Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   New to Discus, PLEASE HELP!!! (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/cichlids/new-discus-please-help-74734/)

MadeInHell 07-09-2011 06:20 PM

New to Discus, PLEASE HELP!!!
 
Hey,
So i've been wanting to move onto discus keeping for a while now, and out of the blue someone messaged me about a swap from my tropical fish (oscars, parrots, angels etc.) and i jumped at the chance, i now have 9 discus in my 350l tank, with a few plecs and gourami's.
I've made sure the water is around 80f but apart from that i'm not too sure on the whole PH side of things, the tank just has tap water in, but it has been lived in by other fish....i don't want to lose the discus, and they look and seem quite happy, i've called a couple discus keepers, and they've said just treat them like a normal tropical fish, but a lot of boards talk about ph and hardness etc.... which i don't have a clue how to regulate water etc! plus i dont have room to store water for days to check ph's etc!!!!

Any help that can be given would be greatly appreciated!
Also, with food i'm using regular flake and bloodworm, i hear alot about beef heart, but yet again have no clue on this......
Please help me!

BarbH 07-09-2011 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MadeInHell (Post 729201)
Hey,
So i've been wanting to move onto discus keeping for a while now, and out of the blue someone messaged me about a swap from my tropical fish (oscars, parrots, angels etc.) and i jumped at the chance, i now have 9 discus in my 350l tank, with a few plecs and gourami's.
I've made sure the water is around 80f but apart from that i'm not too sure on the whole PH side of things, the tank just has tap water in, but it has been lived in by other fish....i don't want to lose the discus, and they look and seem quite happy, i've called a couple discus keepers, and they've said just treat them like a normal tropical fish, but a lot of boards talk about ph and hardness etc.... which i don't have a clue how to regulate water etc! plus i dont have room to store water for days to check ph's etc!!!!

Any help that can be given would be greatly appreciated!
Also, with food i'm using regular flake and bloodworm, i hear alot about beef heart, but yet again have no clue on this......
Please help me!

Welcome to TFK :-D If you have not found the tropical fish profiles yet I would like to direct you there to find out more information about discus, or you can click on the highlighted name and it will take you to the profile. At the top of the page second tab over is the link for the profiles. Do you know what the ph, GH and KH hardness of what your water is? Discus need soft acidic water with ph, also if these have been tank raised do you know what the ph and hardness was of what they were kept in? Once these numbers are known, others will be able to help better. Hopefully others with experience of keeping discus will be able to give you more information.

redchigh 07-09-2011 09:45 PM

The temperature should be about as low as you can manage... 5-6 would be ideal. PEat filtration is also beneficial.

Beef heart is not neccesary... It's the equivalent of giving a fish steroids. (The protein boosts growth)

Just make sure it has a protein-rich diet..
I hope the pleco isn't too active, since discus can become stressed easily.

MadeInHell 07-10-2011 05:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarbH (Post 729401)
Welcome to TFK :-D If you have not found the tropical fish profiles yet I would like to direct you there to find out more information about discus, or you can click on the highlighted name and it will take you to the profile. At the top of the page second tab over is the link for the profiles. Do you know what the ph, GH and KH hardness of what your water is? Discus need soft acidic water with ph, also if these have been tank raised do you know what the ph and hardness was of what they were kept in? Once these numbers are known, others will be able to help better. Hopefully others with experience of keeping discus will be able to give you more information.

Thanks :D i found them, and saw guidelines on these things, but not how to manage them, i haven't got a clue how to soften water :cry: and i have bought an electronic ph tester kit, should get that in a few days, but i should have to do a water change before i get it, which i'm worried about as i use tap water..... Thanks for the help :-D

redchigh 07-10-2011 08:05 AM

If you know that your water is hard and basic, you may need to buy distilled or RO water and use it in place of half your tap...

As I said earlier, Peat filtration will lower the PH if your KH isn't too high.

MadeInHell 07-10-2011 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redchigh (Post 729673)
If you know that your water is hard and basic, you may need to buy distilled or RO water and use it in place of half your tap...

As I said earlier, Peat filtration will lower the PH if your KH isn't too high.


it's just out the tap, i can't get it checked until tomorrow with it being a sunday, plus one of the discus i have been given is black, so i have no idea how they've been looked after before i've received them!

Is there any way i can get the ph lower by doing things in the house without buying anything? or do you need certain stuff?

