advice on discus filtration

Discussion in 'Technical' started by salim, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. salim

    salim Passionate about Discus

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    Hi Prof I trust you are well

    I Please would like some advice with reagards to filtration as i find most breeders i come across in cape town only uses air pumps and sponge filters .I have a 1.2 meter tank i only have discus for 5 months they were very happy all the time all of a sudden 3 of my discus are laying on there sides not moving breathing heavy im not sure what happening....whaT IS THIS CALLED

    Prof is this filtration good enough this does not make sense to me please give some advice for me a canister filter in addition to the sponge filter makes sense .

    what will work better canister or hang over aqua clear including sponge filters please help.
     
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  3. Dirk

    Dirk Dwarf Catfish

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    Hi Salim,

    It is impossible for me to make a diagnosis based on so little information.

    Please go to the thread where I have given the discus diagnosis sheet, copy and paste it into your mail and then fill in all the questions as best you can.

    I can then try to make an assessment of what is wrong.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  4. OP
    salim

    salim Passionate about Discus

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    will do prof
     
  5. Dirk

    Dirk Dwarf Catfish

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    Salim,

    Please post your reply on this thread not by PM and please answer the questions with regard to the size at which you bought them and the size they are now.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  6. OP
    salim

    salim Passionate about Discus

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    I bought them about 5 cm in 4 cm in size they have grown about 1 to 2 cm in size i have them for about 3 to 4 months

    ---------- Post added at 20:01 ---------- Previous post was at 20:01 ----------

    Prof according to a breeder i know the fish are a good age and there growth are stunted the person that gvae me this information's name is shahin
     
  7. Dirk

    Dirk Dwarf Catfish

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    Hi Salim,

    I am going to post your earlier direct reply to me by PM so that others can also learn from your problems, I hope you do not mind:


    Where do you stay?:Athlone
    How long have you been keeping tropical fishes?:8 months but bred Malawis for 5 years

    How long have you been keeping discus? Are these the first discus you keep?first dicus i am keeping i have them for about 4 months now

    Description of the sick fish (age, size, breathing speed): not sure of the age breething fast

    Describe the problem that the fish is having: (behaviour, breathing, excretion (droppings), food intake, colour):green with lines and one huge orange
    Has the problem occurred before?: no

    Have you treated the problem and how?:the only thing i have done was do a huge water change after they have displayed this behavior and added salt

    Have you had any other problems in the past? What were they? Did you treat for these problems? How? no problems this is the first time

    When and where did you buy these fishes from and what size were they when you bought them?:from a breeder Gerald in sea point

    What type of discus are these? Wild or hybrid and which type?:Im not sure

    Your aquarium (Size; what do you have in the aquarium such as logs, stones; plants; gravel; fertilizer use; CO2? etc.): bare bottom with logs

    Your filtration (Type and size of filter, what is in your filter, liters per hour)2 sponge filters with huge air compressor

    Aquarium hygiene: (how do you clean your aquarium and your filter, how often do you clean your filter, when last did you clean your filter, when last did you clean your gravel?) Prof i clean my filter once a week in the same water that i remove from my tank however i do not prepare my water before .I do water changes aprox twice a week


    How many fishes do you have in your tank (discus, their size and other fishes):5 3 of them are about 7 cm in isze and the rest about 5 cm in size
    When did you last buy any new fishes and from where were they bought?:
    2 months ago

    Which food are you feeding and how often do you feed? blood worm and tetra bits

    Water changes? How often, how much, what is the temperature of the water you use for water changes, what is the source of the water (tapwater, well water, borehole water, river water) :tap water i try and use a bit of hot water to adjust the temperature
    Do you prepare your water for water changes? Reverse osmosis, peat filtration, do you add peat extract?:no

    Water description (smell and colour):tea color due to wood


    Water parameters in your aquarium
    Temperature of the water:30 c
    General hardness (GH):not sure
    Carobonate hardness (KH):not sure
    Nitrite (No2-):
    Nitrate (No3-):
    pH-value and how did you measure your pH:ph tester my ph is on 6.5
     
  8. Dirk

    Dirk Dwarf Catfish

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    Hi Salim,

    If you are keeping 5 discus of the size that you describe in your 1.2 m aquarium then the filtration by two sponge filters which you clean once a week is adequate. The filtration is not the reason for your problem.

