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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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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Discus may take up to 4 weeks to settle in new tank before they will swim out freely.

My concern is, did you notice any white transparent poo from the discus ?
This is one of the common disease with discus if they're not eating.
 

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Personally I don't keep discus, but I am thinking about it and was just talking to a clerk at my LFS about last night! He actually mentioned that most discus don't eat when people get them home because they need warm temps to thrive - like 80+ and most people don't know this. I'd try raising the temp first before anything and see if that helps......

Good Luck!
 

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You need to have the ability to raise and maintain the water temp close to 100F for sick fish, some meds like metro need mid 90s to work properly. The higher the temp, the faster their metabolism, the hungrier they get. Discus that do not eat for a week or so and are kept in proper conditions are sick, especially if they are hiding and being alone. Are eyes clear with color or cloudy? Poop, eyes, breathing, and body color, can tell you if Discus are sick. Healthy, happy Discus will butt each other around when food is present exercising dominance and huddle together like buddies when their bellies are full. Check your TDS! (If you do not know what I mean do some research on Discus and TDS.) I have lost a lot of Discus to hex, if it is not diagnosed and treated promptly they will stop eating and then you have to go the metro bath route which is a royal PITA. If the fish has white stringy poop, darts around the tank, curls its tail, stays by itself, and is most active with the lights off, suspect internal hexamita. You need to get a q-tank, never, never take Discus from a LFS and put them in a community tank or put fish from a LFS into a Discus tank without quarantining them for at least 2 weeks......DC
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
There are so many variable that I just don't have the patience to explain...there are reasons as to why I moved the fish directly into my tank...the man one being that I both understood the risk, and had been taking care and monitoring the fish at the LFS...(we're buddies and he knew little about discus, But against my warnings he got some anyways). So after feeding them and checking up on them at the store almost everyday...I decided to take the best five that I could find. and at first everything went normal...they acted just like I assumed they would. "shy" But the behavior hasn't gotten much better. They do come out...and swim around...if you are patient...but all the fish are like that. They all scatter when we enter the room (they are alone and have nothing bothering them) and slowly start comming out again in a min. The discus are the same...I just have yet to see them eat. I repeat..."ther eis no white poop" so please stop asking. I've been watching them like a hawk for two weeks and they have no symptoms of disease. They look pale but with color which could easily be simply from stress and lack of food. (imagine how you feel without food) I'm going to attempt garlic now and if that doesn't work then I'm almost out of options. I may just take them back. The discus are actually growing...they are bigger than when I bought them, but they are much to skinny. MY original discus were never that picky of eateras and were nice and flat, and a little on the plump side.
I'm actually more worried that the water is to blame since I constantly have to add ferts.

Thanks for all the help,

dave
 
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