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Thread: Help Discus not eating??
12-18-2012, 02:44 PM #21
I agree with the PraziPro and, IMO, all fish should be treated for internal worms. It's so mild that's there's no reason not to use it ...especially in new fish. I have read that garlic food may help prevent worms but not get rid of existing worms. Not sure if that is accurate or not but it kinda makes sense to me.
Mountain Discus, a breeder that sells on the internet, also recommends Omega One fish flakes for their Discus. It's made of real salmon. They feel fish pellets are not as good for them due to their flat stomachs.
Do you think perhaps this fish may be bullied and the others not allowing him to eat?
I would not use the melafix. Gosh, King Fisher is right on. Turn those lights off. They need not be on over 8 hours a day.
12-19-2012, 08:41 AM #22
Okay will do 8 hours lights off. and prazi pro should i mix this with aquaruim salt and water conditioner??
12-19-2012, 11:02 AM #23
No, you just pour it in the tank water and leave it for a few days and then do a water change. It doesn't hurt the bacteria in the filter, injury the fish, and if they do not have worms, it just cleans them out and they will poop a bit more. If there are any signs of worms, repeat the medication in 5 days and do this again.
READ the directions. You add the medication very slowly to the edges of the tank and let the filters blend it into the water.
I see no reason to even use salt myself. If he had a wound or Ick then yes but I can't see a reason for it in this case. (Just my opinion.) Plants also do not like salt.
16 hours of lights on is still a long time period. Most of us keep lights on a timer and generally from 8-10 hours during the hours we are home to view the fish.
I'd be curious to know the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? Also what size tank you have your Discus in.
12-19-2012, 05:17 PM #24
OH MY. I just found your other thread and pretty easy to see what is going on.
You have a 4 foot tank with 7 Discus, 2-Bristle-nose, a Ryukin goldfish and a Stringray. This is a losing proposition. Stringrays need to be in much larger tanks than you have. Goldfish are coldwater fish and Discus warm water fish. No more than 5 Discus should be in your tank with those 2-Bristlenose. No more than that.
You have added salt, melafix, methylene blue......for what reason? Methylene Blue is for ick. With all medications, an air stone needs to be added and also with warm temps. Oxygen gets deleted with is why your fish was probably gulping.
You said you added another medication called Colony nitrifying bacteria. That is not a medication, but a bacteria.
If you really want to have Discus, I would suggest getting rid of everything but the BN and 5 of those Discus.
I would start doing 50% water changes each day to get all that junk out of the water you added, turn the temps down to 84-85 and after a week, add the PraziPro. But the fish might improve if you get all that stuff out of the water.
Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 12-19-2012 at 05:21 PM.
12-19-2012, 07:15 PM #25
Yeah. Where to start?
LH has hit this on the head fairly well.
The goldfish absolutely must go like now.
The other stuff and tank size has issues. You have to sort these out, by overloading a discus tank you get serious problems, over loading any type of tank can cause this internal digestive related problem but in Discus it amplifies fast.
You have to go back to what the Discus is and from where it comes.
In it's natural environment it has a low acidic PH level. This low PH acts as an immune system agent. Low Ph kills off many types of parasites, internal worms, bacterial maladies etc. A discus gets much of it's digestive gut bacteria from it's diet in nature. It eats items that have beneficial internal bacteria and this aids it's digestive processes. It is designed by nature to live within it's natural habitat quite well.
And then....we come along.
We want to think that we can manipulate these fish to our own designs. To a point we may. The problem becomes that we tend to not be able to get the fish to accept the type of abuse we dish out in our aquariums. There is no bacteria in their environment but what they eat. There are no worms or parasites because the PH level kills all of them. So now we put them in our tank and we do not keep the PH low, the water pristine, the diet full of beneficial digestive bacteria and soon the fish break down.
We need to worm them regularly using a direct application feed that will have levamisole in it. To use Prazi all of the time just lets the ones that live through the prazi get tougher, you need to rotate your applications and you need to directly feed the agents into the gut, most are either photo reactive or dissipate very quickly. We need to rotate feed fenbendazole feeds into the diet so as to not let any invasives live and become resistant to this medication. We need to perform these applications 4 times per year. We then need to perform a general intestinal cleansing twice per year with a metronidazole based feed to keep the digestive tract clear of hexamita. Angels plus has these feeds. Research them and why they exist.
Any high levels of any form of any type of pollution in the waters of a Discus will affect the hydration of the internal organs and intestinal tract, it will either hydrate or dehydrate the intestines. This creates a disfunction in the ability of the intestines to flow detritus (poo) out of the fish. This stagnation of (poo) invites the colonization of all of the above stuff.
