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discus fish
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joitoy
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Location: Trinity, TX

PostPosted: 2007.01.24(Wed)23:14    Post subject: discus fish Reply with quote

Someone suggested a pair of discus for my tank

I think they are beautiful but I haev smaller fish in it

I am willing to try to work out a deal to trade them in for a pair of discus but the problem is.

For all of that tank space, it seems like a waste to only house TWO fish and an assortment of beautiful fish. Isn't there anything that can live with discus? I was anxious to raise platies. would they fall prey to the discus? they seem a little too big to fit in their mouth but I know even if fish can't swallow hole, they will nip.
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2007.01.25(Thu)1:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, tank details (size, filtration, lighting, ect.).
Secondly, what other 'small' fish do you have in there? I am pretty sure that discus will not eat small fish. I know cories and cardinals are fine with discus, so platies should also be alright.
They like a planted tank, and are not beginners fish, so if you don't have much experience with more sensitive fish then livebearers, I would not reccomend them, yet...
Generally Discus are peaceful, and I believe angel fish can make good companions. Don't get anything too aggressive.
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joitoy
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Location: Trinity, TX

PostPosted: 2007.01.25(Thu)1:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

75 gallon

2 30-60 gallon tetra power filters

Using an overhead 75 watt daylight bulb at the moment which was rigged up by the husband (know it isnt enough, we're having a heck of a time finding a proper light to fit this tank)

I've got my eye on a 48 inch mounted fluorescent light I saw on ebay last night and my husband and I are thinking of buying it. Will this do? I've been meaning to ask somewhere on here. I'm a dunce when it comes to lighting and I'll be crushed if I buy one thinking it is a GREAT idea and then find out I made a poor purchase and then I am stuck with, or reselling it.

We have not decided right off the bat what we want, we know that whatever we go with, is something we will have for many years, it's a hard decision for us. But right now the decision si trapped between

4 platies, 2 glowlight tetra 2 giant danios (my husband showed up with them one day from work, he thought he was doing something nice *facepalm*)

Walmart doesn't take returns on fish so I am doing the best I can to keep them up and going. The LFS only does on certain conditions since his tanks are usually VERY full (and have lots of cloudy water, I don't buy fish from him, only supplies) I know that the fish will have no better a chance there than with me.

Ugh sorry, Off topic. But thats what I have. I'd feel bad taking any of the fish back to what is almost certain doom. But the discus are terribly pretty. I was struck between them and killifish.

I've only had experience with livebearers and a few others because they well, they populate the tank for you. I chose them over the years since there's never a need to buy a ton of them when they'll have all you need for your tank's population to grow. I'm a big animal lover I've kept all kinds of animals from snakes to lizards and now I want to tackle fish fully. I've successfully kept betta, angel fish, african clawed frogs to adult size, cories, mollies, guppies, bullfrogs, and swordtails. (not all in the same tank)

Not too impressive I know, but to gain experience with fish, where do you start? Is there a stepping stone that should give me more experience from my usual that might prepare me better? Others in my family know a lot more than I do, fortunately they will help I think.

My mother has a decade of experience as a raiser of piranha, she had a school of 5 in a 140 gallon or so. My cousin raises oscars and piranha, and wolf fish for profit. He's coming from out of state to visit us during the summer and I asked him to help me out with my tank while he was here.

I was worried discus were aggressive actually, I'd rather stay to peacefuls if I can.
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Osprey
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Joined: 15 May 2006
Location: Okotoks, AB

PostPosted: 2007.01.25(Thu)8:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Discus are difficult, but doable (this is not my personal experience talking, but that of others on the board; I was thinking about Discus and went marine instead). 75 gallons is a good tank to start in. The water must be kept perfect.

You will probably have to re-vamp the set-up of your tank for discus. You have livebearers in the 75, right? They aren't compatible with discus (different water needs, aggressive feeders). Discus are insanely fussy. Most fish have water 'preferences', but the water parameters for discus are narrowly defined. You're going to have to use peat in the filter, as these fish really need soft acidic water.
There are two common beginner setups for discus, one of which uses a bare-bottomed, sterile tank, and one of which utilizes a heavily planted tank. I believe #6 (yeah, that's his username...don't ask) advocates the first setup, but I would go personally go with the second. Both setups require large weekly water changes.
Don't keep angelfish with your discus. Angels are the alternate host for Hole-in-the-Head disease: something the angels aren't very susceptible to (they'll probably never show symptoms), but discus pick up like the plague. Sometimes angels and discus work together, but it's usually not a good idea.
One of the most beautiful discus setups I've ever seen had a group of discus with a large school of tetras. I would recommend this group of fish as compatible tankmates.

