In terms of cichlids they're on the delicate side, there are harder fish to care for - but discus are completely different from most other cichlids and require that you do a lot of research before you attempt keeping them.
I will get mine at Wednesday and did a lot of research on them before buying. Most of the info I get from Apistomaster who breeds them for 4 decades.
If you know what they need and you are willing to do more effort (more cleaning) they should be just as difficult/easy as most other fish. You just need to gather info and find out what those outstanding beautiful fish need.
To answer your question,....no they are not that difficult and easy to die, as long as you provide them what they need! They do have some special demands like foods, high temp (28C to 31C), limited possibilities with tank mates, a large tank and at least 10 gallon each, keep them in small groups of 6 or more or just as a single pair, need for excellent filtration and 2 to 3 times a week at least 50% water change, PH 7 or a bit lower (domesticated species), soft CLEAN water. Well,.....no difficult things in my opinion,...only a bit more work for you to keep the tank clean.
You need to double the cleaning frequency and do large water changes of at least 50% to keep the tank clean. Domesticated discus are not that difficult but wilds are more demanding. I suggest to read a lot abouth water qualety, temps, foods and best is to talk to some breeders. Those know all the ins and outs and will take away all the mysteries of maintaining discus. I had some doubts if I could provide them what they need but after some proper investigation and lots of e-mails they turn out to be a normal fish with only some special needs. If you are willing to do the extra work on keeping the tank spotless clean and you are more experienced fish keeper, discus is also within your range.
Hardest part of keeping discus is growing them out. Once they become fully grown, they are easier to keep. Young discus are a lot more fragile than adult discus. I have found 3" discus to be much easier to care for them than 2" discus. So start out as big as you can. Young discus require frequent feeding (5 ~ 6 times a day and more) and because of that, frequent water changes. If not properly fed, young discus will not grow as big as they should be. You hear a lot about new discus never settling in and dying. So, preparing the tank and acclimating them carefully is critical. But above all, starting with healthy discus is a must.
either way, their one of the more rewarding fish you could get. i couldnt encourage you more to give it a shot. i have had tons and its really not that hard, its just a lot of maintenance and making sure they are healthy. which is pretty much the same deal with any fish when you get down to it.
I've been fighting the urge since last week to purchase the two Pigeon Blood Discus they have at the Petco here for $27 each. I don't need to speen $50 on fish right now, yet at that price its very tempting. I also don't have the setup for them, and our water is relatively hard here. The only thing is, they seem to be doing just fine at Petco and I know for a fact they aren't doing anythign special for them, they are on the same system as the rest of the fish. I work right next door so I go over every break I get and just watch them. Beautiful little fish.
i dont know alot about keeping discus and other fish together, bu i do know that as long as you keep the parimeters good, and water extra clean which i did with my discus, alone, in his own tank you will have no problems. i fed mine twice aday with high quality food, and frozen blood worms twice a week. i had him healthy, and from very young for 14 years, which i believe is past life expentancy for a domestic discus. he was the most rewarding, and beautiful fish i have ever had. good luck! (with proper care and knoledge, you wont need it)
It's also better to keep them in groups, they are a schooling fish. I'm just starting into discus and have hit a few bumps already. I started out with 6 discus in a planted 55g. I had some problems with bullying and fish not eating. Yesterday I went back the the lfs I got them from (he said to bring back the one that wasn't doing well). I switched my skinny not eating blue diamond for one that eats like a pig and also picked up 1 more discus. Under the advice of the lfs owner (who is wonderful and I'm lucky to have a place like this) I ended up removing all the plants and substrate. I should have just gone the bare tank route to start, easier to keep clean with baby discus who, like mentioned above need to be fed a lot and kept very clean. Both of those things I found more difficult to do in a planted tank. So now my group of 7 is doing much better!
Well I originally was going to go bare tank, then I was talked into doing plants (should have known better, I've never had real plants in my tanks). Now I'm doing it bare, just easier to keep clean and easier for frequent feedings. I now see why most experts recomend that beginners start with a bare tank! :thumb:
I also keep mine at 86, although I was told if you bump up the heat that will sometime get fish that aren't eating to eat.
Discus are not very hard to keep but let's make one thing very clear up front.
88*F to 90*F is WAY to hot. 84*F is a good temperature for Discus.
The other thing you must NOT do is buy them from a Petco or other chain. Even buying Discus from a fish shop is not a good way to begin. The exception to that would if you know a shop that happens to breed discus in their back room you can go with them.
I highly recommend buying your discus from a sponsor listed at www.simplydiscus.com.
You may be assured of getting very good stock from anyone of them. Choose a supplier that is near you if possible but do not be afraid to order from anyone who has the fish you want. Never skimp on quality when it comes to buying your stock. Discus live to be older than ten years. You may as well buy exactly what you like the first time even if it means paying overnight freight. If you go on the cheap with your stock you are throwing your money away.
Young Discus should be fed four times a day. Tetra Color granules, frozen Blood worms, frozen beef heart blends are all that they need for getting good growth and color. They also appreciate live black worms and live brine shrimp for an occasional treat.
Starting out with discus 3 inches is is better for first time discus keepers. Discus at 2 inches are still best left to those with experience. Discus aren't manufactured so you can expect them to vary a little from the nominal size listed.
