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Thread: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

  1. #61
    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    Sorry but at this stage there’s nothing you can do. May want to euthanize it. Please once your fish make the qt tank don’t put them back with the main tank unless they are eating and looking good. Never put a sick fish back! Also not sure if salt and metro was recommended. I’d just do salt and warmer water. 97 is a lot 88 would be a good start.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    How the heck am I just now discovering this thread? 45 disc? 220 gallon tank with 180 gallon sump? Very freaking cool! I haven't read that only a handful I've seen the post here and there after the first one but have seen some cool advice that I'm actually jotting down some stuff too. And I will totally admit, I am a sucker for Threads with a lot of good pictures! Thanks and keep it up!
    -Elliot

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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    How fast did you bring the temp up to 97?

    How much WC everyday were you doing in the QT Tank?

    Metro dosage?
    Amateur discuskeeper, Professional doofus

  4. #64
    Registered Member dnkn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    I brought it up over about 24 hours. I know some suggest 2 or 3 days, but I've also read that wild discus can experience a 10 degree temp swing overnight, so I don't know if the 3 days is necessary.
    I'm changing the QT water about 90% every other day. They are eating nothing and so there's no waste.
    Metro(plex) dose is 160mg/10G per instructions on the side of the bottle.

  5. #65
    Registered Member Beestie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    Hi dnkn,

    I have a few pointers for working with high stock rates. The main thing here is to keep it as simple as possible. You will also rely on mechanical filtration and manual waste removal more as you need to get the waste out of your system as fast as it accumulates. Drips and water changes does what it does but also look at where your waste go in your system like sponges, floss and anywhere it can accumulate. You don't want a build up anywhere as things will go downhill fast if left unchecked with large numbers of fish.

    Your water will test fine but you will still see fish drop off slowly one by one if excess waste is left unchecked. All fish that's not bred parafree has gut parasites and these flagellates slowly but surely take hold as organic matter and other pollutants rise, this happens because the fish are under stress from environmental conditions. First signs are fish going into hiding away from the group and turning dark, second, they'll start to refuse food. After that its a slow regress as they starve to death if bacteria doesn't get them first. Metro, very good water quality and correct feeding are your go to here to rectify the problems you are seeing.

    See if you can't find frozen brine shrimp to add to their diet. Fish take it more readily than meats when stressed and it contains essential protein content not present in other foods.

    As for your setup itself, I would cover the sides and back of the main tank with white cardboard, Styrofoam or plastic. This will help for the peppering and will also make the group feel more secure. I would also take everything out of the main tank as to not have any place for detritus to accumulate. I would look into all the pots in the sump as well, making sure that no particulates can build up under, behind and between the pots. Your No3 being 0 is also a concern, you should see a steady rise as your bio does it's job. Your pH climbing is probably due to CO2 being gassed off, that's why we age and aerate our water before use. I would also recommend that you don't fiddle with the water parameters with chemicals, rather use a RO/tap ratio to where you want it but discus acclimates to harder water so your water should not be an issue. The main goal with pH is to keep it as stable as you can rather than getting it to a perfect 6.5. Adding air stones to the tank and sump will also be very beneficial to keep the DO up for your fish and your bio filter.

    I haven't posted in a while so I hope I'm not to rusty and that you find my knowledge helpful.

    Take care and keep us updated.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    Perhaps it's okay but I personally would not raise or fluctuate any parameters, especially water temperature that high that fast. You gotta realize that these fish are already stressed and feeling unwell from something. Doing things like a 10 degree temperature flux in a day can push some of them over the edge. Also correct me if I'm wrong but metro can be dosed even higher (I don't have the figure on me).

    Ultimately being honest with you, this being told to me countless times, when discus are that small - once they get sick and stop eating and develop problems, its typically much harder for them to rebound and make it. Hopefully your batch makes it through, at least most of them.

    Also I would try to sell off the ones you don't want to keep starting now. Even as few as 5-6 a month, 5-6 the next 2-3 months, then by another 4 months you will get an idea of which ones are growing well and showing nice patterns. Sometimes the growing speed can be misleading. But with a batch that size, you will definitely have plenty that are huge.


    Another thing Wesley above me mentioned that concerning is the 0 NO3. I never have 0 NO3, even after a daily water change. There is something odd about that. Perhaps do a large 60% water change, leave it for 24-48hr, then test NO3.
    Amateur discuskeeper, Professional doofus

  7. #67
    Registered Member dnkn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    It's been awhile since I posted any significant updates, so I thought I'd share the latest developments.

