These discus fry are doing so well they are 9 days old now and are getting bigger and stronger. This batch of fry are going to have tons of peppering on their foreheads it…

These discus fry are doing so well they are 9 days old now and are getting bigger and stronger. This batch of fry are going to have tons of peppering on their foreheads it is already noticeable. The parents are doing good as usual. But I have a question for you all. My male the blue one is supposedly a green checkerboard but i personally think he is a captive breed green wild or a wild cross. He shows many characteristics of a green wild so yall tell me what you all think. i would love to have your input.

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Comment by Robert Jango on June 20, 2012 at 3:25am

By "Wild Greens" do you mean Heckels? My understanding is that the only wilds being imported these days are Heckels and these are pretty easy to spot. Check out pictures of Heckels online. I'm also going to let my inexperience show here and confess that I'm unfamiliar with the term Green Checkerboard. Do "Green Checkerboards" look like Wild Greens/Heckels?  And add to that the fact that your Green Checkerboard or Wild Green/Wild Green Cross is blue and I'm starting to feel confused.

If you really want to cut to the chase, I would contact the seller and ask him about the fish's origin. I'm guessing the fish comes out of SouthEast Asia or from a local breeder. Either one of them would probably be happy to share with you whether or not they're using Wilds in their operation - once you figure out how to contact them. In fact they'd probably brag about it. Wilds are necessary part of any serious, large scale breeding operation for maintaining genetic diversity.

I was just thinking...  too bad I saw your post tonight; I just went to a Boston Aquarium Society meeting last night and had a few beers with a local Discus breeder. Besides being a lot of fun, he really knew his stuff - a very serious fish dude. He's been to SE Asia and knew ridiculous details about breeding operations and the business side of things. Unfortunately I was having so much fun (too drunk) to get his email address or number. I'll have to wait another month to talk to him. 

There may be one other way to determine if your male is a Wild though. How much did you pay for him? Wild imported Heckels are $$$!!! A Wild Cross would probably be less but still pretty high. Sorry I cant help you more Sydney + still working on the questionnaire.

Thanks for the update. Fish look awesome.

Comment by Sidney Hornsby on June 20, 2012 at 9:42am

this is a wild green. My male shows many traits of these. these are not heckels.

this is a heckel heckel show a very promidate fifth line on their bodies.

a green checkerboard discus looks like the one on bottom left the bottom right is my male.

my checker board male cost about $68 from my local pet store. He gets my discus from a man that breeds them in California.

Comment by Robert Jango on June 20, 2012 at 7:27pm

Excellent post Sydney; you really broke it down for me. My line of thought was if breeders are using Heckels to inject genetic diversity into their stock; why the need to import aequifasciatums? But after checking a few sites its obvious someones buying them. The market is jumping.

 Here's what I think about your male:

1) In the videos your darkened male looks like he could be wild but based on the bottom right picture of him, he looks too colorful. The coloration of the Wild Green (top left picture) is  consistent wild caught specimens and about as colorful as you'll see in a wild Discus. 

2) If your male was wild you can bet your bottom dollar you'd know about it. A dealer would be remiss to label a wild Discus as "domestic" when the price of wilds is so much higher.


I was checking the price for Wild Greens on Aquabid and some dude in Oregon is selling one for $75. That was the lowest price I could find but its consistent with the $68 you paid for yours. Besides $68 is a little high for a domestic Checkerboard Green anyway. Additionally, it wouldn't be the first time a local fish dealer was just too bored with the business to care how his fish are labeled - as long as he gets his price.  And the price does suggest you got something more than a domestic checkerboard.

Based on the price, I'm thinking your male may be the product of a wild parent but, in my opinion, he's way too colorful to be fully wild. Once again, check with your fish dealer to find out the name of the supplier. He may not want to give it to you thinking you'll order directly from California in the future, but explain your dilemma and reluctance to order fish online and if he's reasonable he'll help you out. You can also make out like you're gonna buy a bunch of stuff and hold off paying until he gives you the name of the supplier. (What can I say? It works.)

Comment by Sidney Hornsby on June 21, 2012 at 12:37pm

me and my dealer are really good friends so i wouldnt do that to him but he has already tryed to help me and he called the breeder and come to find out that my males father was a wild green, go figure lol. his mother was a green checkerboard and most of the babies looked more checker than wild. But come to figure out that he has got a few calls from people with siblings of my male and has found out that when green checkerboards/wild green hybrids turn darker and for black bans on their dorsel fins tail and anel fin when breeding and caring for their children.

which discus turn darker anyway but with this type of hybrid they will look like a wild. (their father in this case)

and in the picture of my male in my last comment was before him and his partner became a pair. That is why he looks like a checkerboard. so he may stay the color he is now since he has pair up and is breeding.

