Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Jay Ack 11-16-2008 10:43 PM

My discus fish are not growing....
i have 3 discus fish in a 20 gallon tank. ive had them for about 3 months now and they are not growing. i feed them twice a day with blood worms. i am getting a 85 gallon tank in 3 days will that change the growth of the fish?

iamntbatman 11-17-2008 01:01 AM

They need a more varied diet than just the bloodworms. The bloodworms alone aren't a nutritionally balanced food. Also, the small tank size could be stunting their growth, especially if nitrates are an issue. I would recommend moving them to a larger tank as soon as possible as well as providing them with a more varied diet. A discus pellet would be a good staple, supplemented by bloodworms, tubifex, live blackworms and beefheart. Also, many people feed their young discus three times daily.

1077 11-17-2008 04:06 AM

I agree with batman. If these are juvenile fish they need a varied diet such as batman suggested. Frozen brine shrimp or freezedried spirulina based brine shrimp, Ocean nutritions cichlid flake food, could also help your fishes growth. It is also true that those who keep young discus feed them up to four times per day ,some feed more. due to the number of feedings it becomes critical to siphon the excess food from the bottom on a daily basis to keep the small discus healthy. Two to three water changes per week will also help keep the water in pristine condition which discus , especially young ones must have. Temp. in the tank should be a steady 84 degrees 0ammonia, 0 nitrites, and nitrates below 20 ten would be ideal. Due to the feedings necessary for growth of small discus most who raise them use bare bottom tanks to make cleaning the waste produced by the fish and from excess food easier. Once the fish are grown to adults then twice a day feedings are ok. Hope some of this helps.;-) PS even adult discus will do better with a variety of foods .

Jay Ack 11-21-2008 12:09 PM

thanks guys but...
i tried to give them tropical granules they dont eat it. and i even tried brine shrimp to. they only eat blood worms. does my subtrate matter? i have white sand as my substrate.

1077 11-21-2008 12:36 PM

Keep trying with the granules and brine shrimp eventually they will eat it. I have two small ones that wouldn't eat them for nearly a week but fially did. I use tetra bits and frrezedried spirulina based brine shrimp along with beef heart, frozen blood worms, ocean nutrition cichlid flake, cichlid crisps, and freezedried tubifex. If they refuse it let it sit for an hour then remove it with gravel vac or turkey baster and try again in five or six hours. Discus are sometimes leary of new foods but they cannot survive on one food alone. Your substrate is ok it will just make cleaning it a little more tricky. Don't push the vaccum down into the sand just hover above it and stir it with a plastic fork while vaccuming. Two to three water changes a week will help promote growth and encourage appetites of both young and old discus. You may also wish to visit

Lupin 11-21-2008 09:43 PM

What size are these discus? If they are below 4 inches, a barebottom tank is a must. Juveniles require plenty of feedings therefore daily water changes should be in order to cope with the wastes. Substrate can trap dirt so if your water quality deteriorates rather quickly, the fish becomes stunted.

panamera 11-21-2008 10:21 PM

blood worms should be a once in a week max snack man. everyday not good. too much protein in your water will mess up the chemicals. and 3 discuss in a 20 gallon tank was bad to begin with. how do you expect them to grow in that. they'll be better in the bigger tank =)

Highland lake13 11-21-2008 10:27 PM

A would suggest frequent water changes as-well as a change in diet. Try brine ship(freeze dried), along with other types of small shrimp.


cerianthus 11-21-2008 11:29 PM

I don't know about the Brine Shrimp. Discus are originally from Very soft and acidic water. I don't think high salt content food is ideal choice as part of main dish. Fz Mosquito larvae, bloodworm, beef hearts ( need more maintenace), staples (flakes, mini pellets) are better and safer choices, IMO.

Sydneysider 12-01-2008 05:38 PM

Discus need extrememly good water conditions and a much bigger water volume that you have. Brine shrimp (although the fish like it) is not nutritional at all. They need a good quality food, as they grow Beef heart is the best, as they are big meat eaters. You need to do regular water changes as said earlier to keep the Nitrates down, otherwise you will lose your Discus.

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