Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Nice to see this thread revived.
For those of you who have followed this thread, and for the several of you who were thinking of launching yourself into discus-keeping, I have a bit of advice, whether you feel the need for it or not.
This is not intended to be any reflection on any of the posts which have preceded, nor any adverse commentary on fishboy's plans or efforts, which in the main have turned out very well so far, but is simply a caution for those of you who wish to be successful keeping discus from the get-go:
- If you want to keep discus successfully, get reasonably good-sized fish from the outset, - not very young, small discus (nothing under 3" will do), and only get them from a well-known, reputable, experienced discus breeder or importer of good quality, healthy discus.
- If you want to grow out young, less expensive juvie discus, please do so in a bare-bottom tank, at least for the first few months, until they grow out to 3.5" to 4", not in a planted tank, and commit yourself to large, frequent water changes.
- If you want a planted discus tank, get larger specimens, and avoid a high-tech pressurized CO2 system, until you get familiar with discus traits & behaviors, and are fully comfortable with operating a pressurized CO2 set-up.
- If you want a community tank, please be certain you're not overcrowding, and for heaven sake, be careful of the type of tank-mates you're choosing to keep with the discus. Avoid those fish that can't deal with the higher discus temps, are too small & risk being eaten for lunch by the discus, and stay away from larger, very active, fast-swimming, or potentially aggressive fish which can out-compete them for food and stress them - leading to health issues for the discus. Also avoid any fish that may have a tendency to take a liking to discus's slime coats as part of their diet when they get larger, older and lazier.
This takes a lot of research to determine which fish are good tank-mates for discus, and which are not - which brings me to the most important point ..... you must do your homework well before delving into discus.... research, research, research !
Listen to the discus gurus - they generally know what they're talking about - from experience. Discus are not difficult to keep, but not that easy either... so go at it slowly, and keep it simple, to avoid problems & disappointment.
To close, I enjoy helping out new discus-keepers, and I invite anyone to PM me any time with any questions you may have on keeping these magnificent fish.