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Discus! Help!


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Hey guys! I am new to Discus and am trying to do some research but I’m having a hard time finding some clear and concise information on them. I’ve got the chance to buy to 2.5” juveniles from a local breeder. Water hardness here is around 7.8 - 8.0. I’ve been observing the discus in store and they look great has of right now. I would like to get some but I can’t pin down what I’m really getting into. Some people say they’re really hard to keep? I’ve also seen a push lately from people saying they’re not that hard, you just have to do it right. What’s the rundown on discus? Will these discus be more adapted to my water since they’ve been bred in it? What’s a good price to pay for young discus? Are some types harrier than other? 
 

Last but not least, what’s the deal with Sendker discus? What are they? What are sentarem discus? 
 

Any help would be appreciated! Just trying to get some more knowledge before I buy! 

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Young discus will need exceptionally clean water and frequent feeding. A lot of people would put them in a bare bottom tank; do water changes 2 or 3 times a week and feed them 3 or 4 times a day. The issue is that discus are very messy food and esp young discus need very rich food; since they require clean water the mess they make esp with uneaten food bits will require constant cleaning. Target temp for the youngster should be 84-86. Once they get a bit older they will still require clean water but things will be a bit easier with less feeding et all.

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I've been watching Freshwater Exotics on YouTube where they go collecting discus in the wild. It's pretty fascinating the fish they find with discus in their nets. Lots of pike cichlids, leporinus, and assorted whatnots including peacock bass, and assorted larger cichlids. Not the fish one typically sees housed with discus, but those are their river-mates in the wild. The nets they use may let the smaller fish, like tetras and the like swim through, but when you think of a discus community tank, pike cichlids, peacock bass, and leporinus aren't the fish you would think to add. 

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There's A LOT of misinformation regarding discus. The high water temperatures you see people recommending are the temperatures breeders raise them in. They do this to maximize their metabolism to increase their rate of growth > to increase profit.

Discus can be happily kept at 26C. I have 5 Blue Angel juveniles right now at that temperature, and they are doing very well, thank you so much. Also, you don't need to feed them more than once or twice a day. Again, the reason breeders do this is to increase the rate of growth. Some hobbyists do it for this reason as well. However, fast growth does not necessarily equal healthy fish. In fact, it is likely that artificially increasing the rate of growth via high temps and overfeeding will shorten the life span of the fish.

One final note. Because they are such intelligent fish, they do have a sensitive psychology. But there is nothing sensitive about them physically. Physically, they are nearly as tough as goldfish. One time during transport, my fish were subjected to temperatures at or below 20C for an hour or more. One pleco died. The red lizard catfish and the serpae tetras were clearly affected but survived. My discus were the least affected of all.

BTW - in the photo you posted, the fish in the rear is clearly stunted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys! A little update: 

I went and purchased 2 of the discus from the shop (I know they should be kept in groups) BUT they seem to be doing very well. The larger of the discus began to pick on the smaller, so I split them up and they are now both thriving! I must say, I am keeping them at 80 degrees F now. I know that it’s generally recommended that I keep them hotter around 84-86, but mine are doing great!  Since bringing the temperature down they actually seem to be doing better. 
 

CC2AC33E-0DD7-4DBE-A8AB-535B7DF05B0A.jpeg.fc117a8919322ab9b39162780b402552.jpeg
 

Just wanted to share what’s working for me, and I think it’s pretty cool! The second one (not as colorful) I do think is stunted, he was definitely the runt of the group when I bought him, but since being in my care he’s eating a ton, has colored up, is much more active, and is growing well! (The picture doesn’t show it well). 

99ACD73D-3187-4BD0-8E8C-43CB555ADFC1.jpeg.d759b0507f26263fed2c69f0ddc8916f.jpeg
 

Hope this helps out any new discus keepers and anyone else who’s interested in trying something different! 

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On 6/29/2021 at 11:50 PM, Garrett Johns said:

Hi guys! A little update: 

I went and purchased 2 of the discus from the shop (I know they should be kept in groups) BUT they seem to be doing very well. The larger of the discus began to pick on the smaller, so I split them up and they are now both thriving! I must say, I am keeping them at 80 degrees F now. I know that it’s generally recommended that I keep them hotter around 84-86, but mine are doing great!  Since bringing the temperature down they actually seem to be doing better. 
 

CC2AC33E-0DD7-4DBE-A8AB-535B7DF05B0A.jpeg.fc117a8919322ab9b39162780b402552.jpeg
 

Just wanted to share what’s working for me, and I think it’s pretty cool! The second one (not as colorful) I do think is stunted, he was definitely the runt of the group when I bought him, but since being in my care he’s eating a ton, has colored up, is much more active, and is growing well! (The picture doesn’t show it well). 

99ACD73D-3187-4BD0-8E8C-43CB555ADFC1.jpeg.d759b0507f26263fed2c69f0ddc8916f.jpeg
 

Hope this helps out any new discus keepers and anyone else who’s interested in trying something different! 

So happy for you! Good feedback above. Discus aren't nearly as fussy as people make them out to be. Once they like your water, they're great. Here's a video of ours from the other day -- nothing special, just a water change . . .

We like to breed a lot of fish. For now, I'm just enjoying watching these Discus. I think it's one of the few tanks where I'd be perfectly happy with it, even if they don't pair off.

One thing you'll find (and I represent this remark, doubtless) is that Discus keepers tend to think that what _they_ do is really best practice. If you find a method you like for yourself, you'll see what I mean! Pretty soon you'll have all the answers for some aquarist frightened off of keeping discus! 😉

 

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On 6/29/2021 at 10:02 PM, Fish Folk said:

So happy for you! Good feedback above. Discus aren't nearly as fussy as people make them out to be. Once they like your water, they're great. Here's a video of ours from the other day -- nothing special, just a water change . . .

We like to breed a lot of fish. For now, I'm just enjoying watching these Discus. I think it's one of the few tanks where I'd be perfectly happy with it, even if they don't pair off.

One thing you'll find (and I represent this remark, doubtless) is that Discus keepers tend to think that what _they_ do is really best practice. If you find a method you like for yourself, you'll see what I mean! Pretty soon you'll have all the answers for some aquarist frightened off of keeping discus! 😉

 

Your discus look great!! I totally agree, you’ve got to find a method that works for you! Thanks for the feedback! 

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