10-27-2003, 10:33 AM
Hi everyone! For a special treat for Halloween, we have a series of mini-spots by the administrators and moderators of Simply Discus! In line with the season, they are all either "tricks" or "treats." I think you will find a lot more tricks than treats! Why is this? I think because every day with discus is filled with treats, so the tricks tend to stand out! I think that all the spots are great and I had a lot of fun going over them! We hope you will all enjoy them!


BETH (Trick):

Damn That VooDoo Woman And Simply Discus

The Curse That Caused This Insane Behavior

For me, it was initially started with one of my clients announced to me that she was a VooDoo Woman. She was moving and decided she needed to rid herself of this insane obsession. She cursed me with a tank, which was possessed with a pair of fresh water Angelfish, well... After a year of being abused under the care of an amateur they started creating havoc in my life by spawning.

Me having the Motherly Instinct I had the incredible urge to find out how to care for these demon fish. Those two fish managed to multiply into thousands in no time at all... what was I thinking? That VooDoo Woman must have known exactly where to push the pins to cause so much madness and chaos in my tanks.

The next thing you know that curse caused me to have more tanks and more angelfish fry than I could get rid of. After awhile I thought that curse had been broken when the spawning slowed down a bit. Damn! Was I ever wrong!

Spellbound by this VooDoo Woman and those demon angelfish, I was in need of getting that curse broken... I searched and searched until I stumbled upon a place called Simply Discus.Com where it appeared to be a place of refuge for the weak and weary fish people, it had a pure and wholesome look and feel to the place. Damn, was I ever wrong again!

I thought Brewmaster could help me with my dilemma that I was now engulfed in. His suggestion was that I contact Cary at Great Lakes Discus. He told me that Cary would be able to perform an Exorcism on me that would break that Evil VooDoo Womans Spell!!!

Lo and behold, I had now been deceived by this Cult Leader Brewmaster and his High Preist Cary! I was told to pick my poison, will it be Demon Angelfish or The King of the Aquarium, Discus?

What little did I know...? Cary the High Priest had an ulterior motive! By performing this spell I was much worse than the curse I was previously under... This curse, The Discus Nightmare started with only one shipment, which led to the need of getting a new Discus fix with other shipments which led to bigger tanks, breeding cones, wet dreams, sleepless nights, Discus fry, flooded rooms throughout the house, horrific dreams, heartbreak and water changes galore...

Oh My God!!! Simply Discus has now created a monster size addiction deep within my soul... Iím afraid this curse will never be broken.

The VooDoo that Brewmaster and Cary embrace can and will cause irreparable damage to all innocent fishkeepers!

This Horror Story is one to learn from people. This can happen to any of you. Beware!!!!!!!!!

Be Afraid.... Be Very Afraid!

Written and Co-written by

Beth and her Demons

APRIL (Trick):

Once upon a time there was a little mod who wanted to keep discus. She started with 6 blue turqs. And then she began collecting. The little moderator needed more info... and began looking on the internet. She Found a forum and began to read and read and read daily. She met a lot of people on there including Cary of Great Lakes Discus and Brewmaster and Carol. Of course the more pictures she saw the more discus the little mod needed. This all was a great treat!

Water changes were always a source of concern. Hoses draping up and down stairs and out windows and running every which way. Some water changes were done successfully... but some didn't quite work out right. In one instance she had the hose siphoning from upstairs down to the tub downstairs. Unbeknownst to her, the hose didn't stay in the tub. The water siphoned onto the floor of her shop and out the front door. There were many times where waterfalls were running down the stairs and one time she filled upstairs and became distracted until water was dripping through the ceiling! That day she said a little prayer for her new hero, the shopvac!

One day the little mod moved to a nice new shiny apartment on the fifth floor. It seems the hero of a shopvac had a short in one wire. It was left plugged in and sitting in a bucket. Well the mod and her family woke up to smoke and fire flying up! The cat scratching tower and the bucket all melted on the tiles. The fuse blew and no smoke alarms worked. So the new building had its first fire.

The shopvac company replaced her shopvac with an upgraded version. All went well for her until this month. It mush have been the trickers or the ghosts and goblins hanging about, as some little goblin knocked the hose out of her water storage tank and it back siphoned. Apparently she f orgot to break the siphon. She was merrily yabbering away on her favorite chat room when suddenly there was a knock knock knock on the door. It seemed the hallway was under water! Out came that new shopvac and she started vacuuming. It seemed there were some trickers around!

