Benefits of highly frequent water changes and feedings in adult discus?

JJ55531

For juvenile discus, it is often recommended that they be fed and water-changed extremely frequently. I understand that this is a hotly contested topic, but I've heard recommendations as intensive as 90% daily water changes with 6x/day feedings. My understanding is that this is for two reasons: (1) to prevent stunted growth, and (2) to prevent death, since discus are sensitive.

My first question is this. Suppose you have ~6 fully adult discus (say, ~6 inches diameter) in a 75 gallon tank, with a few other fish like tetras and cory cats. Is there any reason to do more than a 30% weekly water change and 2x/day feedings? If they're adults, stunted growth should not be an issue, right? Would this regimen negatively affect their health?

My follow-up question is: If adults can have a more typical feeding/cleaning regimen than the juveniles, why would anyone voluntarily raise juveniles, and do daily water changes and 5+/day feedings? I know that buying large adults is very expensive, but surely not as expensive as paying for all that water and investing ~1 hour every day for feedings/water changes? I could never keep juveniles anyway since I don't work from home, but I'm trying to understand why people choose to do this (I'm *not* judging at all, I just want to understand). Is it just because taking care of something and seeing it grow is very rewarding for some folks? Or maybe because people feel like they can produce healthier/larger discus if they raise them themselves?

Anyway, I ask my first question because I'm considering buying and keeping adult discus but am wondering whether it's doable. (I've successfully kept virtually every other FW fish that's commonly available in the hobby.) I think discus are beautiful and I only want to keep them if I can provide them with the care they need. I asked my follow-up question out of genuine curiosity.
 

FinalFins

For your first question, easy. They still have growing to do. The main goal of discus keepers is the get them 7+. But most people stop daily water changing once they are at 5 inches.

Second question- I asked this myself and its for learning, getting better discus, quality wise, growing them out yourself. You just gotta be willing to do it. plus smaller juvis acclimate better. Very rewarding like you said. Give your discus a hour everyday and you have amazing fish. But the cons are that small discus can grow into bad shapes if not cared for correctly and the color morph is never shown util adulthood.

Edit- also for adult discus 50% weekly is the minimum since they are large cichlids which output lots of waste.
 

JJ55531

For your first question, easy. They still have growing to do. The main goal of discus keepers is the get them 7+. But most people stop daily water changing once they are at 5 inches.

Second question- I asked this myself and its for learning, getting better discus, quality wise, growing them out yourself. You just gotta be willing to do it. plus smaller juvis acclimate better. Very rewarding like you said. Give your discus a hour everyday and you have amazing fish. But the cons are that small discus can grow into bad shapes if not cared for correctly and the color morph is never shown util adulthood.

Edit- also for adult discus 50% weekly is the minimum since they are large cichlids which output lots of waste.
Thanks! That makes a lot of sense. What feeding/water change regimen would you recommend for a ~5 inch discus?
 

FinalFins

I'm not completely sure as I have not gone down discus lane yet... but 80-90% weekly is something common I see in discus keepers, maybe more.
 

JJ55531

I'm not completely sure as I have not gone down discus lane yet... but 80-90% weekly is something common I see in discus keepers, maybe more.
I have always wondered about large weekly water changes. Are the fish really okay with such a large percentage of their water being replaced weekly? I've never done more than 50% myself, but I've never had discus.
 

FinalFins

I've done 80%s 2 days straight on a 20g... they are really fine. Many people swear by it
 

flyinGourami

I have always wondered about large weekly water changes. Are the fish really okay with such a large percentage of their water being replaced weekly? I've never done more than 50% myself, but I've never had discus.
Yes. If you are doing them correctly it shouldn't be an issue. I've done 100% water changes with goldfish(i know, i know, they are very different than discus); fish are a lot hardier than people seem to give credit for.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
1
Views
294
MoshJosh
  • Question
Replies
12
Views
1K
Mertgezer
Replies
17
Views
460
86 ssinit
Replies
19
Views
4K
TexasDomer
  • Sticky
  • Question
Replies
14
Views
3K
86 ssinit

New Discus Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom