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Discus water questions

Rachel Y

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So I am a newbie (under two years) in this hobby but have had enough success that I jumped into Discus this week and I have some questions and would love advice from experienced aquarists.

I purchased (2) what was listed as cobalt blue discus but after research they seem to actually be blue diamond discus, at PETCO! Lol..I’d say about 3.5 inch right now. I have them in my 55 quarantine tank. I tested my water to see if I had good water for them. I’ve had good success getting my angels to spawn and have a good crop of quarter sized fry right now. I was surprised at the water we have here in Bremerton. Temp 84, gh-7 deg, Kh-6 deg, PH-8.2!.....I keep the tank at 0-0->20 nitrates. Am using fully cycled filtration and am medicating them with the trio now.

The Questions:

1. Should I buy an RO Unit to soften this water for them? Or should I be patient and let them adjust to my harder water?

2. Will they EVER be able to spawn at this ph? (If they are a male and female)

3. I’ve heard the eggs can’t hatch at higher ph, is this true?
4. Would tannins in the water have any significant effect on Ph? Could I use this instead of RO?

5. Anything I am not thinking of? Please tell me what I don’t know.... 😉 





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As someone who keeps discus and has an RO system (for the discus), I would advise to wait on the RO. No matter what the conventional wisdom is on water parameters, I think a lot of it depends on the fish keeper. You must be a pretty decent fish keeper as you are spawning angelfish.

I wouldn't try and change anything about the water at first. If you have good quality water that is consistent, I would do frequent water changes. Make sure the discus like the water changes. If each water change is a mini-setback, maybe not much on the water changes. Tannins aren't a concern at this time.

As always with discus you will want to see how their appetite is. Find the best frozen blood worms you can get (I think Hikari is the best). Find live blackworms if you can. If they are eating well and growing, that is most of what you need to know right now. They like to eat small meals frequently.

You do have control over the temperature and I would keep it at minimum of 84 °F maybe bump it to 86 °F.

Worry about eggs later. We can burn that bridge when we get to it. First spawn rarely take with discus anyway. And we don't know if we have a pair yet.

Job 1 right now is to feed quality food and grow your discus.

If the appetite or growth is anemic, then lets begin to look why they lack vigor (including re-examining water parameters).

Congratulations, you are a discus person now!

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