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danfishy84

Discus Breeding Venture

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Hi Guys/Gals,

Over the next couple of months, I want to start trying my hand at breeding a single pair of discus as it’s something I have wanted to do for a long time.

Before I buy some discus, I want to cross my T’s and dot my I’s to make sure I give them, and myself, the best possible chance at success and health.

To put it on the table at the start, I will be putting the breeding pair in a 40 gallon bare bottom. And as a matter of course with all my fish, I do the following four times a year as a prophylactic (some may not agree with it).

1, Treat water with Big L (once a week for 3 weeks),

2, Treat food with Epsom Salt (5 day course)

I also sterilise equipment between uses.

I am not one to skimp on water changes, and have invested in a 1000LT IBC tote, a pump, and some pvc bits and pieces to create an automated top off for aged water. I won’t be auto draining however, as I find this creates laziness and it’s better to manually ensure cleanliness and give the glass a wipe down as well.

Water quality shall be good I believe, I plan to cut Brisbane tap water with ro water, and maybe rain water when my tank goes in(I have a 400LT per day system on the way). I also plan to use black water extract and IAL on occasion, as I already stock this for apisto’s.

****************

Questions

1, What meds should be kept on hand in case of emergency without duplicating effects?

2, What gentle meds should be used in a preventative schedule and how often?

3, Should I get a TDS metre?

4, What have I missed?

5, Am I going overboard?

Thanks in advance,

Danfishy84

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Hi [MENTION=1338]The Tech Den[/MENTION]

I couldn't find the thread in question, but I found a thread, where someone has noted it missing?

http://www.qldaf.com/forums/general-aquarium-discussion-19/discus-breeding-thread-rex82-81019/

I get PH 7.9 out the tap, which makes buffering for Malawi Cichlid's a breeze. I understand the parameters are more critical with WC fish, but 7.9 seems a little high for discus comfort, and it is no skin off my nose (WC apisto's are on the cards) so RO will be available so I may as well use it?

cheers,

Danfishy84

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Looks like the post is missing?

Here is another one

http://www.qldaf.com/forums/search.php?searchid=3796598

I was hoping that it might be similar water to Caboolture being so close but it is a lot different with the parameters -

if you want troll through his posts though here they are

http://www.qldaf.com/forums/search.php?searchid=3796598&pp=&page=3

it starts at page 3 - the first couple of pages is where he started going marine.

Hope it helps. He may not have done things the way you expected but he did seem to have success with what he did.

Edited by The Tech Den
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Hey [MENTION=11860]danfishy84[/MENTION] I am taking the step in to breeding Discus as well.

I visited one of the forum members here who breeds Discus to have a look at his set up, and also did a fair bit of reading on Simply Discus, and talking to local Discus keepers and breeders on a local FB page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/483338395134898/

I have had 5 tanks built and laminated. A 4x2x2 this will be my holding tank for my community of Discus, from which I'll pull pairs for breeding. Two 2x2x2 cubes for breeding. And Two 3x1.5x1.5 as grow out tanks. I will have room for another 4x2x2 and a 4x1.5x1.5 if I need two larger grow out tanks as well.

My system will be run on an air pump with sponge filters in each tank. All tanks will be bar bottom, and in the main tank and the two grow out tanks, I'll have a couple of rectangle pots with some amazon sword plants in them. I'll also have an IBC in which I'll mix rain water and tap water, and add my own IAL extract. I just can't justify an RO unit, as the wastage would be huge, and the cost very significant. I'm undecided if I'll use one of the Discus trace element mixes. Seachem. Discus Trace

Water changes for Discus are hard core to. 50%+ daily for young Discus (I know some people who do 100% daily). 2 or 3 times a week of 50%+ for adult Discus. Feeding young Discus is pretty intense to, up to 6 times a day for young Discus, minimum of 3 times a day. I plan on using Live black worm, Ocean Nutrition Discus Formula Pellets, and Ocean Nutrition Frozen Discus Formula as my staples. I won't use beef heart. As well as chopped raw prawns and Hikari frozen Spirulina Brine Shrimp as regular treats. Live bbs for baby Discus, until they large enough to move on to live black worm and frozen Spirulina Brine Shrimp.

I had my tanks drilled, and an drainage attachment made that I can hook my garden hose to and run outside, for fast water changes. I'll have a pump in the IBC to pump water back in to the tanks. If I am successful, and look to expand in the future, I'll have a pipe system built behind the tanks, to make refilling faster and easier from the IBC.

