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Old 08-05-2010, 05:59 PM   #1
Jester206
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Discus a good idea?


I've been thinking of putting discus in my 120 gallon tank. Some of them look super cool. I have 2 questions
#1 should I get one or many and should they all be added at the same time or should i stagger them?
#2 would they get along with my current fish?

2 pretty large bala sharks
3 siamese algae eaters
3 glass catfish
1 rubbernose pleco
1 gold gourami
1 pearl gourami
3 bolivian rams
2 pictus catfish
and an uncontrolled population of guppies

If you don't think I should get a discus what are some other cool fish that I could add?
I know it sounds harsh but if your thinking of a particular fish but are worried it might eat my guppies ... I'm ok with that.
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
alan j t
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you would have to see if the fish currently in your tank could withstand discus temps of around 80-86 degrees.
then see if your fish not aggresive for discus community tank.

if it was my tank i would move the bala sharks and pictus catfish and eventuly the siamensis when they get big.
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:40 PM   #3
Jester206
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The current tank temp is just under 80 degrees so I don't think it would be an issue to raise it another few degrees. All the fish you mentioned are quite big already. The bala shark is about 7 inches and the siamese algae eaters are around 4 inches. Regardless, I don't have anywhere to move them too. I live in a one bedroom apartment and I have a 120 gallon and a 10 gallon. I think that's enough tank for me. People already think I'm a bit crazy!
I know it's not the ideal situation for a discus but on a scale from 1-10. 1 being dead discus within a week and 10 being super happy discus. where do you think I land?
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:49 PM   #4
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I'd advise against buying discus because "they look cool". Discus are best kept in a tank that was setup for discus. Not to be a downer, but you should really read up on them before you run out and buy a bunch..


agrees with blackandyellow below...
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:50 PM   #5
blackandyellow
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I think you already have a lot of fish for your 120 gallon. Discus will get very stressed with large fast swimming fish, wonīt have a chance at feeding time (they tend to be slow eaters), they will become dark, hide in a corner and die out of stress. 8 months ago when my 100 gal tank broke I was forced to put my 3 little discus on my Silver dollar tank (then there were only 5). The discus all died within a month, they just couldnīt handle all the fast moving action and the overcrowding.

Rubbernose pleco actually prefers cooler temp (75°). for Discus you need 84°

Of all the fish you have, I would only venture with the bolivian rams as discus company. If you want discus get rid of all the other fish, buy a group of 6-8 (to grow out) and for company you could keep a school of cardinal tetras or rummynoses which share similar wate requirements.
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackandyellow View Post
I think you already have a lot of fish for your 120 gallon. Discus will get very stressed with large fast swimming fish, wonīt have a chance at feeding time (they tend to be slow eaters), they will become dark, hide in a corner and die out of stress. 8 months ago when my 100 gal tank broke I was forced to put my 3 little discus on my Silver dollar tank (then there were only 5). The discus all died within a month, they just couldnīt handle all the fast moving action and the overcrowding.

Rubbernose pleco actually prefers cooler temp (75°). for Discus you need 84°

Of all the fish you have, I would only venture with the bolivian rams as discus company. If you want discus get rid of all the other fish, buy a group of 6-8 (to grow out) and for company you could keep a school of cardinal tetras or rummynoses which share similar wate requirements.
Sounds like great advice.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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Great advise from all the above posts. Discus are *usually* a pretty good investment (price wise). They can require a "bit" more care to maintain. Personally, if I were to go the discus route, I would keep it as a species-only tank. You could introduce at least a half dozen adults (maybe a dozen or more juvies) easily into a 120 gal.tank. If I were to keep anything from your list of your occupants, I might keep the rams (as suggested by blackandyellow).

Discus are great fish to keep, and you can learn much by keeping them (and possibly breeding them). Have you kept them before? Since you are keeping rams successfully, I don't think you would have a problem. Just be careful with tank mates, along with water quality.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:52 AM   #8
Dan the Man
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Quote:
Discus you need 84°
My LFS keeps them in 82 degrees but says they can stand as low as 78 if they are domestic and not wild caught. Years ago, keeping Discus was somewhat of right of passage for freshwater aquarists. Though a difficult breed, their 'shyness', temp and water quality needs has been tempered through domestication. I disagree with the some of aforementioned advice. I do think it's ok you get a fish because it looks cool, provided you do the necessary research, especially since discus are a significant investment. As far as having a tank "just for discus" I'm not sure what that means...monospecies, biotope, planted? I know breeders often use completely empty tanks to breed discus...easier to clean. Some advice I might agree with is not to overstock your discus tank (depending on what "an uncontrolled population of guppies" means) because they do still require good water quality, still retain a measure of shyness and are temperamental eaters, especially when first aquired.
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:36 AM   #9
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2 pretty large bala sharks- Schooling fish that sound like they have already outgrown your tank. They can startle so much they dart across the tank and kill themselves bashing into the far wall.
3 siamese algae eaters- My Discus and SAE were fine together.
3 glass catfish- I have kept these with Gouramis and smaller schooling fish, but not Discus.
1 rubbernose pleco- I have not heard of problems with these. Avoid Chinese Algae Eaters and Common Plecos- these two eat the slime coat off flat sided fish like Discus.
1 gold gourami- Probably fine. Very wide range of temperature tolerance.
1 pearl gourami- Thrives in warm, soft water.
3 bolivian rams- Fine at this temperature. I would make sure there are hiding places. Plenty of plants are enough.
2 pictus catfish- If there had been any Guppies in the tank these guys would have eaten them already.

