexing a couple of disks and bringing the male and a female and creating your
own pair that they’re going to breathe because you have a male and a female I’m sorry but that’s just not going to
happen but hey people win the lottery all the time so you never know but
that’s not the way I would do it the second thing is that you can buy a
proven pair from established breeder but even then just because you buy a
breeding pair doesn’t mean it’s going to breathe in your tank for example I’ve
done that myself i paid almost six hundred dollars for a breeding pair took
it home and it took almost two years for them to start braiding in my tank four
to six hundred dollars is an average price for a good breeding pair don’t be scared of that price though
chances are you’ll make your money back on that first batch of fri if you plan
to sell any the most successful way to get a pair of disc is is by buying six
to eight juveniles raising them up and letting a pair naturally form it’s as simple as that that is the number one recommended
method the reason you by six to eight is because you give yourself enough odds to
get upgrading pair in the first place even though six to eight might sound
like a lot of fish it’s really not because even that can be a roll of the
dice is just as simple as that if sexing discus and getting breeding
pairs at a discus where that easy everybody would have them ok now let’s move on to the tank setup
so before we move on to the actual setup and the aquarium there’s a couple of
concerns that i want to address first a lot of people commonly asked can you
breed disqus in community tanks can you have other fish in the aquarium and so
forth a discus breeding pair should be kept on their own in their own aquarium no tank Bates reason being is simple tanks will disrupt their breeding
process and or just simply eat the eggs or fri especially when the lights go out
community tanks and tank mates really shouldn’t be concerned when you’re
interested in breeding disqus the focus should be on the disc is and providing
them with what they need and what they don’t need is other fish getting in the
way so what is the best size tank for
breeding disqus sip personally for me I have found the 33 gallon tanks to be
the best there are three feet long 12 inches wide
and about 18 inches tall I like the length that as I’m able to
distribute the flow a little more evenly and not have any really turbulent spot it’s also big enough to allow the fry to
grow a little bit with the parents which we’ll talk about in a little bit it’s also a nice volume of water which
will help dilute a lot of the waste that the dog that the disc is produced which
will help maintain the water quality a little longer with that said some people breed them in
20 gallon tanks others breed them and bigger or smaller 30 gallon 33 gallon tanks are very calm
and very easy to come by and is what i have had my most success with I’ve also
bred disc isn’t a variety of other sizes so if this doesn’t work for you shoot
for around the 30 gallon range as a minimum you also don’t want them to be too big
so between 30 and say 40 gallons would be ideal too big and the fryer not going to be
able to find their parents too small and too many fluctuations can occur so how should we actually set this up
though as you can see this tank is bare and
that is exactly how I set them up for breeding what I start with do we know is painting
the tank and I paint all surfaces that I don’t need to see into which is the
bottom the back and the two sides the only place that’s not painted is the
front panel the reason being for this is chris
pretty simple as well but there’s two reasons to mean reasons the first reason
is it provides a sense of security for the discus which is arguably important
for a breeding pair the second is I find that it also helps
isolate the site of the parents when the fryer looking for their parents they can
see them a lot easier without any distractions behind them the color of paint that I typically use
will be a white or a very light blue like what is used on the basis of this
tank I’ve sense remove the paint since I was
into breeding but you get the idea of using a light colored paint is the important it simply allows the
parents to stand out more and the fry can more readily find them
that is very important especially if you’re going to raise the fry like i do
and again we’ll get to that in a little while you’ll also notice that there’s no
decorations in the tank it’s absolutely bear let’s start with the reason why there’s
no substrate know I’ve done a video entirely on why I do bare bottom tanks
and specific tanks especially like a breeding tank and the
reasons for this is very simple it maintains water quality a lot longer
it’s easier to care for and detritus and waste doesn’t collect in the tank these tend to be some of the more
popular reasons and again the reasoning is simple they don’t need some breeders
like to provide a little bit of cover like some plants or maybe some flower
pots or decorations to some extent but in my opinion that just takes away from
the fry being able to find the parents the only decoration that I had is a
breeding cone this is a do-it-yourself breeding come
the bottom is a porcelain tile has a PVC end cap and a piece of PVC on top of it this just goes in the tank at any place
the height of the PVC pipe is lower than the overall tank but only about a half
inch under the water surface this is so that water can actually fill it and it
doesn’t float yet it’s also not too short to allow fri to get trapped inside
the reason i do with this way is to give the parents a preferred area to spawn on
typically disqus like to spawn on vertical clean surfaces having this
allows me to clean it easily and I can move it with in the tank wherever I want
which comes in handy when you find the disks are not laying their eggs it might
be because of the position of the breeding code for example it might be in
the flow rates of the return of your filter so you might want to move it away
or maybe they want it closer to the front door to the back you’re just gonna
have to find where you want it at the end of the day the distance are going to
lay their eggs wherever they want I’ve seen them lay them on the front
panel side panel back panel bottom panel I’ve seen land on heaters filter in
