View Full Version : Board newbie with Discus Question

09-25-2008, 04:16 PM
46 gallon tank (will be upgrading eventually) PH is 6.8, temp 80, nitrite is 0 with minimal nitrates, ammonia is 0. I have 2 discus, one is a hekel, and I am unsure what the other one is, it likes like the hekel except more brown and black, less blue. I just put the hekel in the tank yesterday after watching him in my quarantine tank for 2 weeks, he was in excellent health. the Other discus has been in the 46g tank for a few weeks now, and is doing very well. When I put the hekel in the tank the other discus immediatley started nipping and chasing the hekel. I know that discus have a pecking order (I do intend to get more discus, but where I live I am only able to get 1 a week) Its been 24hrs and it hasn't stopped. The hekel shows no nip marks and his fins are still displayed, but his fins are fluttering and is trying to stay hidden, in other words, he's very stressed, and I know this is bad news for a discus. I have heard that you can remove the dominant discus from the tank and let the new one claim his territory and then reintroduce the old one into the tank, and its supposed to solve the problem.

My question is, won't this stress the discus out that I am switching from tank to tank? Is it better to just let them figure out the pecking order?

09-25-2008, 04:41 PM
With it still going on a timeout for the first discus may be the best idea. Ideally they are in schools (6 or more), but this tank does not allow that.

09-25-2008, 05:14 PM
You could divide your tank in two until you get more discus. That would probably be the safest and least stressful way for the fish.

09-29-2008, 11:31 AM
Ok so in my last post, I had problems introducing my new discus to the tank, he was being harassed by my brown discus. Well almost a week later, they get along much better, the brown will occasionally lunge for the other, but nothing too serious.

Unfortuantly, my new discus has turned very dark. He was originally a light brown with flowing blue veins and black stripes down his side. You can barely see the black stripes, and he has turned very dark brown. I know this is a bad sign, my water quality is very good, nitrates, no ammonia or nitrites and nitrates is just barely readable. Ph is 6.8, temp is 83 degrees. What can I do to help this little guy out? the only time his colors lighten up is when hes chased.

09-29-2008, 02:22 PM
My most recent discus that I introduced to the tank was being harassed by my other discus for a few days, now they are getting along better, my problem is that the new discus's color's have darkened considerably. It's been a few days now, his vertical black stripes are almost completely diminished. I know this is a sign of sickness... is there anything I can do? Water quality is good, and meets the requirements for keeping these fish.

09-29-2008, 02:30 PM
It's not necessarily a sign of sickness, it is a sign of stress as well. The harassment by the other Discus would have stressed him out. Actually, the fading of the vertical black bars is a good thing, that means the stress is going away. When a Discus is stressed those bars come out.

09-29-2008, 02:31 PM
You think you may have gotten two discus of the same sex?

The other one is probably faded out because of stress from getting chased

09-29-2008, 03:13 PM
apparently this board has a strict moderator cuz I can't post a new thread about this... anyway.. my discus has stopped attacking the other one somewhat, and they seem to be doing ok. Except my new one is now dark brown.. I know this is a bad thing when they're colors darken and don't return to the initial shade in a few hours.. so what can I do? The water in the tank is around 82 degrees, ph is 6.8, softness is around 25, no ammonia or nitrites, very little nitrates... I'm unsure if I can do anyhting to save this fish...

Lady Hobbs
09-29-2008, 03:23 PM
If you had 3 threads going on the same subject! one of the Mods may have removed the other thread. I am moving all the other three into one thread so people aren't running all over the place to answer your questions.

Sometimes a divider will work until they get used to having another in the tank with them and can later be removed. You do not want more discus in your tank. Two is all you can have but possibly some dither fish might distract the more aggressive one and get his mind off the new one.

09-29-2008, 03:45 PM
why wouldnt I want more fish? I was under the impression that they like to be in groups, its a 46 gallon tank, I figured I could put 4 in there, theres no other fish in there now.

09-29-2008, 03:46 PM
And is there anything I can do to help the fish who has become darkened??

09-29-2008, 03:51 PM
That tank is not really big enough for a full and proper school of discus.

09-29-2008, 04:30 PM
Most of the people here use the 'New Posts' button at the top of the forum. It shows the newest threads and the threads with the newest replies. Posting in a higher traffic section is not needed. You will always receive a very quick and knowledgeable reply here at AC!

Good luck and welcome to the forum!

Lady Hobbs
09-29-2008, 04:30 PM
All threads on this same subject are now merged together.

09-29-2008, 04:39 PM
Thank you for the welcome, sorry I did not properly introduce myself... I only have access to the internet in short intervals at work so I was in a hurry and just needed to get my question in...

