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Would 8 discus be ok in a lightly planted 46 gallon tank?

  • Yes, they would be fine

    Votes: 9 36.0%
  • No, not worth the risk.

    Votes: 16 64.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This should be good for a lively debate. Right now I have 2 46 gallon tanks, each housing 4 discus. One tank is lightly planted, with a few other tank mates. The other is BB for the time being. Here's the question.

If I kept up with water changes, say 2 or 3 large changes a week, and kept the tank lightly planted, would 8 discus be ok in a 46 gallon? That would free up my second tank to start growing out a new batch, maybe some wilds!

I know the general rule of thumb is 10 gallons per discus. However, I also know others keep their discus in higher numbers. So, lets see what people think. If you vote, please post a reason for your vote.

Thanks.
 

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Really good question, Daniel.

Before "the split", I had 17 in a 90 gallon. Now I have 6 domestic in a 50 gallon and 9 wilds in the 90 gallon. When everyone was in the 90 gallon - no aggression; no pecking order. The 6 in the 50 gallon are now constantly fighting; so I'm going to add a couple more to, hopefully, calm everyone down again. The wilds are fine in the 90 gallon, but since they like to stay so close to each other, the tank looks empty. I figure I can probably add another 4 or 5 wilds.

Now having said that, I do 50% water changes every day and a bit more on weekends. On the weekend w/c's, I scrub down the inside walls of both tanks as well. I also run sponge and cannister filters on both tanks.

Hope this info helps :)
Shelley
 

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won't vote because i've never kept.
though i will keep an eye on this thread for when i make the Discus plunge....
 

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I don't see any problem with it as long as you are willing to keep up with the water changes and also remember to wipe down the glass. The rule of thumb that I use is 1 adult discus per 7 gallons of water for tanks with good filtration and weekly water changes. I go up to 1 adult discus per 4 gallons for tanks that get large daily water changes. You would be somewhere in the middle of that.
 

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I see this wiping down of the glass posted quite often on discus boards. Other than algae and nitrifying bacteria, what's on the glass and why is it harmful to discus? I've never wiped down the glass on any of my tanks (no discus so far).
Discus graffiti and tagging :rolleyes:
 

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I see this wiping down of the glass posted quite often on discus boards. Other than algae and nitrifying bacteria, what's on the glass and why is it harmful to discus? I've never wiped down the glass on any of my tanks (no discus so far).
Discus constantly shed their slime and it tends to build up on the glass providing a great food source for bad bacteria. In lightly stocked tanks you might not notice so much but when you start to crowd discus it becomes quite evident.
 

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Preface with "my opinion" If you are really willing and able to do 2-3 heavy water changes I think they would be better off than others that stick to 10g per fish rule and only do one weekly:)

Lisa
 

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Discus constantly shed their slime and it tends to build up on the glass providing a great food source for bad bacteria. In lightly stocked tanks you might not notice so much but when you start to crowd discus it becomes quite evident.
Ah...thanks for that explanation. That's something I never thought about, as I have plecos in my tank that remove almost everything off the glass except the hard green spot algae.
 

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I have 6 in a 90gal. I would say OK in a bare bottom tank as you can get to the poop. In a planted tank, you may run into problems down the road if you don't keep up with the water changes (cleaning up the poop) and filter maintenance.
 

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if you have a couple pleccos they will clean the slime coat off the walls. but yes..it gets a thick slimy film that collects bacteria.
i say..its all great if you do your wcs..but..then..all of a sudden..sick..or a few days holiday..or tired..and then you say..oh...tomorrow morning..then you say heh that worked..then again..you say..oh...tired..then the morning your late for work..so the next nite..a few times here and there..and whammo...issues. stress..dirty water..slimecoat on the discus..a grey film..white poo or stomach lining..or they didnt eat all their food..and theres a pile of fluffy tetrabits in the corner..then all of a sudden you go in the room..and they freak out..crash about..one spirals..your water was looking so clear..crystal clear...you go wow..so clear...or the discus got quiet...guess what..ph is crashing..and ammonia has built up..you do a wc..and then the spiraling one spirals again...then lands upside down..then another few spirals and gone..
ive seen it all..and done it all over the 15 years.
i do a couple more sometimes than the rule..but i have done all these things listed above..so i know when the ticking time bomb is coming.
or..another scenario..you realize your water is out of control..and needs a huge cleaning..so you do a 90 percent wc. guess what..the city cranked up the chlorine..or lowered the ph..or higher..all of a sudden..then..you go down in ph..or smoke em...by going from real low due to not enough wcs..to high ph..and trouble..slime coat pouring off in beads floating to the top..and unhappy discus.
 

