I caught the DISCUS bug! - The Planted Tank Forum
 25Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
RollaPrime's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 205
I caught the DISCUS bug!

Today in my local fish shop


I have a 118gal tank. Established filter currently keeping 50 diamonds, 5 pearl gourami, betta, and apistos @ 0ppm zero ammonia and nitrite. But I stumbled across this Discus today and I swear my heart skipped a beat. I almost bought it there and then but figured it best to come here and ask a few questions first.

1. Should I keep a school of the same strain?
2. If I mix strains and two differing strains spawn will the offspring be >insert correct terminology here<
3. Is there a go to list of plants for discus tanks?

4. Cherry shrimp and Amano shrimp Ok in terms of temp?
5. Flow?
6. CO2?


I heard CO2 can strip a Discus of it's slime coat and kill it.

Anything you might want to add would be really appreciated. Right now I'm going through what seems to be a near endless debate about Discuss and water changes. It seems to range from every other minute, to once a week to hardly every. I'm thinking that this might be more about adequate filtration/bacteria colony to convert ammonia and nitrite than it is about lax or stringent water changes. But I'm new to the species and trying my best to draw upon your collective wisdom and not make any mistakes.

I look forward to all your info!!!
RollaPrime is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:11 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Discusluv's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Elk Grove, California
Posts: 1,833
Excellent- another discus lover

Discus need temperature of 82-86 degrees.

I keep juveniles ( 3" - 4.5 ") at 86 degrees to keep up metabolic rate, which makes them eat more, which in turn keeps them stronger to fight off illnesses. They are prone to bacterial infections, frequent water changes keeps bacterial load lower. Also, juveniles need to eat 3X ( minimum)- 5 X daily with high protein foods. Water changes @ 25-75% every 5 ( minimum)- 7 days a week. This frequency and volume depending on bio-load.

Sub-adults (4.5- 5.5") @ 84 degrees. Immune systems are much stronger. Feed 3x daily. - I do 3x 50-75% weekly water changes.

Adults (5.5"- 8") I do 2x 75% water changes weekly. Keep at 82 degrees. I feed 2x daily. There are definite ranges in size in how large discus get. The size they get in adult-hood depends on how well they were cared for. In other words- water changes ( frequent) and nutrition.

As you can see, there are ranges to caring for discus that depend on size- that's why you often see so much conflicting information. People tend to lump care together without noting if juveniles, sub-adults, adults.


What size are you interested in getting?
RollaPrime and MSaxen like this.

180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
Discusluv is offline  
post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
RollaPrime's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
Excellent- another discus lover

Discus need temperature of 82-86 degrees.

I keep juveniles ( 3" - 4.5 ") at 86 degrees to keep up metabolic rate, which makes them eat more, which in turn keeps them stronger to fight off illnesses. They are prone to bacterial infections, frequent water changes keeps bacterial load lower. Also, juveniles need to eat 3X ( minimum)- 5 X daily with high protein foods. Water changes @ 25-75% every 5 ( minimum)- 7 days a week. This frequency and volume depending on bio-load.

Sub-adults (4.5- 5.5") @ 84 degrees. Immune systems are much stronger. Feed 3x daily. - I do 3x 50-75% weekly water changes.

Adults (5.5"- 8") I do 2x 75% water changes weekly. Keep at 82 degrees. I feed 2x daily. There are definite ranges in size in how large discus get. The size they get in adult-hood depends on how well they were cared for. In other words- water changes ( frequent) and nutrition.

As you can see, there are ranges to caring for discus that depend on size- that's why you often see so much conflicting information. People tend to lump care together without noting if juveniles, sub-adults, adults.


What size are you interested in getting?

Hey Discusluv. I'm really glad you decided to comment.