    Because you come from Athlone your water should be fine coming out of the tap, so this is not the reason for your problem. If Shaheem tells you that they are stunted, then I am sure that he is right as he is very knowledgable, we have been cooperating for many years. If these are stunted fishes they will never grow and they might die as you describe.

    How often have you been feeding them? A diet consisting of tetra bits and bloodworm is totally and completely inadequate and your fishes will not grow on this diet and could also die because of it. Have a look at the thread on discus feeding that is on my forum and you will see that you need to feed a far more varied diet.

    Lastly, I am sure if your pH is correct, I do not know if your pH tester is accurate.

    What is the colour of the fishes? Are they dark, do they show grey slime on the body?

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  9. OP
    salim

    salim Passionate about Discus

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    Thank you for replying prof

    Its ok for posting info up no problem I can learn from you and the other people on this site my concern was if this was due to my filtration or something i done wrong (ie:water changes with tap water with out being prepared )

    Prof another thing id like to know the ph downer sold at pet shops is this ok to use in my tank or does this have an negative affect on my water quality .

    Prof with regards to your question they are not dark on color they only breathing heavily the one male that is on his side is part of a breeding pair and as his female comes closer he attempts or struggles to come up to her and swim but go's back after a few seconds and lays onside again .Also when feeding he tries to eat but is week . The fish also has no visible slime on there bodies .

    i feed them twice a day once i give tetra bits and flakes
    the second time around ill feed the blood worms
     
  10. Dirk

    Dirk Dwarf Catfish

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    Hi again Salim,

    You should not use the pH down stuff sold in the pet shops ever on any of your discus. I would think that your pH is much lower than you think as this is normally what happens here in the Western Cape. The biological filtration will actually breakdown the ammonia that the fishes produce and this will then reduce the pH drastically, so I think your problem may rather be too low pH than too high pH.

    Since when have these fishes been lying on their sides? When you say they try to swim up straight are they dropping to the bottom and are they struggling to swim up?

    You should feed discus that are 5-6 cm about 6 to 10 times per day. If you have only fed them twice then you have definitely stunted them and their poor conditions now may be the result of feeding them far too little. They must be fed on a much greater variety of foods as you can read in the feeding thread. You can get these foods from me as most shops sell them at very high prices.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
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  11. OP
    salim

    salim Passionate about Discus

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    thank you so muck professor i will definitely stay away from using this ph downer .Prof please pm me your price lists on food and how i go about getting them from you .I hope this never happens again to me I will definitely be doing much more research on water quality .
    Prof i Still hope i can save my fish what is the best ph testers to use i currently use an inexpensive tester which one do you recommend .

    Prof can i still save this fish

    ---------- Post added at 23:01 ---------- Previous post was at 23:01 ----------

    This today is the second day that they on there side how ever one of them has been like this for about 5 days now 2 of my fish are perfectly fine
    (i hope ) It started with one all of a sudden another one then 2 days ago the last one .I then done a 50% water change advice given by shaheen and added salt to my tank .
     
  12. Dirk

    Dirk Dwarf Catfish

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    Salim,

    Send me a PM with a private email address so that I can send you my pricelist as an attachment please.

    You must please answer this question before I can tell you how we can perhaps save these fishes: When you say they try to swim up straight are they dropping to the bottom and are they struggling to swim up?

    I think that this may be a swimbladder infection, but I need this exact answer to be able to decide if this is actually the problem.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  13. OP
    salim

    salim Passionate about Discus

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    THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENING PROF .they swim and it is as if they cant stay up and go down again lay one side and breath heavy i have noticed my one mail is trying allot to stay up.Prof it also seems as if the one is following the other ie: it was one fish first then 2 then the 3rd one started doing the same thing
     
  14. Dirk

    Dirk Dwarf Catfish

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    Hi Salim,

    OK, what you are telling me now makes sense. You have a pretty bad bacterial infection of the swimbladder of these fishes and this is caused by many of the things that you have unfortunately done of late.

