View Full Version : Some questions for a newbi w/ Discus

12-28-2003, 02:35 AM
Hello! I'm not new to fish keeping - but I am new to discus and very interested into learning more before jumping in.

From what I've researched they require soft water - like Ph's between 6 and 7 and like bloodworms, beefhearts and such.

My questions - I use a water softener in my home which I've had salt tested and it's almost non-existant (so that's not a problem) but that means I've got a degree of zero to one for hardness. Is this to soft? I've read that degree of 3 in hardness is preferable.

My PH is a steady 7 - I'm reading conflicting reports that Discus don't do well in PH's over 6.5 - but then I've read they are fine but may not reproduce. I'm not interested in breeding - in fact I don't want a breeding pair. What's your thought on the PH - will 7 be okay?

What about plants - I'm familiar w/ live plants but my 125 gallon is planted and I'm really looking at plastic/silk for this tank - would that be okay?

And lastly - what about size of the tank? I've got a 55 that's going to be empty here soon - (it's cycled and everything) - how many discus can safely go in there when they are adults?

Thank you for your help

12-28-2003, 04:58 AM
ill tell u what i've learned here

how many discus can safely go in there when they are adults?
you can have 5 because it's 1 adult pre 10 gallon

They'll do fine in tap water but gotta use sum kind of dechlornator
so you shouldn't really mess around with your water

A barebottom tank is the best choice for newbi
1.easier to clean
2.feed them more often

daily water changes for them is best if they're babies
wit adult u can get away wit 1 or 2 water changes a week

"did i get this rite????"
"hope im not teaching him the wrong thing"
"if i got it wrong dont flame me plz"

12-28-2003, 08:03 AM
Hi and welcome!
If the discus are small when you get them , you can put more in the 50 until they grow up a bit, then transfer them.
I have started with 8 in a 50 and they did well.

BB and daily wc's (30 to 50%)
The water is probably too soft and the ph will not be stable. Any ph is ok as long as its stable (at least for growing discus)
See if you can draw water before the softener, like at a hose spigot.

Otherwise you will need to add minerals.
Check the tds (total dissolved solids with a meter) to make sure there is no salt. if the tds is high its probably from salts, this would not be good.
I don't like plants as its harder to keep clean and if live plants then adults are better, not so good for growing discus.


12-28-2003, 09:31 AM
Hi and welcome to Simply Discus~
The info you've been given is good info but this is the best thing I can suggest based on my experience. Find a really experienced breeder/hobbyist with a love, no a passion for this hobby. Once you do so get to know that person and get right up next to them. Utilize that person like a mentor. Pick their brain, ask them questions, and follow their suggestions to the "T". Keeping Discus is really not difficult. It is mostly about providing consistency. You will meet some challenges and learn to deal with them as you go but they are part of what makes this hobby so interesting.
Where are you located? Chances are there is someone not too far from you that you can befriend.
In regards to your questions... my experience is that Discus like consistent water parameters. Aging water is the best way to provide that. Find a container (Rubbermaid or whatever) that will fit at least half the quantity of your aquarium. Heat and aerate the water for about 24 hours. Check the pH before aging, during and again after aging to determine how much fluctuation there will be. From there you will be able to determine how much you need to adjust the waters parameters. In my tanks I add crushed coral to my filters to help stabilize the pH. Others here use other methods. I found this method from my friend/mentor who has a lot of experience and expertise.
My first tank was 55 gal and at this point I have 6 big beautiful adults who are doing very well in there. I personally enjoy a bare bottom tank as it allows me to keep it really clean. The starkness of the tank also showcases the fish. These are majestic animals and IMO capture the eye wonderfully. At the same time there are some incredible tanks shown here in the biotypes section as well as in the photos section. Pretty much everyone here agrees that for juvenile fish BB is the way to go as it insures that we keep the tanks clean, feed lots of good food and provide an environement that will encourage growth.
When I first attempted this hobby I relied on information from various sources that really complicated the task of Discus raising and lost several fish. Please go with people with experience, start with good strong healthy stock from a reputable breeder or hobbyist and most of all ... keep it simple!!!!
THis is a wonderful rewarding hobby that can quickly becoming addictive! Take it from this addict... I love being addicted to these fish! And Simply Discus and the awesome members here have made it possible for me to enjoy every minute of it!
Sorry for running on... and once again welcome to this fabulous hobby and this wonderful website.

12-28-2003, 07:46 PM
Thanks guys for the help! I've never had a problem w/ PH changes - I've been using the water softener system for 1 1/2 years and never had a change of PH - it's 7 outta the tap and stays 7 in the tank - although I don't test PH on a weekly basis - it's checked once every other week or so (in the tanks and from the tap). I will try that w/ the tub and see if there is a change - is it possible for the PH to increase/decrease and then go back to what it was? I've heard some very negative things about water softener systems and have done alot the research - especially w/ salt. The unit I've got is commercial grade and professionally installed so maybe that's why I'm not having the problems other's have experienced w/ the systems.?.?

The only thing that changed the PH (that I know of) was when I had CO2 in the tank and that dropped the PH to 6.5 but it was never consistent so I removed the unit.

As far as a breeder - I've asked several LFS about where their discus are from - and they are all outta the area. A couple got their fish from Florida. And one told me their discus have been very poor quality the past six/seven months. There are a couple more FS that I've not been to yet asking about Discus - but they are all part of a chain and pretty sure they are going to be the same supplier - but maybe not.

Anyone live in VA that could maybe recommend a breeder?

I would love to find a breeder close by - that would be awesome to have somone that I could learn firsthand from!!

What's BB?

So daily water changes are highly suggested? I've heard it from more than one source. 50% sounds like an awful lot! Although if that's what is best I'll do what it takes if I get into them. My oscar tank I change about 30% every 3 to 4 days - more if nitrates get high. W/ Discus why is the water changes so essential? (other than they like clean water)

Thanks for all the information - you all have helped alot!

12-28-2003, 08:01 PM
BB = bare bottom , no gravel as the gravel traps debris. Discus like clean water, very low nitrates, thus the frequent wc's.


12-28-2003, 08:02 PM
do they have a heavy bioload?