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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i toying with the idea of getting rid of everything from my 150g except for the ray and trying discus.

i've never kept discus but have been keeping fish for a very long time 15+ years now.
i've always shied away from discus because of cost mostly but now that they are becoming more affordable.

is there any do's or don'ts i should be aware?
do i have to go bare bottom?
any info or help from the discus experts would be welcome.
and or advice.
thanks i advance for any info...



Adrian.
 

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Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it!!!!!!!

My advise (for what it's worth) -
Read everything you can.
Spend hours on Simply Discus.
As soon as you start to read conflicting information from all the "experts" - STOP reading, it will only make you question your decision to get discus.
Get the fish.
Keep the water clean. Yes, you will need to do water changes. A LOT of water changes.
Watch your fish. They'll tell you exactly what's up with them through their behaviour, their color, their eating, etc. etc. and yes, you WILL learn to read them.
Give them a lot of variety in their diet (good quality food).
Did I mention water changes???!!!

Adrian, I had absolutely NO interest whatsoever in discus until I bought a tank that came with 5 of them and they kind of grew on me before I had a chance to dump them off on April. Now, I can't imagine not having them. When I wake up in the morning, I open my eyes and see six floating dinner plates watching me about 4 inches from my face. They rush right to the side of the tank as soon as I wake up. I stick my hand in the tank and they rush to be petted. That's why I call them my tank puppies.

Go for it, Adrian. I think you'll really enjoy the experience.
I'm certainly no expert, but am more than willing to help you any way I can.
Shelley
 

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Lol did you like my layout adrian? :p
It is a great combo!

In my opinion sand is almost the same as bare bottem, not much crud can get caught through it.
I orrigonally shy'd away because of the price, but gain some experence! Get a couple of piegon bloods to start, There is one up for sale on the forum for 25.00 right now. Very afordable.
 

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There's a bit of a learning curve, if you enjoy raising babies/juvies to adulthood it gets easier with each batch. I researched and read Simplydiscus and other discus forums for about a year learning from other fishkeepers hits and misses before I felt ready for my first group of discus.

Decided what you want from your discus. If you just want to keep discus, you don't have to go barebottom and daily water changes. Planted, gravel, it's all good but you do come across more health issues. For my first batch, I raised a group of juvies in a bare bottom, daily water changes, multiple feeds for about a year before moving them into a planted tank.

The idea of going barebottom, lots of water changes and multiple daily feeds is to give fish the greatest chance of growing big and vibrant with less chance of health issues. With multiple feedings a day, you can't keep gravel and filters clean enough unless you become a slave to cleaning your discus tank constantly.

Juvies grow the most within the first year. Anything that interrupts their growth period, ie. disease, illness, hunger strikes, unclean water ups the chances of stunted fish. Those are those skinny, smallish discus that you see from time to time in LFS. If you start with adults, they can be as tough as nails so you don't have to worry about stunted fish. Just give them good food and clean water and they should be happy.

But whichever way you go, start with good, quality stock. This gives you a running head start. A $10 discus is just as much work as a $50 discus, and you'll probably be happier with the end result of the $50 discus.
 

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Some good advice posted so far. Definitely go on Simply Discus. Its an awesome resource when first starting out. I spent weeks searching online for info that took me 5 mins to get on that forum.

And go for it! Discus are amazing fish, and once you get a tank full of growing, healthy 'pigs with fins' you will be hooked. Clean water and good food, they will do the rest.
 

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My Advice would be to read a lot. Check out simplydiscus (as everyone else above stated).

In my experience and opinion, you dont need a bare bottom tank. Sand works just fine (for reasons stated above).

They are very shy fish, so keep that in mind and dont keep the tank in a highly mobile area. They will get spooked. I haven't been to your place in a long time, so I dont know where you have your tank at.

Once they get used to their new house, they are much better. I am still unhappy about getting rid of my Discus...(and I still dont have a job).

Dont forget the water changes...lol
I had them in a planted tank with 50% WC twice a week working fine, but in a non-planted tank, make sure to do more WC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the responses every one.
well at this point in time i don't have that nice calm room for my fish yet.
so i will think more about Discus in a year or so when we get our own place and i can have a fish room with out kids running through it all the time.
 

