Discus

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Discus

Postby Tigerhair » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:01 pm

Hi all

Considering moving over to keeping discus. I would like to know how easy they are to keep and any hints, tips and experience people here have of them, please.

:)
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Re: Discus

Postby john82 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:37 pm

Iv been keeping discus for a few months now.
The biggest thing with them is space regular water changes and good feeding.
I carry out water changes three times a week. And feed two to three times a day.
They are my second favourite fish.
I feed them a mixed diet a lot of people feed nothing but beef heart.
Mine get beef heart blood worm black worm. Tetra prima and tetra discus pro throughout the week.
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Re: Discus

Postby cousin it » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:24 pm

From my experience with discus over the years I would allow space for a group of about 6 fish, for starting out I would keep the decor in the tank basic to make cleaning easier.

Only buy them from a good breeder, never ever take pitty on sickly looking examples in shops as you would only be buying trouble sooner or later, make sure that their eyes are in proportion to the body, fish with largish eyes in comparison to body size have probably been malnurished and will not recover from this with care, the damage has been done.

Personally I would invest in a hma filter system and possibly an ro unit depending on the water in your area to provide good water for them, some of the rubbish in tap water is not helpful to keeping them at their best, I also worm them on a regular basis as I would a dog or cat mainly for personal peace of mind.

As stated a good varied diet of frozen and dried foods is very useful, avoid bloodworm with discus as the risk of internal parisite infestation from this is too great for the minimal benifits their addition to the diet they give, sites like Plymouth Discus can supply good quality frozen foods formulated for discus or if you do a search of the web you will find many good diy recepies available which gives additional flexibility to the menu, personally I like to crush garlic over the beefheart during the preparation stage as this is a natural anti parisitic if fed regulary ( also works on dogs and cats for minimising flea issues ) a good quality flake food will help with vitamins and minerals as well.

I tend to aviod plecos and similar catfish in a discus tank due to the habbit they can develop of grazing on the flanks of discus causing damage and unnecessary stress, cories and tetras about the size of cardinal tetras are pretty good tank mates.
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Re: Discus

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:34 am

I'm in the process of setting up my first Discus tank too.

I think the difficulty level in keeping them comes down to whether you just want to keep them or breed them and where you get your stock from. If you're just keeping them you can get tank bred stock where they are using pretty much tap water and then they are as easy as most other fish aside from a few basic things like diet that cous mentioned.

Discus should always be the focus of a tank and all parameters and inhabitants should be to suit the Discus.

The tank I'm setting up will have 6 Discus, 4 Clown Loach, a pair of Rams, 4 Ottocinclus and a shoal of little tetras. These fish can handle the higher temperatures that Discus prefer and also won't bother them. The little tetras help make the Discus feel comfortable in the tank.

Don't put any boistrous fish in with them as they won't like it and won't be able to eat. Avoid any suckermouth fish as they will suck on the mucus of Discus.

It would be best to put your discus in last and several weeks after the last of your other stock (if you aren't having a species tank) to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the other fish. Discus are very sensitive to water quality and certain diseases. Books say not to keep Discus with Angels or Corys because they give Discus diseases but if you quarantine them first then they are fine. They are from the same places in nature.
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Re: Discus

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:45 am

Where will you be getting your Discus from btw? Do you have a good LFS?

I'm not far from you and it's best to get your Discus from different places so as not to inbreed them.
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Re: Discus

Postby cousin it » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:35 am

You will find that ottos tend to irritate Discus by grazing on their mucus as they are a dwarf suckermouth catfish, I have witnessed this in my discus tanks.
Whilst many sources will say that keeping angels and discus together in a tank is fine if they are quarantined as they come from the same place in nature you will find that the agressive nature of the angels will often prevent discus from claiming their fair share of food at mealtimes, I have tried this in the past and had very bad issues with it even with the most placid of angels the results were almost disasterous, keep in mind that in the wild the 2 species have millions of gallons of water around them allowing space for each species to co exist, the home aquaruim is far smaller and does not give each species the room they require, remember that piranha also come from the same area in nature and I have very rerely had people recomend that species despite the fact of how close both species can live to each other in the wild ;)
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Re: Discus

Postby Tigerhair » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:43 pm

Thanks very much for your replies... Discus are still being considered.... and I've had a couple of glasses of wine so I am not going to comment now for fear of being utterly daft and saying something silly :balloons:
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Re: Discus

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:34 am

Otto's will suck on the mucus too? I know they are a suckermouth coz I wanted them for algae cleaning in my tank but nobody has said anything to me so far :) I will have to rethink that now thanks.

I know a top Angelfish specialist who has a tank with Discus and Angels together so it's one of those things where fish will not always live up to their name I guess. Kinda like when people buy Tiger Barbs and then have no trouble with nipping. I thought that with Angels it was that they are supposed to bring in parasites that Discus will die from.

What would you recommend for algae cleaning in a Dicus tank? Or would you just do it yourself and not leave it to fish?
Last edited by ItWentWhereverIdidGo on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Discus

Postby Angel Fish » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:35 am

:rofl: :rofl:

You don't need wine to do that Tigz :wink:
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Re: Discus

Postby cousin it » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:09 pm

Angels are supposed to carry intestinal parisites that will harm discus, but as when I quarantine fish I treat them with flubenzinol if they are going into a discus tank which makes intestinal parisites are no longer an issue.

I kept some very placid angels that I recieved from a Polish breeder several years ago in with a group of discus and most of the discus could compete with them at meal times but a few were too timid to get near to the food, they started to show signs of distress and needed to be separated from the angels, this was in a 450L tank possibly had I used a larger one the 2 groups might have been compatible.

I have tried several species of catfish to deal with algae over the years as I tend to keep my discus in planted tanks and ottos are reasonably good at the job but when they become hungry they can develop parisitic and attempt to attach themselves to the flanks of the discus, the discus will easilly flick them off but the irritation does contribute to the stress levels of the fish which is something I tend to try and avoid when keeping discus.

Image

That is a picture of my last discus setup, as you can see controling algae was something that had to be kept under consideration for my tanks and it ended up being done by myself and a scraper. there is a xingu clown plec in that tank but they have 0 interest in algae or discus their main diet consists of snails, wood and small crustaceans in 8 years of keeping it I have never once seen it move from the substrate level or more than a foot from its cave.

unfortunately the discus in that picture were all rehomed as I took a break from fishkeeping a couple of years ago, the delicate fish were rehomed and the angels, catfish etc were kept as the girlfriend could carry out the required maintenance.

My next project will be going back to the strain that I love the most the Alenquer Red.
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Re: Discus

Postby englishmx » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:56 pm

Fine Discus set up there Daran 8)
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Re: Discus

Postby cousin it » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:20 pm

thank you :) the next incarnation of it should be a bit more aquascaped, I have a picture in my head of how I want it to look I just have to find the rest of the ADA horn wood to complete the image :roll:
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Re: Discus

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:30 am

Can you keep any Corydoras with Discus? I keep getting mixed opinions.
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Re: Discus

Postby cousin it » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:06 pm

I have always kept cories with my discus, find a species of corie that is happy at higher temperatures and they should get along fine, sterbai breed quite happily at discus temperatures in my experience.
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Re: Discus

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:14 am

Thanks, I thought that would be the case but had read in a Discus book never to keep them together, along with a mix from friends.
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