Parasite free discus from Oswald Hanke

Discussion in 'Discus' started by Dirk B, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Luis,

    start off with new medium, no need to sterilize anything then.

    Plants: sterilize with baths of potassium permanganate, but this has to be done very thoroughly and is not so easy, it is not just a quick flush. I could find out how folks have done this, I have concentrated less on this, but I know that it has been done.

    Emersely grown plants or Anubias plants would be ideal!

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  2. JP01
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    JP01 Moderator Staff Member

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    Can Prof give us more info on the tanks that juveniles are raised in?

    Size, type of filter.
     
  3. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi JP01,

    I presently have 15 of these Curipeua Royals in a tank of dimensions 70 cm long x 60 cm wide x 50 cm high i.e. as this tank is not quite full let us say about 190 litres. The tank contains no substrate. This tank stands next to a second tank of which the dimensions are 50 x 60 x 50 i.e. about 140 litre, and then there is a sump with dimensions 20 long x 60 wide x 50 deep say 50 litres next to these two tanks at the same level. So the total volume of the system is about 380 litres. All of these tanks and sump are connected with syphon type 40 mm drain pipe and from the sump there is a pump that circulates the water through both of these tanks together at a rate of twice per hour (sump design is here somewhere on APSA). The sump contains about 24 litres of Siporax type ceramic rings and three layers of sponge of dimensions 40 x 20 x 2 cm. Both of the tanks are additionally filter with powerheads which have three sponge filter cartridges to remove fines. The sump contains 2 x 125 W Jäger heaters, and I can connect another one if I need it. Then I do a fifty litre per days water change syphoning off waste out of the tank in which the fishes are and filling up cold tap water into the second empty tank. What this means is that the addition and mixing of the fresh water into the second tank with the actual fish in takes place slowly. My tap water is soft and because of strong feeding, the pH drops naturally and is currently running at around 5.5 to 6. It would do not harm to have the pH higher. pH is monitored daily with a pH meter.

    As you can see, the system is heavily filtered which is the key to keeping discus successfully.

    Hope this gives you an idea of how to do it.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  4. DarylA
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    DarylA Algae harvester

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    Hi Prof,

    I know you can not count chickens but when would you estimate that you would have some supply for the local market?

    The rest.... It baffles me that people ask whether mixing PO4" onclick="return false">PF specimens with every day parasite infected specimens is either difficult or harmful????? What would be the point of going through the effort of attaining PO4" onclick="return false">PF specimens in the first place???? The best... Do they need their own setup? I rest my case!

    Sorry Dirk, I do not wish to pass a negative shadow over one of the most interesting prospects I have come across in my time as an aquarist.

    These fish are awesome!!
     
  5. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    Superb information..

    If I ever had to keep Discus it would need to be some like these, not for breeding, just for keeping alone in a tank, some wood, and dimmed light..

    I would think that a clean fish would be easier to keep, without the need to deparitise every few months..

    Superb information indeed..
     
  6. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Luis,

    This business of deparasitizing discus by regular treatments with anti-worm medications or metronidazole against flagellates, just simply does not work in the long run. You basically have problems all the time. You are much better off with these fishes, that don't carry the parasite load.

    Now you must plan a tank that is suited to their maintenance but still has some nice decorations and plants. After all this is a planted tank forum.

    Have a look at this aquarium.......

    Kind regards,

    Dirk

    [​IMG]
     
  7. gwhite
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    gwhite Algae harvester

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    Hi Dirk,

    Very interesting reading your posts here within this topic. It's very good to know that we have access to local professionals such as yourself and Andrew. It's very inspiring!

    From what I have been reading and please correct me if I am wrong but the money and time spent on the filtration systems is worth it in the long run? Is there any chance that you would be able to locate the sump here on the forum please?

    Thanks!
     
  8. Jack Stone
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    Jack Stone Algae harvester

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    Hi Dirk,

    Great work man! I will most definitely go this route when I take on the Discus challenge.
    Their reputation for having pre-existing diseases and falling prey to them at the first hint of mismanagement is what has kept me from obtaining them.

    Although these days I'm fairly certain I can provide more than adequate water changes and diet I don't want to be trying to diagnose and fix diseases, I still rely on prevention rather than treatment and the first sign of discomfort is met with large on-going water changes and extra vitamins in the diet until everything returns to normal. This is only possible when your fish actually has an immune system I guess....

    Cheers, enjoy!
    Jack
     
  9. Trev Pleco
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    Trev Pleco Algae destroyer

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    Presumably parasite free discus can not be kept in a community tank or with other fish unless all fish and plants are parasite free or are these specific parasites only found in discus..?
     
