Saturday, February 20, 2010



Breeding Discus – 3 Ways to Encourage Spawning

Posted: 20 Feb 2010 03:07 AM PST

Breeding Discus – 3 Ways to Encourage Spawning
by: Rob Clarke

So you have a mature pair of discus fish that have shown an interest in each other but there not laying any eggs.

The most important factor in discus breeding in the water quality, make sure it is soft, acidic and clean. If you have this water, your most likely stressing over why there isn't hundreds of eggs in the tank. If you have discus ready to lay eggs there are a few ways in which you can give them a helping hand.

The first way you can tempt them to lay is to feed a rich diet of frozen bloodworms for about a week. Feed it everyday as well as their other meal. This should condition the female and get her ready to breed. Other foods that are good for breeding discus are white worm, adult brine shrimp and chopped up crab sticks or prawns. Make sure you buy frozen food as there is less chance of disease.

Another way to encourage your discus to breed is by doing a 25% water change but drop the temperature by a couple of degrees of the water going in. This imitates there natural habitat and can trigger spawning. This is a little trick I use on all my young pairs when trying to get them to spawn. Make sure all the pH and hardness is the same making only the temperature different.

The third trick in getting your discus to breed is by separating them for a couple of days before reintroducing them. To do this you can add a tank divider or move the male to another aquarium. Make sure the female gets plenty to eat when the male is away. When you reintroduce the discus just keep a close watch over the next 24 hours as males have known to be aggressive towards the female. They should start the courtship over the next couple of days and hopefully lay eggs after.

There are more ways to encourage your discus to breed as well as many more tips on breeding and caring for discus fish on my site

About The Author

Rob owns Discus Fish Secrets website helping begginners and advanced fishkeepers with discus problems including keeping and breeding them. Please visit the site for more information on breeding discus

Aquarium Supplies Part 1 - My First Experience With Bettas

Posted: 19 Feb 2010 08:47 PM PST

Aquarium Supplies Part 1 - My First Experience With Bettas
by: Jonathan Wangsa

Keeping fish as pets takes more than just feeding them and changing the water every once in a while. Sadly, many people aren't aware of that and they just buy aquarium fish because they're attractive. After a short while the fish start to get sick and die one after the other, and the newbie would lose interest in the hobby and give it up all together.

Basic knowledge of fish keeping, together with the right aquarium supplies, is crucial to the livelihood and longevity of your fish. It's important to maintain the optimum living conditions for your fish and other living things you may have in your aquarium if you are to enjoy them for a long time.

To illustrate this, I shall share with you my own experiences when I got started with this hobby for the very first time as a child. The first experience was with bettas and the second with goldfish; two different kinds of fish with different requirements.

My first pet fish were a pair of bettas (a male and a female) which my mom bought me because she knew that I liked fish and felt sorry for me because a toy fish was all I had.

We put the bettas in a small plastic jar with a floating live plant. The male was aggressive. He continuously chased after the female and attacked her until she was full of bruises. One night, running out of place to hide, the female desperately jumped out of the water onto the floor. Fortunately I was nearby and was able to save her.

My mom then suggested that we separate the fish. So we put the female in a different jar. However, I felt that the female was lonely. So one day I asked my mom if I could buy another fish. There was a beautiful green male betta that I decided to buy.

At that time I didn't know that bettas were fighting fish and that the males would fight with each other. So at first I decided to put the new male in the same container as the first male. I knew the first male was aggressive and I just wondered how he would react toward another male.

To my amazement the two males fought with each other and there was no sign that they would stop. After a while I got worried. I didn't want any of them to die so I finally separated them and put the new male together with the female, and to my pleasant surprise they got along pretty well.

However, that little jar was kind of small for a pair of fish although they got along. So, we decided to move the fish to a much larger plastic container. Later I added a couple more females so that it became sort of a betta community tank.

Being fascinated by the beauty of the male bettas, I bought a couple more and put each in individual jars. I fed them dried food and occasionally bread. However, I fed them too much. The water would become cloudy fast from fish waste and uneaten food. So, I completely changed the water every other day. I would fill up the jar with new water right from the tap.

As you might guess, the fish didn't last very long. After only a few months they started to get sick and eventually one after the other died.

Dirty water, untreated new water, fluctuating water temperatures, and trauma from being moved frequently during water changes were some of the factors that contributed to the fish's low resistance to diseases.

Although it's acceptable to keep bettas in relatively small containers without aeration, it would be much better to put them in a tank of at least 2 gallons, and you would still need to observe certain basic things such as not feeding them too much and setting aside new water to equilibrate the temperature and remove chorine prior to water changes.

I was only about 10 years old at the time and didn't know anything about fish keeping. Neither did my mom. Also, back then there were very few books about aquarium fish and the aquarium supplies were not as sophisticated as they are today.

Today, there are plenty of good books and magazines as well as web sites about fish aquariums. So, if you're serious about taking up this hobby, you should start by reading a few of them and gain the basic knowledge before you even buy your aquarium and fish.

