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-   -   is keeping discus really that challenging? (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=143592)

lipadj46 07-27-2011 11:39 PM

is keeping discus really that challenging?
 
I would like to get some juvenile discus to grow out and put in a planted tank but if you read the discus forums you would think you can only raise discus in bare bottom tanks. A juvenile discus in a planted tank is a death sentence it seems. Now I found some nice dime to quarter sized discus and and am thinking I can grow them out a bit in a bare bottom 10 and 20 gallon tank but once they get 3" or so I would like to move them to a larger planted tank. So does anyone here have discus?

discuspaul 07-28-2011 12:06 AM

To put it as simply as I can, keeping discus is not at all difficult, except that you need to appreciate that they are intolerant of poor water quality and conditions. So yes, they are somewhat more challenging in terms of requiring a little extra work and attention to maintain the essential water quality.
But if you follow a few simple rules: e.g., inter alia, buy healthy, well shaped fish from a reputable experienced source; give them the water temp and quality (WCS) they need; and a good diet, - and you'll succeed.
If you're seriously interested in discus, you might like to have a read of my 'Beginner's Guide to Getting Started with Discus', a Sticky in the Discus Basics for Beginners section of simplydiscus.com forum - link:
http://www.forum.simplydiscus.com/sh...ed-with-Discus
Your plan for getting some very young fish (say 8-10) and starting them out in a 20 gal bare-bottom tank until they grow out to near 3" is a good one, and following that, you can introduce them to a much larger, planted tank (at least 75 gals).
Here's my 75 gal planted discus tank, pics taken several months ago when the Red SnakeSkins were just around 3" - (some are now 5.5" and much more colorful) - this just to give you an idea.
http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/...l/FTS-Osaka260

The only 'risk', if you want to call it that, you run in trying to raise juveniles in a planted display tank as opposed to BB all the way until they reach adult stage, is that some of them may turn out somewhat stunted - a little dirty word to say that some may not grow as large as they could, or might, in a BB tank.
Hope this helps.
Please don't hesitate to call on me if I can be of further help.

VeeSe 07-28-2011 12:38 AM

I know nothing about discus but find it interesting that they can stunt simply by being raised in a planted tank. Why is that?

lipadj46 07-28-2011 12:39 AM

Thanks, I've been reading over at simply discus, lots of good info. My plan is to start the 7 very small discus in a 12x8x6" refugium inside the bare bottom 10 gallon (the breeder suggested I started in something smaller than a 10 gallon), them move them to a 10 gallon bare bottom tank then to a 20 gallon and then hopefully into a 55 gallon low tech planted tank (could be a 75 gallon though). I'm going to feed them mainly beef heart in the beginning then mix in beef heart and worm flake later.

discuspaul 07-28-2011 01:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lipadj46 (Post 1458770)
Thanks, I've been reading over at simply discus, lots of good info. My plan is to start the 7 very small discus in a 12x8x6" refugium inside the bare bottom 10 gallon (the breeder suggested I started in something smaller than a 10 gallon), them move them to a 10 gallon bare bottom tank then to a 20 gallon and then hopefully into a 55 gallon low tech planted tank (could be a 75 gallon though). I'm going to feed them mainly beef heart in the beginning then mix in beef heart and worm flake later.

For 7 fish, your breeder has given you excellent advice. I would suggest though, that your young ones might be better off starting them in the 10 gal right off the bat, rather than the smaller refugium, if only for the fact that multiple, fairly frequent transfers to other tanks while young can tend to stress them more than they need to be. And the smaller tank will likely need more frequent cleaning and closer attention to parameters, based strictly on water quantity.

Quote:

Originally Posted by VeeSe (Post 1458767)
I know nothing about discus but find it interesting that they can stunt simply by being raised in a planted tank. Why is that?

There are a variety of reasons, but the use of a BB tank as opposed to planted mainly boils down to swimming/exercise space to build appetite in young fish, the ease of maintaining higher water quality in it, ease of rigorous tank cleaning, ability to feed messier (but more nutritious) foods, in a bare-bottom tank.
Example: feeding beefheart mixtures can easily cloud & pollute a planted tank, whereas BB allows all uneaten food to be vacced up readily & fully.
(Also provides a much easier observational and medicating environment, if necessary).
A BB environment allows discus growth to as full a potential as possible, whereas the routines involved in maintaining a planted tank, (One example is fertilizing plants & the use of CO2)- which may not be conducive to optimum fish growth).
Also planted tanks do not usually receive the rigorous and religious cleansing possible in BB, further aggravating growth possibilities.
That's about the best way I can put it. Although there are other reasons, but I don't want to write a book & bore you.
Hope that answers.

