Cichlid Parenthood, The Discus' Sacrifice
Updated: Nov 14, 2021
Discus are a species of cichlid (sick-lid) native to the Amazon River in South America. While the wild varieties are still quite handsome, the popularity of the species has led hobbyists to select for some very colorful specimens.
What makes Discus such interesting parents is unlike other cichlids, Discus fry (baby fish) will eat their parents slime coating for initial sustenance. This allows the fry to gain vital nutrients without venturing too far from the protection of the parents.
The slime coating is a fish's first line of defense against sickness and disease. It is a thin mucus layer that coats the fish and prevents foreign agents (fungus, bacteria, etc.) from taking hold.
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