I will be buying a group of 6 young red turqs from Rod Lewis to grow up and hope I get a pair or two from them. I've been scouting out the local importers and sellers, as well LFS which sell quality Discus. The best LFS I have found is down the coast. They import their Discus directly from a couple of different Malaysian breeders, and sell quality stock. But they're not cheap. Discus for Sale

Medicating Discus is hard core. A lot breeders medicate every month, with both Praziquantel for gill flukes and an internal wormer. Some also carry Metronidazole as an emergency treatment for health issues. I was lucky enough to buy some Prazi and Metro from a LFS that was closing down.

My set up will be put together on the 13th, when all my equipment has arrived. I don't have the parts yet, but the inside plumbing of the tank will be a swing arm that I can turn through ~110 degrees to decide on how much water I want to change at any given water change. From 10% through to 95%.

Main tank and grow out tank.

DSCN1597_zps1df30407.jpg

Two breeding tanks and a grow out tank.

DSCN1595_zpsf44e0a26.jpg

Plumbing for water changes.

IMG_0357_zps09d1fce2.jpg

I got the idea for my plumbing set up from watching this video, and talking to guys at my LFS.

Edited by pk333
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Thanks [MENTION=3878]pk333[/MENTION]

Wow you seem to be going all in, I think a pair is all I want for now. Whether I spend extra and buy a pair, or grow out some young adults I have yet to decide.

That link to living reef aquarium show a lot of nice looking discus, did you happen to run into the product on there called “kusuri”?

I am going to be re-purposing two 3 x 1.5 x 1.5 for the venture. If more or larger is required, I will take a look further down the track. Sponge filters for me as well.

I also thought about the justification of an RO unit, and my conclusion was…you run out of rain water you’re screwed. I didn’t want to underestimate water usage and rely on the rain.

As for meds, prazi and metro are highly rated, pity about the difficulty getting metro. Another option could be kusuri (flubendazole), it appears to deal with flukes and worms and suggests to treat monthly, anyone currently use this?

I watched that youtube video, and I don’t think I could justify more than a 75% per day water change with maybe two 75% per day on a weekend. I understand they get used to it, but still that’s pretty brutal. And that level of pressure... if that jet connected, you wouldn’t need to worry about gill flukes as they would be ripped straight off.

Red turqs are a nice looking discus you should be happy with them.

Good luck,

danfishy84

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Not really going all in, just want to do it right. I know a lot of Discus keepers use Kusuri.

A few local Discus breeders use mainly tap water, and use rain water mainly for breeding.

I'll pm you some stuff and links shortly.

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Having two pairs will give you twice the chances of spawning success. Having more pairs will increase your success rate exponentially due to accumulated fish experience, fish group mentality, spawning hormones and economies of scale.

The drilled drains look finicky (and expensive). I use a 25mm PVC 'U' tube inverted that I hook over the edge of a tank. Slide a standard 12 mm garden hose through the U tube out to whatever depth you want to drain too. Then use the same hose to refill. If your draining multiple tanks, get multiple U tubes.

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15 years ago when I was breeding discus one of the best books I found for info was exotic discus of the world edited by doctor Clifford chan.This book is a compilation of pics and info from 10 or so of the best breeders around the world.Found that regular water changes and consistent water quality the key to success .On another note also found yes low ph of 6.2 was good for breeding a ph of 7.2 to7.4 gave a quicker and healthier growth rate in my growout tanks.

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[MENTION=470]aquaholic99[/MENTION]

Having multiple pairs might be the go. I do like the Idea of the u-tube. How would you get the waste off the bottom though, unless you went (really) low?

[MENTION=2388]Daydream[/MENTION]

Thanks for the tips, I get 7.9 out the tap which I will cut with rain/ro, and I have the capacity to keep a 1000L tank of aged water.

So I could store a low ph suitable for breeding, and once they have bred, bring it up past neutral? This might be good, as I only really want to be raising one batch at a time. (no money making enterprise here lol) and the higher PH might slow them down a little. (I don't want to separate them).

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Hi All,

Well, I have been playing with my RO unit, trying to see where I can get my water parameters (may as well be africa over here).

Out the tap after aeration

PH: 8.1

TDS: 187

KH: 4

GH: 5

50/50 RO/Tap

PH: 7.7

TDS: 96

KH: 2

GH: 3

I know PH is not the be all and end all for Discus, but I would like it as low as possible, but in line with recommendations for TDS.

What TDS would you guys recommend for raising fry, and what would you recommend for breeding?

What percentage can I cut with RO before I need to start putting trace minerals back in?

No point rushing in until I am happy with the quality of water, I don't particularly want to be changing it up on the fly...I would like to keep things stable.

