Discus fish for beginner

Discussion in 'Discus Fish' started by ikkoo, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. ikkoo

    ikkooValued MemberMember

    I'm kind of a beginner but I know all the cycling process, test kit, fish environment ( basically all the stuff needed for fish). I have a 10 Gallon with neon tetra in it and kept abot 3 to 4 month.
    Is it OK to keep discus? I will be getting 50 gallon barebottom tank and stock 4 or 5 discus only. I'm willing to do wc 3 times a week and diy discus food.

    Am I right to say if I change water like 3 times a week and feed high protein daily for 2 to 3 times I will have success with discus? The temperature in my country (Singapore) is perfect for discus without heater.

    I have a last question regarding feeding. I will be feeding them 3 times a day. Should I be feeding them diy discus food contain of beef heart and other stuff every feeding? Is the protein for them too high?

    Thanks for the responses and advises.

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    Sorry if the questions looks dumb or something... I just to clarify.

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    And what's the difference between using gelatin and not use gelatin for diy food

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  2. ppate1977

    ppate1977Well Known MemberMember

    As long as the temp is high enough, your water changes stay consistent, and you're ready... Go for it! Good luck!!!
  3. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    I say give it a try! With doing water changes 2-3 times a week is great. Some fish keepers that have kept discus before suggest not to get them if you are a beginner and that they are really hard to take care of. But IMO, how are you ever gonna learn if you don't try. I mean people want to try something and others tell them stuff that scares them into not trying. I wanted to keep discus before. But After I heard someone say that Discus are really delicate fish and that they need special water (RO water) kinda scared me into not trying them. But then I saw someone on youtube saying that they don't need all that stuff, and just by having a good cycled tank with doing some water changes , you can keep them. That really got me into wanting to keep them again. So give it a try! Good luck! Keep us updated

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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  4. virusmk

    virusmkWell Known MemberMember

    ikkoo i do encourage you to go ahead and get them. Make sure that your new tank would be deep as discuses do require deeper tanks.
    If you dont get them youll never be eperienced enough with them. As long as tank is cycled you wont have any issues. Keep an eye on the water parameters and youll do just fine
    I started knowing nothing about them, made few costly mistakes but tanks to few discus keepers and rest of comunity here i went long way.

    Make sure you get quality fish and you wont be having much of a problems. High protein content is ideal for disucs if you want to achive maximum growt out of them and probably they grow quicker if you feed 4-5 times. Saying that you have to do more water changes. If you can afford have to filters and sponge filter instead airstone, to help you with biofiltration.

    I would recommend to mix food diy beefhard mix, brineshrimp some pellets. Its better for fish to have varaety of foods as its promotes better health
  5. renthusWell Known MemberMember

    Um, I would personally say no. Discus need absolutely pristine water. They're the only freshwater fish where I'd seriously consider putting them on R/O. They are by no means a beginner fish. Besides, you *are* going to mess up once or twice, and you don't want to mess up with a hundred dollar fish.

  6. Adam55

    Adam55Well Known MemberMember

    I would agree with renthus. Discus can be difficult to keep, and they're also very expensive for a tropical fish.
  7. delta5

    delta5Well Known MemberMember

    @OP, with any kind of fish there is always a chance for things to go wrong. The most important thing you should do is check the water they're living at the fish store. If it is severely different from yours then you'll need to do an extensive acclimation process. You been doing your research and understand what you want and you understand the risk. I say do it.

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  8. delta5

    delta5Well Known MemberMember

    Not saying people here are inept but you should join a forum, group dedicated to discus in regards to DIY food and the risk vs reward of meat.

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  9. Slug

    SlugWell Known MemberMember

    I fear that a high protein diet fed 2-3 times a day in a higher temperature tank will force you to do daily water changes. Otherwise the days you do not do a water change, the left over food and discus waste will just fester and spoil in the water. Especially feeding a homemade food mix. I think its possible for anyone to keep discus, it just takes some dedication to their health rather than a set it and forget it for a week type of tank. At higher temperatures the discus are running a faster metabolism, meaning they can eat more often which means they poop more often as well. This is why you see some breeders changing water multiple times a day when they are trying to grow fish out. They pound them full of food and change as much water as they can daily to pack as much weight and size on them as possible in the shortest amount of time.

    Discus thrive on high protein diets, beef heart based food is widely accepted as a staple these days. People also use mixes containing mostly fresh seafood. There are tons of recipes out there online. Using gelatin in homemade foods is just to keep the food together so it doesn't just explode in the tank after thawing. Its just to give it some consistency and hold it together, really provides nothing nutrition wise to the fish. Some people will even use other things such as bananas as a gelatin-like addition.
  10. Disc61

    Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    it sounds to me like you have a head start with what you know, as Slug has mentioned feeding a high protein diet ( which I do recommend) also really demands a daily water change regimen. otherwise the leftover food spoils the water. (very quickly I might add)
    starting with quality Discus instead of subpar will go along way for you as well. Discus are not hard to keep as long as you can give them the proper care they deserve.
    I use my own mix as well as flakes and the mix will foul the water if not changed daily.
  11. virusmk

    virusmkWell Known MemberMember

    renthus, Adam55
    I ll have to disagree with yous.in discus keeping this days. Discuses are not so fragile as they used to be in past as long as you give them half an hour a day attention things would go smooth Disc61 keeps his discuses on 7.8ph hardis water. Myones were kept on 7.6 hard water and still going well.
    RO units are not always necessarily needed and even if you use it still you need to mix with tap water or you going to kill all your fish because ro depleets all minerals that are in the water and are essential for any fish.
    If the tap water is soft water than absolutely there is no need for ro unit.

