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Thread: My Discus Journey

  1. #1
    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default My Discus Journey

    Hello to all,

    I'm starting this journal tonight so that I can one day see how far I've came. I have previously kept discus for around 10 months, I then took a 14 month break due to going through a tough time and having to move town. I had many problems keeping discus, I was new to the hobby of fish keeping and very inexperienced, I rushed into discus and made a mess like a bull in a china shop, I had to put many discus to eternal sleep, it was a absolutely heart breaking experience for me at the time. In the end I sold my surviving discus, one of which I have kept in touch with all that time off and I now own 5 of his babies! I had made a friend back then too, a lady I met in my local pet store and we shared our discus stories, I kept in touch with her too, I now own her 5 adult discus! I decided just over a month ago I would start my 4 foot tank up again and try keeping discus once more, I am passionate about these fish. So I went to my local pet stores over a few weeks period, taking notes of fish they had and other things id need. In one of the stores there was a lonely little stunted discus, I stood their staring at him for awhile, I made plans to save him if he was still there next time I went. A week or so went by, my tank was cycling with some Cories and I went back to that store, the little discus was still there, he was hiding up the back of the tank with his head down, he was sad, I brought him home, in my head I rescued him that day. His name is Tangerine, he is the king of the Cories now because he spent 1 month living alone in my tank with them, the poor cories were charged at, head butted and their foods were under guard by tangerine, it was so funny at the time I couldn't help but cry while I laughed, here is a video of them:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSR2ZOCQof4&t=1s

    Bringing us up to today, I now have two 4 foot tanks, one grow out tank for my five 3 month old baby discus and one display tank for my 5 adult and 1 stunted (Tangerine) discus. The discus I had previously owned were all juvies, around 4 inches, so I have absolutely no experience with babies or adults and I'm coming undone already with my lack of experience, I'm making stupid mistakes, half of them I should already know better! I'm not giving up though, I want to be a good discus owner one day, these fish have my heart. These 2 videos are of my current tanks, taken a few days ago:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFEQ-gIoCok
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRvCSdRYfks

    Today I brought some new live plants for my display tank, a green rush, 2 hair grass and a Chinese evergreen plant. And for my grow out tank I brought my babies a moss ball, they also have some type of small plant attached to one of the driftwoods, I have heard not to plant grow out tanks but I thought 2 little plants cant hurt. Both my tanks have 6 Cories in them currently, I did have neon's but the babies thought they were a snack lol so I had them rehomed a couple of days ago.

    So that's where I'm at today, I could keep writing more but that is enough for now. If you have any questions, advice or information for me please don't hesitate

  2. #2
    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    Good morning all,

    So i did a boo boo the other night, i stole a sponge filter from my display tank and put it in my grow out tank (Cross contamination!) because i was having issues with ammonia and nitrite in my grow out tank with my baby discus, the couple of days before this i had removed the bio grid cartridges from both my HOB filters and replaced them with ceramic noodles, hence the loosing cycle. Thanks to the sponge filter i stole the grow out tank now has good water readings PH 7.6 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 and Nitrate 10. But i have now lost the cycle in the display tank, readings are now PH 6.8 Ammonia 0.50 Nitrite 0.25 Nitrate 40!! What a silly thing to do, i should have known better. So I dosed the display tank with Prime and Fluval Cycle yesterday to help try to recycle the tank, I'm going to do a 30% water change on the tank later this morning and then later on check the readings again.

    The babies are happy, eating well and i think they are growing, I'm unsure at what rate they should be growing though at this stage. I took photos of their live plants, they seem to like the plants, pecking at them all the time.
    29178322_10214044282994489_1997930249643360256_n.jpg
    29062569_10214027572176729_7131087312837935104_n.jpg

    At feeding times mainly I'm having some aggression type behaviour from my adult discus, the PB is chasing away all the discus except the Red Rose from the foods. I assume the PB is a male and the Red Rose a female with this type of display. I also took photos of the new plants in my display tank, the discus got quiet a fright at the Chinese evergreen plant at first, i think because its quite big. After 24 hours they seem to like it now though, sleeping under it at night.
    29136040_10214044283354498_1626840320740163584_n.jpg
    29186362_10214044283754508_2109641386939645952_n.jpg

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    I think the way you have plants in your tank is ok, the issues are with planted tanks that have a soil substrate. a few plants in your driftwood won't hurt you as long as you clean up their mess when they make it. Your tanks look nice and clean, good luck with your babies.

