Good day, dear readers. Today on the agenda we have a brown discus.
This aquarium fish belongs to the cichl family and can be found on the territory of Brazil and Peru. Discus loves quiet shaded reservoirs and coastlines that are dotted with fallen trees and overgrown with coastal vegetation.
The intertwining of tree branches and riparian vegetation creates a magnificent shelter for aquatic organisms.
The brown discus has a yellow-brown or dark brown color. Nine transverse strips run through the body, two of which (the first and the last are more clearly pronounced) are visible even when the others disappear completely.
The color of a wide strip can vary from red-brown to black and it passes on the dorsal and anal fins. The outer edge of these fins is painted in pink and red tones.
On the head of the fish there are strokes and blue spots. In particular, there are especially many of these blue spots on the gill covers and on the nape.
The rest of the body is completely devoid of strokes and blemishes. The size of the head is small, like the mouth of a fish.
The iris of the eyes in adult fish is colored red. During spawning, the females show a cone-shaped ovipad, and in males the seed canal.
The maximum length of the fish in aquarium conditions is no more than 15 centimeters.
The brown discus, like its green sibling, is a rather inactive aquarium fish that prefers to keep in the flock. Unfortunately, to contain any discus is quite a difficult task.
The best option would be to purchase a school of fish, consisting of 8-10 individuals, put them in a large aquarium (200 liters) with a height of water column of at least 40 centimeters.
If you want to keep these fish in the general aquarium, you should take into account the fact that the discus is a heat-loving fish (the water temperature must be between 28 and 32 degrees), and not every fish of other families is able to tolerate this temperature. It is also not advisable to keep discus in the same aquarium with scalars, as lousy get along with each other.
Brown discus prefers to be in the middle layer of water. To make the fish feel comfortable in the aquarium, the jar needs to be decorated with various shelters in the form of interweaving of krayag and heaps of stones and planted thickly long stem aquarium plants (limnophila, cabomba, hygrophil multi-seeded, straight nomafila).
Also floating aquarium plants are welcome, as they give the necessary shade to the discus. But at the same time note that the shadow of the floating grass will adversely affect other plants planted in the ground, as they may suffer from a lack of light.
As aquarium soil, you can use small pebbles. But as for me, the pebbles on the background of the vegetation looks dull, so it is better to use small black gravel. Some aquarists do not recommend using a primer at all, but you know, the decorative qualities of the aquarium will immediately suffer.
The lighting in the aquarium should not be very bright, the bank should have shaded areas.
But to the quality of the aquarium water brown discus is very demanding. To make your pets feel good, the hardness of the water should be no more than 12 degrees, the acidity is within 5.5 – 5.7 pH and temperature from 28 to 32 degrees.
In no case do not allow sudden changes in acidity, as this may adversely affect the health of the fish. Sometimes, a rise in water temperature of up to 36 degrees is welcomed, which helps revitalize the digestive tract and helps cleanse the body.
In the aquarium with discus must be a powerful aeration (it is better to use a biological filter). In view of the high temperature of the water, the aquarium should be well blown by air, since at such a high temperature the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water decreases.
It is imperative that in the aquarium it is necessary to do water changes every week up to 30% of the volume and be sure to siphon the soil.
Feed the discus can be vegetable, live feed and their substitutes. It is not recommended to feed dry fish in the form of crustaceans and bloodworms to fish. Adults need to be fed two or three times a day, but it is important not to overfeed the fish.
First, it will negatively affect their health, and secondly, excessive organic matter in the aquarium can trigger an algal outbreak. During the spawning period, the fish must be fed with live food. The best option would be a well-washed beef heart, from which they make minced meat, to which vitamins are added.
Then this mixture is put in a plastic dish and put in the freezer. Before feeding, the frozen minced meat is taken out of the freezer and grated.
Brown discus fishes become mature by the age of two. If you keep fish in large aquariums, then this period is reduced.
For the multiplication of a hydrobiont, a minimum of a 100-liter aquarium is needed, which is installed in a quiet room. In spawning lay soil and planted aquarium plants.
The substrate for spawning are ceramic shards and large stones, as well as the walls of the heater and the internal filter.
Water parameters for breeding brown discus:
- Water hardness from 1 to 3 degrees;
- Acidity from 5.5 to 6.5 pH;
- Temperature from 30 to 32 degrees;
For spawning select a pair of fish, which is formed from a flock of 8-10 individuals. When the fish begin to clean the substrate and pull the fins, it is a signal that the fish are fully prepared for spawning.
As a rule, spawning occurs in the evening. On the prepared substrate, the female can lay up to 250 eggs, which are then fertilized by the male.
Total spawning takes about 40 minutes.
While caring for caviar and small larvae, it is necessary to feed the producers in small portions so that the food does not rot in the aquarium. As is customary in the majority of Cichl representatives, the first clutch of discus can be eaten. But then this negative quality disappears, and the fish normally care for their offspring.
After 4 days, the larvae emerge from the eggs, and after another 4 days the fry are already able to feed and swim independently in the aquarium.
All the while fry grows up, caring parents all the time take care of their offspring and regularly carry fry and spawn from place to place. At this time it is very important to lure up to of the volume daily, but it is important that the water characteristics remain unchanged.
The first month of life the fry feed on the skin secretions of their parents. When this secret ends on one of the parents, the other fish swims up and the fry will switch to the other parent. There are cases when manufacturers can fight for the care of offspring.
In this case, it will be reasonable to divide the aquarium with a Plexiglas partition, only at the bottom you need to leave a 1-2 centimeter gap so that the fry can move from one part of the aquarium to another.
Also occur out of the ordinary cases when the skin secret is absent in both parents. In this case, the fry are waiting for death if the aquarist does not start to feed them soon with artificial food: egg powder, mixed with water from a spawning aquarium.
They make cakes from egg powder, which are pressed against the wall of the aquarium so that they protrude slightly above the water. Feed the young need three to four times a day.
Upon completion of feeding, the fry are removed to another tank with clean aquarium water. After 4 days, the fry can be fed with nauplii of Artemia and Cyclops.
But just remember, if the fry are raised artificial feed, during spawning they will not secrete skin secretion and they will not be able to feed their offspring.