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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just put 2 discus in my tank and they are doing well. One of them has dug a huge hole in the back corner of my tank in the sand. I'm talking 5 or 6 in deep. only one of the discus hangs out in that area so i know it is the culprit doing the digging.

Anyone seen or herd of this behavior and can shed some light on why this fish is digging.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Could be spawning behavior, or one is being territorial.

Better keep a close eye on them- if one wants to spawn and the other either isn't ready or they are both males, you may have to separate them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
their not fighting at all. they used to bicker a little when i got them but now they seem to be friends. by looking at fin angle they both seem to be male but other things, like fin shape, point to one male and one female.
It would be cool if they spawned. the are both very good looking fish.

Is their any other obvious spawning behavior that would point to her spawning?
it is the potential female doing the digging
 

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They generally don't bottom spawn. They tend to like smooth, vertical surfaces like a peice of slate. That isn't to say they can't/won't spawn on the bottom.

Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the one discus is still digging. Its made a huge hole now. Its dug through about 6 in of sand and 2 -4 in of base substrate. it is also gathering plants now (moss and some lace leaf java fern that was loose) and putting them in and around the hole.

The 2 discus have been bickering slightly more but the dominance role has changed from one to the other.

dang fish is messing with my aquascape now. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
here are some pics of the fish. They would make some good looking babies (crossing fingers).

and the tank


I think this is the female




Here is the "female" near its hole. The hole is in the back under the filters. You can see all the sand and substrate pushed forward




here is the snake skin (I think he is the male)

 

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wow...cool...a new way to breed discus..LOL
 

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oh...and WOW...i have a discus that looks EXACTLY like your 'female' one
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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She may be clearing out room to breed on your filter intake, discus seem to like doing that for some reason LOL. You may want to put a sponge over the intake if you don't want to risk fry being sucked into the filter.
 

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Hmmm, they look to young to breed/spawn IMO... And I think the other one you have is also a female... Is there a way that you could get another shot of the two on their side with their fins open???
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'l try to get the pic your asking for but that's tough to do without pulling them out of the tank.
If you are looking for fin angle then they both appear to be female ( i think that's what they are if the angle touches the tail). BUT the snakeskin has a pointed end on the dorsal fin and some extra streamer growth on the anal fin which makes me hope its a male.
They may be to young to use the fin angle tactic of sexing as i have noticed the angle is still changing and their fins are still growing (rapidly actually). and the snakeskin is getting closer to qualifying as male by its fin angle.

who knows what she is doing. lol. maybe she just likes digging. i'll put some sponges over the filters if i see her acting like she has some eggs back there
 

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Didn't quite see the pointed fin clearly in the pictures that's why I asked for another shot :)... But that's fine though, if one of the fin is pointed, you have 75% chance it's a male... Here's the link that you can use as guide/reference (not 100% guaranteed), it's one of the articles I've read way back... Good luck and happy fish keeping!
 

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2 things, you either got a mated pair trying to breed, or it's because you only got two discus in the tank and the most domanit one is picking on the weak one. discus needs to be in groups.

good growth rate is one inch a month, then after three months growth slow downs,and in a year they will be full grown. most females will get 4.5-5.0 inches long, and males 5.0-6.0 inches long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
First off; thank you khanzer for the article. That was actually the article i was basing my sexing technique off of.

fishyjoe; they are about 4 in id say. the Royal/one that i think is female is slightly larger then the snakeskin which i think is male.
they seem to get along. They mutually posture up against each other an poke each other ( mostly around feeding time or when i walk up to the tank) but it does not appear one is being mean to the other or visa versa. Its usually playful looking but on occasion it appears the digger/royal will lash out a bit sending the other back to its hiding spot for a min or two. But a few min later they are friends again.

I am considering getting another pair but i haven't seen any nice looking and healthy ones in my area lately. i saw some nice ones then i noticed ich on their fins (bummer)


Anyone;
The one doing the digging seem to be getting protective of that corner. I rarely see both discus back there in the corner together. They actually don't seem to go into each others hiding spots much at all.

Do breeding pairs hang together or do they usually stake out separate hiding spots?

They will hang out in the rest of the tank together but they both definitely have their own safe spots

Funny story for those who care.
I filled in the whole in the back corner of the tank the other day because it was getting ridiculously huge and left for work. when i came back "someone" (i think it was the digging discus) had dug a huge hole right in front in the sand. They made a huge mess of my aquascape by pushing sand over the slate walls. Whoever did it moved a lot of sand in just a few hours. My roommate said she saw the discus doing it but she also saw the pleco in the same spot after the light went out. She also said it was not nearly as big of a hole when she saw it before going to bed. Anyway, so when i got home from work i filled in the new hole then went to bed. when i woke up in the morning the hole was back where it started in the back corner of the tank and it was as big as ever. IS THIS FISH JUST MESSING WITH ME! lol maybe i'll just let it have its hole. who knows where it will dig next

I think i might put a couple pieces of slate back in that corner to see what happens and hopefully stop the digging.
Good Idea???
 

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2 things, you either got a mated pair trying to breed, or it's because you only got two discus in the tank and the most domanit one is picking on the weak one. discus needs to be in groups.
Agree. I think it may be the latter as I've never heard of discus digging like this. I think it's a sign of stress. You need at least 3 more discus in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
the 2 seem to be getting more friendly with each other now and they seem to be entering each others hiding spots. They are playful and friendly with each other now and i rarely see them bicker.
The 1 discus has stopped digging which makes me happy. We seem to have come to a compromise on a smaller hole.
 
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