Discus

Discussion about discus
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sheila
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:22 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Discus

Post by sheila » Thu May 01, 2008 1:49 pm

Ok, this is for all you discus keepers. I'm playing with the idea of trying discus. I'm just in the research stage right now and trying to get as much info as I can in order to make an informed decision as to if I really want to do this or not. The thing that is making me the most hesitant is the common belief that they are very difficult to keep. So since I'm just starting my research I have a few questions and will probably have lots more so any help would be really appreciated. Ok, here goes:
first, I'm planning on using a 55g tank that I have. It already is set up for central americans and has a heater and an AC500. I'm thinking of adding a Rena XP2 or using the AC500 on another tank I have and using just a Rena XP3 on the 55gal. The XP3 is rated for 175g so will that be enough for a 55g tank with discus or will that be overkill?
1. Are they really that difficult to care for?
2. Do you just use water out of the tap or do you try to soften it with peat or some other substance?
3. I'm thinking of going bare bottom with the tank, is this a good idea? I've read it makes keeping things clean a lot easier.
4. How often do you do water changes? I've read some do them weekly while others do them daily. I can handle weekly but if it's daily, I have to admit I don't have the time for that.
5. How many discus do I go with? I've read 6 is a good number for a 55g but I don't want to overstock and I was thinking 4 would be an ok number.
6. I want this to be a species tank but I would like to add some cory cats as a clean up crew because from what I've read, discus are messy eaters. Which cory cats do ok in the higher temps that discus require?

Well that's it for now. Sorry to ask so many questions but I want to make sure I can take care of these guys properly before I get them.

Thanks

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apistomaster
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:00 am
Location: Clarkston WA 99403

Re: Discus

Post by apistomaster » Mon May 05, 2008 7:28 pm

It is difficult to over do filtration.
Tank raised discus are very easy to keep.
Buy six not less.
I recommend two water changes of about 2/3 the volume of the tank twice a week.
Bare tanks are best for raising small discus to adults but a enough sand to cover the bare glass is fine. Discus appreciate the sand because they sift it for food. Also add a few pieces of drift wood, some potted plants and a floating plant like Water Sprite or Ceratophyllum aka Hornwort.
Be sure to buy from a breeder or a source with a good reputation.
Corydoras sterbai will do well at discus temperatures, I keep mine at 82 to 84*F. Any of the mainly carnivorous small fancy plecos also are good discus tank mates.
I recommend a common Ancistrus sp 3 pleco as the discus tank's algae eater. Regular or albino, normal or long fin varieties are equally good.
Larry Waybright

gage
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:26 pm
Location: canada

Re: Discus

Post by gage » Thu May 08, 2008 10:33 pm

just have to add i heard Gold Nugget plecos do marvelous with discus.

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apistomaster
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:00 am
Location: Clarkston WA 99403

Re: Discus

Post by apistomaster » Fri May 09, 2008 9:00 am

Gold Nuggets are a good pleco to keep with Discus. I have done it myself.
The only things you need to be aware of is that they are also among the most delicate of all the plecos.
The first major challenge is to acclimate them and rebuild their health when you first get them. Then never subject them to any abrupt changes in pH.
They only rate a score of fair when it comes to algae eating. I would still depend on a Bushy Nose for that. Gold Nuggets like a lot of live black worms, frozen blood worms and any prepared foods discus eat.
I have a lot of colonies of fancy plecos including H. zebra but the Gold Nugget, in good health, out shines them all. It is one of the prettiest of all plecos.
Larry Waybright

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