I'm thinking about getting juvies at 3 inches. A group of 6-8 but I'm not sure what strain exactly. Thanks for the info, I bookmarked it.
Discusluv likes this.
RollaPrime is offline  
 
post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:41 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Discusluv's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Elk Grove, California
Posts: 1,833
To answer your other questions:

If you are interested in breeding discus, then I would get one type. This will make sure that the line stays true.
I have 2 pairs of discus: a Pair of F1 Alenquers and 2 Stendker Tefe's that have spawned and fertilized eggs, but the eggs end up calcifying because need to use R/O water. I plan on doing this eventually.

But, if you are more interested in just keeping discus, and not breeding, then pick the colors that you like.

Did you take a picture of these juveniles? If did would like to see them. Some criteria to look for in juveniles: Make sure that eyes are not too big for body- this means they are stunted. Make sure eyes are clear. That do not have short gill plates. That are eating- ask them to feed them before you buy them. Watch the fish- make sure no clamped fins, white feces.

Plants that do well in discus tank in my experience: echinodorus bleherii, nymphoides hydrophylla 'Taiwan,' anubias, java ferns, crypts, ludwigia gladulosa. Plants that didn't do well: valisneria, anacharis

I dont know about discus and CO2. With 3 inch discus- I would be worried about that.
Shrimp- not sure.
Flow- they are not real particular.
Greggz and RollaPrime like this.

180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
Discusluv is offline  
post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 02:38 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
discuspaul's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3,363
I believe it would help you succeed at discus-keeping by reading through my guide per link below:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...de-discus.html

Meantime, check out the following standards on discus-keeping, in brief format:


D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 CARDINAL RULES FOR NEWBIES TO FOLLOW


First I'd just like to mention once again that discus are hardier than many people think, and are not difficult to keep, so long as one is prepared to accept and adhere to a few key practices that will provide the best chances of success with discus.

This listing is recorded more or less in order of importance:

1) - D - Do your homework well before delving into discus. Read and research all you can beforehand. Googling will certainly help, as well as spending a good deal of time reading the posts and threads on the simplydiscus.com forum, particularly the stickies in the 'Discus Basics for Beginners' section, which will provide you with much of the material you need to digest.

2) - I - Investigate and learn of the best sources to get your discus stock. Find those breeders &/or importers that are long time, well-experienced, responsible, reputable, and known to supply high quality, healthy, and well-shaped discus. Buy your discus from one of these sources in order to insure that you get off on the best footing possible.
This is the single, most important factor in succeeding with discus.
The simplydiscus.com forum has a sponsors section which lists a good number of high quality discus suppliers in North America. Check it out.

3) - S - Set up and plan to follow a strict regular routine of fresh water changes, tank wipe-downs and cleansing, vacuuming of wastes, and regular filter and media cleaning, changes, replacements, and maintenance. Be fully prepared for the kind of commitment it takes to produce and maintain the highest water quality and conditions that you can.

4) - C - Carefully consider the type of tank set up you start with. Make sure the tank size is ample enough to start with 5 or 6 discus. Don't be tempted to begin with a tank of less than 55 or 60 gallons, and don't try to justify going smaller by just getting 1, 2, 3, or 4 discus for cost or other reasons.
Wait till you have sufficient resources to get a proper-sized tank, and the suitable size and number of fish to insure continuing good health and harmonious discus sociability.
Do not start with small, undersized, very juvenile fish which have not yet developed a more mature immune system, are more demanding to raise properly, and much more prone to health problems and other issues. Get fish of at least 3.0" in size, preferably larger.

5) - U - Undertake to start off with a bare bottom tank, unless you're getting fully adult fish and have previous good experience with fish-keeping generally, and maintaining a planted tank in particular. If you must have some decor, limit yourself to a very thin sand substrate layer, and perhaps a piece of driftwood with just a couple of small plants attached, or one or two potted plants.
Once you gain several months' of experience getting to know your discus' traits & behavior, and your discus get larger, then you may proceed to an aqua-scaped environment, to possibly include some other species of compatible discus tank-mates. Feed a varied diet, several times a day, and learn which foods will achieve a nutritious diet, by researching.