The idea of raising discus in bare bottom tanks is founded on the idea that bare bottom aquariums are much easier to keep clean. Unfortunately they are also ugly tanks to have in your living room. Fortunately there is a middle ground that retains ease of maintenance with improved aesthetics. A very attractive grow out tank can be designed. I never use bare bottom tanks because they are to ugly and I am a discus breeder.
It is OK to use a thin layer of sand no more than 1/4 inch thick. This is just as easy to keep clean as a bare tank. You can add some attractive pieces of drift wood; I happen to use that Malaysian wood in my tanks. All you need to do is give it a good rinsing in hot running water before placing it in the aquarium. Discus like plants. You should grow one of the floating plants and allow them to cover about half of the surface. Discus like the shaded areas at times. Any of these floating plants are very good. Water Sprite, Tropical Hornwor,t Ceratophyllum submersum or Riccia fluitans are all good choices. Additionally rooted plant may be potted in those Glad ware food containers. Good rooted plants for a discus tank are Echinodorus species, the Amazon Sword Plants. The best species of Sword plants are E. bleheri, E. amazonicus, E. parviflorus var. "Tropica" and the various Hybrids Swords like Ozelot and Kleiner Bar do very well with only moderate lighting, 1-1/2 to 2 watts per gallon is sufficient. The potted sword plants only need a fertilizer in the pot. No liquid fertilizers are necessary nor CO2. I highly recommend RedSea FloraBase as both the potting soil and the thin bottom layer.
Here is a look into one of my Red Turquoise grow out tanks using FloraBase. These are 8 week old discus and the small plecos are some of my baby Peckoltia sp L134 Leopard frog. There are a few baby Royal Farlowella in with these, too. This tank is not decorated since it is a breeding room grow out tank. There is nothing wrong to also keep some Rummy Nose Tetras, Cardinal Tetra or Pencil fish with your young discus.
I recommend including one common Bushy nose Pleco as the algae eater and if you wish, Corydoras sterbai are one of the best and prettiest Corydoras species suited for warm discus aquariums.
I just became a mother of 3 Discus today.
I've done a good deal of research before buying them.
Plus not to mention of course being in the hobby for a while to know important basics.
I couldn't help but read somewhere that I shouldn't put carbon?
I have a 55 gallon tank with a heater and an aquaclear filter.
My 3 Discus are in quarantine right now and won't be let out in the aquarium until 2 weeks.
With aeration and a heater of course.
I have to change 40% of the water every day for the first week and the second week, every other day.
(Instructions by the breeder who sold them to me.)
I just bought 8 discus of 3" my selves and keep them in a 55 gallon tank to grow them out. I talked a lot with Apistomaster abouth maintaining them and he breeds them for 4 decades and is a very knowledgeable and experienced Discus breeder.
The number of 3 discus is a bit unfortunate. Best number is 6 or more or,.... a pair. The 55 gallon tank could hold 6 adults but there isn't much room left for other inhabitants. You might want to grow out 6 and wait until they pair up and keep the pair and turn the remaining fish back to the lfs.
The water changes sounds fine and I also do 40% wc on daily base. As long as the fish grow I need to keep this up and even might increase it to 65% especially they are messy feeders and the high waste levels also becouse of the beef heart mix. While growing they need very clean water with nitrates as low as possible. If not they stay small. I also feed them 5 times a day with beefheart mix (2 or 3 times) and frozen or live foods (daphnia, bloodworms, white worms, Artemis). Mine refuse to feed on flakes and pellets. I keep them now for one week and they significantly gained in coloration and also start to get more flesh to their bones. So far so good.
What color morph do you have? I got Stendker Alenquer and I think they are Alenquer Royal with lots of blue and red. Basically a wild color morph.
Why thank you DeadFishFloating. I like keeping it simple and clean... yet natural. It's a 55 gallon.
My plants are planted. If the pots were left, they'd probably be visible since my Jurupari sift my sand around.
Besides my Angels and my Satanoperca, I have 2 Bleeding Heart Tetras, 2 Cherry Barbs, 5 Serpae Tetras, 1 Long Finned Zibra Danio, 5 Peppered Cories, and a Clown Pleco. But I'm willing to get rid of the smaller fish or move them to my 20 gallon.
I know 3 isn't a great number Dutch Dude. I'm thinking of ordering more but it's super expensive. Even if I got six, it would be hard for me to part from them 'cause all that work you put into keeping the tank clean and what not. I really don't know what I'm gonna do. I want to put enough up to where I can keep them all. I just don't know what that number is.
Right now they're in a bucket. I still change 40% of the water every day. They seem to be doing pretty good so far. I haven't had any problems. Which is good news for me because I was scared I wasn't ready for them. They have to spend (according to my seller) 2 weeks in isolation. After the first week, I have to change 40% of the water every other day. Once the 2 weeks are done and they show no signs of stress or disease, they can be introduced into their new home.
Weird that you say the food you feed them because right now they seem to be taking pellets easier than bloodworms right now. I figured they'd be a little bit more open to different foods when in their new home.
I bought my Discus from Somethingsphishy.com and the ones I ordered were a Red Melon, Siam Red, and Red Dragon. So far the one that has the most color is the Red Melon. I've yet to get photos of them... a little hard considering they're in a bucket.
What about carbon in my filter????? :-?
I've read I should take it out of my filter. Is this true??
Or will my Discus be perfectly fine with it in there??
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