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Angels and Discus

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Angels and Discus

Post  endlessendlers on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 09:26

I sold my lace pair on the weekend to a guy who breeds mainly discus. He's offered me a couple. I understand they have different requirements. My ph is 7.4 and their range is up to 7. The guy told me to put a ball of peat in a stocking and to age water for water changes with a ball of peat. It sounds a lot of hassle to me and I was wondering if it is necessary. Could I not acclimatise them when I get them by adding tank water over a period of hours to the bag. He also keeps the discus at 89 to 92 deg. This also worries me as the high temp encourages bacteria growth. One last point, 10% water changes have to be done daily, is this also vital?

Thanks in anticipation for any help.
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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  endlessendlers on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 09:40

I've checked my ph and it's 6.4. I've looked back at my notes of previous tests and it goes between 6.4 and 6.6. I don't know what made me think it was 7.4. Doh! Anyway, that's one less thing to worry about.
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Discus and angels

Post  kim554x on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 10:19

hi I have kept angels and discus in the same tank with no problems, discus are more hardy than most people think as long as they have not been kept in a tank that is continuosly filtered by a uv as this kills all bacteria germs etc and eventually the fish has no immunety against common germs so when they are put in a normal tank they go fins up very quickly. your ph is fine for discus and it is true that discus prefer higher temperatures I think 89 to 90 degrees is a bit excessive, I found that 80 degrees is fine as to water changes i just do normal weekly water changes and have had no problems. My discus also eat the same as I feed my angels etc, I think as long as you follow the basic fishkeeping rules your discus should be fine.

Kim

Ps if for any reason your discus are not happy they will soon let you know by sulking and turning very dark, if this happens you would need to find out why?
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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  Pterophyllum on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 10:22

The reason many discus keepers keep their fish at close to 90f is because of some research which was carried out on discus in their natural enviroment, and 90f was found to be the water temperature. Many now regard this study as flawed and suggest that 82f is a normal temperature, with temperatures only reaching 90f in direct sun, at the height of the dry season......

However.....

Because many breeders, have been keeping and breeding their domestic discus strains in the high 80's, for many generations, there is a good argument to be made that many domestic discus strains are better adapted to these higher temperatures.
Bacterial levels are partly reduced by keeping them at lower pH's, regular water changes also help in this regard.
Personally I'd aim at a somewhat lower temperature, 81 or 82, but if the fish are used to being kept at 90, I'd start them at that temperature, and lower them very gradually over a period of weeks.
I'd do this because I like planted tanks, and anything much higher makes growing plants very difficult.

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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  endlessendlers on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 11:13

Thanks Kim and Rob. All very encouraging.

I will be quarantining them, so I will reduce the temp over a matter of weeks. Will discus breed at 82 deg?
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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  uk bulldog on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 12:17

Hi Helen any info you require you will find on the BIDKA website & there are a lot of Discus breeders in Wales so you will have no trouble a few i have spoken to seem to do realy well with breeding but water changes are a vital thing especialy in breeding tanks & prefered tank size seems to be 18inch cubes.

Paul
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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  endlessendlers on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 12:50

uk bulldog wrote:Hi Helen any info you require you will find on the BIDKA website & there are a lot of Discus breeders in Wales so you will have no trouble a few i have spoken to seem to do realy well with breeding but water changes are a vital thing especialy in breeding tanks & prefered tank size seems to be 18inch cubes.

Paul

Thanks Paul, I'll look it up.
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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  Ghipsi on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 13:34

I have kept & bred Discus in my tap water without any problems Very Happy , the main thing with Discus is good quality food, a good water regime (which you already have Helen) and regular worming (they tend to carry parasites and do need deworming regularly).
Young Discus need good quality high protein foods to reach their potential. As to temperature I kept them at 28 to 30 C, the same temp that I breed Rams at but I have easily reared Discus and Angels together without any problems, they are beautiful fish.
Lisa

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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  endlessendlers on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 20:12

Thanks Lisa. This guy has been keeping freshwater fish for 40 years and is a bit old school. He said to put salt in the water, but I'd rather not unless it is just when they are in quarantine. Surely I shouldn't have salt in the water with angels as a long term thing?
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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  Ghipsi on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 21:51

