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Old 05-17-2008, 07:36 PM   #1
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Many of you helped me through the painful process of dealing with my first tank. I got very poor advice from the LFS and loaded up my 29 gallon with a bunch of fish early. Everyone died, my kids were upset....it was bad. Eventually, with people's help here, my tank settled and now its doing great. In my 29g, I have 3 German Blue Rams (2 lg 1 sm), a pleco, 5 glo-light tetras, 1 gourami, 3 hatchet fish and 3 celebes rainbows. Everyone is very happy. With the exception of a few algae blooms now and then we are in good shape.

After that, I started a guppy tank for my 6 yr old in his room - he loves it. There are now 5 fry in the tank along with 3 fancy guppies.

Then...I went for the 125 gallon with the nice oak stand and canopy. I've had it up for about 3 weeks now and have some starter fish in it who are doing quite well. Ammonia is low, nitrite is low and nitrate is starting to show. Pretty psyched. I will post pictures of the tanks soon and maybe some video. My plan is to make it a discus tank after it is fully cycled a couple of months from now. What would you recommend for tankmates and how many discus should I have in a tank this size?
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:11 PM   #2
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I dont know anything about discus but your pleco will be perfect in the 125 gallon tank. I just found out recently that some plecos need a tank that size, so I commend you for getting such a big tank.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:12 PM   #3
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I would not house more than 4 adult discus due to eventual aggression, especially during mating/spawning; however, a group of juveniles may cohabitate better in the long run if purchasing more (not always the case). As far as tankmates are concerned, a shoal of pencilfish (I like Nannostomus beckfordi, Golden pencilfish) or Hemigrammus rhodostomus, Rummy-nose tetra would compliment shape differentiation and mellow activity levels. As for a bottom dwellers Corydoras melanistius, Bluespotted Corydoras or Corydoras trilineatus, Threestripe corydoras get my vote along with a couple Hypancistrus zebra, Zebra (Imperial) Pleco. You could even throw in a pair of Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, German Blue Ram or Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, Bolivian Ram. This is my basic Xangu River stocklist:

x2-4 Symphysodon discus
x25+ Nannostomus beckfordi
x8 Corydoras melanistius or Corydoras trilineatus
x2 Hypancistrus zebra
x2 (pair) Mikrogeophagus ramirezi *wildcard*
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:26 AM   #4
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Discus general rule of thumb is 10 gals per adult discus. I have a 75 gal with 6 discus. Are you planning on starting them out as juvies? There are different requirements for juvies and adults. Are you planning on going planted? Make sure to have some medication for internal parasites at all times. Discus can be prone to parasites.

Are you planning on getting them from a breeder? I would recommend this. Also ask if they have been de-wormed.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:43 AM   #5
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I had 7 discuss in a 55g tank and they did fine. Two even mated several times no problems with aggression. I would recogmend your blue rams, neon tetras, a pleco should do fine even cory cats are recogmended. I had a school of 5 in mine and wound up with about 20 after a spawn. Angels and sometimes severums are tolerated severums can be a little bossy to the discuss. Just remember no fast moving or aggressive fish as the discuss are very timid, also when you get your discuss you may want to get 3 or 4 at a time they do better when in a scholl instead of alone.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:24 AM   #6
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Thanks to all. Very useful
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:43 AM   #7
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If I can continue with some questions (hope you don't mind Chop)....

Cos I'm seriously thinking about putting discus into my new tank. (90-ish gallons). I've been thinking about a discus tank ever since I got into this hobby.

Anne, you mentioned that there are different requirements for juvies and adults. Can you expand a little on this? If I was to get Discus, I was thinking 4 juvies so that they could all grow up together. I don't care so much about getting them to breed... Or should I think about this?

How will they go in a planted tank?
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:43 AM   #8
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oh and what's this stuff about worming?
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:05 AM   #9
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good questions

btw - i love melbourne - was there about 10 years ago - lovely city
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:05 PM   #10
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There is a lot of great info on discus at simplydiscus.com as well as some really great sources in their sponsor section so it is a great place to get quality fish which is of the utmost importance to your overall success.

Yes you can have them in a planted tank as long as you are still dilligent about your maintenance.

Some people worm their discus as they will have internal parasites a lot of times but IME if you get them from a reputable source/breeder as Anne suggests you may not need to or it might have already been done before you get them. Also if you get all of your discus from the same source then you might have greater sucess.

Some of the different req. for juvies are more frequent feedings (several times a day of meaty protein like beef heart, frozen bloodworms etc) and more frequent water changes. As thy mature you can reduce feedings somewhat and they can tolerate less frequent water changes (like once a week instead of several)

I was told by several people not to put anything smaller than 4" discus into a planted or you would risk stunting their growth....but I think Anne has had a different experience with that and always has great advice. I think it is because planted tanks can be a challenge to maintain water quality.

Most would agree if you are new to planted tanks, wait a while and get everything dialed in before adding discus, but if it is established for a while and you are comfortable with your routine then go ahead and add some discus.

Another important thing to consider is the importance of quarantine for discus. The stress of moving them (shipping in my case) is hard on them and you want to give them a chance to recover 100% before exposing them to any new pathogens such as whatever your other fish might be carrying. All new introductions carry a risk of introducing something undesirable so be careful with that.

Other good advice I have been given is to stock all of your tankmates well in advance of getting your discus. That way you don't have to go through that stress every single time you add another couple of fish to the tank.

The thing (IME) with discus is not that they are really so much more sensitive than other tropical fish, it's just that you have so much $ invested in them that you want to be super careful with them. They are less tolerant of poor water quality but that just means increased water changes. If you get lazy they will let you know in a hurry.

Good luck they are really super cool fish. Best advice find a good source as a healthy strong stock from the start is your best chance of success.
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