takes whatever they want to lay it on they will however if you have one of
these in the tanks most of the time they will lay their
eggs on this and again comes in really handy after every time they bring your
legs and fri of hatched i’ll remove it from the tank and clean
it completely when I’m ready to get them back into breeding i simply put it back
in and they know exactly what this is this only cost you about three dollars
to make anyway so something like this is exactly how I
would have a breeding set up just like that although obviously the sides and the
back need to be painted but you get the idea ok so let’s move on
to filtration now this is typically done in a few ways
and I prefer in two ways one I’ll use a sponge filter if I only have
one breeding pair i would just use a sponge filter because it’s really easy
to do sponge filter and heater in the tank and that’s pretty much it kept
keeping it really simple however having a heater in the tank
gives the disc is something the spawn on which is sometimes cannot be good for
the eggs the sponge filter is typically black which would attract the fry away
from their parents at times which again is it good so what I like to do what I’ve done most
of the time is run the breeding tanks on sups meaning that the back of the tank
is drilled and it leads down to a sump where the water is filtered mechanically
as well as biologically it’s also heated and then return to the tank I do this for a number of reasons one it
adds extra water volume to the tank – it makes water changes a lot easier
three it keeps all equipment out of the tank the only thing that I really need to do
is make sure that the intake is covered with a fine sponge this is just so that the Spry don’t
actually get sucked into it for water circulation and the return I focus on
keeping the water almost still so i would have my drain over here and the
return on one end just to make sure the water is well circulated however I always . my drains down
straight down and not blowing around this make sure that the fryer not being
blown all around and the parents are being blown around I have found that even a slight amount
of flow can disrupt the fry from their parents so I have had the most success was
simply pointing the return down now when you have a few breeding tanks what I did
was put them on Iraq and the top tanks would rain down to the bottom tank the
bottom tank but then drain down to the sump the sub
would return back to the two top tanks and that would complete the cycle i would also have all of the growth
tanks tied into that same filter the way I had this setup is what in my opinion
is why I had the most success with the fry as i move the fright of their grow
tanks absolutely everything was identical the
temperature the perimeters the quality everything all I had to do is scoop them up from
one tank and put them in the other there are everything was identical
because everything was connected at the same sub again I kept it simple but focused on
consistency you might also be thinking about
lighting and does the tank need lighting I guess the short answer is yes it
should have some sort of lighting after all the discs need to see each
other and the fry need to be able to see their parents I don’t suggest you do this in complete
darkness a lot of the times though if your room is bright enough that will do however what I do is have subdued
lighting over the tank and at nighttime when these lights would go off i have
ambient light somewheres in the room so that the tanks did not go pitch black I found that when the tanks would go
pitch black the fry would lose their parents and I lose some by the morning
time when you’ll find you’ll have to do is try to find the right lighting
balance for your situation so ensure that you can turn lights out
at night yet have some sort of an ambient light available what I did was
actually have a plug-in nightlight really close to the tank on an extension
cord that worked really well for a night light so that’s it for the tank setup now
let’s move into water parameters water quality maintenance diet conditioning
that pairs and triggering them and then raising the fry with the idea of what
you need for breeding set up now let’s talk about water parameters what should
you be aiming for this might cause some controversy and quite frankly I don’t
care because this is a method and a philosophy that I apply to my entire
hobby and every fish that I keep the water in my aquariums matches the
parameters of the water coming out of my tap meaning that they are the same p.m. h and the same hardness which is
typically two parameters that most people chase when it comes to discus for example my ph ranges from seven
point four to seven . six depending on the time of the year and I have really
hard water but you see I provide my aquarium inhabitants with consistent
water parameters you see I actually did an entire video
talking about this in the past and it’s called my aquarium philosophy and highly
suggest you watch it because I go into this in more detail the fact of the matter is this I find
that when it comes to disk is keeping too many hobbyists are chasing ideal as
opposed to consistency I’ll explain further what that means
ideal meaning they read a book that was written 20 years ago where they went on
a forum and somebody said that they need a low pH and very soft water you’re not
going to be successful yet the person asking the question has really hard tap
water and are different definitely a higher pH so they’re constantly
adjusting it and changing it and struggling with it and chasing that
ideal perimeter but you got to ask yourself what would be really better
consistency or chasing that ideal perimeter that is constantly fluctuating
if i can successfully keep a fish in water that is similar to my tap water
then I don’t want to keep it at all because in the long run i’m just going
to stress it out make my hobby a lot of work and it’s not going to be any fun
anymore now I’m not saying all your desk need to
be kept at ph 7.4 7.6 and hard water I’m just saying that you have to become
more comfortable with what you have you see disqus are extremely
domesticated these days and the disc is that are being raised and sold are being
bred in large numbers and water that’s already very similar to yours they’ve
