View Full Version : Reluctant Discus Owner

11-25-2013, 02:04 PM
Hi All,

I was given 2 juvenile Discus (long story). One died before I even got it in the tank. The one that survived will NOT eat and I'm trying everything I possibly can. She is in a community tank and hides out in a fake long. I have tried blood worms, brine shrimp, and flakes. I use a syringe to get it directly into her space. I called the fish store to see if I could purchase some more Discus or just give her to them to put with others thinking maybe that would help; however, they only have 1 juvenile and will not be open until tomorrow. Other than not eating she appears to be in good health. She comes out, swims around the tank every 10 minutes or so, then heads back in. Please if you have ANY suggestions on how to get her to eat it would be greatly appreciated.

11-25-2013, 02:11 PM
CULL it.. until you get healthy stock.. doesn't sound like its a good situation.. and mixing OTHER FISH from different sources could be more trouble than you have now..

11-25-2013, 02:12 PM
Well, I'm sorry to say I'm not optimistic about your little fish in this situation. Discus really do best in groups. It sounds like you're doing everything you can, so I'd just keep trying with what you're doing, and if the fish doesn't respond, it won't be for your lack of trying.

11-25-2013, 02:25 PM
Sorry to hear about the discus.

What size tank are they going in?

What fish are in this community tank?

What are your water parameters?

Do you have a Quarantine tank?

Try to buy from a sponsor here as you will get "Quality" discus. Pet stores who have discus do not put the time or care into them as a breeder on this forum.

Read some of the threads in the beginner section. They may offer you some good tips to raising discus. But the best advice I can give, no more pet store discus.

11-25-2013, 02:47 PM
Hi there,

I really didn't want Discus because they are so fragile BUT I couldn't just let them die without trying. I have only the one 47 gal bow front. My tank is fully cycled. Master test kit:

Ph: 7.6
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: between 0 and .5

I have 2 Angles, 2 Dwarf Gourami, very small Rainbow Shark that is afraid of his own shadow, 10 neons, and 1 clown loach. They are all small at the moment.

What does CULL mean?? I'm NOT going to kill it!!

11-25-2013, 02:54 PM
What does CULL mean?? I'm NOT going to kill it!!

yes.. its faster than letting it die slowly.. one already died..

BUT.. post 8 more times.. to get your post count up to 10.. then post a pic of the fish.. to see if you have a chance to save it or not..

11-25-2013, 02:58 PM
Oh, okay, will post and get picture ASAP.

11-25-2013, 02:59 PM
Oh, okay, will post and get picture ASAP.

thats best thing for now.. to see condition of this lone fish

11-25-2013, 03:01 PM
She really doesn't appear to be in any distress. She is a beautiful orange color and appears to be very curious when she comes out.

11-25-2013, 03:52 PM
She is looking for more discus. You should have them in groups of 5 or more to keep them from being scared and hiding.

11-25-2013, 04:26 PM
That's what I thought after doing some reading on this site. Getting the other one from the pet store wouldn't do a lot of good....:(

11-25-2013, 04:53 PM
No more pet store discus. Lesson learned already.

11-25-2013, 06:28 PM
They didn't come from pet store. Haven't seen the one they have at the pet store but probably not good if they're keeping it alone.

11-25-2013, 06:32 PM
Just trying to get my posts in so I'll ask more questions. If there is nothing wrong with her can she live, or is this a sure thing?? Is there something I should be doing in the mean time?? How long can she go without eating??

11-25-2013, 06:51 PM
I have raised one small discus a blue diamond alone because it was a runt and getting weaker from the others hoarding food and bigger and stronger than it was. I raised it in a bare bottom tank and fed it as much food as it would eat. It is now a sub adult and with other discus so it was a temporary solution. I would not suggest that you raise this fish in a community tank because it will languish without more discus around it. As I said it was a temporary solution until I could get it big enough to compete with its fellow discus. It was painstakingly difficult and took a great deal of personal care but it was in an entirely different circumstance because I had other discus tanks that it could eventually be integrated with. Discus like to be with other discus. It doubtfully will feed for for sometime and it is worse to watch the fish deteriorate than to do the humane thing and just cull it or find someone that is willing to take it in that have other discus that size and even then they would have to quarantine it for several weeks and meanwhile the fish would continue not to eat. It took weeks for me to get this little guy to eat and I had the optimal circumstances in which to save him. You do not. Good luck in your decision.

