New Tropical Fishkeeper

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New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby woodruffs » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:21 pm

Hi to everyone.

I'm new to Tropical Fishkeeping since I have inherited a tank which contains 2 x Discus, 2 x Clown Loaches and 1 x Pearl Gourami. At the moment everything seems fine, I have the temperature set at 28c. I am feeding this mixed bunch on frozen bloodworm and being very careful not to overfeed.

Is there anything I should know / do - given the mix of fish.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Stuart
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Re: New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby Carylnz » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:04 pm

Hi and welcome.
How big is the tank? (dimensions)
Discus require higher temps than most so 28 is good.
They will need to be fed on more than just bloodworm so find a variety to offer.
Both discus and clown loaches require excellent water conditions so regular water changes are a must.
Clown loaches are also prone to whitespot disease but react badly to the medications so if you ever need to use any, make sure you use half doses.
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Re: New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby woodruffs » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:02 am

Hi Carylnz, thanks for your reply.

I don't think the tank will be big enough in the future as its only about 70cm x 30cm and about 30cm deep. However I'm concentrating on keeping the fish alive and happy for now as they are all small - the clown loaches are only about 4-5cm long, the Discus are both about 6-7cm long and the Pearl Gourami is about 6cm long. I'm aware they can/will all grow much bigger and will take steps to rehouse them when the time comes.

At the moment I think the Discus are not too happy together as one keeps "butting" the other. From my research on the net it seems this is quite common amongst Discus - not sure how to deal with that or if I should be concerned? The other fish are all happily independent and the Loaches are very active and fun to watch.

I plan to change about the top 3-4 inches of water every few days for the first few weeks- is this enough?

Thanks again
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Re: New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby Carylnz » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:55 am

You need to be doing a 30% change at least once a week. You siphon from the bottom, not the "top few inches".
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Re: New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby woodruffs » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:23 am

Ok thanks. Is the 3rd day after adding fish too soon to be doing the first 30% water change?

(sorry for all the newbie questions)
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Re: New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby Carylnz » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:10 pm

Test the water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. The readings will tell you if a water change is required.
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Re: New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby woodruffs » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:20 am

Small update, with thanks for the advice provided.

Tested the water, ammonia-nitrites-nitrates hardly present (looks like a small trace but hardly registering). Because I have Discus and I read that they like a regular water change i have done 2 water changes in the few days, taking about 15% of the water out both times. My Discus are noticeably more lively when they have had fresh water so I am going to continue with that for the next couple of weeks - a 15% water change twice a week.

Do I need to get a "gravel cleaner"? - if so how often would people recommend I do this?

My fish seem to have formed a bond, and in the past few days they have started to swim in what you could call a shoal - especially the 2 Discus and the Gourami, which used to stay well away from each other. The Discus have stopped "butting" each other and now swim round peacefully together, with the Gourami between them.

My 2 Clown Loaches usually stick together as a pair, chasing each other around and being quite playful.

Overall, after 7 days as an owner of Tropical Fish, I am feeling very happy and quite confident, although I am aware not to take my eye off the ball.

Could someone comment on the growth rate of Discus and Clown Loach please - I know they will grow but how quickly and how soon should I plan for a bigger tank?
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Re: New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby IndianoAnnie » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:10 pm

woodruffs wrote:Do I need to get a "gravel cleaner"? - if so how often would people recommend I do this?


I would 100% get a gravel cleaner they are really good, I got mine from eBay for about £3. There really good at getting all the leftovers a poo, you will be surprised how much you see being sucked up. It helps massively keep water good. :)
Thanks,
Annie :)

55L planted
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Newbie-ish :)
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Re: New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby Carylnz » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:51 pm

Yes gravel cleaners are a good idea.
Clown loaches grow very slowly so you have a couple of years before ugrading for them.
Discus are fast growers and it is important they get plenty of good quality food, often, when young to reach their full potential. Also, as you have noticed, water quality makes a difference too. Most discus owners I know always do 2x weekly water changes.
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Re: New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby woodruffs » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:12 am

Thank you very much for your helpful comments.

Gravel cleaner ordered!

Water changes 15% every few days will be continued for the next few weeks - the Discus especially seem to love their fresh water.

Some people have advised me (repeatedly) to separate the Discus from the other fish as "they are not suitable for a community tank". However I am very reluctant to do this because they appear to be very happy, as do the other fish they are with. So for the time being, the Discus, the Clown Loaches and the Pearl Gourami are staying together as tank-mates.
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Re: New Tropical Fishkeeper

Postby Carylnz » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:41 pm

A lot depends on individual fish personalities. If the discus have grown up with the other fish then they may always tolerate them. Others may be fine until they, or the others, reach sexual maturity and then problems arise.
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