6) - S - Simplify. Keep things as simple as you can to start. Don't complicate your start with discus, at least at first, by placing them in a heavily planted environment, using CO2 and a strict fertilization regime. Make sure your tank is fully cycled before adding the fish, and don't be tempted to alter or change the pH of your water, or modify your water conditions and parameters by using chemicals of any kind. No need to use RO water or adopt any other procedures that would tend to complicate what should be a simple start to your discus launch. If you plan on eventually having a community tank set-up, carefully research the species of other fish you'd like to keep with the discus, to insure they are able to withstand the higher discus temp of at least 82 F, and that they are fully compatible with discus.
And do a complete and proper quarantine before adding any such tank-mates to your discus tank.

Follow these 'rules', and there's little doubt you will succeed with discus !
Greggz, Doogy262 and RollaPrime like this.

Last edited by discuspaul; 05-02-2019 at 02:50 PM. Reason: add words
discuspaul is offline  
post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
RollaPrime's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
I believe it would help you succeed at discus-keeping by reading through my guide per link below:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...de-discus.html

Meantime, check out the following standards on discus-keeping, in brief format:


6) - S - Simplify. Keep things as simple as you can to start. Don't complicate your start with discus, at least at first, by placing them in a heavily planted environment, using CO2 and a strict fertilization regime. Make sure your tank is fully cycled before adding the fish, and don't be tempted to alter or change the pH of your water, or modify your water conditions and parameters by using chemicals of any kind. No need to use RO water or adopt any other procedures that would tend to complicate what should be a simple start to your discus launch. If you plan on eventually having a community tank set-up, carefully research the species of other fish you'd like to keep with the discus, to insure they are able to withstand the higher discus temp of at least 82 F, and that they are fully compatible with discus.
And do a complete and proper quarantine before adding any such tank-mates to your discus tank.

Follow these 'rules', and there's little doubt you will succeed with discus !
Thanks a ton for chiming in here Paul. I appreciate it. I'll follow and am aware of points 1-5 but when it comes to point 6, specifically the bolded, how lax is that. I already have plants with some on the way that handle the higher temperature. And I'm pretty experienced in terms of dosing and plant care etc. Is there any resources on discus and plants.

I plan to get 6 "3" inch discus.
RollaPrime is offline  
post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 09:58 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
discuspaul's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3,363
Well Rolla, it will certainly be helpful that you have good experience dealing with plant care , fertilizing, etc., but keep in mind that planted environments, especially heavily planted set-ups, are not conducive to maintaining a consistently high level of water quality and conditions which are needed to keep discus healthy & thriving.

While plants are quite beneficial in a number of ways in most tropical fish tank set-ups, they do provide conditions that are difficult to keep squeaky clean, and may harbor bacteria and possibly pathogens that discus may not be able to tolerate well, while most other types of tropicals have no difficulty with.

My best advice to you given your tank circumstances is to not be lax providing fairly frequent fresh water changes of a decent size, and keeping the tank and its substrate as clean as you can.

You would also significantly reduce the risk of the discus' health being compromised by getting the largest-sized discus you can afford - my suggestion would be at least a near adult size of 4" or larger, which would have a much better developed immune system than 3" fish.

Hope this helps.
Doogy262 and RollaPrime like this.

Last edited by discuspaul; 05-02-2019 at 10:06 PM. Reason: correction
discuspaul is offline  
post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
RollaPrime's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post

Did you take a picture of these juveniles?

I did try yesterday but they were sold out but I did get the name "White butterfly." Being super duper new to this species I figure I'd google them because names tend to vary but to my surprise...




Not the best pic but definitely the same strain.

Bump: I've become quite intrigued by the feeding of this species. Do I have to use raw meat/beef heart? Can I cook it first to lower the risk of worms? My ideal (and I say "my" in the most novice sense of the word) would be to give the discus a proven commercially available forumla so that I don't have to deal with the risks associated with raw meat. I'd appreciate any advice on that front also.



Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Well Rolla, it will certainly be helpful that you have good experience dealing with plant care , fertilizing, etc., but keep in mind that planted environments, especially heavily planted set-ups, are not conducive to maintaining a consistently high level of water quality and conditions which are needed to keep discus healthy & thriving.