  10. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    Yes, that was what I thought.. having to put the fish through the stress of "cleaning" must not be good for them..

    I actually like to see Discus on tanks with wood, some moss, and sand.. There are no plants where these fish come from I would think, only floating plants, and lots of debris..

    It may be the easiest way to keep them, as long as they kit is kept separate from other tanks, they can be kept free of parasites and happy..
     
  11. Jack Stone
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    Jack Stone Algae harvester

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    Howzit Trevor,

    They can be kept in any appropriate tank and you will still benefit from them having been born and raised free of parasites as this allows them to properly develop their immune systems before hitting the real world.

    As Dirk stated, Discus fry are attacked by gill-flukes (which exist in the parents) at a sensitive stage of their lives, many are lost at this stage.
    I guess the rest are permanently damaged from either disease or medication.

    If your parents are completely free of gill-flukes you can prevent the babies from being attacked in the first place, resulting in healthy adults down the line.



     
  12. Trev Pleco
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    Trev Pleco Algae destroyer

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    Thanks bud..
     
  13. shan
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    shan Algae harvester

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    Extremely good thread Prof. Thanking for sharing the knowledge
     
  14. Firefly
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    Firefly Green fingers

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    Do you think running ozone and a UV would get rid of the parasites, surely it would? You could even medicate the fish and run it all together...
     
  15. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    That is precisely the problem. All of those treatments have been tried, but they do not get rid of the parasites that the fishes carry. Medications are not effective at completely getting rid of all the parasites, it just simply does not work to the point of eliminating the parasites, they just stay there and resurge ever so often.

    By now this is well documented and we do not need to doubt or debate this.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  16. Singu
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    Singu Algae harvester

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    oh i see marco is mentioned
     
  17. marco1
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    marco1 Noob

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the mention Prof Dirk and Id like to say just a few things I have learned about the whole parasite free fish keeping issue and the challenges and observations I have had.

    Ill start by elaborating on the progress I made using various types of Rams. I managed to get Blue, Golden and Electric blue rams parasite free using formalin to treat the eggs as Dirk explained. The eggs and subsequent fry showed no ill-effect to the treatment and the fry grew incredibly fast. I managed to continue with the Rams until I reached F3's in a cross between Golden and Electric blue, sold in Europe and the USA as 'Powder blue Rams'. Stunning little creatures and the results were incredible. The parasite free offspring grew extremely fast and would start spawning as young as 11weeks of age, by which time they were about 3-4cm in size. This is an example of the Powder blue rams.
    [​IMG]
    I stopped the Ram breeding after I stupidly, yet also out of necessity introduced new non-parafree stock into the lines from a pet shop in order to tweak and introduce new blood, and they all died within a week from typical Ram expiry. I didnt have the resolve to start all over again.

    As to treating Discus eggs the results were far less convincing. Firstly I can only speculate as to the difference, but my best guess is that in very soft water formalin damages the embryo to such an extent that the swim bladder doesnt inflate properly. In harder water (TDS 80ppm) this problem is far less but egg hatch rate also. So its a catch 22 situation. Raising discus fry artificially, although not difficult it is very time consuming and requires a great deal of dedication, so it just aint worth doing it for 4 or 5 fry that actually make it past the process.
    I have subsequently followed a different approach, using different chemicals - with extremely good results, although I lost all the fry again when the heater in the raising tank packed up as soon as they were eating brine shrimp.
    Over the coming weeks I hope however to successfully raise a batch of Royal blues parasite free, which I will then get tested by my Veterinarian.

    The advantages to this is numerous as Dirk has stated, and what we as hobbyists need is for more people to jump on and start breeding their fish PO4" onclick="return false">PF-like Sterbai cory, ancistrus, dwarf cichlids etc so we can put together a nice "community" of fish which can then be kept together.
    Of course it requires a certain level of trust as I for one would be reluctant to introduce fish bred by another and claimed to be PO4" onclick="return false">PF, but surely that should not stop us.
    Sean here is already importing PO4" onclick="return false">PF plants so the groundwork for a completely PO4" onclick="return false">PF setup is not far off and this leaves us to enjoy more of our fish, and worry about them much less....

    Rgds

    Marco
     
  18. Kryo
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    Kryo Green fingers

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    Thanks for the post Marco. Very interesting! :icon_thumright:
     
  19. Vis
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    Vis Plant menace

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    Hi All

    For you guys with the expensive fish it might be a good idea to invest in a STC-1000 controller for some piece of mind.
     
  20. charles
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    charles Noob

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    Hi
    What happend to your discus???
    I think it is time for an update!
    With pics and sizes so whe can see what all the fuss is about! :notworthy:
     

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