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Thread: Finally got into the Discus game. A few questions

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    Default Finally got into the Discus game. A few questions

    So after lurking and dreaming of getting discus fish for a few years, I've finally found myself in a position to be able to purchase and take care of some Discus!

    a few questions:

    - How long does it take uneaten food/waste to turn into ammonia? I'm sure the water parameters and other factors can change this process, but is there an approximate window of time food needs to be removed before it begins emitting ammonia?
    - The tank is almost a Discus only tank. It has 7 Corys and 5 Otocinclus for clean up, but I've been noticing that the Discus are pretty aggressive towards the little guys. There are plenty of rocks and driftwood for them to hide in, but is there anything I can do to keep them from nipping?
    - How quickly do pigeon develop peppering? I have black sand, and I am looking to replace with white. If they develop some peppering, can that be reversed after switching to white sand?
    - The breeders, (Chicago Discus) said that they fed Beefheart in the morning, Sera granules in the afternoon, and Bloodworms for dinner. Is there any rhyme or reason to the order of food, or was it just preference? Does there need to be a specific routine for food, or can I feed blood worms and black worms one day, brine shrimp and granules another, and mix/match?
    - How much flow do they like?
    - Do you need an air stone for the higher temperatures? And speaking of temperatures, Chicago Discus had their tanks at 84 degrees. Is there any benefit to increasing to 86 degrees? How arbitrary of a decision is the temperature?

    That's it for now. Thank you! Very excited to actually be a part of this community.

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    Default Re: Finally got into the Discus game. A few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by kim457 View Post
    So after lurking and dreaming of getting discus fish for a few years, I've finally found myself in a position to be able to purchase and take care of some Discus!

    a few questions:

    - How long does it take uneaten food/waste to turn into ammonia? I'm sure the water parameters and other factors can change this process, but is there an approximate window of time food needs to be removed before it begins emitting ammonia?
    - The tank is almost a Discus only tank. It has 7 Corys and 5 Otocinclus for clean up, but I've been noticing that the Discus are pretty aggressive towards the little guys. There are plenty of rocks and driftwood for them to hide in, but is there anything I can do to keep them from nipping?
    - How quickly do pigeon develop peppering? I have black sand, and I am looking to replace with white. If they develop some peppering, can that be reversed after switching to white sand?
    - The breeders, (Chicago Discus) said that they fed Beefheart in the morning, Sera granules in the afternoon, and Bloodworms for dinner. Is there any rhyme or reason to the order of food, or was it just preference? Does there need to be a specific routine for food, or can I feed blood worms and black worms one day, brine shrimp and granules another, and mix/match?
    - How much flow do they like?
    - Do you need an air stone for the higher temperatures? And speaking of temperatures, Chicago Discus had their tanks at 84 degrees. Is there any benefit to increasing to 86 degrees? How arbitrary of a decision is the temperature?

    That's it for now. Thank you! Very excited to actually be a part of this community.
    I shall do my best with all these questions...

    1. It depends on how well cycleled your filters are. I suggest removing siphoning out uneaten food 30 minutes after feeding.
    2. Don't know. These Discus aren't used to other smaller fish. Give them some time before you give up.
    3. It depends a lot on their quality. If they pepper up they will revert to their less peppered selves eventually. I don't think it would take long but I have do personal experience here so I can't say for sure.
    4. Beefheart is generally the first food in the morning because the fish are most hungry then and they will clean it up faster. BH is messy and fouls the water easily.
    5. Trial and error. No help on this one.
    6. Higher heat depletes 02 so yes, if your air flow is marginal it's important to add more when raising temps. I keep my tanks at 82 to 83. 82 is all they need and with 15 to 20 tanks running I don't want to
    Mama Bear

  3. #3
    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally got into the Discus game. A few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by kim457 View Post
    So after lurking and dreaming of getting discus fish for a few years, I've finally found myself in a position to be able to purchase and take care of some Discus!

    a few questions:

    - How long does it take uneaten food/waste to turn into ammonia? I'm sure the water parameters and other factors can change this process, but is there an approximate window of time food needs to be removed before it begins emitting ammonia?
    - The tank is almost a Discus only tank. It has 7 Corys and 5 Otocinclus for clean up, but I've been noticing that the Discus are pretty aggressive towards the little guys. There are plenty of rocks and driftwood for them to hide in, but is there anything I can do to keep them from nipping?
    - How quickly do pigeon develop peppering? I have black sand, and I am looking to replace with white. If they develop some peppering, can that be reversed after switching to white sand?
    - The breeders, (Chicago Discus) said that they fed Beefheart in the morning, Sera granules in the afternoon, and Bloodworms for dinner. Is there any rhyme or reason to the order of food, or was it just preference? Does there need to be a specific routine for food, or can I feed blood worms and black worms one day, brine shrimp and granules another, and mix/match?
    - How much flow do they like?
    - Do you need an air stone for the higher temperatures? And speaking of temperatures, Chicago Discus had their tanks at 84 degrees. Is there any benefit to increasing to 86 degrees? How arbitrary of a decision is the temperature?

    That's it for now. Thank you! Very excited to actually be a part of this community.
    Welcome to the discus hobby Kim .
    Please send us some photos of your new tank and discus collection.

    1.Not exactly sure , but I would guess that after 24 hours unprocessed food will start to decompose and release ammonia in the water .
    You shouldnt leave any food in your tank to rot. Give them 10-15 minutes to eat and then siphon out the rest .Doing this youll Get to know their exact dose from each food after a while without leaving leftovers .

    2.Nothing you can do but hope they will get accustomed to them in a while and let them be , or take them out if you cannot stand the aggression .

    3.Pepering is genetic and there is nothing you can do to change that .It's just shows up and looks more or less pronounced on a different surrounding . Discus change peppering appearance almost instantly when transfered in darker or lighter surrounding,they can not grow to be darker or lighter because of the surrounding .

    4.Feeding regime is completly up to yours /theirs preference . Just be sure to provide at least 2 big feedings per day if you are still raising them .

    5.They can withstand a strong flow as long as they have a calmer spot in the tank to rest and sleep .
    They prefere calmer waters but that does not means that you should cut down on filtration to provide them with that.

    6.You need to provide strong surface agitation( gentle waves ) in order to have well oxigenated tank . Whether you achieve that through airstones ,Hobs ,overflow or canister is not important .

    7.Anywhere from 82 to 86 is considered normal .


    The most important thing IMO is to change water regulary and siphon that gravel daily because it traps a lot of dirt and bacteria and that indirectly bothers discus imunne system .

    Good luck Kim .

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    Default Re: Finally got into the Discus game. A few questions

    From what I've read;

    Protein heavy / difficult to digest food for earlier meals = They are hungrier in the morning / noon, and they are more active = better digestion.

    Easier to digest food in the night time = lower risk of bloating / indigestion due to them being less active.
    Water change is not just a chore, it's my life now...

  5. #5
    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally got into the Discus game. A few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by snxtif View Post
    From what I've read;

    Protein heavy / difficult to digest food for earlier meals = They are hungrier in the morning / noon, and they are more active = better digestion.

    Easier to digest food in the night time = lower risk of bloating / indigestion due to them being less active.
    This advice sounds a lot like what we , humans should practice

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    Default Re: Finally got into the Discus game. A few questions

    Thanks all for the advice!

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