View Full Version : Discus Sudden Death Syndrome

03-17-2015, 07:40 AM
My favourite female red pearl just died today.

I'm a little distraught. She's about a year old, mated but hasn't yet laid eggs.

I've moved her and her mate into a 37 gallon with a giant piece of driftwood, cone, sponge filter and heater.
3 sides covered in white. Light only on for viewing.

I performed her daily water change today, 50% barrel aged treated tap water. It's aged 24 hours roughly.

10 minutes after the water change she started drifting around the tank aimlessly, eventually facing the corner of the tank and not moving. She'd drift until she bumped into something. Listless as a log.

30 minutes later she was laying flat on the heater.
5 minutes after that she was dead.

Her colors were vivid and beautiful. Nothing changed. Even her dead body is fully coloured, no frayed edges, no growth, nothin.

As soon as she started drifting around like a drunk I thought shoot, my tap water must be contaminated!
I quickly siphoned 25% of the water out and replenished it with water from tanks I have not yet changed. It didn't help.

Ammonia nitrite and nitrate are non existent.
The ph is 7.5 same as always.

I don't get it. No symptoms.
The hospital tank on the other hand, if you haven't seen my other thread, are holding 3 near death patients I have adopted. All 3 have been brown, pale, skinny, and otherwise dead looking for months, yet they are fine after the water change.

Her mate is also fine. Swimming around being his usual curious self.

What could it be?
And also, how do I pair him up again? Assuming its a he.

This sudden death has me puzzled..


03-17-2015, 07:47 AM
unfortunately the cause will probably remain unknown since everyone else is fine and your water isnt suspect. It may just have been that fishes time.

The easiest way to pair it up since you havent confirmed its a male is put it in a group of discus and let nature take its course.:)


03-17-2015, 07:47 AM
You will never know for sure what happened, but it happens.

First thought is that the sick fish you brought in, might have somehow contaminated your healthy fish. This is why these "rescues" are so frowned upon by the more experienced members on this forum.

It could have also been totally unrelated to the new rescues, we will never know.

03-17-2015, 03:19 PM
Ah thanks guys.

Its so depressing when a totally healthy looking fish goes from 100 to 0 in an hour flat.

Still upset about it :( she was so young too.

I was sooo careful. Using two sets of tools. Cleaning my hands meticulously. Different water buckets everything!
But... It's still a possibility.

You're right, these things just happen.

I don't have any other PB strains, and I know anything else mixed with PB will look like a freckle explosion.
Is it ok to leave him alone for a few days....?

Thanks guys!


03-20-2015, 03:35 AM
Question!! Regarding the male.

He's only just been widowed and hes (i still assume its a male) trying to court another female.
He's become extremely territorial over her already... It's only been 2 days since his 1st mate died.

Is this normal behavior? When should i separate them?

I have a cone in each corner of the tank just in case. And she's pecking away at one. She's also cleaned half the driftwoods.
I'm just not sure if he means business or if he's just confused. She's definitely into it.

I'm scared if I separate them too early that he will turn on her or vice versa. Btw she's a good inch and a half smaller.
Maybe 3.75 inches. Hes about 5 to 5.5.

Might I add... She's one of my "rescues" pls don't judge me. I have a few footballs... =P

Thanks :)


Second Hand Pat
03-20-2015, 07:44 AM
Hi Zoey, sounds like normal behavior to me. If you want to separate them for breeding I would allow them to spawn a couple of times before moving to a breeding tank. Cement that pair bond.

03-20-2015, 08:19 AM
Although your fish sound really small the behavior is completely normal. They are animals, not humans. They do not share our emotions. The only thing running through their pencil lead sized brains is food, survival, and reproduction.


03-20-2015, 07:01 PM
Thanks guys!

Pat, should I try to raise the fry if they do spawn? Or just leave them in there?
I'm pretty sure the eggs will be eaten anyway but just in case.

Lol John. I visualized the size of their brain for a second.
Yep the melon is soooo tiny. I have 4 month old fry as big as her.

The good news is her eyes are also small, so I think she's just a slow grower in general. Albeit a bit stunted, but still growing. I hope anyway.

Just curious... WHat would red pearl pigeon x red melon look like? :)