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Old 11-03-2008, 06:37 PM   #1
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Dying discus!!! Help me!!!

Hello everyone,

i got 8 discus about 2 weeks ago. The first week that they were in my tank, all seemed well. the fish seemed fine but they where not eating. Then just this last friday, I did a 10% water change and added API stress coat. Immediately after the wc, my discus did not look good. They are moving around slowing and turning on thier sides. I was very hesitant to do anything else. I was told to add some salt and raise the temperature, which I did. Today i woke up and found 3 of my discus doing worst then yesterday. They are floating on thier sides and I don't think they'll make it. I'm worried. I check my parameters, they seem fine. One of my blue diamonds look like it had white salt grains on them, could this be ick? That was probably the first thing that I noticed b4 my w/c on friday. My other discus look like thier skin is kind of slimy, and looks like they have been scatch something cuz they have marks on thier bodies like they where scatch it or something. Can't really tell you any other symptoms because they just dont look too good, oh ya, they aren't eating so they look kinda skinny.

PH - 7.2
NO3 - 5.0
Ammonia - 0
NO2 - 0
KH - 7.8

I have a 130g tank with 8 discus, 1 pleco, 4 corycats, 38 neon tetras and 3 chinese algea eaters. My tank is partially planted with anubias, ludwigna, micro swords. I run it off a wet and dry filter, I kno its not the best for these types of tanks but it was free. I have the coralife turbo twist uv sterilizer. That is my set up.


I'm thinking about doing a 50-75% water change when I get home. I have a supply of aged water that I keep on the side for my water changes. I didn't have any aged water on friday to do my water change. anyways so I do have aged water for the w/c but I'm being told it might be bad because the temp of the water is colder then what is in my tank. I need help quick. I'm afraid when I get home from work that I will find 3 dead discus. What should I do first? Any meds I can use to help them? Please help guys, my fish are like family to me and I feel so bad, I can't help to blame myself for thier misery. Thanks.

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Old 11-03-2008, 07:38 PM   #2
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First thing I noticed is that you didn't provide the temperature of the tank water but you said that you were told (by someone) to raise the temp. I'm guessing that you have it too low for one. You should aim to keep it at 86 degrees but now that you have ick (the salt grains tell me you do) you should raise your temperature up to 90-92 if it can go that high. Most likely your discus have internal parasites (flagellates) and you need the temperature at 92 to combat that. Discus can go a while without food before looking skinny, since you say that yours look thin they have had internal parasites for some time or they haven't bene fed properly. You need to post some pictures of them as soon as you can. Also, look at the feces of each fish if any is present. If it's whitish and stringy rather than brown and normal looking this confirms flagellates (or tapeworms).

Also, do not add any more stress coat to the tank. Adding the stress coat was a bad move as discus do not like that. You should do as large of a water change as you can even if it means that the discus must lie on their sides in the little water remaining in the tank while you change it out for them. You will need to add an airline once you increase the temperature in order to provide sufficient oxygen to the fish. Is the 130g the only tank you have? I'd seriously think about putting all 8 of them in a 29g tank (if possible) while you medicate them. How large are they and where did you get these fish?
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:42 PM   #3
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What temp are you keeping the tank at? Are you using test strips or liquid tests? Did you get the discus from a breeder or a lfs?

It is possible that the discus came to you sick depending on whether you got them from a reputable breeder or not.

First I would do the water change and add dechlorinator, not stress coat. The temp for your discus needs to be 90 F to fight off ich. Can you QT the discus while treating? It would be better for the rest of the tank since it may not just be ich. If the spots look like grains of salt then it is ich. If it is ich you need to raise the temps in the main tank regardless of QT as the other fish will be vulnerable to the ich.

The discus may have an internal parasite, depending on where you purchased them from see if you can find out if they were de-wormed.

LOL bs6749 and I were posting at the same time. And I see we are on the same page as well.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for your reply bd6749. I have about 6 discus that are about 5" long and 2 that are about 2-3" long. 4 of them where my friends and he had them placed in other friends homes. The other four that I have where from taiwan. I got them from a discus wholesaler, the blue diamond with the salt grain spots where from the wholesaler. My water temp is about 86 degrees when I checked this morning. Unfortunately I do not have a hospital tank. Do you think a big water change will kill them? That is my biggest fear atm. Like I said I have aged water that I'm planning to do the w/c with but afraid the temp of that water is too cold for the fish?
Also should I just raise the temp of the water to 92 degrees and put in more salt after the w/c? or just raise the temp? Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:58 PM   #5
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Hey Zagz,
Appreciate the reply. I'm thinking the fish where not properly dewormed because we picked them up immediately when they arrived at the wholesaler...probably a bad move, but we were all so anxious about getting our discus.

I am worried that it could also be other diseases involved because they look in terrible shape right now. My sister just called me and said they look to be having a hard time breathing....omg I feel so helpless and I'm not off work for another hour!!!

