This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Discus recommendations?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by shoggoth43, May 11, 2009.

  1. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    The LFS got in a batch of green discus the other day. They're at a somewhat reasonable cost but are ~2-3 inches in size. I've always been interested in snagging a couple so....

    One of the people suggested that growing them in a planted tank would not be good for them. He suggested a bare bottom tank until they grow out a bit or they would otherwise end up looking funny. Feeding 3-4 times a day with a water change every other day until they were grown and then put into the new tank.

    He also suggested that a minimum of 90 gallon tank would be required. I'm not overly broken up by this as I'm hoping to do a 4x2 footprint tank anyway, which will probably put me in the 120/150 gallon territory. I was originally thinking of a 2 foot cube but this really isn't much worse overall in terms of footprint and overall electrical requirements as I expected to get another cube if the first one worked out.

    I'd still like to keep the german blue ram and a mate for him in that tank, but I don't know how that will work given the feisty nature they can show at times. Worst case I'll just bring him into work or keep him in the biocube.

    So, can anyone give me an idea of what a reasonable tank size would be and reasonable stocking guide? Also, any decent sites you could recommend to read more on these fish? Suggested tankmates? Most likely candidates are going to be cardinals, panda cories, and assorted shrimp. The rams are possible if the tank is big enough, but I have no idea if that's going to be workable. I don't plan on having more than a bonded pair of the rams in with the discus if that does happen.

    -
    S
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,673
    Likes Received:
    623
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    Discus will try and eat the shrimp.
    I think the point is they want the fish to get as big as possible, but that might not be the goal for you.

    They are big cichlids, like any big cichlid, they make a lot of waste, eat a lot etc.

    These fish are fine:

    [​IMG]

    they are cute when they are little, big old gaudy colored fish when they are large.........

    You can do the grow out if you wish, but they are fairly aggressive feeders.
    Like many cichlids, they have personality and will bully etc others.

    120 Gal to 90 gal is good, 6-9 fish I'd say.

    I bred them in a 90, the above pick also has a breeding pair in there in a community planted tank with many other fish, as well as breeding angels.

    If size is a large concern, then a bare bottom tank is fine, but they are not that sensitive and frail, nor that hard to keep.

    They wild species can be and larger adults etc, but generally the young are fairly tough. I'd never seen otherwise.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    I was thinking 3-4 at most. I'm assuming they'll school a bit and then pair off and defend a territory when spawning and then go back to schooling like my angels did in the past. These ones looked more like the big one in the middle. black bars and little bit of color in the fins and face. Not quite so gaudy as the others they had there.

    Ok. Sounds like overall I'll be good with a 90-150 gallon then. I'm not sure I can quite swing a full group of 6-9 at this point though.
     
  4. tanan

    tanan Junior Poster

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    Ohhh
    Rams are good with discus or visa versa.I ve kept both together and they never fight.And yeah they dont get that large in a planted tank and not that fast too when compared to a bare bottom species tank.Buy the largest tank u can afford and put atleast 5-6 as they are schooling fish,provide lots of shade and keep them away from crowded or loud areas.Change the water as much as u can(they love it !)and Do gravel cleaning too.Thay are quite a hardy fish if u know how to take care of it.And dont put any angels with them(mine always bully with them and there is alsoe something like angel's parasitic worms infecting discus,So better be safe then sorry!).
    Best of luck with ur fishes!
     
  5. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    I snagged three of them. It was really tough to pick them out. All of them were really nice looking. So far everyone is playing nice. Then again, it's feeding time tomorrow morning so we'll see how long that lasts. Turns out I left my heater unplugged so temp was down to 75 or so. I've already set that to 81 so we should be good on that front. CO2 has been dropped down a bit just in case since Tom mentioned these guys might be more adversely affected compared to the others in the tank.

    -
    S
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    S,

    I understand that 84 F is much better for discus.

    I think 81-82 is too low for them............

    Remember too that you can always add more surface ripple to offset any increase in c02 levels......
     
  7. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    Gerry,

    Thanks for the tip. I'll bump that up a touch when I get home.

    -
    S
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,673
    Likes Received:
    623
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    They bred at 82F, and have for me and my clients........

    They do not need these higher temps.

    You might get larger brood, but that's rarely the case for folks growing them in planted tanks, it is for bare bottom breeding aquarist only.
    I've never had issues at 82 F for years.

    regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    Hmmm....

    It may be time for a water change. All of them are hiding and very dark. So far I've only seen two of them eat anything. Is this normal? Do they take a little while to settle down?

    -
    S
     
  10. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    I'm still at ~81 degrees. I did a water change last night. I'm not sure if it helped much. They seemed more inclined to come out a bit after the change but generally hid most of the time. Given their age and feeding schedule, I may continue the EI dosing but do a 50% water change every other day just to make sure. I'm thinking some sort of RO filter will be in the works shortly as well.

    I was watching them last night when the main lights went off and just the blues were on. They seemed to be moving around a bit and picking at bits of stuff here and there. They were watching me and didn't immediately bolt back into cover as I moved around the tank looking at them. Two hang out together and the third is usually off on his own. I thing the two that hang out were the ones at the front of the tank and the third might have come from the ones that were closer to the back in the dealer tank. All will eat if the food is right in front of them. I'm also thinking the light and activity in the tank might be a bit daunting for them.

