How to Raise a Baby Discus Fish

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Discus fish
Discus fish (Image: Photo courtesy of Jessa B.C. - Flickr)

Discus fish are freshwater fish most often found in the Amazon River Basin. They are popular aquarium fish and can range in price from $30 to more than $300. Raising baby discus fish can be difficult because the parents sometimes eat their children. Chemical levels and other factors relating to captivity in an aquarium can also cause problems during breeding. Once the discus fish are spawned, there are steps you can take to improve their odds of survival to maturity.

Things You'll Need

  • Brine shrimp
  • Fine fish food
  • Second aquarium tank
  • Water treatment agent
  • Aquarium heat lamp

Install a heat lamp atop your aquarium and set the temperature to 85 degrees.

Make sure the water is optimized for the development of your fish. Check with your local pet store about your area's water and what you need to do to make it safe for your baby fry.

Decide how long you want the fish fry to be with their parents. It is the owner's choice, but be sure to separate the adults from the spawn before the next batch of fry, otherwise the parents may eat the baby discus fish.

Separate the parents from the children in separate tanks.

Feed the fry with brine shrimp or fine fish food.

Remove poorly-developed fish as soon as you notice them if you are breeding for profit. Small, arrow-shaped or otherwise deformed fish do not sell well and will only be an encroachment on your other fish and a waste of resources. Culling of your fish should be done every couple weeks until they reach maturity.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep an eye on your tank's pH level and the pH of any water you add to the tank. Baby discus fish are very sensitive to fluctuations in pH.
  • If you see adult discus fish cleaning an area in the aquarium to lay their spawn, quickly remove them before they birth another batch.

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