Stunted Discus Growth - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Stunted Discus Growth

I have a Freshwater Planted Tank which houses an assorted amount of Discus Fish, ranging in size from 5 inches to 2 inches. The smaller Discus Fish growth seems to be stunted.I've read from certain forums posted on Planted Tank that this is possible. My question is why and what can I do to regain their growth?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:51 PM
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bad water conditions not getting enough water changes I dont think theres much u can do once a discus is stunted
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:53 PM
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other than size what does a stunted discus mean? if it is stuck at small enough size, does it mean it wont breed? or does it mean it wont color up once they reach adult size and will be stuck at juvie size?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Stunted growth meaning that they've been in the tank almost 4 months and haven't put on any considerable growth. I also wasn't sure if I housed them in a separate bare bottom 55 gallon tank if they would start to develop growth.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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I also do weekly water changes of 40%
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 06:19 PM
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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.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 06:32 PM
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You could sell them as dwarf discus for $1,000 a pop
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 07:18 PM
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Further to my foregoing comments, just so there's no misunderstanding, I'm not suggesting that discus which have already become 'stunted' - i.e. whose growth has so far been limited -, to some degree or another, can resume their full growth pattern and eventually attain normal size, if removed from their previously less than ideal conditions, and placed in a bb tank with more attention to tank cleansing and larger, more frequent wcs.

What I am saying is if already 'stunted' discus are then placed under ideal conditions, it is quite possible, perhaps even likely, that they will grow out to be, at least moderately, larger-sized than they would have reached if left in the previous planted environment - perhaps even reaching close to normal size..

Last edited by discuspaul; 06-01-2013 at 07:19 PM. Reason: changes
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 08:27 PM
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Forgive my long-windedness, but another point to keep in mind, dinnese, is that some discus which are lagging in growth, and may appear to be, or becoming, stunted, may not be stunting at all, but simply slower-growing (again, due to genetics, just as in the case of humans or other animals).

If a discus is lagging in growth behind others, but does not appear to have an abnormally poor eye to body ratio, and is not seriously football-shaped rather than rounder, then it may simply be a slow-grower, whose growth will spurt up in later months behind the others, eventually catching up and attaining a size that is near to the rest of the group, later in the near adult to adult stages.

It's happened to me several times - Some time ago I gave my daughter a 3.5" discus which I felt was stunting, as it was about 1.5" smaller than the rest of a group of the same strain of discus that I had gotten together as smaller juvie siblings.

Lo & behold, a few months later in her tank that discus had grown to be well over 6" and was nearly the largest of her group of similarly-aged discus.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshen11 View Post
other than size what does a stunted discus mean? if it is stuck at small enough size, does it mean it wont breed? or does it mean it wont color up once they reach adult size and will be stuck at juvie size?
It means they look like crap. Discus are supposed to be big and round majestic fish not some small triangle shaped runts with huge alien looking eyes. They will breed though and color up fine but just look terrible otherwise. Life is too short to have subpar fish when so many affordable high quality imported discus are available for less money than the terrible craigslist or LFS discus you see all the time.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 04:58 AM
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high temp is require, and some people believe it is the growth inhibit hormone that small fish release in a small water body, so stunted.
no matter what size of filter(or how clean the water) in a grow up tank for discus, only way to reduce hormone is frequent water change, (or heavy inline UV to break down the hormone protein)
That is why a small single discus grow much better in even a small tank with less water change, versus a group in a large tank, because less growth inhibit hormone hazard.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 01:21 PM
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Re: Stunted Discus Growth

LOL are we really going down the "growth hormone" road here?

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 03:03 PM
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Growing out discus to full size is tough, much tougher than breeding them I found. 40% a week is not sufficient IMO, everyone has their ways but when I grew out discus 40% a DAY was not enough for me, I did 90-100% daily. Yes I am one of those LOL, I learned the hard way after many years of trying. Also nobody discussed feeding much but one good reason grow out discus need such heavy water changes is to remove the waste from the MANY daily feedings of water-fouling things like beefheart and all the poop. Oh the poop.

I got to the point where I saw it as a race against time-- every missed feeding and missed water change was a fraction of an inch lost off that fish's final size. A lot of work? YES. Final difference was maybe an inch off what I was able to grow with less w/c and food but an inch is a lot on a full size discus. Most people have never seen a truly full size domestic discus, it is very impressive.

This is all my opinion, not looking for any discus fights LOL. HTH.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
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LOL are we really going down the "growth hormone" road here?

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lol, not sure, it is there or it is just rumor, it was one of the hot topic between discus breeders years ago, without conclusion though.


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2013, 06:25 AM
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The other option is to do selective feeding. But discuspaul pretty much covered everything. I used to breed disus and there will always be what I called the "runts". It might also help if you can show us pictures of the little guy.
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