Discus Spazzing out

  1. stashattack Member Member

    We have 2 juvinile discus that we purchased about 2 weeks ago, and they were fine, up until this past weekend. One of them has started spazzing out, and hiding all the time now. This started on Friday. We treated the tank before we added them in for any parasites and ich before we put them in the tank. We have/had cardinals in there before the discus were placed in there.

    They have been eating flake food, and been doing fine for 2 weeks now. We have not see any evidence of parasites or any other illnesses, and we cannot figure out what this could be. Has anyone experienced this?

    Water params are:

    Am: 0
    Ni: 0
    Na: 10
  2. stashattack Member Member

    Also the tetras are vibrant, eating well and doing fine. So we are really confused. We have done water changes, but their behavior hasn't changed.
  3. Castiel* Well Known Member Member

    What is your PH at?

    Also wondering what size tank they are in?
  4. stashattack Member Member

    The ph is holding at 7.6 and the tank size is 55g
  5. Slug Well Known Member Member

    Can you please describe the spazzing a bit more in detail? Does it happen randomly or just when a light is turned on or someone walks by the tank? After it freaks out does it spin in circles?
  6. stashattack Member Member

    So it kind of happens randomly. The one will just all of a sudden freak out will hit random sides of the tank and/or drift wood, before going and hiding. Currently we have only noticed it when the lights are on in the tank. Last night he freaked out and then dove into the gravel. He stayed there for a few minutes, breathing heavily before swimming back off to his hiding spot.
  7. Castiel* Well Known Member Member

    OK, I'm not completely familiar with those symptoms! I was generalizing for diagnosis, this sounds more localized to Discus.

    Hopefully somebody can help! Sick fishies is never fun.
  8. Slug Well Known Member Member

    If its not whirling in circles after it spazzes out thats a good sign. Could still be something wrong with it however. Are any of the other fish doing it at all or just this one?

    Whats your water change schedule? My first suggestion would do a WC and keep watching, you might want to keep the lights off or dim them somehow. Could just be a really jumpy fish and any bump in the house, person walking by, shadow, etc making it freak out.
  9. stashattack Member Member

    No, it's just the one fish. Though the other discus seems more skitish now that the other one is spazzing out on a daily basis.

    Water changes are currently once a week, but we have been doing more because of the occurrences.
  10. stashattack Member Member

    Can you describe what the whirling looks like?
  11. stashattack Member Member

    He seems to be breathing really hard. Idk if that's because of another spazz out or if there is more going on. He does seem like he can't handle the current our 2 filters are putting into the tank.
  12. Slug Well Known Member Member

    Whirling usually happens after the fish freaks out, and it literally swims in circles. Can either circle where it is or circle upwards or downwards but its just tight spinning circles.

    Is the fish using both gills to breath? Or is one stuck closed?

    Its hard to say what is wrong with it without being able to watch it. If its still taking food I would try to either soak its food in metro or feed metro flakes and start there along with a good WC regime.
  13. stashattack Member Member

    He does that some times. Both gills are open. And I haven't notice him eating for the past couple of days
  14. Slug Well Known Member Member

    If he is whirling I would treat the whole tank with metro, and feed metro flake if they will take it. I had success beating this whirling by doing a water change then dosing pure metro (1/4 tsp per 20gal), raising the temp in the tank, and covering the entire tank with towels or blankets or whatever....almost a total blackout.

    What myself and some others have found with this whirling is that doing large water changes seemed to trigger the behavior. Do something under 50%, not a huge one. I've never seen more than one discus whirl at a time in the tank, and they seem to die from the beating they take darting around the tank. Its something we really don't understand quite yet as a disease, or a true method of treatment. I know at least 3 of us that have experienced this with our wild discus and have "cured" it by limiting our WC size and using the above metro treatment with a blackout of the tank.

    Here is a thread on Simplydiscus you might find interesting. Its a bit advanced, even for me but it might be worth a read or poking through it. Like I said its all a guessing game still at this point as no one has ever really diagnosed this officially. http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showthread.php?115050-Whirling-Disease&highlight=Whirling
  15. stashattack Member Member

    Thank you Slug, I think you are on to something.

    We will take those actions but I have a few more questions.

    First is metro carried by like petco/smart? or should we order it online?

    Also how high should the temp be raised?

    Do we dose the tank once? Or continually every day or every other day as long as we see them doing this.

    The thing is, our discus aren't wild, so it seems weird that they would get this... Could the cardinals been carriers or could have plants been? We got our discus from Discus Hans.

    We haven't done any large water changes recently. The most "drastic" thing we have done to the tank is add another bubbler to it. The only thing that I could really think that could have set this off is that they are the only other discus in the tanks and need more companions. Clearly that won't happen until we can fix what's going on in the tank but still...
  16. stashattack Member Member

    Alright, we picked up some metro, I have dosed the tank and we have blacked it out with blankets. Fingers are crossed.
  17. Slug Well Known Member Member

    Sorry have been at work all morning.

    I would just monitor your temp, I never hit a specific benchmark but covering the tank seemed to keep the heat in making it effective enough. Just slight increase. I'd say you would be ok going into the low 90s depending on your temp currently.

    Metro only stays active for about 8-12 hours. I'd start with a treatment a day for 7 days personally and see how it goes. I would do about a 50% water change and then redose the full amount of metro each day. After 7 days give them a week (5-7 days) break from treatment and observe. If they still exhibit the same symptoms then you can consider another round of treatment.

    This has been found in domestic discus as well, but it seems to be more prevalent in wilds....at least people reporting it anyway. I couldn't say one way or another about cardinals or plants being carriers, though I would say not likely as I only had discus in the tank straight from an importer that had this happen.
  18. stashattack Member Member

    Thanks for the info slug. Unfortunately, the discus didn't make it. He must have died early this morning or last night. We will continue to treat the tank to make sure that the other discus doesn't get sick, or at least gets cured if he is already sick.
  19. Slug Well Known Member Member

    Very sorry to hear this. One downside to this condition/disease/sickness whatever it is, is that the fish tends to go very quickly after it shows up. It just can't handle the blunt force trauma and stress it experiences crashing into tank walls, rocks, and other decorations. I've lost one 24 hours after it showing up before.
  20. stashattack Member Member

    Well now that we've seen this once, hopefully we can catch it earlier next time if it happens.

    Thank you for all of your help!