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Thread: Back in the Game!

  1. #31
    Silver Member Tshethar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    For those keeping score at home, the ER thread is over here: http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showthread.php?133466

    As mentioned above, the symptoms seen above turn out, it seems, to have been nitrite-related. (Learned something there, that's for sure. Maybe this will help somebody else cycling on the fly, or going through a mini-cycle if they lose their filter bacteria.) I'm waiting for my methylene blue to show up tomorrow, but in the meantime have been using 4x the normal dose of Safe and some kosher salt with my daily water change, and the fish are doing better than they looked above. One of the smaller ones still darkens and hangs out with less appetite than the others, but I'm hoping the methylene blue, some time, and some clean water should help him get back to being himself. Didn't test the water today, but as of yesterday I was finally seeing some significant nitrates, so hopeful that the tank may finish cycling quickly. Crisis averted!

  2. #32
    Registered Member DiscusBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Good to hear the good news.
    75g with 6 wild Cuipeua discus

  3. #33
    Silver Member Tshethar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Thanks, Mauro (a few days late!).

    Overall, fish are doing pretty well, as I continue working to manage the nitrite situation as described above. After consulting with Al I decided not to dose the tank as a whole with methylene blue, as the product info indicates it would set back the biological filter. What I did instead was to drain the main tank for a water change, and when the level was low I pulled one of the smaller fish who has been the most sullen and dark of late and gave him a 10 second dip in approximately a 50 ppm methylene blue solution. (He evacuated at once upon return, and seemed to lighten up a bit. Otherwise, jury's out on the effect, and his long-term prospects.)

    So, I'm continuing to watch the tank and I'm using a little salt and a lot of Safe when I do water changes and when I see signs of irritation or darkening that seem concerning. (They are more likely to show some of this when food is added to the tank, I've noticed, which is consistent with Al's theory about depleted O2.) On Al's advice, I decided that if several fish still weren't looking good I would pull the biomedia and keep cycling it in a bucket with pure ammonia and then go with just aeration, water changes and methylene blue. So far it doesn't seem like I need to go that route.

    However, the fish I dipped may be dealing with some hex or the like slowing him down, as I see some white poop out of him, and decreased appetite. However, he's still eating, so I'm just keeping an eye on him for now. He doesn't look too bad in this video from last night. I may try a little more salt and raising the temp a bit if he doesn't come all the way back soon.

    I'd say my experience with the group has left me a little less sanguine about the idea of adding fish before the biological filter is well-established. Even with big water changes there is a significant bio-load to contend with over the course of a 24-hour period. Safe is a great product and I think it has saved me here, but I'd rather not be relying on it to stave off toxicity. Lesson learned!

    https://youtu.be/3UFLJbXd2gw

  4. #34
    Silver Member Tshethar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Well, lots happening on the forum and with fish today for me--2018 Grow Out Challenge has begun--but wouldn't want to neglect these guys.

    After watching and waiting for a while I decided to pull the lagging fish a couple of days ago; he's been in a hospital tank dosed with methylene blue, salt at 1 tbs/gallon, and I've raised the temp up to 88-89. He's gotten a 50% WC each day for which I've diluted the methylene blue but replaced the salt.

    He still is pretty lethargic but otherwise okay, and he will pick at food, slowly. When I come back he has eaten his favorites, which are hikari pellets and occasionally frozen brine shrimp. His poop today was stringy but dark, so I have held off on metro to this point. May try dosing him if he doesn't show more life in the next few days, or if an experienced reader recommends.

    Beyond that, though, the rest of the group are doing great, despite the nitrites persisting. Tank shot from this afternoon:

    2018-09-27 18.17.26.jpg

    And a look at their afternoon snack. These guys are definitely feeling active and feisty, and seem always ready to eat. Here's hoping the nitrites abate so I can indulge them with impunity!

    Last edited by Tshethar; 09-27-2018 at 10:58 PM.

  5. #35
    Silver Member Tshethar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    A little more than a month since I last checked in on the forum with these guys. Regulars will know that most of my attention has been focused on the Grow-out Challenge, where I have done my best but not really achieved the best results (how's that for spin?).

    Anyway, these guys have mostly been going along well, though not without some difficulties. Unfortunately, the one fish that started showing issues described above was unable to make a real comeback. I ended up treating him in a hospital 10 gallon tank for about 4 weeks; started with salt and heat, did a levamisole bath, and eventually a metro course for 12 days. He recovered enough to eat every day and his poop darkened, but he was always lethargic. Water changing him every day was difficult on top of everything else, so after a day or two of recovery at normal temps post-metro treatment, he went back into the main tank.

    Unfortunately, he never managed to reintegrate very well; he mostly hovered in the background and darkened, and was not interested in competing for food. He would come out and pick at FDBW and other food at first, and at some bits that ended up on the filter sponge, but that was it. After about 3 weeks of further decline, plus some indication that another fish was less interested in eating pellets, I realized that he was only falling further behind and was not going to recover, and might harbor pathogens that could threaten the others. So, I had my first experience with clove oil last night. A task I had been avoiding, but one that I must say went very peacefully.

