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Thread: Discus with odd tank mates
09-24-2013, 02:30 PM #11
09-24-2013, 04:33 PM #12
I had missed the temperature issue previously, sorry about that. Thanks to those who mentioned it, as it is very important.
Temperature affects the physiology of a fish. The fish's homeostasis functions best when the fish's environment is close to its preference. As the environment becomes more diverse, the fish has to make up for this by working harder to carry out the homeostasis. Homeostasis is defined as “the tendency of an organism or a cell to regulate its internal conditions, usually by a system of feedback controls, so as to stabilize health and functioning, regardless of the outside changing conditions.” Physiological homeostasis, or physical equilibrium, is the internal process animals use to maintain their health and life: “the complex chain of internal chemical reactions that keep the pH of its blood steady, its tissues fed, and the immune system functioning” (Muha, 2006).
In the case of fish which will maintain the temperature of their environment, the water, this is critical in the general scheme. The warmer the temperature, the harder the fish works just to respirate, take in sufficient oxygen, digest food, interact...and all of this is unseen by us, until it is so far along that the fish begin to react to the stress. Laura Muha likened it to driving a car up a steep hill compared to level ground--it takes more energy and effort. The effects of stress on fish are very complicated physiologically, and are often subtle. There may or may not be external signs discernible to us—it can continue for weeks and even months, sometimes up to the point when the fish just suddenly dies.
Danio are not going to be at their best in water as warm as what it needs to be for discus. These fish were designed by nature for different conditions, and that should be kept in mind. In the aquarium, fish have no escape from what we force on them.
Byron.Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
09-24-2013, 04:41 PM #13
Taking into consideration that you had just done a water change, I am going to assume the dark color of the male red turq is due to that. The plants look nice, the size of the discus is still considered juvinille. They are, what, 4in tail to nose? You have some growing yet to do. They should reach 5.5-6in tail to nose and 1.5in thick at full size. The Cobalt Blue looks like a female so you very well may have a pair in the tank. Do you ever notice any interation between the angels and the discus? If so, what?
The combo isnt unheard of but its not a 'recommended' situation by any means. You have ver nice looking plants and I would concur that any lack of aggression is due to the space, plants and maturity of the individuals in the tank. I would just be concerned mostly about feeding time. The discus sometimes will fall back and not get enough to eat and thus not reach full size.
09-24-2013, 06:25 PM #14
The Glofish swim mostly on top, and the heater is on the bottom. They do sometimes go all over the tank, top and middle and bottom, but more often than not the dance on the top. Mostly they follow dropping food down, or go to the middle when I clip seaweed on the tank wall, which everyone seems to enjoy. There is some temperature difference between the bottom and the top, I can feel it myself, I should add a thermometer and measure both. The Discus are hardly ever on top, they are middle to bottom.
I think the plants may diffuse heat as they do light - does anyone know?
Interaction between the big guys:
I wrote about this in an earlier post in this thread, but here goes: At the start, the angels were tiny, dime size if that. (Btw, the speckled one has a crooked fin that he has always had, I wonder if it's congenital or if the breeder (a friend who moved away and gave them to me) may have injured it when catching him up? My friend also apologized and said he would not normally sell either the angels nor the discus as they were really still too young. He was moving and needed to rehome all the fish...He said he gave me the largest ones of the groups of fry he had...
Anyway, the discus were quarter size (almost, not quite) and none were colored in. At first the angels did mess with the discus by swimming between them constantly and occasionally trying to feed on them. This annoyed the discus in short order and the discus chased them to the other end of the tank. That settled it, the angels started swimming together and didn't harass the discus anymore. For some time they kept a distance, now the 4 mingle often, (especially during and right after water changes) and can be seen swimming as foursome, but mostly they do keep to themselves and end up swimming past each other in opposite directions a lot. The angels spend more time in the plants than the discus. They do not compete for food except brine shrimp treats. Then the discus are dominant.
In the beginning, the red turq was dominant over the blue, there was a two week phase where the turq harassed the blue and I had to feed them separately (easy to do, one in front, one in the plants in back, they can't see each other that way). In those two weeks they occasionally made peace and swam together, then the red would get belligerent again. I suppose eventually blue had enough of this, she is now the dominant fish and dominates the entire tank, everyone yields to her. These two do occasionally "kiss", which I understand is a hostile thing, but it seems very sweet and never escalates or lasts longer than a minute. During the two weeks of discord they also slapped each other with their tails, haven't seen that since.
No actual fights ever happened. Not between anyone. If anyone acts up (usually a Siamese) the other just swims off into the jungle. During the two weeks of discord I sat by all the time the lights were on, ready to pop someone in another tank I had ready, but it resolved itself. This is now going on a year ago.
I was actually hoping NOT to have pairs, if they are a pair then I assume the days of happy mingling are numbered. I just went to look and yes, I think the discus are a bit over 4 inches now. Maybe more like 4 1/2. The large plants kind of dwarf all the fish in comparison.
Can you tell me why you think they are a pair? All I know is that blue is a bit younger than red.
I hope I answered all the questions?
09-24-2013, 06:34 PM #15
Ok and I'll see if I can get a better pic of the red turq tonight, he is not at all that dark, it's the angles of the camera I think and shadows. He is really quite brilliant, and he wasn't that dark in real life yesterday either.
09-24-2013, 06:47 PM #16
09-24-2013, 07:22 PM #17
09-24-2013, 07:23 PM #18
Sorry if I missed that explanation earlier. I think your unique level of success thus far has been due to some really lucky circumstances. Raising the fish from dime-quarter size means that for the most part they got the aggression issues and dominant settings out of the way at a young age (as you described). If they were all raised seperate and then plopped in a tank you could risk issues much like another forum member I (and others) have been trying to help for about a week now.
You are very fortunate to have the combonation work for you and also lip locking or "kissing" is another sign that the fish are pairing up. Consider that in human populus only the top guys get to date the model... The females usually test the males and wont mate with a weak fish to ensure that their brood is going to be the strongest genetics they could possibly produce.
Congrats on getting fry of both angels and discus to this size, as I dont see any major signs of stunting or regression in size.
The reason I see them as paired are because of their acceptance of each other so close, ones male and ones female, they are just getting to sexing age where they look like they are pairing due to the pics and I would expect for you to see shimmering at each other in the next 2 months. If the blue is dominant at her size I would 100% rule her a female.
09-24-2013, 07:40 PM #19
Yes, I think so too. The 4 big guys were all just babies when they came, they came together and were young and in a new environment, and all the other fish in there had been established for some time, as well as the plants. So the small guys probably kind of set the pace for the new babies - that may be why my discus are not shy. They entered together into a calm and happy environment and just needed a pecking order among themselves. I think the carefree movement of the other species that were already established made the discus/angel babies feel safe and secure.
I didn't know female discus were dominant. Now I have to think about what to do with them if they get amorous...
09-24-2013, 07:46 PM #20
Oh, and what is shimmering?