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Thread: New member with new discus keeper questions

  1. #1
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    Default New member with new discus keeper questions

    First off, hello everyone, my name's Travis and I'm from Virginia Beach. After being interested in the hobby (mainly due to discus) for a couple years now, I just recently got the opportunity to setup a discus tank and got my first discus about a week ago on the 23rd. So some background info on the tank:

    Background info:
    I have a standard 55 gal tank and stocked it with 6 3.5"-4" discus from Uncle Sam's Discus. The color strains are: White Ghost, Blue Diamond, Blue Turquoise, Blue Snakeskin, Fire Red, and a Golden Melon. While I wanted to go for 2" fish and watch them grow in a nice planted tank, research from this site recommended doing either 2" fish in a bare bottom tank or a planted tank with only adult fish. So I split the difference and went with a more sparsely planted tank (5 plants: Gold Coin Anubius, Anubias Nangi, Jungle Valisneria, Red Melon Sword, and Amazon Sword) and went for the 3.5" to 4" fish size. I went with pool filtration sand for the substrate and decorated with a couple pieces of spider wood and river rocks (already learned how quickly debris finds those cracks.) So far, I'd say the fish came in healthy and are doing well for the most part.
    20200425_150021x1000.jpg

    Now on to the questions:

    Questions:
    1. At what point does aggression become too much aggression? Within the first couple hours after the discus were added to my tank, the blue diamond was running the tank and harassing the white ghost quite frequently. Now, however, the white ghost seems to be the boss of the tank and will go after the blue diamond pretty much on sight. The white ghost seems to only go after the blue diamond too (occasionally the golden melon as well, but no where near as frequently.) The white ghost has seemed to claim the right side of the tank as their domain and won't let the blue diamond anywhere near it, but doesn't care if the turq, snakeskin, or fire red are on the right side. The white ghost never even goes after those three. The fire red has also joined the white ghost in going after the blue diamond. I'm starting to see marks on the blue diamond and am starting to get worried that the aggression level is getting a little high. At what point should I look at intervening or should I just wait it out and see if they settle down any?

    2. How young can discus start pairing off? Like I mentioned in the previous question, the white ghost and fire red seem to be going after the blue diamond together. I've also seen them shaking at each other from time to time. From what I have read, 3.5 to 4 inch fish are still too young for breeding, but could they still pair off this early and establish a territory? Also, and guesses on if the turquoise and snakeskin being the opposite gender of the white ghost and that being why it tolerates them, yet the fire red will tussle with them from time to time?

    3. What are some tips for getting the discus more used to me being around them and getting them to eat from the surface of the water when I add food? While I know these are still new discus and need time to settle, I want to do what I can to speed the process up as much as possible. I know that they will eat the food as they will pick it up off the substrate after a few minutes of me being away from the tank, but I've only got two of them eating it while its still in the water column (the blue diamond and golden melon) and they aren't coming anywhere near the surface to eat.

    Any tips or tricks is greatly appreciated.
    - Travis

  2. #2
    Moderator Team LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: New member with new discus keeper questions

    I'll anwer the second and third questions. Discus won't reach pairing until they reach at least 5" inches in size.

    Feed pellets or stick a cube of freeze dried blackworms to the side of the tank. Discus prefer to brows around the bottom of the tank but they'll attack the blackworms. If you persist and they get hungry enough you will be able to train them to eat from the top.
    Mama Bear

  3. #3
    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New member with new discus keeper questions

    So this isn’t your first tank just your first discus tank? Nice Choice of discus. I also bought 2 of mine through uncle sams. I bough in oct and I’m very happy. Good luck with yours. I thought like Liz said that they had to be bigger to mate. But was in a store today with a pair of 4” at best with eggs. So yes they could be pairing off. May be that blue diamond and the white are both males.
    What are you feeding and how often? I feed fdbw some black worm flakes some pellets and other things. Mine eat almost all off the top. How often and how much water are you changing? Also grew mine from 2” in a planted tank. The brown and the red are my US discus351F1775-6670-4B3D-AC64-6BC832FF9E57.jpg good luck and ask many questions .

