When selecting Discus...
1. Make sure they eat well. Have the person throw food in the tank. Select the Discus
that are ones going for the food first.
2. Make sure it is not sick (NO noticeable markings, NO clamped fins, NO white stringy poo or no worms coming out of anus)
3. Make sure the Discus
does not hide by itself in the corner. This is usually a sign of illness.
4. Bright colors. Make sure the fish is not dark, almost black.
There are higher quality Discus
that can be found. The signs to look for...
does not look stunted. If the eyes look larger in proportion to the size of the fish, then the fish is stunted.
2. No broken stress bars. Most Discus
have vertical (up/down) black bars that run across their body. These usually show when the fish become stressed. If the bars MUST run straight from top to bottom. It MAY also indicate the Discus
could have some kind of spinal problem.
3. No peppering. Some Discus
(pigeon blood, red melons, etc.) that do not have stress bars, will have some black spots on their body, which is most prominent above the mouth, also around the face and above the eyes, but also can cover the rest of the body. The peppering also occurs if the fish become stressed. Do not select the fish that have allot of peppering. FYI, some will get slightly peppered if stressed, which eventually goes away.
4. Round bodies.
Here's a pic of my Discus with the straight stress bars
Here is a pic of my pigeon blood with peppering
Here's a pic of my red melons with very little or no peppering
You may find a Discus
that eats well and looks healthy, but does not qualify as a higher quality Discus
, you may select it if it appeals to you.
Red Turquoise (aka Red Turqs) are one of the most common Discus
found, so they should be sold very cheap.
Do not select wild Discus
as your first Discus
. They usually contain pathogens (since carried from the wild) and are harder to keep, since they need to be closer to their environment from which they came from.
Keep in mind, Discus
do better in groups, since they feel more comfortable around each other. Buy at least 4-5 at a time. If you are buying a 2nd group of Discus
, make sure you quarantine them for 2-3 weeks.
It's cheaper to buy young Discus
(under 4"). Unfortunately, young or juvenile Discus
need to be fed several times during the day and the left over food need to be removed along with the waste. Therefore, it's best to keep the tank barebottom until they become mature. Make sure the bottom of the tank is covered so it cannot see through it.
You should feed Discus
a variety of foods, like beefheart, FBW (frozen blood worms), fish flakes, tetra bits, etc. You can feed live foods (california black worms, red worms, etc.), but I normally don't like to, since the worms may carry pathogens, which may make the fish ill.
It's cheaper to prepare your own beefheart. All that is required is obtaining beefheart (normally through a butcher or some other kind of meat market), then removing the veins & fat (the butcher may do this for you). You can then grind it (the butcher may also do this for you) and package them into smaller bags for freezing to be used later. When you do grind it, it's best to mix garlic extract, shrimp, spirulina, Discus
vitamins, to provide the Discus
a healthy meal.