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Thread: Keeping Discus?

  1. #1

    Keeping Discus?

    Alright. I can't believe I'm even considering them after the fiasco we went through, but ...

    As most of you know, I'll be setting up a 180g planted tank. Gonna use black diamond, medium grit for substrate and plenty of root tabs buried. We do have a CO2 canister, but may not use it. I may go with easier to care for plants and just dose as needed.

    The roomie had discus before. We got a pair from someone local, juvies, and one of them came with a bad case of hexamita. I worked on the little guy for two solid weeks before I got him healthy and eating again. 50% water changes done every other day, coinciding with dosing for hex. Then he picked up 3 more from a fish store I won't name because of the misinformation and rudeness when one of them died. We haven't been back to that store since.

    We pulled the substrate out and went bare-bottom. Temps at 84-86. 50% water changes every 2-3 days. And they just wouldn't thrive.

    I talked to some discus breeders on FB in a few groups. They said do 90% w/c every day, and keep the temps at 86-88. Spot vacuum after every feeding. It was exhausting, because I wound up doing all the work and the roomie finally decided they were too much effort and got rid of them and went salt.

    I'm wondering if I got an adult pair, if that would make a difference. I don't know. They're pretty fish. But the thought of doing large water changes every day, or every other day, or even every three days is daunting with a tank that size. I don't know if I'll have the energy, what with the other five tanks in the house and two being reef tanks.

  2. #2
    Sorry to hear that you had such issues. There is lots to talk about in your post. Sounds like you got some fairly good advice on FB. A word of caution though. On social media you have no way of know who is giving good advice and who isn't. It is sometimes horrifying to see the discus advice given out there. A couple of things I would never do. Grow out discus in a planted tank and a tank this large. While all discus require clean, clean water it is juvies that are affected by it the most and require daily large water changes. Discus come from a very low PH in the Amazon which supports very little bacteria. In our tanks the ph is higher and bacteria thrive and severely affect juvie health and growth. We do the large wc to keep these bacteria and other pathogens from being present. If you want to keep discus and don't want the effort to grow them out then getting young adults is the way to go. A proven pair would work as well. If you are still using the 180 and went with a proven pair then you could get away with a large water change every 5 to 7 days. If you went with a group of say 8 to 10 young adults then I would do water changes every 3 to 5 days.
    Larry Bugg
    NADA (North American Discus Association) BOD Member
    SEDE, Southeast Discus Enthusiast

  3. #3
    I plan to be at the big auction next month, so I'll talk to you more in detail then I think. I'll have a lot of time to really think about it ... this tank isn't getting set up any time soon by the looks of things. I'm still trying to find help getting it moved.

  4. #4
    I'll be there. Love to talk with you some. Looks like I will probably be bringing some discus to the auction.
    Larry Bugg
    NADA (North American Discus Association) BOD Member
    SEDE, Southeast Discus Enthusiast


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