    The first thing that can cause this is water changes which drop the temperatures by more than two degrees. The large water change that you have just done was actually far worse for the fishes than better. If you are adding your bloodworms in a frozen block to your tank, the fishes are most probably rushing in to eat this. If the fishes eat this cold food, it goes into their stomach which sits right next to the swim bladder and you give the swimbladder a temperature shock. Then fishes that are stunted are also prone to this problem. Finally the poor nutrition that you are giving these fishes which includes a shortage of vitamin C does not allow their immune systems to work properly, and this is also why they are now sick.

    Treatment of this problem can be tried, but only about 50% of the fishes that have this problem have a chance of recovery. Also, once a fish has had this problem it will tend to get the problem again.

    The fishes should be medicated with a sulphonamide drug, a tablet such as Bactrim or Purbac (go and ask your chemist), and you should treat with two tablets per 100 litres. Work out the total volume of your tank and then work out how many tablets you need. Crush these tablets between two tablespoons and throw the powder into the tank. The powder will take a while to dissolve and if it lies on the bottom of the tank after an hour, stir it again to get it dissolved.

    Unfortunately the condition of your fishes are not good, so I do not know if you are going to get them to recover.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  15. OP
    salim

    salim Passionate about Discus

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    Good Professor

    Thank you so much prof everything you sayin now is true i throw my blood worm in straight out of the freezer my water changes that are done ,with out meeting the temperature of my tank so i guess i have now learn a huge lesson and caused unnecessary stress damage to my fish .

    Prof since you have mentioned this i find that about a week or so i have noticed one of my males looking as if his head was a bit heavy is this normally the signs of swim bladder issues ?

    Also with regards to my medicated tank now i have added 2 and half Purbac tablets to my tank what process do i follow and for how long should they be treated ,should any water changes be done ?
     
  16. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    I'll leave the main questions for the Prof to answer.... but I can advice you on how to correctly feed you fish (any fish, not only discus) frozen food.

    Take a small cup (dedicated to frozen food). Fill it with aquarium water and put the frozen food into this cup. Let this cup float in the tank water. This will ensure that the cup water remains at the heat of the tank. Let it stand like this for a few minutes, and when the frozen food is properly thawed out, empty the cup into the tank to feed the fish.
     
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  17. OP
    salim

    salim Passionate about Discus

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    thanks zoom will definitely work that way
     
  18. Dirk

    Dirk Dwarf Catfish

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    Hi Salim,

    I am sorry that this has been a shock for you but discus keeping is an art and one learns from one's mistakes.

    Ashley's advice re the feeding of the frozen food is perfectly correct.

    What you describe with regard to the fish previously having a heavy head is an early symptom of swimbladder disease.

    You should treat the fishes and then you should wait for three days and then do a 20% water change and then repeat the treatment. I hope that you have calculated your dosage correctly and you could actually add all three tablets to the tank without a problem.

    I hope that your fishes do recover, but you will have to be patient. Keep the tank temp at 30C whilst you treat them.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  19. OP
    salim

    salim Passionate about Discus

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    thank you so much prof i will continue this process and give your feedback on how they doing i really appreciate the time you spent on providing me this information Ill keep in touch
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  20. OP
    salim

    salim Passionate about Discus

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    Hi prof

    I just thought id keep you posted. One of my male fish is now getting much better the fish is actually eating and slowly starting to swim upright. the other male however is still laying on his side no improvement in him as yet, I will repeat the pubac treatment and give more feedback hopefully it will be posative thanks prof for your advice.

    this will now be the second time I will be adding the antibiotics to my water.Does this not kill good bacteria ? please advise
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  21. Mic.E

    Mic.E

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    Good to hear that the one fish is recovering. Im glad i stumbled upon this thread, since i also dream about keeping discus, but now i know how much maintenance discus require, and will wait a while till im more experienced and properly set up to care for them. I hope more of you discus recover and good luck. :)
     

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