The most exciting moment for any discus keeper is the day that their discus fish lay eggs. This is an amazing feeling an accomplishment. To know that your discus keeping skills have come to a point where your water parameters, maintenance and feeding is perfect.
The excitement is then quickly interrupted when worry and concern takes over. A million thoughts start running through your mind. What do I do now? Where am i going to put over 100 discus babies? I need to buy some more tanks and filters and maybe even a new house to be able to store all of these additional tanks!
If you discus laid eggs- no need to worry. just remain calm and follow these simple steps.
1. Determine if the eggs were fertilized.
If the eggs were fertilized they will be a goldish color. If the eggs were not fertilized they will be a white cotton like color. The white eggs will not hatch and usually the discus pair will eat the white eggs.
2. Separate the pair with the eggs from the rest of the fish in the tank.
This can be accomplished in 2 ways:
A. Remove all the other fish in the tank and place them in a different tank. That way you only have the pair and the eggs left in the tank.
B. Place a tank divider in the tank so the parents and the eggs are by themselves on one side of the tank.
A quick and cheap tank divider can be made by going to Home Depot and buying a milk create light filter for drop ceilings. This will cost you less than $15. Then cut it to size and place it in the tank.
3. Do not do any water changes until the eggs hatch. The eggs will usually hatch in about 4-5 days.
4. Once the eggs hatch the babies will attach to the sides of the parents. They will eat the slime/mucus off the sides of the parents. After 3 days of the babies eating off the parents, start feeding rotifers to the babies. Rotifers look almost like saw dust. it is very small fine grade food.
5. Once the babies are no longer eating off the parents and are eating only rotifers, then prepare a 20 gallon fish tank using the same aquarium water from your main tank. Insert a sponge filter and keep the water temp the same as your main tank. Get a turkey baster and suck up all the babies and put them in the new tank by themselves.
6. Feed the babies several times per day minimum of 3 to 5 times per day! Do a partial water change after each feeding.
The babies will grow fast. It is critical that partial water changes are performed after every feeding!
Do not be discouraged if the pair eats all the eggs the first few spawns. This is very common when the pair is young.
Once they start to spawn they will spawn every few days for the next 5 weeks!
The process involves some work but it is very exciting! I hope this helps you the next time your discus laid eggs!
Enjoy the experience and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.