Still, despite the tricks, our little mod decided that she definitely had more treats in her bags than tricks! She remained a happy little Halloweener.

DARCY (Treat):

Well, just after my disaster I had a few discus left over that had made it through. As I read the forums I noticed that a person that had helped me through my ordeal was off to a breeder to get some fish. As fast as I could type I sent a message to him and asked for him to get me some fish. After a couple messages back and forth, he agreed and I was as giddy as a kid! He quarantined the fish for me and kept me informed the entire time he had them. When the time came for the fish to be shipped I was eager and waiting with anticipation! I arrived at the airport 45 minutes early and waited for over an hour! Pacing back and forth the entire time! Finally the plane arrived, I got the box and I shot for home, though I had to drive slowly as it was snowing and cold, minus 30 degrees!

Finally I got the fish home. I felt just like I used to on Christmas morning! Just I was about to open the box the phone rang. It was the shipper asking "did the fish make it?" I laughed, "I dunno I just got home and haven't even opened the box yet!"

So I opened the box started taking out bags, all fish were good!! I put them in the tank and sat back to watch! This was my first experience with shipping and I was very excited! All the fish as of today are doing great and even have had babies for me! It was an awesome first time experience.

ARDAN (Trick):

After a water change on the discus tank, I went outside for a while as it was a holiday and when I came back in, all my 7 discus were lying on the bottom of the tank on their sides. My first thought was that there was chlorine in the water or a contaminant. I couldn't believe my eyes. They had labored breathing and were not able to swim.
I then realized there was no water in the tank! I had left the drain valve open after the wc!

I quickly ran to the water storage barrel which had fresh tap water in it, added dechlorinator and started pumping it to the tank.

Well, some suffered burns from the heater, some got fin and tail rot, but after 3 weeks of furan 2 and salt, they recovered.

I had taken care of these fish for 18 months already, doing daily wc's, feeding them lots of CBW, spending lots of time, and I thought I had lost them in an instant because of a silly mistake. But thanks to my friends at Simply to guide me along and give me support, all turned out ok.

CAROL (Trick):

I try to practice what I preach. I believe in daily water changes, clean tanks, clean filters and clean water storage barrels. The inside of the 55 gallon plastic barrels get a tan coating over time. I donít know if itís bacteria, diatoms or something else, but I figured it needed to be scrubbed out.

One of the first times I cleaned the inside of the barrels I used a bleach solution. After a quick rinse I refilled and aerated it for a few hours prior to water changes.

It was 11:00 PM by the time I refilled the bedroom tanks and I was getting ready for bed. Glancing at the tanks prior to lights out I was horrified to see my discus fade to white with dark grayish splotches right before my eyes as they floated to the top gasping for air.

Chlorine poisoning! Two tanks affected and no stored water. The kitchen 55 gallon is on a separate barrel and luckily I had been too tired to clean it that day. I immediately grabbed a net and mentally picked out the order in which I wanted to save my discus. Discus triage.

You have to picture this middle aged, overweight, grandma in her nightgown; running from one end of the house to the other with a large green net - thirteen times. I saved them all.

I learned you can keep 20 + discus in a 55 gallon for a couple of days (with lots of water changes). Filters will bounce back in a few weeks even if they are killed by chlorine and sometimes you can clean things just a little too well . . . . .

STEVE (Trick):

Well, my horror story begins with me coming down the stairs one morning to find one of my very first discus dried up and dead on the floor in front of my tank. My heart sank when I saw him, a beautiful red turq, and I thought "What the hell happened?"

My brain kicked into "Discus Crime Scene Investigation" mode and I immediately counted the rest of my discus in the tank to make sure the rest were ok. I looked around, scouring the area for clues, and to my amazement, I had FORGOTTEN to close the glass lid the previous night after the last feeding. Boy, that wasn't a very nice trick or treat!

RANDAL (Trick):

I setup an experimental planted tank for discus, angels, cardinals, Cory cats, etc in my living room to see how well discus did in a non-bare bottom tank. The overall result pretty much mirrors what everyone will tell you here on Simply, the adults did fine, the juvies runted and when the adults decided it was spawning time, all hell broke loose in the tank and made every one of the other inhabitants miserable.

During the time I was running this experiment, I did a normal 75% water change and pruning session. I pruned most of the plants way back and cleaned up real good, to the point that it was now getting late and I had to get ready for work. I put the filter back together and decided to crank up the Co2 a little to help the newly cut back plants. I didnít take the time to count bubbles or anything as our medium hard water is not usually a problem for pH shifts. I got ready and left for work. A few hours later, my wife called with a "I think there iss something wrong" call. Her exact words, "I think thereís something wrong with the tank in the living room. Are your fish supposed to be white and lying on the bottom?" So I frantically walked her through shutting off the Co2 and turning on the night time air system. I crossed my fingers and went back to work. When I got home all the fish were doing fine and were none the worse for wear.