If you are using tap water, unless you are using the salt for treatment then no need but many people put a spoon of salt in there tanks every water change, small amounts don't do any harm but you have to remember salt dosn't evaporate with the water so over time the salinity can build up.
I would advise a good quality water conditioner such as Seachem Prime as it neutralises heavy metals in your tap water as well as Chlorine, Chloramine, Ammonia etc

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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  chiligum on Wed 21 Mar 2012, 22:10

Right then a few things!
I have kept Angels and Discus for many many years and for a few years in the same set-up.
Discus only have to have (very very!) frequent water changes when you are growing them on from fry otherwise they get stunted and never reach their full potential.
I have kept Discus at 80 (never ever lower as you are inviting trouble!), most Discus are kept between 84-86, only ever higher when they go on hunger strike which can happen for 101 different reasons, and the higher temps encourages them to start eating again.
Flake and granular food has advanced a lot as well in recent years and it is no longer vital to make Beefheart mixes up to keep your Discus growing well, regular small feeds and clean warm water will do that just as well.
All my Discus have only ever been kept in normal tap water with dechlorinator added (no RO), and have had no problems (the same with my wild Altums).
Smaller Discus are a lot easier to come round to your way of thinking as Adults don't take too kindly to change as they are very set in their ways!
Smaller Discus are also a lot keener to take new foods and change to different water conditions without sulking as well, just make sure that the tank you set up pretty much mimicks the one they have been kept in and gradually change it over a couple of weeks to the conditions they will be kept in with you and you should be ok.
I can go on forever but you will be already bored by my ramblings!
Mark.
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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  endlessendlers on Thu 22 Mar 2012, 07:55

Thanks everyone for the advice.

Mark, if I do get discus they will be around 10 weeks old. Therefore as you said, they should be easy to acclimatise. So the plan is to put them in 92 deg water and slowly drop the temp over a couple over weeks. I won't be using salt, but will keep up with my regular water changes and perhaps increase their frequency if neccessary, maybe smaller changes, but more frequent. I have plenty of time, as I'm waiting on an imminent spawn.
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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  chiligum on Thu 22 Mar 2012, 08:22

10 weeks old, you're brave!
The trouble with Discus that young is, they might already be stunted, might not develop the right body shape etc, but a great age for trying lots of different foods!
No you're right, don't put any salt in there, you don't need it whatsoever, also i wouldn't have your tank at 92 when you put them in (that temp is so high and not needed), try about 86-88 and float them in that for a bit before putting them in your tank and then drop it a few more degrees over the next week or so. The thing is with Discus, you have to raise the temperature in the water with them if and when things go wrong and if they are kept at a high temp to start with, you have no 'magic cure'.
Discus do at various stages through their life go on hunger strike for a hundred different reasons and putting the temp to 88-90 usually brings them out of it and then you lower the temp back down slowly when they are feeding again.
It all depends on how many Discus you are keeping to how many gallons you are keeping them in to decide on the water changes.
The Discus farms in Asia do 100% sometimes 200% changes a day, but they have it out of the tap at the right temp and no chlorine etc so they are ok, we on the other hand have to do it manually and with dechlorinator.
The thing with Discus as well as wild Angels, it's not about loads of new water being thrown in the tank all the while, it's keeping the water conditions stable and pretty much the same.
If you only change 100% of the tank water in one go every 3 weeks, the tank conditions will be different compared to you doing a 25% change every other day, so liitle and often is the best bet for healthy fish.
I change about 40% of my water every 2-3 days when growing young Discus on, it has worked for me, maybe i should do more but i find that ok. Discus only have short guts as well, so you can't give them huge meals in one go, little and often is the key with the food as well as the new water!
I feed my baby Discus up to 8 small feeds a day when i am at home and as many as i can when i'm not there all day. Just keep an eye on the fish waste and keep up with the water changes and you will be fine, sorry for rambling again, i'll shut up now!
Mark.
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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  Grummie2 on Thu 22 Mar 2012, 08:29

Just a note of caution. I would double check the water temp at his place with your own thermometer, 92f is VERY high and can be fatal if the oxygen levels are not sufficient. If his equipment says 92f it doesn't mean thats what it actually is....! If it is 92f, then make sure your heater will go that high, not all will. As Chiligum says, I'd put them at 86f ish, thats plenty high enough.

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Re: Angels and Discus

Post  Squidward on Thu 22 Mar 2012, 08:33

- chlilgum, what are your water stats (gh,kh, ph) out of the tap?

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Re: Angels and Discus

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