Discus Gang Updates

BarbaraLocke

HI All, I didn’t want to hijack anyone else’s thread, and since Outcast is gone, I didn’t want to continue that thread - so I figured this might be a good one for all of us to use for just general updates, or to even cross-post (I confess it’s sometimes hard for me to keep up with all that’s going on in all the different threads)

Anyway, here’s a better video of my 7 in the 75g. Arlo has grown a lot, and it appears he and the PB’s are working out who’s gonna be the boss! They’re always at the front of the pack, and almost seem to be racing each other I’d also like to get your opinion on the little blue Discus I got from iFish. It’s supposed to be a Cobalt, but so was Arlo - who was that size when I got him, and while Arlo was very dark because of stress, I could still see the typical Cobalt patterning, and within a few days he started to color up. This new one has always been a very light blue with only faint patterning visible - sometimes. Could it be a Blue Diamond? I’ve included some stills so that you can get a better idea. I wish the Snakeskin wasn’t showing his stress bars, which he does on a moments notice, cause he’s really striking when he’s feeling safe!
 

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coralbandit

Nice !
They all look great and active . I like stress bars besides the fact I am to believe my fish is stressed ? The coloring I find attractive and that is why I chose the Santarem ..
My thread is full of 'other junk' besides my discus so this will be a great place to post discus updates ..
My blue snakeskin pair have laid eggs 3 times since I got them ..
I still have the sticker saying they were 3 inch fish back just 2 months ago ??
The main tank seems very balanced now without them and jousting is a regular happening during feeding but otherwise all are comfy ..
 

86 ssinit

Thank you Barbara!! Great idea. Your fish look great and have grown nicely. Yes I think blue diamond or of that mix. But who knows yet. As he gets bigger it may change.

Coral stress bars were what they were called years ago. Some discus allways show the bars. Heckels allways show 7 bars and have been bred into so many different types that it’s tough to guess if it’s stress on not. Below is a silver pigeon blood. But it’s got the 7 bars. So somewhere it has Heckel in it.
65B7C341-7B74-4589-B1B4-6F118B25DF6F.jpeg Now the other silver never shows those bars. Go figure
5B10BA0B-B25B-4B1A-9F6D-9878F2E51120.jpeg the 2 on the left both show 14 bars. Far left shows them off an on but the upper guy allways shows the bars. Is it stress? I really don’t think so but not sure. Very rare to see him without bars and have yet to get a picture without.
5A35D0DB-94F3-436F-86A8-CFA277C6B09C.jpeg But with his fins extended he look perfectly healthy. He has no problems getting food but is growing slower than the others.

All in all my fish are doing fine and I’m enjoying keeping them. Only thing bothering me is my pigeon bloods are not showing any red. Kind of confused. Maybe I’m not feeding the right food. But I do mix it up and am trying to feed 6-10 times a day.
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DecoyCat

BarbaraLocke This is a wonderful idea, I will update here now
Glad to hear your 7 are doing great, they look good in the video and pics! I think that's a Blue Diamond but you can never be to sure with all the mixed breeding these days. I notice pots and ornaments in your 75g, be careful with those, I had the same in my first Discus 4 foot tank years ago, a couple of my discus became very territorial of the pots and ornaments causing them to protect the areas, which then caused stress among all the others that were being chased away. Just keep an eye on them, its the exact reason my current tank is bare with only a piece of driftwood and 1 fake plant.
With the stress bars my Turq shows them on and off at times, not really sure its anything to be too worried about, I think its just a natural thing
 

BarbaraLocke

Nice !
They all look great and active . I like stress bars besides the fact I am to believe my fish is stressed ? The coloring I find attractive and that is why I chose the Santarem ..
My thread is full of 'other junk' besides my discus so this will be a great place to post discus updates ..
My blue snakeskin pair have laid eggs 3 times since I got them ..
I still have the sticker saying they were 3 inch fish back just 2 months ago ??
The main tank seems very balanced now without them and jousting is a regular happening during feeding but otherwise all are comfy ..
Lol! I think it’s just very interesting to see how they can ‘put up the bars’ in a split second, or have the just on one side. Maybe it’s also a way for them to communicate with each other?

