The Planted Tank Forum banner

Need help with new discus

1632 9
I set up a 150 gallon planted tank this summer with the interest of making it a discus aquarium. Last week I bought a discus (2") and he has been doing fine. Today, I bought two more, one that's the same size and one that's 1.5". Unfortunately, the one that I had first has been nipping and attacking the other two. Since it's such a large tank, I would normally think that the discus would be able to hide, but it's been brutal. There are about 20 other fish in the tank, including roseline barbs, clown loach, and rams. I have a 10 gallon quarantine. Not sure what to do... I want to be able to keep all 3 together successfully and add to the group by getting more discus, but I dont want any more discus to be attacked by the current aggressor.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,412 Posts
I set up a 150 gallon planted tank this summer with the interest of making it a discus aquarium. Last week I bought a discus (2") and he has been doing fine. Today, I bought two more, one that's the same size and one that's 1.5". Unfortunately, the one that I had first has been nipping and attacking the other two. Since it's such a large tank, I would normally think that the discus would be able to hide, but it's been brutal. There are about 20 other fish in the tank, including roseline barbs, clown loach, and rams. I have a 10 gallon quarantine. Not sure what to do... I want to be able to keep all 3 together successfully and add to the group by getting more discus, but I dont want any more discus to be attacked by the current aggressor.
Wow, I don't want to offend you but I have to tell you that you've made a number of common mistakes made by new discus-keepers. caused by doing insufficient research on discus before getting started with them.


Among them are:
- Buying small very young discus whose immune systems are largely undeveloped, causing them to be overly susceptible to a wide variety of health issues without proper treatment to grow them out successfully.
- Getting less than a minimum number of 5 or 6 fish to more or less assure the least aggressive pecking order behavior, and avoid serious bullying.
- Adding more/other discus at different times, perhaps from different sources, and different tank environments without proper acclimation and suitable quarantine procedures.
- Placing very young fish in too large of a tank initially, in a community set-up with a good number of other species of fish with differing temperaments & water conditions, this again without quarantine, probably in an undesirable planted set-up. The roseline barbs & clown loach in particular are fast-moving, active fish which can intimidate small discus very easily.

You have created a seriously problematic situation that you can't now undo, but here's a way of making the best of it & hoping for a satisfactory result:

- Remove your 3 young discus to the 10 gal bare-bottom tank that has either been cycled, or that you can & will do large daily water changes to until the tank does become properly seeded. Ensure the tank receives necessary filtration, heat temp suitable for discus, and lighting if need be. Feed the fish several times daily with good quality foods.

Get at least 2 or 3 more of the same discus from the same source as before and add them to the 10 gal tank with the other 3. You have no other facilities for proper QT, so take your chances with that & hope for the best ( i.e. that no undesirable cross-contamination of any kind takes place). Place a light colored lining under the bottom of that tank, and the back & sides as well so that the fish will not feel threatened or intimidated.

Maintain daily wcs & multiple feedings in the clean bare-bottom environment until they reach something over 3"- to 3.5" in size, at which time you can consider putting the group into the 150 gal tank with your other fish.

That's my best advice to you at this stage.
Best of luck to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
like discuspaul said you made a lot of mistakes you will probable end up with stunted discus in a planted tank.they need lots of feedings and big water changes when they are that small.your chances of success is very small,if you want them in a planted tank start out with 5 to 6 that are at least 41/2 to 5 inches to at least give yourself a fighting chance at raising some nice fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,412 Posts
like discuspaul said you made a lot of mistakes you will probable end up with stunted discus in a planted tank.they need lots of feedings and big water changes when they are that small.your chances of success is very small,if you want them in a planted tank start out with 5 to 6 that are at least 41/2 to 5 inches to at least give yourself a fighting chance at raising some nice fish.

Yes - agree - that's the correct approach.
 

·
Premium Member
75g, 40g, 20g
Joined
·
3,848 Posts
To answer the question on bare bottom - yes, completely bare with no substraight. The reasoning behind this is you have a much better chance of vacuuming up debris off the bare bottom (think SUPER clean tank).

As for the other issue, I don't know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,412 Posts
Yes, completely bare-bottom - it's the only way to raise/grow out young discus to a healthy, well-shaped condition, without stunting them. You must keep the tank squeaky clean, and bare-bottom is the only way to do it.

And, as I said previously, the only way to 'fix' the pecking order aggression issue, is to add say, 3 more of the same sized fish obtained from the same source, to the small group you already have. Keeping 6 fish (or more) together will have the effect of dissipating the aggression.
Do that as soon as you can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good News- after waiting it out 24 hours, the discus now get along completely well. I have been doing water changes every other day, and the discus have an established territory. I figured the 150 gallon tank is large enough for the Discus to have their own space and thrive, which I believe they are doing. They are in their own area of the tank in which the rainbowfish nor roseline barbs come by. Do you still recommend moving the discus to the ten gallon, or at this point should I leave them in the 150 (where I believe them to be doing well in)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
As discuspaul said, they're schooling fish, so I think that is pretty stressed, and when we get stressed, we tend to lash out at others! Discus like all cichlids, are very intelligent, so it was probably reacting the way we would! It's kinda strange when fish act like us...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,412 Posts
You need to move those baby discus - yes, that's what they are - babies - to their own heated, bare-bottom 10 gal tank where they can feel comfortable, and not be intimidated by other fish and by the huge scary space of a 150 gal tank, which I'm certain is stressing them, and I suspect they're likely hiding in a corner somewhere in that tank, out of sheer fright.
They won't likely get anything much to eat that way either.

Give them large daily fresh, conditioned, water changes in the 10 gal, and feed them several times a day. They need to grow out in this environment for several months until they reach well over 3" in size, preferably closer to 4" before you put them back into the 150.
If you don't do that, you will likely lose them eventually, or they will grow out stunted &/or poorly-shaped.

P.S. Trust me on this, man - I've been keeping discus for 35 years, and I know how they need to be treated to keep them healthy & thriving.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top