    You dont have to pump them with high nutritious foods and do frequent changes as beginer. Discus would do just fine with 2 feds a day.
    Only reason that most of us here overfeed our discuses is to speed up their growth and reach maximum growth in minimal time.

    My first ever fishkeeping was with discus, not knowing absolutely nothing about fish keeping or nitrogen cycle or any requirements that discus need.

    I have made few costly mistakes not saying that everything went so smooth. But since i have found this forum and thanks to @Disk61 Rivieraneo Slug and few others here things are going so smooth now for me and 2 fish already reach 5 Inch in just 7 months.

    So my opinion is if i can make it with no experience in fishkeeping whatsoever than any member here that has no experience in dicus and keeps asking for advice here would do great in keeping them well and healty
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  12. Ap05Well Known MemberMember

    Not to hijack this thread but can discus be kept between 78 and 80 degrees at all? Not for breeding purposes or anything
  13. virusmk

    virusmkWell Known MemberMember

    Its recommended to keep them above 82
  14. Disc61

    Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    as mentioned already temp should be 82 or above.

    using R/O for Discus is not needed in most cases. the domestic discus has come a long way and can tolerate higher ph levels. it was thought in the early years that your ph should be below 7 in order to have any success, this is just not true. I have 15 (at the moment, 6 more on order) with all of them in 7.8 PH. I had a small issue to begin with a few years back and cleared that up by running an activated carbon cartridge in one of my filters. I over filtrate all of my tanks which helps in keeping the water in more of a prestine condition.

    top breeders use R/O to help reach a higher hatch rate but beyond breeding it is just not necessary.
  15. Adam55

    Adam55Well Known MemberMember

    I'm not saying discus are as difficult to keep now as they were 20 years ago, but they are more difficult than most tropical fish. That's all. And the price issue is impossible to argue with. A discus will run about $100. You can stock a tank for that.
  16. Slug

    SlugWell Known MemberMember

    Depends on the size. You can get quality juvis for the price some African (tangs especially) or even the rarer new worlds run. Huge scale on price depending on size and strsin. $25 - hundreds. I keep my wild discus in 7.2 tap water. Fact is discus will not keel over and die on you. In fact I find them hardier than a lot of other tropical fish as they usually let you know there's a problem before it becomes a bigger problem just with visual queues.
  17. Disc61

    Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    sorry Adam I just flat disagree with you. $100?? you could say $100 for a 4-5 inch Discus and I would agree, many 5 inch Discus cost over $100 and even $200.
    I don't disagree with this at all. but to claim that Discus will run about $100 is just wrong. I myself am buying 6 2.5 - 3 inch Discus in another month. From one of the most recognized Discus importers in the USA, will it cost me $600? not even close, less than half that at about $284 for 6. I would agree with Matt that many Africans and other freshwater fish are just as expensive. and they are not near as difficult as people put them out to be.

    I think the biggest scare about them is getting past all the people talking about how tough they are to keep.

    was they tough for you Adam? and if so what size did you start off with?
  18. virusmk

    virusmkWell Known MemberMember

    Ive no5iced that most of people that never kept discuses all assume that discuses are so hard to keep, been told by others that never had one as well and this wrong info is going around and around without facing the facts.

    I am quite comftable to say that if person does not care how long its going to take untill discus reach adult size and how big is going to get than 2 feds a day and once a week water change would do well.
    I vitnessed this as i and my friend got the discuses in a few weeks apart. I do extra care, he does minimal care. I have 2 fish already around 5 inch and 2 are nearing that size and his are less than 4inch.

    I run in a lot of troubles experimenting. He is doing just fine.

    So thats why i will say it to everyone discus requires little bit more effort but can be kept with minimal.
    Untill you try you will never now how hard or easy is to keep them. Its all depends of what person whant to do and achieve with his fish.
  19. OP

    ikkooValued MemberMember

    Thanks for all the advice. I would probably give up on discus for now. I'm thinking about purchasing small arowana for 30 dollar from my friend and when it grow bigger, I'll probably sell it. At the same time, trying to gain more experience keeping larger fishes.

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  20. OP

    ikkooValued MemberMember

    I know that arowana needs big tanks like 100 or 200 gallons. I'll probably sell it when it gets big. I rly want to get a taste of keeping big fishes.

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