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    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    Thank you George

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    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    So it seems discus keeping has never ending complications, if its not a sick fish, its Nitrate or a filter not working properly among others things. I'm trying to stay positive, I know all good things take time.
    My original stunted discus Tangerine is now in a hospital tank with what looks like hole in the head disease, there is about 6 white pimples on his head, I hope he pulls through, its so depressing when your fish get sick.
    The babies are going well, lots of fighting at the moment though, guess they are trying to sort out who's going to be boss of the tank and the herd. I have a canister filter on hold for the grow out tank now.
    The adults seem to be ok at the moment, I just spent hours installing a new canister filter on their tank, they were not impressed with the water change and installation of the new filter. But its now 2 hours later and they seem happy again.
    I have had some really good help on this site already, I'm very impressed with Simply Discus. People seem happy to help and make ideas and suggestions, which is a great help to me.
    Just some odd photos to follow over the last few days..
    29244207_10214072563181476_5818218533183553536_n.jpg
    29249690_10214064764666518_8096603013315035136_n.jpg
    29244451_10214072578461858_8136975525508808704_n.jpg
    29197169_10214065786652067_6927838276296376320_n.jpg

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    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    My babies are growing, I'm convinced they have had a growth spurt in the last 2 days, they are really starting to loo like discus now. When I take the lid off to feed them they are now racing up to my hand and attacking the freeze dried cube before I can even stick it to the glass haha
    The adults are doing ok, they are still very weary of me, they absolutely hate the LED tank light, every time I turn it on they either freeze or take off and smack into the other end of the tank, I have no idea why they are doing this, so I rarely ever turn it on now. At feeding time the PB constantly bullies the others, except the Red Rose, for some reason she is allowed to eat, the others have to sneak up and grab a bite while the PB is not looking. So I have been cutting the freeze dried cube in half and placing half at one end of the tank and the other at the other end of the tank. Which causes a lot of racing around the tank, but I'm not sure what else to do about it.

    29340248_10214092419517872_8535136744947843072_n.jpg
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  7. #7
    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    So today my adult discus let me turn on the LED light! I can actually see the tank is a mess now, its been hard cleaning it without the light on. They sit in a group like this with the light on, its been on 2 hours and they have not moved, they just sitting there like stunned mullets lol
    29060986_10214130374106713_2153054020964915190_o.jpg

    The babies are growing nicely and showing more colour each day, but are mostly still white in colour. They are very bossy at feeding times and ive had to cut the cubes in half so each get a bite. I am buying a canister filter for their tank on Tuesday next week, so they will be enjoying better water quality soon, I just hope the flow of the big filter isn't too much for them to handle.. Here is a quick video of them
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVYoO8gKH8w

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    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    I lost another discus yesterday, the beautiful big Turq. I tried to save it but it died within 12 hours of me finding it sitting on the sand. I had been watching for a week the PB bullying the Turq at feeding times, not letting it get even a bite of food. Add that to the week previous when they were new to my tank and not eating much equals close to 2 weeks without hardly any food for the Turq. I believe it died due to the bullying and lack of food. I'm so sad to loose 2 discus in under a week
    Due to the PB and the Red Rose becoming what I think is a pair and would explain the bullying from both of them towards the others, I have removed the 2 Red & Whites from the display tank, leaving the PB and Red Rose alone in there. I wasn't going to sit by and watch them bully the other 2 to death as well. It pained me to do this and I know it could cause more issues but I placed the 2 Red & Whites into my grow out tank with my babies, I had no other option. The babies don't even care, all they want is food. I'm feeling disheartened by this weeks events, ive tried to do everything I can to give my fish the best possible life but still I get the hard road with discus. Hoping for better times moving forward from today

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    Hang in there Sabrina it will improve. We just need to keep working and learning. Fish just like any other animal can be cruel to each other sometimes to death. I've woken up to find that a couple of my fish have been torn to pieces during the night, mating can do that, probably to many males lol, always a problem when there isn't enough females lol. Once you get the right combo of fish together it will all calm down.

  10. #10
    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    Thanks George, I will hang in there..

  11. #11
    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    I am happy to report things have been better over the last 2 days here, I moved the Red&Whites back into the display tank with the PB and Red Rose because the 4 of them were stressed being apart. The babies are cheeky as ever, nipping my fingers now when I try putting the food cube on the glass lol
    This morning I found a fantastic deal on Ebay, a canister filter 1400 liters an hour with UV light and all filter media for only $84!! So I snapped it up, should be here in a week, it will be going onto the babies tank. I also ordered a air pump that comes with tubing and air stones for my water aging bin I brought last week, and some check valves too. Also some Prime and another jumbo sponge filter for the hospital tank I will be buying in 2 weeks. I love getting items in the mail from Ebay, shiny new things lol
    I also brought part of the groceries I need to make home made food for my discus, I checked the price of the shrimp here, $38 a kilo!! And the lean premium beef mince is not cheap either lol
    Here are some photos for today, thanks for reading

    29352054_10214165420382848_8030136359692510796_o.jpg
    29063916_10214165511025114_5705822184249943214_o.jpg
    uv.jpg

  12. #12
    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    Good morning,
    I'm excited to report the canister filter I ordered arrived yesterday, not even 24 hours after I ordered it! Again it took me hours just to assemble it, it is very different to the one I brought last week. It then took hours to install it, I had to rearrange everything in the tank to be able to fit the intake and outtake in the same corner due to the tubing not being long enough to have them at each end of the tank, while the heater was off so I could move it I did a water change and vacuumed the whole tank. The babies were actually pretty well behaved during the install, they just hid in the corner. I almost lost the LED light into the tank, I had it balancing on the HOB and it fell off, luckily the tank brace caught it. So I got the canister installed, primed it by pushing the big button down a number of times, and then turned it on. Ended up having to turn it off and on 3 times before it finally started pumping water through the hoses, it then filled the tank with bubbles and was up and running! I double checked everything was back on and then walked away from the tank and sat down, within 2 minutes the babies raced up to the intake and outtake to inspect them, they were fascinated with the current from the spray bar and the prefilter lol..
    I will need to buy new longer tubing for both my canister filters so I can move the intakes to the other end of the tank eventually, probably in a few weeks when I remove the HOB filters from the tanks once the canisters are cycled.
    I also replaced the air curtains in both tanks with big round air stones, the curtains were a pain to be honest, looked good but not practical.
    I was also lucky to find the perfect prefilter mesh media for the intake strainers, had to trim them to size but they should do the job!
    The UV light in the new canister filter is quite big, I was expecting a small light, looks pretty cool..
    Here is some photos and a video of the new canister filter for today..

    29542991_10214184246453488_463114712364924528_n.jpg
    29571064_10214184247173506_7305069066894253851_n.jpg
    29354632_10214184054288684_1586661051401275317_o.jpg


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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    Looking great Sabrina, just one suggestion, put the intake and output at opposite corners of the tank and intake from the bottom and output at the top. This way you turn over your entire tank. Small stuff.

  14. #14
    Registered Member Sabrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    Hi George!
    Cheers for that suggestion, I'm working on it, have to wait until I can buy some longer tubing for either the intake or outtake so it can reach from the other end of the tank to the canister at the other end.. Even with the way I have it set up at the moment its turning over the whole tank because I have the canister filter at one end and the HOB and jumbo sponge filter at the other end, this will work until I get the new tubing and remove the HOB filters from my tanks in 3 weeks time
    I kinda wasn't thinking yesterday morning, I removed the sponge/carbon cartridge from the HOB in the babies tank and replaced it with a new cartridge because the HOB had slowed to a drizzle due to build up on the cartridge and also the carbon was 4 weeks old so due to be changed anyway. I have a bag of ceramic rings in the HOB filter too, and the jumbo sponge filter but I'm still worried I might have messed up the cycle, I will be testing the water at 8pm tonight, that will be 24 hours after the canister install and cartridge change, hoping for the best!

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    Default Re: My Discus Journey

    Best of Luck Sabrina.

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