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Thread: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

  1. #1
    MVP Oct.2015 discuspaul's Avatar
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    Default D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 CARDINAL RULES FOR NEWBIES TO FOLLOW


    First I'd just like to mention once again that discus are hardier than many people think, and are not difficult to keep, so long as one is prepared to accept and adhere to a few key practices that will provide the best chances of success with discus.

    This listing is recorded more or less in order of importance:


    1) - D - Do your homework well before delving into discus. Read and research all you can beforehand. Googling will certainly help, as well as spending a good deal of time reading the posts and threads on the simplydiscus.com forum, particularly the stickies in the 'Discus Basics for Beginners' section, which will provide you with much of the material you need to digest.


    2) - I - Investigate and learn of the best sources to get your discus stock. Find those breeders &/or importers that are long time, well-experienced, responsible, reputable, and known to supply high quality, healthy, and well-shaped discus. Buy your discus from one of these sources in order to insure that you get off on the best footing possible.

    This is the single, most important factor in succeeding with discus.
    The simplydiscus.com forum has a sponsors section which lists a good number of high quality discus suppliers in North America. Check it out.



    3) - S - Set up and plan to follow a strict regular routine of fresh water changes, tank wipe-downs and cleansing, vacuuming of wastes, and regular filter and media cleaning, changes, replacements, and maintenance. Be fully prepared for the kind of commitment it takes to produce and maintain the highest water quality and conditions that you can.


    4) - C - Carefully consider the type of tank set up you start with. Make sure the tank size is ample enough to start with 5 or 6 discus. Don't be tempted to begin with a tank of less than 55 or 60 gallons, and don't try to justify going smaller by just getting 1, 2, 3, or 4 discus for cost or other reasons.

    Wait till you have sufficient resources to get a proper-sized tank, and the suitable size and number of fish to insure continuing good health and harmonious discus sociability.

    Do not start with small, undersized, very juvenile fish which have not yet developed a more mature immune system, are more demanding to raise properly, and much more prone to health problems and other issues. Get fish of at least 3.0" in size, preferably larger.


    5) - U - Undertake to start off with a bare bottom tank, unless you're getting fully adult fish and have previous good experience with fish-keeping generally, and maintaining a planted tank in particular. If you must have some decor, limit yourself to a very thin sand substrate layer, and perhaps a piece of driftwood with just a couple of small plants attached, or one or two potted plants.

    Once you gain several months' of experience getting to know your discus' traits & behavior, and your discus get larger, then you may proceed to an aqua-scaped environment, to possibly include some other species of compatible discus tank-mates. Feed a varied diet, several times a day, and learn which foods will achieve a nutritious diet, by researching.


    6) - S - Simplify. Keep things as simple as you can to start. Don't complicate your start with discus, at least at first, by placing them in a heavily planted environment, using CO2 and a strict fertilization regime. Make sure your tank is fully cycled before adding the fish, and don't be tempted to alter or change the pH of your water, or modify your water conditions and parameters by using chemicals of any kind. No need to use RO water or adopt any other procedures that would tend to complicate what should be a simple start to your discus launch.
    If you plan on eventually having a community tank set-up, carefully research the species of other fish you'd like to keep with the discus, to insure they are able to withstand the higher discus temp of at least 82 F, and that they are fully compatible with discus.

    And do a complete and proper quarantine before adding any such tank-mates to your discus tank.


    Follow these 'rules', and there's little doubt you will succeed with discus !

  2. #2
    Registered Member dagray's Avatar
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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    Well written sir.

    I know when I started with discus back in 2012 I did start with a planted tank with gravel substrate. I had not done my research as such and started with dime sized discus. I kept these in a breeder box until they were silver dollar sized and then turned them loose in my 75 gallon tank.

    I honestly think it was by pure luck and the fact that I spent many hours a week doing water changes (50%), and feeding five times daily good foods like live blackworm and high quality flake that I ended up with some nice discus including one breeding pair.