I have been keeping fish for only 4 months now, and my addiction is growing.

I have a 46g with 2 discus
55g with angels, gouramis, and danios
and a 10g with a tiny baby red devil

I know the tank is not big enough for a full school, but are you sure it really cant hold 3 or 4 of them? they are about 3 and a half inches in length, not too big yet.

So the tiger stripes disapearing are a good thing? ok, that works for me haha.
but he has darkened significantly, I hope I don't lose him, it looks like all I can do is to seperate the two for a while..? ugh. Other than his color he does not seem stressed, not breathing fast, not swimming eratically, his fins are not fluttering.. and I think I saw him snatch up a bloodworm last night...

09-29-2008, 04:53 PM
I've also noticed it's incredibly hard to net one of these buggers. <-amature

Lady Hobbs
09-29-2008, 05:26 PM
Did you cycle your tank before adding your fish? Have you a test kit to check for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates?

09-29-2008, 06:48 PM
Yes I'm familiar with the nitrogen cycle, and was cycled months ago. I do 30 to -40% water changes every week, sometimes twice a week if I have time. I know a bare bottom tank is best for discus, but I vacuum my gravel very thoroughly.

Ammonia reads 0, nitrites read 0 and just a hint of nitrates.
ph is 6.8 (do I need to lower this? if so fast should I do this?)
temp is 82 degrees. (could this be raised as well?)

I have heard that improperly doing a water change will stress discus. What would be classified as an improper water change? My temp is exact when I change the water, and I try to match the ph as fast as possible. I have 7.2ph out of the tap, and try to maintain 6.8 in my tank, I drop it .2 every 24 hours as I've heard and read any more than that can severely stress a fragile fish out.

10-06-2008, 05:42 PM
So I put the offending discus in one of those fish acclimators that hang on the tank, well i hung it on the inside so the temp would be the same, and all i had to do was pour new water in, and the old water poured out, etc. After 2 days I put him back into the tank

It was like he never left. They are all hiding again, and the only time the offending discus comes out is to chase the other 2. I have removed him once again, this time completely separating him where he can no longer even see the tank...eh I dont know what to do here. When he's not in the tank they do much better...

also any comments on feeding discus live brine shrimp?

10-06-2008, 05:47 PM
Live brine shrimp don't really have a lot of nutritional value unless you gut-load them. Newly hatched brine shrimp are great but adult brineshrimp are almost worthless without gut-loading them first.

10-06-2008, 06:32 PM
what is gut loading?

10-06-2008, 06:57 PM
Feeding the live brine shrimp stuff like phytoplankton and zooplankton.

10-07-2008, 08:36 PM
I have many discus questions so I will just keep using the same thread:c12:

When I order my fish through my lfs, he knows which ones I've ordered, and he doesn't take them out of the bag's that they were shipped in by the dealer. I've noticed the water they come in has a blue color to it... what is this? Also, the ph in my tank is 6.6 which from what I've read up on, is a good ph for discus. (keep in mind i've gotten all of my discus from the same dealer, in the same blue water)
When I get my new discus in tomorrow, should I take a PH test on the water that he comes in, and try to match my tank to that ph? I'm assuming thats the ph the fish were raised in, and if I can match it with my tank.. it would probably be better for them wouldnt it? I've been using the PH down stuff, and it really is a pain, but I've gotten to somewhat of a science... on a 25 (roughly 50%) gallon water change with my tap water it takes 2ml of ph down to get my ph to 6.6

should I stick with what I have or try to match the dealers ph and start all over again??

sorry that I am so long winded (for lack of a better term) with my posts

10-08-2008, 01:47 AM
I would do a drip acclimation. Put the discus and their water in a five gallon bucket on the floor next to the tank. Then run an air tube from the tank into the bucket and start a siphon. Do not slow it down to a drip like many do, this allows the water to drop in temp too much as it goes through the tube and sits in the bucket. Just let the water drain in at full flow. You can watch them for signs of significant stress. You have to watch it because obviously this could cause a flood. This allows a quick but very constant anf gradual change in pH and temp.

10-08-2008, 05:36 AM
I thought discuses need daily water changes? Or at least 3 times a week. Once a week doesn't seem enough for such a fragile fish. They're also supposed to be fed food high in protein several times a day, I know some people who feed them 6 times a day.

10-08-2008, 11:07 AM
It depends on how much time I have.. right now I'm feeding them flakes and frozen bloodworms, until I get my biogold discus pellets, thats what I'm sticking with...
Now that I think about it I usually to 2 or 3 50% changes every week. Thanks for pointing that out, because yes you do need to do frequent water changes with discus as they are very sensitive to small amounts of ammonia and nitrites.