    The Ram doesn't seem to bother them at all. He'll sometimes display at them and sometimes gets right in there and schools with them. No aggression that I can see. I'm considering some floating plants or maybe taller stem plants to shade the tank a bit to see if that helps. The cories were zipping around the tank at night, but that didn't seem to phase them much, nor did they pay much attention to the shrimp. My lighting is probably much higher than the dealer tank and in general these guys are staying fairly dark so that may also be part of it. I'm not seeing anything in the way of ammonia or anything at this time, but I'll keep up on the water changes just in case.

    Any other suggestions?

    -
    S
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,673
    Likes Received:
    623
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    2x a week 30-50% water changes are common amongst Discus folks.
    Works well for dosing also. Lower light = less CO2= easier to manage the CO2= less stress to the fish.

    Some knuckle heads think low NO3 or PO4 is the key to reduced stress. Even met a single person that's killed fish due to over dosing KNO3?

    I never have to date.

    CO2? Thousands.................

    This is a damn good reason to use less light.

    Then CO2/nutrients etc are easier..........and........the colors look better with less vs higher lighting. Bright high light washes colors out.

    Larger Discus take time to settle in.........this is true without plants etc...........some do better, some do worse.

    This behavior is often independent of planted tanks. Even barebottom tanks have them do this and they might not eat etc. All of mine never had much issues, one would not come out for awhile, but did later.

    Same with many species........

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    I got a couple more so there's five on them now. They seem "happier" now as they all move in a cluster around the tank. Not quite the behavior in the dealer tank but better than before. I moved them into a bare bottom tank so I can do heavy feedings and not worry about stuff decomposing in the gravel or stuck in the plants. I expect to be doing 50% changes at least every other day so it's not much different than the EI dosing I've already been doing.

    I found a scrape on one of them and a slightly torn tail on another. I didn't use a net on them but used the net to slowly coax them into a large tupperware pitcher to move them. It's possible they got injured during netting at the LFS and I didn't see it but more likely they scraped themselves darting about the tank. :(

    OTOH, they are ALL eating which is an improvement. One of them is definitely a bit of a wimp. ANY slight disturbance and he's off like a shot behind the sponge filter so I think I found the omega of the group. They are all out and about now with the lights on and drifting around on the bottom at night with the blues on. Not exactly full success, but an improvement overall I think.

    There's some salvinia for floating cover and I have a bunch of bioballs from the main tank floating around in there as well to help the sponge filter get up to speed. I'm actually using the lid from my Biocube 8 with the LED retrofit which seems to be working well for lighting the tank. LED lighting might actually be the best choice for them. High PAR values with comparatively lower lumen levels compared to some of the other kinds of lighting.

    -
    S
     
  13. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    S,

    Well fish usually do better in a group......discus are no exception.

    They are still adjusting to your tank and routine, so give them some more time. I think as they adjust they will color up more...

    Keep an eye on the bullied one as they can deteriate quickly...

    Sounds good they are all eating and is a great sign.

    Keep us posted and best of luck.......
     
  14. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    Well, as a group they seem to be doing better. They're generall hanging out just off the bottom, but I saw them "up" in the water column with the lights off last night. Up being all of a few inches of course. One was moving quickly back and forth across the tank earlier but not in a way that looked like panic since he wasn't slamming into the glass or anything. I threw in some food and one or two of them picked at it. The others might have done so after I left. Since the smallest of the group was eating I think it's a good sign.

    Overall the colors are much lighter. I see bars on most of them most of the time now. Unless they freak for some reason and dash for cover under the heater or behind the sponge, then they'll darken right up. I expect to do a water change tonight in any event.

    The airpump for the sponge isn't all that loud outside the tank, but once the end is in the tank the whole thing hums loudly. I'll try a small powerhead to replace it so I can sleep. If I do that, would getting a chunk of driftwood to break up any high current streams and for them to hide in be a good idea or should I just leave the sponge filter by itself for cover and hope I can get a small enough powerhead I'm not blowing them all over the tank?

    Thanks for all the suggestions and help.

    -
    S
     
  15. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    Some changes made. I managed to snag a 45 gallon. I also got one more discus from the store. All six came from the same location so I'm considering this the QT period for all of them and just reset the clock. All of them seem MUCH happier and in general are freaking out far less. There's very little in the tank for them to cower behind but they seem to be dealing and are out and about in the water column. I'm still holding to the ~50% daily water changes at this time. This will probably devolve into another trip to homedepot or similar for some plumbing supplies as breaking out the python every day is starting to get old.

    I'm considering another filter to deal with the slightly cloudy water. Any suggestions for this? I'd like something I can reuse on a different tank later on. I was thinking of one of the HOB types, but I'm not opposed to the cannister types other than the outlay of cash, but it might neaten up the tank a bit since I won't need the giant sponge filter in the tank either.

    Thoughts?

    -
    S
     
  16. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    2:50 AM
    I got an Eheim 2028 for it over the weekend. Much better flow. Much better filter overall. I also snagged some dither fish. Something was definitely amiss as the discus were breathing heavily the other day and a couple of the dithers were up at the top. Early water change and a quick clean of the Eheim and all was good again. Apparently the Eheim was well fed too since I poured out a bit of food which probably caused an ammonia spike. I may get another of the Eheim filters as they seem reasonably priced online as opposed to the local shop. OTOH, the local shop does X$ free fish if you spend certain amounts of cash so the result is much the same as the online prices. Providing you were going to buy some fish of course...

    I'll need to get a prefilter for the Eheim as I don't think I want to try and educate the wife on how to do a water change over the phone if there's a buildup of food again in the filter.

    -
    S
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice