Discus turning black and not eating

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by cleshock, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. cleshockNew MemberMember

    healthy discus same variety (1).JPGsickly discus (1).JPGsickly discus (2).jpgsickly discus (3).JPG

    I purchased 5 discus from an online store 2 weeks ago. 4/5 are doing well and eating like all of the other fish in the tank. One of them, however, has not eaten since it arrived.

    The discus that has not eaten is not moving around and I don't think it is going to last much longer. Any recommendations on what I can do?

    The water parameters are:
    - ph 6.3
    - ammonia 0
    - nitrite (will test once test tubes have dried)
    - hardness (same as nitrite)

    Other fish in tank:
    - 10 congo dwarf cichlids
    - 3 pearl gouramis
    - 1 paradise fish
    - 3 kuli loaches

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  2. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Discus need warm water, around 82F if I'm not mistaken. You didn't mention what your tank temperature was.

    The last case I heard of fish turning black (where an ID was made on the cause, at least) was high nitrite, causing an issue with oxygenation within the fish. The sooner you find out your nitrite values, the better. How long have you had these fish? How did you acclimate them?

  3. SiggiWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore.

    Sometimes fish just can't adapt to new surroundings. Can't or won't...
    Not much to do about these odd situations, really.
    It could have come from the retailer with some issue which became evident by the stress during transport.
    If your water is good, don't blame yourself.

    I know that some of the members of Fishlore know most of the main discus breeders in the US ("Disc61" comes to my mind...), so wait and see if any of them can help you, as they are also more knowledgeable in keeping discus.

  4. cleshockNew MemberMember

    sorry, the temp is 80, but I'm trying to get it up to 84. As for the acclimation, I did what somethingsphishy told me to do. I acclimated the temp and then opened the bags and put them in right away. I'll tell you about the nitrite tomarow. Also, I did a water change today
  5. beginnerValued MemberMember

    I only know what jack wattely would say and that the proper temp for discus is 82. 84 or 85 is best for maximum growth but he says he likes 82
  6. AlanGreeneWell Known MemberMember

    I think you are meant to acclimate discus quite slowly, when I got my discus I used the drip method. I put him in a container with the water he came in, then slowly dripped my tank water in to the container over about an hour so that he could get used to my water conditions slowly, it seemed to work quite well
  7. GordinianWell Known MemberMember

    What size is the tank?

    Welcome to fishlore :)
  8. Tigress HillWell Known MemberMember

    :sign0016: to the forum! Please fill out your aquarium profile information; this will allow us to assist you in less time and provide more precise answers:)
  9. AlanGreeneWell Known MemberMember

    I keep my cardinals and discus at 28c which I think is around 82f
  10. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, you definitely want to drip-acclimate a sensitive fish like a discus. Temperature-matching alone leaves them open to a shock to their system from having to adjust to hardness, pH, dissolved solids, etc very sharply.
  11. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Drop and Plop


    Good morning and Welcome to Fish Lore!

    Check out post #7 in the above link by Slug. He uses the Drop and Plop method for his Discus.

    During the short time that I kept Discus (lost 15 due to a 3 day power outage years ago) once the fish turns dark, they did not recover and I lost the fish.





    Links of interest above.

    starhanging.gif If you would be so kind, please complete your Aquarium Profile Information. This information will aid others with any responses they may have to your questions.

    To access the Profile click on Forum Actions in the bar close to the top of the screen. In the drop down box, click on Edit Profile. Be sure to hit SAVE when you are done.

    Best wishes for your tank and fish.

  12. luke355027355027Well Known MemberMember

    As said before just floating the bag only changes the temperature. If you just float the bag and release them you have to remember they are going into completely different water. While it probably won't kill your fish it will definitely add stress
  13. cleshockNew MemberMember

    He died this morning. Thank you for all of your replies. I didn't acclimate them like I thought I should (the drip method) because the website had a logical suggestion: To not open the bag until the very end because then the CO2 would leave, causing the pH to rise, which causes the amonium to become its toxic form, amonia. The rapid rise of amonia kills the fish or at least stresses them alot.
  14. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your discus. They are such lovely fish.

    I hope the rest of them are still doing alright and that they will continue to do well
  15. AlanGreeneWell Known MemberMember

    We all as fish keepers will experience loss, all you can do is your best.. if your on here asking questions then you clearly care about your fishes welfare so keep your chin up and keep on going, sorry for your loss Cle
  16. Tigress HillWell Known MemberMember

    That's why you add double-dosed prime to the bag upon opening:)
  17. cleshockNew MemberMember

    Hi everybody, I tested for nitrite and it was 0. I have one last question: is it normal for my discus to be fighting a lot?
  18. Tigress HillWell Known MemberMember

    Once again, what size tank is it? They will most likely fight if it is too small.
  19. SlugWell Known MemberMember

    I personally use drop and plop method, have for years. Your acclimation is fine and the company is right for telling you so, however I can't speak for the company's quality of fish because as we see here its not good. They are not a reputable source. Sorry to hear it died.

    How are the others doing? I ask because I believe you got sick fish from the start, and if one had it chances of the others having it are high.

    If you need a list of reputable dealers in the US let me know, I can PM you some names/contacts. Where are you located in the US, might be one near you? And of course I would make sure the others are not sick before adding anymore, especially from a reputable breeder.

    EDIT: Fighting is typical, especially with stressted/new fish. They are cichlids after all. IME, they start fighting around the 3-4" range once they hit that subadult stage.
  20. cleshockNew MemberMember

    My tank is a 60 gallon

    The other fish in the tank are doing fine, but one of them has some battle wounds from its fights with the other discus. The discus are all different color variations, so they came from different tanks.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2012

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