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Not trying to burst your bubble, but those fish definitely are stunted. They are football shaped, as well as having very large eyes. It is not your fault, they were probably raised in less than pristine conditions and that has caused them to grow like that. They will never be the beautiful plate shaped fish that you see online, but they will still be very nice fish.
 

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Very sorry Eric, you probably got those discus from a LFS and you didn't know the difference between good and poor specimens - but that's typical of newcomers to discus, most of whom don't do sufficient homework to begin with. It happened to me when I first started.
But hey, that's ok, yes they are stunted, but they can still be good citizens & neighbors if looked after properly.

If you really want to succeed with discus, and you want to try it again, get your discus from a really good source to get high quality (I'd be glad to tell you where) and follow these few simple rules:



First I'd just like to mention once again that discus are hardier than many people think, and are not difficult to keep, so long as one is prepared to accept and adhere to a few key practices that will provide the best chances of success with discus.

This listing is recorded more or less in order of importance:

1) - D - Do your homework well before delving into discus. Read and research all you can beforehand. Googling will certainly help, as well as spending a good deal of time reading the posts and threads on the simplydiscus.com forum, particularly the stickies in the 'Discus Basics for Beginners' section, which will provide you with much of the material you need to digest.

2) - I - Investigate and learn of the best sources to get your discus stock. Find those breeders &/or importers that are long time, well-experienced, responsible, reputable, and known to supply high quality, healthy, and well-shaped discus. Buy your discus from one of these sources in order to insure that you get off on the best footing possible.
This is the single, most important factor in succeeding with discus.
The simplydiscus.com forum has a sponsors section which lists a good number of high quality discus suppliers in North America. Check it out.

3) - S - Set up and plan to follow a strict regular routine of fresh water changes, tank wipe-downs and cleansing, vacuuming of wastes, and regular filter and media cleaning, changes, replacements, and maintenance. Be fully prepared for the kind of commitment it takes to produce and maintain the highest water quality and conditions that you can.

4) - C - Carefully consider the type of tank set up you start with. Make sure the tank size is ample enough to start with 5 or 6 discus. Don't be tempted to begin with a tank of less than 55 or 60 gallons, and don't try to justify going smaller by just getting 1, 2, 3, or 4 discus for cost or other reasons.
Wait till you have sufficient resources to get a proper-sized tank, and the suitable size and number of fish to insure continuing good health and harmonious discus sociability.
Do not start with small, undersized, very juvenile fish which have not yet developed a more mature immune system, are more demanding to raise properly, and much more prone to health problems and other issues. Get fish of at least 3.0" in size, preferably larger.

5) - U - Undertake to start off with a bare bottom tank, unless you're getting fully adult fish and have previous good experience with fish-keeping generally, and maintaining a planted tank in particular. If you must have some decor, limit yourself to a very thin sand substrate layer, and perhaps a piece of driftwood with just a couple of small plants attached, or one or two potted plants.
Once you gain several months' of experience getting to know your discus' traits & behavior, and your discus get larger, then you may proceed to an aqua-scaped environment, to possibly include some other species of compatible discus tank-mates. Feed a varied diet, several times a day, and learn which foods will achieve a nutritious diet, by researching.

6) - S - Simplify. Keep things as simple as you can to start. Don't complicate your start with discus, at least at first, by placing them in a heavily planted environment, using CO2 and a strict fertilization regime. Make sure your tank is fully cycled before adding the fish, and don't be tempted to alter or change the pH of your water, or modify your water conditions and parameters by using chemicals of any kind. No need to use RO water or adopt any other procedures that would tend to complicate what should be a simple start to your discus launch. If you plan on eventually having a community tank set-up, carefully research the species of other fish you'd like to keep with the discus, to insure they are able to withstand the higher discus temp of at least 82 F, and that they are fully compatible with discus.
And do a complete and proper quarantine before adding any such tank-mates to your discus tank.

Follow these 'rules', and there's little doubt you will succeed with discus !
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Had no idea. I still like them very much. I believe my buddy who owns a LFS gets them from Elrich in CT or MA i forget which, but apparently he has a discus pond in the basement where he breeds and takes care of many discus. Im wondering how they got like that.
 

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Had no idea. I still like them very much. I believe my buddy who owns a LFS gets them from Elrich in CT or MA i forget which, but apparently he has a discus pond in the basement where he breeds and takes care of many discus. Im wondering how they got like that.
From what i've heard, when they are raised in close quarters the largest ones release a hormone into the water that stops the growth of the others in order to establish dominance and make sure the strongest fish survives. This is why when breeding them it is very important to do daily water changes while they are growing. This keeps the hormone from building up in the water and stunting their growth. Most likely whoever was breeding them did not keep up on daily water changes when they were growing.

They can still be very happy healthy fish and do great in your aquarium, they will just never reach the big beautiful discus shape you see in pictures, they will pretty much stay as they are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
From what i've heard, when they are raised in close quarters the largest ones release a hormone into the water that stops the growth of the others in order to establish dominance and make sure the strongest fish survives. This is why when breeding them it is very important to do daily water changes while they are growing. This keeps the hormone from building up in the water and stunting their growth. Most likely whoever was breeding them did not keep up on daily water changes when they were growing.

They can still be very happy healthy fish and do great in your aquarium, they will just never reach the big beautiful discus shape you see in pictures, they will pretty much stay as they are.
I know this guy has one of the best discus setups for breeding. i'm not too worried about it. i like them and Im not a fish snob so no worries! Thanks for pointing it out though!
 

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Eric, should you ever decide you want to add more discus to your group, here's a link to one of best suppliers of high quality discus in the north-eastern U.S. - Discus-r-Us (James) in Ocean Gate, N.J. - they will ship airship or provide overnight truck delivery, with live delivery guaranteed.

http://www.discusrus.com/

And btw Aja - what you heard is incorrect - discus releasing hormones that hinder the growth of other discus is nothing but a myth, as many experienced discus-keepers will tell you. There is no evidence of any kind to this effect. The only 2 things that retard growth in discus is either genetic flaws, or young discus being grown out under poor water quality & conditions.
 

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Had no idea. I still like them very much. I believe my buddy who owns a LFS gets them from Elrich in CT or MA i forget which, but apparently he has a discus pond in the basement where he breeds and takes care of many discus. Im wondering how they got like that.



They definitely got stunted like that from being raised in poor water quality & conditions - simply inadequate/sub-standard care for discus - nothing more than that.
Judging by their condition, I wouldn't be surprised if most of that supplier's discus are stunted. Please do yourself a favor Eric, and don't buy any more from that source.
 
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