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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have root tabs inserted in the substrate in my 75G tank. The substrate consists of ecocomplete/gravels and Miracle Organic Potting Soil. I noticed there are air bubbles (medium and large in size) coming out of the substrate a few bubbles per a hour everyday since Jan when I setup the tank.

I added two adult discus into my planted tank after three weeks of quarantine. Both of them turned dark right away and I am wondering why?
Several possible cause I could think of listed below. Let me know what do you guys think.

- Fertilizer(root tabs) in the substrate cause impurity of water?
- I've also added Praziquental in the tank to treat flukes as I had added LFS in the tank with only 2 days of quarantine. I suspect the tank has possibly infested with fluke as I saw fish with rapid breathing and scratch themselves against objects in the tank once a while. The rapid breathing may also caused by low Oxygen level as there is no water surface agitation due to the spreadbar is being positioned under the water. So I added an air stone in thet tank last night. I know poor water quality may cause rapid breathing as well
- I've never syphon the substrate since day one as I thought there is no need to do so because plants will use the fish waste as nutrient. Now I guess I would have to do it for the discus in the tank. I have been doing at least 50% w/c weekly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dark color background and substrate may cause dark discus. But there are other factors such as poor water quality.

The fish is not eating and I did siphoned the substrate last night with a 60% w/c. One fish has clamped gill plate on one side and displaying stress bar.

It's a tough start for me.
 

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there are a bunch of factors that can cause discus to darken up without actually being sick.

are the water parameters of the qt tank exactly the same as the planted tank?
the stress of being moved 3 times in 3 weeks. sometimes discus take a week to get settled in.
alot of movement in the house could stress them until they are used to it..

were they eating in QT? if so it could just be time to adjust.

is the lighting the same on the qt as the main tank?

are you adding co2 to the planted tank?

all of these little things can stress discuss and take time for them
to adjust to their new environment.

i once had discus so stressed from shipping that all they did for 3 days was lay
on the bottom of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I siphoned the substrate and did a 60% w/c last night. There were a lot of fish waste/left over food breakdown matters in the substrate. The siphoned out water literly black and I got about 15G of it out of the tank.
The fish seem more active when I woke up this morning. But they are still not eating well. One fish has clamped gill on one side with rapid breathing and not eating at all.

Both fish were eating well while they are in QT tank. No CO2 in my planted tank. But there are root tabs in the substrate and I see air bubbles coming out of the substrate.

Is there a possibility that phosphorusgas is coming out of my substrate that stress the discus? I have Miracle Pro Organic Soil top with ecocomplete. I'm just puzzling why the discus are still stressed after spent almost 3 days in the planted tank.

My other problem is they are reluctant to pick up the food or they just couldn't find the food when the food are sitting on top of substrate as my substrate is in black mixed with small gravels.
 

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You need to do some research with discus in planted tanks. Gravel needs to stay spotless discus are very susceptible to disease and need crystal clear stable parameters.

What are your levels? Did,you acclimate them well? Always keep up with your water changes. Do at least 50% twice a week.

-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You need to do some research with discus in planted tanks. Gravel needs to stay spotless discus are very susceptible to disease and need crystal clear stable parameters.

What are your levels? Did,you acclimate them well? Always keep up with your water changes. Do at least 50% twice a week.

-Chris
Someone on here stated that all his discus are doing great and he doesn't siphon substrate, maybe once a while when he remembers. That's why I get the impression I do not need to siphon substrate and all live plants can use them as a source of nutrient. I guess I need to siphon them and it just very time consuming.

Water parameters are fine. I do 70% daily when they were in my 20G QT tank for three weeks. They were all eating like a pig.
 

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As with any new fish they need time to acclimate, discus take weeks to get comfortable. 3 days is nothing. The best treatment for discus is changing water, lots of it. Were they eating well with bright colors, open full fins etc in the QT tank?

