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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, hope all is well.

I've lately been toying with the idea of giving my serpae and diamond tetras a new home, boosting my emperor tetra population, perhaps some harlequins, and getting some discus for my 125g. I've decided that the tank could use a little more "pow" centerpiece and a trio of adult cobalt discus (or something of that sort) would really be great.

I would wait until my tank ages until at least 5 months because things are still settling with my CO2+pH levels and as forgiving as everyone in the tank now as been, that would just be cruel and expensive to make discus go through that.

I would aim to get adolescent to adult fish because I realize rearing babies takes a) more than three b) a bare bottom tank for best case scenario.

I wouldn't want to end up with anymore than five (that's pushing it, but I have this thing about odd numbers) because as magical as discus are, too many creates the look of a bunch of dinner plates in a glass box. And I think the mystique of planted tanks is fish complimenting plants, which compliment the fish.

Now that I've managed to ramble on about a hypothetical situation, anyone have any rambling to contribute as well? :icon_smil
 

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adult discus are definitely the way to go with a planted tank just because it is so messy to feed juvenile discus four times a day. I currently have my 7 juvies in a bare bottom tank and it makes life much easier, but i would like to transfer these to a planted tank in about a year. I agree with you though, a tank that is too crowded just looks cluttered.
 

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mitchar19 - I think there is a fine line between tasteful planted discus tanks, and crossing over into Disney Land. Granted, there's never a lack of appreciation for the fish, that's for sure! I've been reading up at Simply Discus see others' experiences and it seems like bare bottom is the ONLY way to go with juvies, and I can understand why.

DiabloCanine - Good points. Just to wonder, though, are RO units REALLY necessary for domestic-bred, local fish? Especially adults or near adults that are probably accustomed to the local water? I realize that they need a very specific window of water parameters, but I'm curious if RO would be required. Beneficial, of course.
 

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Hi
From what I have read as long as you aren't tryng to breed them and you acclimate them slowly you can keep discus in a higher ph.
 

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mitchar19 - I think there is a fine line between tasteful planted discus tanks, and crossing over into Disney Land. Granted, there's never a lack of appreciation for the fish, that's for sure! I've been reading up at Simply Discus see others' experiences and it seems like bare bottom is the ONLY way to go with juvies, and I can understand why.

DiabloCanine - Good points. Just to wonder, though, are RO units REALLY necessary for domestic-bred, local fish? Especially adults or near adults that are probably accustomed to the local water? I realize that they need a very specific window of water parameters, but I'm curious if RO would be required. Beneficial, of course.
From what I've read, heard, and seen the more important factor is to have stable water parameters, with low nitrates, hardness, and pH. RO isn't necessary, not even to breed them. Keep in mind that I've never even kept discus ;) this is just what I've gathered.
 

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I don't think RO water is necessary as long as you maintain water changes, I personally don't use RO water and my fish eat very well and are very healthy.
 

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I have never bought any of my Discus larger than 2.5" and have always had them in planted tanks. The only reason I don't have all the ones I started with is I sold all my livestock off when I moved. They can be agressive towards eachother so I recommend getting your fish all at the same time and keep them about the same relative size. I used to keep them @ 82 * F, but found that many of my current plants weren't too happy, so they're now at 78* F. I also use tap H2O treated with Prime, no RO, DI or any other special filtered H2O.

Tommy
 

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I will say this discus are different fer each person.

I find discus in a planted tank as babies are stunted. get a pack of at least 5 to neutralize the aggression between everyone. Water doesn't mater as long as you have nitrate's at 0. Ph and all that crap don't mean anything. Just keep it all the same. when everything starts changing thats when problems occur.

Like if you have your tank as a ph of 8 and then u do a water change at ph of 7 then most likely they will be dead or in siver shock.

As for one at a time I hear is plausible. If your going to breed then get aaa quality with all the same color so then you can breed aaa quality fish. You want just looks then get all sorts of strains but 5 adults can range you from 500$ right to 5000$. So hears a site if you already don't know. Thats where I started with my information. made things easy after maken all the huge mistakes http://forum.simplydiscus.com/index.php.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys. All good info.

That's what I was thinking too...RO would be GREAT, but (like with other fish) just keeping things clean and stable is what's most important. My pH after CO2 is about 7.2, however I am still fine-tuning it to maintain as close to absolute stability as I can, so any discus would be down the road :)

I have no intentions of breeding and, if I actually do this, would prefer to add three or four grown fish at the same time. If they get really happy and spawn, I'd be thrilled, but that is not my goal. I'm in the mindset of having a beautiful tank with healthy, beautiful fish. All eye candy. It would be a fun project, but I need to make sure they would work for me and my tank. No impulse buys!
 

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DiabloCanine - Good points. Just to wonder, though, are RO units REALLY necessary for domestic-bred, local fish? Especially adults or near adults that are probably accustomed to the local water? I realize that they need a very specific window of water parameters, but I'm curious if RO would be required. Beneficial, of course.
Keep in mind I am not an educated expert on Discus or water quality but.....Is RO water really necessary? Is claritin really necessary for my allergies? Nothing is really mandatory for keeping Discus. They will be most comfortable in low TDS water, the best way to get low TDS water is through a RO system. Keep in mind also it is very difficult for most things that hurt Discus to survive in warm acidic water. A planted tank is prone to higher TDS due to the ferts we use. You will get varying opinions on keeping Discus like everything else you see on forums, I did this, I do that, you need to do this. I recently killed several Heckels because I inadvertently allowed my TDS to exceed 500, I normally keep it below 100. Is that the reason they died? Probably not, but just like us during a cold rainy day, the enviroment I subjected them to weakened them allowing something to invade their defense system. Once sick, a wild discus is very difficult to nurse. Unfortunately, I have learned a few things killing some beautiful fish, I was so upset with the Heckel deaths I almost gave up the hobby.......DC
 

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RO water is NOT necessary for keeping/breeding discus. I keep discus in regular tap (hard water, pH about 7.4) and 2 have actively been spawning, almost every 5-7 days. Unfortunately, the eggs get eaten after the 2nd day or so, even after seperating the mated pair. I'm not really interested in breeding discus, but if they do, then I keep a "Hey, it's cool" attitude. I know a local breeder raises and breeds discus in regular tap water as well.