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go to the beginners section on simply..and then go to the univierstiy section and read the thread on eye to body ratio..and look at alot of pics..till you actually "see "discus shape. takes some time..wahters has a great article in begninners wiht great pics of eye size etc..and what not to get..http://www.aquariumhobbyist.com/discus/beginner/index.html . walter has some great info on his site.
afforadable..low price isnt always a deal. if you see pics of adults..from some tank..and then you see advertisements for cheap small discus..your not getting whats in that pic. best to see the actual fish that are for sale. theres lower priced ones but more basic strains for decent prices. dont start with 2 to 2.5 inches..you will not get good results especially in a large tank . youd need a huge group. they would feel very insecure. if your going to use your big tank with a ray..and sand..then get at least 4 inch..and a decent size group. at least 6 to 8. good food..low bioload..low nitrates..and as much wcs as you can..you should succeed. dont go with pigeon bloods if your doing a big tank with sand and ray..you will end up with peppered pigeons. go with basic barred fish.
someone named april has an article also on her website on selecting discus.
:rolleyes:http://www.aprilsaquarium.com/discus.php
you wont be sorry..they are the king of the aquarium after all..
you dont need a nice calm room if you get good healthy discus. the more commotion and traffic in front the better. my discus are in the grooming shop..and the one tank has big dogs standing right no plain view..and they dont flinch. my discus can be laying eggs..while im standing there doing wc's and other people standing watching..its the ones in a quiet room who get skittish...as they get surprised when they do see someone.
 

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Cool, I have been thinking of setting one of my 75 gallon tanks as a discus tank once my 180 gets set up. I have always found them pretty interesting fish.
Keep us posted.
 

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Adrian, my 2 discus tanks have always been in the busiest room of my place, one being under 3 feet from the floor. It's right at eye level for my 16 month old boy and he is always up against the tank looking at the fish. My discus never startle, and aren't bothered by the motion outside the tank. I can't guarantee that every discus will react the same but IME mine aren't skittish at all. They all swim to the front when I walk by.
 

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Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it!!!!!!!

My advise (for what it's worth) -
Read everything you can.
Spend hours on Simply Discus.
As soon as you start to read conflicting information from all the "experts" - STOP reading, it will only make you question your decision to get discus.
Get the fish.
Keep the water clean. Yes, you will need to do water changes. A LOT of water changes.
Watch your fish. They'll tell you exactly what's up with them through their behaviour, their color, their eating, etc. etc. and yes, you WILL learn to read them.
Give them a lot of variety in their diet (good quality food).
Did I mention water changes???!!!

Adrian, I had absolutely NO interest whatsoever in discus until I bought a tank that came with 5 of them and they kind of grew on me before I had a chance to dump them off on April. Now, I can't imagine not having them. When I wake up in the morning, I open my eyes and see six floating dinner plates watching me about 4 inches from my face. They rush right to the side of the tank as soon as I wake up. I stick my hand in the tank and they rush to be petted. That's why I call them my tank puppies.

Go for it, Adrian. I think you'll really enjoy the experience.
I'm certainly no expert, but am more than willing to help you any way I can.
Shelley
I totally agree with Shelley's analysis & sharing. One important point I want to share is your initial investment may be higher than some fish, but if you do it right, then your maintenance cost/casualties will be lowered.

Discus dont need a lot of space and in reality, they enjoy the crowded environment with their own groups. I have kept both planted & bare bottom discus tanks, and both have their attractions. Planted discus tank will need more maintenance in plants clipping, however, once established, no need to vacuum the bottom frequently. Bare bottom tank will save time in W/C, as well as focusing more on the physical beauties of the fish than the tank's decoration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks for the wealth of info about experiences and also thanks for the links April.
as stated I'm going to wait till i get my fish room as my girls can be a little hard on the fish in the 150g already.
as it is my flag tails nose has never been allowed to heal properly without being opened again.
i will also do some reading at simply discus..
again thanks for all experiences and info...
 

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I had to chuckle when I read this :)

I have all my fish tanks (including my discus tank) in the family room downstairs. It also is my son's playroom as well - he's almost 2.5 years old. I'm sure you can picture it :) Like any toddler, he's all over the place running around, balls bouncing here and there (but never against the tanks), making loud noises, putting his face right up against the tanks, etc. You get the idea.

Perhaps I just have kid-friendly discus... I'm sure it's because they're conditioned to the environment :) But the discus don't flinch with him around and they are healthy and happy discus.

I have a friend who has the same set-up and she keeps them in a separate room. They are happy and healthy too but whenever someone enters the room (including herself), they go crazy, hit the glass, and huddle together. I told her perhaps it's the same as raising our kids - when my son was a baby, I made sure there was sound when he was sleeping. I didn't want a baby that woke up at the slightest noise. It could just be his nature but even to this day, he can sleep through a VERY noisy party.

This is just my experience though :)

Cheers!

thanks for the responses every one.
well at this point in time i don't have that nice calm room for my fish yet.
so i will think more about Discus in a year or so when we get our own place and i can have a fish room with out kids running through it all the time.
 
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