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Baby discus are getting sick and dying

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:20 am
by GMAN-discus
My baby discus are getting some kind of disease that causes them to be lethargic. They swim around bumping into things with almost no control of what they're doing including not being able to eat. :( :( There's no other visible symptom. I've read about gill fluke and perhaps the parent fish might be passing this onto them. Are there any other possibilities or causes I should analyze before treating them with Formalin? The parents are both red turquoise and are in the same tank and are doing very well. The babies are about a quarter in size and roughly 3mos old. I'm down to 6 remaining babies. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Baby discus are getting sick and dying

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:54 am
by Lisachromis
I have no idea what your baby discus have but can say that I've heard that gill flukes are a very common problem with baby discus.

Gill Fluke article -

If you think it's gill flukes, a treatment not mentioned in that article is Prazi-Pro from Hikari. It seems to not be too harsh on the fish.

Re: Baby discus are getting sick and dying

Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:56 am
by apistomaster
Gill flukes are not very common among small fry of any domestic discus.
Based on my experience and your description, i suspect you are not keeping their water clean enough and may be having troubles caused by poorly or incompletely cycled filters. Discus fry are very sensitive to poor water quality and act like or experience high losses unless the water quality is improved.
You need to be sure that you feed them frequently but no more than they can eat in a few minutes. If you are feeding them Artemia nauplii, be sure you vacuum up any left over dead brine shrimp as soon as it's practical.
One way to help maintain good water quality other than frequent water changes and good hygiene is to use a canister filter. Equip the filter inlet with a prefilter and add a ball valve to the return line if you don't have built-in valves so you can reduce the filter return flow rates low during their first 7-10 of free swimming. I would also include a sponge filter.

Exactly when do your problems with the fry become evident and has the rearing tank been set up long enough for the filter(s) to become cycled.

Re: Baby discus are getting sick and dying

Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:05 pm
by GMAN-discus
Hi Apistomaster and Lisachromis, Thanks for your responses and ideas. Apistomaster, those are amazing pictures! I can't upload my pics because my files are too big. How did you copy your pics in your reply?

Here's a bit more detail on my tank environment that might help point to some specific things for me to try. I have a 30-gal plex with a Fluval 2 cannister. I use ceramic, peat moss granules, and charcoal as additional media. I try and change each of them spanning a 3mo cycle but never changing more than 2 at the same time including the sponges. I also do weekly water changes of about 30%. I check water parameters(nitrite/nitrate/ammonia/hardness) at the same time. The city water feed is pretty consistent and clean where I live so I usually don't have to worry about my water parameters going off by much during changes. I keep my PH levels around 6.4-6.5 and temp around 86. The peat moss seems to help maintain the PH but I do need to use PH Down from time-time. I was feeding them frozen shrimp which they would consume in about 15-20min. Perhaps a single cube is too much for 2 parents and 15-20 dime sized discuss.

I've since moved my baby discus to their own 10gal tank and so far so good. Hopefully I can get another fry started with much more success.

Thanks again and I'm so appreciative to access to have a forum like this.