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Discus tank setup
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demonseed
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Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Location: Palmdale, Ca

PostPosted: 2003.02.28(Fri)23:52    Post subject: Discus tank setup Reply with quote

I have been reading a lot about discus and I want to set up a Discus tank. I saw a 60 gallon aquarium in a local fish shop and I think this will be a good size to start with. I was thinking about puting two penguin 330's in and puting some artificial plants. I know that they need a good heater cause they like warm water. I don't know what Discus' to start out with though. I haven't seen too many Discus for sale in any of the local pet shops, and the one's that are for sale go for like $45 and they aren't nearly as beautiful as the ones I see in books or on the internet. All comments on tank set-ups and Discus to purchase would be very helpful

Thanks
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PostPosted: 2003.03.01(Sat)12:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey demonseed,
discus are a truly amazing fish...but they do take a lot of work. Seems like you've been doing your homework so far. I would make sure to put some driftwood in the tank it helps buffer the pH to a lower level that the discus like...it's not totally nessesary but they do seem to do better with the lower pH...mine is set around 6.8. As far as discus to get...the easier one's for beginners are usually the pigeon bloods. I wouldn't go with any exotic strains right off the bat. I'm not sure where you are located but you might want to try to find a local breeder from your area. Breeders fish seem to be much higher quality than any LFS that I have seen. You can also check to see if there are any swap meets in your area for fish usually some discus turn up at those. Or there is always the mail order way...I have not done this personnally but some people I know have had great success with this process and great quality fish. Also check out aquabid.com they always have discus for sale. Hope this helps ya out a bit and good luck with the discus. Very Happy

Pineapple House
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Mike
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Derbyshire. England. UK

PostPosted: 2003.03.01(Sat)13:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would disgree that pidgeon bloods are easy.

I think they are one of the hardest.

I keep pigeon bloods, and normal discus shows bars or they're body goes dark etc.

Pidgeons, don't have bars nor do their bodies go dark, even in death.

So IMO is is hard to tell that a Pidgeon blood is in danger.

Also IMO pidgeons are more physically violent with other fish, since they don't change colour they can't communicate with colour so they have to physically dig at each other which can cause fungus problems etc.

I had to learn each ones personallities to understand they're needs.
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demonseed
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Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Location: Palmdale, Ca

PostPosted: 2003.03.01(Sat)17:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in southern California in the LA county. My pH level is around 7.2 Every where I've checked they said the best thing to do is to just leave your pH where it's at and not to mess with it. I also checked aquabid and saw some nice discus for sale but the only ones I saw were already very big. I was hoping on starting off with a youngster and raising it myself. I also saw some Discus going for a lot more than I imagined, $12,500 for one. I think I will just get whatever young discus I can get ahold of just to start out. Do you think this is a mistake? What types of discus should I definetely avoid? And is pH 7.2 to high or should I follow what everyone says and just leave it alone?
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PostPosted: 2003.03.01(Sat)20:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

7.2 pH should be fine for discus as long as you are not planning on breeding them. They should be perfectly happy in that range. Good call Mike on the stress bars. I have never had a problem with pigeon bloods from the time I have started that's why I made that call. But it is true that they don't have stress bars so it would be harder to tell if your having problems. Also stay away from the blue cobalts then cause a true cobalt also lacks bars. I'm not sure if it's such a good idea to just pick up whatever you can find since your spending quite a bit of money on a fish that might not be of good quality and even stunted. I would take some time and not rush into anything. I have found some nice deals on aquabid of course I'm in the Chicago area but I have seen some areas in california that have them available. Just look around and don't jump at the first one's you see. Compare and pretty soon you'll be able to tell a decent raised strain from the one's you don't want. Just my opinion though. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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PostPosted: 2003.03.01(Sat)22:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so if I shouldn't get the pigeon blood, and I shouldn't buy a young one from my LPC, then what types should I get? Also I read that you need to have a well planted aquariam for Discus. Is this true? Cause the only live plants I've ever used in the aquarium is Java moss.
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Mike
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Derbyshire. England. UK

PostPosted: 2003.03.02(Sun)7:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

don't worry about your pH.

