View Full Version : New to discus (and what we have learned in the last 2 months)

11-24-2013, 01:45 PM
Being new to fishkeeping has presented its own challenges but luckily no fish have permanently suffered from our lack of knowledge.

In just the short time of our discus-keeping we've dealt with discus that would not eat, spooked discus that dart around the tank and find ways to injure themselves, small white fuzzy pimple-like spot(s), bullying, substrate/gravel, etc.

We have learned the following in just the last 2 months from our own experience and from reading SD daily:

- gravel/substrate holds more crap in it and causes more headaches than it's worth
- bare-bottom really helps keep the tank clean as well as easier to vacuum
- 50% daily or every second day really makes the fish happy and the water clear
- paint or cover your bottom, back and sides so they feel more comfortable and they don't ram the glass as much if they get spooked

*The newest thing we learned is that the HOB we were using really wasn't doing the job. For a few days our fish were darker and hiding and not looking great in general. The change was quick and a little unsettling. We do take it off and clean it but it just wasn't keeping up with the feedings and bioload I guess.

It was a no brainer that we needed something better so I went out and bought an API canister filter. Now seeing as I'm all about doing more than the bare minimum, I went with the biggest one they had because more is better...right? So I bought the XL which is rated for up to 265 gallons and hooked it up to the 55 gal. Later in the day the water was clearer than I've ever seen it and the fish were all actively swimming around the tank and their colours were lighter and brighter. They started coming to the glass and looking at me as to say 'Thank you' or maybe 'What took you so long, stupid?'

So today the water is looking great and we are aging water for a 50% WC later today, and the fish look very happy.

Now everything I am speaking of has been discussed here on the forums so I can't plead total ignorance here, but sometimes you really need to experience it first-hand for it all to sink in.

The HOB filter though was something I thought was adequate for the time being, with the water changes and all but it really wasn't. You want that water to be as pure and clean as you can get it. Luckily no discus truly suffered from this lesson.

11-25-2013, 02:03 AM
I have learned that if you want to grow discus correctly forget about gavel, other species tank mates and a planted tank until they reach about 6 " then go crazy with what ever set up you prefer , by that stage you will be hooked on discus and wont care much for anything else in your tank except big healthy discus anyway .

11-25-2013, 12:08 PM

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11-25-2013, 12:24 PM
The discus are loving the super clean water. :)

The wife was already starting to regret her decision to keep discus but it's always a bumpy road when you start something new. I told her she cannot give up because I am now addicted and I won't settle for anything but success...we've got too much money invested already and they are too nice of a fish. I can't imagine reverting back to tetras.