Any warnings before getting discus fish?

diamonfingers

Active Member
So i researched discus and found the low ph is not necessary but a stable ph is.

i want to know if they are high maintenance or delicate? i read they need "clean" water. what is clean water? low nitrate? no algae?

Also what can i do to keep ph stable? i know adding corals raise it and leaves and peat moss lowers it but how to keep it stable?
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore Legend
Lot to learn and read for discus. I put up a thread For Beginner Discus Keepers | Discus Fish Forum | 486447 lots in here to give you an idea of what your getting into.

Ph doesn’t mater as long as it’s constant. Last thing you want to do is to be raising or lowering your ph. Clean water is new water added at first daily at 50% for at least a month for 4.5” discus 4+ months for discus 3” or less.
 
OP
diamonfingers

diamonfingers

Active Member
Lot to learn and read for discus. I put up a thread For Beginner Discus Keepers | Discus Fish Forum | 486447 lots in here to give you an idea of what your getting into.

Ph doesn’t mater as long as it’s constant. Last thing you want to do is to be raising or lowering your ph. Clean water is new water added at first daily at 50% for at least a month for 4.5” discus 4+ months for discus 3” or less.

thanks a lot will be reading your post. I do not understand the water changes at 50% daily? is this get rid of ammonia? because I am adding to a cycled tank.

I also read its not good to do major water changes as it messes the water parameters for the fish, so a constant 10% better than 50%. Just my understanding maybe I am wrong.
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore Legend
Lots of misinformation. So many people trying to reduce water changes. Fact is you need to change water for discus. Nothing to do with ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. For success in discus you just Ned clean new water. The breeders will change the water in their pools 2-3 times a day. So you have to keep up if you want success. These fish are not like any other.
 

StarGirl

Fishlore Legend
If you dont want to do a LOT of water changes or large ones look for other kinds of fish....The end...;)

Signed.... Discus fish....

I myself am not in for that much maintenance or water changes. Plus those fish are super pricey where I am. They are not in my future of fish keeping, I will just look at 86's Discus. :)
 

DoubleDutch

Fishlore Legend
What's your experience with other fishspecies ?
 

sunflower430

Active Member
To me, discus are for people who have like 10+ tanks and have a ton of different foods accumulated and are already doing significant maintenance daily anyway, so why not add a discus tank? So that's my warning for you lol.
 

JakesVDM

New Member
I agree that Discus do require water changes but daily water changes are excessive especially if you just want to have ornamental fish and not planning to breed them…


6CEAE628-5E38-475E-B5BB-68AC5A8E669A.jpeg
Here are two of my male Stendker Discus squaring off on each other they were both between 4-5” in body depth about three years old and I grew then from juveniles. This was done in a aquarium where I did about weekly water changes sometimes fortnightly (if work got in the way of the hoby) of about 1/3rd if the water.

what you need to realise to get them to look their best you need to feed them well. And well these discus of mine were fed on Stendker Beef-heart, this is where the problem starts with discus and Id also go as far to say any large Chiclids. They are messy eaters and foul the water quickly. So water changes are a MUST and also stay ontop of your filter maintenance I cleaned the mechanical media everytime I did a waterchange and agitated the Bio Media (Eheim Substrat Pro) in Dechlorinated water about once a month in my Fluval 307.

and although I wasnt planning to I still managed to get them to spawn… though never managed to get them not to eat the eggs…


7CE068CC-16F4-4A60-92F0-BD64F3C897BB.jpeg
In my opinion, as long as you keep your parameters stable do regular water changes (aim for once a week but the odd fortnightly wont hurt) and feed them well (high protein ‘wet’ foods) and you should be fine… o and ensure you have a good strain of tank bred fish the wild ones are very finicky!

Hope this helps
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore Legend
Nice looking discus JakesVDM. This is so true! Yes you can go with once a week water changes. Especially when keeping Stendker discus. Unforunatly Stendker is going out of business. Great discus but they just can’t be mixed with other discus. Here in the states it’s hard to Mix them with any other fish. 99% of the discus coming into the trade are coming from Asia. The German discus is coming to an end unfortunately just like the American discus. Asian discus are just cheaper and more colorful.
 

JakesVDM

New Member
Nice looking discus JakesVDM. This is so true! Yes you can go with once a week water changes. Especially when keeping Stendker discus. Unforunatly Stendker is going out of business. Great discus but they just can’t be mixed with other discus. Here in the states it’s hard to Mix them with any other fish. 99% of the discus coming into the trade are coming from Asia. The German discus is coming to an end unfortunately just like the American discus. Asian discus are just cheaper and more colorful.
Yea saw that Stendker is going out of business such a shame! I know here in the UK there are quite a few dedicated keepers of Stendker fish and a few are breeding them so fingers crossed the strains remain in circulation.

