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View Full Version : How hard are Discus really?



MandyL
04-22-2008, 02:35 AM
OK here's what I'm thinking... I would love to be able to breed Discus and make a bit of extra cash... I use RO water already for my other tank, but the unit is too small for substantial water changes on the 65 so I would have to get a bigger one I suppose. I was looking online and read that they don't breed until they're about 2 years old? And how delicate are they really? What % of water do you who keep them change and how often? Is it really worth all the work of buying expensive equipment and fish, and waiting 2 years to HOPEFULLY breed them? Any thoughts, or personal experience?

ILuvMyGoldBarb
04-22-2008, 03:25 AM
First of all I can tell you it doesn't take 2 years. I have a pair that started spawning at 10 months.
Second thing to realize, you won't make much off breeding your Discus. Young Discus are pigs and need lots and lots of feedings. Many successful breeders feed their Discus fry 5-6 times a day.
Finally Keeping your adult Discus isn't really all that hard. Raising the fry, there's another story altogether. You are looking at massive daily waterchanges on Discus fry tanks.

kitten3326
04-22-2008, 08:56 AM
Keeping Discus is not all that hard, water changes and perfect water conditions are the biggest thing with discus. Raising fry I heard is alot of work, a friend of mine raises discus and the LFS won't even touch them until they are handy 4-5 months old and even then doesn't get what he thought he would for them. The LFS where I purchased mine won't even touch local breeders and orders his special order from overseas.

angelcakes
04-22-2008, 09:50 AM
First of all I can tell you it doesn't take 2 years. I have a pair that started spawning at 10 months.
Second thing to realize, you won't make much off breeding your Discus. Young Discus are pigs and need lots and lots of feedings. Many successful breeders feed their Discus fry 5-6 times a day.
Finally Keeping your adult Discus isn't really all that hard. Raising the fry, there's another story altogether. You are looking at massive daily waterchanges on Discus fry tanks.
that puts me off discus:hmm3grin2orange:

NickFish
04-22-2008, 09:26 PM
They are without a doubt one of the harder species of freshwater fish, but an experienced aquarist should be able to do it without too much difficulty. H

However breeding them is entirely different than just raising adults.

After you get all the tanks set up, all the decor perfect, the filtration and water movement good, a ton of live and frozen food, near perfect water conditions, and then they'll breed. However the babies need a ton of expensive high quality live and frozen foods, not to mention water changes pretty much every day, and the water must be perfect.

Breeding discus can be profitable on a larger scale, but I can't see it making too much with only a tank or two. There is a reason discus are one of the most expensive fish you'll see at your lfs, and just because they can sell for a bundle doesn't mean you'll make as much.

Still, it would be fun, and a little money on the side, maybe not as much as you spend but still, as long as you enjoy it and aren't in it solely for profit I say go ahead. Research a ton first though of course.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
04-22-2008, 09:29 PM
Discus really have a bad rap for being extremely difficult. They are not. They are by no means a beginner fish, but it doesn't take an advanced fish keeper to keep them, just a dedicated, disciplined one. They are not hard, just a lot more work than most FW fish.

jbeining75
04-22-2008, 09:30 PM
Discus are easy if you have the experience with getting tanks stable. Unstable tanks and they will become very difficult to keep. A stable tank they are alot easier than most give them credit for. They are more difficult than a normal freshwater species but you should have no problems if you give them a well established tank that is planted and stable.

MandyL
04-23-2008, 02:56 AM
Thanks all for the advice... I think I don't have the time and resources right now for it... I will stick with some angels for now and maybe try the discus when I'm a stay-at-home mom with kids in school. ;) I'd really want to do it right and would need a new RO unit, more tanks for breeding/grow out, etc. Plus of course with working full-time I probably couldn't keep the fry fed well enough.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
04-23-2008, 02:59 AM
What's your tap water chemistry like? You may not need an RO unit.

jbeining75
04-23-2008, 03:07 AM
Most likely you will not need a RO unit. Fry that are brought up on RO alot are harder to adapt to normal water conditions. Discus fry can be brought up in tap water. For anyone who tells you it can't be done without RO... I have done it. I am sure GoldBarb has also. Generally when they are brought up in normal tap water they are used to it and are stronger. When fry come up in RO then are switched to normal water they are relatively weak until they adapt.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
04-23-2008, 03:13 AM
I haven't used a drop of RO, I don't need it. :) The thing to remember about using RO is that straight RO isn't the best for any fish because many of the minerals that make up Total Dissolved Solids are removed. Those minerals are often times essential to good health. RO and RO/DI water should always be reconstituted, RO/DI has to be reconstituted since that process takes out everything and leaves you with pure H2O

cocoa_pleco
04-23-2008, 03:14 AM
yep, when using RO water its best to use half RO water, half tapwater

ILuvMyGoldBarb
04-23-2008, 03:16 AM
or use a reconsituting agent like Seachem's Discus buffer or for planted tanks, Seachem's Equalibrium.

MandyL
04-23-2008, 03:23 AM
I can't use my tap water at all. It has 1ppm of ammonia naturally, and the hardness and pH are both higher than the test kit goes. I use RO water in my community tank now and use RO Right to reconstitute it.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
04-23-2008, 03:25 AM
that makes perfect sense then. LOL I wouldn't use your tap water for Discus either. :)

Fishguy2727
04-23-2008, 01:20 PM
They are harder, and many of them are even harder. The hardiest/easiest ones are assorted discus out of the LFS. I think discus should be reserved to advanced aquarists. Others can keep them alive without too much of a hassle, but that doesn't mean the discus will do nearly as well. I can keep a goldfish in a 10, which is why they are considered a beginner fish. But in reality they should really be in a group of about six in something like a 75 and the fancier breeds should be left to more advanced goldfish enthusiasts.

It is not that only an advanced hobbyist can keep them living, but it is that in most cases only an advanced aquarist can keep them thriving.

It seems that people used to doing something feel that it is no big deal. People used to giving daily water changes to their discus feel it is no big deal. People used to catching every minor thing that hints that something needs to be changed feel it is no big deal. For others who are not used to it, it can be a major deal. Someone who breeds stingrays feels it is no big deal. Someone who has been maintaining their 300 gallon reef tank for three years feels it is no big deal. So although it may not seem like much to the person doing it, someone who has no experience doing that may not be nearly as successful. This doesn't mean people shouldn't try, but they should definitely not try and jump in.

As stated, you won't be able to turn much if any profit breeding discus.

William
04-23-2008, 10:34 PM
Discus can be very hard or rather easy. It all depends on the quality of the fish you start with. It is a little like the story of Asian and locally breed GBR with the different that you can´t assume high quality in discus just because they are locally breed.

But it isn´t the best way to make money. Breeding fish like Zebra plecos, some other plecos and some rays give better return.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
04-23-2008, 10:36 PM
Good answer William, I'd give you Rep points but I'm not sure there's a lot of point in doing that, LOL

William
04-23-2008, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the sentiment.