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Old 21st June 2010, 20:42   #1
syd4444
 
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Default What is stopping my Discus from growing

I bought 3x3inch Discus about nine months ago and at the same time I rescued an Adult Discus from a fish shop in the Kingdom of Fife. They're all in a community tank which is 180 ltr's. The water is very soft in my area, the tank PH is 6.4, KH is 4, DH is about 6. I change 40 ltrs of water every week. I feed them on frozen discus diet, frozen bloodworm, discus flake tetramin prima. They've grown only very slightly. Are they slow growing fish and maybe i'm expecting too much. I had the same problem when I kept them about 30 years ago.BTW, I'm waiting on the arrival of a 250ltr tank to house the discus on their own.
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Old 21st June 2010, 20:44   #2
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what are your nitrate levels?
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Old 21st June 2010, 20:45   #3
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They're not especially slow growing, but they may have been stunted if they were in the shop a long time - not much food, high nitrates, etc.

The usual cause of slow growth in fish is high nitrates, and discus are more susceptible to them than most fish. What are yours like?
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Old 21st June 2010, 21:06   #4
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Thanks for the replies, the last time I checked the NO3 was 20. The tank is quite heavily planted. The main problem I have is trying to keep the phosphates down. I also do my water changes using RO water and re-mineralise to a TDS reading of 54 which is the TDS reading of the water straight from the tap. The only reason I use RO water is because I make up the water for my daughters marine fish.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 09:07   #5
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i am lead to believe that no3 levels of 20ppm and above inhibit the the grow of discus as well as other fish.
try adding a few floating plants to reduce the no3 levels
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Old 22nd June 2010, 11:13   #6
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Hi
Is the tank planted?
Smaller Discus do better in a BB tank where they don,t have to go searching for food and you can also keep on top of water stats easier.
They need more feeds than adults and lots of waterchanges are beneficial.
A good varied diet with a high protein count and your Discus should grow well.
I also think alot will depend on the quality of the Discus and i have experience with one of my Discus that has not grown as it should.
It,s a female and is healthy but is only around 4.5 inches
I have had this fish a few years now but not what i would call a quality Discus.
I would add Beefheart to the diet and up your maintainence with the waterchanges
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Old 22nd June 2010, 20:39   #7
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Many thanks for the replies.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 21:29   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billko View Post
Smaller Discus do better in a BB tank where they don,t have to go searching for food and you can also keep on top of water stats easier.........I would add Beefheart to the diet
I totally disagree with both of these points. At the end of the day Discus are fish, and in low nitrates and good water they are no more difficult to keep than most fish, and do not need any special kind of tank setup. It would be difficult for a discus to 'lose' food in a 'normal' tank setup, as they would be up at the top where the food is added and they would eat it before they have to go and 'find' it again, just like most fish. Besides, its not difficult to find food when you've got all day to look for it. As for keeping on top of the water, the same rules apply to all fish.

Beefheart does promote quick growth, but is an unhealthy food for fish because of it's mammalian fats. I used to feed beefheart to fish, but there are plenty of alternatives which will provide quicker growth (cockles, prawns, dried growth foods, etc)
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Old 22nd June 2010, 22:17   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackghost View Post
I totally disagree with both of these points. At the end of the day Discus are fish, and in low nitrates and good water they are no more difficult to keep than most fish, and do not need any special kind of tank setup. It would be difficult for a discus to 'lose' food in a 'normal' tank setup, as they would be up at the top where the food is added and they would eat it before they have to go and 'find' it again, just like most fish. Besides, its not difficult to find food when you've got all day to look for it. As for keeping on top of the water, the same rules apply to all fish.

Beefheart does promote quick growth, but is an unhealthy food for fish because of it's mammalian fats. I used to feed beefheart to fish, but there are plenty of alternatives which will provide quicker growth (cockles, prawns, dried growth foods, etc)
Well we have to agree to disagree then and i have no problem with your view.
However young Discus (domestic) are mainly brought up in BB tanks and are not used with going looking for food in a planted tank.
Any uneaten food can be syphoned off easily and the younger Discus can have frequent feeds as they need these feeds at this time and with a BB tank you can maintain it easier and syphon any left overs easily.
This is normal practice amongst most Discus keepers and the BB tank works best when you have young Discus.
Plenty waterchanges and regular feeds and the fish will grow well.
Adults however don,t need the same amount of attention and a planted tank is fine (i have one myself)
This is why it,s better for newbies buying bigger fish (around 5 inches) and near adults as they are easier than trying to grow on younger fish.
I also don,t think Beefheart is a problem and is also used by most Discus keepers.
You only need to look at the Stendker Discus and see the quality of these fish and beefheart is what this large Discus breeder recommends feeding his fish.
I use this along with other foods and my fish are all healthy.
As for the fish having "all day to look for it" well Discus can be out competed for food depending on other tankmates and no food should be left all day anyway as it will affect water quality.
I still think young Discus do better in a BB and easier to grow on to a good size fish but as i said adult fish will fit into a planted set up much easier.
I agree they are not hard to keep but again the younger fish have more requirements than adults
Only my opinion of course
Billy
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Old 22nd June 2010, 22:38   #10
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I totally respect your opinion, and I know these methods are the usual methods, but I still disagree that they are better - easier maybe, but not better.

Fish that are fed beefheart will accumulate the fats (it's only about 4% fat, but it has a cumulative effect) mainly in and around the liver, which causes a progressive decline in liver function. The fish will be otherwise healthy, and will grow fairly quickly (beefheart is only about 18% protein so there are plenty of other foods which will grow them more quickly), but over time their health will be affected.

I have bred and raised many fish, including discus, in both bare and furnished tanks (I've nothing against BB tanks) and it's just as easy for an experienced aquarist (yourself included ) to grow well-fed quick growing young in either setup, with appropriate maintenance. I've never been hampered in the amount of food I can feed by substrate or decor. I agree though, BB is a lot easier, especially for intensive growing-on.
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