Sorry to hi-jack the thread a little but what are the ‘independed’ breeders like in the US. Like I said here we have a few that sell their fish independently.
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore Legend
Gone!! I know of one near me that is an actual business. But he is only breeding one or possibly 2 types. There are a lot of people breeding Discus. And some nice fish but nothing like the imports. None of these people have stores. Most are found on Facebook or forums. Places like Wattley and Mac’s have become importers or worse.
We have Hans who has been a salesman for Stendker for years but not sure what he’s doing now. Wasn’t a breeder just a seller. Many good seller of imports here. Thing with the Stendker is it’s very hard to mix them with Asian discus. They are susceptible to many things and are easily wiped out by a new fish. Just got these from Forrest from pingco.
A4F29D3B-4499-4B4C-A877-51FEE7F8228F.jpeg
 
OP
diamonfingers

diamonfingers

Active Member
Lots of misinformation. So many people trying to reduce water changes. Fact is you need to change water for discus. Nothing to do with ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. For success in discus you just Ned clean new water. The breeders will change the water in their pools 2-3 times a day. So you have to keep up if you want success. These fish are not like any other.

If you dont want to do a LOT of water changes or large ones look for other kinds of fish....The end...;)

Signed.... Discus fish....

I myself am not in for that much maintenance or water changes. Plus those fish are super pricey where I am. They are not in my future of fish keeping, I will just look at 86's Discus. :)

I kind of wanted to understand the science for it. When i did research I understood changing water for tanks is for the nitrogen cycle, removing nitrates, and replenishing minerals but you can get away with monthly changes. For discus I am do not understand why should I keep adding new water on daily basis.


What's your experience with other fishspecies ?
novice , I kept fish for a year . At the beginning many died but after much research and learning I kept a community tank alive and healthy.

I agree that Discus do require water changes but daily water changes are excessive especially if you just want to have ornamental fish and not planning to breed them…

View attachment 859156
Here are two of my male Stendker Discus squaring off on each other they were both between 4-5” in body depth about three years old and I grew then from juveniles. This was done in a aquarium where I did about weekly water changes sometimes fortnightly (if work got in the way of the hoby) of about 1/3rd if the water.

what you need to realise to get them to look their best you need to feed them well. And well these discus of mine were fed on Stendker Beef-heart, this is where the problem starts with discus and Id also go as far to say any large Chiclids. They are messy eaters and foul the water quickly. So water changes are a MUST and also stay ontop of your filter maintenance I cleaned the mechanical media everytime I did a waterchange and agitated the Bio Media (Eheim Substrat Pro) in Dechlorinated water about once a month in my Fluval 307.

and although I wasnt planning to I still managed to get them to spawn… though never managed to get them not to eat the eggs…

View attachment 859157
In my opinion, as long as you keep your parameters stable do regular water changes (aim for once a week but the odd fortnightly wont hurt) and feed them well (high protein ‘wet’ foods) and you should be fine… o and ensure you have a good strain of tank bred fish the wild ones are very finicky!

Hope this helps

- I do not understand how they are messy eaters since I feed pellets. Fish just seem to gulp it. I also understand that with fish eating less is better than eating more. I heard the smaller fish eat about just 2 pellets a day is enough. I feed 2 inch angels about 4 pellets a day they seem fine and not much hungry.

-When you say weekly water changes, you meant 10% or >50% ?

yes this info helped a lot great!
Gone!! I know of one near me that is an actual business. But he is only breeding one or possibly 2 types. There are a lot of people breeding Discus. And some nice fish but nothing like the imports. None of these people have stores. Most are found on Facebook or forums. Places like Wattley and Mac’s have become importers or worse.
We have Hans who has been a salesman for Stendker for years but not sure what he’s doing now. Wasn’t a breeder just a seller. Many good seller of imports here. Thing with the Stendker is it’s very hard to mix them with Asian discus. They are susceptible to many things and are easily wiped out by a new fish. Just got these from Forrest from pingco.View attachment 859181

If the asian discus is cheaper and more colorful what reason to keep the other breeds? just for the sake of it?
 

JakesVDM

New Member
Discus does better if you feed them a high protein diet, especially when they are younger and developing. The reason people tend to feed beefheart is because of the high protein content. When it comes to pellets you need to very picky and ‘read the label’ allot of the especially cheaper varieties have ash in it which has no nutritional value, it will fill the fish up but give them nothing.
I fed my discus a combination of Pellets and Beefheart. And then some of my discus refused to eat pellets!!

