Are My Discus Showing Pairing Behavior?

Kiryoku

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 27, 2017
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I have 1 larger discus and 1 smaller discus (barely larger and smaller about the same). I rehomed a discus from
my girlfriends house which is the larger one, I went out and bought another one at my LFS. Me and the shop owner took the time to try our best to pick out the opposite gender based on dorsal,anal,tail,pectoral fin size and shape, body thickness, head bump, body shape, pattern, color, and abdominal shape. Now the slighty smaller one is facing the corner front of the planted tank, and the larger one keeps following it around wherever it goes. It keeps putting it’s body next to the slightly smaller one and wiggles. Sometimes it will line its head with the smaller ones tail. It seems like the smaller one is ignoring the larger one, and sometimes the larger one will peck the tail, side, abdomen, and rarely head. The smaller one will sometimes peck back, but barely. Whenever the smaller one does decide to go to a different part of the tank, the larger one immediately follows it, and stays side by side swimming all around the smaller one like it’s trying to get its attention or like it’s checking her out. I may have left some details out. But i’m open to all questions! Thanks!
 

Fish Tank Travis

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Feb 28, 2016
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Dayton, OH
As mentioned, discus do better in groups to spread the aggression of the dominant ones. Six is really the minimum number you want to have. However, the general rule is that the tank should be big enough to allow ten gallons per discus. So, a 60 gallon (55 works fine) for six, 100 gallon for ten, etc. There is an exception to these rules for breeding pairs. A proven breeding pair can be kept together in a 30 gallon (29 is fine) tank.
 

Kiryoku

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 27, 2017
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Idk, a lot of sources say signs of pairing including staying side by side, occasionally male biting females is to get her attention or pressure her into pairing. If it’s bullying, it would be chasing instead of trying to grab her attention and staying by her side. A breeder told me to look for bowing, that’s a definite sign of pairing including all of those signs I mentioned. I have however seen the larger cover the female with his body whenever i try to observe them. But if anything i’ll move them to my 90 gallon and get 9 discus in there.
 

Fish Tank Travis

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Feb 28, 2016
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Dayton, OH
But if anything i’ll move them to my 90 gallon and get 9 discus in there.
This sounds like a plan. If they are going to pair, then they can still pair in the 90 with the others, and you can separate them at that point if you wish to breed them. However, if you don’t plan to breed them and try to raise the fry, then there is really no point in separating them.
 

Kiryoku

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 27, 2017
21
9
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I moved them to a friends discus tank and they’re doing fine now.
 
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