Raising Discus Fry Artificially

Discussion in 'Breeding' started by Marco, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi Everyone

    After a recent detailed discussion with @Dirk Bellstedt regarding the state and future of Discus breeding, he explained to me how in Germany Discus are now being bred Parasite free and explained the advantages to me.
    This discussion inspired me to also convert my hatchery to a Parasite free environment in the near future.
    Now doing this leaves you with two options
    !) Buy parasite free stock from a breeder
    2) Raise current Discus stock's fry artificially in a parasite free environment, and once done these fish can then be left to raise their own parasite free fry in future.

    Not wanting to "lose" all my present stock with this new direction, I decided that I will have to find a way of raising the fry Artificially so that I can then have fry to select future breeders from.

    This obviously needed much research into this field, and after realising the amount of conflicting information out there, along with a freshly hatched batch of Discus fry, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give this a go!
    I stole approx 25 Wrigglers from a pair with fry and started my preperations! This involved readying enough water for water changes for the fry with exact water parameters, rigging a nursery and lastly. . . finding food for them.
    I opted for a mix of boiled egg yolk, raw egg and some simple vitamins and enrichers.
    Last week Saturday the fry became free swimming and at 15h00 I started with the first feeding.
    I followed a very strict feeding and water change regime, feeding every 2hours coupled with a full water change.
    Poor @jedigenie had to hear me moaning and groaning of lack of sleep whenever we had a chat. Thanks for the moral support buddy! I literally woke up three times a night to feed, wait for the fry to finish, do the water change and try go back to sleep for another two hours.

    On wednesday I started feeding brine shrimp which was a laugh. The fry, not quite ready for the brine resorted to tearing them apart, but eventually enough was eaten for them to have full tummy's!
    Today is day 8 and of the initial 20 odd fry I have 12 left (cant explain the other deaths) and all are now eagerly eating Brine shrimp. I still get up at night. . .and still feed every 2 hours.

    All that I have to wait for now is to see if the fry will developed normally and that all nescessary parts to make them complete discus will develop completely.
    This was my first attempt at this, and I never thought I'd actually try this. Not for the faint hearted, I can vouch for that. However, its quite an amazing feeling to know that in a small way, I cheated nature. I do not mean the last comment in arrogance or disrespect, those of you that know me will understand.

    Soon to follow some pics of my Plastic Discus!!

    Regards

    Marco
     
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  3. tracyp

    tracyp Lotus

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    I think this is called dedication!!! It will be amazing to hear how these "Plascus" turn out, and whether they will also grow so much larger as the german ones do. I was fascinated to read Dirks post on this, and am hugely impressed that you've given it a go.

    Can't wait to see the plascus pics! Well done, mate!
     
  4. jedigenie

    jedigenie

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    Hey man, I am only too glad to help out in any way possible. This is histoty in the making after all :)

    Much respect for your dedication and perseverance. Like I've said to you before, you should grow a 3rd arm so you can pat yourself on the back 24/7 :)
     
  5. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi @tracyp The ones I have now managed to keep alive are not para-free yet. I first wanted to make sure that I could actually raise them before going through the para-free trouble. Thats not far off though. Got a great deal on 4ft tanks from @Petstop-thanks for that Moolis, and once they arrive I'll give this a genuine go! @jedigenie 3 arms would be a help. . . Pic I sent you is of Rio madeira pair FINALLY spawning bud! (took them forever!) Have about 200 eggs, and they will now be my 1st attempt at para-free fish. They are such gorgeous creatures, just hope the fry are AS nice! Rgds Marco
     
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  6. farmer

    farmer farmer

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    Hi Marco , As @tracyp says this really is dedication . Does anybody know if discus fry in the wild feed on the parents during the night . Being in the tropics it will be dark for 11-12 hrs every night . Congratulations on the Rio Madeira pair spawning . Lets hope everything will go as planned . Even if it does not , if they have spawned once they will do it again . Any change of sending me the picture you send @jedigenie of the rio madeira pair . I am holding thumbs for you and good luck
     
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  7. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi @farmer Discus fry ALWAYS eat! Haha I can mms you that pick. Just pm me your cell nr. then I will send it you. Just want to clarify, 'Rio Madeira royal blue' is just the name I'm giving it. No intention or claim that these are genuine Rio Madeira's, they just resemble Rio Madeira's very much. I am very anxious to see their fry. Rgds Marco
     
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  8. Vis

    Vis Gerhard

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    Hi MarcEither I posted somewhere and there is going to be confusion in that thread orit did not post.Anyway, how do you ensure the transferred fry are parasite free?Gerhard
     
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    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi @Vis Gerhard, it quite a process. First its a matter of ensuring the tanks are sterile, all equipment used and all fittings also. This is a big job in itself. Then the eggs must be removed, cleaned and put in clean parasite free water. Its a big process and from what I understand from the German info, it sometimes can go wrong even with all the prep work. I'll try and at 8 weeks send a cull to Onderstepoort to have it tested for any parasites. Then only will I know for sure.
     
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  10. Slojo

    Slojo

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    Can such parasite-free discus become infected again?(Maybe a bit of a rethorical question)
     
  11. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi @Slojo Yes, they can easily get reinfected, and once done it is impossible to clean that fish again. There is very limited literature about this, and the pieces available are all in German. . .thank goodness for Google translator Marco
     
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  12. Slojo

    Slojo

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    German I can read and translate :)
    So this will be a "sterile" environment until they reach maturity.:(
    I am sure it will be well worth the effort,as such fish will sell for way,way more than other Discus.Just do not get too attached to them.
     
  13. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    @Slojo, Apart from that bud, it makes keeping and raising Discus much easier. I recently lost my male BD to a flagellate problem that just wouldnt surrender. I tried my heart out to save him, but in the end he lost the battle. With para-free fish that problem will not occur again! Apart from bad fish husbandry and wrong medicine, parasites are the biggest Discus killer out there. They are becoming more and more immune to the available drugs, and soon I can see us struggling to get rid of them. With para-free fish you dont have that problem, and since there is no "taxing" done on the intestinal system, you get Big and healty fish!
     
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  14. mattie

    mattie

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  15. Anine

    Anine

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    what's the reasoning behind having a completely parasite free fish from 'birth'? would that create an adult fish a compromised 'immunity' against parasites? or would you have to keep said adult fish in a complete parasite-sterile environment indefinitely?
     
  16. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi @Anine The sad part is that no fish is ever immune to parasites. On the contrary, parasites lower fish immunity against other forms of disease and bacteria. Its like a human being with tapeworms-you will never become immune to the worm. It 'steals' nutrients from you and while it benefits from you, you do not benefit from it. Due to the loss of nutrients you then suffer a lowered immunity. Parasite free fish easily become infected with parasites, but in observation has proven to have a stronger immunity against disease. Obviously due to the fact that its biological system is not supporting, and thus being drained by parasites. Rgds Marco
     
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  17. Laracroft

    Laracroft

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    I think you need pay Germany and visit? Hope that is in your plans?
     
  18. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi

    So here they are, rolled out for their first photo shoot

    Hand raised fry.JPG

    BIG HEY!!!!!

    Hahaha

    Hand raised fry.JPG
     
  19. Vis

    Vis Gerhard

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    Looks like you are winning little by little. Should really come and visit in Aug.
     
  20. OP
    Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi Vis

    You must. By then these guys should at least "look" like discus hey! Lets hope so.

    You are always welcome

    Marco
     
  21. farmer

    farmer farmer

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    Any more news ?
     

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