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Thread: New Discus questions

  1. #1
    Registered Member
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    Jun 2018

    Default New Discus questions

    Hello all, I'm new to the forum and new to discus, although I have read as much as I could on their care. I wasn't looking for discus at the moment but ended up rescuing one single discus from a friend's tank. He had bought it from a pet store I will not name on impulse and did not realize how much care they required. He had it in an aggressive cichlid tank - poor guy was very dark and hiding in a corner. So I brought him home to my 55 gallon, which currently also houses 2 dwarf cichlids (extremely easy going), 4 black neon tetras (which I'm phasing out), 3 rummynose (new to tank - bought 6 but 3 didn't make it - plan on adding more) and 3 bosemani rainbows. Always wanted discus and I really like the little guy. He is about 2.5 inches. I have raised the tank temp to 81, PH 7.4 GH 7, KH 3. I have also started my "new" daily/every other day water changing routine, which is a lot different than my once every two weeks routine before baby discus came. So now for my questions.

    1. I have always provided lots of caves, plants (real and/or silk) and hiding places for my shy fish. But I have just read that is better to take all most of this stuff out for ease of cleaning and so the discus will not hide. Is this true? Do the discus not need hiding places?? In today's water change I took out most of my caves and half my plants because discus was always hiding when I came to the tank and at feeding time and I could not tell if he was eating. He did come out more now and we'll see at feeding time. I just don't want him stressed because he doesn't have as much cover as he did before. He can still hide in a couple of places and behind plants but it is definitely a lot more open.

    2. The bosemani rainbows are VERY aggressive feeders and VERY active. Will the discuss learn to get to the food fast (right now he is not and therefore I don't think he is getting a lot) or will the rainbows have to go??

    3. Should I add more discus now that I have one? I know they like to be in a group. If so, how many and should I do it as soon as possible so that there are less aggression issues between them or should I wait until this discus gets more comfortable? I would be ordering online - any suggestions as to where I should buy from welcome.

    4. Will the new fish need to be quaratined and, if so, how big a tank to quaratine? Is a10 gallon okay?

    5. My plan is to have the discus (how many?), rummynose (how many?), a group of cories (which kind, how many?) and the 2 dwarf cichlids. The rainbows are iffy unless you guys think is fine.

    Thanks for reading my very long post and for any suggestions/help you can give me.


  2. #2
    MVP Oct.2015 discuspaul's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
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    Default Re: New Discus questions

    Hi Martha, welcome to Simply

    If you've done a reasonable amount of research into discus, you may have a sense by now that a small 2.5" discus rescued from a friend who originally got it @ a LFS, may well not have been properly cared for, be quite stressed and not in good condition, and perhaps even be a stunted specimen.

    It's positive news to hear that you're doing some good clean-out of the 55 gal the discus is in, as well as upping your wc's routine - that will help you provide somewhat better water quality than before, and would likely improve the little guy's lot in life, so to speak. No need to worry about hiding places for the new guy - like many fish, if there are hiding places, the fish will hide. With time, he should become more outgoing.
    Bosemani Rainbows are known to be highly active and swift-moving, and that could tend to stress the discus - however it may adapt with time if you don't move them out.

    Now to the nub of your situation: If you're really interested in discus and want to get more (that you obtain from a good quality source) don't try to do that in your 55 with it's current community of fish and the small discus (who may carry pathogens you wouldn't want to see passed on to any new healthy discus).

    Start out with a new larger tank, say 60 to 75 gals, equip it properly for 5-6 discus - in a minimalist environment and with a responsible wc routine, so as to make your entry into discus as successful as you can.
    You can check out the forum's Sponsors section to order good quality fish on-line - go with reasonably good-sized discus only to start off with (no tank-mates), so no QT would then be needed.

    That's my best advice for you to approach discus-keeping the correct way.

    Hope this helps - I know this is likely not what you wanted to hear, but it's the safest approach to getting started with discus in terms of avoiding unnecessary risks and not losing expensive fish.
    Last edited by discuspaul; 06-05-2018 at 05:31 PM.

  3. #3
    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Central Florida
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    Default Re: New Discus questions

    Hi Martha and welcome to the forum. Paul gave you some really good advice. If you think you wish to do more with discus you might consider spending some time in the beginner section of the forum. I will warn you that discus can become very addicting.
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening

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