Discus and bullying
Here is the story.
I bought 2 adult sized Discus about 9 days ago (not sexed yet) and they settled into my tank and started swimming around and still a bit nervous at times. 2 days ago i bought 2 more and yesterday i have noticed one of the original discus is constantly bullying the 2 new ones. It wont give up, it will go as far as staying above them and if they move it will go on the attack again.
Is this reckless bullying? i have a few possibilties im thinking of:-
1) The bully is a male, and so are the 2 new ones.
2) The original pair are actually a mated pair and the male/female bully is defending his territory.
3) Just trying to sort out the pecking order and will settle down.
4) Just a bully!
Im afraid it wont stop and the 2 new ones will evantually get sick and weak from stess.
I am not an expert on Discus, or most fish here for that matter, but I don't think you should have gotten more males for the tank. I think it should have been females. That way the male can pick a mate or something like that. So I would either swap them out for females or return them.
I'm not an expert, so I'm not positive. Someone with more fish keeping experience might be able to tell you something more.
Just 1 question 1st............ what size tank is this?
Originally Posted by CrazedMichael
Lol, sorry I failed to mention tank specs.
Tank is 120 x 40 x 50. 60gallons (ish) which is heavily planted and has a few guppy fry in it.
It may be possible that I have more males than females in the tank and that may be the cause but like most would expect it isn't easy to sex discus.
Most threads usually suggest a minimum of six discus to start. It spreads out the pecking/bullying. Typically this provides more chance of getting a mated pair, if that's what you want. 10 gal per discus is usually recommended too although 60 strikes me as small.
Unusually I have nothing more to add...
You might try changing the tank around some. The first ones had already found their territories in the tank and then here come new ones. I would change as much of it as you can to make it new for all of them and make sure there is plenty of places for hiding. But I do believe the male and female ratio may not work out for you.
Thanks everyone for their suggestions.
I knew that starting off with 6 is best, but my new canister filter is still immature and the internal filter already there cannot handle 6 discus at once. So i was trying to add them slowly so the canister has time to build up BB.
Maybe after some time if i bought another 2 it will help a bit.
LH - Reaaranging is not possible since it has a soil based substrate and is planted!
oops. Guess that won't work! LOL
For your filter problem, the waterchanges, combined with Prime would be a great solution. Usually you fishless cycle so you add all 6 at once. The result of not doing so is what you are experiencing. My 6 discus had the one alpha male and he calmed down all except feeding time after a week or two.
Some solutions are to remove the problem discus and into its own container for a few hours, change the tank around and reintroduce him... or to simply change the tank around as previously suggested.
Good luck and with all this in mind, I would still recommend prime... I added an 8th of a cap per day for a month and a half for my discus and did weekly water changes and they grew up nice and happy.
FW: 1 45gal, 1 40gal, 3 10gal, 3 30gal all community tanks of different species
Sw: 1 55gal, 1 30gal show, 1 29gal show, 1 20gal and 2 10's
Well it's now been 3 days since i first posted and almost a week since i added the new discus.
The bullying has calmed down some, but mostly cos the others have learned to steer clear. But something has happened. The bully has now made friends (possibly paired up) with one of the newer discus and has started bullying the other original that came together with him! Guess he has found someone more beautiful, goes to show that vanity does apply, Lol.
They are all settled now and there is alot less friction in the tank, however they dont actively feed when i feed them. When im not around they are always swimming around and picking off whatever they can find so i'm not too concerned as their appetites are still clear to see. Maybe they will learn eventually that fish food is actually food!
Sandz - the internal filter in the tank had been in there for months and months, i have also around 50 guppies in the same tank which has kept the filter mature enough, but only for them. And when i bought the canister, i have slowly started to stock Discus.
So far im enjoying these beautiful fish and i think (in this country anyway) that buying adult Discus is the way to go.
I think all of my discus are Hybrids. I have a yellow one, 2 brown ones and 1 deep orange one *the bully*. I'm keeping an eye out for a blue one to add even more colour.
Last edited by CrazedMichael; 01-05-2012 at 05:08 AM.