View Full Version : Mixing Discus from different sources

06-27-2020, 06:25 AM
I wonder if others have mixed discus from different sources and had success?
I know often many have some issues if not a complete disaster .
I also know often the hero fish strategy is used with a great amount of caution and other long term type techiques .
I talked to my buddy from Hawaii who sells koi and he said they share the same issues when combined if they are from different sources .
Often when the fish from 2 different sources are combined one of them suffers greatly if not fails completely .
Most of us figure it is a pathogen that one source is exposed to or raised with that the other has never had exposure to or was treated for while being raised by the breeder .
He told me he successfully combines these fish from different sources by giving each a 3 day treatment of formalin while still separated .
He said after 3 days of treatment he then combines them and never has any issue ..
Wondered if others have ever tried this and how it worked for them .
Also thought I would share this info although personally unconfirmed since many of us try to combine fish from different sources .
Although formalin is not a preferred med by many it is still used even in fish we eat for parasite and fungus control on eggs in hatcheries .
Here a couple links with cautions on its use ;
I hope this helps people and would love to hear of any experience from members .

06-27-2020, 07:26 AM
Tom, I was forced to combine my 3 domestics (Kenny) and my Wilds due to lack of tanks. They were separate for about 6 months with no intention of combining them but a pair changed all that. I was really apprehensive about combining them. They were fed the same, WC the same, same water, etc. All things were well and no illness. When I moved the fry to the 40g, I combined them into the 75g.

The end result was no issues. They are generally the same size and I guess approximately the same age. The 3 domestics (which were a little “friendlier”) gave the Wilds a little more security. Now, if a pair begins to start from the Domesitics to the Wilds, I would discourage that. But, no issues so far.

What sources are you looking to combine?

06-27-2020, 09:40 AM
A very interesting question, Tom. I wish that I could contribute but all of my fish from the past two years are from Kenny. I have been tempted to order from Mac because he has green discus that I would like to get but I have given no thought give to the impact on the community. I must agree with the one source thought because I did not want to mix sources because I believe that Forrest and Kenny have the best fish available anywhere.To reinforce that belief was that a long time breeder of discus and angelfish had referred me to Kenny in the beginning. In my entire years of collecting discus I have bought from only two sources. The other was Herman Chan 30 years ago but even then the referral to Herman came to me from that same breeder that referred me to Kenny.

06-27-2020, 09:42 AM
Well Tom you know my luck. I started with 6 lfs discus. These I would say are anyone’s worst choice. The first 2 I got I saved:rolleyes2: like everybody saves bettas. These 2 were rough. They were at the store for a month and only at best 2”. They were my challenge. They went into a ram tank I was running. Within a month I had bought 4 more. These 4 I bought as the store got them in. Much better fish. I keep these fish bought a 125 move them into it than ordered 6 from Hans. Kept his (which were around the same size as the local ones) in the old ram tank bare bottom for a little over a month. Added them to the store bought with out a problem. Did go with a hero fish one day all the rest the next. Than bought 2 from uncle sams at the 5.5” size. These came a full size bigger than all the rest. They too stayed in the 45 for a month or so. That tank still had a pair of Cory’s from the other batches. So I took them as the hero fish and they all went into the 125. All good.
When I mixed the first 2 groups together they instantly started moving together. They became one group right from the start. When I added the US in who were bigger. They kind of hid and stayed away from the group. The US are Asian discus so at first I was worried. Took about a week and all was well. Thing is all the first discus have out grown the US discus. When you buy bigger you really don’t know how old they are. I’d have to take them out to see if they’ve grown. Whereas the Hans discus are mostly a full size bigger.
I think the key to crossing discus groups is quarantine. Keep them separate for at least 4 weeks. Make sure nothing is wrong. Also keep your water clean. When you mix in so so water you have a better chance of problems. First there’s stress from the move than the new surrounding than bad water quality. Than it over! I’d say 90% of people’s discus problems are because of water quality. So much bad info out there on water changes. Even Hans advertises that you only need to change 75% once a week and you can do it with tap water. His fish are very strong and adaptable but sorry that’s not the way to get your best results.

06-27-2020, 10:56 AM
I'm in full agreement with Iminit. Recommendations made here often get stretched into hard rules, often to the point where they are impractical. The original recommendation was to have a minimum 6-week quarantine. Someone suggested that buying discus at one time would address the quarantine requirement (it doesn't) and that eventually became why you can't mix discus.

In fact, only discus from Hans meet this criterion. Hans' discus only comes from Stendker (although Stendker has multiple facilities.) Every other importer buys from multiple farms, so they come from different sources as recently as 3 - 4 weeks ago. Simply Discus sellers target a more discerning hobbyist so they spend more effort to ensure the fish are healthy, including medicating upon arrival.

In contrast, LFS buys from whoever has the lowest price. Moreover, most LFS feature recirculating systems so the discus are in cooler water, often unfed and exposed to potential pathogens from all other fish in the store. Most of us recommend buying from our sponsor sellers because the advantages of doing so are HUGE. Then we have kind hearted people trying to rescue discus. If you put a rescue discus into your main discus tank, there's nothing we can do to help.