Most likely you have hexamita. Hexamita can be brought under control most affectively by raising the temperature above 92F and applying metronidazole as the particular form describes. This is a lot of work. As was noted the treatment can stress the fish further. Very few times have I ever had any luck with salt on a Disc because it affects the intestines and this also affects the flow of (poo). It seems to just turn them dark which indicates a hydration situation to me.
I have treated and cured these fish of many a thing using the concept of returning them to natural waters. A ph of sub 4.7, a total dissolved hardness of 50 PPM or less and heat in the range of 92 to 94F. This however was an extremely advanced way of curing problems and it requires a lot of preparation, work, equipments and time.
In reality keeping rays and Discus together in a home aquarium and having the Disc do well long term is very difficult.
You also have an issue with the rays as they are not going to survive long if you keep putting metallic salts in their waters. They have a very simple liver and kidneys, a bit of copper or any other type of metallic will cause organ failure and they will die. Any soft boned form of fish should not be exposed to metallic salts.
I would hunt for info on Discus and hunt for info on rays. See how they can interact in a closed system.
12-19-2012, 08:39 PM #26
Yes, the issue of the rays and other fish were covered and I assumed that they had dealt with these issues'; if not, little we offer will aid them at this point.
Lowing pH to 4.7? Wow, that is extremely low, and I'd think few, if anyone here, could do that (chemicals? How can that pH be achieved/maintained?) and the process would take a long time for fish that for most of us, are kept in a pH of near/about 7.0; Of course, any pH below 6.0 will kill off all filter bacteria; I assume you do near 100% water changes every day (I know many discus keepers do) and anyone with a pH below 6.3 should consider this level of WC.
I agree with some of what you say (one point: discus that have been breed in tanks for many generations and are not like wilds and will differ a bit; they must still be similar but pH and harder water are often their normal environment that they grew up in/hatched as well as their parents and so on - still, as a species their gills evoved to handle softer, low pH water and this might be a good idea for these fish. Just not changing while they are still ill, however.)
You need to reference many of your statements (the issue of gut bacteria, or pollution effects (which I feel is spot on but still needs referencing) and your treatment methods (where did you get this information? I'd like to read more.)
As for salt - I got this from a top, extremely well known breeder and have had great success and never had the result you had but then, some treatments, even standard ones, fail for some people/fish all the time; however, while a salt treatment is referenced in the classic Discus book this treatment is NOT a natural treatment and I am sure some fish will not do well with it - just all discus I have own have recovered nicely with this treatment as has the breeder's as others I have known - does not prove the treatment but we are not researchers here.
Temps above 92F are tolerated but I have no idea for how long or what the upper limit is (read that 100F has been seen but only in the wild and the results?) - I'd like your opinion on duration and limit since I have no source.
Last edited by Cermet; 12-19-2012 at 08:47 PM.
12-20-2012, 10:15 AM #27
I missed most of his information because he wrote it in a different thread and left out all his information in this thread regarding his stock.
Not having his own test kit and only have 3-Aqua Clear 50's is also an issue. IMO, he needs to return the fish I mentioned above, stop buying others and invest his money into a test kit and better filtration.
His other thread says he changes 30% every few days and in this thread he writes he changes 50% every few days. He also wrote a Big Al's employee told him to add methylene blue "because it's good for the bacteria". huh?
IMO, the problems with this tank are multiple. I don't know as simply worming this fish is even an issue with all these other problems. The problem might simply be overcrowding, wrong stock, or any number of things.
Interesting posting on the internal worms, Indian Angel. Thanks
12-21-2012, 02:37 AM #28
In the early 90's I had a shop and became involved with many types of Discus. I think the essential thing to keeping Discus is to respect that they are very different in their sensitivity from source to source. Some can do fairly well in tap water so long as it is low in TDS and not too high in PH. Some require an extreme amount of pampering.
The Discus I became most interested in was the Tefe Green. A very sensitive type. At this time in the hobby we had a lesser understanding of the affects of low ph and less understanding of the worms, ameobas and various microscopic invasives than we do today. We would nail the tank with potassium permanganate hard and hope for the best, which was really like chemotherapy on the poor fish, it killed them as much as it cured them.
In my adventures I would end up with fish that had almost complete immune crash. They would not eat, were black as coal, were sloughing body film, just terrible. At some points I could have several thousand dollars in fish that were in deep trouble. Most of this was due to a series of viral epidemics such as angel discus virus. Almost all fish would perish to this.