    First of all, thank you to everyone who's contributed suggestions and advice. There is wisdom in the multitude ... Although I guess that isn't always true is it ...

    Wesley, your advice regarding high stock rates was very timely, particularly the points about covering the sides and back of the tank, and clearing out the unused side of the tank to improve hygiene and solid waste removal. When I first read your post, I was in the middle of tearing down the rack to make some long awaiting upgrades. I moved all 39 (original 45 minus 2 that died and 4 still in isolation tank) discus into a 30G plastic tote for a little vacation.

    PXL_20210113_230133103.MP.jpg

    Mainly I wanted to paint the sides and back of the main 75G.

    PXL_20210113_225805807.jpg

    PXL_20210113_232542310.jpg

    I also added a UV sterilizer to the main discus tanks, sump return.

    PXL_20210114_023906811.jpg

    For solid waste filtration, I've switched over to nylon pool filter socks. They're super cheap, I think about $1 each in bulk. I just put on a new one every day or so, and when I get a big enough batch, wash them all and reuse.

    PXL_20210116_200326696.jpg

    I also brought the shelves a little closer together. I lost a little working headroom above the tanks, but it brought the top shelf down to a more usable height where I plan to put 4 20G tanks for various applications. I have three complete and set up, but I cracked the fourth by pushing to hard on the drill .. That's some pretty thin glass. So I need to pick up another 20 to finish that project. All four tanks are plumbed to overflow to a drain, and they have drip irrigation for constant fresh water supply. Filtration is air driven sponge filters.

    PXL_20210116_195446593.jpg

    One of the top shelf tanks if being used as the QT tank (center). In another one, I have 14 hillstream loaches (left). Someone on the forum mentioned them and got me curious. They're super cool and they eat all kinds of algae, and even cyanobacteria!! The tank on the right is getting some Pitch Black Rams in a couple of weeks.

    PXL_20210116_195638811.jpg

    PXL_20210116_195608770x.jpg

    That's it for the upgrades.

    Now for a cautionary tale. The evening after I reworked the tanks, I was cleaning up the area and notice that one fish had eluded me and was still in the plastic tote. He'd been in there for over 24 hours, the water was 66 degrees, he was gasping at the surface like there was no tomorrow, which was almost true for him. I put him in a large jar filled with the water he'd been in and slowly started adding tank water to bring up the temp. I didn't want to shock him with a 20 degree temp swing, but I also thought he needed to get back in some good water ASAP. So after about 30 minutes of adjustment, I put him in the QT tank to come around. He really didn't look good at first, but now after a day and half he's doing much better. He's still a little off, isn't eating much but some, and he's a little dark still. But I think he'll pull through. I know I checked that tote several times for hiders. He just hid too well. The lesson I learned is, check again.

    PXL_20210116_195841858.MP.jpg

    When I put him in the main tank I notice something interesting. He was obviously struggling, but all the other fish followed him around the tank, and even surrounded him a few times. I wondered if it was some kind of protective behavior. Has anyone else seen anything like that?

    Here are a few more shots of the discus. They're growing so fast!


    PXL_20210116_065545505 (1).jpg

    PXL_20210116_195655452.jpg

    PXL_20210116_195718093.MP.jpg

  8. #68
    Registered Member dnkn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    I forgot to address the 0 NO3 comments. I don't know why, but for the first few weeks, I never registered any significant NO3 readings. I had a few things different in the setup. Initially, I had a supplemental wet/dry sump running in parallel because I didn't trust my cycle. Once I knew the main sump was handling the load, I pulled that wet/dry out of the mix. I don't know if that had something to do with it, or maybe because I was doing 25 - 30% WC every other day in addition to the drip 100% equivalent daily WC which I also stopped doing regularly. One other thing is that I was running lights on the sump 18 hours a day to promote plant growth with the hope that the plants would draw NO3 out of the column. But that also promoted BGA growth, so I've throttled the light way back. At any rate, now when I test my water, I have around 5-10 ppm nitrates.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    Looking good Jacob, I would add those stressed fish back with the group as they will feel more comfortable.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    Looking good man! Some of them are showing great shape!
    Amateur discuskeeper, Professional doofus

  11. #71
    Registered Member dnkn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, Unhappy Fish, and General Request for Feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Beestie View Post
    Looking good Jacob, I would add those stressed fish back with the group as they will feel more comfortable.
    I did, and they seem fine now. Thanks

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