I also have a treat for the members. Simply put, my first set of wigglers from my BD pair. The Fact that they keep eating them when they go freeswimming is another trick...

CHONG (Trick):

I have been VERY lucky with this hobby and I havent had many scary moments (touch wood!) however I have jumped out of my skin on a couple of occasions due to my complete stupidity. We often take for granted that our hobby would be extremely difficult if not impossible without the technological and electronic marvels that litter our hobby. Add to this the large amounts of water that we deal with and suddenly it is apparent that we must never take anything for granted!

Not long after moving into our new apartment I realized that bucket brigade water changes would simply not do as it was taking a toll on my back and the carpet! I had to look for a long term water change solution and decided on a large 80L garbage bin.

In went an air stone attached to an air pump. This is where I made my first BIG and STUPID mistake. Instead of mounting the pump above the waterline, I sat it on the floor! I even had a few one way stop valves somewhere but it was at the back of my mind as I was excited at the prospect of seeing the end of the bucket brigade!

Into the tank also went a nice, new, field tested 150W heater. And here is my second BIG and STUPID mistake! Instead of lying the heater on itís side at the very bottom of the tank, I mounted too high and when the tank was emptied by the pump 80% of the heater was exposed to nothing but air! I know I know, I should already know this stuff, like I said my bad.

So I filled up the tank the night before and all was dandy.

The first big SHOCK was when I first emptied my storage tank for the first time after a successful water change. What I didnít realize was that the heater was still running when I added fresh, cold water into the tank! I nearly jumped out of my skin when the heater completely exploded into a bubbling mess and a cloud of vapour! I soon realized that it was the heater and suddenly I feared for my life! Immediately I turned the water off, then carefully unplugged the heater and all other electrical appliances in the tank and backed off slowly towards the door trembling!!!

The second big SHOCK came a few days later. I up one morning and realized that the air pump in storage tank was not running. So stupidly I walked over and picked it up and ZZAAAPP!!! OUCH! The pump must have stopped running overnight and the water went was siphoned back up in the other direction! The pump was completely flooded and it was still plugged in!

So now the heater sits, suction cupped to the bottom of the tank and the air pump sits high up on a window sill! Talk about learning the hard way!

JIM (Trick):

When the great power outage of 2003 took place, I was out of town and no one was around to look after the fish. I ended up losing all my wilds! 11 adults and 23 juvies. I also lost 3 adult pairs that I picked up as youngsters from Cary (a pair of red dolls, snakeskins & bdís). It was sad because these pairs were just coming together and were laying eggs. Needless to say, it was a real bummer.

On the good side was this:

I had a couple of snakeskins (Carys) that were always seemed a little behind the rest. Well, they paired up and laid eggs a week after the disaster. Go figure. They have grown into beautiful adults and are still practicing. The other nice thing is that when Cary found out about the disaster he offered me some youngsters at no charge to help get me going again. I havent taken him up on his offer yet because I think that I just may stick with the ones I have left. But... when the $hitt hits the fan you know who you can turn to.

JOHN (Trick):

I have to say that I have had really good luck so far with my discus, knock on wood, but then again I have only had 3 or 4 tanks running for a while and it is a lot easier to handle that kind of volume than the 10 or so tanks of other cichlids I used to keep. I actually had a nice story planned regarding my need for a water storage unit and several floods I had, but I had an even more interesting experience this past weekend.

To start off, I keep my fish in the spare bedroom in our apartment - since there is also a bed and a computer in there, I am pretty limited in space and have to choose my fish wisely. I have 2 45 gallon tanks, a 46 bowfront, a 25 and a 20 running at the moment. I have a dozen discus and also a tank with my 10 year old Nicaraguan cichlid and his target dummies.

Well, one major concern of mine has always been heater failure. In most tanks, you really only have to worry about the heater getting stuck on - as a drop to room temperature of 68 degrees or so is no big deal. Discus, on the other hand, you have to worry about boiling them and freezing them, so I am always checking my tanks and I replace heaters on any sign on a problem. I always kept a 150 watt heater (Visi-therm and very old) in my Nicaraguan tank, 2 100 watters in my other 45 and the 46 bow and one 100 watter in my 25 and 20 respectively. The 20 is the Q-tank, so that heater is also a possible back-up and I also always keep 2 heaters on hand for emergencies.