The point it, you must quarantine. If you don't have a quarantine/medication tank, go out and get one. Having a quarantine tank is like having a heater. You won't be successful without one. Be prepared to quarantine your discus for a minimum of six weeks, partly to observe for disease development, but also to make sure they recover from the trip - lots of good food, lots of clean water. I'd also recommend holding onto your runts. They're perfect to use as 'hero' fish to test for persistent pathogens.

I speak from bitter, bitter experience.

06-27-2020, 12:05 PM
Well, Willie, I do agree with you but to both add and possibly modify what you said. Like Hans I do believe that Kenny's only supplier is Forrest. Unless Forrest is brokering his fish from multiple sources then Kenny's fish would be one source as well. I would not hesitate to mix my Kenny fish with fish that I got either from you or from Al. One time I did see a discus at the lfs that tempted me. He was a tiny 2 inches that was bright red. I thought how could a fish be so small and yet so red? I almost bought it. In fact I went into the store several times and looked at the little guy. Then one day he was gone. At that point I said to myself that I should have bought it.

06-27-2020, 02:10 PM
Remember that old adage, If it's too good to be true, it probably is? If you saw a bright red 2" discus, then it was hormoned to produce that color. Lucky you didn't get it. I say this with the certainty of someone who has direct experience in such matters. :D

06-28-2020, 03:29 PM
No mixing can't afford losing my homebred
Discus it's taking almost 1 1/2 decade just
to have a disease free operation but I do mix
the eggs from other breeders.
BTW was your buddy member of
the Hawaii Discus Society, because some
of the members went on an Asian Discus Tour back in the late 90's. As far as using formalin most breeders local breeders in
the San Francisco Bay Area and also in
Asia are using nitrofurzone or furan2,
but this doesn't eradicate The Plague.
I remember when a new shipment of
Discus arrive in Coconut Island my friend
want the first to cherry pick but at the same
time he was first to get wiped out.
Check out one of Forest's post you can see that some of his tanks are green color with


06-28-2020, 06:46 PM
I will never again mix Asian with German discus. I’m convinced that the Asian are immune to a variety of viruses that the Germans have no immunity to. JMO

06-28-2020, 07:00 PM
I will never again mix Asian with German discus. I’m convinced that the Asian are immune to a variety of viruses that the Germans have no immunity to. JMO

I presume that you would not mix a Brazilian (wild) with either?

06-28-2020, 07:50 PM
Asian and German and lfs all together :)128181

06-29-2020, 02:02 PM
Asian and German and lfs all together :)128181

Even the plants carrying diseases especially
some LFS having central filtering systems.


06-29-2020, 02:08 PM
I'd like to know where Stenkder gets some of his new strains. He says he doesn't import from Asia, but you know he must.

06-29-2020, 02:45 PM
I presume that you would not mix a Brazilian (wild) with either?

I cannot comment as I have never done this.

06-29-2020, 02:58 PM
I'd like to know where Stenkder gets some of his new strains. He says he doesn't import from Asia, but you know he must.
Stenkder doesn't let visitors into his hatchery
as this was mention to me from a few people. Everyone knows that the original
PigeonBloods and BlueDiamond came
from Asia. It has been said to me from
wholesaler that Stenkder Discus came
from this certain country in Asia but there is no prove. Stenkder does refine their Discus
before selling.


06-29-2020, 03:47 PM
Most of his strains have the Stendker look but some of these new spotted fish he has are still stamped as Asian to my eye. The only reason it bothers me is that it's all done "under the cover of darkness".

06-29-2020, 04:10 PM
Back in the late 80s early 90s the Germans were the big discus breeders. Asian were new on the market. Germans were buying the Asian discus than. They’ve had them for 20yrs now. Germans are still experimenting with discus just like the Asian.

06-29-2020, 04:22 PM
But it sure isn't common knowledge is it, Tom?

06-29-2020, 04:54 PM
So the new stendker strains are probably just strains they've acquired from Asia? Such as the white leopard, checkerboards?

06-29-2020, 05:03 PM
I'm sure that they don't import them to sell. My guess is that they breed them in their facility so that they can honestly offer their offspring as German bred Stendkers. Like I said earlier, I wouldn't be bothered by it if they were up front about it.

06-29-2020, 05:41 PM
If you breed a fish enough [over and over] you kind of have to own it ?
I know if you don't mix another line then the fish is true ,but once you introduce something else of yours or have breed from one pair for generations they really can't be called the fish they were ?
I have ,breed Ed Parker Jet black swordtails . I have never in over 4 years added new blood of another type so they are Ed Parkers 100% .Just last fall I was able to get a few more Ed Parkers so I can keep the strain true and healthy ,but after 6,7 years are my fish really Ed Parkers ? I mean I know the genes are but the raising, breeding, water, tanks and food are me .
If Stendker gets fish and breeds them for generations 'their style' doesn't that make the fish theirs ? All fish come from somewhere else in their pedigree ?

It would be nice if a lot of breeders and manufacturers spilled the beans and told some truth ,but the fish industry is so completely unregulated as any business ever could be IMO .
My fish are proprietary !

06-29-2020, 06:21 PM
If they're bred by the new owner for generation upon generation the breeders puts his stamp on them. They look like his because he selects according to his taste, right? Until the fish they breed don't look like the breeders other fish they still should be called by the name their breeder gave them. As you know Tom, it takes generations to put your own mark on a fish.

What the big breeders do in other countries is kept mostly secret. IMO it is a shame, but I'm used to it. It's been that way for as long as I can remember.