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Thread: Breeders recommend fewer WCs?

  1. #1
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    Default Breeders recommend fewer WCs?

    First off, this is not a newbie question about why I have to do frequent water changes. Just to get that out of the way.


    While shopping and comparing my options for purchase, I was told by at least 3-4 breeders that I would only need to a weekly WC. I was looking to purchase 7 3"-4" fish for a 55 gallon long. (details here)

    It just struck me as odd how many said weekly wc were fine given the advice here is to much more.

    Again, not trying to debate the importance, just wondering if there is a known reason for this disconnect between breeders and hobbyists?

  2. #2
    Silver Member Tshethar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breeders recommend fewer WCs?

    Just happened to drop into the forum and thought I'd throw this out there; I'm not a mod nor a breeder so we'll have to see what others might offer you, but... I can't help but think that there might be a bit of telling prospective buyers what they want to hear, and in a way that is not totally disingenuous or misleading, depending on what sort of results or outcomes an average hobbyist might be willing to accept. (I think it can also be a way of trying not to immediately discourage people who have some legitimate interest but are dubious about all the WCs people like us on SD talk about!)

    In other words, I think a breeder might well imagine that someone who will otherwise watch his fish carefully, keep them in a large enough tank at the right temperature, etc., can probably keep 3-4" discus alive and hopefully without health problems for some period of time (maybe months or more) if they do weekly WCs.

    The thing is, keeping them alive is a world away from seeing them really thriving. Part of it is growth rate and proportion, color and the like, but part of it is also behavior. Trust me on this one, it's no fun having one fish that stops eating, darkens and huddles in the corner, or starts dashing and smashing against the glass because it's bugged by a pathogen that was able to reproduce in a tank enough to wear down its immune system. (And if you've made it to SD, you can see the difference between the "photo winners of the month" and the pics in the ER threads...) Maybe there's a little bit of "middle ground" between these extremes but the hobby is so much more fun when they're "realizing their potential" rather than "hanging in there."

    That said, I think the general consensus on here is that adult fish around 5-6" will do alright with a lighter WC regime--and maybe that isn't too far off from the 4" inch range you're talking about--but you really have to watch them and make sure what you're doing is or isn't working. And if you check out the people on here who are currently breeding their fish (check "new posts" and you'll see the names of some folks with fry right now, and then follow those people's other threads on grow-out and such), you'll see what they do to actually keep their breeders and raise their fry. (I've been learning a lot from them, and among other things, they change a lot of water.) So, I'm not sure your starting premise about breeders vs. hobbyists is really a good one. (Or that the breeders you might have talked with are recommending something that they actually do themselves.)

    Anyway, I just saw your other thread and it looks like you're getting yourself well set-up so you can do what you need to do with the fish you're getting in. Good luck with them and hope you come to enjoy some of the maintenance... it's not bad once you see how much it helps them thrive! Best of luck with the new group.

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    Default Re: Breeders recommend fewer WCs?

    Same experience as i had.

    Like 3 out of 3 shops i had talked with them in person try to sell me how easy to take care of this fish.

    They think that if they tell customers that fhis fish need 17 WCs (/s) a day, no one would buy it.

    And in fact, discus won't "die" with weekly wc, they are quite hardy.

    But yeah, barely alive and well being are totally different things.
    Water change is not just a chore, it's my life now...

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    Registered Member danotaylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breeders recommend fewer WCs?

    The Stendker website specifically says their fish have been bred to better tolerate tap water parameters and that 1 weekly 50% water change is sufficient. When I specifically asked Hans about that info, he replied "well 2 per week is better...
    I bought my fish off Dennis at Dennis's Discus Fish. He changes water daily, so I figured that is what I should do also...
    "Breeders" and "Suppliers" aren't always the same thing either. Suppliers that breed will know the need for large frequent WC's. Suppliers that don't breed...who really knows TBH.

  5. #5
    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breeders recommend fewer WCs?

    Hi Lionheart, you have gotten some great responses to your post and I can't do better. Some other considerations whether you are looking at a hobbyist or supplier's fish. Always look at the quality of the fish. Are they round, well filled out and healthy. Are they active and eating well. For domestics are the eyes small with a nicely rounded forehead.

    Regarding water changes I would suggest any new owner to error on the side of too many water changes to ensure the fish remain healthy under their care and then, cut back slowly on the water changes until you find the point where the fish are healthy and you are happy.
    Pat
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening


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    MVP Oct.2015 discuspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breeders recommend fewer WCs?

    Couldn't agree more with what all the posters above have said - particularly the well put and explained commentary of Tshethar.

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    Moderator Team & Homesteader Altum Nut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breeders recommend fewer WCs?

    Well I won't repeat what was mentioned above as great advise....I will say that the volume of water on a central system (Breeder)compared to just the volume of a single tank (Hobbyist) could make a huge difference on why your getting mixed opinions.
    I wish I had a free running water source (river) that is suitable for Discus and I would not have to do any water-changes.

    Simply Discus members pass on first hand experiences and experiences from others on what has worked over the years with keeping Discus...
    Unfortunately there are many cases when people buying Discus will be stuck with the scenario to determine right from wrong either from literature on SD or the verbal trust from the Discus supplier.

    ...Ralph
    "Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
    -John Wooden

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