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Questions about discus

Discussion in 'Discus' started by NoctuVide, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. NoctuVide

    NoctuVide Thread Starter Member

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    So I was contemplating making my new 55 gallon a discus tank, but as you can tell by my recent pics, I decided to go with a denison barb/ Clown loach/ Red Velvet lyretail sword tank (and I plan on throwing a school of rummy nose tetras in as well). But here's the thing, I still want to do a discus tank. If I end up doing 2, a male and female (and hopefully they pair up), what would be a good size tank for them? Is height better than length? I know that sand substrate works well with them and water temp in the 80's is required, but my other question is, I've read on some sites that you have to do water changes every day, is this absolutely necessary? You'd think by now, discus would have been far enough bred from their wild counterparts that they'd be fine with the normal once a week water change.
     
  2. stevenrox

    stevenrox New Member

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    they will prefer a bigger tank i think taller would be better then wider (but it cant be too cramped-.-) i would recommend at least a 40 gallon but ive seen people putting breeding pairs in like 10 gallons sand would be good but i would go with barebottom easier for water changes you dont have to do daily water changes weeklys fine just make sure everything is clean and running smoothly if you want a gravel this is one of my friends tank and i think its a great idea mines is like this to

    p.s. the water is cloudy because it was right after a water change

    couldnt get it to work sorry
     
  3. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    You cant and wont know if you have a male of female. There are a few "tricks" but I was just proved wrong with them. Impossible to sex without seeing the breeding tube. If yo have 2 males they will fight and bicker stressing at least 1 out. Stress KILLS Discus quicker than you can buy them. Get 4-6 for better luck finding a pair.
    Yes height IS better than length. A 29 can house 2 full grown adults (a pair) and is commonly used in hatcheries as a bare-bottom breeding tank.

    A 29 can also house 4-6 juveniles for a while. Not recommended though because as was mentioned many people do not actually remove the non pairs in time (it may take up to 2 years for them to reach sexual maturity) and dont upgrade the tank. A stunted Discus is nowhere near as pretty as a full grown one!
    Sand is great, gravel will do too. And yes ABSOLUTELY NEVER let the water go less than 82! These fish THRIVE in 85-90 degree water. I like to keep it at 86. So yes you will need 1 more heater than normal.
    I waterchange 1 time a week (sometimes 2 times a week and sometimes 1 every 2 weeks when I am busy or lazy) The key is that the Nitrate stays MUCH lower than most other freshwater fish.

    Some additional points: There are 4 "types" of Discus and some should NEVER be mixed!
    German/Hans/Stenkder (misspelled) - PH 7.0-7.2 slightly Hard water NEVER mix with and Asian or a Wild!
    Asian - PH 5.5-6.5 VERY soft water NEVER mix with a Hans/German
    Local/Florida Raised - Tolerant to PH as most were raised in neutral but have ancestry to either the Germans, the Wilds, or the Asians. They can mix with anything really as long as proper time is spent in acclimation.
    Wilds - These are harder to find but personally I prefer them. They need PH5.5-6.5 and VERY soft water like the Asians. They are also MORE sensitive to water conditions, therefore requiring long periods of acclimation, almost no nitrates, ABSOLUTELY not nitrites or ammonia. Also these tend to carry parasites and MUST be quarantined for 2 weeks or more BEFORE adding with other Discus unless you feel like fighting parasites in the shoal and risking some of the ones you have already.

    Again as I mentioned in the PM I would recommend if you really want Discus to get a 55 for them and get a small group. I made the mistake of 1 here 2 there and ended up loosing about 6 Discus in the process. I am trying to save hundreds of $$$ lost!

    Planted tanks also help with the comfort for Discus as they feed off of the nitrates keeping the water cleaner and offer some cover and potential breeding sites at maturity.

    If you do a group smaller than 6 and more than 4 you need to buy some dither fish. For these I would pick Glo-Lite tetras or Cardinal Tetras as they are the only 2 that can take the heat. These will help the Discus feel calmer and are still a good idea even with bigger groups.

    Discus do get VERY expensive but they are so worth the cost. Just PLEASE make sure that you dont find someone out to rip you off with them as there are tons of people/stores that do that. I also do not recommend the Stenkder/German/Hans Discus myself. I prefer to stick with the Asians and the Florida/Local breds. Plus many of the Stenkders look quite unnatural IMO.
     
  4. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    Also this post belongs in SA/CA Cichlid Central (FYI Discus are Cichlids)
     
  5. NoctuVide

    NoctuVide Thread Starter Member

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    If I do end up doing them I'd most likely go to ned's. He has a smaller selection right now of some really nice looking discus, but he can also order them for me. My girlfriend and I are putting the 75gal reef tank on a wall that's 94" across. We were thinking of putting a discus tank next to it, but that would only leave us with 46"...just short of another 55...
    Also, what would be the best form of filtration for them? HOB, canister?
     
  6. NoctuVide

    NoctuVide Thread Starter Member

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    oh yea...forgot about that! lol
     
  7. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    Get a tall 36" tank with the highest volume you can get

    Either a Canister or a HOB will do. Make sure you have 6-10x filtration though even if it requires 2 or more filters
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Top Poster Of Month

    Ahh yes, I am loving this! Helps keep things organized and easy to find! Great advice ryan, always thankful to have you around when it comes to the blackwater!
     
  9. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    If you do decide to get those Discus.... be sure to ask where he gets them from. Ask if they are Hans Discus. As I said the Hans Discus are not compatible with other. Not that you should not get them, but you need to know.
     
  10. NoctuVide

    NoctuVide Thread Starter Member

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    yea, I was just looking on their site and found this on the main page:
    "We carry fish raised by Discus Hans, one of this countries top Discus sources. We try to always have some in stock, but are more than happy to special order any fish you are looking for. Discus Han’s Discus have always come to us healthy, eating, and beautiful." Hmmm the only other two places around here that I know of that sell discus are Tropic Isle and a place in RI....
     
  11. NoctuVide

    NoctuVide Thread Starter Member

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    Oh, and also, I found a 58 gallon tank today at pet supplies plus oceanic brand that was 36" long and was more of a cube shape, would that work? If so I might pick it up soon while they still have it
     
  12. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    Yes that would work for the tank. Again you dont need a long tank but taller and deeper (front to back) are always good.

    Nothing wrong with Hans Discus, He breeds BEAUTIFUL specimens. All you need to know is if you have them the water parameters they like are a bit different than the ones I keep and different than ANYTHING the web will tell you.

    Ideal parameters for Hans Discus:
    PH 7-7.2
    "level hardness" to slightly hard
    Nitrates, Ammonia, Nitrites - 0 (if yo can keep the Nitrates at that or as close to it as you can)
    Temp 82-86

    Because of the PH and the hardness you should be able to use Prime treated tap water with no peat or additives to soften the water. (which is good) Again though if you EVER choose to get Asian or Wild varieties they will be out of the question on that tank.

    If you want something "non Hans" you can get away with the locally/Florida grown specimens as many of those are bred off of Hans parents.