I'll do the w/c when I get home and hopefully be able to take some pix of the discus. I appreciate the helps guys. I just hope when I go home that I don't see any dead discus. I really feel that I am too blame for all this.
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:42 PM   #6
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Do a large water change when you get home and that will help them. I'd add 90 degree water to the tank when you refill. Do you have city water or is it well water? If you are using city water you will need to add dechlorinator as well. Get the water from your bathtub faucet for faster filling. It doesn't need to be aged water, it only needs to be free of chloramines. I suggest adding a water conditioner such as Seachem's Prime. Do not add any more products that supposedly help the fishs' slime coat. You also do not need to add any salt to the tank. If you want to though you can at a rate of 1 tablespoon per 10g.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:46 PM   #7
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Well I got home and found 1 dead discus, it was my white diamond....cry. I just finished with a 50% wc, added some water conditioner and upped the temp to 86 degrees. I guess all I can do now is wait it out. My discus don't seem to be improving. I don't know what else to do. Well I'll keep you guys posted. Gonna do a parameter check after dinner.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:48 PM   #8
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So sorry for your loss. I'll keep hoping for your others. Do keep us updated.
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:40 AM   #9
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Ok just tested the water here is the result:

PH - 7.6
NO3 - 0
Ammonia - 0
NO2 - 0
KH - 7.8
Temp - 86 degress

I noticed more movement with the discus. They are actually swimming around my tank now. Since Friday, all they did was stay by the anubias in the corner of the tank. Good right? Well I hope so, my red melon seems to be stuggling a bit. The discus will swim in a pack but my red melon still hanging out by the anubias. Well I'll keep my fingers crossed and see how they do toimorrow.
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacigia View Post
Well I got home and found 1 dead discus, it was my white diamond....cry. I just finished with a 50% wc, added some water conditioner and upped the temp to 86 degrees. I guess all I can do now is wait it out. My discus don't seem to be improving. I don't know what else to do. Well I'll keep you guys posted. Gonna do a parameter check after dinner.
If you are wanting your discus to survive you should provide as accurate info as you can. I don't mean to sound like a jerk but you said that your water temperature was "about 86 degrees" in one post and then you "raised it to 86 degrees" in the latter post. What does "about 86 degrees" mean to me? It makes me think that you know it should be at 86 but aren't sure what the temp is exactly, know what I mean? I've noticed a significant increase in the activity of my discus when raising the temperature from 83 degrees to 88, but I think your fish are more active because of the water change. I suggest you set the temperature up to 90 or 92 if it can get there. You are going to need to get rid of the flagellates and ick anyways so set it there for your fish.

Try feeding them some live black worms if you can find them. This may get them to eat and you will need to keep them fed. Sorry for your loss and keep us updated. Pics would also be nice when you get a chance!
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:31 PM   #11
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Sorry for any confusion. My heaters only go up to 86, which I have it on atm. The thing is my thermometer reads 3 temperatures. When I check it last night it was 82 86 90, with 86 being the brightest of the three readings. That is why I said about 86, not sure if I could say 90 because if it was fully colored it would have been dark orange. Anyhow I check it out again this morning and it read 86 90, this time though both the readings where bright so Iím guessing its 90? Iíll probably have to get a new thermometer later. Anyhow thanks for your concern guys, it was really tough for me last few days. I have a question regarding the heat treatment. Do I have to do more water changes daily until the treatment is over? I tried taking some pix last night but the fishes where frightened by the flash and so I stopped, I didnít want to stress them out anymore. But Iíll try to post some for sure.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:48 PM   #12
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As long as your ammonia, nitrites both read zero and as long as your nitrates stay below 10 I wouldn't worry about doing frequent water changes in a tank that size.

I'd definitely get another thermometer. I only use the cheap stick on ones for my shrimp tanks (used to anyway). They aren't really accurate. Now, I use cheaper glass thermometers that are like $2.50 each. You may need to get a new heater as well. I just ordered two 300W Aquarium Systems Visitherm heaters and I know for a fact that they'll take your temp up to 92 degrees. They had mine up that high when the ambient temp was 65 degrees. Here's the ones I'm talking about: Aquarium Systems Visi-Therm 300 Watt Heater at Big Al's Online

You will want to keep the heat up for 14 days and then lower it gradually to 86-88 and keep it there. It is an amazing difference how much 2-3 degrees makes with these fish.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:59 PM   #13
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Thanks bs6749!!!

Ya I'll probably get new heaters, big al's deals are so far the best that I've seen. Also I'll definately get a new thermostat later at the LFS. I appreciate the help guys, when I get home I'll try to post some pix.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:39 PM   #14
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No problem. Since you are going to go the LFS anyway you might want to consider getting some live black worms if they have any. If not, look for some frozen bloodworms. I haven't known a discus yet that wouldn't eat frozen bloodworms. Try to get them to eat something!
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:03 AM   #15
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Pictures

Update:
PH - 7.4
NO3 - 0
Ammonia - 0
NO2 - 0
KH - 7.8
Temp - 86 degress

The frozen blood worms worked! They attacked those worms, it was a relief to see them finally eat. They still look really bad though, my blue diamon was really bright and blue when I got him, he has turned so dark...could this be a disease? You can see how they just hide in the anubias, they kind of slant to the side, I'm hoping this isn't something seriuos. Anyhow thanks for that great advice bs6749

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Try feeding them some live black worms if you can find them. This may get them to eat and you will need to keep them fed. Sorry for your loss and keep us updated. Pics would also be nice when you get a chance!
Here are some pix I took. Thanks for all the help!









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