While plants are quite beneficial in a number of ways in most tropical fish tank set-ups, they do provide conditions that are difficult to keep squeaky clean, and may harbor bacteria and possibly pathogens that discus may not be able to tolerate well, while most other types of tropicals have no difficulty with.

My best advice to you given your tank circumstances is to not be lax providing fairly frequent fresh water changes of a decent size, and keeping the tank and its substrate as clean as you can.

You would also significantly reduce the risk of the discus' health being compromised by getting the largest-sized discus you can afford - my suggestion would be at least a near adult size of 4" or larger, which would have a much better developed immune system than 3" fish.

Hope this helps.
The WC plan is to double my pond pump. Have one pump in the tank with the tubing going directly to the drainage. While another pump goes into a 60L bucket that is being filled while I siphon the gravel making a 50% WC that usually takes 30 minutes or so down to 15.
RollaPrime is offline  
post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 05:26 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
discuspaul's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3,363
Rolla,
Just google beef heart recipes for discus and you'll get a number of tried & true recipe variations, mainly provided by experienced simplydiscus.com hobbyists.
Or, depending on your location, you may be able to find some ready-made frozen beef heart foods to save you the time & trouble of making your own.

There are many other excellent, protein-rich nutritious foods available for discus at LFS or ordered on-line - one that immediately comes to mind are freeze-dried Australian blackworms, which most discus go crazy for - as well as frozen brine & Mysis shrimps - and several varieties of good quality pellets & flake foods, among others.
RollaPrime likes this.
discuspaul is offline  
post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
RollaPrime's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Rolla,
Just google beef heart recipes for discus and you'll get a number of tried & true recipe variations, mainly provided by experienced simplydiscus.com hobbyists.
Or, depending on your location, you may be able to find some ready-made frozen beef heart foods to save you the time & trouble of making your own.

There are many other excellent, protein-rich nutritious foods available for discus at LFS or ordered on-line - one that immediately comes to mind are freeze-dried Australian blackworms, which most discus go crazy for - as well as frozen brine & Mysis shrimps - and several varieties of good quality pellets & flake foods, among others.

I understand a varied diet and will definitely look to explore this more in depth. But what's most important here is whether or not they can live healthily without raw meat. I've read that worms are a problem and I'm not a fan or confident of untreated meat being introduced to their diet.



If there are ways to "cook" this and other meats to make it more "safe" I'll definitely use that process. But I'm wondering if they can thrive without "raw" meat.
RollaPrime is offline  
post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 08:02 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
discuspaul's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3,363
Yes, they can thrive without raw meat - so don't worry about it.

Having said that, one can find/buy properly processed products made with raw beef heart that are guaranteed to be free of any worms, or other harmful matter or bacteria.
RollaPrime likes this.
discuspaul is offline  
post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
RollaPrime's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Yes, they can thrive without raw meat - so don't worry about it.

