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Old 02-06-2005, 05:53 PM   #1
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Lets throw some discus (discus general discusion)

I have just gotten into owning discus. And, I feel I am ready for them. I have done brakish tanks, angel tanks, oscar tanks, and reagular tropical tanks and haven't found exactly what I wanted out of my tank. I feel discus is the best move to make.

Here are some basic question I would like to know.


1. I have 2 cobalt's that are abour 2" and they are shy but, when they come out they seem rather comfortable. My question is when should they start eating? I have hakari frozen bloodworm, live brine shrimp, treta color flakes, and formula one. How can I get them to eat. Also, should I make a weekly diet plan? like, monday brine, tuesday worms, wed....etc, or should I stick to one main source of food and give the other sparsly?

2. I know that discus need good filtration. I runa 304 which I redisgned into a better working filter. I have the input attached to a skimmer to lower the co2 and nitrates during the night.
http://aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic...945&highlight= ( look for sadist post, thats me)
do you think this will be enough filtration? Also when I prune and clean my tank it leave alot of crap floating around even after the water is changed. Should I worry about this

Do you think this will be enough

3. I am only 21 and money is tight so I only have a 10 gallon QT tank. If I use this small tank to make my fish better, which i hope never happens (knock on wood), will my poor little discus be doom for death? the QT tank has a 50 gallon sponge filter.

Here are my tank stats
55 gallon 5 in gravel and flora grow iron
gh-1-3
kh-4.5
ph- 6.5-6.9 daytime and 6.8-7.0 night time
fluval 304
whiper 60 ( only for emergency's such as filter failer or PH crash)
the tank is mainly cabambas, amazon swords, anubus, lava moss, lava fern, roseta sord, and some crypts.
tank inhabitants are 3 SAE, 1 cory cat, and a clownch laoch, O, and of course the two 2inch discus.

I do 40-50% water changes every week and sometime like 20% during the week if my hand get alittle too buzy in the tank.
I don't plan on breeding them since that would take up all of my time. That in mind is there anything eles I could be doing?

EVery one add what ever discus post you want to this topic 8)
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Old 02-07-2005, 06:58 AM   #2
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Before I forget to ask...How many gallons is the tank? Your water changes are too radical. Cut back. 15% once every two weeks is plenty. Discus are touchy fish and do not take to large sudden changes to their environment. Gotta keep it subtle with them. Nitrates can be controlled through the deep substrate you have, disciplined feedings, and not neglecting routine filter and water maintenance.

Feeding should be done 5 to 6 days of the week what fish can consume in two minutes. per day. Being you have loaches...make that three minutes per day. I also recommend you get some horseface loaches that will crawl through the substrate. They are harmless to other fish and may even eat some pesty snails for you. They will release hydrogen gases that can build up in deep substrate.

You have a good variety of foods, but not enough veggies in the diet listed. Try to make flake food a staple diet with everything else as a secondary food. What I do is mix a bunch of different foods for each feed; alternating between the other foods. It's best to stay away from live foods. HBH has a real good veggie flake that can be mixed in with the regular tropical flake. Other foods I recommend in keeping a variety for the discus are: Spiralina enriched brine shrimp, bloodworms, glass worms, beef heart, formula two, cyclopeeze, and freshwater zooplankton.

The fish should start to eat right away, though not uncommon for the fish to take a few days to feel comfortable in their new surroundings. How long have you had the discus? If the discus refuses to eat after a few days of having it, try using a garlic additive to similate appetite. There are two I know of...Kent Marine's Garlic Extreme and SeaChems Garlic Guard. Use as directed as an additive to food. Always make sure ammonia and nitrites are zero, nitrates are less than 40 ppm and the pH and temperture is stable.
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:20 AM   #3
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A few years ago I did exactly what you did tiptoptank. I bought 2 small discus for my 55 gallon planted community tank. Little did I realize that this species would become a passion for me and grow to eight tanks and some 50 discus. In that time I've attended many discus workshops around the country and have become friends with some of the top breeders in the country. This by no means qualifies me as an expert but I think I know more about discus than most, and I'm still learning.

Discus are easy to keep but they do require much more knowledge than most other FW fish. I found that growing out young fish to adulthood is a very rewarding experience. The time required makes it possible to get to know each fish as individuals and understand their needs.

Although it may be possible to raise your fish in the tank you describe, I think it's probably unlikely and require a tremendous effort on your part. If they were adults, no problem. Young discus are much more fragile and have very different needs however. This is why you'll seldom see a beautifully planted discus tank containing juvenile fish.

For your discus to remain healthy and grow, they'll need the cleanest possible water, tank and filters, and alot of feedings containing high protein and roughage. Feeding alot and keeping a clean environment do not usually go hand in hand. Filters will not remove the dissolved organic compunds which eventually will build up and poison your fish. The only way to do this is with frequent water changes.

The reasons your discus are not eating now is one or all of the following:

1. Too few discus. Discus are shoal fish and feel a sense of security in numbers.
2. Too large a tank for such small fish. They are having trouble finding the food. Generally they eat very slowly and by the time they sense there is food in the tank the other fish have beaten them to it.
3. I hope this isn't the case but... a latent disease of their digestive tracts brought on by the stress of being in a new environment.

Now if these were my fish and I was serious about raising them, I'd move them to your 10 gallon tank. I'd keep it bare (no gravel). I'd wipe the glass down and clean the sponge filter (that's all you need), a few times a week. I'd feed 2 or 3 times a day (live black worms, frozen blood worms, tetra color bits, and shave frozen spinach). I'd do DAILY one third water changes. I'd plan on buying a 29 gallon and adding 3 more discus of about the same size and continue the routine. In 6 or 7 months you'll have 5 fish that will be roughly 4-5 inches and will then do well in your planted 55.

HTH
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Old 02-07-2005, 12:50 PM   #4
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Thank guys. As for the eating problem it is solved. They eat bloodworms like crazy. I even got one to eat a color bit. As for cleaning I think it should be ok. I mean none of the food ever reaches the bottom with my loach and 3 SAE( which I found out eat everything). And, if it does reach the bottom it's all in one spot because I use a feeding ring. I keep a very clean tank with just about prefect water for the discus 24/7. But, i suppose if my discus do get sick then I will have to learn the hard way. check out my gallery to see what I got goin on
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:04 AM   #5
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I got my discus to eat bloodworms and brine shrimp, but i really want them to start eating pellets. Every time I put the pellets in they either ignore them or spit them out. how do i get them to start eating them?

Can I feel safe starveing them for acouple day them feeding them. Keep in mine these discus are only 2- 2.5 inchs
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