I didn't know it at the time but this was an early sign that my aquarium was about to collapse.
I'm noticing some really strange behavior. As you know my discus are juvies but one has taken to a large anubias and refuses to let anyone near it. I believe she's female in fact I'm 99.9% sure after I saw her breeding tube, a tiny triangle, after a water change. She is too small to spawn and there has been no courtship but if any of the other 5 come near it she'll chase them around the tank and she is dar from the biggest in the tank but her aggression about and around this plant is strange.
Three of my five discus died over the next few days. And I have to admit that I was completely and utterly devastated. I mean, I've been in this hobby for years and during that time I (like most of you) have lost the odd fish or two. Bad source/practices at my LFS. Some tetras due to fighting and some neons due to white spot. Early on, I inadvertently caused the death of an apisto pair by changing my acclimation process from plop and drop, to trying out drip acclimation without realizing the reaction that goes on inside the bag once opened. But nothing like this.
I had never experienced a full on tank collapse. My confidence was absolutely knocked out out of me to the point where I started second guessing everything I was doing. But that wasn't enough to put a halt to whatever was going on. My parameters were exactly where I wanted them to be. 0ppm, 0ppm, 10ppm. The discus themselves and no visible signs of ill health. I treated for every possible affliction know to affect discus but still that wasn't enough. Truth be told, I almost
gave up. I went from instantly falling for this species after seeing them for the first time, researching, purchasing, and then losing my beloved beasties to some unknown but very persistent and egregious illness/pathogen. It's also very embarrassing to post what has transpired, here, among my hobbyist peers so to speak.
I reviewed every note I had taken in the short time I had them and not for lack of trying, couldn't find the issue. I spent many late nights watching vids of other people's "sick discus" and reading through similar threads desperately seeking some type of correlation. The conundrum was made even more difficult by the fact that every other species in the tank was in tip top condition. Eventually I came to the conclusion that my quarantine procedure was perhaps inadequate and so I decided to try again.
My other half, was less than impressed! She told me that losing £150 ($200+) on discus wasn't the best investment I had made (to put it politely) and so it was with some trepidation that I purchased another batch and strain from a different source.
The good news is that the new discus are thriving. They are growing rapidly, growing thick, boisterous, active and full of personality in a way my PB reds never did. Admittedly it took them a week to colour up (during which I was extremely nervous) they remained pale and dark for 6 days but it was an absolutely incredible feeling when the T5 light came on that Sunday and they looked like a completely different species. Going from dark to displaying orange and pink hues.
The learning curve has been steep. But I have learned a lot over the past few months. I'll admit that I thought twice about sharing this because it is quite embarrassing but even with that said, I signed up to this site to share my experiences within the hobby. And I'm sure... In fact, I'm certain... That through sharing this terrible experience, others can learn from my mistakes.