Comment by Robert Jango on June 21, 2012 at 2:41pm

Interesting piece of information. Looks like you got a good Discus. And what did you say the mother was? A green checkerboard? If so, you're gonna have some pretty babies. 

I was seriously considering stocking my pond with Discus and overwintering them inside, but I only have room for one cichlid species at a time and right now I'm concentrating on getting true Altum Angels. As far as I know nobody in the US is breeding them. I offered good $$$ to the guy in my area who imports from South America but he says its tricky business especially in the summertime when the roads in the Amazon Basin are nearly impassable. Its that first leg of the journey - from the waterway to the airport that kills them. He also suspects some of the fishermen mistreat them. They often arrive dead or close to it.

Altums and Arawanas are the only fish I love more than the Discus. Its like a regular Angel but twice as high. An adult can fill out a 55 gallon tank from top to bottom. They can be mean & nasty though - not like regular Angels - and kill each other if placed to close together in a tank.  My only chance of mating them would be in the pond during the summer. I'm jealous of your long summers. 

Comment by Sidney Hornsby on June 22, 2012 at 10:59am

yes his mother is a green checkerboard

and hopefully they are going to be pretty lol

but to the pond thing idk if discus would do a that great. how would you keep the water at the right temp because my goldfish pond stays around 70 degrees F in the summer. and im in the south.

Comment by Robert Jango on June 22, 2012 at 1:17pm

Good question. Right now my pond is 90F but we've had two 100 degree days in a row. Because I don't circulate the water the the temperature stratifies and can get pretty high on the surface where it soaks in the sun all day. Its the same way where Discus live - temperature readings can vary 20 degrees depending on the depth and the PH can swing from 4.5 to almost 8!

Care instruction online and in books give you the impression that tropical fish are little automobiles that come with manuals. It makes you wonder how fish survive in the wild without filters, airstones, vitamin pellets, and water changes.  Not that I would mess with fish in an artificial enclosure like an aquarium, but in nature all bets are off. My pond is full of leaves and whatever God-forsaken things fall in, yet the ammonia and nitrate reads 0. Try doing that in a little an aquarium!  It also helps that my pond is huge - 20,000 gallons. I'm not sure about small ponds around the same size as Dustin's.

My experience has been anything added to the pond is rejuvenated. Colors and growth go through the roof, and health in general is optimized. In Southeast Asia Discus are bred in tanks as a way to control the process, but the breeders will tell you they do as just as well or better outside in wild-type settings. Right now I'm keeping a bunch of different fish outdoors including some cheap Angelfish that were added last week. I'm adding one Discus today - the one that was getting bullied. I'm only adding expendable fish because when the fall comes there's no guarantee I can net them out. That's my real problem - the logistics behind removing fish from a 25' X 30' X 4' pond.

I'll let you know how the Discus and Angels do. If the experiment works, (and I can net them out in September) I'm gonna take it one step further next year and give my good Discus and hopefully some Altums a summer vacation.   

Comment by Sidney Hornsby on June 22, 2012 at 10:18pm

ok sounds good keep me posted. And do you have any water flow in the pond that always helps a little i think cause i had a good size pond back in the day when a messed around with mollies and they breed and actual over filled the pond had to sell them every now and then. So if you want to maybe thinking about a small water fall here and there would be cool. and if you need help i can show you some good ways to make homemade water falls.

Comment by Robert Jango on June 23, 2012 at 12:27am

I'm glad my pond is doing fine without any water flow but I know it would be better to have some especially if the pond starts to become overpopulated with goldfish. I'm not worried about the tropicals though because they come out in September - hopefully not frozen. At the moment I'm overwhelmed with work and can't imagine starting a waterfall right now but I must admit I've been kicking around the idea for a while. And since you asked I actually do have a question about waterfalls.

My pond has a very muddy bottom with lots of debris plus there's all kinds of stuff in the water like insect larvae, baby fish, plants, etc. How could I design an intake tube near the bottom of the pond without it constantly getting clogged? I'm thinking if I made the opening too wide it would  suck everything up including adult fish. Am I just wrong about this?


How long were you able to keep Mollies in the pond before removing them or were they able to survive year-round?

Comment by Sidney Hornsby on June 23, 2012 at 12:45pm

well i dont know of anyway to make a intake tube near the bottom of the pond with out it getting clogged. but with my ponds I have netting over them which keeps things that I dont want in there like leaves, branches, and water moccasins. It does a pretty good job too. Because earlier this summer we had a really bad problem with the snakes and the new born babies. but the netting kept them out and we were able to catch the snakes. but if you already have things in your pond the only thing i could say would be clean it by hand to the best you can then get a very strong but thin netting with small netting design and do that . It may work but the size of your pond may be difficult to cover completely.

and to the mollie question they lived year round. but they can live in little colder temps than angels and discus. and our winters arent as bad.


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