    I also had another scare a few weeks ago when my water supply seemed to go funky for a day or two, and everyone darkened and gasped for an hour or so after a water change. Added carbon quickly and they eventually stabilized. Now I usually never change more than about 75% and only add maybe 10% of unaged water (my barrel is not as big as I'd like), with a large dose of Safe. Fortunately, there were no aftereffects from that episode.

    Today I did a deep clean of the sponges/filters, and the fish were looking pretty good afterwards, so thought it was time for a video update. They're usually getting 2x/day ~50-60% water changes, with liberal feedings, and they've been growing. Haven't measured anyone but I imagine they'll look different from the last update. Overall I'd say 1-2 have a bit of an oddball-type look, but a couple of them also have really nice size and shape. Looking forward to seeing how it goes from here.



  6. #36
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    The fish look class !!!! I hope I can get mine to something like that shape !!
    Mick

  7. #37
    Silver Member Tshethar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Thanks, Mick! Appreciate the comment. I'm mostly glad to see them healthy and growing... I haven't measured them but they seem to keep getting bigger and I'm grateful not to have run into any issues. I'm paranoid about my water supply and so I'm more than pleased just seeing them healthy.

    As far as shape goes, I'm going to be honest and tell you that I think 2-3 of them have really nice shape. I don't have photography skills but maybe I can get an image of the ones I like best. I haven't owned many discus at all but from being on the forum a lot I can now appreciate how nice the ones with the rounded foreheads are compared with those that are either kind of sloped and angular, or those that look kind of "beaky," or a little more (American) football shaped.

    I guess since these are "wild-type" and sold as F1s, there is likely to be more variation and not as much artificial selection for roundness... All in all I am happy with all the fish as a group, but I also think that if I were lucky enough to get them to the point of breeding, I would try to pair up the most rounded ones.

    After that, I'm a little torn about whether I like the almost all-brown look (virtually solids, little pattern), or the ones that show some striation and color with great shape. Will see if I can illustrate these in-between taking care of them!

    By the way, Mick, good luck with your fish! Looks like you're set up for a good start.

  8. #38
    Silver Member Tshethar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Here's a shot of the one I think has the best shape. I did highlight him in the videos above for sure. (Right front in both shots.)

    2018-11-20 22.18.56.jpg
    2018-11-20 22.16.13.jpg

    There are a couple of others I also think are pretty nice... shape isn't perfect but I'm fond of this guy as well.

    2018-11-20 22.17.25.jpg

    Had them just over three months now. Still need to clear out the living room tank for them, but with the current setup is it's really easy to do daily big water changes on them. Seem to be coming along steadily enough and without aggression, so I've been letting it roll.

  9. #39
    Silver Member Tshethar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Living room tank is empty now... thanks to my LFS for re-homing my large Africans, and letting me sell them a bunch of cherry shrimp, too. Will thoroughly clean and sterilize the equipment in the days ahead and probably do a fishless cycle as I'm not really in a hurry to move the group. They're growing out well and they're easier to maintain where they are, so I'll try to get them a little bigger before the move.

    Meanwhile, best pics of the process so far...

    2018-11-24 22.47.27.jpg
    2018-11-24 22.47.30.jpg
    2018-11-24 22.47.36.jpg

    The interest in Dad's fish obsession here was mostly a way to avoid going to bed just a little longer, but he couldn't help admitting that these guys were pretty fun fish!

  10. #40
    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Hi Bill, I nominated the second image in the post above for Nomember "Pic of the Month"!! Great image!
    Pat
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening


  11. #41
    Silver Member Tshethar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Aw, thanks, Pat!

    Now you know what my real grow-out challenge is! (Trying hard not to stunt this one... )

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Hahaha brilliant!

    I have one as well thatís turning 9 in a couple of weeks, stunting doesnít seem to be an issue with the human charges !

    Mick

  13. #43
    Silver Member Tshethar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Quote Originally Posted by MickO'S View Post
    Hahaha brilliant!

    I have one as well that’s turning 9 in a couple of weeks, stunting doesn’t seem to be an issue with the human charges !

    Mick
    Nice to be running parallel with you, Mick--this one turned 9 two weeks ago! He seems to be growing pretty well, though he can be a bit of a picky eater! (He doesn't show any interest in beef heart at all!) Still, given not only his father's fish obsession but other... unique personality traits, shall we say... its his emotional development that I'm worried about. Does Andrew Soh have anything for this?

  14. #44
    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tshethar View Post
    ... its his emotional development that I'm worried about. Does Andrew Soh have anything for this?
    Being a boy only time will help...feed him well and change plenty of water and all will be fine!!
    Pat
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening


  15. #45
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    Default Re: Back in the Game!

    Lol! You guys are too funny. Bill the fish look great! Your favorite is my favorite as well. I was more of the birght colorfull discus lover but as of late, I’ve fallen in love with the wild types or wild look-a-likes.

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