Any suggestions would be great!

thanks,

Dan

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It is taking 50:50 RO/Tap just to get it to a PH of 7.7 so tap water is out I'm afraid for me. Maybe If I can get my water storage sitting at a PH of 7.4-7.6 then I can just prompt breeding with black water extracts or Indian Almond Leaves? I really don't want to go the route of re-mineralising the water unless I have to. Would a 75 : 25 cut leave enough trace elements I wonder?

Any idea on TDS levels? I know some people don't worry about them.

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Get on the simply discus forum mate. There is heaps of reading on there. There is even a artificial rearing "machine" in the breeding section. There is also sections on the cheapest way to remineralise your RO /rain water aswell. If ya can't find it let me know and I should be able to track it down.

Breeding the fish is the easy part I have found, keeping the fry alive is the hard part.

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I use a tds of around 130 for breeding my angels, lots of ppl on simply discus recommend around 70-80. I just put rainwater in the tank, it has a tds of around 10 then add tap water until the tds is where you want it. My tap water is at around tds of 480.

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hi dan , i run my breeding tanks around 6.5, and try to keep my grow out tanks above 7, my tds is between 90 and 140 in breeding tanks

i ususally use a mix of filtered tap water and rain water for all my tanks and if im trying to spur one of the pairs on to spawning i will use some ro in the mix ,

also almond leaves can help with this process or blackwater extract is worth a try

getting them to lay is the easy bit , raising the wee critters is the hard part,

DT

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grow out tanks used to sit on tds 100/230 ph7/7.6 main thing is good filtration to cope with feeding 3/4 times a day and plenty of 30/50% water changes.Dont go for turnover, as much as filtration bio area as possible and slower the better the longer the water is in contact with the good bacteria the better it works.try a simple box filter full of ceramic noodles or matrix with 1 bubble a second its 1 of the best de nitrifying filters out there.

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grow out tanks used to sit on tds 100/230 ph7/7.6 main thing is good filtration to cope with feeding 3/4 times a day and plenty of 30/50% water changes.Dont go for turnover, as much as filtration bio area as possible and slower the better the longer the water is in contact with the good bacteria the better it works.try a simple box filter full of ceramic noodles or matrix with 1 bubble a second its 1 of the best de nitrifying filters out there.

Hi Daydream,

If it is turning the water that slow, wont the ammonia sit in the tank longer before it is dealt with? Or does it not matter as it's not yet in large quantities?

I have used the 1 bubble per second method in the past for apisto, but they don't have a large bio load so I never considered it an issue.

Thanks,

Dan

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As secondary filter. I used sponge as main filter and box as secondary.Breeders were 24x24x20 with 2 double sponge and 1 box filter grow outs were 48x24x20 with 2 double sponge and 4 box filter with 1 box set up at 1 bubble per sec and 3 with Dacron and good flow rate.

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As secondary filter. I used sponge as main filter and box as secondary.Breeders were 24x24x20 with 2 double sponge and 1 box filter grow outs were 48x24x20 with 2 double sponge and 4 box filter with 1 box set up at 1 bubble per sec and 3 with Dacron and good flow rate.

Thanks Daydream, couldn't put my head around how that would work. I think I have some box filters lying around, and I know I have a few litres of matrix.

I have some large sponge filters I got in the past from tech den I am hoping will do the job for the grow out tank.

I think these are the ones.

Extra Large Sponge Filter XY-2838 for tanks up to 850 liters

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Well after playing around with the water, I decided to pick up some discus and see how I go. If they turn out quality and decide to pair I might breed, if they don't I am thinking new display tank :clap2:

So I have four pigeon bloods at 5-6cm (hopefully male and female). One of them is really colourful and is bullying the others at meal times, even tries to nibble my fingers when I siphon... (This may have something to do with me feeding freeze dried blackworms).

Water (growout)

PH 7.6

TDS 90

KH 2

GH 3

Feeding

Twide a day: freeze dried blackworms

Thrice a day: nls discus/thera mix. (auto feeder)

Water change

30% daily at the moment, probably overkill, but testing will allow me to adjust.

Filtration

1 x extra large bio sponge

1 x corner filter (chocked full of matrix with bubbles turned down low).

Temperature

27°C

They were hiding the first night but have really seemed to come out of their shells and follow my movements. I mastered the blackworm on the glass technique second try, which I am happy about!

Can someone take a quick look over these pics and advise if there is any issues or defects with the fish? Any hints/comments appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan

post-11860-14711633159169_thumb.jpg

post-11860-14711633160066_thumb.jpg

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Water change

30% daily at the moment, probably overkill, but testing will allow me to adjust.

Er, not likely.

I do daily 60% vacuum and water changes on my group of 11 juveniles.

I have read of some people who do twice a day 50%+ water changes.

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