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Yes, yes, yes I know discus prefer warmer water just curios as to how many people have kept them at 78? Any problems or did they do just fine? Thinking about adding just one to my 75, thanks for any input.
 

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I think it might depend on where you get your fish . Mine are from asia through an importer Mac's Discus. I keep them at 75 degrees plus or minus with a 7.5 ph and they are doing great. From reading around I think that maybe some local breeders breed them at high temp and low pH and these fish might not be so adaptable.

Bump: They do like to be in a group... Most folks seem to think 5 or 6 fish minimum
 

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Yes, yes, yes I know discus prefer warmer water just curios as to how many people have kept them at 78? Any problems or did they do just fine? Thinking about adding just one to my 75, thanks for any input.


Not only do they 'prefer' warmer temps of at least 82F, but over time discus would stress over the constant colder temp and become more susceptible to health issues as a result. And as doogy said, a single discus would likely become a very 'lonely camper'.
 

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I have mine in a planted150 gallon and keep it at 82,it is a trade off that works for plants and fish.When I grow out discus I do it in a 75 gallon bare bottom at 85 to 86.
 

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As a former discus keeper (I had up to 40 juvies & adults before my work schedule prevented me from the maintenance they deserved), I agree with those recommending temps in the 80's.
 

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As a former discus keeper (I had up to 40 juvies & adults before my work schedule prevented me from the maintenance they deserved), I agree with those recommending temps in the 80's.

Are you by chance the same gent who was active on simplydiscus forum for a couple of years, but haven't been heard from lately, presumably for the reason you mention above ? If so, it's nice to have you posting here on TPT - and say hello to Merry for me.
 

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Are you by chance the same gent who was active on simplydiscus forum for a couple of years, but haven't been heard from lately, presumably for the reason you mention above ? If so, it's nice to have you posting here on TPT - and say hello to Merry for me.
Yes, that's us. :)
 

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I'm not aiming this at any of the people responding in this thread, but I wonder how many responses to Discus threads have come from people that actually successfully keep discus? I hear things mentioned as if they are hard facts all the time- "You can't keep discus in anything but a bare bottom tank" "You MUST do a 90% water change daily" "You can't keep other fish with Discus" "You MUST keep Discus at 86*-90*". I've had Discus on and off for 40 years. My tanks have never been above 84* and for years I ran them at 78* but I have a community tank so I used to run it a little lower than I would if it was just Discus. Even at 78* my fish have been FAR from sickly or frail. Wild caught strains might need more time to slowly adapt to lower temps but it can be done. My Staendkers were happy at 78* or above as they're many generations of tap water breeding away from their wild predecessors. About a year ago I had one fish that was getting picky about food, so I SLOWLY moved it up to 84*. Now I would consider 78* the very bottom of the scale, so 82*or above is fine. I see no need to go above 88* unless you have a wild caught fish with specific needs. They're naturally a semi timid schooling fish, so don't keep just one. 4 or 5 to start in a 75 gallon.

Acclimating new Discus you should lower the tank to about 78*-80* as the shipping water will be cooler and then after they're in SLOWLY go up to your desired temp. Don't try to feed them for at least the first day and you may even want to leave the lights off for a day.

Here's some of my guys a few years ago (at 78*):



Tommy
 
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Here's some of my guys a few years ago (at 78*):


Tommy
While you may have felt they were happy, unfortunately, your photo shows that they were stunted. Their eyes are out of proportion to their body size and well maintained discus should be shaped like a disc, not a spade.

Our discus were kept in a bare bottom tank at 84F while juvies & when they were at least 5", they were moved to the 135 gallon planted tank with the other adults at 82F, unless they paired off, then they got a 20H bare bottom "condo" for making babies at 82F. All of our discus tanks got a 50% water change every other day.
Here are what discus bought at 2.5"-3" look like with that level of maintenance for roughly 2 years.




This was my runt. He was shaped more like your discus:
 
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While you may have felt they were happy, unfortunately, your photo shows that they were stunted. Their eyes are out of proportion to their body size and well maintained discus should be shaped like a disc, not a spade.

Our discus were kept in a bare bottom tank at 84F while juvies & when they were at least 5", they were moved to the 135 gallon planted tank with the other adults at 82F, unless they paired off, then they got a 20H bare bottom "condo" for making babies at 82F. All of our discus tanks got a 50% water change every other day.
Here are what discus bought at 2.5"-3" look like with that level of maintenance for roughly 2 years.




This was my runt. He was shaped more like your discus:


Very nice livestock, my friend, but my fish are far from stunted. The fish in my photo were <2.5". Show me one of your 2.5" Discus that is perfectly round like a 5". Stunted fish have oblong, bulging eyes, not round and flush. Another sign of a small Discus, not stunted one. The eyes stop growing at about 3" so older ones seem to have smaller eyes.

Tommy
 

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Every time I see photos of Discus, I envision having them one day. Then I remind myself of what's needed, and I pop back to reality. For me, retirement needs to be in the equation.
 

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I kept discus for years, even bred them and I had great luck with temps down to 76 with healthy, thriving fish that would even spawn in those low temps. It worked well for me as I enjoyed keeping them with coydoras sp. The discus fanatics out there will insist no temp below 80, but its hard to argue with results. Their metabolism will slow as the water temp decreases, change feeding accordingly. If your discus populations general health declines below 80 degrees then something is being missed and that last change or bit of stress is all it took to bring the issues to the surface. In my experience however the temperature difference alone did not make any notable change in their general health, appearance, or behavior until it dropped below 75. I also had luck adjusting them to higher PH values, even spawning in water as high as PH 7.6 making them more suitable for the local water supply where I lived, never had an issue or a customer complaint from the hundreds sold. Do they fare best at higher temperatures generally speaking? Absolutely. Most living things have a sweet spot for every aspect of their existence, and having more of those sweet spots met will allow you more wiggle room for variables whereas less sweet spots met requires more diligence on our behalf (keeping water clean, not cross contaminating, not over feeding, etc.) Water has more potential to hold disolved gases at higher concentration at lower temperatures as well which is of benefit to the fish, plants, and bacteria. Im sure some will adamantly disagree with me and the temp but this is my experience and something I put to practice for nearly 10 years before I sold my breeding pairs and discus tanks to make room for frag tanks and reefs that had been taking over real estate as they made me more money and I had some sweet connections at the time for rare and unusual coral and reef rock. That being said 78-82 is a pretty choice forgiving zone.
 
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