Cheers In Advance, Really appreciate it!:-)

Byron 07-10-2011 11:16 AM

You already have the discus in your tank, so it is a bit late to think about preparing the water first. Hopefully the water in your tank is very close in parameters to the water in the tank where the discus came from. Sudden or significant fluctuations can be very detrimental to any fish, and certainly discus.

Here's a link to an article I authored that explains hardness and pH. This will hopefully explain the relationship and it suggests safe ways to adjust the parameters:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/
But...do not rush into trying to adjust the water. This must be carefully worked out if it is to be done at all. As for your tap water, you can find out the hardness from your water supply people, many have a website with water data posted. You must know the hardness before any attempt to adjust the water can be safely considered.

The black discus is not a good sign. This is caused by stress, probably in this case from the water conditions, temperature or being moved to a new environment. I would suggest raising the temperature a bit, to 82-84F, slowly (by simply turning up the heaters).

Byron.

1077 07-11-2011 12:03 AM

Would help to know what the water paramter's are in the tank with respect to pH, ammonia ,nitrites,and nitrates. Adding nine Discus unless they are very small, could influence the water quality by increasing ammonia or nitrites.
I would not worry about adjusting the pH for now unless you have a pH above 7.8 or the fish are wild caught, or they have come from water that was very soft and your water is much different (ie ) hard. pH?
Should you need to perform a water change, then I would do so and perhaps change 30 percent twice a week and slowly up the amount to 50 percent twice a week, especially if fish are smaller than 4 inches from tip of nose to base of tail.
Adjusting the pH or hardness may not be necessary, and if breeding the fish is not in the plans ,then they can adapt to water so long as it is not too much different than that which they came from. Assuming that the fish were raised in tapwater, I would stick with tapwater. Adjusting the ph and hardness will in my view require storing water that has been adjusted ahead of water changes.
Can you call,e-mail the person who you got the fish from, and inquire as to what condition's they have been kept in? this would be extremely helpful info.
Might also inquire as to what foods the fishes have been eating and I might reduce lighting for a couple weeks until the fishes have had a chance to adapt to new surroundings.
You could add some driftwood pieces to the tank which will help the fish feel more comfortable and perhaps some floating plant's either real or artificial if none are currently present.

MadeInHell 07-11-2011 12:41 PM

I found out today my ph in the tank and in the tap (from the water company and 2 tests) are both at 7.5. i have the temperature at around 86 degrees currently, going to bring that down to roughly 82 degrees over the next few days, i also have a ph balance which brings the ph down to 6.5, as well as some bog wood, and peat leaves, i'm only going to add the bogwood first, to maybe bring it down the smallest amount, and keep checking daily, plus adding the tiniest amount of the ph balance i bought, to VERY SLOWLY bring down the ph. does this sound okay? the tank i have is around 305 litres, (80-90 us gallons) and it is a corner tank, which seems to give them plenty room.
The black discus sadly passed away, but it was in an exceptionally poor state when i received it, all the other discus seem to be doing absolutely fine, they are feeding well, swimming round, no bother at all.
Does this all sound okay?
Thanks!!

Byron 07-11-2011 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MadeInHell (Post 731358)
I found out today my ph in the tank and in the tap (from the water company and 2 tests) are both at 7.5. i have the temperature at around 86 degrees currently, going to bring that down to roughly 82 degrees over the next few days, i also have a ph balance which brings the ph down to 6.5, as well as some bog wood, and peat leaves, i'm only going to add the bogwood first, to maybe bring it down the smallest amount, and keep checking daily, plus adding the tiniest amount of the ph balance i bought, to VERY SLOWLY bring down the ph. does this sound okay? the tank i have is around 305 litres, (80-90 us gallons) and it is a corner tank, which seems to give them plenty room.
The black discus sadly passed away, but it was in an exceptionally poor state when i received it, all the other discus seem to be doing absolutely fine, they are feeding well, swimming round, no bother at all.
Does this all sound okay?
Thanks!!

No. Please do not use the pH balance stuff. If you read my article on hardness/pH that I linked previously you will understand why this is so dangerous. I won't repeat all that.

Add the wood, it will do no harm. It is not going to lower the pH much, if at all. The initial hardness of your tap water will tell us what to expect with this, if you could post that number (GH and KH).

Chances are the discus were in untreated (with respect to pH) tap water previously, it is best to keep this the same. But do check ammonia and nitrite and nitrate, as 1077 noted, this can be critical. Water changes will handle any increase in these. If the tank has live plants they will also help.

Byron.


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