Discus behaviour

Discussion in 'Fish' started by mlgt, 5 Jan 2010.

  1. mlgt

    mlgt Member

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    1,015
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    Having come back from holiday after 3 weeks away the first thing I did upon arriving back to UK from a 12 hr flight was do a massive water change on my 180l tank.

    I rehomed a single red cover discus a year ago and although at times he/she goes black, it usually only lasts for a day or two.

    Not only did I do a big water change I cleaned out the external Eheim 2217 filter and the internal Juwel filter pads with the tank water.

    Basically Ive been back now for over 2 weeks and have noticed the discus is constantly black and hangs around the Juwel filter.

    Ive done daily 25% water changes and always done a mixture of tap water and checked its as close as it is in the fishtank. Fed it bloodworms, brine shrimp (live and frozen) and the only time it goes red again is during feeding.

    After feeding it will head back towards its favourite hiding place.

    Why is this? Ive turned down the flow on the spray bar and upped the temp to 30. I dont want to up the temp even more as I have 30 cardinals, 2 rams, 6 amanos and a few corys.

    I live in London so the hardness of the water is hard. However all the fish are used to this water now and Ive always added water straight from the tap.

    Can someone please shed some light for me :)
     
  2. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

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    Contact Tonser (Tony) as he keeps discus

    Regard
    Paul
     
  3. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Daventry, Northants
    I've kept 8 Red Covers from Discus Bananas before and they were pretty tough to acclimate but once they were used to the surroundings and uber lighting of the Solar 1 they chilled out, it took about 8-10 days.

    Does yours have any Discus tank mate? Discus are not happy on their own for long, for a short time they will play ball but i guess its a natural instinct where the species requires the company of it's own kind to feel truly secure. (just surmising here)

    The ultimate question is, does he have any Discus companions? If not, the ultimate answer is to get him some and see if he perks up.
     
  4. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

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    Guys

    There is your answer - he / she needs a tank mate.

    Regards
    Paul.
     
  5. mlgt

    mlgt Member

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    Yes I know. I have thought about getting a few more discus from either discus bananas or chens discus.

    However the issue is that the tank already houses alot of community fish and I cannot identify how old the discus is.

    Ive had him/her for a year now and further to that the guy who gave it to me had it for around 4-8 months.

    I only took it on because it was getting bullied non stop.

    If I was to get some companions how many do you reckon can fit in a 180l tank? basic rule was something like 40l to 1 discus right?
     
  6. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Daventry, Northants
    I'd get another three. If you go to a breeder like David or Chen then you'll be able to choose fish of a similar size or smaller. How high is the fish that you currently have? They are normally sold in inches as opposed to years so it won't be hard to find it some companions. Id look to rehoming some of your current community fish if your worried about space and your serious about saving him.
     
  7. mlgt

    mlgt Member

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    Rehoming my fishes is not a problem.

    Ive gotten a few friends into fishkeeping in the last year lol

    so they would love a few freebies :)

    Yes the discus is at least 4-4.5 inches big. Just hope he wont bully them. I was hoping to introduce some juveniles into the tank.

    Been looking at red/tiger turqs or spider faces
     
  8. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Thats good news that you can re-home them.

    If that particular fish was bullied initially then he may or may not get bullied or be the bully. It's impossible to know. My only suggestion would be to buy fish that are of a similar size. Discus are Cichlids at the end of the day and they can be territorial. Your current Discus already has a territory and introducing much smaller fish will inevitably end in him becoming the bully and your new, possibly weaker Discus may suffer. On the flip side, if you buy Discus of a similar sized or larger and he's still not happy then he may end up being bullied again. Buuuut, if adding more similar sized discus does fix the issue then a natural pecking order will be decided and happily ever after!

    I know there is no "answer" there but you can't predict what animals will do, you can only try and do what's best and my advice would be to buy 3 more Red Covers at around 4".
     
  9. mlgt

    mlgt Member

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    Agreed :)

    That is my plan, but since coming back from honeymoon and hitting xmas money is tight :)

    I knew I should have bought those freeze dried discus fish from Thailand (joke)...

    However prices in Thailand worked out at £1 each !! and anything up to 5inches and above cost around £5-£20 :(

    They had the most fantastic strains... sob sob..
     
  10. roadmaster

    roadmaster Member

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    I agree with Dan. Also consider that juvenile discus do better with several small feedings a day where adult fish can get by with one or two.
     
  11. mlgt

    mlgt Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the input. Its on my list to buy next month after payday :)

    I only tend to feed my fishes once a day, generally its a mixture of foods.

    usually its Discus dried pellets (cant remember name) every other day
    frozen brine shrimp/blood worms. in between days

    I usually also feed cyclops as the cardinals, shrimps and corys like this stuff.