already adapted to common tank water parameters now of course this doesn’t apply to wild
disqus as they would definitely not be able to adjust as easily again though
when i first got into disk as I chased ideal parameters and had horrible
horrible results as soon as I became more comfortable with what I had and
focused on providing consistent water quality and consistent parameters based
on the parameters that are coming out of my tap I had huge success so I’ll ask you this put ph and hardness out of your head for
now unless you have the extremes extremely high or extremely low being below 6 or above eight anything in
that range in my opinion is most likely going to be acceptable focus on keeping
it consistent the next thing you want to kind of look
at is temperature will get to quality in a minute but this is the last parameter
that I look at in fact i’ll be honest and it’s the only
perimeter that I care about again though this is just all my opinion
and how I keep discus and how I had successful this is not how everybody
does it when it comes to temperature i keep that
simple as well 28 degrees celsius or 82 degrees Fahrenheit anything around there
is fine with me 27 28 29 degrees Celsius for example I’m
totally comfortable with this case do like warmer water now I’ve heard people
having success with much warmer and much cooler water but again this is what I do and in fact I keep all of my tanks at
that temperature there is not an aquarium in my house that you couldn’t
test the water for ph hardness temperature ammonia nitrite nitrate and
they will all match ok so let’s move on to water quality and
maintenance so there’s two ways that you can maintain your water quality for the
most part which is your involvement and that is through water changes or a drip
system I have done both now when it comes to
discus people like to change a lot of water a lot of the time and discus do
well with lots of water changes but it could be argued that all fish will be do
really well with lots of water changes of course better the quality the better
the fish will be drip systems allow you to meet maintain quality for a lot
longer though so when it came to fry tanks i did like
running drip systems and if you have not seen a drip system before I have two
videos on how to set one up and I explained them thoroughly when it comes to water changes though
I’ve seen people do ninety percent water changes once to twice a day personally the tanks that I did do water
changes on I get away with thirty to fifty percent every three days I didn’t
do daily mass of water changes I just focused on keeping the tank clean
free of algae and detritus so on a daily basis i would inspect the
tank and remove any uneaten food perhaps give the tank a scrub on the inside if
it needed it and that was pretty much it it didn’t take that much work now based
on my opinion on water parameters water quality and maintenance you’re
probably surprised right now and you should be i’m glad that i can expose you
to something different most of what you read would tell you the
polar opposite and that’s okay to go with what suits your situation the best there’s no real right or wrong way to do
this ok so when it comes to food and feeding these breeding discs what do i
do I stick to do with yourself food and I have a couple videos or three or four
videos on Do It Yourself food at this point but my favorite one is the discus
food which involves turning beef her tilapia shrimp spirulina paprika facts
then and a few other ingredients into a puree and then freezing it I feed this food for a few reasons it
has proven results for me it’s easy and cost effective to make i can i can
adjust it and manipulate it to what i needed to do and it goes a long way like i said i had about a thousand discs
on my hand at one point which requires a lot of food the biggest reason why i use do it
yourself food is because the parents would eat it and when the fry we’re
ready they would eat it as well so there was
no transition and me trying to get them onto new foods or anything like that I can continuously feed the same food to
everybody and feeding this type of food is what helped me be really successful so if I were to tell you to do anything
out of this entire video i would probably say to make your own food and
this will make even more sense in a few minutes the parents since they were adults and
if they had fri or eggs i would still feed them once a day how much I would feed the fry and how
often will get to in a minute so you know how to get your pairs you
know how to set up the tank you know what they need you know the parameters
that you know you’re going to kno the maintenance and the water quality you
need to provide now water changes are definitely going to vary based on your
situation my advice here is just to keep your night rates as low as absolute
possible in fact I don’t even want to be able to
read them on any test kit so let your readings depict how much water changes
you need to do so we’ve talked about pairs we’ve talked about setting up the
tank we’ve talked about water parameters and water quality as well as maintenance
and we’ve talked about food now let’s talk about triggering and conditioning these pairs so you
might have a pair now when you’re wondering why they’re not breeding
you’re feeding them or do keeping what great water quality but they’re still
not laying eggs or there’s just no sign of breeding at all here’s what I found always worked for me
change desk is like change when it comes to breeding now that change can come in
a number of methods I’ve changed tanks I’ve moved the tanks
to different locations I change their diet slightly feeling a
little less are feeling a little more I change the amount or frequency of
water changes i change the temperature of the water changes even just skipping
food for a couple days and then feeding them a good healthy amount but sometimes
trigger them to start breeding any change in general is going to be good
especially if you have had pairs for a long time and they’re not doing anything I food that i found that helped trigger
them a lot was live black worms and that’s a common thing to feed to
condition breeding pairs so in the long run though you just can’t force disqus
to breed you can do everything in your power to accommodate them but really
