Discus keepers - Why do you like discus?

BigBeardDaHuZi

So, there are certain fish that really develop a fan base. Bettas. Fancy Goldfish. Cichlids - both New and Old world have their fan boys and girls. Angels are quite popular and a group of Clown Loaches will always get a second look. There are some who like gouramis and some who like cats. Some people are really into livebearers and some prefer their monsters.

Why do you like Discus? They are certainly pretty, but they are also, arguably, one of the hardest species to keep. (Honestly, they make salt water look easy.) What draws you to them?
 

A201

I kept Discus for a few years in the late 80's. That's about the time famous Discus breeder Jack Wattley revolutionized Discus keeping with his Turquoise Discus.
Other than a few initial set backs, I found Discus keeping no more difficult than keeping most anything else. A clean tank, a big weekly WC, good nutrition & the necessity for very warm water are the keys to successful Discus keeping.
Although beautiful, I found Discus to be expensive, beautiful boredom.
I made a big move & had to give up the Discus set up to a friend.
It's been 28 years since the move & there are no plans to ever reestablish another Discus community.
My opinion about Discus is "no big deal". Not a fan, more or less neutral.
 
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86 ssinit

Well part of it is the challenge. Also it’s what you like. I have no desire to even try salt. Just no interest. Same with African cichlids. Their tanks are just to busy.
I too was keeping discus back in the heyday. I did own the great Wattley turquoise. Different time than. seems the fish were stronger than. I had a 200g gal with a wet/dry and a canister filter and changed 40% water a week. Now I’m changing 50% 3 times a week. If I don’t some of the fish will get pimples on them. Back than the Germans were breeding beautiful solid blue cobalt discus and coming out of Asia were the new pigeon bloods. No problems mixing these discus and drop and plop was the way we added them. Much different now. American breeders are gone. German breeders breed discus to be able to handle different water. They can do well with different ph/gh/kh and not be bothered as much by cholorine. Now Asian discus are much weaker this way. They need fresh water. Many water change 90% daily. But the colors coming out of Asia are stunning. But some may say fake looking. Like neon tetras .
Lots to learn before jumping in. Main thing is buy from a good seller. For a beginner I will recommend Hans discus.
 
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A201

I had a German Cobalt. Beautiful Discus & cost $35 dollars. Quite a price for 1989.
I totally agree, Discus as well as many other species appear to be much weaker & prone to disease as compared to those decades ago.
I don't think I could handle three big WC's a week. That's dedication. Lol
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

I was looking, briefly, at doing discus this time around. The water changes were what put me off the most.
The challenge part I understand.
The other thing that has put me off about discus is that they do seem... boring. Like a Frontosa. Big. Beautiful. Doesn't seem to move around much.
But I've never kept discus (or fronts), so I really have no idea
 
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86 ssinit

Well my problem is I went planted. Been planted since the 80s and for me it’s just not worth it to not have them. Planted tanks look great but the majority of Discus keepers keep bare bottom. With German Discus they say you can go with just one 50% change a week in a bb tank.
 
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RollaPear

I loved the science behind planted tanks. Scaping, and building communities from the ground up with live plants as a key method of control and getting it all to be balanced was a thing for me. my first experience with cichlids was apistogrammas. They first I ever saw was this one


A vid so old it doesn't even have a playback in HD option. But after that vid I kept an apisto in every planted setup... I had heard of discus and seen a few vids on youtube but decided against them because people seemed to lose them at a rate higher than normal fish. And then I walked into a LFS and saw this strain of discus aka White Butterfly


_nc_ohc=KQw5agtJDgMAX9cRU88&_nc_ht=scontent-lhr8-1.jpg

I thought it was majestic. And I've been hooked ever since.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

Ho
I loved the science behind planted tanks. Scaping, and building communities from the ground up with live plants as a key method of control and getting it all to be balanced was a thing for me. my first experience with cichlids was apistogrammas. They first I ever saw was this one


A vid so old it doesn't even have a playback in HD option. But after that vid I kept an apisto in every planted setup... I had heard of discus and seen a few vids on youtube but decided against them because people seemed to lose them at a rate higher than normal fish. And then I walked into a LFS and saw this strain of discus aka White Butterfly


_nc_ohc=KQw5agtJDgMAX9cRU88&_nc_ht=scontent-lhr8-1.jpg

I thought it was majestic. And I've been hooked ever since.
How often do you change your water? That white butterfly is beautiful.
 
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Archangel8

I don't think keeping discus has been hard at all. Just my opinion.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

I think mostly I am curious about what they are like in the aquarium. Do they get lively? How much personality do they have? Or is it mostly about the beauty?
 
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JayAlva

I'm very new at keeping discus. But not fish. I loved their look calm swimming demeanor. The first few weeks I was worried because they were so shy didn't eat very much basically avoided me completely.
So I did reach out to 86 ssinit for advice and he's been solid even recommended a place to go too to pick up discus which ended up being an hour drive which saved me shipping costs.
Now as far as the fish go the water changes at first were tough but I've gotten a solid routine with them and they're thriving.
food is the other difficult issue I recommend really working with them to accept dry food flakes,granules, pellets. Mine will totally ignore those they'll eat blackworms brine shrimp freeze dried or frozen.
They still are skittish a little but are much more adventurous then before and I'm still learning a ton but I don't feel it's extremely difficult that any good fish keeper couldn't have, and by good I mean just doing your maintenance routine.

