Breeding Discus is a lot of fun, but make no mistake, it is a labor of love. I have met so many people who breed Discus for just as many reasons. Like many new endeavors there is a lot that goes into breeding Discus.
Below we have put together a quick guide to cover a few pitfalls and expensive mistakes one can make when starting to breed Discus.
Don’t Do It For The Money
Its hard resist thinking about a possible new life doing what you love. When it comes to Discus, many have walked down the path of becoming a pro Discus breeder and very few have made it.
It’s not so much the difficulty that it takes for one person to do the work, it is more the external factors that ultimately bring the dream to an end. Here are some of the main reasons for failure:
- Upstart costs for those who are new to the hobby can be super expensive. Especially if in the habit of purchasing everything new and are not creative enough to make homemade solutions.
- Time is a two fold problem as many balance a regular work day, sometimes a family and personal life. The second part of the time factor is Discus breed when they want and not when bills are due.
- Bills rack up and with most of the money from fry sales going back into food, supplies and electrical/water bills not much is left over.
- Finding customers is a hustle type of job many do not want to take on. People will typically not line up at your garage door to buy Discus. You have to make the phone calls and put the ads in the paper, handle the shipping and keep good records.
Now this leads us to the next part…
Start Out Slow And Steady
If you decide to breed Discus or are fortunate to have a breeding pair and thinking about scaling up, slow down! It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and start imagining row after row of tanks loaded with fry ready to sell.
Treat Discus breeding as a cash business that has to pay for itself and pay for its growth. What do I mean by that? If you have a breeding pair and they produce 30 awesome sell-able Discus and you manage to sell all thirty at twenty dollars (30 x $20 = $600). It would be really great if you got that all at once, but you wont. So store that cash in a place where it will not get spent or used for on going expenses. Take this money and use it towards another breeding pair. Built in to the expense of the breeding pair should be the cost of a tank (used/new) and needed equipment. Any left over money should be put back and saved for the next pair.
Over time you will have setup a system that creates a solid Discus breeding program and more importantly it will pay for itself.
Discus Are Not Chickens
In all seriousness, do not make plans around when new fry will arrive. Discus will breed when they want and as often as they want. Few are fortunate to have Discus that will produce fry on a steady schedule. Even then those same Discus pairs can at anytime decide to take a break.
Instead focus on creating an overlap with the Discus fry by holding back a few to grow out as juveniles and adults. If you do this with every batch you will have more of a variety to sell to potential customers. Here are two great reasons to do this:
- Larger Discus sell for more! If you make it a habit to hold on to a few fry each time and grow them out as adults you can charge a much higher price per Discus. This means of course that you will build up your savings for new pairs faster and easier.
- When customers see your Discus and ask about the ones held back, I have found they actually would pay more for them because they are selected as “keepers” by the breeder. If you decide to sell then make sure you get a premium as this will be the money that will go into your savings.
Questions For You
Are you breeding Discus now?
Have you or are you planning on going pro?
Do you have a similar or different system as described above?