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Thread: First Discus after not keeping them for over 10 years.

  1. #1
    Registered Member RickMay1's Avatar
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    Default First Discus after not keeping them for over 10 years.

    So here is my story. I was pretty heavy into the hobby, went to ACA conventions and even ended up being a founding board member of NADA. I quit keeping discus and fish in general for around 15 years. This was by far the longest break from the hobby since I started keeping fish back in the 70's. While I always intended to get back into the hobby, it just never seemed like the right time. About 3 years ago I started up a community 75 gallon tank, tetras, a few angles, ect..... a few weeks later, another tank....and then another, you all know how that goes. Pretty soon I have 10 tanks the fish were doing great! Looking for something a little harder, I tried out planted tanks. Soon I started breeding fish, at first it was some simple tetras then Plecos a few cichlids before long I was out of tanks again. But, something was missing.

    I found my self visiting my old forums.....well "forum" SimplyDiscus. I looked around for a while, then occasionally came back. Last month, I finally decided that all the plants, plecos, tetras and miscellaneous cichlids just weren't "hard mode" enough. I decided that I wanted to get back into discus. Finding a listing on Aquabid for discus that interested me, I decided that I would check out the seller. So for all thing Discus, I came back "home" to see if anyone knew about the seller. when I logged in again I noticed I had a notification, it was from Al who had noticed me login in back in September.

    Default No Way!!
    Its been a very long Time Rick! Great seeing online ! How are you!

    Al

    I was pretty happy, after more than a decade away I was remembered! So I told Al I was getting back into discus keeping and was looking for some discus. He told me about the grow out contest that had started about a month before and offered to send me some fish at the same size from a later batch.

    Wow I though, this is amazing! An offer for fish from someone that I had admired for all that he had done for discus keepers. "I can do this".....I thought, "look at all the success I've had since I restarted". What a great guy!

    "hell ya, Al. I'll take-em" I wrote thinking, "I'll show these contest guys how we grew them 'old-school'", I thought.

    well... Crow is best served cold. After the first week, I was thinking of changing my name to "Jon Snow" because it appears I 'know nothing' . You guys that did the grow out.... well, my hat is off. What a great job you all are doing. For me, this has been VERY difficult. I must have forgotten everything I had ever known about keeping baby discus.

    Anyway, 11/6/18 my fish arrive , they are looking great, for the first few days.. Then my ignorance or arrogance, or stupidly begins to show. I got the fish on Tuesday, on Wednesday, Thursday looking great! Friday evening, the seem to be hiding, Saturday...."something seems not right" Saturday "something is Definitely wrong". The whole time I'm thinking "change water, change water" and I was... about 50% twice a a day or more. still things were heading 'south'...quickly. Saturday morning. I find a dead fish...at this point I do 100% water change, add salt 1 Tbs/ 10 gallon and within thirty minutes 4 more die. Dang! (or another term from my time in the navy comes to mind...in fact, is was not 'dang'). To me it looked like a ammonia or nitrate spike all the symptoms were there but I was doing water changes.... Confused I'm thinking, maybe bacteria? Having bred discus in the days-of-yore (AKA the 90's) I've seen how fast little ones can die from bacteria. So even tho it didn't look like bacteria, I treat the tank. More had died at this point, I was down to 7 fish and at the sped they were dropping I though... "what the hell" let's see if I can save some. I lost one more then (glory be) it stopped.

    Here they are almost three weeks after the catastrophic weekend of week one.



    I think they are looking pretty good. they are now about the size .50 cent size. Eating like pigs.

    post mortem: This is what I think happened. #1. I don't think the filter was up to speed. This sponge filter was kept in my sump to keep active (or so I thought) but what I think happened was that the filter had pretty much starved to death because it was behind the main filter sponges and the tanks the sump filtered were are light load tanks. I just think the filter wasn't up to the job of taking care of so many fish . #2. I wasn't changing enough water......ya, same old story. <Rule #1> change water...<Rule #2> Change more water <Rule #3> Start with Rule #1... So, 50% two or three times a day is REALLY only changing about 75% of the water per day. Just wasn't enough for a tank with a non-working filter. #3. I think it was the shock of doing 100% water change on stressed fish that killed most of them. I would have been better off doing repeated smaller water changed 5 or 6 times for a day or two then step it up to 100% water changes.

    What I am now doing: 6AM.... wake up, get a cup of coffee. head to the fish room, turn on the lights for the discus. check email, wait for the discus to wake up... 6:15am, First 100% water change, refill, First feeding. 12PM, Lunch, another 100% water change, refill, second feeding... go back to work. 6PM get home, dinner, third Feeding. 8PM, another 100% water change, forth (light) feeding. 11PM Lights out.

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    Default Re: First Discus after not keeping them for over 10 years.

    Thatís a class story,

    I really enjoyed reading and look forward to more posts on the thread.

    Iím just starting out so all this learning from you and the other grow out posts are amazing.

    Mick

  3. #3
    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Discus after not keeping them for over 10 years.

    Welcome back and don't beat yourself up for the bump in the road, the unforseen is always lurking ready to pounce. Keep sharing and if necessary ask Al and the othercontestants for advice.

  4. #4
    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Discus after not keeping them for over 10 years.

    Hi Rick, sometimes it's hard climbing back in the saddle and glad your batch is doing well now. I know I am learning a lot from the growout contest.
    Pat
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening


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    Default Re: First Discus after not keeping them for over 10 years.

    Enjoyed the narrative. Welcome back!

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    Default Re: First Discus after not keeping them for over 10 years.

    Very cool that you were a founding member of NADA and back after 15 years! Itíd be interesting to hear how the hobby has changed.

  7. #7
    Registered Member RickMay1's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Discus after not keeping them for over 10 years.

    Here they are, one month from the day I got them. Growing like weeds, around a silver dollar size (for those who have seen a silver dollar).
    20181205_211501.jpg

    20181205_211513.jpg

    20181205_211519_001.jpg

    Last edited by RickMay1; 12-06-2018 at 12:43 AM.

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    Registered Member danotaylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Discus after not keeping them for over 10 years.

    doing a great job mate...nice recovery!! fish are looking sweet, nice shape developing

  9. #9
    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Discus after not keeping them for over 10 years.

    They look nice and perky, well done so far - keep us up to speed
    My discus are not fat...just big fish-boned

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