I would not keep the Bala Sharks, but the other fish are possibly workable (Check the temperature tolerances). I have kept Discus in a tank at 78-79* and they were OK. No diseases, but they did not breed.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
2 pretty large bala sharks- Schooling fish that sound like they have already outgrown your tank. They can startle so much they dart across the tank and kill themselves bashing into the far wall.
...
2 pictus catfish- If there had been any Guppies in the tank these guys would have eaten them already.
Thanks for the info! I don't think i will be getting a discus, at least not right now. I knew that the bala sharks might scare discus. Do you really think the bala's are too big for the tank? one is 7 inches and the other is around 5.5 inches. My tank is 120 gallons and 6 feet long! I mean I know it's not the biggest tank around but c'mon it's pretty friggin big. I don't think they should be allowed to sell these unless you have a huge tank. They grow super fast. I bet like 80% of them die from improper care.

Yeah you would think all the fish in my tank would take out the guppies but nope! The pictus generally stay hidden during the day and come out at night when the guppies are sleeping safe in the floating plants. I really kinda want to get rid of the guppies. I don't mind if other fish eat them I just don't want fish to hurt them and then die from their injuries. I had a male betta in there and he went a bit crazy and started ripping tales off guppies ... he now has a new home.
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:33 PM   #11
blackandyellow
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At 5" and 7" your bala sharks are probably still manageable in your tank. the problem is when you add up all the rest of the fish, including the "unknown" and growing guppy community.

Looking at the future, Bala Sharks can grow to almost 40 to 50 cms lenght (up to 20") so they would definitely end up "swallowing" your space. Of course at that point you can cook them
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:41 PM   #12
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i agree with blackandyellow my discus hate fast moving things they get frightened very easily
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:18 AM   #13
Diana
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A planted wall at each end to cushion the frightened race across the tank will reduce the size of the tank so that it is too small for Bala Sharks. They are indeed a fish that really should not be sold to people without a really large tank (like a couple of hundred gallons, 8'+ long) You have done well to grow them to 5-7". I think you are right that almost all of them die before they have a chance to grow to their full size. They are very susceptible to Ich, and I have heard of more than one fishkeeper losing them when they kill themselves trying to escape.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan the Man View Post
My LFS keeps them in 82 degrees but says they can stand as low as 78 if they are domestic and not wild caught. Years ago, keeping Discus was somewhat of right of passage for freshwater aquarists. Though a difficult breed, their 'shyness', temp and water quality needs has been tempered through domestication. I disagree with the some of aforementioned advice. I do think it's ok you get a fish because it looks cool, provided you do the necessary research, especially since discus are a significant investment. As far as having a tank "just for discus" I'm not sure what that means...monospecies, biotope, planted? I know breeders often use completely empty tanks to breed discus...easier to clean. Some advice I might agree with is not to overstock your discus tank (depending on what "an uncontrolled population of guppies" means) because they do still require good water quality, still retain a measure of shyness and are temperamental eaters, especially when first aquired.
Discus will not do that well for a long time at 78 degrees, even if they are domesticated. Most people keep any kind of discus at a minimum of 82, but usually around 83-85. Having a tank just for discus means that they are main inhabitants of the tank and water parameters and everything else revolves around them. Discus can easily and quickly waste away and die if not kept in the right conditions. This doesn't mean you cannot keep other fish with discus, it just means you have to be careful about what you select.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan the Man View Post
My LFS keeps them in 82 degrees but says they can stand as low as 78 if they are domestic and not wild caught. Years ago, keeping Discus was somewhat of right of passage for freshwater aquarists. Though a difficult breed, their 'shyness', temp and water quality needs has been tempered through domestication. I disagree with the some of aforementioned advice. I do think it's ok you get a fish because it looks cool, provided you do the necessary research, especially since discus are a significant investment. As far as having a tank "just for discus" I'm not sure what that means...monospecies, biotope, planted? I know breeders often use completely empty tanks to breed discus...easier to clean. Some advice I might agree with is not to overstock your discus tank (depending on what "an uncontrolled population of guppies" means) because they do still require good water quality, still retain a measure of shyness and are temperamental eaters, especially when first aquired.

Can't say I agree with much of this, nor would anyone in my view who keeps these fish (Discus) .
They aren't a particularly difficult fish to keep if their needs are met.
Keeping them in lower temps slows down their metabolisim,growth, digestive process,and perhaps could lead to compromised immune system over the long haulThus making them more suceptible to bacterial pathogens and or parasites.
They still require several small feedings a day as juveniles to achieve proper growth, much of which occurs during the first few months and subsequently,, frequent water changes may be in order to keep dissolved organics from polluting the tank.
Would agree that many are able to be kept in moderately hard or alkaline water with exception of those bred and raised in soft water, or wild caught specimens, but spawning success in same may prove difficult if that is ones aim.
Saying these fish will tolerate waters or temperatures that may be at upper or lower end of their comfort level is quite different than fish that are thriving. (opinions vary)
Am aware that many fishes are kept this way but often times,,,NFL (not for long).
Would agree that researching the fishes needs is wise before purchasing the fishes.
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