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Discus in Tetra tank?


Anasfire
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I've been looking at different 'feature' fish to put into my 3ft tank which is mainly a tetra tank; neon's, glowlights, rasboras etc and a few female bettas. I had 2 male dwaft gourami's in there not long ago but one died and the other became too territorial and started killing fish so I had to remove him. I've always loved Angel fish but I've heard they are very territorial also so I'm now thinking Discus or Bolivian Butterly Cichlids might go well in this tank.

Opinions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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Have you got the capacity to age enough water to do heaps of water changes for a discus? They are some particularly finicky fish and like their conditions just right. I don't know if they go with tetras or not, but discus are an expert fish in my opinion. Would you only be getting the one discus if you got one?

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Um, don't really have the capacity to age the water. I always use a water conditioner with ammonia lock and slime coat anyways. The tank I'm referring to is a 3.5ft (and about 2ft tall) so I'm sure I could get away with having 2-3 in there. I think I read somewhere that they don't mind alkaline water which would be prefect coz this tank is ALWAYS alkaline! I was admiring some of them last week at the LFS and they really are beautiful fish. I would of course get really small ones for 2 reasons. 1) they will be cheaper lol and 2) they will have a chance to grow up in the tank, get used to the conditions and it's inhabitants.

I would get Bolivian Butterflies but can't find them anywhere locally and have had no luck finding a breeder.

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Most discus prefer acidic conditions from what I've read - in the order of 5.5-6.5 - there's argument now days that since people are breeding them in harder water conditions the store bought ones can handle more alkaline conditions but still... They're also prone to HITH moreso than other cichlids so you'd need to be keeping the nitrates very low... they are quite a large fish so having 3 in a 3.5 foot tank would be pushing it to be able to keep the nitrates low - that would be requiring almost daily water changes. So you've got to battle daily water changes on a fish that thrives in acidic conditions and in Brisbane region where the tap water pH is 8.0. The other issue then is if you have a different pH from what they LFS has them in, they dull their colour, turn black and refuse to eat. Discus have been known to starve to death if they aren't happy, just from refusing to eat.

The guy who lives upstairs from me said he used to breed discus and the trick for him was to have a whole other large tank with only plants in it (no fish) where he could age water solely for the discus tank. I guess you could try it - if you can make it work... I'll certainly be tempted, I've been wanting discus for ages just never wanted to even attempt with brisbane's crap water.

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Discus can be difficult, but ive never had any problems with them with minimal maintenence. Discus require acidic soft water, pH around 6.5 - 7 suits them. Also, best off buying a small group to prevent any aggression or gang ups on one in the group. The water change thing isnt so much of an issue i have found. The main thing ive noticedin regards to waterchange is that young discus can be easily stunted if you dont keep them up.

I would suggest you do alot of research on Discus before deciding to buy some.

Bolivian butterflies are nice fish. Quality and colour seems to vary alot tho, so if you find some, have a good look at them to make sure they are good fish :wub:

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Your 3 foot tank would be perfect for a pair of discus. They'd have to be a breeding pair though. And you'd have to get rid of the other fish. Besides neons have completely different water requirements to discus. So you keep one happy to the detriment of the other. Beano and Phil have already mentioned that discus require acid water. I'll go further to say that if I was keeping discus, I'd be aiming for a pH of 5.5 or lower. That's easily fixed though. If your tap water is alkaline there are plenty of products you can use to lower the pH. And you can use rainwater or reverse osmosis if your water is just too hard.

I think that if you can get the water parameters right and are up to the challenge of looking after them, you'll get a lot more joy out of converting that 3 ft into a discus spawning tank than you would from the average, boring old community tank. They are a beautiful fish. Can't wait to see the fry pics!

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Well I've got bucklies and none getting the water in the 3.5ft tank to anywhere near 5.5pH, I've posted preciously about this tank and how the pH is always around 7.2 no matter what I do or how many chemicals I add to correct it. It's the shell grit apparently. Until I have the cash to change the gravel it will have to stay the way it is. The fish that are in there don't seem to have a problem with the alkalinity, if anything they may have adapted to it as most of them have been in there since they were very young, most of the guppy's have grown out in it.

I've really wanted to get a Tiger Oscar ever since I saw them about 6 months ago but haven't had the set up for them. Now I have a 4ft tank but it's going to be used for growing out spawns and sooner rather than later the lil guy would find my tetras a tasty snack if I put him in the 3.5ft. I'm thinking of doing it anyway though and just let him grow in there until he needs a tank of his own. Misfit is looking into getting another 2 tanks for us soon, a 5ft and a 4ft so I can have my 4ft back and convert it into an Oscar tank! I'm so envious of Beano! I love her Tiger Oscar!

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Well, as a tank for spawning discus you'd want it to be bare. So you don't need to buy any more gravel. The discus aren't going to like the shellgrit. Neither will the Bolivian rams. Very surprised the tetras are ok with it. If the shellgrit needs to stay then how about turning it into a Lake Tang or Lake Malawi tank? Some Tropheus duboisi would be lovely. Or some Fenestratus.

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Ewww, I don't like any of those fish lol. I've decided against getting a big fish for the time being and am going to change some fish around. Put all my guppys and the Dwarf Gourami back into the 3.5ft (although I will be coming close to over crowding) and use the already established 2ft tank for tiger barbs. If I agree to spawn them I'm sure Misfit will even buy them for me! I read up on it and it doesn't seem too difficult. We have an abundance of 2ft breeding tanks around at the moment anyway. I think it might be time to take the guppy fry to the LFS too, they are almost 4 months old and all have coloured up nicely. My breeding females might also make the trip and I'll just keep males from now on.

Edited by Fighters4U
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Barebottom for spawning discus as Bettarazi says - problem solved. The gravel part is cheap compared to what you will pay for a breeding pair of discus! If you want them though, save up, they're so pretty!! You can still make barebottom look nice with a large piece of driftwood. Also you can see what mess you need to clean up more easily.

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