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Thread: New to discus, not to fishes.

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    Default New to discus, not to fishes.

    IMG_0160.jpg Been at this since the 1940's, fresh and marine. Tiring of mowing grass, we ripped up the back lawn and set up a koi pond. Marine reef, stony coral. Freshwater experience mostly angels and catfish.
    Discus are here, hungry, establishing a pecking order. Tank is a 52 bow, about 48" of swimming room in front: water temp 83-85, ro/di water adjusted to ph of 6.5, aeration and 2 Sicce Shark pump/filters, ammonia badge (0) and ph badge, established and cycled 5 year old planted tank with LED lighting. I've actually increased the number and size of plants to try to buffer fish behavior and territory, without restricting movement.

    I've had breeding angels, and find discus behavior most reminiscent of them. Not really set up for breeding, actually: this is a tank of corys, tetras, and 3 rowdy danios, 2 small plecos---I'm detecting a warning on those, but thus far no problem. We do have a tank to which we exiled the syndontis and the plecos could move, but they do have some wood to keep them busy. The discus seem to ignore the little guys, and the little guys aren't interested in the bloodworms until a tiny frag breaks off: I feed the little guys first and stuff them before I feed the discus, so there isn't competition. I just got a worm-cone that promises to give the discus as much as they want and keep them in a good mood.

    So not a breeding tank. If the discus can live healthily many years, swim free and eat what they want, I'm happy. A worm feeder has brought peace to the tank: I think they've finally all three stuffed themselves enough. Does anyone have a suggestion to get them to vary their diet, besides just withholding other food? They ignore the beef heart. And I have some sterilized tubifex. Hikari discus pellet. And a raft of stuff the little guys eat. I tried some discus flake but nobody would eat that.

    Glad to find this site. I don't know enough about discus to help anyone, but I do know a lot about tests and gadgets from the marine world. I went with ro/di not because I'm super-tech-oriented but because...marine tank.IMG_0159.jpgIMG_0162.jpg
    Last edited by CJC; 11-18-2021 at 09:08 PM.

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    Default Re: New to discus, not to fishes.

    Wow. Since the 1940s
    Let me introduce you to a young chickee - Liz S

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    Moderator Team LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to discus, not to fishes.

    Hi. I'm an old chickadee I hope I can fill in for the young one.

    CJ, Discus are a totally different thing. You should read around the beginners section. With Discus less is more except when it comes to WC. You need to change around 30% water daily. The information is all here but I'll be happy to answer any questions you have. First dump the RO DI, the chemical you use to adjust the pH, and the ammonia badge. All Discus need is lots of good clean water.

    I may be old but it is was 9 years after 1940 before I was a twinkle in my father's eye.
    Mama Bear

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    Registered Member seanyuki's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to discus, not to fishes.

    Just sharing....How to keep discus by Al Sabetta owner of Simply Discus forum…. Are you new to discus? WATCH THIS VIDEO!….Great info for new discus owners.


    Grasshopper
    Francis

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    Default Re: New to discus, not to fishes.

    Thanks much! Advice appreciated.

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    Default Re: New to discus, not to fishes.

    Welcome and good luck with your new discus. How many do you have? They look like Hans discus. A red checker a leopard and a pigeon. Planted tanks are a bit harder and will need the extra water changes. How big are your discus?

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    Default Re: New to discus, not to fishes.

    3-4". 2 smaller, one large. The goldish one seems to be in a messy stage of coloration, but is the dominant, right now, and is trying to pair up with the small blue one, though I think they're young for anything breeding-like.

    The ro/di is actually more convenient, because water comes from the basement system, and runs from a pump, but I'm adding trace elements upstairs. I'll be alert for problems. Water changes, yes. With a pump from below feeding the tank, the water change is just siphoning to a bucket, tossing that on the roses outside, and turning on the basement pump. I'm not up to carrying huge buckets, but this is pretty easy. I have a black substrate and the two pigeon types are speckling a bit, but rather than complicate matters by dumping more sand in to get white, I figure the speckling is harmless (right?) and is not a problem.

    We had some initial fireworks, but now that I'm feeding more generously, things have calmed down: the angst seems to be alleviated by over-abundant food via the worm feeder, so I can retrieve it neatly if it languishes.

    I am able to get bloodworms down them aplenty. Am looking for blackworms locally. Also have clean tubifex. Wondering about some of my insect-based special koi food, which would include chopped-up carapaces, etc, but is the right size: not sure if they can digest that sort of thing. And they occasionally nibble a bit of fresh green plant debris with evident relish. Beef heart which I have a whole one of, is a nope. A larger tank might be in their future, but right now I'm sure this tank is clean of pests, at least. Health and appetite of discus seems excellent and there hasn't been any bullying that prevents feeding, though I have my eye on the little gold guy, who at least just fed with his usual target, the red one.
    Last edited by CJC; 11-19-2021 at 01:15 PM.

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    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to discus, not to fishes.

    The goldish one is what I consider a checkerboard. Mine looked the same at 4 months. As to food I’m not a fan fan of daily bloodworms or live blackworms. If you can order online freeze dried black worms your fish will be healthier. Another good food is the sera discus granules. These 2 foods I feed daily. Frozen hakari blood worms once or twice a week usually after water change.

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    Default Re: New to discus, not to fishes.

    I'm trying a range of foods, and can't get them to touch beefheart---Hikari pellet, maybe. Tubifex, nibbles. I'll look for Sera. And dried blackworms. Figuring they're better off eating whatever they'll go for when in a new environment, I've fed whatever they'll eat, as much as they'll eat, namely the bloodworms. It's easier now that they're eating like pigs to switch them to something good for them, and I will order the freeze dried blackworms and try that, at least confident they won't go into decline. Thanks for the info.

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    Default Re: New to discus, not to fishes.

    In a planted tank with substrate you should never feed something as messy as beef heart. Find a good quality pellet and feed it only until they give up and decide to eat it. Once they know it's all they're going to get they start thinking of it as their main diet. After they have accepted the pellet I'd try either tubifex or black worm cubes. They are so similar and tubifex is less costly and easier to find. If you can afford frozen blood worms you can treat them to a treat meal of frozen blood worms, Make the pellets the first meal of the day when they are hungriest. That's what I'd do anyway.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: New to discus, not to fishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by LizStreithorst View Post
    In a planted tank with substrate you should never feed something as messy as beef heart. Find a good quality pellet and feed it only until they give up and decide to eat it. Once they know it's all they're going to get they start thinking of it as their main diet. After they have accepted the pellet I'd try either tubifex or black worm cubes. They are so similar and tubifex is less costly and easier to find. If you can afford frozen blood worms you can treat them to a treat meal of frozen blood worms, Make the pellets the first meal of the day when they are hungriest. That's what I'd do anyway.
    Apparently it's illegal to ship blackworms to WA. Amazon has them, but can't ship. Glad to hear Tubifex is ok. We have scads of that, clean Tubifex, treats for the koi. I've given some the discus. And they will happily eat that. I've hesitated to feed either brine shrimp or tubifex as perhaps not as nutritious as others (true for marine fishes, but different biology). If they'll thrive on that, no problem. I also have mysis on hand. And Hikari pellet, which they will pick over. So I'll start varying the diet, and trimming back the bloodworms. Early dominance tiffs have mostly settled. Weirdly, the littlest one is the chief aggressor, and the largest just takes it and moves off, but nobody seems to suffer from it.

    I kept thinking the stores were just out of blackworms, and would get some in. But WA has some pretty strict laws protecting our streams and lakes and apparently blackworms are on the bad list of the Wildlife folk.

    Thanks to all, for the help getting these guys fed.

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