In the next article you will learn what happened when I tried to keep some goldfish, also with very little knowledge. In the mean time I invite you to visit my web site (see below) to learn more about aquarium fish keeping.

About The Author

Jonathan Wangsa is the webmaster of There you can find resources and information about aquarium supplies and other aquarium related topics. Whether you're an expert or a newbie, you can also share your own experiences. Get a Free Special Report when you sign up for a Free Monthly Newsletter.

Koi Food Secrets to Raising Quality Koi

Posted: 19 Feb 2010 07:42 AM PST

Koi Food Secrets to Raising Quality Koi
by: RC Moore

Japanese koi are the most colorful and magnificent fish that you can keep in any fresh water environment. The different color and pattern variations associated with the different koi varieties can be like an artist painting on each fish. Even the white of the Platinum Ogon koi can be breathtaking. Especially for a fish that can grow to 30 inches and live to 50 years in the right environment. From the Asagi to the Utsuri, there are many factors involved in raising these magnificent koi. Many koi keepers have done all the right things in creating a koi pond large enough, with plenty of water movement and filtration to keep and grow large koi. They may buy quality Japanese koi that started out looking great, but as time goes by may loose koi to disease or have the colors seem to wash out. Many koi keepers overlook the importance of using a premium koi food that meets all the nutritional needs of their koi. It's like humans eating a diet of junk food and expecting to be trim and healthy and live a long life.

Bentonite Clay

The Japanese have spent many years developing the different breeds by careful selection and also developing their own formulas of food for the best growth, color, and health. The best koi in the world are grown in mud ponds in the fertile valleys of Niigata in Japan. The reason for this is because of the minerals present in the clay of these mud ponds that ad to the color and health of the koi. Dainichi is the only koi food that incorporates bentonite clay in their koi foods. Bentonite clay contains over 60 minerals and trace elements that aid in enhancing digestion and growth, as well as neutralizing metabolic toxins. Koi that have a poor diet will show up in the whites looking dingy, especially in the face where it will look more yellow than in the rest of the koi. You can also add bentonite clay directly to the pond water to help stabilize the water ph. Koi will ingest significant quantities of silt and other indigestible detritus from their natural environment which will act to bulk out the diet. Having gravel in the bottom of your pond gives a place for this silt and detritus to build up without having the turbid water that you would in a mud pond. It will also harbor worms and small crustaceans that the koi will feed on. Water lilies can be taken out of the pots and planted directly in the gravel adding to the ecosystem of the pond.

High Protein

The metabolism of koi reaches a peak at water temperatures of 75° F. During this time it is essential that they receive a high protein diet to aid in growth and color. They also need to be fed at least twice a day, three times is better. Koi do not have stomachs, and when their metabolism is high they forage constantly. Fish meal and krill for color are protein ingredients to look for in a high quality koi food.

Koi Eat Plants

There are a lot of people that will tell you not to put Japanese koi and plants together. Pet stores and internet articles suggest that koi will destroy any plants you put in your pond. Koi are omnivorous and need vegetable matter in their diet. A high quality koi food will contain spirulina algae which also enhances color. Since koi forage constantly it is good to grow a plant in your pond that will keep up with the appetite of the koi. Watercress is an excellent plant food source for koi. Watercress contains significant amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C, and koi love it. It is best to plant on a shallow ledge with rocks around it to keep the koi from pulling up the roots. You can buy it in the produce section of your grocery store. Just stick it in some shallow water in gravel and it will grow.

Different Foods for the Seasons

During the cooler seasons of spring and fall it is best to feed a food that is higher in vegetable matter, lower in protein, and easy to digest. In the summer months, when the water temperature is above 70° F switch to a higher protein formula. When the water temperature is above 70° F it takes about 16 hours for the food to move completely through a koi digestive tract. At 50° F it can take up to 60 hours and food intake is much less. Only feed the koi as much as they will eat within a few minutes. It is much better to feed 3 times a day in the summer months. At 50° - 55° feed 2 - 3 times a week. When the water temperature goes below 50° F do not feed the koi at all. If the food is not digested due to the low metabolism it can rot in the gut of the koi and cause death.

Cost Versus Quality

If you consider the cost of a high quality food versus the "cheap" foods, there is not that much difference. Keeping healthy koi using a high quality food means fewer outbreaks of disease and lower mortality rates. You are not spending money replacing koi or treating for disease with medications due to poor health because of a poor diet. You also have to go by weight and not just the physical size of the bag. Cheaper foods tend to be more airy while the premium foods tend to be more dense, so it looks like you are getting more food than you actually are with the cheap food. Many times, if compared by weight, the price is pretty close. In the long run it may actually be cheaper to buy the premium food. You will definitely notice the difference in the color, growth, and overall health of the koi over just a short time.

About The Author
RC Moore, Content writer for

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