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The Breeding Process Here At The Hatchery

by | Sep 3, 2018 | 11 comments

Welcome to Jack Wattley Discus, my name is Gabe Posada.
Today we’re going to go over the most crucial part of the hatchery, which is how to do the actual breeding and the way that we do it.

Water Parameters, Temperatures, and pH

We’re going to give you water parameters, temperatures, pH, the whole nine yards, and at the same time show you the conditions that the fish have and where they’re laying the eggs and how the eggs hatching, and how they breeding pairs actually take care of their babies, so welcome aboard and enjoy.

They’ll lay eggs anywhere.

As you guys can see here, this is a breeding pair of Tiger Turquoise, but we want to show you where they laid the eggs because a lot of people make this big stink about whether they have to have breeding cones, pots, or whatever. The breeding pairs will decide where they want to lay their eggs. It’s not up to you, it’s up to them. Obviously if you give them a choice or if you give them something to lay their eggs on, they will, but it’s not necessary that you go out of your way in order for them to be able to lay eggs.


The Right Water Conditions

Once the eggs are hatched and the water conditions are right, and by that I mean pH and the hardness of the water which we measuring conductivity. We want to keep the conductivity almost at rain water levels, otherwise the eggs calcify and once you get it to that level by either either using reverse osmosis or de-ionization and measuring so that you get accuracy, that’s when you’re going to have success at what you’re doing.

A Perfect Spawn

Here is a perfect spawn and then we’re going to take you now to a spawned that is hatching right now and then from there we’re going to take you to spawns that are free swimming and babies that are already growing and the entire operation, how we grow them out and the whole nine yard.
Here’s basically another pair of Tiger Turquoise. These eggs are more advanced, these guys, because I’ve already had so they are at wriggler stage and you can already see them there. The breeding pairs being very defensive. In other words, they want to cover the babies so we don’t get near them. Over here are another breeding pair of Tiger Turquoise with the baby’s already on them, feeding off their sides.

What Is The Best pH Level For Breeding Discus Fish

Everybody asks me all the time where we keep our ph levels. We try to stay above 5.5 and below 6.5. So right now we’re at 6.0 on the pH and the conductivity or the general hardness is 53 microsiemens, which is pretty low. Now, in order for us to maintain a proper pH, we add sodium carbonate to the system, to the actual sump, which keeps the pH a little bit high. Otherwise, at these low conductivity levels to pHh tends to crash. And if you go below five point five, you’ll kill off the male sperm. Anything below 5.5, the male sperm dies so the eggs will not be fertilized. The water temperature, they like it around 82 in order to be able to spawn so we’ve had the air conditioner in the entire warehouse.
Next you’ll see a, the more advanced babies on the sides. And normally we keep them on the parents for about a month until we see that the babies are ready to fend for themselves and actually break away from the parents. Once we see them meeting on their own, then we isolate them and we put them in a central system where we actually grow them out. And you’ll see that as well.

We Feed The Baby Discus Fish Artemeia

Here you have a pair of melons with their babies that are about two weeks old. And here you can see how much growth and the fact that they’re already turning around the fact that they are orange and color is because we feed them Artemeia, which is baby brine shrimp, which we had trout on a daily basis. Once they get to about this size and about two weeks we pull them from the parents so the parents can reproduce and then they get placed in a central system where it’s nothing but grow out. And what we do here is we keep the temperature somewhere around 86, 88 degrees and all the babies are in here. If for any reason we need to remove the baby’s ahead of time. Then we use coffee filters that we actually use to start the grow out process.

This Is How We Breed Discus Fish Here At Jack Wattley Discus

And basically this is how we raise all our discuss and ship them all around the world. From here, they go into the bigger tanks and then we just grow them out there. If they don’t get sold, they just continue to grow and where they get sold at different sizes or they prepare off for us and we continue to have more breeding pairs and that’s it in a nutshell. Very simple.

Made sure to Join Jack Wattley for additional discounts and helpful emails. We will continue to bring you more content in the future and like I said, we’ve been hiding because we’ve been busy, but we’ll be here forever and we’re going to give you a lot more content so you guys can enjoy your hobby more.

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Wattley Discus Admin


  1. Vinnie O'Connor

    Gabe, awesome job of explaining the breeding process. Can I use regular baking soda if my PH goes low?

    • Wattley Discus Admin

      Hey Vinnie,
      Thanks for the nice comments…
      Listen, Baking Soda is sodium bicarbonate…. It will double your hardness….
      Go to Home Depot and get pool pH up which is sodium carbonate.
      Enjoy the Hobby!

  2. Pat ostéopath

    Thank you Gabe !
    Pat Osteopath.

  3. Louis V Colacurto

    Hello Gabe,
    Thanks for the video. It was very informative.
    Can you please tell me about how much sodium carbonate you add to what volume of water when mixing into your low microsiemens water.
    Thanks, Louis

    • Gabe Posada

      I use 1 teaspoon daily in the 1800 gallon system.

  4. Mustafa


    what is the tank size you are using for breeding discus

      • Mustafa

        Many Thanks

  5. Dan

    Is 20 gallon the minimum tank size for breeding discus.

  6. Azhar

    Hay Gabe,

    There were many times my pairs hatch egg but they are not looking after the babies, then the babies dies in 2 or 3 days again they laid eggs and the same cycle continued several times.
    Please advise.


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