Wow! Your Snakeskins are laying eggs?! Put me down for a couple little ones when you have some to sell

I just taped a paper ruler to my 50 gallon so I can get some pix to show everyone how big my Turqs have grown. And, I think they might be a pair! I read the other day that you can use geometry to tell males from females - by drawing lines from the top of their dorsal fin, and the middle of their analfins back towards their tail (following the edge of their fins as they slope). If the 2 lines bisect in the tail, it’s a female, and if the lines bisect at the very end, or beyond the tail, it’s a male. Has anyone else heard of this, and did it work for you? According to this ‘formula’ one of my Turqs is a male, and the other is female. That could explain why they seem perfectly content in their own tank.
 

coralbandit

They have eaten the eggs each time but they can't be 6-8 months old ??
I might know what to do with them when I have more time to help ??
The sexing idea sounds very plausible .Most cichlids with traditional body shape can be sexed by longer pointed fins. If their body was round like our disc then the lines drawn over longer fins would go back beyond the tail . For rams we commonly see if the analfin reaches into the tail it is male and ends clearly before the tail on females [ classic long fin /short fin sexing] .
I have not tried this with my 'pair' ? I assume they are a pair due to their teamwork all in all but can't be 100% till I see a wiggler !
 

BarbaraLocke

BarbaraLocke This is a wonderful idea, I will update here now
Glad to hear your 7 are doing great, they look good in the video and pics! I think that's a Blue Diamond but you can never be to sure with all the mixed breeding these days. I notice pots and ornaments in your 75g, be careful with those, I had the same in my first Discus 4 foot tank years ago, a couple of my discus became very territorial of the pots and ornaments causing them to protect the areas, which then caused stress among all the others that were being chased away. Just keep an eye on them, its the exact reason my current tank is bare with only a piece of driftwood and 1 fake plant.
With the stress bars my Turq shows them on and off at times, not really sure its anything to be too worried about, I think its just a natural thing
Thanks, Sabrina! That’s 2 votes for a Blue Diamond - which would be great, although I ordered a Cobalt so Arlo would have a buddy. I’ll definitely keep a watch to make sure no one is getting selfish with the toys in the tank! I just had the stuff, and some came with the tank, so I decided to use it. I almost got a pix of the Turqs under the ruler, but too much glare. They are definitely more than 4” now, so they’ve doubled in size in just 2 months!
 

coralbandit

So it would seem good news bad news arrive together often ?
Found one of the orange checkerboards [that never really colored up] on the floor after breakfast !
He/she was doing fine besides not being the brightest colored fish and showed good growth ..
The good news is [may be ] I am believing the Santarem are also a breeding pair and are infact who chased the checkerboard out of the tank !
They seem [again IMO ] to be preparing to lay eggs on the drain tube .I'll bet they lay eggs after their water change today ..
Kind of bummed to lose another . Even if not M/F pair I think the discus like to see others colored like themselves ? I have noted since first loss the other Stendker Tefe does not mingle with group . Actually the Dark angels hang by themselves in back the Santarem's like each other and the checkerboards were together but had some bickering .They may have been same sex ? So watching and learning as we go ..
 

DecoyCat

coralbandit I have to agree regarding the colour thing, my 4 Blue Diamonds rarely leave each others side, the orange one (Ranga) hangs out alone and the Turq does laps around the tank all day long and just loves seeing me near the tank. Thankfully I have no pairing, chasing or fighting at the moment, they are all living in harmony.
I'm sorry to hear you lost one, that is sad
How did it get out of the tank?
I once had baby discus that were about 1-2 inches big and one of them got a fright and went flying up and through the very small gap in the glass lids. The gap was only about 1 and a half center meters! It landed down behind the tank(that was a huge fall as the tank was 5 foot high off the ground), it was a struggle to reach it but I was able to get it back in the tank and it was shaken but ok.
 

coralbandit

coralbandit I have to agree regarding the colour thing,
I'm sorry to hear you lost one, that is sad
How did it get out of the tank?
My tanks are topless … I do believe after doing water change the Santarem's are just spooking the tank !
I believe one of the 'Gang' lost one to jumping also .I would not have thought but I guess all fish can jump ..My EBA [cichlid also] jump when spooked so much they do have a back board /cover on the tank ! They are like basketballs bouncing around when spooked !

Many old breeding articles say the discus will choose a mate of its own color given choice ..
That always made me think two things [ well and a conclusion so maybe 3! ] .
1 . How do they know what they look like ?
2.Animals are color blind huh ?
3.[ conclusion] We stumble when we try to explain nature ..She is tricky for sure and not tamed by any of us ...
Maybe watching fish is so fun because some of us know we are still learning ?
 

