Cichlids of Victoria

CichlidsofVictoria.com is dedicated to the discussion and husbandry of African Cichlids especially the Victorian species
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 Post subject: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:33 pm 
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I'm very much an African Rift Lake cichlid nut, but now I find myself looking into South Americans, specifically Discus and eartheaters. When my husband set up his 90 gallon tropical community tank (gouramis, rainbows, five or six different corys, Geophagus Red Head Tapajos), I became aware of how incredibly warp speed my three African tanks moved. I found it soothing to look at his tank quite a bit. So now one of mine, a 45 gallon is undergoing changes to be a Discus tank.

Eventually I plan to have about 4 Discus, starting with 6-7 two inch ones, and keeping the four most appealing, with a small group of Gymnogeophagus sp Norte I have already added. I'm undecided on whether or not to add peat or some sort of chemical to do blackwater, since they are a true blackwater fish. I will keep the same substrate I have, just basic pool sand, which won't be a problem since I plan on only artificial plants.

Any thoughts or input would be appreciated :D


Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:33 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:35 am 
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The tannings would help, a little but if you are using RO water then it is really not necessary. It will darken the water and make it harder to see the fish. With good water quality and a stable ph the discuss will do fine.

i too have ventured into the SA realm. my wife really loves discuss so we got her a tank and a dozen from a buddy of mine. i have been interested in earth eaters as well. i got gymno. baslini, gymno gymnogenis, and geo. red hump. along with some nicaragueinsis and a pair of port acaras.

i never wanted to set up a tank since most will grow to 8" or bigger. BUt now i got a 125 in the house which makes it much easier to keep them. i will be thinning them out as well to a pair or trio in the future.


as for the discuss i would be careful with the other geos. discuss tend to be so docile that they wont compete for food.
also you need to keep a high temp, 85-88f to help ward off worms and such. Other than that a ph from 6.5-7 and conductivity between 150-300 should b e fine for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:27 pm 
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Drift wood will give off all the tannins you will need to keep them happy. Thats how I do mine, they dont get any special treatment. tap water at 7-7.5PH with 6-8GH fully planted 120g with 9 of them in it. They eat flake and pellets, frozen stuff is a rare treat. Yes they do spawn and eggs hatch like this, but they all suck as parents so far.
A 45g is much too small for more than a breeding pair of discus, you will stunt them in that tank, I recommend at least a 75g as the final tank.

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I think I need a bigger tank......


Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:27 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:53 pm 
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well it depends on what you want to do. you can keep a breeding pair in a 20 tall. but that is a bare tank with a decoration or two and something to spawn on.

if you want long term bigger is better, in fact go as big as you can afford first. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:46 pm 
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At this time, I can not go bigger, and if I must, I will whittle it down to a pair. Fortunately the tank is a nice and tall tank.


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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:09 am 
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You will need to do tons of waterchanges to not stunt them in that sized tank.....

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Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:09 am
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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:57 pm 
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planned on-the actual reason why they stunt is they release a hormone that inhibits growth of other fish in the tank. Another fish that probably does this is clown loaches, although not scientifically proven yet. Actually a guy tested this at one point with Discus-he put the same amount of discus, i believe it was either 20 to 50 in two separate tanks, one with a filter, one without. The one with a filter he did a water change on hardly. The one without, he did changes twice a day. At the end of the test period, the ones with more water changes were larger and healthier than the ones with a filter. Was kind of a cool study. But anyway, yeah, planning on water changes.


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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:04 pm 
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Almost a year later, the discus did happen. Have 11 2" ones in a 75 gallon tank, growing them out. I'll keep a couple pairs in a DAS style 75, and the rest I will keep in the 75 as a community tank with other fish that suit. Very different to have around from my African tanks :D


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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Congrats I can't wait to see pictures of them.

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Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:08 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:22 pm 
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Here's some pics of the young group. They came from a breeder/importer in Ohio who won almost a third of the awards at the last North American Discus Association show. These are a strain called White Pigeon, should be mostly white when full grown with a few yellow/orange striations. I went with all of one type because crossing strains, while not technically hybrids like most Africans, still results in unwanted characteristics-with these the most noticeable unwanted trait is called "peppering", tiny black spots on the face and body. A couple of these show that they might have a small amount of it, but nothing so major to be culled.

Image
Image
Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:42 am 
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Very very nice.

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2800 gallons and growing

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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:02 am 
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Very nice! I am still waiting to go into Discus myself.


Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:02 am
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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:53 pm 
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For me the hard part was getting the cash together to order in the fish I wanted. I wanted good quality fish, and a large number to start with to get a couple nice pairs out of, so trading in my growout fry for credit at LFS for discus was not an option-one, not enough credit for enough discus, second I wanted better quality than what I could find for sale. I am finding though that it was worth it to order them and just bite the bullet on shipping. The fish are super healthy, easy keepers, and look great already for their size. It's already paying off in tank maintenance alone-I'm only doing water changes 2x a week, feeding 3x a day, versus water changes every day with RO. I did not realize it, but there was a bag of crushed coral in the filter. When getting the tank ready I just reaquacsaped it, did water changes to get all the gunk from new driftwood out. It was pretty clean already since it was a fry tank, so I did not check the filter. Well, the tank has a ph of about 7.8-8.0. At this point, just going to leave the crushed coral in there since the water is nice and stable with it, and the fish are well acclimated. My tap water here is pretty screwy ph wise, so just going to let that go.


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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:04 am 
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question, why were you planing on RO water changes daily?

that is the one thing with discus, the BS that a lot of the people came up with for keeping them. in the wild discus dont get RO water every day, LOL, maybe during rainy season. I keep mine in the same water as my vics, truth be told the water parameters are actually very close to each other.

i dont think you can find that in any book out now, discus and victorian cichlids should be kept with the same water parameters. they both are on the softer side, on average.

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 Post subject: Re: Going into Discus
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Our tap water at first was so bad here, full of ammonia and nitrite, that I almost had to switch EVERYTHING over! Fortunately the tap water got better.


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