View Full Version : Wild discus

03-20-2011, 08:17 PM
today i decided im going to start up a wild discus tank. ive only ever kept wild discus once and i only kept it for a month holding it from a friend. im really open to ANY tips or advice you guys might have for me. how they like there water, tank set up, water changes, lighting ect. thanks for reading guys,


Altum Nut
03-20-2011, 08:42 PM
Hey Alan,

Wilds are not much different than domestics. Depending on your source, most times they will already be acclimatized to tap water. I would very highly recommend you buy from a reputable source like from the many sponsors we have here on Simply.
That way, you will be provided with right conditions and suggestions you require.
You work hard for your money I'm sure...so I would plan your choice wisely.

The best of luck,

03-20-2011, 08:47 PM
i plan on buying from snookn21 (john). he has beautiful fish. im gonna talk with him tomorrow. and i plan on using tap water with just prime and ph buffer. i remember reading here on simply at there colors show more with a ph of 7.0 - 7.6. dont know if im just going crazy and talking out of my *** with that.

Altum Nut
03-20-2011, 09:25 PM
John is a great source indeed.
Why are you using a ph buffer?
When fish are healthy and happy...they will show thier true colors.
Ask John for suggestions and he will set you up.


03-20-2011, 09:28 PM
ive alwaysed used ph buffer to avoid swings in ph. plus the water straight from the tap comes out pretty high. what do you use for ph?

Altum Nut
03-20-2011, 09:33 PM
My tap comes out at ph 7.4
Aged for 24 hrs. is 7.6
Never had any issues as long as you keep up on water chances.
Many members here keep discus in ph 8.5 without issues.


03-20-2011, 09:58 PM
i think my ph might even be higher than that from the tap. the color is so dark it doesnt even show up on the test kit color chart. are wild discus ok at those ph levels?

Second Hand Pat
03-20-2011, 10:01 PM
Alan, I am keeping my wilds at about ph 7.8/7.9. My ph out of tap is 7.4 and is 8.2 after being aged about 4 hours. The guideline I am following is to keep my GH under 150 ppm. I received this tip from Dale Jordon. Dale says the sweet spot GH is about 70. You might find this thread a good read,


I mix about 20% RO/80% tap. Also I am on well water straight from the Florida aquifer and while the water is alkaline it is a very stable source. I would suggest keep wilds under dim lights starting out and slowly acclimating them towards brighter lights. They will tell you if they are uncomfortable with the light by seeking the darkest area in the tank.

All my stock is from John and I am very happy with all I have received. The Florida resident shipping rate is quite nice also.

03-20-2011, 10:06 PM
thanks pat thats all good to know. so a no on ph buffer? my water is going to be straight from tap. as far as lighting, i have a spare 50/50 40 watt bulb. will that be okay?

Second Hand Pat
03-20-2011, 10:20 PM
I would not personally use ph buffer. The light sounds ok but honestly your fish will tell you. I use about 4 or 6 layers of window screen between the light and the glass top on the 100 gallon. It is 24 inches tall and that light is a T5 two 54W bulb fixture so is a overkill. Many folks use the T8s.

The light over my QT sits upside down on the tank so the light is reflected off the ceiling. That fixture is a 32 inch T5 39W bulb fixture. I got the T5 fixtures intending to do low light planted tanks but did away with the plants as I felt I could not keep the tanks clean enough.

03-20-2011, 10:30 PM
i feel like a pest but i have another question. lol

as far as qt goes, im planning on having the discus with just corey cats. since im getting all of them from the same source. do i have to qt in a separate tank? because ive only used a 20g for qt before. im not going to able to fit 5 discus in there.lol

Second Hand Pat
03-20-2011, 10:37 PM
Not in a 20 gallon. I would personally QT the cories separate from the discus (20 should work great). I do not believe John has them mixed in his facility. Ask him. My QT is a 75 gallon. Alan, do you have room for 6. I lost one of the Nhamunda reds last weekend and I am surprised that the group of 5 is a less stable group then the 6.

I am happy to help BTW.

03-20-2011, 10:41 PM
yeah i have room for 6. i just didnt want to spend a whole lot of money. as soon as i saw all the greens he had i fell in love. now i just need to save up money. between school and car insurance. its tough to do.

03-20-2011, 10:42 PM
by the way did you have to deworm them?

Second Hand Pat
03-20-2011, 10:58 PM
I de-wormed the Nhamunda reds which were my first wild discus because I thought that was the "right thing to do". Since then I have received an additional three shipments from John and have de-wormed none of them. In reading other members experiences with wilds some seem to go by observation of the fish and others proceed with some sort of deworming.

In this regard I would prefer that other members chime in with their experiences as I am still very new to keeping wilds. I think you should consider the advice of the more experienced wilds keeper in this regard. You may find this thread helpful as it documents the deworming I did with the reds.


Discus Origins
03-20-2011, 11:46 PM
Depending on which strain of wilds you are going to purchase will dictate how much change you have to do to your water. Florida has very hard water and high ph which are exactly opposite of conditions they are used to. John keeps his fish at 6.0 and very soft water. If you are getting fish from him best thing is to duplicate the water conditions of your supplier and then acclimate them to something more suitable for you.

Blues/browns will adapt to higher ph easily, greens prefer 6.0-6.5, heckels don't shine unless they are kept in soft water at 6.0 or lower. Soft water is more important than ph so if you are in Florida an investment of RO unit is not a bad idea. I would also set up a 55g as a QT, very popular and cheaper priced.

There is really no exact right condition, but my opinion is that these are wild adult fish that grew up in the Amazon and not some F1s that never experienced it. Wild fish will be much happier kept in as close to natural parameters. It is our job to provide the environment for the fish, not for the fish to get used to what we decide.

Good luck with the wilds, they are very easy to keep given the right conditions.


03-21-2011, 11:07 AM
thanks a lot for all the advice. i read somewhere that the key for wild discus is the gh. so im going to be focusing my attention on that getting it somewhere around 80.

Larry Bugg
03-21-2011, 01:02 PM
IMO I would not deworm the wilds if you are getting them from John. I have ordered quite a few wilds from John and have never found it necessary to do any kind of medicating of them. They have all come in healthy and happy. Usually eating by that night and acting as though they had no clue they had been in a box for nearly 24 hours.

Second Hand Pat
03-21-2011, 01:20 PM
IMO I would not deworm the wilds if you are getting them from John. I have ordered quite a few wilds from John and have never found it necessary to do any kind of medicating of them. They have all come in healthy and happy. Usually eating by that night and acting as though they had no clue they had been in a box for nearly 24 hours.