There are so many more added variables in a planted tank that I see your trying to rule out. Rapid breathing with flashing is a sign of gill flukes. Rapid breathing also could be low 02 levels, if your injecting c02 I would lower it immediately. They need time to adjust to that as well.
Is there feces white and stringy? If it is then its internal parasites. Also where did you purchase your fish from?

Prazipro treatment for flukes needs to be prolonged for at least a month and repeated after a few weeks again to be sure.
I'd recommend De-Los instead for fluke treatment, it's stronger and kills the fluke eggs. One of my 7 adult discus did not take well to prazipro either, almost like it was allergic. The other 6 acted totally fine during prophylactic treatment using prazipro for deworming.

It's important to remember that the lifecycle of flukes takes several weeks and any unhatched eggs in the substrate will not be killed by just the recommended week or so treatment on the bottle. The exposure time needs to be longer.

The best way to identify flukes is by doing a skin and gill scrape, then examine that slime sample under a microscope. I identified skin flukes on some of my discus last year, they didn't show major signs of the parasite either. Some were just not thriving as they should. I treated for several weeks with De-Los successfully.
 

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Yea it's just,the change in tanks. I tried not siphoning the substrate for,awhile once. They all got sick, I just do,mine once a week on maintenance. Day.

-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had Praziquantel in the tank for couple days, but not with all other ongoing issues and I would back down with the med and keep up the water change.

The substrate is so dirty that I think I need several large waterchange to completely clean up the substrate. Maybe it is a good idea to move the fish back to the QT tank for now until the water quality is in check in the 75g tank.

Yup, both fish showing great color and eating like a pig while in the QT tank. They have been in it for 3 weeks.
 

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If they were doing well in QT i would move them back ASAP. Get your display tank parameters in check. If you exposed them to flukes from other fish in your display tank you will see signs of flukes now in your QT as well since they will carry them over on their skin and gills. You will need to treat both tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One other issue is I feel they are having difficulties catching the food in a planted tank. That may caused by many factors like right now the problem I have in the planted tank.

Feeding them is so much easier in a BB tank when I can just dump bunch of food in the water and let the food sink to the bottom of the tank and the fish slowly pick them up slowly.

In a planted tank, they couldn't even find the food on the substrate due to the color of the substrate and some food just end up below the substrate and get rotten.

I will move them back to the QT tank tonight if they are still not doing well in my planted tank when I get home from work today.
 

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Don't get discouraged though, you can keep Discus in a planted tank just needs to be clean. BB is always the safe solution but I love planted Discus tanks. Best,way is to keep it clean and if it's a new tank let it mature for a few months will be easier to maintain

-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Both fish seem doing better with brighter color and trying to eat a little food. But they dont go up to the surface to pick up the FDBW on put there.

One of them has gill fluke. I saw he/she scratching his/her gill plate against object in the tank and went hiding behind plants. Rapid breathing with one side of gill completely shut.

I dosed tank with Praziquantel last night and the fish showing sign of improvement from gill flukes infection this morning. However, both fish do swimming around in the tank sometime.

For some reason, the tank water PH risen to 7.1 from 6.8 and my straight tap PH is 6.8. PH supposed to go down as a result of nitrification process. The PH of QT tank water drops within 2 days from 6.8 to 6.5. But why PH rises in my planted tank. I do not have CO2 turned on, but the PH shouldn't gone up. It's odd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Should I use De-Los to treat flukes in a planted tank? I know De-Los is much stronger med than Praziquantel. I can over dose Praiquentel and leave it with fish, snail plants, not a problem.

Someone suggested De-Los is similar to "Fluke Tabs" (now it is discontinued in U.S). I'm not sure it is safe to use in a planted tank.

It seems Praziquantel would take longer to kill fluke, especially in a planted tank. The fish still breath with one gill plate closed this morning around 6:30AM when I dosed the tank with Praziquantel yesterday around 8PM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I can probably make assumption that De-Los is safe for aquarium plants since it has been used for plants on land.

It's seems only NationalFishPharm sells De-Los. But the shipping is like the price of 1/2 De-Los.
 
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