I was introduced to the idea of a drip introduction of straight RO combined with a drip of muriatic acid. The PH had to be monitored with a meter as well as the hardness and conductivity. The acid would increase the conductivity. A temperature of 92 F to 96 F was maintained. Several bags of peat moss were placed into the tank within flow through bags. The initial drip dosage of acid was required to be rather severe. The base water had to get down to a PH level of sub 5. The total affect of a sub 5 PH is that ammonia is rendered non toxic, it must be kept in mind however that non toxic does not mean it is not there. This is very important to remember as you bring the fish back up to a more manageable PH of 5.5 to 6.5. To be sure this was complex to administer and any small mistake could cause death, yet the act of not trying was failure by default. I feel any Discus keeper must have the equipment such as a high quality PH meter, a conductivity meter, a digital temp meter, a state of the art water quality testing kit and a quality TDS device. You simply can not guess on your water conditions.
At a PH of 4.7 to 5 ammonia is rendered non toxic. All invasives that could harm the fish are killed off. All bacteria is neutralized. It becomes just the fish and the waters. The high temperature kills of the hexamita. Even fish pooping white strands or clear fluids can be saved.
With the acid drip the waters TDS or conductivity level will rise. It is hard to control but it should be kept below 200ppm on the meter. As the existing water is replaced by RO the amount of acid required to bind the minerals in the water decreases. The amount of acid needed is less and the amount of acid may be reduced, this lowers the TDS level in time. In several days the water can become 4.7 PH TDS of 50 in a 90 gallon aquarium. Stay above 4.7, at 4.5 and below the fish start to go into a zone where they can go into shock. Below 4.2 you may start losing them. The entire time RO is dripped at a fair rate of as much as 15 to 20 gallons per day. You must use a food supplement to replace vitamins and minerals as you can. Within several days the fish will change dramatically and become well.
Now for the bad part.
Water at a PH of 4.7 to 5 Ph and a TDS is actually corrosive to the fish. The duration of this treatment must be as minimal as possible. We would like to be ending it at the 20 day time frame. We want to very cautiously raise the PH to 5.5 hardness of 75 and pause for 10 days and then go to 6PH and TDS of 90 for 10 days. We must read the ammonia several times per day a we approach the toxic thresh hold. It may suddenly appear or it may not. If the tank is pristinely kept it may not. We must also have primed filters to add to the tank to reestablish Bio at the thresh hold. We might need to place in several sources and have them lost as we get to the thresh hold.
The reason we can not keep them this low is because they will lose critical calcium to the waters acidity. They lose the minerals to keep them strong and they suffer brain damage from lack of calcium at 60 to 90 days depending upon the size of the fish. In nature they migrate into and out of extremely low PH low TDS environments, they do not remain for long durations.
This works on low PH angels, altums and upper interior amazon sub species possibly. It does not work on domestic scalares. Domestic scalares perish at 5.5 to 6 PH and a TDS of 75 on average.
Most of this was done as research due to necessity. It can work if done patiently. None of it was ever much fun.
Most of this information can be researched under the topic of treatments for the discus plague or angelfish virus.
The several sources I found describing the gut bacterium were from German importers of Discus and Altum angels.
12-21-2012, 12:03 PM #29
Thanks for the details; wow, that is a treatment! but for many wilds, a pH of 5.5 is normal! and the water some wilds live in has a softness that closely approaches R/O (but still, there are essential trace minerals so 100% R/O can never be used - this, I know you know, but I like to reinforce this point to readers who are just learning about discus.)
The issue of virus's are THE NUMBER ONE reason discus are really a species ONLY fish; and angels can be a disaster (since these fish are so closely related and such illnesses will jump species.) I trust Sterba’ Cories only because they are a very different species AND handle the high temps.
Their past wild roots really does mean that having a pH below 7 and soft water can only help these fish; and that said, many tank breed do well (but forget breeding) above 7.0 and with hard water; as for temperatures, I fully agree that NO ONE has ever agreed upon a good temperature range.
But after looking at a map of the discus range I feel comfortable holding mine in the 84-86 range and the young at 88 F (really does speed up their growth.) This does NOT mean that 80-82 is wrong but I’ve seen bad results at these temps so I avoid it. That said, they do need to get below this for short time periods to induce spawning (the best, most sure method that was demonstrated under laboratory conditions by scientist studying this species.)
12-22-2012, 05:16 AM #30
I have actually seen comet goldfish in a tank with discus and a plethora of other common tropicals at one of my LFS... and the heaters were not even turned on for half of the day. I tried talking to the owner but he insisted he knew what he was doing. Needless to say that setup didn't last long... I felt so bad for the discus.
They are smart, sensitive fish who must be treated as such. If you want them to survive you absolutely must get rid of everything in that tank that will not survive in the exact conditions that your discus need.