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from what I understand, I wouldn't do it unless maybe they are 3" or less. If you are talking adult size of 4" plus, I would be looking at a 90 gallon tank or minimum 75 gallon....for 8 fish....
The way I see it is that the discus we buy are an investment and we should do everything to make them more comfortable, survive and have a long happy life...lol
If it was as easy as that, I would put my 26 discus into a 130 gallon, which would be a lot of fish in one tank....way to overcrowded....just my opinion....also all what April said.......not worth the risk.....
One good thing if that worked would be that the cleaning would be heck of a lot easier....lol
P.S. bet you are happy you started this thread....lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is exactly what I wanted from this thread. I wasn't necessarliy going to do it, even if the response was different. I just wanted to see what everyone thought. Keep the responses coming.
 

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I am going to have to say no too. That would be alot of discus in one tank, regardless of the w/c. Especially since they are almost adults. IF they were younger ones OR runted ones, you could probably get away with it.

We all know that discus keepers need to keep up on the w/c. And as April said, its all good now if you want to do them, but if you get sick or too tired, or working too much or water ever - then boom the regime changes. I, too, have done it myself, just thankfully I didn't loose anyone.

A great thread to start!!
 

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Message for target re: your discus poll last week:
In my opinion, you should be fine, with large, frequent W/C's.
I kept up to 14 juvies in a growout planted 44 gal.tank for 2-3 months, till they grew by
1" or more, then downsized to 6.
These 6 are now up to 4", and I have no problems, with 50% W/C's every 2nd day, complete wipedowns, vacuuming., weekly, or more often, filter media changes/cleanses, on a rotating basis.
emile
 

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P.S. to my earlier post on discus numbers:

To TARGET:
April's advice is undoubtedly sound.
However, i do feel the 10 gal. rule for maturer discus may be somewhat on the side of overcaution, IF your routine isn't allowed to slip & you're quite careful.
I'm retired & have all the time in the world.
I do my large W/C's & other clean-up religiously, without deviation, & my water parameters are constantly monitored, to ensure they're maintained at optimal levels.
I check PH, ammonia, nitrates, etc. on a frequent basis, & also regularly monitor PH & ammonia right out of tap water, & after sitting overnite.
( For many months, PH out of the tap, & on an ongoing basis in my tank, is right around the 7.0 mark.)
In my own case, as my 6 beauties grow, I will consider going BB, or perhaps opt for a larger tank, rather than reduce the fish number further.
I don't expect this to change your mind, but did want to get in my 2 cents worth.
emile
 

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P.S. to my earlier post on discus numbers:

To TARGET:
April's advice is undoubtedly sound.
However, i do feel the 10 gal. rule for maturer discus may be somewhat on the side of overcaution, IF your routine isn't allowed to slip & you're quite careful.
I'm retired & have all the time in the world.
I do my large W/C's & other clean-up religiously, without deviation, & my water parameters are constantly monitored, to ensure they're maintained at optimal levels.
I check PH, ammonia, nitrates, etc. on a frequent basis, & also regularly monitor PH & ammonia right out of tap water, & after sitting overnite.
( For many months, PH out of the tap, & on an ongoing basis in my tank, is right around the 7.0 mark.)
In my own case, as my 6 beauties grow, I will consider going BB, or perhaps opt for a larger tank, rather than reduce the fish number further.
I don't expect this to change your mind, but did want to get in my 2 cents worth.
emile
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks emile. I was using this as a guage, not that I was definitely planning to try it. I have since had my wife tell me we should get a larger tank so I will be getting a 125g in the next few months or so which will give me more than enough room to house them all together.
 
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