discus won't eat!!!??! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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discus won't eat!!!??!

Help..the title says it all. I can't seem to get them to eat. I've had them almost two weeks I guess...but I have never seen them eat. I don't know how long they can go without ANY food, so they may be eating a little at night, or getting nurisment from else where. But I personally have never seen them eat. It's 5 discus in my 75 gallon tank. 3 stay together, and two kind of stay seprate from everything (they swim alone, single). I have tried all that I have. Flake, colorbits, discus flake, brineshrimp, artemia, rotifers, beefheart, tubiflex worms, and bloodworms. Plus I think I remember using some plankton and mysid shrimp as well as some other marine flakes. Every other fish eats anything I add in the tank, but hte discus never eat.

Anyone have any ideas as to what else I can try that they have had success with?

thanks

dave

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 05:33 AM
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Im sorry they arent eating... I dont have a clue to what the answer is but im sure someone does......BUMP
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the bump....bump

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 12:29 PM
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use some garlic extrac on their food, mix it in with some freshly thawed frozen in water then feed them that. garlic is an appatite stimulator

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 02:32 PM
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Try raising the temp to 88 degrees or higher.....
Live foods, even Artemia, Should stimulate them to eat...
What is their coloration like? (dark?). What does the feces
look like?(white and stringy?). If so could be parasitic infection.
Check out a metronidazole or other anti-parasitic treatment.

Doug N
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 04:16 PM
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Two great discus forums that will have plenty of advice about what to do with fish that are not eating.

http://forum.simplydiscus.com/
http://discusasahobby.com/forum/

What were the fish eating before? How large are they?

As Doug mentioned above, I would be suspicious of a hex infection if the feces are abnormal. Sometimes gill flukes or even Ich can make them not eat. Jacking up the heat to 88 or 90 will help. Consider adding aquarium salt as well, although caution is advised if this is a planted tank.

Other things to consider would be reducing the lighting and provide some cover for your shy discus.

65 gal planted - Rams
120 gal planted- Discus
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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they are in the darkness of the shade most of the day...when they do come out they are pale white, or really dark. The feces is not discolored...and actually I wouldn't know if they had any feces since they are not eating; unless it was white and stringy. I have upped the temp to a higher level but not all the way up to 88...that's hot. they were eating regular flakes before I got them and they never took it in my tank. they are about 2.5 inches in diameter. I have not tried garlic yet...(worried about the tank params...) and I have ordered from livebrineshrimp.com but I think the website is dead...have not recieved anything other than my confirmation (do not reply to this letter) sheet.

I did add salt at 1 tsp per 10 gallons...the low side of the dose. And Am waiting to see.

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the links by the way...

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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 07:51 PM
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do there belly's look swollen??
are they in a planted tank or bare bottom?
have u test the water?
were they shiped to u or did u get them localy?
i have had some go a week before eating
are there any other fish in the tank with them?
they can handle temps in the mid 90's
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 08:11 PM
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I keep my Discus tanks at 88 all the time.

65 gal planted - Rams
120 gal planted- Discus
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 08:21 PM
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I have 9 wild brown/green discuses that I had the same problem with them as you did, black in color, stayed toward the back of the tank and wouldn't eat.

I turned the heat to 87F (from 82F), put a towel over the front/side of the tank, lowered my light levels on the other half, added Melafix (half dose), feed them live black worms and live brine shrimp (they liked the black worms over the brine shrimp). I also did a water change every two days (20%). I did this for about a week, and then slowly removed everything, now they eat dried flake food out of my hand.

If the discuses are bought from a reputable breeder, you shouldn’t have to worry about diseased fish. The main cause of discus death I would say is stress. Stressed Fish = Sick Fish

Good Luck!

Brad
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 08:37 PM
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I am no expert on keeping discus, but I agree that 88 is not hot. I keep my discus at 85 regularly. And I keep my community tanks at 82. Go ahead and up the temperature.

Keep on top of your water changes. I do 70% every 4-6 days with healthy adult fish in a densely planted tank. If I were you, I'd do it every second or third day.