Regarding water changes, you need to remember that your aquarium is a closed system and some minerals aren’t used by your fish or plants and if you just ‘top-up’ evaporated water you are essentially adding those minerals and they pile up. Trimming plant leaves abck and doing water changes are ways of exporting nutrients out of your system. You can use chemical systems such as Carbon and certain resins but a good old water change with fresh water is better.

You can also trigger certain species to spawn by doing water changes with cooler water at the right time. The change in water temperature triggers them into thinking its the rainy season and they then lay their eggs.
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore Legend
Clean water and lots of food when young is a tried and true way to grow out discus. Unfortunately these aren’t novice fish. Yes anyone can keep them and you can keep them however you want. Doesn’t mean they will grow well or live long.

They’re messy eaters when young cause you feed them a lot. As mentioned many feed them beefheart. This can be very messy and is not a natural food for them or other fish. I feed freeze dried black worms. These are cleaner in many ways and will grow out your discus. Live black worms should be avoided.

Not saying Asian discus are cheaper. They are more available. Many breeders throughout Asia. German discus were for years the premier discus. But now there are only a few left and none import to the U.S.

Next thing is please don’t be looking for an easy way. These fish take time and need clean water. As I like to say your not keeping discus your keeping clean water. Discus just swim in it.
 
OP
diamonfingers

diamonfingers

Active Member
There was a thread a while back that you might find useful: Why so many water changes with Discus? | Discus Fish Forum | 521877

Discus does better if you feed them a high protein diet, especially when they are younger and developing. The reason people tend to feed beefheart is because of the high protein content. When it comes to pellets you need to very picky and ‘read the label’ allot of the especially cheaper varieties have ash in it which has no nutritional value, it will fill the fish up but give them nothing.
I fed my discus a combination of Pellets and Beefheart. And then some of my discus refused to eat pellets!!

Regarding water changes, you need to remember that your aquarium is a closed system and some minerals aren’t used by your fish or plants and if you just ‘top-up’ evaporated water you are essentially adding those minerals and they pile up. Trimming plant leaves abck and doing water changes are ways of exporting nutrients out of your system. You can use chemical systems such as Carbon and certain resins but a good old water change with fresh water is better.

You can also trigger certain species to spawn by doing water changes with cooler water at the right time. The change in water temperature triggers them into thinking its the rainy season and they then lay their eggs.

Clean water and lots of food when young is a tried and true way to grow out discus. Unfortunately these aren’t novice fish. Yes anyone can keep them and you can keep them however you want. Doesn’t mean they will grow well or live long.

They’re messy eaters when young cause you feed them a lot. As mentioned many feed them beefheart. This can be very messy and is not a natural food for them or other fish. I feed freeze dried black worms. These are cleaner in many ways and will grow out your discus. Live black worms should be avoided.

Not saying Asian discus are cheaper. They are more available. Many breeders throughout Asia. German discus were for years the premier discus. But now there are only a few left and none import to the U.S.

Next thing is please don’t be looking for an easy way. These fish take time and need clean water. As I like to say you are not keeping discus your keeping clean water. Discus just swim in it.

thanks everyone for the helpful info and tips I appreciate it.

86 ssinit

This why I started this thread to see what I need to do and if I can manage it or not before getting the discus. learning from everyone here. Thanks!
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore Legend
I’m glad you asked and not tying to chase you away. I just want you to understand what your getting into.

These fish are doable you’ve just got to dedicate the time. As a beginner buy the biggest fish you can afford. Keep your tank as simple as possible. Bare bottom good filtration. Keep at least a 20g tank as a qt tank. Sothats 2 tank just for your discus. At first you will need to change water. But over time you will slow down. I do 2 a week 50%. Thing is it’s enjoyable when it’s going right and painful when it’s not.
 
Why do you think 50% water change is good ? Any rapid PH change, PH shock fish is dead.
Max 30% per change.. You could do 50% if water is properly prepared and cycled in another tanks...
I think the best is to watch nitrates, and do water change based on readings.. But usually if you have 3-4 fish in 50 gallons do water change once a week 15-20% should be enough.
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore Legend
Discus need clean new water. Most of what discus keepers keep are Asian discus. These fish grow in vats or ponds. The water is changed as much as 3 times a day. Healthy discus=clean water. First in keeping discus you should know your water. Next you should be a fish keeper already. Not all types of fish are the same many have certain needs. Yes many are on board with nitrates. In my discus tanks I change the water every 3 days and in my community tanks 50% once a week. Being I do water changes I have no need to check nitrates. But yes if your plan is to do as few water changes as possible you should at least check nitrates. By than with discus when you realize your nitrates are to high for many it’s already to late. Discus are time consuming and high maintenance.
 

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