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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I did my homework and I purchased 8 tony tan discus about a month ago that are approximately 3 inches in diameter. I knew going in that I would have to do frequent water changes and feed often to grow them. I knew that being in a 150 gallon heavily planted tank, they weren't going to be 8 inch behemoths, but I expected that with feeding 5-6 times a day and changing 50% of my water every other day, I would have seen some growth by now. Now, I have seen some peppering, and the fins aren't clamped-in fact, they show no sign of being stressed at all. They practically eat out of my hands. But, still no growth. All this is to ask the question, is it too late to move them to a bare bottom 55 gallon and grow them, or should I start over with a new batch?
 

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You really needed to start with bigger discus in a planted tank I would say minimum of 4" if you have a 55gallon or better yet a 75 gallon you can put them in and keep up with your water changes you still may get some good fish.As far as the peppering what color substrate have you got
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The substrate is eco complete, so I'm sure the peppering is from the dark color. As far as starting with bigger fish, I was really restrained by my budget. I would love to just buy them all grown out already, but I'm not able to financially.
 

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I guess you know by now, submariner, that placing 3" discus into a heavily planted tank is not the proper approach for growing them out properly, to avoid stunted or poorly-shaped fish.
Since it's only been a month though, there's no real harm done yet.
Still time to do the right thing.
Your 55 gal is too small for housing 8 mature discus, but your 3" fish will be in ok in it for approx. the next 2 months or so, possibly 3, but you really should get a 75 gal to keep them after that.
Keep them in the 55, bare-bottom, and later in a larger tank, also bare-bottom, and give them large daily wcs (50%) - continue feeding them as you have, cleaning up the uneaten food from the tank with each wc. When they have reached around 5" or more, you can then place them in your large planted tank if you wish, and continue with every 2nd or 3rd day wcs as you're now doing.
All the best to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank You Discuspaul! I went ahead and threw something together today. 56g Marineland, no glass top, more square than a typical 55g. Foam filter, heater set to 86 F, small hydor current maker, just to move the water enough for the tank to be evenly heated (I know discus don't like a lot of current, its the smallest hydor there is), and an old Fluvial LED I had laying around. I squeezed a filter sponge from another tank into this one, to help seed. I am also planning on scooping some duckweed out of another tank to help with nitrate control. Used tap water from Garland Utility (my testing says 7.6, but I can't find any info online for Garland water parameters). I added a capful of Prime as well. I will allow it to sit for a few days, then test it sometime next week for ammonia, etc. I will post a pic below, but pardon it if it doesn't look great.
Also, I've read on simplydiscus that the Ocean Nurtrition Prime Reef flakes are one of the best flakes to feed discus, if you can't get high quality beef heart, black worms, or simply don't have the time to prepare it all. Anyone have any input on this?
 

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There won't be any ammonia without anything being added, and adding filter media bugs won't do any good because they'll starve without food. Toss in a chunk of frozen shrimp or something and let that decay, then test for ammonia.
 

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Yes, you'll either need to ensure that tank is cycled properly before the discus go in, or do large daily wcs until it is cycled, and safe for the discus (i.e. free from ammonia & nitrites).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My usual method, and I may get some flack for this, is I add a capful of 10% ammonia (my LFS keeper started me on it for fish-less cycling). I wait a couple days and then test for it. If the test reads zero, I add two caps, and do it again. I also check for nitrite and nitrate, ensuring that the necessary bacterias are present. If it reads zero again for ammonia, and I've got no nitrite and a bit of nitrate, I do a 100% water change, wait two more days, and add the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just an update to this, I placed the 8 discus in the 56 gallon back in February while they were still around 3.5 inches and now 5 of them have reached approximately 5 inches. I placed the bigger ones into the planted 150 and I am continuing to feed them 3 times daily with flake, beefheart, brine shrimp, and the occasional blood worm. I'm hoping the remaining 3 in the 56 gallon will catch up now that the tank is less crowded and will have therefore better water quality.
 

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Just an update to this, I placed the 8 discus in the 56 gallon back in February while they were still around 3.5 inches and now 5 of them have reached approximately 5 inches. I placed the bigger ones into the planted 150 and I am continuing to feed them 3 times daily with flake, beefheart, brine shrimp, and the occasional blood worm. I'm hoping the remaining 3 in the 56 gallon will catch up now that the tank is less crowded and will have therefore better water quality.

Glad to hear that. Keep up the good work!
 
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