86 ssinit

Sorry to hear coral. That’s does s**k. That is a problem when they try to pair off in a smaller tank. Not enough room to get away from the pair. Also they do seem to pair up quicker in smaller tanks. My tank is 5’ long and still happily nobody’s pairing off. As to colors mine do and don’t. Mine do swim together but do team up with there other more often. Chasing in my tank will start with any 2 fish and end with any 2 fish nobody’s singled out. Again I have 12 so there's plenty to go around and the tank being 5’ there's plenty of room to get away.
 

DecoyCat

AH I see... Basketballs lol
How do they know what they look like? I agree, their eyes are on the side of their heads, how can they see themselves? Maybe its built in instinct? It has to be. Just like my Angels that just had babies, they are the same breed, same colour and they chose each other. Given there was no other Angels in the tank but still they ended up a pair.
 

BarbaraLocke

So sorry you lost one to a freak accident coralbandit I’m sure the first Flachen that I lost would have been on the floor if it had been near one of the small openings in the hood when it went nuts. I lost a pretty good sized SAE a few months ago when it got out at the very corner of the tank where the hood’s backing strip was cut out for the filter. Their known as jumpers, but I couldn’t believe what good aI'm it had to get through a gap not more than a half inch wide.

That is good news if your Santarem are pairing off! More to sell! Even if animals are color blind, they can discern shades of gray way better than we can, and it makes sense that they have an instinct (as Sabrina said) or at least some sort of awareness of those who are most like them. And, IMHO, I think Discus are a bit smarter than the average fish.

I finally got a decent pix of my Snakeskin (without his stress bars), posing with one of the PB’s - then Arlo photo bombed the shoot, and within a half second, out come the bars.
 

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86 ssinit

Barbara discus look great!

Ok I have a question for the gang. What makes a snakeskin a snakeskin?
 

BarbaraLocke

Barbara discus look great!

Ok I have a question for the gang. What makes a snakeskin a snakeskin?
Thanks 86 ssinit ! Lol, good question! The only thing I could find is that snakeskins are supposed to have an SS pattern on their gill plates. If that’s the case, then mine might not qualify, as I can’t see anything that looks like SS on him !
 

jmaldo

Hmm.. Just found this thread. I thought I was a member, I see a few I recognize. Need to invite the rest of the gang.
Thedudeiam94 nikm128 fa4960
Anyway, during my research I found this:
Discus Classification

Might help or confuse even more.
 

Thedudeiam94

My biggest Discus

4b7f3c66bf871c9c6aad8d61b27e29bb.jpg

8386db1e86cdc5ca330b31f8b036a0a4.jpg
The rest of the gang

d6c178f223b70b06a075c31e8489bff6.jpg

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coralbandit

Great color and he looks huge !

Thanks for putting out the call Joe !
 

BarbaraLocke

Hmm.. Just found this thread. I thought I was a member, I see a few I recognize. Need to invite the rest of the gang.
Thedudeiam94 nikm128 fa4960
Anyway, during my research I found this:
Discus Classification

Might help or confuse even more.
Of course you’re a member jmaldo, in fact you’re a ‘founding member’ It didn’t dawn on me that I had to alert everyone - Sorry! Thedudeiam94 , nikm128 , and fa4960 please join us with your updates!
 

jmaldo

Thedudeiam94 Beautiful!
And coming from me that's since I have an aversion to Red/Orange in my tanks (except the Super Red Plecos) Go figure.. But hey that's what makes the world go round. Different strokes for different folks. LOL

BarbaraLocke
Thanks, and "Glad" to help. That's what it is all about when your a member.
 

86 ssinit

Dude your discus look great. But in the second pic the 3rd one in that go left arrow looks perfect!! Would love another pic of that fish.
 

Thedudeiam94

Dude your discus look great. But in the second pic the 3rd one in that go left arrow looks perfect!! Would love another pic of that fish.

That’s the best I could get atm I have a different light in so it’s dimmer than usual my apologies for that.

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Was on the move here idk how I got this shot

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Other side

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86 ssinit

Great looking fish! He’s nice and round. Great body shape!
 

DecoyCat

Discus gang, I have a problem, anyone on?
I woke up just over an hour ago, slowly turned the house lights on to wake the fish up. Right away I notice the big Turq head down and wriggling, first thought was she is waking up weird, then after half an hour she is still head down wriggling and when she swims she is totally side ways?? She was perfectly fine last night. I panicked and did a water test of the 4 foot, and to my horror the Nitrite has spiked again!
On a side note, a friend told me I'm having so much trouble cycling because I have bear bottom tanks, the BB is struggling due to there not being anything to grow on and I'm doing so many water changes its removing the BB each time causing the cycle to start over and over!
I have removed her from the 4 foot and placed her in the 3 foot which I did a 100% water change on yesterday, its readings are no where near as bad as the 4 foot this morning. She is no longer wriggling on the spot with her head down but is still swimming side ways, what could this be? I did a quick google search and it could be feeding to much dry foods? Please note all 5 other discus are not showing any signs of this, they are all perfect this morning.
Here she is in the 3 foot just now...
 

coralbandit

Hard to say .
Looks ok but inquisitive in the 3 foot ..
Sometimes one fish will be weaker to water issues ?
All the other disc are in the 4 and they are ok ? You changed water right ??
I don't think BB makes much difference ..Almost all of my 60 are BB..
I never test either though ,I just change water when in question ..
 