Lastly try to keep the area around the tank quiet. Approach slowly, and from the same direction each time. NO screaming kids running past, keep the dogs away, and try not to startle them.

Are there other types of fish in with them? or are they alone? is it bare bottom tank or planted?
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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by daveonbass View Post
It's 5 discus in my 75 gallon tank. 3 stay together, and two kind of stay seprate from everything (they swim alone, single). I have tried all that I have. Flake, colorbits, discus flake, brineshrimp, artemia, rotifers, beefheart, tubiflex worms, and bloodworms. Plus I think I remember using some plankton and mysid shrimp as well as some other marine flakes. Every other fish eats anything I add in the tank, but hte discus never eat.

dave
First thing:

"2 kind of stay seperate from everything (they swim alone)" These are most likely the most troubled of the 5. Seperate them to other quarters 29g or bigger and raise the temp on them to around 98F(over a 3 DAY period). (trust me these fish can handle high temps just fine with "HEALTHY" "CLEAN" "WELL OXYGENATED" water). Plus the added temp will shorten the lifspan of the bacilli or virus. Add some bacterial agent to the food as just putting it in the tank will not fix anything, and probably make the bacteria immune the drug. The drug I would use would be a wide spectrum antibacterial following the recomended doses on the package "TO THE LETTER".

Secondly: How do their stomachs look? Are they very plump around the anus area or midsection at all? (compared to normal) If so this could be an internal virus problem with a secondary bacterial infection. Again seperate them and give them the best treatment possible for virus (bought at an LFS). by soaking the food like Tubifex worms for a few hours in COLD running water, then leaving the worms in no water and adding the medicine to the worm container, and feeding within a few minutes you'll get some med inside the fishes stomach if they eat at all. (Normal Tap water carries antibacterial for human consumption and will kill any bacteria of note in the worms).

If the fish are truly not eating with the higher temp and medicine in their new tank then they might be beyond help at this stage most discus that are not eating at all and will not accept worms even, simply have no way of combating what is wrong with them and they will most likely die. This is sad of course.

Thirdly: What are the other params like? ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, PH, and DH? Have you tested these yet?(if any are way out of sorts compared to whats expected for your tank then this could be a partial cause to your fishes problem). These params by themselves probably will not keep Discus from eating but they do have a tendency to make the fish VERY STRESSED.

Forth: What about water changes? (I recommend at least 90% daily for the whole treatment) Also how many other and what types of fish do you have in with them? Are there any aggresive fish in the tank or at least something that perhaps has the ability to out-eat the discus who by default are slow to be the aggressors in food battles. Angelfish or other cichlids might be out competing them. Again the seperation of the two fishes most likely to be failing might solve this arguement.

If all else fails try to keep the sickest fish away from the others for as long as possible and see if the 3 remaining get any better. Might be something with the 5 not grouping together but this is pretty unlikely.

Also Tubifex worms will stay in the gravel for very long periods of time henceforth your discus might just be to full(but then you should see some sort of feces).

I have had many discus over the years and bred them for many years back in the 80's and 90's but I have had something like this happen only a couple times and it was cured with the higher temp and massive waterchanges and wide spectrum antibacterial and Virsu agents ued at the time. The only other way my discus ever became dark was at breeding time(but they still ate) and then they just needed a place of their own.

Hope some or all of this helps as I really hate it when Discus aren't having a good day!

Good luck!

Doug
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-19-2007, 12:25 AM
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Mine didint feed for 1-2 weeks i just got them to eat yesterday temp is 83 and they are extremly active now. I was using brine shrimp ( frozen ) but to find what they liked most i used blood worms and white shrimp as well as flakes they ate the brine shrimp. Good luck I feel your concern after paying 160 dollars for them i would have hated to see them die due to a lack of food.


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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-19-2007, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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I'll turn up the temp tomorrow. Sadly at teh moment I am limited to what I can do as far as QT (I can't, don't have an extra tank now). Their bodies are extrmemly concave...)(...no food will do that. They were eating flakes at the store and from the breeder that he got them from. I'n hoping that it's JUST stress. Again still not eating so no feces to see...and there are never any left over foods...the other fish take care of that. (cardinals and rummys)

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