As far as keeping them in a 125 gallon tank, discus are nervous fish and prefer to be in larger groups. With such a small group in a large tank, you would probably see them hiding in corners and may be afraid to venture out to even feed.
 

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RO is not necessary but I do think you have to be quite deligent with the water changes. As for how many, do not get 3, get a breeding pair or at least half a dozen better yet a full dozen.
 

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Diablo Your talking about tds? id What is that? It not nitrate is it? I'm sorry to hear about your heckles. I to did a dumb thing when I first started.

I had a runt with my first batch of discus. So I think why not put him with the new batch. Go figure the reason why he was a runt was he Had Hex. After killing 6-8 discus over the course of a couple weeks to a month. Now a year after I thin realized wow what a fricken idiot I was.

I find rasing discus isn't hard. Just different from the normal fish. Like anyone can put in sword tails, guppies, mollies and platies in a tank and they will spawn like crazy with a water change every 2 months you could get away with.

Discus just need stable water and if there young 2 water changes a week. Then your good to go. As the get older you can cut down on water changes and feeding. Yeah if you don't do 40% water change's every other day and feed them 5-7 times a day you will not see them grow an inch a month.

But you will still have some big discus. Its trail and error. Like me I hate when people only have one discus in a tank and when they start out they put these beautiful fish in planted tanks then stunt them. But its just like me where I have a shop light at the top of my tank. Where I should have the proper lighting for when I get a planted tank.
 

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For a real simple answer TDS is total dissolved solids, its a measure of conductivity. How much total stuff is in your water besides just water. Discus like it low.

I have a bunch (7) of smaller discus that are definitely stunted. They were raised in a planted tank. They compete heartily with my angels rainbows and huge congo tetras in my 125 and nothing freaks them out. The dogs can sit next to the tank and smack their big dog tails against he stand and the fish couldn't care less. They definitely suffered physically to get to this stage and you can see it in the fish, but they are healthy enough and still very pretty if relatively small for discus. If that is good enough, then by all means go for it.

Then I have some really stunning discus that are absolutely beautiful, perfectly shaped big healthy fish that were raised bare bottom with daily water changes and top quality foods. They are just beautiful. But they're a nervous wreck! Everything freaks them out.

I think maybe if you had done more than- what was it you recommend?- 40% bi-weekly then less when they get older? I think if you had done more to have optimal conditions for your fish the Hex wouldn't have wiped them all out. He was likely a runt because he didn't have optimal water conditions and didn't get enough to eat and the Hex was probably the result and not the cause.
 

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TDS meter? Never heard of it. Is it even necessary, or just overkill?
I tend to wonder about using RO water exclusively as well. Isn't the general rule with most fish to keep *stable* water conditions, as opposed to precise replicas of what they might get in nature?
Similarly, Cardinal tetras have a reputation for being delicate, but I've had success with just regular acclimation (floating for ~ 1 hr). I've had people tell me that I should slowly acclimate them in a separate tank over the course of a month or so. Extreme overkill IMO.


Consider using RO water and definitely get a TDS meter.....DC
 

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For a real simple answer TDS is total dissolved solids, its a measure of conductivity. How much total stuff is in your water besides just water. Discus like it low.

I have a bunch (7) of smaller discus that are definitely stunted. They were raised in a planted tank. They compete heartily with my angels rainbows and huge congo tetras in my 125 and nothing freaks them out. The dogs can sit next to the tank and smack their big dog tails against he stand and the fish couldn't care less. They definitely suffered physically to get to this stage and you can see it in the fish, but they are healthy enough and still very pretty if relatively small for discus. If that is good enough, then by all means go for it.

Then I have some really stunning discus that are absolutely beautiful, perfectly shaped big healthy fish that were raised bare bottom with daily water changes and top quality foods. They are just beautiful. But they're a nervous wreck! Everything freaks them out.

I think maybe if you had done more than- what was it you recommend?- 40% bi-weekly then less when they get older? I think if you had done more to have optimal conditions for your fish the Hex wouldn't have wiped them all out. He was likely a runt because he didn't have optimal water conditions and didn't get enough to eat and the Hex was probably the result and not the cause.
The first batch i got as soon as I got them home there where 6. @ of them where jet black. and died 4 days after. the one was really tiny and then there where 3 that where big and grew up. but that 4th runt when I got the new ones I ploped him in. At that time I was doing 2- 3 water changes in the tank a week. Depend on how many classes I had that day.

Thus I learned from MY mistakes. I can personally say yeah you can get away with a water change a week if there sub adults so about 4.5" to 6".

The healthy discus you have and the runts. The runts don't hid witch is good. But my runts have this wired shape there not round like my healthy ones. Id say along there sensor line on there body it goes from being wide to dipping in. IF only I had a picture. Mine are some what skidis but not crazy they move then come back.

Now Your healthy fish That are huge shouldn't be running away. Must be there location or how they where raised. The babies I have now that grow an inch each month I can hit that tank do jumping jacks in front of them and they will keep doing what there doing.

The only thing I can say is yeah people have to change there habits a bit for discus, and You learn whats best. Now your either going to learn the hard way witch costs you a lot of money, or you will learn the easy way from some body thats done it and can help you.
 
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