Discus Agression?

Discussion in 'Discus' started by Slagter, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. wilsar
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    wilsar Algae harvester

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    try different foods, i have a male gourami that refuses to eat flake foods and is considerably smaller than the female.this doesnt stop him from being nasty to the female though but he does sulk in the corner.
    discus are cichlids and should be treated like cichlids.
     
  2. Neville
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    Neville Green fingers

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    Thanks for the responses folks. Fish have been seperated but its not looking good. The weak discus is so weak that it can barely keep itself upright. I don't have a strong current in the tank, just the outlet of my cannister which is below the surface. The weak discus can't even fight that bit of current and gets pushed almost right across the tank, sometimes even turning completely sideways, almost upside down. Finds a spot like against a plant or rock to prop himself up and then just stays there. Not eating.

    Help??!! :eek:

    Is this just due to starvation due to the constant bullying or is the fish perhaps ill? Looks quite thin and breathing very slowly. Other than that don't see any visible marking or sore or anything on it like that. Even colour is normal.

    Any suggestions?
     
  3. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Neville,

    You can try to increase the temperature in the tank to 32 C, as this may stimulate him to eat. However, you need to then be very careful to have enough aeration in the tank as the oxygen solubility is low at that temp. Also very few other fishes can cope with those temps so they will have to be removed from the tank. If the current in the tank is as strong as you say, and the fish has to work against it, it is costing the fish energy, which is exactly what you don't want to have to you are going to have, so reduce the current in some way. Put the outlet in a coffee mug or something.

    Discus require a lot of food when they are small for growth and for maintenance. If they cannot eat as in this case, they rapidly loose condition and within a week may be too weak and emaciated to be able to get back to eating normally and will die. This is an unfortunate thing with discus. In my view, a tank in which one raises discus, should have no hiding places, because hiding places mean that the young discus can hide and will hide away at feeding time. One is also actually helping the bully, because in a short period of time, he learns that he can corner the weak fishes into that area and that he then can eat at his leisure.

    One more thing: Never put a discus in a small cramped space such as a breeding net. The stress that you cause is so massive and the fish gets extremely anxious. This anxiety also causes the fish to use more energy which is exactly what you did not want. In an instance like this, the strong fish is the one that should be moved, because he has the energy reserves to be able to cope. The weak fish should not be moved as far as possible.

    Keeping discus is associated with a steep learning curve I fear, so I do not know if this one is going to come back, he is going to need a lot of TLC. Crucial for his recovery is also what you are feeding him. So what is the diet that you have been feeding?

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  4. Neville
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    Neville Green fingers

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    Hi Dirk

    Thanks so much for the reply.

    I have increased the temp a little already but will need to check where it has settled. With some cories, ottocinclus, tetra's and Boesmani's in there as well I'm reluctant to push it up too high though. Although all of the above survived during the hot spell we had when the tank went up to about 32. Still have two airstones, one in each corner to limit the current creation, in the tank since the summer started getting hotter.

    Yes, moved the strong one to other tank with single angel and some whiteclowds and princila tetras. The angel didn't seem to be bothered by him and I think I saw the discus looking around on the substrate for food although still hiding a bit in his new tank this morning. Hoping that since they're natural neighbours they should be fine together for the mean time. Should I provide additional shelter for this discus in case the angel gets aggressive?

    Was worried about the breeding net but it was a temporary measure (about 12 hrs) but will know not to do that again. Yeah, lots of hiding places on my tank with it being a planted setup with logs etc.

    I've been feeding once a day, in the mornings, as usual and that seemed fine. Well for the strong discus at least. I feed the Discus+ (I think it is called) flakes mixed with some spurilina flakes I got from Nick at Hartlands. Also some other tropical small pellets that sinc slowly which they seemed to like. Then I try to give them some frozen bloodworms every 2 - 3 days. The strong fish has even learned to come to the top and attack the frozen block of worms at the surface. Never saw the weak one do that though.

    Not that I like dosing with meds and avoid it as much as possible, is there not perhaps a tonic of sort I can dose with that he will digest since its in the water to give him bit of a boost? Just to give him enough energy to actually eat?

    Cheers
    Neville
     
  5. Slagter
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    Slagter Aquascaper

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    The spirulina should give him an energy boost. I know it does with humans.
     
  6. Neville
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    Neville Green fingers

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    Its flakes though and he's not eating. Need something in liquid form perhaps...
     
  7. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Neville,

    When I asked about what you were feeding your discus, I was fearing the worst because of the condition you describe that your poor little discus is in. Unfortunately it is your diet which is responsible. It is completely inadequate! You cannot feed discus on flakes, granulate and bloodworm only.

    Discus demand a balanced diet to stay healthy and because they are sensitive fishes and are kept at such high temps one needs to concentrate on the diet to get it just right. Because this will interest other aquarists as well, I will start a separate thread on how to feed your discus which you can then consult.

    As I supply these types of foods you can send me a PM if you may be interested in obtaining food from me.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     

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