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Green Discus: how to keep and breed in your aquarium

Hello dear readers! Glad to welcome you on my blog again. I apologize for the weekly absence, work and family affairs take a lot of time.

Now I am on vacation for a month and a half, I hope there will be an opportunity to please you every day with new useful material. And today we have with you a post about the green discus.

In nature, this representative of the Cichlidae lives in the rivers of Brazil and Peru. Fish tries to keep quiet backwaters with shady places. Often discus can be found in coastal areas of water bodies, where there are a lot of fallen trees, interweaving of roots and plants.

All these moments give the fish a very reliable shelter from predators, and as you know, there are more than enough of them in the rivers of South America.

The head of the discus is small, the iris is red-brown in color, the mouth is small. Body color can be both olive-brown and bluish-green. Nine dark stripes pass through the body of the fish, of which the latter is darker than all the others, and closer to the tail fin it is generally black.

The dorsal and anal fins are olive-green in color with a dark base. There are light spots on the tail of the discus.

Also on the body of the discus can be seen horizontal stripes with blue tide. They pass through the gill covers, dorsal and anal fins and back.

During spawning in males, the seed tube acquires a pointed shape, and in females the egg-laying cone-shaped blunt shape. Under natural conditions, the green discus can grow up to 20 centimeters in length, but in aquariums this figure is slightly less – 15 centimeters.

Despite decent dimensions, the fish is quite shy and inactive. In addition, the discus is very difficult to maintain. It is preferable to purchase a school of fish up to 10 pieces and keep them in species aqua, the volume of which should be at least 300 liters with a height of water column not less than 40 centimeters.

The fact is that discus is extremely sensitive to biotope size. If you do not leave the idea of ​​keeping the fish in common aqua, then you can be stopped by some difficulties in finding neighbors in the aquarium.

The fact is that discus fish are heat-loving fish, preferring the temperature of the aquatic environment from 28 to 32 degrees, and most of the popular fish sold in small pet stores do not always withstand such temperatures. Immediately I would like to discourage you from keeping the scalar and the discus in one aqua, since the latter hardly get along with the scalars.

In order for a hydrobiont to feel like “at home” in your tank, various shelters in the form of grottoes, heaps of stones in the form of caves and weaves of coagula must be present in the bank. A dense planting of long-stemmed aquarium plants (ambulia, cabomba, lyudwigija, rovolistnik, valisneria) is also welcomed, the plants will give the shade necessary for fish.

You can also use floating aquarium plants such as pistis, Riccia, Guadalupe naiads.

Some aquarists recommend using small pebbles as an aquarium substrate, and some generally discourage the use of the substrate. But then the quite expected question arises: where should we plant the plants if there is no soil? As for me, the soil should be necessary, both from an aesthetic point of view, and in order to implement biofiltration and establish biological balance in the aquarium.

The light in the debate should be moderate, shaded areas should be present in aqua, which can be achieved using floating plants.

Like other types of discus, green is very sensitive to the composition of aquarium water. For a comfortable content of these tsikhlovyh, the parameters of water should be as follows: pH 5.5-5.7; hardness – no more than 12, water temperature 28-32 degrees. It is not recommended to allow sharp fluctuations in the pH level in the aquarium with discus, as this can cause serious harm to the health of the fish.

Sometimes you can find advice from the experienced debaters, that in aqua with these fish, periodically you need to raise the temperature to 35 degrees. They appeal to the fact that the fish begins to cleanse the body as a result of the revitalization of the intestine.

I will not argue with this, as I do not consider a debater to myself, it’s just possible to take this advice into my own hands.

In addition, high-quality biological filtration and good aeration should be present in the water. Once a week we replace on a mandatory basis 1/3 of water for fresh. Another piece of advice from experienced debaters: instead of weekly changes, do 1/10 of the water change every day with a mandatory ground siphon.

You can find out how to siphon the primer in this article. This advice, I also recommend to adopt, as smart people will not tell nasty things.

It feeds on green discus plant and live food. It is not advisable to feed the fish with dry bloodworms and dry crustaceans.

Adults can be fed 2-3 times a day with artificial feed. When the fish goes to spawn, live food is introduced into their diet, just not the bloodworm, but specially prepared stuffing. To do this, take a well-washed beef heart and twist in a meat grinder.

In this stuffing, you can add liver, squid and spinach leaves, and in the end there are also added vitamins. Next, the mixture is placed in a plastic container and put in the freezer.

Immediately before feeding the fish, a part is cut off from the common piece and rubbed on a grater.

Sexually mature discus begins at the age of two years. If your pets live in a large aquarium, then puberty may come faster.

For the breeding of these fish from an aquarist you will need to have in your arsenal a minimum of 100-liter spawning, which is installed in the most quiet room of your apartment. Soil and plants are not needed in it, only snags, stones and ceramic dishes. From the aquarium equipment should be a filter and heater with a thermostat.

Water in spawning should have the following parameters: water temperature from 30 to 32 degrees, hardness – no more than 3, acidity – 5.5-6.5 pH.

An already formed pair is placed in the spawning tank, they are easy to see in the pack, as the fish constantly swim together. A signal of readiness for spawning is the twitching of the fins and the cleaning of the substrate. As a rule, discus spawns in the evening.

During one spawning, the female can lay up to 250 eggs, which the male fertilizes immediately after spawning. The spawning process itself takes 40-50 minutes.

While parents are caring for caviar and fry, they need to be fed in small quantities so that the remnants of food will not rot. As with many tsikhlovyhs, there are cases when the first clutches of discus are eaten, but this passes with time.

After 3-4 days fry appear from the eggs, and after 4 days the fry already swim around the aquarium and feed. All movements of the fry on the aquarium are accompanied by vigilant supervision of the parents. At first, you will have to change every day up to of the volume of water to fresh, and it is imperative that the substitute water has the same chemical parameters.

In the first month of their life, the fry feed on the skin secretions of their parents. As soon as the secret on the skin of one parent ends, the second parent swims up and the fry continue to eat. In view of this feature, parents can begin to fight for offspring.

It is treated simply – it is enough to divide the aquarium into two parts with Plexiglas, and leave a couple of centimeters below the gap so that the fry can swim to one or the other parent.

But there are cases when both parents have no secret. If the fry are not fed with artificial feed, they can die.

A good feed for fry are egg powder cakes. Fry should be fed up to 4 times per day.

After the next meal, the fry should be transferred to the aqua with clean water. After 3-4 days you can feed the fry already with Artemia nauplii and Cyclops.

If your fry were raised on artificial food, then becoming parents, they will not be able to highlight the secret, and you will have to feed new fry as artificial feed.

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