Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
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-   -   how many discus??? (

fish-freak 02-21-2008 12:56 PM

how many discus???
how many discus can live happily in a 40 gallon tank with a blood parrot, 1 convict cichlid(not aggressive at all), 1 firemouth cichlid, 1 bristenose pleco, 1 yellow lab and a clown pleco. Thanks

bettababy 02-21-2008 02:06 PM

Not only is that tank not big enough for most of the fish you listed, discus will need different water params than the others.
Discus are very sensitive to everything and not an easy fish to keep in any size tank. The yellow lab is an Affrican cichlid which needs hard water and is primarily vegetarian. The other cichlids are Central American cichlids, which will need softer water. Those 2 groups will need temps about 78 - 80. Discus would need softer water than the others and temps about 85 - 86.

If you have any of these fish in a 40 gallon tank right now then I have to assume they are very young. Firemouth averages 7 inches full grown, convict 5 - 7 (depending on male/female), blood parrot 8 inches, bristlenose about 5 - 7 inches, and clown pleco 7 - 10 inches.

To safely attempt to mix most of these fish long term the tank size would have to be at least 125 gallons or more.

To safely keep 2 discus and the 2 plecos, at least 90 gallons will be needed long term.

fish-freak 02-21-2008 02:31 PM

clown plecos are dwarf plecos and they only grow to 4 inches as are bristlenose pleco. convicts only need a 30 gallon as do firemouths, well thats what it said on the web. Also the book i have said that blood parrots only need a 39 gallo n because it is not very active. I did do my research before buying the fishes. Central American fishes actually do best in moderately hard water. I know i made a mistake by buying the yellow lab. I don't know what to do with it. The pet store wouldn't let me return it. But can i really not fit any discus in my tank?

bettababy 02-21-2008 04:11 PM

Clown and bristlenose plecos average about 7 inches full grown, I can say this first hand from 10+ yrs of experience in raising and breeding them. They also are known for the amount of food they require, they have huge appetites.
As for the firemouth and convicts.. if you are keeping 1 of these in a tank, yes, you can get away with 30 - 40 gallons for each of them, but together, not. The other problem is going to be aggression levels as the fish grow. The convict cichlds are extremely aggressive and territorial, and are likely to kill any of the others you've listed if kept together long term in a 40 gallon tank. My last female convict had to have a tank to herself because she ate everything, including a 7 inch oscar... she was only 3 inches at the time, and this happened overnight after 3 months of peace. She was there temporary, waiting for someone's tank to be ready for her... nothing survived that fish and that was in 75 gallons.
As for the parrot fish, active or not, they get large and need space, territory, and clean water. With all of those fish in a 40 gallon tank long term, all that will happen is they will slowly poison themselves with the waste levels that are unavoidable, and tear each other up as they grow and need more space.

As for discus, they need a very large tank (minimum of about 75 - 90 gallons just for a pair). Discus average about 8 inches around when full grown. Discus also need very peaceful tankmates. None of your fish qualifies for this except the plecos. Discus also require a pH of about 6.0 and can't survive in harder water. Discus are not an easy fish to keep, but there is no way to keep them mixed with what you have in any size tank. Discus by themselves should start as small in at least 55 gallons for 2 - 3 of them and move up from there.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but there is no way to make that work. That is not possible no matter how you attempt it. Instead of getting more fish I would suggest working on properly providing for what you already have.

Gage 02-21-2008 08:05 PM

ive never seen a clown (assuming your talking about Panaque maccus) bigger then 4" and thats including tail, i will only believe they reach 7" when i see a pic with a ruler next to it.

herefishy 02-21-2008 08:27 PM


bettababy 02-21-2008 11:32 PM

Considering I don't work at the store anymore, don't have as easy access to some things as I used to, I can't provide a picture with a ruler next to it, I can only tell you from my experience. If I should ever return to breeding them, I will keep your request in mind and take some photos. My last clown was 6.75 inches when he was 5 yrs old, but that was many yrs ago and I never got any pictures of him with a ruler next to him because I never saw a need.

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