86 ssinit

She looks fine now. It must be the nitrite had effected her. Now by being in the 30 she’s coming out of it.
I understand what your friend is saying about substrate. But most of your bb lives in the filter. Yes there is some on everything in the tank but not enough to make a difference. Many people go bear bottom without high nitrites. Something is wrong with your water. Both tanks have high nitrites right? What kinds of media are you using in the filters? Your bacteria is growing and eating your ammonia. But for some reason the nitrite eating bacteria has stalled.
Since there’s no nitrite in the tap water you still have to do major waterchanges daily till the bacteria forms again. Have you tried any of the bacteria boosters?
 

DecoyCat

Yes all the others in the 4 foot are ok, I'm having a coffee and then I was going to water change the 4 foot..
And yes maybe the Turq is weaker in the water issues, she seems to be perking up a bit now in the 3 foot, I think I will leave her there a couple of days just to be sure.
I think with the bear bottom my friend is right, besides the filter and glass there is nothing for the BB to grow on really. I have been changing water for weeks now and its making no difference to the quality, still the Nitrite will not go away

86 ssinit You are correct on all the above, no ammonia in the tanks, small amount of nitrate and high nitrite.
Both the canister filters have the same media, set up the same way, 2 blue course sponges + 1 white sponge on top in the bottom tray. Then in the middle tray the bio balls. Then in the top tray a small amount of Matrix and the rest filled with ceramic rings.
I am using the Establish bio start up liquid, I don't think its working much though...
I did 100% water change on the 3 foot yesterday, leaving only the canister with old water in it. Tested it 1 hour later, PH 7.0 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 5. Then this morning tested it again and low and behold the Nitrtie had came back to 0.50 already??!! I have had trouble cycling tanks in the past, BUT never like this! The only thing I have done different this time with these tanks is put that Seachem Matrix in, should I remove it?
 

coralbandit

Eggs from the Santarem's !
Hard to see if at all due to being laid on back side of drain ..

ko8rw6ul.jpg
 

DecoyCat

Oh my goodness coralbandit !!! Congrats, yayyyy
 

jmaldo

@coralbandit

DecoyCat
Been following your ups/downs with the nitrite. Just a theory, I remember reading that "Blue Light" has a negative effect on new colony of nitrifying bacteria trying to establish itself. Are you using a blue or uv light?
Also, if your pH is dropping below 7 that may be slowing down the bacterial growth and causing the fluctuations.
Lastly, the bacteria needs oxygen so maybe adding some air stones will help.
Even plants from a cycled system would be beneficial.

Just some info/theories I have read.

Good Luck!
 

DecoyCat

jmaldo hi, thank you very much for your reply.. Yes I have the UV light on in both canister filters, should I turn them off for a few days and see what happens?
PH has been stable at 7.0 last few days... I have regular sponge filters in both tanks and they blow bubbles, I can't run the air stones at the same time as the air pumps are not strong enough and I can't afford more pumps at the moment... I have also heard live plants would help, I also can't afford them right now, not until next week anyway.... But I will get some then..
 

Thedudeiam94

Eggs from the Santarem's !
Hard to see if at all due to being laid on back side of drain ..

ko8rw6ul.jpg

If Mother Nature doesn’t have a thing for you and your fish room then idk what’s going on! Congratulations lets hope they figure everything out and you get to see some wigglers! Those would be nice to see growing in your fish room! Nice visible shot of the breeding tube also!
 

86 ssinit

Congrats coral!!
DecoyCat just some ideas. The matrix is a very good media. The bioballs May not be. Are they plastic? The matrix is a very porous rock. With lots of surface area. The bacteria grows on this surface area. If they are plastic bio ball they won’t have enough surface area. If the fluval bio balls than they are the same as matrix.
 