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    Default Re: New member with new discus keeper questions

    Thanks for the tips Liz. I've been using a suggestion I read about just standing next to the tank and just being around the fish to get them more used to me being around them. So far, it seems to be working as at least 3 of the discus don't even react when I walk up to the tank and look in and will even swim right up in front of my face. One of them will still occasionally run to a corner when I walk up, and the last two rarely leave their spot behind the wood, so they don't react much to me. I'll keep working with them to try and start going to the surface for food.

    Thanks Iminit for the response and where did you find those discus with the colored spots?! That spotting is really pretty. This also isn't my first tank. I have a 20 gal saltwater tank which I have some clownfish and cleaner shrimp in that I got running at the beginning of the year. I would have gotten discus then, but at the time, I didn't have a place for a tank large enough for discus, so I went for my second pick of clownfish. For food, I started off feeding only once or twice a day till I saw them actually start eating the food from the ground, and have upped it to about 4 to 5 times a day. I'm currently feeding them Hikari Vibra Bites, which they seem to enjoy, some cobalt flake food, which they willingly ate this morning, and I have some Hikari frozen bloodworms which I want to limit feeding them a couple times a week. Would have gotten black worms or FDBW, but I couldn't find them at the time at my LFS. As they get more used to the tank, they seem to be eating more and catching it while its still in the water. Though, I'm still worried about the blue turquoise as I haven't explicitly seen it eating anything yet. In terms of gender, I'm thinking I have 2 males and 4 females based on the way that they fight and which ones are fighting. The white ghost almost exclusively goes after the blue diamond and will pretty much let all the other fish nip at them without really reacting. But I've seen the other 4 have some pretty serious fights at times, which makes me think they're all females.

    I managed to catch some of the behavior in a video. Maybe it's breeding signs with the white ghost trying to clean a spot, maybe not. I don't really know as I've never gotten the chance to observe breeding in discus. Maybe someone can chime in on it.

    https://youtu.be/7tf4mJ1XQm8

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    Default Re: New member with new discus keeper questions

    Just an update, I can confirm my 3.5" to 4" discus are in fact sexually mature and I have at least one female.

    20200430_184727x1500_Eggs.jpg

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    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New member with new discus keeper questions

    If it’s the pink one in the center it’s a dark angel from Hans. Yes they are mature. That’s why the blue and white are fighting.

    So your other tank is salt water. Did you cycle this tank? How often are you water changing and how much? What were they being fed before you got them? Fdbw are bought online. Simply discus does sell them and California blackworm also. I’m a fan of the SD blackworms. Pet stores don’t sell them. Also don’t feed live blackworms.

    As to breeding you will get help here. Lots of breeders on this site. More than likely they will eat the eggs. If serious about breeding you will have to move them into a different tank.

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    Default Re: New member with new discus keeper questions

    I did cycle this tank and I'm doing 10%-20% water changes daily. The amount just depends on how much I take out while vacuuming the leftover food and other debris and since I'm using a fairly small vacuum to get into the cracks, I don't remove too much water. I'm also going to be doing 50% water changes every weekend to make sure the chemistry stays good. I don't know what they were being fed before. I will probably send US discus an email to find out.
    For the breeding, I didn't intend to do it seriously, especially not immediately after getting fish I was expecting to still be juveniles. But I did want to do it as just a fun part of the hobby. Guess I'll just start looking into it earlier than planned.

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    Registered Member + MVP - May 2020 coralbandit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New member with new discus keeper questions

    The orange[ fire red ?] looks male [small vent ] and the blue diamond looks female [ larger vent ] .
    They should continue breeding for you unless others really disturb them .. Congrats on the eggs ..
    I would up your water change schedule but to each their own .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhFp68wjRUU
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    Default Re: New member with new discus keeper questions

    Like Liz said, if you want to get them tamer try feeding freeze dried blackworm cubes by pushing them onto the front glass, they'll soon start to associate your approach with a treat. My FDBW came in a red polythene bag and as soon as they see that red bag move they get excited.

  10. #10
    Registered Member Shan_Evolved's Avatar
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    Default Re: New member with new discus keeper questions

    Kinda worried he's disappeared after a month. Also because VA beach runs the same water supply as me (5 mins apart).

    maybe my area is cursed for discus. Even the local hobbyists either have horrible stunted discus or are unsuccessful
    Amateur discuskeeper, Professional doofus

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