No comments on what the blue water is that I'm getting from the dealer?

10-08-2008, 11:52 AM
That is probably a preventative medication, many wholesalers and importers use them.

If the tank is cycled you should never have any ammonia or nitrite. A breeder I got a few of mine from keeps them at 7.0 and does weekly water changes. It really depends on the type of discus you have. The fancier and more high end they are, the more sensitive they are. These are the ones that were raised with daily 80% water changes and if you don't provide them they simply go down hill. Others are perfectly fine at once a week, but more is better.

10-08-2008, 11:53 AM
I thought discuses need daily water changes? Or at least 3 times a week. Once a week doesn't seem enough for such a fragile fish. They're also supposed to be fed food high in protein several times a day, I know some people who feed them 6 times a day.

That would be true for juveniles, but adults do not need those things as frequently. I have a pair of adults Discus that I feed once a day and do a water change once a week.

10-08-2008, 12:46 PM
Well, this person is keeping juveniles by the sound of it.

10-08-2008, 07:53 PM
When I order them they are listed as "medium" and as I said, i DO 2-3 50% changes a week and feed as needed...

10-09-2008, 11:17 AM
So i added another "medium" discus to my tank yesterday, he is an orange color.. almost the same color pattern as the one who terrorizes my tank.. but he is not aggressive.. however the one I have been having problem with is back at it... I took him out of the tank again for 3 days, and reintroduced him the same day as I introduced the orange one... still no luck, he acts as if he never left the tank.. They were all doing excellent before he was in the tank.. now they are clearly stressed...again.

10-09-2008, 04:38 PM
You should have changed your tank around when you readded your problem fish.That way it slows down on territorial disputes!
Good luck and I hope it works out for you!

10-09-2008, 04:40 PM
You should have changed your tank around when you readded your problem fish.That way it slows down on territorial disputes!
Good luck and I hope it works out for you!

Good advice right there.

10-09-2008, 05:00 PM
thank you for the advice.. I've tried this.. I suppose I can take him out again, and rearrange it..again.. he's a beautiful discus, but the tank seems much happier without him... starting to debate giving the little fella away...

10-09-2008, 05:03 PM
That is also another option !
I hate giving that advice but it may be a good idea.
You could always get another tank :hmm3grin2orange:

10-09-2008, 06:07 PM
I'm gunna give him one more chance.. take him out.. move stuff around.. if it continues then he's outta there... my other tank is a community tank.. not the place for him.

and I'm pretty sure putting him in the red devil tank wouldnt work...

10-09-2008, 07:14 PM
Probably not!

MTS is alive and well at the AC:19:

10-10-2008, 11:16 AM
the offending discus seems to have chilled a bit, hes hanging around the other red guy i just got, and they seem to be keeping eachother busy, he still hides when I approach the tank.

10-10-2008, 02:36 PM
Hopefully they will all settle in together and get along.
Fish are so good a screwing with the fish keepers plans!!:c3:

10-10-2008, 05:12 PM
Maybe they are not doing so well, I noticed one of my originals has a few spots of ICH on it. I bumped the heater up, and will do a 50% tonight.

10-10-2008, 06:25 PM
Hopefully you caught it early! I hate ich:27:

10-11-2008, 12:18 PM
So I was in the middle of my water change, one of my marble hatchet fish had a spot or two of ich on it, so I put him in my hang on display holder thing. At the end of my water change I went to look at him... and the holder was empty. Oh great i thought he jumped out.. so I looked around for him and sure enough he was behind my tv, I picked him up, looked dead, no movement, but I thought, well i'll just see what happens, dipped him in the water, and off he went... He had to of been down there for a couple minutes

10-11-2008, 12:20 PM
You'd be amazed at how resilient some fish can be.

10-11-2008, 01:32 PM
I've had fish on the floor in the morning. My snakeheads always found a way out. The first time it happened I blamed the dog until I looked down.He wasn't squished but he would have bit me if he could have reached.I put him back in the tank and he was fine.
I haven't a clue how long he there but he was dry and almost sticky to the touch!He killed my 10" clownknife a couple of hrs later.I should have left it on the floor.:c2:

10-13-2008, 11:12 AM
Well, the fish who was getting harassed by my aggressive discus that I've been talking about died sometime last night.. I guess it was just too much for him, all the others are doing great, and I predicted he would be the one to go first. He wouldn't eat much, and generally didn't come out at all.. The only times he seemed to be doing OK was when the aggressive one was out of the tank for a few days.. I tried. Blah, at least I can get them fairly cheap.