Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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silent world 02-27-2007 10:12 AM

Hi all,
I have just purchased my first fish after setting up and maturing my tank.
My intended tank mates were to be, 3 discus, 3 angels, 1 bristlenose ancistrus, one flying fox and a shoal of cardinal tetras. However, my first purchase was two discus and two angels. One discus was a German red/turquoise, the other a cobalt blue. Both about 2" long. When I eventually tipped the fish in, almost immediately the cobalt blue started going for the other discus. It has discovered that the German red is extremely timid and does not retaliate to the cobalt blue's attacks and so the latter continually chases the other one about, pecking it every opportunity. I took the villain back to the shop and the dealer kindly exchanged it for another of the same variety. Unfortunately the same thing has occurred! I don't feel comfortable with taking the second fish back again. As this is my first time keeping discus, although I have read much on the subject, I am at a quandary as to what to do about it. I was wondering if I need more discus in the tank? I have decided to keep just the two angels because they get on so well together and don't bother the discus, and visa versa. I think I will get two more discus, making their total 4 instead of 3.
I notice that while the attacked fish occasionally shows its colours well when being attacked, usually it goes a dark colour. This I realise is it's normal stressed colours! The attacker (the cobalt blue) usually displays vivid colours when attacking. Is this normal? I was wondering (but very dubious) if it may be a mating characteristic and that the pursuing is not all aggression. I think I hoping too much there am I not?
Can anyone assist me in solving my problem please? :(
Silent World

scottysgirl 02-27-2007 11:55 AM

Sounds like pure aggression to me, attacking fish will usually become brightly colored as they are showing their dominance. I would recommend getting more discus (providing your tank is big enough), that should keep the aggression to a minimum.

silent world 02-27-2007 12:01 PM


Originally Posted by scottysgirl
Sounds like pure aggression to me, attacking fish will usually become brightly colored as they are showing their dominance. I would recommend getting more discus (providing your tank is big enough), that should keep the aggression to a minimum.

Thought that may be a possibilty, :thankyou:

Silent world

soco1125 02-27-2007 04:12 PM

Yup... deep down, discus are still cichlids. Having 6 or so gives enough individuals for the agression to be spread out thinner and no one fish is on the recieving end of it all.

silent world 02-28-2007 07:26 AM

OK then, I'm definitely getting a total of 6 discus. I'll let you know what happens in a couple of weeks or so. At present I'm hardly seeing my current two! They stay mainly at the back of the tank hidden behind rock and plant. Not feeding much yet either (after 1 week) :(
Silent World

soco1125 02-28-2007 09:02 AM

It may be 2 weeks or so before they're finally comfortable enough to come out.

Arash 02-28-2007 10:57 PM

hi there

If they are two inches there must be no problem with attacking( the same size) it's their nature.

let me ask you what is your tank size?

if the agression is two much it's because of a little stress.

of course the young cobalt are stronger than others (in new places and situation) so they become more aggressive to have the better place of the aquarium.
and you will be wondered (of course this is a guess)If I say your young cobalt is a female.
If you want to reduce the agression try to makes more places like plants , rocks , drift woods , ...
feed them with live foods and also frozen blood worms.
young needs about three times feeding each day.
and also if you want to see the got paired you have to buy at list six of the same type.
regards and good luck

fuzz16 03-01-2007 10:01 AM

yes, it would be helpful to know your tank size.
go with maybe 5 discus, it will mess up the pecking order a bit. having even numebred discus leads to more aggression.

silent world 03-01-2007 01:10 PM

Three good responses to my post, thanks guys. In answer to the questions..
My tank size is 36"x15"x12". It is well planted with three artificial plants to hide the background bits (heater & pipes) and several swords and Java fern etc. and rock with bog wood.
Since last post I have taken the aggressive blue back and exchanged it. When I placed the new discus in the tank it soon started attacking the poor old red. I have been back to the shop and purchased another 4 discus, all about 2" long. As soon as they were set free they were receiving pecks as usual from the resident blue again. It is their first day so it's early yet, I realise I've got to give them time to settle in, so we'll see how things develop in the next couple of weeks or so. My angels are little darlings, although one seems to like to interfere when the discus are squabbling. It goes right into the thick of them and slides along side them, but soon darts off when a discus goes to peck it. It does not attack anything itself. Thanks again.
Silent World

Arash 03-03-2007 11:29 PM

hi there ofcourse there is not any exact standard for discus but many discus keepers think that you need 10 gallons of fresh water for each adults.

and when you want them grow well the bigger the better.
( near the 10 g the better)
but don't worry you have a good tank as I read.

but it is recommended that do not buy more discus and also other big fishes.
struggle for better places are natural behavior and remember your discus must be the biggest fish in your tank otherwise you will see if the angels (for example)grow more they never let your discus eat because they are very timid.

so you have 6 discus 2" and how many of others?

try to keep the tank temp about 82 to 86 fa depends on the situation.

feed them 3 or 4 times a day as much as they eat about 6 to 10 minutes ( don't feed them a lot at once because the water quality changes in a bad mood. try to give them various foods because they need a various diet.
and water cycling about 5% to 10% daily and if you have lots of plants you can do it in a longer period

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