Taking care of discus fish can be a lot of fun even though it’s a lot of work as well. You should already know that these fish are a bit delicate.
Regardless, you can have a good time caring for them so long as you put in the work. Keep the water quality high and these fish will thrive under your care.
If the fish are laying eggs in your tank that means that things are going well. Many people want to breed discus fish because of how much they like them.
When you see the discus eggs you’re going to be worried if they appear to be white, though. What does it mean when discus eggs are not their normal color?
Read on to learn more about discus eggs and what makes them turn white. This will help you to understand what’s going on.
What Color Are Discus Eggs Normally?
Before going further, it’s a good idea to ensure that you know what discus eggs should look like under normal circumstances. If the eggs are fine they shouldn’t appear to be white at all.
Generally, discus eggs will have a tan color that will appear almost orange. However, when the eggs are freshly laid, they’re going to look a bit clear.
Make sure that you don’t mistake this almost translucent appearance for the eggs being white. The eggs shouldn’t look solid white if they’re viable.
After a little bit of time has passed the eggs should darken up a bit. You’ll see them take on the tan or orange appearance eventually.
What Causes Discus Eggs to Turn White?
If something is amiss, the eggs might look as if they’re white. When you’re dealing with white eggs it usually signals problems with fungus.
1 – Fungus
The discus eggs are likely turning white because of the presence of fungus. Fungal growth will cause the eggs to turn white like this.
When this occurs, the eggs are no longer going to be viable. Generally, if the eggs turn white it means that they weren’t ever fertilized properly.
As soon as you see that the eggs are white, it’s going to be fine to get rid of them. Scoop them up and remove them from the tank since they aren’t going to hatch.
Remember that water quality is important in discus fish tanks. The presence of organic debris can throw off the water parameters.
To prevent problems with fungus, you should be focusing on water quality. Fungal issues in the tank will be easy enough to notice.
2 – Hard Water
Is the water in the tank too hard? When the water in the tank is too hard the eggs won’t be able to be fertilized properly.
The female discus fish will lay the eggs and they will form a protective shell very fast. This makes it so the eggs won’t be fertilized properly by the male.
Some eggs might get fertilized while others will not. Hard water could very well be to blame for what is going on.
Make sure that you’re keeping the water within recommended parameters. The water hardness for discus fish is supposed to be between 1 and 4 dKH.
3 – Water Quality Problems
General water quality problems could also cause the eggs to turn white. There’s a chance that the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels in the tank are too high.
Spikes in ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite will be very dangerous for the fish. This can also make it so the eggs won’t be viable.
If the eggs are turning white you should test the water to see how things are going. Should you notice that things are off it will be imperative to take action fast.
Remember that discus fish don’t do well in fish tanks with poor water quality. Your fish could be in danger if you don’t take action.
4 – Sometimes Things Go Wrong With the Parent Fish
Sometimes things simply go wrong with the parent fish. Discus fish aren’t perfect and they might make mistakes during the spawning process.
For example, the male might miss fertilizing some of the eggs. This will cause some of them to turn white instead of hatching.
It’s also possible that the parent fish will be more sluggish than they should be. An inexperienced breeding pair might not fan the eggs properly.
So things can go wrong and this can cause some of the eggs to turn white. There might not be anything you can do about it.
When you notice white eggs in the tank it shouldn’t always be taken as an indication that something is wrong in the tank. This can simply happen because breeding isn’t a perfect process.
How to Help Your Fish
Helping your fish to successfully breed is mostly about giving them the right environment. Keep the water quality high and be sure to feed the discus fish a high-quality diet.
This will give them the energy that they need to breed. Also, the eggs won’t go through problems related to the water being too hard or the ammonia levels being too high.
Sometimes there will be eggs that won’t hatch. This happens and there isn’t much that can be done about it.
Just support your fish and they will have the best time possible breeding in your aquarium. When the eggs hatch, you’ll need to look after the discus fish fry as well.
Now you know that discus fish eggs aren’t supposed to be white. They’re only white when they’re not viable.
It means that the egg wasn’t fertilized or it’s dealing with some sort of fungal growth issue. There could be problems in the tank that will need to be addressed.
Of course, this isn’t always the case. You might not be doing anything wrong at all, but the fish might have missed fertilizing some eggs or not fanned the eggs well enough.
Keep looking after your fish and they should be fine. You’ll likely see many discus fish hatch when you’re trying to breed these fish so long as you put in the effort.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.