The other thing you have to consider is this pair you're recieving. Are they mated? If they aren't, they'll fight! Discus are cichlids, so pairs don't get along unless they are romantically involved. Either get a mated pair, or buy a group of six juveniles and wait for some of them to pair off (just keep two).
That's a lot of information to read through, but I hope it helps you make your decision. Good luck!
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joitoy
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Location: Trinity, TX

PostPosted: 2007.01.25(Thu)8:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'll hunt about in the tetra section before we make a final decision. We just don't want so much hard work to be spent on on ly *2* fish. We understood and had already figured out we would likely have to buy six of them and then try to sell the four that remained.

We have another tank that I would move two of the lives into.

I wanted to do a heavily planted tank actually so that is nice to hear. I've been planting bulbs like mad bu tthe growth is so slow that I am going to get a carpet of java moss and some ferns to aid it along.

THe large weekly water changes, is this because of a large bioload, or because the water chemistry changes so much? Are there alternatives to constantly doing water changes this large or is it completely common for having discus.

As for them being insanely fussy, thats no surprise, LOL, its no different than getting a special breed of cat or dog that requires a lil bit more care than the typical popular breed. Sorry for asking so many questions, we just want to be altogether certain when we do a setup, not run off and do one thing because it is the 'easy' way out, then not like it, want to get rid of the fish, or choose another set up then discover it is so hard that we can't handle it either.
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.25(Thu)8:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osprey wrote:
I was thinking about Discus and went marine instead).
I think this line accurately expresses the reality of Discus Laughing

Sure they can be done, but they aren't forgiving of rule breaking as other fish may be.

For those new to Discus, I do recommend the bare bottom tank approach.
Sure, Discus can work in other setups, but it's an uphill battle that is depressing when failure means the death of an attractive, expensive, and personable fish.

For those in love with Discus, with less than ideal setups, I've also recommended the cheater method of getting into these fish... just have one... a single Discus (go buy the meanest one you find in a tank at the LFS) has far less stress than those in a group... make sure the single Discus is the top dog of the tank, no other aggressive tank mates should be attempted, and the single Discus setup doesn't dissapoint.

Hope this helps
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fishlover888
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Joined: 20 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2007.01.25(Thu)10:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trick to discus is water change. If you can do at least 3 WCs for the 75g tank per week (the more the better), you will be fine with 6 discus in the tank of that size. Otherwise, I would suggest stay away from discus.

If you decided to go for the discus, you need to know the water parms for them, 82F+, soft (if possible), multi feeds per day, no agressive tank mates and so on. Good filtration is a must too.

The tank mates you can have for the 6 discus are cardinal tetras, cory and rams. Most other fish will not do well in the high temp tank.
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125 g discus tank 13 discus, 5 Sterbai cory, 3 clown loaches, 1 Albino BN pH 6.3 50% WC x2/wk
2 g nano tank 3 Danio, pH 7.6 80% WC/ 2 days
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joitoy
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Location: Trinity, TX

PostPosted: 2007.01.25(Thu)14:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awe. I'm so disappointed. *sigh* Well I tried to look up as much as I could but the information was sparse. Thanks for the dump back to reality, I'll push that idea aside and resume the planning of guppies or killis. That many water changes a week almost sounds like a recipe for disaster itself, and I don't know if I could honestly say I could keep up changing that much water, that frequently all the time. A lot of us start out strong knowing we can do it and eventually become tired of it.
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paul-discus
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Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Location: Leeds. England

PostPosted: 2007.01.25(Thu)14:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never put angels in with discus. However there are many fish that do mix well with them like some of the corydoras that can withstand the higher water temperatures that discus require. Rams are fine and so too are many tetras. Chequerboard cichlids too make good companions. Platys e.t.c. do not go as they require different water conditions to that of discus.
If you have never kept discus spend time reading up on them, they are not hard fish to keep if you give them the correct care and attention but you do need to understand how to do the various water tests and also they need regular water changes to stop stunting e.t.c. and clean tank conditions. The tank really needs to be hoovered daily to remove any waste.
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joitoy
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Location: Trinity, TX

PostPosted: 2007.01.25(Thu)15:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there any other places to read up on them at? I've tried a little looking, but haven't found anything, and I don't want to buy a book about a fish I may decide not to keep.

My comments are geared towards me only of course. I can't imagine myself changing that much water a week without screwing it up my water parameters somehow, though I am sure everyone else who is good with discus does it just fine. It sounds like so much trouble just to have two of them, having to buy so many just for the sake of finding a pair, then being equally restricted with what goes in the tank, or how the tank is set up. I want a heavily planted tank so a bare floor just isnt an option for me. I'll have to choose my fish to match my desired set up result, which is a thick planted floor and without changing 100+ gallons a week of water.

Thank you everyone for the help, you guys are excellent at giving encouragement when necessary, and realistic advice so that people do not buy fish they cannot take care of. I would love discus, but that is just too much water, buying a master six in one + ammonia kit would not trouble me, or trying to maintain the balance. It isn't any particular part that bothers me, jsut the combination of so many requirements is overwhelming.
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