Wild and Domesticated Discus Fish: Is It OK to Mix Them?


There are now two commonly known types of discus fish: the wild and domestic. Typically, these two have different requirements when it comes to food, water temperature, care, breeding, and so on. Mixing discus fish for beginners can be very challenging. However, there are ways in which one can make it possible.

Before we tackle on the issue on how to keep domestic discus with the wild ones, let us first get acquainted on the difference between the two breeds.

The Wild Caught Discus

Discus caught in the wild are fishes that live off in a hostile environment where the water condition is either murky, muddy, or just plain dirty. We can deduce that when compared to the captive bred, the wild ones is sturdier and more hardy against diseases.

The Domesticated Varieties

On the other hand, domestic discus fish thrive best in a much more tamed environment where the water is clean, controlled, and maintained in an optimal state. You can say that they’re healthier but looking at another angle, it may seem that their immunity is not that strong as compared to the wild ones. However, domestic discus are not necessarily weak in constitution. This is only for the sake of comparing the two.

Mixing the Two Breeds

The clear-cut difference in terms of health durability and endurance often prompts discus fish care experts to suggest that it is not wise to mix wild caught discus with the captive-bred. However, there are discus breeders in California who were able to successfully make the two varieties co-habit together. This resulted to the explosion of rare and beautiful discus fish characteristics, more particularly in their patterns. And the mixing were done with no adverse effects whatsoever.

How Did This Happen?

Well, there is the fact that at one time, these tropical fish came from one source, and that is the Amazon. It was only later after the process of domestication did discus fish varieties branch out. This argument tells us that we can therefore keep wild discus with the domesticated ones together. Still, it wouldn’t hurt if you hear out some pointers on how to do it.

How to Mix the Two Breeds Properly?

Regardless of which comes first, make it a habit to always quarantine new discus fish. Owners should know and make sure where their discus come from as this knowledge is tantamount to their survival. Remember that wild and domestic discus bear different immune system capacities. Wild discus fish, as sturdy as they can be, are resistant to some bacteria and parasite found in their natural habitat. However, when confronted with foreign pathogens, they may not be able to survive. The same is true with the domesticated fish varieties.

Another method is to introduce certain bacteria into the quarantined lot. To do this, put a sponge filter into your existing tank. A few weeks have passed and you will have already an established bacterial colony in the sponge. Use this sponge to gradually introduce the kinds of bacteria that the quarantined fish will soon be dealing with in the main tank.

In conclusion, mixing wild with domestic discus fish can be done by observing proper method of quarantining as well as taking the necessary precautions. When in doubt, ask the help of your tropical fish dealer for more detailed instructions.

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