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ROCKY MOUNTAIN DISCUS FISH CARE
THE DISCUS FISH DIET
We can intelligently approach the formulation of a nutritionally complete and balanced discus fish diet
having a basic understanding of discus fish nutrition. Discus fish nutrition is
covered in detail here:
Discus Fish Nutrition
We know a lot about the discus fish diet in wild discus in that the stomachs of
captured wild discus fish contain small shrimp, insects and insect larvae, small fish and fair amounts of plant material. When discus
fish eat, they appear to mouth the food and spit it out before recapturing it and swallowing it. The reason for this is their teeth, or lack of teeth. Discus fish do not have teeth, but rather grinders in the jaw. The scientific name ”symphysodon” means jaw grinders. So
when the discus fish is eating, food is taken into the mouth, ground up and spit out, then picked up again for regrinding before swallowing. During this process, many food particles fall to the bottom
of the discus fish aquarium. Discus fish will expel water at foods resting on the
aquarium bottom, then pick them up as they float. Discus fish are poor predators and many baby guppies have grown to maturity in a discus
aquarium. This behavior in feeding discus fish indicates a discus fish diet consisting primarily of nonmotile
worms, crustaceans and insect larvae. Studies done on commercial fish show
different needs for carnivores versus herbivores, fresh versus marine and cold
versus warm water fish. By comparing the requirements of fresh water carnivores, which live in a warm environment, we can formulate a complete
discus fish diet.
Published accounts of discus fish care by various discus breeders tells us that discus are very flexible in their dietary preferences
regarding their discus fish diet. Some discus fish breeders feed single source foods such as brine shrimp, beef heart or bloodworms. Other
discus fish breeders feed live foods. The average discus fish breeder uses a combination of frozen foods and dry foods.
We can summarize the following on the discus fish diet:
1. Discus fish need a minimum of 40-45% protein in their diet. Discus fry would benefit from a minimum of 55% protein in their diet.
2. Discus fish can utilize both saturated and unsaturated fats as
Fat supplementation at 20% of the discus diet is tolerated as long as
sufficient essential fatty acids (1-2%) are supplied.
such as sugars are probably utilized but the more complex starches are poorly
4.Because discus are a soft water fish (water low in minerals), a
calcium/phosphorus ratio of 1:35 should be supplied in the discus fish diet.
An important consideration in formulating the discus fish diet should be variety.
While discus may live and even reproduce on a non-varied diet, the deficiencies
that occur may account for vague problems such as slow growth and outbreaks of disease. Any live food
added to the discus fish diet carries an element of risk with it. Some discus breeders feed a diet that consists
of only beef heart. A varied discus fish diet can meet dietary requirements using a combination of commercial
discus fish foods. Live, frozen or a homemade frozen discus fish food
containing the proper ingredients should be utilized in the discus fish diet.
For The Rocky Mountain Discus Fish Food Recipe:
Discus Fish Food Recipe.
The discus fish diet for Rocky Mountain Discus Hatchery is: Hikari frozen
bloodworms, Hikari frozen brine shrimp, our recipe beef heart food, Omega One
Super Color Flake Food, Omega One First Flake Food and Omega One Kelp Super
Veggie Flake Food. Young discus fish fry are always hungry should be fed much
more frequently, in smaller amounts, than older discus. Our discus fish adults are fed twice a day. Discus breeder adults need
a balanced diet consisting of high
Excerpt from The Discus Fish Care Handbook
"Article On Discus Fish Diet"
by Al Johnson, Copyright 1997
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