It's the TDS, KH, and GH that are the issue with Discus.

They like very soft water that does have many dissolved salts in the water.

Thats why many people use RO water (I use Rainwater)

'Cause the tap water contains too much nitrates or TDS.

You also require the right food, don't go the flake route, Proper home made beefheart is good.

The water changes have to be done regulary. I do mine twice per week at around 30% per time.

The temp, needs to be higher, so higher electricity bill.

The Filter or filters(better) need to hold a lot of bio-media.

Discus are dirty fish, and create lots of waste.

don't put them in new tanks also.

They don't necessarily need planted tanks. Just perfect or nearto water quality.

They are better kept in a species tank, maybe with corries, they can live with other, but when old enough to breed. It can cause problems.
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dan
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.03.02(Sun)10:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there. first off be prepared for al sorts of problems I hate to be a downer but keeping discus can be like keeping a coral reef tank things can change very quickly and you can lose a lot of fish,money and hard work real quick.
Outside of that be sure to do everything the right way and don't rush anything. two heaters would be a good idea. I think canister filters would be the best as you need a good bio filter but not heavy flow discus don't like strong current. also for a power filter I think aqua clears give you more media for the bacteria to grow than any cartridge filter.
If you know your going to be setting this up, set up the tank now and get it cycled now and don't plan on adding fish for atleast 5-8 weeks some people don't add to them to a tank until 6-8 months. have a hospital tank at stand by ready to set up.
water changing/ unless you are going to change 50% every or everyother day you need to seriously under stock the tank. discus do not tolerate poor water conditions, heavy planting would help with this. when picking tank mates remember that you are going to need to have your heat 83 at the lowest, 85-86 would be better and this may be to stressufll for a lot of other fish. And lastly READ READ READ READ READ READ READ............................................ AND don't TAKE ANY ONE PERSONS WORDS AS GOLD because there are some lucky people out there that get away with stuff that no one else could so you need a well rounded source of info.
they are very rewarding fish to keep but you need to keep up with them
good luck
dan
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demonseed
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Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Location: Palmdale, Ca

PostPosted: 2003.03.02(Sun)12:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

well I have a penguin 170 that has a ton of benificial bacteria growing on the bio- wheel( it hardly even spins). I was planning on adding that to the 60 gallon with a penguin 330 and add maybe a small group of corys from one of my other tank, this way the 170 is taking care of the bio load and the 330 starts gaining bacteria from the other filter. I have done this before and the New filter becomes heavily cultured within a week. I was then going to remove the 170 and add another 330. Now this method has worked for several of my other tanks but if you don't think I should use this method for Discus, then are there any other methods as opposed to waiting a couple months for the entire thing to cycle? Will the current be too much for the Discus? And I should start with a red-turquise, correct? Also, now that we are on the subject of food too, I was planning on feeding the Discus frozen brine, blood worms, and frozen vegetable diet, Only on occasion though since they mostly eat meat, but everyone needs they're vegies right? And I also saw some food that was just for Discus.
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Mike
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Derbyshire. England. UK

PostPosted: 2003.03.02(Sun)16:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

if it was my setup, and I was doing this, then I would remove the filters and add them both to a bucket or small tank, and keep adding ammonia a little at a time,

This will then cycle the filter media, and if you add enough ammonia then there will be more bacteria than the discus require.

The bacteria will then die off to the level the discus want, therfore no cycles or spikes.

don't foget to wash out the filter media to remove excess ammonia before re-addition to tank.

You can get any Discus you want, any colour anything. Just get what you like, A discus is a discus, doesn't matter about colour or bars or names, etc.

Food. Make youre own.

Beef heart, cut all lean off.
2lb Spinnich
2 tablets of Muti-vitamins
Peas.
Fish flake
Whole Fresh Garlic
Prawns or shrimps, right good handful.
Spirinula powder or tablets.
little water to bind it.

1 heart will make about 21b of meaty fresh food.

Put on a baking tray and freeze.

When frozen, break into small lumps and cut into chuncks.

This is pure stuff, high in protein etc.
The stuff you buy in a packet is 80% water, and costs a lot more money.
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