Deahttub 07-28-2011 01:40 AM

In my experience wih discus, the biggest issue is when you first get them. Usually, hey have bacterial infections etc...if you want to have discus, i reccomend either an agressive quarentine, or buing direcly from a breeder(probably the best method)...i also agree with what was posted about water quality...

lipadj46 07-28-2011 01:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by discuspaul (Post 1458847)
For 7 fish, your breeder has given you excellent advice. I would suggest though, that your young ones might be better off starting them in the 10 gal right off the bat, rather than the smaller refugium, if only for the fact that multiple, fairly frequent transfers to other tanks while young can tend to stress them more than they need to be. And the smaller tank will likely need more frequent cleaning and closer attention to parameters, based strictly on water quantity.

That is what I was thinking but he says they would feel more comfortable being closer together. The thing with the refugium is it shares water with whatever tank it is in (it has a powerhead to flow water in from the main tank) so I have it in the 10 gallon at the moment. I will be getting these discus next week so I'm pretty psyched.

discuspaul 07-28-2011 02:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lipadj46 (Post 1458868)
That is what I was thinking but he says they would feel more comfortable being closer together. The thing with the refugium is it shares water with whatever tank it is in (it has a powerhead to flow water in from the main tank) so I have it in the 10 gallon at the moment. I will be getting these discus next week so I'm pretty psyched.

Well, being closer together when quite small is ok advice, but they'll grow quickly, and will appreciate the extra space that will indeed be needed as they are in the 'quarter' size and larger. But go with your gut feel.
You're doing all the right things, so I'm confident you'll be successful.

snail_chen 07-28-2011 02:16 AM

I keep 7 adult discus in a 75 gallon heavily planted tank for over a year. I find it easy to keep high water quality as plants will take care of the waste. Can you believe that I do not have to change the water ( I have over twenty years of tropical fish - but not discus - keeping experience and am an aquatic plant collector and seller) even though I am feeding them beef heart every day. And my plants also grow like weed with so much nutrients in the water column.

However i have to admit the Downside with planted: discus tend to hide and are shy; some have peppering on their body. Since I got them as adult I cannot say whether they will be stunted.

discuspaul 07-28-2011 02:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snail_chen (Post 1458943)
I keep 7 adult discus in a 75 gallon heavily planted tank for over a year. I find it easy to keep high water quality as plants will take care of the waste. Can you believe that I do not have to change the water ( I have over twenty years of tropical fish - but not discus - keeping experience and am an aquatic plant collector and seller) even though I am feeding them beef heart every day. And my plants also grow like weed with so much nutrients in the water column.

However i have to admit the Downside with planted: discus tend to hide and are shy; some have peppering on their body. Since I got them as adult I cannot say whether they will be stunted.

You are quite right - they can do well in a planted tank so long as you do all the right things.
Your last sentence is key - if they are mature/adult size - no problem.
But if they are young ones - more often than not, you could have difficulty with proper, full growth potential - and the results could be disappointing - as many discus keepers will attest to. You just need to be careful and have good tank cleaning/maintenance routines. And yes, plants can help with maintaining good water quality.

snail_chen 07-28-2011 02:51 AM

I want to add that you probably do not have to use RO water for discus as long as you do not plan to have them lay eggs for you. But higher temperature Will make them happy.

lipadj46 07-28-2011 03:08 AM

yeah my water is very soft (2 dKH and dGH) forgot to add that.

snail_chen 07-28-2011 03:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lipadj46 (Post 1459038)
yeah my water is very soft (2 dKH and dGH) forgot to add that.

That is a bless for you. I wish my water is as soft.

discuspaul 07-28-2011 03:24 AM

And that should be no problem for keeping discus.

lipadj46 07-29-2011 08:58 PM

well I got my juvies from joe gargas. These are the "dime" sized F2s he is selling on aquabid for $15 each with free priority mail shipping. Afew comments... First I bought 5 and he sent 6 just in case one did not make it (all are healthy), second these "dime" sized discus are more like quarter to silver dollar sized, finally his packaging was top notch, fitted styrofoam box with each discus in their own thermo-sealed kordon bag, these fish could live at least for a week I bet in their shipping box. I've read some negative comments about his prices/size and priority shipping but I think that I got a fine deal. Now lets see if I can keep them alive and growing!

http://i470.photobucket.com/albums/r...a/DSC01261.jpg


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