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Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:30 pm
by Skylane
Hello everyone, I currently have two adult Discus in my 90g community tank. These are my first Discus and had bought them as juvies and are now at two years old and pigeon blood in type. I have to say they are one of my prized fish and definitely stand out in the tank , but lately there has been aggression with the big male, and I believe I have a natural pair. Lucky me when I bought these two from an Asian LFS to be exact, they were the last two in that tank and the price was good at the time and bought them. I always wanted Discus for their unique shape and beauty, now the aggression with the male has been towards the other smaller Discus, I believe is female and also towards my other fish like my adult Angels. The behaviour is like flicking of the body and tail sections, and sometimes rubbing on some plants which I thought was some type of skin infection, but he eats well and has no signs IMO of sickness. I did some reading on the subject and found it could be a dominant trait of pecking order, or a change in pH since I've been adding IAL could have lowered the pH but still not sure what it is to be exact. Since all this has been going on I've done a larger water change, and did some filter maintenance just after, to change my pH a bit. It has calmed things down a bit but the two Discus don't hang out as much anymore, it's a bit sad since I enjoyed them always together. I wish I had bought a larger number of 6 or more at the time but my tank availability and experience on these fish was on a first time basis.
I'm planning a new tank setup for a Discus only tank, planted and a natural bitope. I was hoping to put these guys in the tank alone and or adding some more Discus in the mix. The tank size on hand is a 75g and it will be for more of a display in my living room with other tanks. Since this behaviour issue arose it has put some hold on the build as I try and figure out what my best plan of action for my two Discus and the new tank build is, any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated by the members here. I will try and post some pics of the Discus for you guys. FYI, I was told the Discus are from an Asian source and they seem to be of good quality.

Clem.

Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:56 pm
by Skylane
Here is some pics of the Discus in the 90g.

Clem

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Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:47 am
by Crazygar
Skylane,

Adding more will certainly quell any quarrels. While you may see a bit more with new introductions, it saves one from being centered out. People always forget, for such a beautiful fish, it's still a Cichlid and has Cichlid behaviors.

With more aggression will be dispersed amongst the group, which will be minimal. Only problem arises is when you get a pair and they spawn. This is when things can get tricky, especially in a 75GAL. I would suggest, if you do manage a pair, keep the 90 running and move all the "non-paired" Discus in there.

Gary

Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:18 pm
by Skylane
Thanks Gary for your input. When I get the 75g up and running I will put the two Discus in there first and see what happens, but if nothing happens I will add more Discus in the tank and see what happens. If any spawning takes place I will move out the non paired to the other tank. It would be a neat experience for me to see them spawn, as I had Angels spawn, and some other types but it would be a first for Discus!
IMO, when you're not trying to breed any fish , they usually end up breeding, it seems to be the case for me and most of us in the hobby. The aggression seems to have calmed down for a bit, but the big Discus is boss in that tank, but I have tiger loaches in the 90g was my main reason for moving out the Discus and give the tank to the Tiger loaches as they are getting bigger and tend to sleep or look dead all day, but they are lively at feeding time. I've raised my Discus for about two years now and gained some experience with them but always something to learn about each species of fish!!
I'm glad so far it's not a skin disease or infection, so far the big guy has been eating and pushing his weight around as normal, it's neat to see the behaviour change as they mature.

Clem

Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:07 am
by Crazygar
Like Angelfish, get a whole bunch, once a pair forms, move the others. It's a low tech sure fire method.

Gary

Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:17 pm
by Skylane
Yes Gary, I agree with that technique that's what I did when bought 6 quarter sized juvies of angels and believe it or not I got 3 pairs. The two pairs were bonded and I traded them off , but I still have the other pair but they never mated or attempted to mate but remain good friends, I would like to see them mate though. I was told my current pair of Discus wouldn't mate in a community tank, as mine is very busy with all types of fish mainly schools of tetra's . It would be a treat if this pair should spawn and if the male is showing this type behaviour, they will be first to go in the new tank the 75g I'm trying to put together for just a Discus only tank. In time I will post the build for the 75g and hopefully get some results, but I've always wanted a planted Discus tank!

Clem

Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:18 pm
by F15FreeEagle
I feel you on the discus... I had 6, and 1 just bullied the other 5 to death. It was sad. I tried everything... Kept re-arranging the tank, moved the bully to my quarantine tank for a bit, but could only keep him (her?) there for so long, being a 20 gallon... I gave up and got angels. I may try the discus experiment again in the future sometime, as they are VERY beautiful fish, but obviously by and large, require pristine conditions.

I wish you the best of luck :D

Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:47 pm
by Skylane
Thanks F15Free Eagle, I have no choice ATM but I'm stuck with guys for now. When I get the new tank going , which I'm in process now . I just picked up some wood to build the stand and can't wait for this build to come together. I would just like to see the outcome when I put these two in their own tank, before I get anymore Discus, still one of my favorite fish.
Sorry to hear about the bully that killed off the other Discus, what ever happened to that guy BTW? It's funny about fish behaviour, it can be really hard in the keepers emotions, for me it's like can this be happening? I thought these guys were buddies and had some bonds. Its really nuts some days when a nice fish turns out to be the bully of the tank, even towards my big Angels and a few other fish. I'll just have to hope for the best or just start over with another batch of Discus.

Clem

Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:00 pm
by F15FreeEagle
Well, I kept that particular bully fish for about a year after it killed off all of the others, and then 1 day it just started getting dark and thin for no apparent reason. It was still eating, all of the parameters in the tank all the same as they'd always been, all that good stuff. It just died. May've picked up some disease somehow or something? I don't really know. :shrug:


And yes, things happen that make you almost cry... My angles... I had 7 for about a year or more, then 2 killed off the other 5. Then the 2 that were left started trying to breed (I've got another thread going on that circumstance) and that made me go "hmmmm...." So... Now I want to buy other angels, but waiting to see how this breeding thing turns out... :shrug:

Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:31 am
by Crazygar
Once Cichlids start to breed, for the most part, others beware! Especially conspecifics. They are in the worst situation of being harassed.

A Discus only tank is nice, it's a grand goal to achieve and my belief, the high water mark in this hobby. Looking forward to the build journal.

Gary

Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:58 pm
by Skylane
Thanks Gary, I will make another thread on the Discus tank build, FYI I've started out on building the stand, as it's more functional and cost effective than looks.

Clem

Re: Discus behaviour

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:05 pm
by Skylane
F15FreeEagle wrote:Well, I kept that particular bully fish for about a year after it killed off all of the others, and then 1 day it just started getting dark and thin for no apparent reason. It was still eating, all of the parameters in the tank all the same as they'd always been, all that good stuff. It just died. May've picked up some disease somehow or something? I don't really know. :shrug:


And yes, things happen that make you almost cry... My angles... I had 7 for about a year or more, then 2 killed off the other 5. Then the 2 that were left started trying to breed (I've got another thread going on that circumstance) and that made me go "hmmmm...." So... Now I want to buy other angels, but waiting to see how this breeding thing turns out... :shrug:


We can only learn and get better, now I know why some people just just quit the hobby. It can make people wanna cry, I've had those feelings when you are new in the hobby or lack the info for success, but it's good to have helpful people around us and of course encouragement!!

Clem