DecoyCat

@coralbandit

DecoyCat
Been following your ups/downs with the nitrite. Just a theory, I remember reading that "Blue Light" has a negative effect on new colony of nitrifying bacteria trying to establish itself. Are you using a blue or uv light?
Also, if your pH is dropping below 7 that may be slowing down the bacterial growth and causing the fluctuations.
Lastly, the bacteria needs oxygen so maybe adding some air stones will help.
Even plants from a cycled system would be beneficial.

Just some info/theories I have read.

Good Luck!
I did a 50% water change on the 4 foot 2 hours ago, I took this test just now! 3 different photos of the same test to try to be accurate! I'm loosing this battle, I just don't know what to do anymore
The bio balls are plastic 86

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coralbandit

DecoyCat your close !
If you can get a couple plants they would provide all sorts of benefits and maybe help speed things up ..
My understanding is 1ppm ammonia converts to 3.7 ppm nitrites so your tank is processing the food and waste created from it IMO..
Your close ...

If Mother Nature doesn’t have a thing for you and your fish room then idk what’s going on! Congratulations lets hope they figure everything out and you get to see some wigglers! Those would be nice to see growing in your fish room! Nice visible shot of the breeding tube also!
Mother Nature laughs at me !
You don't see her carrying buckets do you ? !
I believe it is more a testimonial to Hans Discus …
I do the least of all of you for these fish … I wish my silver Dantumns would tease me like this !
 

86 ssinit

Ok my belief here. Plastic bioballs do grow bacteria. But in a canister filter not much. Life in the canister filter is dark and low oxygen. Plastic bio ball were made for wet/dry filters. This is a heavily oxygenated bacteria. The bio balls are stacked up inside the wet/dry and the water flows through them. Lots of air hitting the water which is spread across a wide field of bioballs growing bacteria that in turn eat the particles as they flow through the ball feild. Than the water collects on the bottom goes through a sponge and back into the tank. I believe these are the best filters.
Now in a canister the bacteria is a low to no oxygen sort. And it grows on anything it sticks to. So sponges will hold a lot and than the matrix will hold both bacteria and anaerobic bacteria. The ab grow in the inside of the matrix and bio-home. It grows with no oxygen and no light and it eats nitrates. Also takes a long time to grow this bacteria. This is the advantage of a canister filter. Now your nitrite eating bacteria will also grow on the outside of the matrix. By having lots of matrix you will in turn have plenty of that bacteria growing. The bioballs just don’t have enough surface area for a canister. If replaced with matrix,biohome or even crushed lava rock you will have a much better area for bacteria to grow.
Your nitrite still looks high. But the picture could distort our veiw. This is the way I read the results.
2324D45E-4B6A-4B5D-ADA9-E3CC3B35BE44.jpeg This is a nitrate test. But if the vial was next to it you would think it was 160ppm. But over it’s plainly 20ppm.
 

BarbaraLocke

Thedudeiam94 Beautiful!
And coming from me that's a Big since I have an aversion to Red/Orange in my tanks (except the Super Red Plecos) Go figure.. But hey that's what makes the world go round. Different strokes for different folks. LOL

BarbaraLocke
Thanks, and "Glad" to help. That's what it is all about when your a member.
Thanks so much jmaldo for posting the link to the Discus classification page!! Wow! Just skimming it earlier, I’ve learned a lot, and I’ll be taking it to bed to read some more! I did pick up that it’s more just fine striations on Snakeskin’s gill plates that are different than the pattern on their bodies, than definite S’s - and that’s considered a wild trait, so that’s cool! I had no idea there were so many different color patterns!
 

jmaldo

Yes I have the UV light on in both canister filters, should I turn them off for a few days and see what happens?

As mentioned from a few sources. (Unable to post here)
The UV should not be used when cycling a tank, it may not allow the bacteria to complete its process and attach itself to the bio-media.

I would shut-it off. It appears you are close and it might just let the cycle complete. Worth a shot.
Learning all the time
 

BarbaraLocke

Eggs from the Santarem's !
Hard to see if at all due to being laid on back side of drain ..
Wow coralbandit , you are The Fish Whisperer for sure!
 

DecoyCat

As mentioned from a few sources. (Unable to post here)
The UV should not be used when cycling a tank, it may not allow the bacteria to complete its process and attach itself to the bio-media.

I would shut-it off. It appears you are close and it might just let the cycle complete. Worth a shot.
Learning all the time
Ok everybody, I will catch up on posts I've missed soon but for the moment my good friend loan me money. I brought gravel, pots and 4 live plants, I also took Barbara advice and got some seeded media from my local pet store!! I am in the middle of installing all these things right now... Cross your fingers for me and my fish guys!!
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