Having said that, one can find/buy properly processed products made with raw beef heart that are guaranteed to be free of any worms, or other harmful matter or bacteria.
Music to my ears!
RollaPrime is offline  
post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 02:04 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 44
Don't sweat the raw beef heart thing. They won't catch anything from it unless it's spoiled, etc. Top breeders all over the world use it. There are processed options, but they can get quite expensive as discus eat a ton. I would also highly recommend starting with a hardscape only, discus only, bare bottom aquarium to figure the whole discus thing out. They're not difficult to keep, but do require good husbandry (i.e. very large water changes, several times a week). I started with discus in a planted aquarium and ended up ripping the plants and substrate because it was nearly impossible to keep it clean enough without destroying my aquascape (most plants do not like being disturbed to get detritus off of them and out from around them on a daily basis). I also started having issues when I would travel for work and would have to skip doing water changes for a few days. Once I went to hardscape only this was not an issue. Lastly, spend the extra money and start with quality discus. Stendkers are great (look up "Discus Hans") and I had good success with fish from Jack Wattley. Anything I got from a distributor that imported them from Asia always had parasite issues and gave me more problems. I just think Stendkers (and maybe Wattleys) are bred to be a little more hardy and not just purely for aesthetics. LFS discus are always a gamble at best.
RollaPrime likes this.
TexMoHoosier is online now  
post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
RollaPrime's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexMoHoosier View Post
Don't sweat the raw beef heart thing. They won't catch anything from it unless it's spoiled, etc. Top breeders all over the world use it. There are processed options, but they can get quite expensive as discus eat a ton. I would also highly recommend starting with a hardscape only, discus only, bare bottom aquarium to figure the whole discus thing out. They're not difficult to keep, but do require good husbandry (i.e. very large water changes, several times a week). I started with discus in a planted aquarium and ended up ripping the plants and substrate because it was nearly impossible to keep it clean enough without destroying my aquascape (most plants do not like being disturbed to get detritus off of them and out from around them on a daily basis). I also started having issues when I would travel for work and would have to skip doing water changes for a few days. Once I went to hardscape only this was not an issue. Lastly, spend the extra money and start with quality discus. Stendkers are great (look up "Discus Hans") and I had good success with fish from Jack Wattley. Anything I got from a distributor that imported them from Asia always had parasite issues and gave me more problems. I just think Stendkers (and maybe Wattleys) are bred to be a little more hardy and not just purely for aesthetics. LFS discus are always a gamble at best.

Hey Tex

Unfortunately I don't really have an option in terms of plants. It was an impulse buy after some recommendations here and on other sites. I know, I know... But at least I didn't just get the discus. Something that I was very close to doing. If it doesn't work out then I'll consider it part of the process. Plus I don't want to throw away the plants I already have. I have a FX6 and will be adding an Eheim external, more so for temperature control (Hydor inline heater is very precise.)

I really wish I could use some of those breeders you've recommended but I live in the UK and I doubt they're UK based. That said, if you have any recommendations for the EU/UK I would be appreciated. What I have come to recognize is that I might not be able to get the White butterfly strain. I'm more interested in healthy fish than I am the particular strain. But if I did get to combine the two that'd be something.


I was planning on 6 for a 118 Gal.
RollaPrime is offline  
post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 07:11 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by RollaPrime View Post

I really wish I could use some of those breeders you've recommended but I live in the UK and I doubt they're UK based. That said, if you have any recommendations for the EU/UK I would be appreciated. What I have come to recognize is that I might not be able to get the White butterfly strain. I'm more interested in healthy fish than I am the particular strain. But if I did get to combine the two that'd be something.



I was planning on 6 for a 118 Gal.

Didn't realize you're across the pond. Stendkers are bred in Germany, so I'm sure you can find them in the UK. Discus Hans is their distributor in the US. Every breeder has their own name for a strain, so what one may call a white butterfly, another may call something else. The biggest "rule" with crossing strains is not to cross pigeon blood based with non-pigeon blood based strains or the offspring will end up with what's called peppering. Pigeon blood discus have the black barring (sometimes called stress or mood bars) bred out of them. When excited (feeding, breeding, etc.) or stressed, non-pigeon blood strains will show vertical black bars. When crossed with pigeon blood discus the genes for the bars are not expressed as bars but look more like black specks all over the body. BTW that white butterfly looks to be a pigeon blood based (many whites/silvers are). Best of luck!
RollaPrime likes this.
TexMoHoosier is online now  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Beginner's Guide To Discus KyleT Fish 176 03-29-2019 07:09 PM
75 gal Planted discus tank what substrate? Designs in clay plants Substrate 21 08-10-2018 07:34 PM
trying to make a planted discus tank maybemark General Planted Tank Discussion 38 11-08-2015 04:00 PM
Single Discus? What The Heck?? scarhbar Fish 10 04-13-2014 01:43 PM
Discus Quality Review- Mr. Wang at KHS Aquarium 32Bit_Fish New York 30 03-08-2014 12:48 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome