Why is it difficult to keep discus?

Shape of Water

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Aug 23, 2020
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Hi, I'm looking into setup my 50 gallon tank for Discus. I found they are super peaceful to watch. They look like colorful balloons! I also heard that they were difficult to keep. Why is that? I know they like the temperature between 84-86 degree. I usually do a 20% water change weekly. I plan on raise a herd of six 2" discus. As the reached to the adult's size, I will rehome 1 or 2... only if the tank is crowded. Is there anything I should be aware of as far as the care? Also, anyone has any luck on breeding them? Thanks.
 

Hendre

Bawitius
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They don't like bacteria much, which is where most of struggle comes from. High temperatures and lots of protein-rich food creates a lot of waste for bacteria to feed from and small systems can quickly be spiked with nitrates which is a big problem. My friend who breeds discus does so in high-volume systems of 100g+ with a lot of water changes and also drops the pH down to replicate the natural conditions for his wilds. Tank raised strains are usually a bit hardier. Why not use angels instead?
 

Raka

Plecostomus
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Oct 22, 2019
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Consistency. People lack the commitment to the fish after pushing their stocking level. High temp mixed with a sensitivity to bacterial growth also is a challenge in itself as stated by Hendre Hendre its a great recipe for a bacterial breeding ground.

For breeding water hardness and ph become another challenge in their own right. I have been looking into a school (no fish "herds" :naughty:) myself for my 110gal.

I have dealt with the hardness issue with my Angel's for breeding under guidance from the Angel/Discus Breeder I got the angels from.

Most discus will do fine in most water as long as it is kept clean. Some wilds will not do well above 6.0ph. This is based on what Ive heard from the local breeders, fish store owners, aquatics managers, King of DIY Vids, Co-op Vids, and the Simply Discus forum owner. HOWEVER, I am still in the research stage on this fish and am not speaking from first hand exp on discus.

Breeding and grow outs would need different considerations other than general keeping.
 

Shape of Water

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Aug 23, 2020
10
3
3
They don't like bacteria much, which is where most of struggle comes from. High temperatures and lots of protein-rich food creates a lot of waste for bacteria to feed from and small systems can quickly be spiked with nitrates which is a big problem. My friend who breeds discus does so in high-volume systems of 100g+ with a lot of water changes and also drops the pH down to replicate the natural conditions for his wilds. Tank raised strains are usually a bit hardier. Why not use angels instead?
I like the pattern of the Discus. A friend of my has a Snake-Skin or Pigeon Blood Discus. It was so pretty. I think they all have a pretty face. You brought up a good point. The reseller would've never told me that. Maybe I should stick with Goldfish, like Oranda or Hryukin. When this pandemic is over, I will be working two jobs again. :OMG: . I am setting up a 240 gallon tank for Silver Arowana and a Stingray. That should be enough to keep me busy. What do you think?
 

Shape of Water

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Aug 23, 2020
10
3
3

Shape of Water

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Aug 23, 2020
10
3
3
Consistency. People lack the commitment to the fish after pushing their stocking level. High temp mixed with a sensitivity to bacterial growth also is a challenge in itself as stated by Hendre Hendre its a great recipe for a bacterial breeding ground.

For breeding water hardness and ph become another challenge in their own right. I have been looking into a school (no fish "herds" :naughty:) myself for my 110gal.

I have dealt with the hardness issue with my Angel's for breeding under guidance from the Angel/Discus Breeder I got the angels from.

Most discus will do fine in most water as long as it is kept clean. Some wilds will not do well above 6.0ph. This is based on what Ive heard from the local breeders, fish store owners, aquatics managers, King of DIY Vids, Co-op Vids, and the Simply Discus forum owner. HOWEVER, I am still in the research stage on this fish and am not speaking from first hand exp on discus.

Breeding and grow outs would need different considerations other than general keeping.
Thanks for the correction. I watched too many Discovery Channel.
 
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