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Thread: Discus in the Med

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Discus in the Med

    Opening this thread to continue relating the progress of my fish. I started documenting our story here http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showth...ht=Dirty+dozen and here http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showth...ht=Dirty+dozen.
    To recap on the 8th of September 2017 I went to Bologna to fetch some 3 month old red melon juvies bred by Federico Dall'Osso from his pair (bred by SG, that is the top Italian breeder).
    They went straight in the approx 100 gal tank I had prepared with a fishless cycle, I had added Sera salts to bring the conductivity close to that of origin (600 microsiemens), the tank is BB, filter was initially a Fluvial 206 swapped a few months ago with a much bigger Jebao 304, with a big sponge filter on the intake used as a prefilter. A Schego 600w heater controlled by an Inkbird 308 and an STC 1000 (belt and braces) set at 29C. Lighting is 2 x 1 meter cold white LEDs and 2 x 1 meter RGBs controlled by a TC420.
    Daily schedule from the start has been 240 liter water change, syphoning the bottom, wiping the glass and rinsing the prefilter sponge. My aged tapwater is soft-ish at 120 microsiemens, KH 2-3, pH 7.5
    They were already used to granules, Tetra and Sera, I later swapped them to a better quality local brand (SHG) while they were not so keen on North Fin krill gold. I tried crushed Six Fish cat kibble but too much hassle to crumble it (I got in touch with Champion Petfoods but they said they were not interested in making the same formula but in fish size granules, could the recent class action be divine punishment for their callous indifference?). I wanted to introduce some fresher food but had my concerns about beef heart , I would not knock it as multitudes of discus keepers over decades have had great success with it, just wanted to investigate alternatives. Not having a reliable year-round supplier of frozen fish food, I was left with the supermarket as an only option. I chose grated frozen wild salmon fillets and initially also grated Chilean frozen mussels. The latter although in theory precooked I blanched anyway in boiling water but after a few weeks I started to observe signs on neuromuscular incoordination, could it be Thiaminase was still active? So I dropped the mussels and carried on with just salmon and they have been doing fine ever since -so that is a first lesson learned - never use mussels again.
    After all these months feeding is still granules at 6.30 am followed by salmon every 2 or 3 hours or so from 10 am to 8 pm followed by water change (on the rationale that if it ain't broke why fix it). What I did notice was that with growth the respiration rate increased, could not find any gill flukes Water tests remained spot on (NH3 and NO2 = 0, NO3 <5 mg/l) but noticed the breathing improved the first few hours after WC so presumably the fish needed better oxygenation. One thing at a time I swapped the airstone with a limewood block, then put in a 400 l/h headpump, swapped for a 1000 l/h one with increasing improvements and finally for a 2000 l/h (528 gph) wavemaker that proved satisfactory.
    This is a video taken yesterday of the fish and their feeding. https://youtu.be/7WWFeFI26gU
    I plan to continue in a similar fashion for the next year or so and then maybe add some minimal decor to the tank, I have an oak "tree" ready to go in, probably with a canopy of epiphytes.
    Still undecided if I will put a thin layer of sand on the bottom, planning on soon doing a small scale test of sealing sand with clear epoxy as discussed on a recent thread.
    Last edited by Paul Sabucchi; 08-30-2018 at 08:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    wow, very nice

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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    Very nice round and choppy discus

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discus in the Med


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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    The fish look amazing Paul !!

    That sounds like some system you have going there with amazing water at your tap. Very lucky

    Will go back and have a look at the two other threads you have linked in the first paragraph

    Nice one on the achievment of them beautiful fish

    Mick

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    Thanks, we are lucky here the water comes straight from the mountain we see from home, it is called Gran Sasso (Great Stone), the peak is about 10000 feet, it is the tallest summit in Italy outside the Alps. So basically we get mountain spring water out of our taps. Even the chlorine added is so negligible that it does not even register on the Sera liquid Cl test. Besides the water there are other positives to the location, ski slopes 1 hour one way, sandy beaches 1/2 hour the other.
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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    ok I am ready to move.... how much per day, week, month, year??? I am willing to sell blood etc...

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    Property here, even if only under 2 hours drive from Rome, is still very affordable. On the downside it is quite earthquake prone (over the last 10 years we have had water slopping over the sides of fishtanks a number of times) and in Italy bureocracy is a form of art that would probably drive a non native to insanity!

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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    According to my wife... I am way way past insane. Anyway, that picture is absolutely gorgeous.

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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    Good god or whatever deity people celebrate that is a beautiful place !!

    Italy has to be one on my favourite places in the world ! I'm looking forward to my next visit, i toured the north of the country before, next time the midlands

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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    Quote Originally Posted by MickO'S View Post
    Good god or whatever deity people celebrate that is a beautiful place !!

    Italy has to be one on my favourite places in the world ! I'm looking forward to my next visit, i toured the north of the country before, next time the midlands
    Plenty to see particularly in Tuscany and Umbria regions, where even the smaller towns and villages are really pretty and steeped in art and history (maybe rent a motorhome and go walkabout?). The region where we live (Abruzzo) has more dramatic scenery, at least in the mountains while the coast tends to be flat and sandy. It is more of a backwater and the architecture is more rustic and probably less pretty, as it was (and still is) less wealthy. It is also not as efficient as the northern regions, at times here I doubt we could organise ourselves out of a paper bag. But as we do not need anything flamboyant it suits us just fine.
    This is an evening view from our front yard of the village (Cellino Attanasio) with the moon over the sea, views from the back yard in spring and winter and the beach in Roseto where we usually have breakfast
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    Last edited by Paul Sabucchi; 09-02-2018 at 05:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    Paul, what beautiful discus you have and such a nice job growing them out. You also live in a beautiful place.

    In reading your first post you mention trying and then discontinuing feeding mussels. Do you think mussels being filter feeders lead to the mussel meat accumulating and storing heavy metals etc from the water and having adverse affects with your discus?
    Pat
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Discus in the Med

    I would really like to know that myself. The mussels have always been the frozen and shelled variety found in supermarkets, they come from Southamerica (presumably Chile) and are obviously human grade. I used to give the fish granules first thing in the morning then alternate giving mussels and salmon every 2-3 hours. I grated the mussels in a sieve, stuck it in a saucer and poured boiling water over it then left it a few minutes in it. After a few weeks some fish started swimming erratically, at times smacking on the glass or even started a bit of whirrling. Got really worried, did repeated massive water changes, stopped the mussels and within 24 hours the symptoms cleared. I would have suspected that if heavy metals were the cause it would not have cleared as fast if at all. Could it that Thiaminase was still active (some isoenzymes found in African silkworms can take 15 minutes in boiling water to inactivate)? I do not know but will not touch mussels again even with a bargepole!
    Ciao
    Paul

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