New Discus Pair not eating 20 Gallon Tank 

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Elwyn

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Hello!

I've got two large tanks of Discus I've been caring for this past year, been through most horror stories already, so I'm familiar with common causes of fish stress and I do daily maintenance to ensure happiness and prosperity.

That aside, I purchased a beautiful discus pair from a reliable source about 5 days ago, but they have yet to eat anything. I figure they're still stressed from their new environment (alone in the tank, no other companions). All water parameters are good. I'm wondering, after 5 days without food, what I should do if they don't start eating soon!
 

e_watson09

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First off welcome to fishlore.

You stated in the title this is a 20 gallon tank and this is much too small for discus. It would help if you posted your water parameters. Also what do you consider a "reliable source" I consider that like a internet website that is good, not really a place you can get fish. Was it from a pet store, local fish shop, walmart, a friend, internet? Also it'd be helpful to know if you know about how long the person who had them before you had them.
 
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As this is a discus pair, they being the only two in the tank, my understanding is that 20 gallon's is a good size for breeding.

As for the source, he is a person who breeds his own Discus and I have purchased several from him over the past year, and they've all been very healthy and strong.

Both Discus in the 20 look fine, they show no signs of stress, color is good. Ph is currently at 7.0 (a little high) temp is 87 and I do a gallon water change per day using distilled water and adding "discus essentials" to ammend the minerals lost in distillation.
 

Elodea

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From what I have researched, the preferred, and possibly minimum, tank size for breeding discus is a 30 gallon high. Although bioload does not become the greatest problem involving the tank, discus are very tall fish that require a tall tank to feel comfortable in.

Also, does anyone else here think that 87 degrees Fahrenheit is a bit warm for discus? I was thinking along the lines of 82-84 degrees.

It may help if the tank was heavily planted with tall, grassy plants such as vallisneria, as the discus will feel much more secure.
 
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Elwyn

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I'm using this 20 for my breeding pair only because it's convenient, and I've succesfully rescued some other Discus using this tank in the past. So it may be a little small, but I don't think this is the cause of them not eating.

I picked these up on Saturday and it's now Thursday. I've tried feeding them small amounts of premium foods: dry, frozen brine shrimp, beef heart and flake. They're not going for it.
 

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Chris123

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Is it a 20H?

If it is I know one of or members Slug keeps his in 20gs

Hopefully Slug will see this soon and give some advice as for me I clueless when it comes to Discus

Good luck

Chris
 

claudicles

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You have probably thought of this already but are you feeding what the breeder fed them? It makes a difference in dogs, I'm not sure about discus
 
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That's an excellent suggestion and one that I will follow up on (find what the breeder fed them).

They're starting to pick at the frozen brine shrimp now. Thanks for all your help.
 

Slug

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Your 20 gallon is perfectly fine for them.

My suggestions is to try some frozen bloodworms. They usually go nuts for those. Discus are notorious for taking days to eat after getting in your tanks. Unless they are getting really really skinny or have sunken bellies I wouldn't worry to much yet. Keep trying the frozen brine shrimp and try some frozen bloodworms and see how that does.

As far as temp goes, a wide variety is accepted. 87 is fine, mine get up around that (hot climate makes the house hot), 82-85 is probably ideal. Are the fish breathing hard by chance or do they seem to normal other then just not eating?
 

btate617

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With the food claudicles probably has it. Cichlids, especially mature adult (I say mature since you said you bought them as a pair) turn picky once they are use to eating a certain food. IF there are no other problems with their health I wouldn't be concerned with them not eating for 4 days, give it more time. Better yet if you are buying from a local breeder next time bring home some of the food they use.

I also wouldn't be concerned about the tank size you are using, not for someone who is not new to Discus.


Brian
 

Elodea

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Oops, sorry Elwyn. Shouldv'e researched more carefully before posting. Maybe I should stick to the "Freshwater Invertebrates" section from now on.
 
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Last night I noticed one of them producing a clear-to-white poo that suggests parasites, so I'll be medicating them starting today using metronidazole. Done this once before with great success, rescuing three of them from what seemed a hopless situation.

Will give an update in a week on their progress.
 
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Treating with Metranozinal didn't seem to help much after a week, still no difference. Talked to my fish dealer and he recommended Praziquantel. Within a week the infected fish was eliminating the parasites continuously for 2 weeks now. Only started eating recently when fed live black worms (washed thoroughly) and is now active and showing character for the first time. I'm not sure if there is a better treatment than Praziquantel, but it does appear to work well for this type of infestation. I am continuing treatment, changing the water every third day until all the flukes are gone.
 

chrisb01

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OK, I've never bred Discus myself, but I shared a fish room in NYC with a friend that did in large numbers.

I think that the best thing to induce appetite is live foods, when they see something moving in the water, they will go for it.

Another thing, and this also applies to Angelfish (which I did breed for a long time), A pair might be breeding well in a tank, half the time when you move them to a different environment they might never breed again. I hate to be the bearer of bad news.

I cringe when I see an ad for a breeding pair of Discus or Angelfish for sale. You might move those Discus and they may never breed again.

Chris
 

Slug

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PrazI is what you want to treat for tapeworms, its a good treatment. Glad yours has been successful so far. You should see them coming out of the fish, and it might freak you out. Its normal for them to come out of the fish during treatment. Its also quite gross.

Did you dilute your prazI in water or vodka? Or use another form of prazI (prazipro)?

PrazI is for Tapeworms, Fenbendazole or Levamisole is for Nematodes.
 
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I use the recommended dose of one tsp per 20 gallons (powder form). I have a blender I use for mixing my medications so it gets thoroughly disolved. After big water change (80%) I mix in the prazi.

And yes, the worms have been leaving my infected Discus for over 2 weeks. Must have been a dozen or so worms 8 inches or longer and still counting. The live food is what turned her around, as she's eating, improved color and activity. Hopefully will return to spawning soon.
 

Slug

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Good to hear. I've seen discus pass around 30 or so worms before, and a lot of times people would never know they are there. You should also start seeing more growth on the fish as well, as these worms just suck the nutrients right out of the food that they eat so it leaves nothing for the fish. Unless they are adults already then the worms won't affect them as much.
 
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From my past year of success and failures, I have learned the following about raising discus
1) Don't overstock your tank unless you like to do huge water changes every day
2) 10 gallons water per adult
3) In my 80 gallon tank with 7 discus I do 5 gallon water change per day minimum
4) Mix up their diet, feeding dry food, frozen blood worms, frozen brine shrimp and beef heart. 3 feedings per day, enough so that most of it gets consumed in the first minute or two and no more.
5) Ph isn't as big of a deal as most people say, mine being around 7.4 (which is high for Discus) but as the water is always clean, there's never a problem.
6) Water temperature at 84-90 degrees F
7) Planted tank, gravel, bare bottom tank doesn't make any difference as long as the water is changed frequently.
8) When adding new discus to your tank, re-arrange the plants and ornaments if you have them, so the new Discus won't be the only one in a new environment.
9) If your Discus appear sick, get them into a hospital tank, change water every other day and medicate, keeping water temp at 90-92
 

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Elwyn, I agree with everything that you listed, same goes for Angelfish.

Discus and Angels have been out of the river for so long, they don't give a dang about PH anymore.
 
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