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How To Breed Discus Fish

Updated on September 12, 2014
Baby discus (fry) around a discus parent
Baby discus (fry) around a discus parent

So You Want To Be a Discus Breeder

To become a discus fish breeder is a high calling. Actually, at one time in the not to distant past that it was thought just about impossible to reproduce these beautiful freshwater animals. But that has changed. Discus fish breeders are multiplying very quickly.

Knowledge is Power

Exactly what you need to raise your own personal discus is knowledge. Needless to say additionally, you will need the right equipment. The setup is important after you understand the procedure.

Discus have established a track record for being quite challenging, and perhaps they are indeed. Nevertheless, the information about general requirements for healthy aquariums has come miles from the state of lack of knowledge that once existed.

The first step on your journey to breeding discus fish is to get a discus education. You must be able to keep your tank healthy, and that is not a task that you can just "wing it" and be successful. You must find out everything about discus habits and habitats so you can maintain a well balanced environment for them.

The second step is to get a selection of discus who actually "pair up". If you are in a hurry, you can buy a matched pair, but this is pretty pricey. It is much cheaper to have your own fish who were purchased as juveniles become a couple. There is no prescribed way to encourage this. It takes a bit of luck, but if you have enough fish, it should not take too much luck. A good number of discus fish in your aquarium is six. This will probably result in at least one pair.

Aquarium Setup for Discus Fish Breeding

When you have a matched pair of fish, they may start to protect part of the tank as "their territory". This is the first sign of preparing to spawn.

Due to the fact this species of fish usually lays their eggs on a vertical surface, you will need to introduce an object into your tank. Most vertical objects will be adequate.

Then, separate the mother and father from the others. This can be done by moving the other fish to a separate tank until the fish hatch. Another tactic for separating the happy couple is to put a divider into the tank so that other fish can not get to the "nursery". This is usually a piece of glass or Plexiglas perfectly cut to block off a section of your tank.

The Offspring

Immediately after the eggs have been laid and fertilized, they will hatch in about two days. Watching the relationship of fry (newly hatched fish are called fry) and parents is fascinating. The parents provide food for their young in the form of a secretion through their skin. The young fry eat the special food from the sides of their parents.

After about five days you can start introducing newly hatched brine shrimp. The fry will continue to eat both foods for several weeks. Then you can move the fry to a separate tank to continue their growth.

Your discus fish breeding will not stop with one hatch of fry. Your couple will lay new eggs about every week for up to twelve weeks.

Aquarium Care for Breeding Fish

All that remains is to keep your newborns healthy. They are usually separated into a separate "Fry Aquarium" after about three weeks when they can survive without their parents.

A Fry Aquarium is best kept without substrate or plants. This is so that you can keep the tank clean. Do a water replacement once a day, replacing about 15% of the water. Young fry are more susceptible to parasites and disease.

You should continue to feed the fry up to six times a day. Use a combination of brine shrimp and other protein-rich food, such as bits of fresh worms. As they get older, you can start introducing good quality dried flakes.


As you can see, discus fish breeders are busy folks. Make sure this is what you want before you make the commitment. Most discus fish owners are NOT breeders. They prefer to get their fish from reputable discus fish breeders.

Discus Breeding in Nature


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    • faustjonson profile image

      Research Paper 

      2 years ago from New York City

      FishAreFriends ))

      fany fish

    • thewayeyeseeit profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Woodstock, GA


      Your name is awesome!

      Discus fish are indeed very cool. For my money they are the best looking fresh water fish. As far as fry to adult, they are just one of the many amazing creatures that transform as they mature. Love that part of nature!

    • FishAreFriends profile image


      7 years ago from Colorado

      My friend once had a pair of breeding Discus- it was an amazing sight, with the fry swimming around the Parents' bodies and feeding. I have Discus but have never tried breeding them, but in the future I might.

      I also loved the video, I wonder how the fries' bodies turn into the beautiful shape of the adult dicus bodies, as the shape is so different...

      Cool Hub!


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