What Are the Signs of Pair Bonding in Discus Fish?

By Alexander Sam

Native to regions in South America, the discus fish is highly temperamental when it comes to tank conditions. Domestic discus fish come in a variety of different colors. However, those in the wild come from three sub-species distinguished by their colors. Discus fish pair with a mate, when they begin the breeding process. Pair bonding is a difficult task, but you can find signs to help identify when this is happening to your discus fish.

Territorial Behavior

While in the presence of other fish, discus fish become highly territorial during the process of pair bonding. The male discus fish manifests aggressive behavior, usually chasing other fish away from the female discus or the area where they are located. The male discus uses the aggressive behavior to claim the female as a mate and deter other potential mates from approaching the mating pair. Owners may consider giving their pair bonding discus fish a separate aquarium, providing a more relaxed setting for the process.

Cleaning the Spawning Area

If discus fish are alone in an aquarium, they will begin cleaning the area where they have chosen to spawn. The indicators of this are the fish picking at the area with their mouths, moving rocks, pebbles or anything else that is in the location. Sometimes they clear the site to form a circular area that the fish will use to spawn. The fish do this to ensure the area is safe to begin the spawning process.

Displaying Vibrant Colors

During the pair bonding process, discus fish often display colors that are more vibrant, which they use to attract their mate. Discus fish also use color display to inform potential mates that they are ready to begin the mating process. Owners should observe their fish regularly and make notes on whether they observe a visual color difference with their fish. This is a suitable technique when pair bonding discus fish have their own aquarium separate from other fish and are not displaying the other pair bonding signs.