Due to my really bad success rate with Ebos, about 50% failure within one month, my 2 backups are always pre tested to make sure they are reliable. I also recently bought a few Visi-therms (I used to use these exclusively and had very good luck, but I stopped when they "upgraded" them) and a couple of ProHeats.

So, I was feeling pretty happy about my heater situation... On Saturday morning I do my big clean for the week - wipedowns, filter maintenance, the whole deal. My first tank, I stick my arm in and wow, is the water warm. I checked the thermometer. 92 degrees! I checked the 2 heaters - the Visitherm is off, the Ebo is on and HOT! I unplugged it and pulled it out of the tank. I gave tremendous thanks that I only had a 100 watt heater in the tank, any more and the fish might have been boiled already! Whew! I left the tank alone and figured I'd let the temp slowly drop back to normal so as not to stress the fish out. I moved on to my next tank, the 25. I started to siphon and began thinking, hmm, this water feels cold. Maybe it's just because I recently scalded my arm in 92 degree water... Nope. The thermometer reads 74 degrees. This Ebo is stuck OFF! I quickly replaced it with my back-up Visitherm.

At that point I was getting annoyed. I decided to check my other tanks. Okay. Everything looks good. Let me check the heater in the storage bin. It's fine. Let me check the q-tank, I never think to check that one as there are no fish in it. The water is cold. Third Ebo malfunction. All 100 watt heaters...

All I can say is it could have been a LOT worse! No casualties and all my remaining heaters are running properly. Time to buy some new backups!

Happy Halloween! Check your heaters!

RYAN (Trick):

In the fall of 2002 I purchased some discus from a source online. At the time I was doing some contract work for a temp agency and I had all of my fish packages delivered by overnight carrier to the actual temp agency office. On my lunch break I would drive from the place I was working to the office, pick up and inspect my fish, then carry them back to work with me and keep them there until I could go home.

On this particular day, the secretary at the office called me at work. "Ryan, the delivery guy just dropped off your package and water is pouring out of it." I nearly died. I asked my supervisor for an early lunch break and I rushed down to the other end of town through lunch hour traffic. When I got to the temp agency I tore open the box to find that the fish inside were in about one inch of water they were 5" fish! It barely covered their gills. They looked dead at first, but after some agitation they flopped around and I noticed them breathing.

I grabbed the box and ran, dripping, all the way to my car. I drove back to the north end of town to a little pet store that I knew of. By this time, it was raining pretty hard outside (leave it to Florida weather!). I snatched the box up out of my car and ran toward the pet store. On the way through the parking lot, in the pouring rain, I lost my grip on the box and dropped it, and it went tumbling and skidding across the wet parking lot pavement.

When I finally managed to make it inside, I told the employee behind the counter, "I have some fish that have to be re-bagged." She ran over and helped me with the box, then started getting bags ready for the fish. I told her that there was a lot of water in the bottom of the box (thanks to the bag liner in it) and that we could use it for re-bagging the fish, but before I knew it she was scooping up water from a nearby GOLDFISH tank and dumping it into the bags with my discus!

I drove home, yanked the bags open, and moved my fish directly from the bag to the tank. All seven of them lay on their sides on the bottom for about three hours. Amazingly, between almost being dried to a crisp, drop-kicked across a parking lot, and bagged in cold, dirty goldfish water, the fish pulled through and did well. I, however, have never been quite the same when it comes to receiving a new shipment of fish!

RON (Trick):

My nightmare so far has been when I was completing my rack system particularly the mechanical filter and sump (you can see how it is setup at http://photos.yahoo.com/ronr_ca). I built the system in our spare bedroom because our basement is rented out. My wife suggested that I remove the carpet before building the system (which I am glad I listened to her). Underneath the carpet is 4" square lino tiles that look like wood flooring. What caused the problem was that the inverted water jug was set on top of the sump and would drain thru the neck of the jug into the sump. Well, everything was working just wonderfully when I left for work in the morning (had the system running for 24 hours to test it). It was around 8:30am that my wife called and she was in panic. The water was overflowing the jug and spilling on to the floor (the sump holds around 60G and there is nothing stopping the water flow until the sump empties) because the water was not flowing quick enough thru the neck of the jug. My wife was on the phone trying to contain the water on the floor and I'm trying to explain how to unplug the pump in the sump (this was before I hard wired the switch). She finally managed to find the plug and disconnect the pump.