it’s going to be up to that all you can do is make sure that you can provide
them with what they need and focus on maintaining water quality as you can see
there is no magic trick that I can tell you where there’s no there’s no secret
that i can tell you that you’re going to be able to apply and your Disqus are
going to magically breed these things take time and they take a lot of work
but once you get them started they typically are bonded pair and will
continuously always breed which brings up the fact that you’re going to need a
lot of patience when i mentioned i bought six to eight this is to raise
them up into breeding pairs at the time frame that that actually took was
between 18 and 24 months this is going to happen overnight or in
a few months this takes a long time and a tremendous amount of commitment I’ve
also bought a dolt this guess which it kinda looks like a mix of male and
females and nothing happened for a year and then i bought a proven pair that was
guaranteed and it took them almost two years to start breeding in my tanks sometimes no matter what you do or what
type of pairs you have or what guarantee you have it just might not happen at all now before we move on to the fry the eggs and what happens during that
time and what I did let’s first talk about people that have problem with
their discs that are already laying eggs so I get this question a lot by disqus
laid eggs but they’re not hatching what’s the problem could be a number of
things first thing that comes to my mind is there just a young pair and they’re
eating them I’ve had pairs that takes seven eight
nine times just to get it right until the eggs will actually hatch and then
they’ll probably eat the fry which are called wigglers that that’s at that
stage and it’ll take them another two or three times to get them to free swimming
which they will eat them eventually you just wake up one morning and they’re all
gone it just happens you see disqus just like
anybody else they need practice and for some they get it right away for others it could take several
attempts the other thing is the mail might not be fertile now this is
actually quite rare to happen but it does happen finally you might have two females just
laying eggs together that is actually pretty common in fish like disqus an
angel fish and it is extremely frustrating so I would say that everything up until
the point where the eggs are laid hey is really the easy part it’s mainly
just a game of patience now the real work comes into play but
the reward as well breeding discus and going through the
entire process that they have is an extremely rewarding process and i don’t
mean monetary I mean as a hobbyist breeding disqus is probably one of the
most rewarding experiences you can go through all of that hard work and
patience finally gets to pay off and you can witness one of the most interesting
life cycles in the aquarium hobby happen right in your own aquarium so once the
eggs are laid they can take two to three days to hatch depending on the tanks
temperature just leave it be and let them hatch naturally don’t raise your
temperature or lower it or anything like that let them be alone at this point
though some people like to artificially raise the eggs I don’t do that I’ve never done that and
I don’t suggest that you do that as a new breeder I suggest that you let the parents do it
for you after two to three days the eggs will
hatch and the fry will not be free swimming it they will attach themselves
to a surface usually the surface in which the eggs were laid however the parents sometimes we’ll move
them around locations depending on where they want them to be now the fry will stay attached to
whatever surface they put them on for a couple of days and then one day they
become free swimming and swarm around the parents at this point you’re still
feeding the parents once a day like you were previously the fry will continue to
swarm around the parents feeding off of the mucous exerted by the parents skin now the biggest reason why you were
feeding this do-it-yourself food is this it sinks to the bottom and the parents
will eat it and they’re down there they’re actually bringing the fry with
them eventually end the fry grow bigger and bigger the fry will also find that food and
it’s easy for fri to eat as well because it’s a puree usually this happens around the two to
three-week mark after the eggs were late now depending on the size of the fry at
this point I might move them to their own bro tank or I might just wait a few
more days until i see all of them actively going after the food instead of
staying around the parents as soon as that happens i move them to their own
tank as soon as you move the fry out of that tank and do some water changes and
clean up the the breeding tank the parents usually within 24 to 48 hours
we’ll go right back to playing more eggs and the cycle continues but let’s go back to the fry within
about six weeks of the eggs be laid the fry will begin to take brine shrimp whether it’s live or frozen personally I
prefer to stick to my homemade food but i always had a little bit of frozen
brine shrimp in the freezer in case I ran out of my homemade food and didn’t
want to make any that day now when it comes to the growth of the
fry the more you feed and the cleaner the water the faster they will grow you can’t just
keep dumping food in the tank though they obviously have to eat it I found myself feeding the disc is fri
anywhere between four and six times a day water changes were done at fifty percent
every day as well unless I was running drip systems now depending on have disciplined i was
to the water changes and feeding I could have two and three inch disqus one of a
couple months or it could take a few months and all came down to how well I cared for those
fry once the fry got to the three to four inch range though they were ready
to sell and if you’re wondering what I did at
that point watch the video on how I made twenty thousand dollars from selling
disqus in one month that video tells this story from an entirely different
perspective again i highly suggest you watch that one
anyways hope you guys enjoyed today’s video i also want to thank you for
watching and I’ll see you guys next week for a new do-it-yourself project

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