As far as what I've observed in my short time owning them. In my Aquarium I see them trying to work out a pecking order they mildly chase each other and are trying to establish dominance. I love their graceful swimming and when it's feeding time they're right at the top of the aquarium like a puppy waiting on a treat.
Mind you I got them the a month ago so this is all new experience.
 
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jmaldo

Since I started my "Wet Pet" journey. I have wanted a "Discus" tank. Fascinated by their size and beauty. During my extensive research, the successful keepers always mentioned not for rookies.
Decided a little over a year ago to give them a try. Have to admit, it was a daunting task at first. But... as it happened a few other members here were starting their own journey. A thread was started "The Discus Gang".
Discus Gang Updates | 420110 | Discus Fish
I see a few members of the "Discus" gang have responded.
We shared our "Trials and Tribulations" which was so helpful. The best part of it was we all had different setups and types of Discus. We all learned alot.
I have moved on, I now get my fix from the gang's posts.
Maybe I'll give them a try again in the future.
Just some pics.


Alpha Blue Diamond.jpg


Blue Diamond Discus Pair.jpg
 
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RollaPear

I think mostly I am curious about what they are like in the aquarium. Do they get lively? How much personality do they have? Or is it mostly about the beauty?

They get lively and have a ton of personality that evolves over time. Their courtship is almost swan like but their fights are viscious.


Ho
How often do you change your water? That white butterfly is beautiful.

I use a pond pump with 16/22mm tubing going from the tank to the sink and then temp matched water flowing from the tap (via a bucket) back into the tank.

I change 1-2 times a week. 16-20 minutes for 225 Litres.

So I did reach out to 86 ssinit for advice and he's been solid even recommended a place to go too to pick up discus which ended up being an hour drive which saved me shipping costs.

JayAlva I read through your post but I really wanted to highlight this specific point. 86 ssinit in my opinion is an underutilized and under appreciated resource. I have a similar story, not in terms of logistics, more so super solid advice via posts on my builds threads and through reading his posts.

I am on other discus forums and groups, now more than any time previous as I try to navigate this discus fry situation. But the most advice, tips, tricks, and know how I've learned about this species is via 86 ssinit
 
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JayAlva

Yes I didn't want to write a longer post but yes 86 saint gave me great advice and tips and I feel he well prepared me for them. I hope I gave him his proper credit. Irs awesome that someone can share their knowledge with you so selflessly.
 
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ProudPapa

When I retire I hope to have a large tank with them. I was tempted to get some early this year when I got the 65 gallon tank from my wife but decided on a community instead (and I'm very happy with it so far).

I especially like the blue ones like jmaldo posted.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

When I retire I hope to have a large tank with them. I was tempted to get some early this year when I got the 65 gallon tank from my wife but decided on a community instead (and I'm very happy with it so far).

I especially like the blue ones like jmaldo posted.
jmaldo s blues were fantastic. Pair those with that white butterfly.... oof
Sometimes I really miss having a big house/ more tank space
 
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JayAlva

Heres my setup it's unconventional by discus standards and I'll move everything if it doesn't work out, don't really like to share the setup because some won't agree with it and rather not explain or justify but in the spirit of sharing anytime I go near the tank they're begging for food.
(Betta is only in the bowl because i was cleaning out his 5 Gallon. going to completely rescape it.)

20201013_200011.jpg
20201013_195921.jpg
 
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Archangel8

I think it's a beautiful tank!
 
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86 ssinit

Looking good and it looks like they’ve grown!! Tank looks great.
 
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jmaldo

@JayAlva
Looks Good.
No need to "Justify" your choices. I even stopped visiting a well known "Discus" forum due to the condescending comments from members there. That was the beauty of being a member of the "Discus Gang" here, we all had different setups. Never a "Right" or "Wrong" way, just learning together.
During my journey, I started with a BB tank which included potted plants and eventually ended up with a "Planted Community with Discus".
Here a few pics.
Start

Start.jpg



Start 2.jpg


Planted.jpg

Good Luck to all, present and future "Discus" keepers.
 
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JayAlva

@JayAlva
Looks Good.
No need to "Justify" your choices. I even stopped visiting a well known "Discus" forum due to the condescending comments from members there. That was the beauty of being a member of the "Discus Gang" here, we all had different setups. Never a "Right" or "Wrong" way, just learning together.
During my journey, I started with a BB tank which included potted plants and eventually ended up with a "Planted Community with Discus".
Here a few pics.
Start

Start.jpg



Start 2.jpg


Planted.jpg

Good Luck to all, present and future "Discus" keepers.
I love your blue discus I'm waiting on the place I get my discus from to get a new order so I can get a pair of blue ones.
 
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