Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Discus stunting occurs more frequently, and in greater percentage numbers, in planted/community tanks, due to the general tendency of fish-keepers to not maintain the optimum water quality & conditions and tank cleansing regime that discus should have, along with size and frequency of wcs than say those, for example, being maintained in bb/discus only tanks.
Genetics also play a factor in a small number of runts developing, whether or not the fish are kept in bb or planted tanks.
If some stunting has previously occured due to less than ideal conditions for discus, then if planted tank maintenance and frequency of large wcs are kicked up a notch or two, some stunted discus can be brought back and eventually grow, albeit more slowly, to near normal adult size. So it is possible to gain some growth spurt if the fish are removed from a planted environment, and placed in bb, with attendant better attention to tank cleansing, and larger, more frequent wcs.
Whether or not they do regain some growth, most can nonetheless lead normal, healthy lives, be as colorful as average-sized adult discus, and even breed.