    If I were to do it all over again I would not go with plants, and would just have driftwood stumps and some basalt flat round stones or slate for decor. Also had I to do it over again I wouldn't have spent the money on a shipment of diseased discus, and would have gone with a sponsor from here or at least a reputable breeder (I went the eye candy route and purchased from a company that has great photos, but very poor stock).

    I didn't give up after my first bad experience and had some very good experiences with discus thanks to the help and advice received here.
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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    Well said. Following these rules will probably avoid most of the possible pitfalls, I would add to also take care to avoid dodgy fish (not properly quarantined or source of bacterial or parasitic crosses), dodgy food or dodgy water. What Discuspaul has so clearly stated are the hard facts he and many other discus-keepers with decades of experience have found out and proven in practice again and again. It would be nice to have a more care-free approach to keeping these fish but it just means looking for trouble.

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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies that you have to do at the end of the day;

    D - Do your water change
    I - Increase your water change
    S - Shut up and do your water change
    C - Come on, do your water change!
    U - Uh, did you do your water change?
    S - Shut up and do your water change!!
    Last edited by Second Hand Pat; 11-08-2018 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Replaced aggressive lanugage.
    Water change is not just a chore, it's my life now...

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    Silver Member Willie's Avatar
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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    I'm always amused by the number of posts from newbies who claims to have lurked here for a year and read everything. Then they proceed to describe a planted tank with no reference to water changes and ask for input. After 10 years, I've learned to not respond.
    Whenever you feel stupid, remember that there are people out there looking for Pokemon.

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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    Nicely done Paul! I would just add that biggest pitfall novices run into is they want to keep discus in a fashion that suits them not what the fish needs. Because they want to do less work, so they slack on water changes and maintenance. Because they want to spent less money on foods, they use sub par foods that are cheap and easy.Because they want only a tank of fish and no aging barrels they stress out their fish with water thats not suitable without aging... But by far the biggest mistake they make is they dont want to follow the suggestions they get here from members that have immense experience because its not what they to hear or do.

    If you plan on keeping any animal you must learn what it needs not just to marginally survive a bit before it languishes and dies, but to give it what it needs to thrive. Thats a commitment people must make for both their fishes well being and their own ultimate enjoyment of fish keeping.

    al
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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    Well said Al, I would also add: because they want pretty plants and ornaments in the tank (or a high-tech setup with carpeting plants), or other fish that are not suitable, or various discus varieties coming from different origins. Paul did a great job in his synthesis of the basics of discus-keeping, the further you stray from what he said the greater the chance of disappointment. Probably with plenty of experience you can get away with occasionally bending a rule but as a newcomer to discus it is best to stick to the beaten track

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    Registered Member RickMay1's Avatar
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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    Love this... I'm convinced... we're not "fish keepers" we are water change experts... The dam fish just keep on screwing up our clean water.

    Quote Originally Posted by snxtif View Post
    D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies that you have to do at the end of the day;

    D - Do your water change
    I - Increase your water change
    S - Shut up and do your water change
    C - Come on, do your water change!
    U - Uh, did you do your water change?
    S - Shut up and do your water change!!
    So the real question: Are discus just something to look at while we do water changes???
    Last edited by RickMay1; 11-08-2018 at 11:55 PM.

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    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    I do tend to believe that most successful discus keepers become quite versed in understanding their water.
    AquaticSuppliers.com Freeze Dried BlackWorms and other foods your Discus will Love!!!


    >>>>>We really could use your support. Please DONATE HERE Thanks!


    Al Sabetta
    Simplydiscus LLC Owner
    Aquaticsuppliers.com

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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    Good post Paul!! I've been keeping these fish for years and I can attribute nearly every negative issue to a lack of water changes!!

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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    +1

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    Default Re: D-I-S-C-U-S - 6 Cardinal Rules for Newbies to Follow

    Quote Originally Posted by RickMay1 View Post
    Love this... I'm convinced... we're not "fish keepers" we are water change experts... The dam fish just keep on screwing up our clean water.

    So the real question: Are discus just something to look at while we do water changes???
    We should rename this forum "Simply Water Changes"!

    Willie
    Whenever you feel stupid, remember that there are people out there looking for Pokemon.

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