Discus Care, Aggression, Feeding And Water Change

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by jewelpets, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. jewelpets

    jewelpetsValued MemberMember

    Hello, I got two discus as a gift from my friends . I do know that they are not for beginner but I am trying to do my best . One of them is pigeon blood and one is the strawberry discuss if i am not wrong. I was having a hard time trying to keep the water crystal clear and switch from feeding them beefheart to bloodworm and that seem to help a lot. I also do 10 percent water change with gravel vac daily along with water conditioner. The temp is 84.7. The two discuss were fine at the beginning but now the bigger one is chasing the smaller one consistently:( So now during the feeding time the little one does not want to eat bloodworm. He would try a bit and spit them out . Sometime I found him eating the food flake on the bottom of he tank. I know my 44 gallons are too small but I will have to make do with what I have. Their tank mates are one big angel, two medium angels, two baby angels and 7 platy ( all seemed to get along just fine but not the two discus) .my questions are:

    1: how often should I change the water and how many percent?
    2. What should I do to decrease their aggression ?
    I own angels for many months now and their aggression reduce almost to zero when I added the biggest angel to the group , so I do not know if the same principle will apply to the discuss.
    3. Someone told me I need at least 6 of them to decrease the aggression and six of the perfect number ?
    4 if the little one continue to refuse to eat what should I do? There are no sing of infection such as white stringy poo, ick , fungus, or fungus
    5 may be I put the beefheart in the upside down cone feeders and that may help him eat and make water less cloudy since I can just take out the left over beefheart ?
    5 some said their aggression is normal and it is called pecking and they suggest to let them keep on going until they know who is the boss and there is nothing I can do.
    I am so confuse now please help

    Thank you everyone a922b7f95129ea2691747d7f4be3e8e3.jpg635285af0cbc41d468f88a00fc3bfc3d.jpg
  2. bopsalot

    bopsalotWell Known MemberMember

    Oh wow. Discus. Beautiful fish. What a thoughtful gift. @Discusluv
    She should be able to sort you out.
  3. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Cant tell how big they are but, if under 4 inches will need to change water every other day at 50% with full gravel cleaning. If over 4 inches need to change 50% 3 x weekly with full gravel cleaning. They are a really fussy fish-it may have been a thoughtful gift- but many people don't keep them because they are so demanding.
    With discus, it is advised to have at least five in a tank together because they are aggressive towards one another. When you have five in a tank the aggression is distributed among all the fish and not just to one another. At two, the more dominant fish will constantly pick on the lesser fish, often to the point of making the other sick. Not a good situation. There really is nothing you can do to stop the aggression among two in a tank.
    Blood-worms are not a good food to feed discus, the beef-heart is excellent. The reason why is that growing discus, and yours are either juveniles or sub-adults, need a high protein food source and blood-worms are empty calories. You should feed them beef-heart at least twice a day and can use a high quality cichlid pellet once (or even twice daily). Juveniles and sub-adults should eat 3-4 times daily (small feedings, but frequently). This is why you need to do the every other day ( or even every days) water changes.
    Your temperature is fine at 84.7. The discus is probably spitting out blood-worms because they were feed beef-heart or flake before you got them. But, to reiterate, blood-worms should be feed as a treat, but is an inadequate food source.
    The tank is too small and the best thing would be to either return them and get other fish that suit your tank or get a 55 gallon tank and get 3-4 more discus so that you will be successful with them. I'm sorry I cant help more, but two discus in tank rarely works- even for those who are very experienced.
    Growing Out The Juvenile Discus
    Massive water changes, are they needed?

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  4. Stanley C.

    Stanley C.Valued MemberMember

    Some good advice above ^
    Your tank is way to small for the fish you have. If you intend to keep them all, I would get a 75 gallon. IMO, I would not keep discus in a 55. The depth and height of a 75, plus more water, makes it a bit easier.

  5. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    A fifty five is more than adequate for 5 and a sixty is perfectly adequate for 6. A seventy-five is definitely easier to keep water parameters within the margins required, but not necessary to success. Water changes , however, are non-negotiable.
  6. OP

    jewelpetsValued MemberMember

    Thank you bopsalot :)

    Thank you very much discusluv for lightning response. I will follow your suggestions and see how things goes :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2017
  7. Stanley C.

    Stanley C.Valued MemberMember

    Not in my opinion. I've kept discus the size of diner plates. The more room the better. To say a 55 is adequate, is like saying the minimum tank size is fine. Again in my opinion, the minimum tank size is never adequate, and requires more work to keep the water clean. If the OP is wanting the angels and increasing the number of discus, I would be looking for a 6' tank myself.
  8. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Dinner plates? I would love to see some pictures...
  9. Stanley C.

    Stanley C.Valued MemberMember

    I don't keep discus anymore. I lost interest in them. I got my big ones from Hans. Not cheap even for juvis. But believe it or not, the discus now a day are easily half the size of the wild ones from the 80's and 90's.

    I don't post pics. Photography is another hobby of mine. And unless someone is willing to pay for pics, I keep them off the net.

    And as I said, with the number of fish, plus the addition of more, a 55 isn't adequate.

    And what exactly amuses you about how to properly keep discus?

    Is that a juvi in your profile pic? It looks extremely small.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2017
  10. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    The "Oh, I grew discus the size of dinner-plates, but if you want to see proof you have to pay me." Seriously, thanks for the belly laugh...
  11. Stanley C.

    Stanley C.Valued MemberMember

    Where did i say you need to pay me? If you ever had pics stolen, you might be put off by posting pics again.

    Just because you personally have never seen large discus means they don't exist? Must be nice to think you know everything about these fish.
  12. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Also, never told him to add fish to the tank with the discus. I told him to rehome the ones with the Angel's or put the two discus in a 55 with 3-4 other discus.
  13. Stanley C.

    Stanley C.Valued MemberMember

    Not mine. Like I said I don't like having pics stolen. Check out post #10 and post # 47
    Diner plate size discus are very real.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  14. BHK3

    BHK3Well Known MemberMember

    So do you have pics of your former dinner plate sized discus? If so, assuming they're for sale, how much are you asking if someone is interested in buying a picture of one? I would love to see those beauties! You could even watermark the heck out of them if you're worried about them being stolen or reused without credit. I'm a photographer myself so I understand the concern.

    I wasn't able to definitively tell the size of the fish in that link you shared because there wasn't anything to scale them (no pun intended) from what I could see. I'd love to see a 10" discus!
  15. Stanley C.

    Stanley C.Valued MemberMember

    Sorry, but I'm not selling pics to people I don't know.

    Those discus are in a 1,600 gallon tank. That's why they look like your normal run of the mill fish.
  16. Stanley C.

    Stanley C.Valued MemberMember


    Check out post #48 in the linked thread. The discus are right next to adult wild altum.
  17. BHK3

    BHK3Well Known MemberMember

    They're beautifully stunning fish, but just FYI, post #53 on that link says about the Altums, "They are not yet full sized, the Discus are full show sized winners from a contest at the ACA last year. [...] The Altums, he has 64, all have eaten well and are doing very well in the tank. He's only lost 1 Altum since getting them at 1.5: these are about 4" now." So if the Altums in that photo are 4", that would make those Discus probably around 6". Either way, I'm painfully jealous of that tank!

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