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Thread: Discus bullying

  1. #1
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    farhan hossain

    Default Discus bullying

    Hello everyone, So I am new to discus keeping. I started with a 120g planted discus tank. Initially bough 3 5-5.5inch turquoise discus. After 3weeks of having them in the tank I added a couple of 4-4.5inch Orange melon. Initially the melons were way too shy and wont come out until the lights go out. After couple of days of being in the tank one of them started coming out and started taking foods as well. But now 2 of my 1st 3 turqs paired up and started laying eggs. They ate the 1st batch themselves but they started bullying all three discus. they peck each other, chase each other until the new discus are out of sight or hiding. The pair wont let them have food either. I am not ready for breeding yet, cant provide the pair their own tank either. Now I dont even know if the pair will have success in hatching the eggs. I really dont want to give up the pair as I might change my mind in breeding discus in future, and a paired up discus is not something you come by everyday. Now My question is....

    1. Will the fighting stop if I add more discus? I currently have 5, can add 4/5more to the group.
    2. As all of them are pretty new to the tank is it normal for them to create a hierarchy at this stage?
    3. If I dont separate the pair right now and leave them in the tank will they still keep laying eggs?


    Sorry for the long post...Any suggestions will be appreciated.IMG_0546.jpg
    Last edited by farhan hossain; 04-28-2018 at 03:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Silver Member Jenene's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discus bullying

    Hello Farhan, Welcome to SD. You will find a lot of help and support here. I'm kind of in and out but noticed your post and I am not an expert but have had similar issues with aggression and egg layers.

    My tank is only 75 gallons and I have ten discus in there. yes, I am overstocked. It a long story and I change a lot of water. I will start by saying adding a few more should help disperse the aggression. I will add though that before you do you should really consider getting a quarantine tank. You've been really lucky so far with the addition of new fish and no illness. If you plan ahead your QT can become a breeder tank at some point if you do decide to try the pair. I'm one that said I would never breed. The thought is a spark that is still alive in there so you just never know. It's definitely a must have especially with a planted tank of your size. One sick fish and treating 120 gallons can get to be prohibitively expensive. So in short, I would get a few more and QT them first.

    I'm assuming much of the aggression is stemming from the egg laying activity. My pair will protect their corner like pit bulls until the eggs are gone and then mix nicely back in with the group. If I keep my water conditions up they will continue to lay eggs every 10 days to 2 weeks or so. I wish they didn't. It takes a lot of energy out of them and it's sad to see how hard they are trying but they just continue do it.... During the aggression periods is it possible to target feed the others?

    I find that small changes in the tank will disrupt the order of the group. If one is taken out for QT or if I even rearrange the driftwood it starts all over again. It's just the nature of the cichlid beast. Once in awhile if the aggression gets to be dangerous and turned onto one specific individual I will tape a couple of 12"x 12" mirrors to the tank to give the illusion that there are actually more fish in the tank. It has worked for me each time and i remove them as soon as things have settled again.

    Just my own thoughts, others may have other ideas. I hope things settle for you soon. Welcome again and enjoy the forum. There is so much to learn here.
    Last edited by Jenene; 04-28-2018 at 08:40 AM.
    "You can't trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it." -W.C.Fields

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Discus bullying

    I always have trouble when they start breeding with aggression. Right now I have 6 discus and two have paired up, however another of the fish, a blue diamond, it appears would like to be the one breeding. he is always picking a fight with the paired male and it's starting to get violent. So far they have not injured each other but you never know. I have woken up to find several of my fish in pieces before from fighting during the nite, and all over breeding rights. Sometimes you just need to separate them or they will injure each other.

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    Default Re: Discus bullying

    Thank you jenene for your suggestion. Looks like getting a QT might solve some issues for me. The fighting has been ceased in last 24 hours. I hope they keep it that way 😂😂😂

  5. #5
    Silver Member Jenene's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discus bullying

    Sounds good Farhan, I have never heard anyone ever say they regretted getting a QT.... good luck, I’m glad they’ve settled for awhile.

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    Default Re: Discus bullying

    Farhan, the tank looks great! i also had some issues with aggression by dominant female, even had to devide my tank. A month or so later i have removed the divider and peace and love occured.

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    Default Re: Discus bullying

    Quote Originally Posted by Dovla View Post
    Farhan, the tank looks great! i also had some issues with aggression by dominant female, even had to devide my tank. A month or so later i have removed the divider and peace and love occured.
    Thank you Dovla, The fighting has stopped so far. I purchased a pair of beautiful red cover discus. They are in the quarantine waiting to be in the main tank. I think adding two more will lessen the remaining tension in the tank....

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