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Thread: My first forray into discus.

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    Red face My first forray into discus.

    So after many years of lurking about on these forums, I have finally managed to get myself an aquarium large enough to house a few of these beauties. I decided the best way to keep track of everything was post a tank journal to share my experience and get some advice wherever needed.

    Recently I managed to get my hands on a cheap 280l aquarium, and since I like to DIY things I ended up building my own stand, overflow, and soon will be adding a large sump/refugium.
    Since I absolutely love the look of a biotope aquarium, my goal is to try and get a proper blackwater look and feel which seems to be going alright at the moment.


    Current stock:

    2 Stendker German Wonder
    1 Stendker Tefe
    1 Stendker Santarem
    1 Stendker Pigeonblood
    1 Stendker Leopard Snakeskin

    5 Corydoras duplicareus

    Plans for the future:

    Add a whole load of cardinal tetras, and maybe 3-4 more discus if I can manage.

    After initial setup:

    20180604_185956.jpg

    Currently:

    20180619_121659 copy.jpg

    The only problem I'm currently running into is that one of the discus seems to be overly aggressive/dominant. While quite often they seem to swim around together quite happily, he seems to have claimed about three quarters of the tank as his own territory where none of the others are allowed. This is especially clear when there is food involved, resulting in the rest not getting a lot if anything to eat even when i spread the food out over the entire surface. I'm considering moving him out for a while and placing him in a spare tank I have, but I'm not sure if a timeout like this will actually achieve anything.

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    Default Re: My first forray into discus.

    Hi Mineastre and welcome to Simply Discus. The aggression is pretty normal, and if the others aren't being damaged I probably would wouldn't worry about it and give them time to work it out. Spreading the food around is a good idea. Looking forward to seeing how your tank develops.

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    Default Re: My first forray into discus.

    Welcome Mineastre to the fun place for discus keeping. The more discus you add the less agressive it will get. If you plan to add cardinal tetra, you need to add while your discus is small. They will likely to kill smalls when they are grown up.

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    Default Re: My first forray into discus.

    I agree that some aggression is pretty normal.
    However, from my (not so much) experience, some discus are just plain psychopath.

    I started with 8 of 2.5"-3", one of my Blue Diamond was the smallest one but oh boy,
    he (I just hope he's a he) wrecked havoc the harmony of the tank.
    He headbutt everyone within 3 feet (my tank is 5 feet) and everyone seemed stressed.

    To interfere or not, I think it largely depends on the peace of mind of the owner.
    I personally hate to see bullying (which, well, too bad discus is still a cichlid after all) so I finally rehomed him.
    Of course as many one would suggest, there will be the new one taking that "Alpha" place and start taking control of things.
    In my case, the new "Alpha" is not a total psychopath and luckily now my tank is somewhat peaceful.

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    Default Re: My first forray into discus.

    Thank you for the welcome


    Quote Originally Posted by RogueDiscus View Post
    The aggression is pretty normal, and if the others aren't being damaged I probably would wouldn't worry about it and give them time to work it out.
    They aren't being damaged that I have seen yet. But it has been going on for a week, so I'm starting to get a little worried about the lack of ability to get to food without being chased around.

    Quote Originally Posted by goldfish View Post
    The more discus you add the less aggressive it will get. If you plan to add cardinal tetra, you need to add while your discus is small. They will likely to kill smalls when they are grown up.
    Yeah, I realised the cardinals might become snacks for the discus. At the moment though, my discus are all still relatively small (8-10 cm) so I'm hoping to add them soon so they get to grow a bit before being eaten.

    Quote Originally Posted by snxtif View Post
    I agree that some aggression is pretty normal.
    However, from my (not so much) experience, some discus are just plain psychopath.
    I've been considering re-homing him, but I think I'll try and stick him in solitary for a little bit since I read that sometimes helps as well.

    While I realised some aggression is normal and to be expected, it seems rather extreme at the moment. My aquarium is 1.2 m and any discus that comes more than say 20 cm from the sides gets pushed back immediately. Even when I spread the food out along the surface, as soon as he(?) sees someone eating he goes after them. So the current plan is to isolate him for a few days and see if a new pecking order gets established in which he'll have to find his place again, hopefully reducing overall aggression along the way. I'm also going to try and get around 50 cardinals by mid July and maybe a few more of the corys, as I think their current group is a little small to really make them feel comfortable.

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    Default Re: My first forray into discus.

    Today, disaster.

    In the morning all the discus seemed healthy, happy, and eating normally (mix of beefheart and pellets I usually feed them). Yet when I got home after going out for a few hours, my little Tefe was flat on it's side on the bottom. Dead.
    It came a bit out of the blue really, I still do my daily/every other day 50-75% water changes, my pH is stable at 7, NH3 is 0, NO2 is still at 0, and NO3 is stable between 10-15. So I don't expect it to be something to do with the water really, especially since I haven't changed anything since last time.

    In the aftermath I've done a 90% water change, and luckily the rest of them seem quite happy and healthy still.

    First discus I lost, it really does hurt. But I'm not giving up and am going to keep going and make sure the others grow up to be nice big healthy fish.

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