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nabonassar
11-10-2008, 07:08 PM
I'd like to get several opinions on this as I have never kept discus before but am wanting to now. I have a tall 55gal tank I want to put discus in it but need some suggestions/help. Sand or gravel (I'm thinking sand)? Live plants? If so how heavily planted? I have seen pics of discus tanks with lots of plants... If there are no other fish in the tank how many adult discus can I put in it supossing there is plenty of filtration and regular water changes?

Red
11-10-2008, 08:13 PM
IMO a 55h is too small for discus... a 90 gallon would be perfect. Maybe try going with angels if you want the whole planted tank.

Wild Turkey
11-10-2008, 08:37 PM
I have to disagree, I asked a question similar to this when i first joined the site and most seemed to think you could keep 4 or 5 in a 55gal no problem, but you dont want to keep less than that since they are naturally shy or something to that effect. Though i do agree more is always better and they would probably be more comfortable in a bigger tank if possible.


Most of the time you are going to see discus in planted tanks since discus are quite expensive and thus usually only bought by the more serious fishkeeper. I cant think of a fish off the top of my head that doesnt enjoy a planted tank.

Fishguy2727
11-10-2008, 08:42 PM
I would use sand. I use Estes' Marine Sand (not a true marine sand so it won't mess with the pH/KH). There is a whole article on sand in my blog.

I would do it heavily planted. Many like a sterile, baren setup with a bare bottom and minimal decor. I prefer a more natural setup for them, and they seem to as well. Sand is just as easy to keep clean as bare bottom in my experience.

I agree, a 55 is enough to do discus, but as with any setup bigger is better. It really depends on who you talk to as to how many you can keep in there. Really it just depends on your ability to maintain water quality. There is a whole article stickied in the General Freshwater about stocking an aquarium. I also agree that the minimum would be four or five, which with a normal water change schedule should be fine.

nabonassar
11-10-2008, 09:48 PM
From what i have read weekly water changes are a minimum; how much of a problem would it cause if, at some point in the future, hypothethically speaking, i go out of town for 10-12 days? (This is just one of the many things runnig through my head before going out to buy $150 worth of fish...)

Fishguy2727
11-10-2008, 10:41 PM
It depends. With water quality high to begin with, the tank densely planted, and the discus not especially sensitive (not bought from sources from which discus tend to be extra sensitive) they should be fine. Ideally you could find someone you trust to stop in once or twice during that time to at least do a small water change, but even without that it should be fine.

nabonassar
11-10-2008, 11:09 PM
It depends. With water quality high to begin with, the tank densely planted, and the discus not especially sensitive (not bought from sources from which discus tend to be extra sensitive) they should be fine. Ideally you could find someone you trust to stop in once or twice during that time to at least do a small water change, but even without that it should be fine.


Thanks. So, how do I know if I'm buying sensitive fish?

Fishguy2727
11-10-2008, 11:31 PM
I don't buy from breeders any more. I buy ones that came in to the LFS. This way they have gone through the stresses of the wholesaler, the LFS, and beign shipped multiple times. This may sound bad, but this means any that make it that far are not the sensitive ones. Others feel it is important to go to the breeders to ensure higher quality. There is a whole article on why purebreeds are not ideal in my blog that you may want to read.

Wild Turkey
11-11-2008, 12:17 AM
Fishguy is right. Purebred is Imbred. I only go to private sellers if i have to, and if you do the bigger the operation the better, so no ma and pa stores or people like you and me unfortunately.

Jeez fishguy u have a serious amph collection.

I make exceptions basically only for ppl on this site, but honestly thats probably not very safe

Fishguy2727
11-11-2008, 01:28 AM
I go through mom and pop places ( I got mine where I work). Any place that is getting them through their distributor like their other fish will provide discus accidentally culled based on hardiness.

The main point is if you select for anything but hardiness you lose hardiness. Breeders select for many things like coloration, conformation, etc. Mass produced discus are not selected like this and with the accidental culling process of shipping and multiple places holding them for varying amounts of time, you get healthy ones that are much hardier and more forgiving.

nabonassar
11-11-2008, 04:56 AM
Thanks a lot, that makes sense.