By that time, however, there was around a half inch water on the floor in the whole room. Now my wife is really in panic. Water on the floor and must be at work by 9am. She grabbed all towels we had and laid them on the floor. By the time I got home, my wife had managed to get the water dried up. Of course, the system had not been running all day but the fortunate part was that I had no fish in the tanks yet. I was even more lucky because there was only a little water damage in the basement where the heating duct was located (water ran down the heating duct in the room upstairs). Hardly even noticeable. Some of the tiles in the bedroom have lifted at the corners but not a big deal. My wife of course tried to convince me to forget the whole idea but I persisted and convinced her that it was not going to happen again. And it has not happened. So far, anyway. I submerged the jug into the sump and drilled holes in the bottom to increase the water flow. So far, so good!

AL (Trick and Treat):


I was very proud of my first batch of artificially raised Discus... I had been working out the kinks for months and had finally succeeded and raised out about 100 3 inch sized fry. I had pampered these fish. They were my babies. They were the result of a wild green male crossed with a blue snakeskin. I noticed 3 distinct types... those that were snakes, those that were like the wild green dad, and about 20 that had a red turq pattern... I split them into 3 tanks for grow outs. The tank containing the red turq like ones came down with some fungus... I had it overstocked, work got busy, and admittedly... I neglected it in favor of the other two tanks... My normal course of treatment would have been salt... but I was out and I was lazy... I knew formalin was anti-fungal, so I used Quick cure which has formalin and malachite green. Day 1 the fish were fine, day 2 they looked stressed... I did my normal water changes, and they seemed fine... day 3 I went downstairs and all 30 of these 3 inch fish were floating. Or dead on the bottom. The ammonia reading in the tank was off the chart even after a full water change... My bio filter was dead for days. I still use Quick cure for some things but have learned It can really be a quick cure for a tank of fish. Hard lesson learned.


I have to say that in all my discus keeping years, my best memories are of Simply Discus and its beginning. Seems like years ago that I posted on a bunch of boards and on one in particular had some issues with the owner. I was fed up and thought Iíd try and buy the place and improve what I felt needed fixing. At that time I had become good friends with April. We talked a lot and she knew of my plans to either buy or make my own board. As fate would have it, April had another friend that was having issues with the same board I was. This guy was extremely bright, and knew his way around computers and software. He was also a fish addict. You all know him by the name of Ryan Smith, admin and webmaster extraordinaire for Simplydiscus. Thanks to April, Ryan and I got talking about making a Discus Forum that would be different from the others out there and we did. In my life, I dont think there are many things I am more proud of than this website. So Thank you April, Ryan, and everyone that makes this site what it is.

10-27-2003, 12:43 PM
WOW !!!!!!

Some of you have issues !!!!!!!! LOL

Now we know why we don't spotlight the mods !!!!!

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


10-27-2003, 12:58 PM
Good stories everyone :thumbsup:


10-27-2003, 01:56 PM
LOL Jack!! makes you look completely normal and in control right? how do you think we can help out with others questions....we tried them all....or experienced them all!!!!

10-27-2003, 01:58 PM
Well if your leading by example I would have to say your all doing a great job.


10-27-2003, 02:05 PM
Great advices guys !!!! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: :thumbsup::thumbsup:

10-27-2003, 02:08 PM
Wow ... what a long story ;D :)
Very nice story :) ...


10-27-2003, 04:16 PM
Had Fun reading this thread. ;D

Great going guy's


10-27-2003, 04:47 PM
LMAO Jack!!!!!!!

ummmmmmmm....... I think you may have a few stories you'd like to share with us ??? ::)

:-X Still your Cajun Queen ???


10-27-2003, 06:53 PM
Really Spooky Stories for Halloween! :shocked: I'm not going to share them with my Discus as I don't want them frightened! Thanks for sharing your experience and helping us all out.

10-27-2003, 08:29 PM
That was really great!!! Thanks for sharing.


10-28-2003, 01:11 AM
LMAOPIMP MAN that was Great Everyone! LOL LOL!

Mr. Limpet
10-30-2003, 04:30 PM
Very entertaining lunch time reading. Now everyone knows that if you keep Discus long enough, you are eventually gonna end up with a horror story of your own. Fortunatley the good times outweigh those few incidences, and usually your housemates and neighbors forget about the floods and such. Thanks for the stories. Paul.

11-05-2003, 12:59 AM
Lol Good stories! ;D

12-27-2003, 03:43 AM
WOW what a long story but some good advice :thumbsup: :bandana: