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Discus spawned for 1st time - what should I do?


Lynne
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My discus have spawned for the first time. Their eggs are on wood and in a position where I can't see them without peering down the end of my tank to the far end, so visibility is distorted and virtually nil. I have 4 other discus, 2 whiptails, 5 mollies of varying ages and a couple of neons in the tank. I noticed the eggs two nights ago. I am going to get a tank divider to keep the parents and eggs away from other fish. I'm unsure what to do after that. Will the parents eat them? When and if the fry hatch, should I keep them with the parents? If so for how long? :o

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Hi Lynne,

Congrats! Raising discus (or even getting them past eggs/wrigglers) is a difficult task. You're lucky in the fact that mom and dad have laid eggs in a spot that's hard to see. My advice is, put in the divider, feed twice a day and let them do their thing.

You can't really remove fry from mom and dad as they 'need' to feed of the parents for a couple of weeks after starting to swim around.

So here's a few things to know - eggs hatch 2-3 days after being laid. Wrigglers are cared for by mom and dad for three days after that and then they start swimming and (hopefully) find mom and dad and start feeding.

Keep your water quality good, continue water changes as normal and if your filter inlet is on the same side of the divider as mom and dad and eggs do something about that so the fry don't get sucked up.

If you lose this batch mom and dad will probably have another go in a week. You can always try getting a breeding tank for them, if you're serious about breeding them but you're in for a long learning process to get there.

Good luck!

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Well, perhaps spawned isn't the right word, I don't know but the eggs that were there for the last 2 days can't be seen any more (well the little I could see of them anyway). I have put a divider in to separate out the other fish from the mum and dad. Both mum and dad are still hovering about in the same spot despite eggs not being evident. Perhaps they are now little fishies and I can't see them. Any ideas?

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As I said, you'll have to give them space. Mom and dad have chosen their spawning site and you've done the right thing separating them from the rest of the tank. The more you look the higher the chance mom or dad will get nervous and eat the youngsters. Best of luck!

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from what ive read dont do water changes while the eggs havent hatched, any slight change in params could kill them (this is only what ive read, no personal experience). and dont worry about losing them, they can take quite a few times to actually get it right and congrats on having stable enough params for them to spawn!

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Both mum and dad are still hovering about in the same spot despite eggs not being evident. Perhaps they are now little fishies and I can't see them.

In my experience, if M&D are staying there after the eggs have disappeared, then the babies are there, under where they hatched prolly, and you'll see them shortly up in a cloud with the parents.

They will stay there for a reason, but if the eggs were eaten they will carry on with life until next spawning time.

Once again, I have noted about 14 days between spawns.

Alan 104

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  • 4 weeks later...

My discus, subject of the above messages have spawned for the 4th time. The eggs are on a magnetic glass cleaner, where they have laid their previous 3 batches. The last batch hatched into fry, this is the furthest I have got with fry so far. I noted the parents would swoop down when a fry dislodged from the nest, collect the fry in it's mouth and spit it back into the nest - both parents would do this. After a few days they moved the fry to a piece of wood. It was about the 7th day (I think) after I first saw the eggs that the fry become free swimming. I have a divider in my tank separating the 'family' from 3 other discus and some other fish. The parents would front up to the divider and defend their babies against curious discus on the other side of the tank. While this was happening, the babies would dart about, sometimes too close to the divider (which is plastic with tiny holes, you know the type you buy at aquariums). If the babies got too close, the non parent discus would suck them through the holes! So I put another offcut of this plastic stuff on the opposite side of the tank so that the non parent discus couldn't suck the babies through. Anyway, I did this one morning and when I got home at night I could only detect 3 fry. When I went to bed that night no fry were left. Now they have spawned again. I'm concerned that I am not doing enough for them. The parents seem to be very good at protecting their young. Should I be feeding them something different? I thought the fry fed from the parents so I wasn't feeding the fish anything other than what I would normally.

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Mum is a Marlborough and the other one is a peachy base with blue snake skin type markings and blue shots through the fins.

When should I transfer the fry? At what age? The longest I have got so far is a day or two after swimming free.

I'm reluctant to separate them from the parents because I don't have the ability to stay home and care for them - that four letter word WORK gets in the way!

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You need to set up a breeding tank for them to be by themselve. Bare bottom (no gravel) , a sponge filter and temp set to 28 deg. You can put a cone in for them to spawn on if you want.

That way you can leave them with their parents when they go free swimming. They will feed on the parents slime coating for the first couple of weeks, after that you will have to feed them brineshrimp so they will grow. I start feeding them newly hatch brineshrimp 5 days after they go free swimming.HTH

Ronnie

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Well the eggs from 4th spawning are now fry. Mum and Dad are vigilant with their faces hovering near the nest 24/7 When the fry dislodge or swim the parents suck them up and spit them back in the nest. I am sitting with fingers crossed. :o

Q1. Can I do a water change now the fry are out of the eggs but not yet free swimming?

Q2. I understand the fry will feed from the parents slime, and when they are free swimming I can feed them newly hatched brine shrimp. Can someone enlighten me the 'newly hatched brine shrimp' procedure? I have frozen brine shrimp for baby mollies but I expect newly hatched is something different.

Q3. Can the parents accidently kill the fry with their sucking/spitting procedure. (I've seen a couple of dead ones that the parents keep sucking up and spitting back) :-?

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Hi Lynne,

Congrat on the spawn.

Yes you can do a small waterchange. Make sure the new water you put in are of the same PH.

Start feeding them newly hatch brineshrimp 5 days after free swimming. Frozen brine shrimp are no good to newly hatch fry cos' they're too small to eat them and will pollute the water. Depending on how many fry you got , just start by putting abit in to get them use to it. Best to remove uneaten food after 1 hr or the dead brineshrimp will pollute the water.

If you don't keep the water clean the fry will end up getting flukes and die.

The parents will not kill the fry by sucking them and spitting them back out.

All advice are base on my experience and hope it helps.

Ronnie

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