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Old 09-02-2006, 03:14 PM   #1
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How do we feel about Discus fish?


Many of you have replied to my previous posts about cycling and stocking ideas for my 55 gal tank.

Anyone have any thoughts or feelings about discus....any experience good/bad? Hardy/sensitive that kind of thing? I think they are really amazing looking and as close to marine looking fish you can get in freshwater.....

But I want to be practical. I do have the time and inclination to care for tricky fish if needed but want to know what all of you think.

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Old 09-02-2006, 03:54 PM   #2
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I read that they need very very VERY clean water, and are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrite. I don't think they are the right fish for you JMHO. Loads of other fish that are just as nice.


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Old 09-02-2006, 04:11 PM   #3
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Like waterpond said, they need really clean water, which means doing water changes 3 times a week minimum. Some Discus keepers do daily water changes. They are very pretty fish that like to school/shoal, so groups of 4-5 are best. IMO they aren't a beginner fish, unless you do lots of research on them.

They like higher temperatures, so the tankmates are kind of limited. Also, they shouldn't be kept with really active or nippy tankmates. Rummynose tetras are a perfect fish to be kept with them.

I've never kept them, so maybe someone who has can give you more info about their care.
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Old 09-02-2006, 04:55 PM   #4
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I figured they were high maintenance. Seems like the more expensive and exotic fish are. I would certainly not jump right in with them just hoping some people with some exp could give me some ideas on something to look forward to perhaps at a later date.

I am leaning toward rosey barbs I think .....with a couple gouramis. Either that or all tiger barbs....not too sure yet.

Thanks for the tips...keep them coming!
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Old 09-02-2006, 05:09 PM   #5
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Like others mentioned, discus are very sensitive to water quality and require a lot more maintenance than other species. PH can certainly be an issue with them as well, as they prefer soft, acidic water- depending on your water source, that could spell even more maintenance for you. Because they are so sensitive, I would personally only add them to an established tank, like one that had been cycled for at least 6 months. IMHO a 75 gallon would be a much better tank size for a group of discus large enough to feel comfortable, in addition to the dither fish and other tank mates you would want to add.

Tiger barbs are active and interesting, but they can also be very nippy and may pick on other fish. Choosing them may really limit your choices for tank mates. I kept mine with SA/CA cichlids and didn't have any aggression problems. They seemed to know their place when kept with much larger fish.

If you want colorful, active fish, you could try some African cichlids. I don't have enough experience to advise on species compatibility, but an Mbuna setup would look really cool and would be much lower maintenance than discus.
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:15 AM   #6
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I have a 75 gal discus tank, which is planted. I do water changes of 50% 1-2 times per week. There are 7 discus in there. I have some cory cats and some clown loaches and 2 bristlenose plecos. Temps are at 85-86F. I find that with a fully cycled tank and some plants to keep nitrates down, I don't have to expend any more energy on my discus tank than any other tank. Of course with 11 tanks, I expend a lot of time on tanks per week. .

Discus are beautiful fish and you must be sensitive to their enviroment. If you are willing to fully cycle the tank first and choose a large enough tank to suit the discus, I recommend at least 10 gals per discus, you should have no problems keeping discus.
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:47 AM   #7
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discus, discus fish, eel

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