With the advent of new breeding varieties of discus (evenly red, pigeon blood, Shillingmann red, dragon), as well as high-melting and high-body mutants, aquarists have a sharply increased interest in these fish. The modern level of development of aquaristics as a science allows not only to successfully maintain the discus, but also to breed them on an industrial scale.
Regular water changes in large quantities, high temperature and optimal feed – these are three fundamental factors that help to successfully maintain these beautiful fish. As it turned out for a long time of keeping the discus, they do not need huge aquariums, the most complicated water purification filters and all kinds of strange and exotic types of food.
As we know, there are only two types of discus in nature: Symphysodon aequifasciatus and Symphysodon discus. The first type has three subspecies, the second – two, which are successfully supplied to the aquarium market straight from South America. In addition to the above variations, even more than 20 are successfully bred by aquarists on a commercial basis throughout the world.
But perhaps the most successful discus distributors are aquarists from Japan, China and Singapore.
Unfortunately, none of the above forms of discus did not get into our aquariums, and this is despite the fact that the cost of the fry of these aquarium fish is very acceptable. Buy and bring discus has become much easier than it was 30 years ago. Most likely, the domestic aquarism has become stagnant in the discussion, unlike other countries.
But, as the observations of our neighbors showed, this stagnation passes rather quickly.
To successfully maintain and breed discus at home, you just need to get a 100-120 liter aquarium. Aquarists from Japan quite successfully use cubic aquariums. According to Suiti Fude, to keep around a dozen young fish, a cubic aquarium with an edge of 45 × 45 centimeters is enough.
In the future, in this aquarium, you can plant a spawning couple.
This condition is consistent with many years of experience of Singapore and Taiwanese discus distributors. In addition, in the cloister of the largest discus breeding farm there are aquariums in which the water level rarely exceeds the mark of 35 – 40 centimeters.
However, in such conditions, the fish will still feel discomfort and they should not be constantly disturbed by frequent walking past the aquarium and door slamming.
In order to maintain a stable high temperature (27 – 35 degrees) in the aquarium with discus, it is necessary to install two heaters with thermostats in the aquarium. You may be surprised, but in Singapore aquarium distributors, despite the tropical heat in aquariums, there are heaters around the clock.
To maintain a stable hydrochemical regime and purity in the aquarium, it is necessary to install two activated carbon filters. Known discussion councils recommend using up to 5 grams of coal per liter of water. The filters are cleaned alternately, so that after washing the filter has recovered a colony of beneficial bacteria.
As a rule, the filter material of the filter is washed once a week.
As we know, in the natural habitat of the discus live in subacid and soft water. But, according to the experience of keeping these fish, an active reaction of the environment and rigidity does not have any negative effect on the fish, the main condition is that these two parameters be stable.
Yes, and another important condition – pollution of aquarium water with waste products should be minimized. To achieve this you have to replace large portions of fresh water.
I would like to dwell separately on the active reaction of the medium, which is also pH. As we already know, at low pH levels, the development of harmful microorganisms in the aquarium is suppressed, which significantly reduces the risk of occurrence of various diseases in fish.
Therefore, for this purpose, in aquariums with discus and keep the pH in the region of 5.5 – 6.5 pH. To do this, use chemically pure phosphoric, hydrochloric or nitric acid.
According to Japanese discus distributors, these fish in some cases can withstand short-term decreases in the pH level to 2.8 – 3.0. But keep in mind that when the pH value reaches 4.5, their eyes start to turn blue from an acidic environment. If the fish are healthy, then it is not terrible for them, and after a couple of days after the normalization of conditions of detention, everything will freeze up to normal.
But the sick and weak individuals suffer more and longer, and rarely recover. In order not to harm the fish, it is better to use the above acids carefully.
According to Japanese aquarists, a sharp jump in the pH level upwards by at least 0.2 units can provoke a stressful condition in fish. But the reduction by the same amount does not have any negative impact on the discus. For reproduction of discus, water with a hardness of 2 to 4 degrees with zero carbonate hardness is used.
Although these parameters are quite normal for tap water for most areas of the above countries. But the pH level must be regularly monitored and maintained within 5.5 – 6.0.
The temperature of water from 27 to 29 degrees discus is quite satisfactory, the main thing for measuring the temperature is to use a proven mercury thermometer, since the slightest mistake in determining the upper limit can provoke heat stroke.
Experienced discus distributors recommend purchasing fish at the age of one and a half months and older. The length of the body should be 2.5 – 3 centimeters.
To prevent the development of various diseases, Japanese aquarists are advised to immerse fish in three-hour bathrooms from formalin solution 1 ml of 40% formalin solution per 10 liters of water at a temperature of 35 degrees. Baths should be carried out in a few days in 2-3 doses. In order to avoid heat shock, the temperature of the water is increased gradually over a period of several hours, and at the end of the prophylactic procedures, also slowly and lowered.
Japanese aquarists say that for two or three hours, the discus is able to withstand water temperatures of around 38 degrees. The Japanese recommend keeping new fish at a temperature of 33-35 degrees for 4-5 days and do not forget to regularly replace the water.
Experienced discussion councils who specialize in the mass breeding of these fish, in order to avoid various diseases, recommend not to feed the fish with live food taken from natural reservoirs. This is especially true of such a popular feed as the pipeker.
Devils and bloodworm must first be frozen, and before feeding they are treated with a formalin solution, followed by washing under running water. Here it is just appropriate to recall that freezing does not kill various pathogens, and especially those that are dormant.
Professional dissov razvodchiki prepare for their pets frozen food on their own, while using finely planed beef heart and shrimp meat. It is also better to use specialized fortified dry food with a high protein concentration.
However, in commercial breeding, feeding such vitaminized feeds incurs serious financial costs, therefore, amateurs use this method.
In order for the fish to replenish their supply of missing vitamins, aquarium plants with soft leaves (cabomba, limnophilus, hygrophil) are periodically placed in the aquarium with discus. Discussions with pleasure will pluck leaves from this grass.
But, you can also meet more radical views on feeding the discus. Some Japanese breeders strongly oppose the use of feed from freshwater bodies of water. They feed their pets, as a rule, some seafood (meat of shrimp and shellfish, as well as sea urchin caviar).
Adult fish need to be fed three times a day, and youngsters up to 6 times.
Like other members of the Cichlidae, the discus that grow together, as they mature, form pairs that need to be seated in different aquariums. Females ready for throwing eggs, lay eggs on a previously prepared and cleaned substrate.
These can be Anubias or Echinodorus leaves, as well as pottery and snags.
Tropical discus distributors use various devices to preserve caviar in cases of cannibalistic propensities of parents. Asians, as a rule, use a mesh with a small cell, which they put on the substrate, as a result of which the quarreled parents cannot reach the masonry.
But the grid with a different size of the cell allows the fry to swim from one parent to another in order to fortify skin secrets.
But the best way to save the offspring is the correct selection of producers who are able to cope with all their offspring on their own. The Japanese do not recommend the use of fish with a pronounced individuality, because discus rarely create strong pairs and they are not able to care for their offspring.
In view of the fact that Asian distributors of discus have a lot of opportunities to choose suitable producers, they do not use artificial food for rearing. Just think, one fish farmer from Singapore can export up to 10 thousand specimens per month.
And export volumes are increasing from year to year.
One formed pair of discus in one spawning can produce up to 300 small eggs. The cost of one breeding on the territory of Japan is about $ 300.
This includes the cost of preparing water, food, care for offspring and other things.