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Old 02-14-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
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combining adult and young discus fishes and fish transfer..

finally my new aquarium has a week left to cycle. im going to transfer my old discus fishes (3 years old) to the new one. im thinking of buying new juvenile discus fishes but i am not sure how would they adapt if mixed with older ones, would the older ones harrased the juveniles and prevent them from eating? i also knew that juveniles need at least 5x a day of feeding. i feed my older discus sometimes 1x or 2x a day.

my aquarium is 4 feet long (64 gal) - would that be enough space for 4 older discus (2 stunted) and at least 3-4 juveniles to swim?

how would the feeding habits should be?

thank you!

p.s.

my old aquarium has blakcbeard algae on them and i am so afraid to put the discus in a plastic container with aquarium water because maybe the algae would come with the water and if i transfered it with aquarium water - the algae would populate the new aquarium in no time.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:48 PM   #2
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Discus are a social fish and they establish a hierarchy so there will always be the low fish on the totem pole. This fish is usually harassed by many of the others and this can cause a great deal of stress to the point of the fish becoming sick and dying if regular tank maintenance is not performed (the become prone to sickness and disease when stressed). The key is to have enough individuals in a tank so that this stress is spread out across multiple members of the group and one individual is not taking the wrath of everyone.

Undoubtedly, if you were to mix the adults and juveniles, there would be a social status formed rather quickly. I've seen this when I've added adults in with adults too...it's just something that happens with social fish. I do not recommend adding juveniles in with adults because the juveniles should be allowed to reach an adult size or at least 4.5" (not counting fin length) so that they aren't stunted, which would very likely happen to some of them if they were added to a tank with adults. The will be stressed, won't eat, not allowed to eat, etc. You should be quarantining them anyway in a new tank for 2-3 weeks to avoid spreading any sort of disease to the adults, so you might as well continue to grow them out in a separate tank before adding them to the 64g tank.

The rule of thumb is 1 adult discus per 10g of water. You are looking at a max of 6-8 fish with 7 or 8 being possible if you change 15-20g of water every other day, though I really wouldn't recommend it. I would say that SIX is the number you should go with. I'd get a group of 6 2.5-3.5" (all close to the same size too...don't get some 2.5" and some 3.5" and mix them) and grow them out properly in a 29g bare bottom tank followed by a 55g bare bottom tank, where they could eventually stay. SIX is the minimum recommended number to grow out at once. Feed them 5-6 times per day and change half of the water every other day and they will do just fine. Keep the temp at 86 degrees and lower it to 80-82 as they reach their maximum size.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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noted - thank you!

just another question - would the adult discus get shocked if transfered into a new aquarium immidiately without acclimatizing in a plastic bag with old aquarium water?
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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I think since you're using water from the same tap the params of both water are fairly close so I think there's no need for acclimizing
Just have the water parameters close, specially the temp.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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If the temps are close, that is fine. They will most likely be "spooked" for a couple of hours as they adjust to their new environment, so put them in the tank and then leave them alone and try not to walk near the tank for some time.
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