To get start, first thing we need to do is brood stock selection. Paring a strain to another ( to produce what ) will be the subject presented elsewhere. Here, we just go into basic techniques.
Preparing the breeding tank:
- Breeding tank usually have volume of 100-120 liters for ease of management, not occupy much space. Typical dimensions: 0.5 x 0.6 x 0.4 m - 0.5 x 0.7 x 0.4 m - 0.4 x 0.8 x 0.4 m (length X width X height ). The back or bottom of the tank should be painted or cover by dark blue decals to create a quiet sense of space. Put the tank in a quiet place but having enough natural lighting. If there is not enough light, use a small light bulbs with a capacity of about 10 W.
- For water filter, we will use sponge (microbiology) filter (medium size).
- Air pump uses to add oxygen through sponge filter column should be adjustable to control their airflow to suit each stage of care.
- Spawning medium may be large plastic pipes, clay tiles or clay cones are commercially available.
- Siphon tube ( for cleaning bottom) needs extra screw to adjust flow rate, tube size is about 21 mm.
Choose brood stock:
-It is possible to buy proven breeding pair.
-In the case of young fishes, we need to have a group more than 6, wait sometimes for them to pair up and the pair will separate themselves from the group and stay (usually) near the filter or tank side wall. It is extremely difficult to sex discus, so this is the only way to get a sure pair.
Method for spawning:
Prepare water in the aquarium so that average pH from 5.8 to 6.2 is best. You will need Ph test kit.
To lower the pH, conventional methods are:
- Usingng pure phosphoric acid.
- Using low pH well water.
- Using water filter with activated carbon
- Feed the fishes with beef heart, turn aeration to low (air rate of 20 drops / min). Clean the tank bottom daily and replace only about 5 liters of water. Do this for 1 week and pH will automatically decrease, after reaching desired pH, we make large change of 30% every day and pH will stabilize without additional effects. In summary this method is simple and most sustainable, avoid toxic effects can be found in 3 other methods.
The fishes will spawn adhesive eggs on the medium. After 2 days, the fry hatch , and 2 days later they leave the medium to follow parents. They eat off slime on the parent as special food.
Normally fish clings to their parents for 8-10 days, then we need to feed the fry additionally with artemia. A large spawn of fry will eat all parent's slime quickly and start damaging the parent skin.
When the fry is 14 days old and can eat other foods, we can separate them from parent and raise them in their own tank.