OC Discus
11-26-2013, 04:11 AM
If you've only had it a couple of days, it may be too soon to know how it will do. I kept a single discus with 4 angels and 5 rainbows in a planted tank for several weeks before removing the other fish and going all discus. The single discus was a better option than two or three because of aggression. He remained healthy and never showed signs of severe stress.

If you like the fish and it doesn't look sick, give it some time. It will not grow to be 8", but it could be happy in your community tank. There is no reason it cant live under those conditions, it just may not thrive. If it becomes sick, turns black, or shows signs of disease, you may want to cull it before it affects your other fish. But if it does well you may decide you want some more discus.

11-26-2013, 10:45 AM
Hi guys,

Did everything under the sun to try and get a picture. She would NOT come out of hiding and when I forced her, she went right back in. Once the lights are off she comes out and moves around a lot; however, the pictures are too dark. She is a really bright orange and defiantly does not have ick. I guess I'll give her a chance. Will continue to try and feed her or find someone to take her although I don't know anyone who even has an aquarium. If I see her going down hill or turning dark I will do the right thing. This is hard. I'm pretty neurotic about my aquarium and dislike the thought of losing a fish.

11-26-2013, 11:20 AM
I'm pretty neurotic about my aquarium and dislike the thought of losing a fish.

word of advice.. to prevent this always get Healthy stock... and never bring in Sick fish on purpose.. its hard cuz you want to save them all.. but its best for rest of your fish to resist.. i felt same way a few years ago.. you will learn

11-26-2013, 12:18 PM
well, looks like you're going to stick with the fish. the only reason most on here will be hard on you is because there's so many unknowns about this fish. most on here will ONLY buy and/or accept fish from a reliable source (or sources... but that's when fish are mixed which is a whole other discussion... for the record though, my current group is from 2 different sources so I took the risk).

so now you've got your first discus and you're trying to care for it but you come on here for help and feel like we're jabbing at you and screaming "kill it! kill it! kill it! before it infects everything!". what's really going on is just trying to advise you to avoid crap that people have experienced in the past... and when fish cost that much then it's easier to get whole hearted on telling you what "to do" (should do) rather than treat it like you've just lost a bunch of tetras and we say, "just go buy some more".

alright... the only options I can think of:

a) buy at least 4 more discus from a sponsor or hobbyist on here and risk losing all discus in case your current one is sick and wipes at least over a $100 of fish out with a mystery disease that you sink another $100 and time into trying to fix
b) follow Skip's advice and "kill it! kill it!" then start with some good stock
c) let it go on "as is" and see what happens in the long run.

I'll get screamed at for this, but honestly... I like the odds on everyone surviving with option "a". I think "b" would be the most economical choice.

11-26-2013, 12:40 PM
Elliot.. i never said KILL IT! KILL IT!
if thats what you heard.. well, that is on you..

i said Cull.. so don't embellish my statements..

its not like i told him to put the fish in the garbage disposal.. unless he does want to KILL IT!!! this works very fast ;)

op. do as you wish.. we all learn from our past experiences.. some of us try to prevent others from falling into the traps we have in our past..

some will take heed.. others jus need to learn it on their own.. good luck :)

11-26-2013, 12:46 PM
Skip, calm down. Just joking around bud. Plus, that's what "they hear" when you say cull.

11-26-2013, 12:50 PM
Skip, calm down. Just joking around bud. Plus, that's what "they hear" when you say cull.

i know.. LOL..
you should see the stuff my Venezuelan wife "HEARS".. oh boy!

11-26-2013, 12:57 PM
Ha haaa... well at least yours hears something! Mine will ask a question but then immediately "turn off her ears"... then asks me again what my response was... ugghhh!

OC Discus
11-26-2013, 01:17 PM
I advised keep it because the op really didn't want discus to start with and has no plans to add more. It can survive in a community tank, and he may develop a deeper appreciation for the species. A lot can be learned from this one fish before investing in others.