    But do you think upping the food intake will make the discus happier?

    Some people say the background makes a difference. I used to have a black background and recently flipped it over to show the blue background film.

    Considering all this, I will still do daily or every other day 25% water changes for my tank.

    Any suggestions?
     
  12. roadmaster

    roadmaster Member

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    Location:
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    Juvenile discus grow much faster with four small feedings a day in my expierience with them. Don't know that they are happier but growth for juveniles is important to prevent stunting. With water changes you are planning, Should only benefit the small discus. Many keep juvenile discus in bare bottom tanks and feed several times a day. The bare bottom makes it easier to remove uneaten food. They also offer foods that foul the water quickly if uneaten portions aren't removed soon after feedings and bare bottom makes it easier to see the waste.
    Personally ,I find bare bottom tanks ugly and believe frequent water changes you are planning will be fine for the young fish should juveniles be what you choose to go with.
    Older discus ,along with other adult cichlids,don't need all the protein that young fishes do and fewer feedings are needed. TheDiscus I raised from juveniles were kept over sand substrate and fed three to four times a day with foods high in protein. I also offered frozen chopped Krill, blood worms,Beefheart,frozen brine shrimp,chopped earthworms,cichlid crisps,pellet,and occasional dried marine algae hung from veggie clip. I changed 25 to 30 percent of the water three times a week and fish did well with exception of worms that I believe they got from offering tubifex worms. once the worms were cleared the fish did quite well and grew to approx five and a half inches before I re homed them to free up the tank for other fish that interested me. Wished I would have kept them.
     
  13. mlgt

    mlgt Member

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    Location:
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    Well personally I think my discus which I rehomed is stunted.

    The owner had a 100l tank and kept 2 discus as well as around 15 cardinals, 10 cories, 5 amanos, rummynoses and some others from what I remember.

    He would rarely do water changes compared to me and therefore seems stunted. I will take a pic later and you guys can decide :)

    will wait till hes happier and during feeding time. Ive never fed them live tubiflex worms before. Or beefheart... have wanted to try it though before a massive water change :)

    Shame you rehomed the discus.. I would have loved em :)

    Now trying to work out the money I need to spend on the new discus :)
     
  14. mlgt

    mlgt Member

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    Location:
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    Heres some pics of the little ones I bought on saturday morning from Chens Discus :)

    5 baby red tiger tuqs :)

    Picture040.jpg
    Picture053.jpg
    Picture067.jpg

    And a little video I made tonight :)



    Such a bully!!
     
  15. roadmaster

    roadmaster Member

    Messages:
    1,435
    Location:
    United States
    Very nice juveniles and healthy looking Adult. I would consider feeding the young fish three small feedings a day were it me with two to three partial water changes per week to help the young fish grow more quickly.
     
  16. JazzyJeff

    JazzyJeff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    hants
    You shoud feed Juvenile discus atleast 3 times a day with Beefheart or Chopped Mussels, the higher the protein the better IMO Tetra discus granules as well too keep the red in them and Frozen Brineshrimp, Frozen Bloodworm from a good source but IMO never Tubifex, you will also need too give them plenty of good clean water 10% a day or 25% evry other day too get them too grow, also how do you prepare your water ? Good old tap IMO isnt good enough as it has all the nasties like Heavy Metals etc which over time will affect the fish from inside, bit like us in a smokey room all day everyday after a while we will suffer, if your water is on the softside already then you may only need an HMA unit too remove the heavy metals from the water, good water is a must for discus, your fish will thank you in the end...... Why not pop over too http://www.bidka.org for more info on these wonderfull fish ...............................
     
  17. mlgt

    mlgt Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    London
    Currently I am feeding them before I head off to work. I tend to leave the light on while I get dressed as this will let them awake from their slumber and become less startled. I plonk a good pinch of discus granules and let them pick away. Lights off after a few minutes and then off to work.

    Back home for about 6pm and then another feed as lights would be on for 6pm and another pinch of granules or every odd day I would give them frozen blood worm/brine shrimp, then a little feed before bedtime at 11pm before lights go out.

    Every even day I will give them a small piece of beefheart but they are now adapting to eating the discus granules now.

    I tend to do a small 10% water change each day after my dinner. Usually do a 20-30% water change over the weekend following a big feed.

    I am using tap water right now and add a small drop of stress coat/chlorine remover into the tank.

    Im also planning to introduce co2 into my tank. What affect will this have on my discus? I know many people say discus are sensitve fish which I know they are, but in my opinion as long as they are well fed, good water quality etc they will survive and be happy.

    I run my tank at 28 and many will say you should run them over 30, but my old discus is still running strong and has grown alot bigger since I took him on from a friend.
     

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