Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Discus & Angels (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/cichlids/discus-angels-642/)

Tracy 09-27-2006 12:19 AM

Discus & Angels
 
Okay, I am about to purchase another aquarium because I would like to have Discus. I would like some info about whether they can be kept with large angels; also the temperature, PH and so on, that the Discus require. someone told me years ago, that Discus are hard to keep. I know they are quite expensive. If I get a 30 gallon aquarium, how many Discus and Angels (sclarare) can I keep?

Lupin 09-27-2006 12:30 AM

Discus being hard is just only a hearsay. Don't knock it 'til you try it.
For 30 gallons tank, you are settled to only a pair three of either discus or angelfish. I'd say you go over 55 gallons tank as the minimum as keeping 6 discus is a possibility with about 4 large scalare angels.

I'll warn you that scalare angels tend to eat like pigs so make sure the discus get their fair share. Mine did eat like pigs but the discus and rams were able to get their fair share by spreading the food all over the tank.:checkedout: The kuhli loach, bristlenose and pencilfish tend to forage all over the tank for uneaten food.:crazy:

I do daily water changes of 20% in case you may ask how I maintain my tank.:thumbsup:

Tracy 09-27-2006 12:37 AM

Thanks, Blue :) So if I keep just Discus in the 30 gallon, can I have 5 of them? I had also heard (so many years ago from a friend of mine whose husband said that Discus are picky), that the Ph and temperature has to be so perfect for them. Do they like it 82F? I can always add driftwood to the tank to soften the water (the water here is very hard and has a high PH)

Lupin 09-27-2006 12:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue_gourami45
Thanks, Blue :) So if I keep just Discus in the 30 gallon, can I have 5 of them? I had also heard (so many years ago from a friend of mine whose husband said that Discus are picky), that the Ph and temperature has to be so perfect for them. Do they like it 82F? I can always add driftwood to the tank to soften the water (the water here is very hard and has a high PH)

In a 30 gallons, only 3 will obviously fit.
They are picky eaters, yes, so do ensure you buy a wide range of foods because if you feed them only one type of food, obviously they'll refuse the rest of foods and you'll see them not perfectly healthy at all.
Try shrimps, beefhearts, bloodworms, mussels, dried foods and brine shrimps.
Avoid live foods which will often carry pathogens thus causing your discus to fall ill.

The way people say, discus needs perfect water, is completely wrong. The better term is ideal. The discus will adapt to wide range of water conditions. My advice is to keep your tank clean and simple. If you maintain your tank quite well, you won't have problems with discus.

Actually they're not that difficult as others say. They are difficult only because those who kept them tend to neglect them.:wink2:

Discus do need warm temps so ensure your other fish can tolerate the temp of 28-30 degrees Celsius. I tried to use the heater but it killed my neons and cories as temp was 28.:blink: This means some fish will never tolerate high temps. If you want tankmates for discus, go with cardinal tetras who can handle warmer temps better than neons.

I don't use heater now as I live in the tropics where temps tend to fluctuate.

IMO, you shouldn't worry too much on pH. As I said, discus will adapt.:wink2:

Blue_gourami45, it's best that you buy a 55 gallons tank. I really won't recommend 3 discus for starters. You would imagine 2 dominant discus harassing the least ranking of their family. The minimum number recommended is 4 but 6 is better and 6 will fit in a 55 gallons tank.

For more info on what fish I keep with my discus, you can try clicking to the link on my sig.:thumbsup: Again, I don't use heater.

crazie.eddie 09-27-2006 01:56 AM

If you select at least 5 juvenile discus, then you can keep them in a 30 gallon tank to grow them out. Unfortunately, when they start reaching maturity, you need to move them to at least a 55 gallon tank. Discus have been kept in as small as a 20 gallon tank, but these discus are a mated pair and only used for breeding purposes.

Discus can be hardy fish, but I think the conditions that they are raised in are too clean of an environment that when exposed to the most common bacteria/parasite found in an aquarium, they get ill easily.

I remember replying to a thread on one of these forums where someone was also asking about discus and I gave them information as far as what to look for. I'll see if I can find it.

EDIT: found the thread here, scroll down to the 4th post.

Lupin 09-27-2006 02:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crazie.eddie
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...
1. Discus 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...
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a25...dTurquoise.jpg

Here is a pic of my pigeon blood with peppering...
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a25...eonBlood_1.jpg

Here's a pic of my red melons with very little or no peppering...
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a25...alboroRed2.jpg



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.

Excellent post, Eddie.:wink2:
I pull this out of the link in case some readers might become too lazy to read.:mrgreen:
Are there people who are too lazy to lift a finger to click the link and read?:dunno:

I have to add that mixing wild and domestically bred discus may not be a good idea as one will have resistance to a certain disease while the other won't.

Based on what I have read on other sites, altum angels are often the best tankmates for discus as altums can be quite slow to eat.:roll: Scalares are ok but can be mildly aggressive to the discus' like. No one has tried mixing leopoldi yet with discus but leopoldi angels are often found to be the nastiest of all 3 angelfish species.

Discus are also very prone to Hexamita or Hole-in-the-Head Disease so keep your tank well-maintained and clean. Metronidazole will often get rid off Hexamita but prevention is better than cure.

Pls do post a list of other fish and we'll gladly sort out your list.:thumbsup: If you're planning for plants, make sure that the plants you choose are tolerant of the high temps.

I have added some infos which may seem not necessary. I know you won't be choosing the wild ones and expensive angels anyway but it's better that you learn more than usual.:checkedout: And in the future, you might really need it.:thumbsup:

Tracy 09-27-2006 11:47 AM

Thank you for the great advice. I would love to have a 55 gallon tank, but unfortunately I already have the stand for the 30 gallon (got a good deal on it), so will have to go with the 30 gallon. I will go with only 3 discus, no angels with them. I think the discus are absolutely gorgeous! I just need to purchase the tank and get it cycled. :D

Tracy 09-27-2006 11:54 AM

Was reading again after I posted, and saw that it's best to get a minimum of 4 discus at a time. I suppose I could move the fish from my 46 gallon to the 30, and let the discus live in the 46. Problem is, I have two big pangasius catfish (some people call them irredescent sharks), which are both about 7 inches in length. They don't bother the other fish at all, but would they be alright if I move them to a smaller tank?

Lupin 09-27-2006 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue_gourami45
Was reading again after I posted, and saw that it's best to get a minimum of 4 discus at a time. I suppose I could move the fish from my 46 gallon to the 30, and let the discus live in the 46. Problem is, I have two big pangasius catfish (some people call them irredescent sharks), which are both about 7 inches in length. They don't bother the other fish at all, but would they be alright if I move them to a smaller tank?

I would just rehome them. They won't really stop at 7 inches. They have a tendency to reach 24 inches.:blink:

Tracy 09-28-2006 10:45 AM

Yeah, good idea, though my kids will be disappointed (about the big 'sharks' being gone). I got them as cast-offs in the first place -- a guy I work with at the lfs gave them to me, and he had got them from a customer that brought them in because they had grown too large. It's too bad really -- for such large fish they are completely non-aggressive and seem oblivious to other fish in the tank.


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