Please Help - Discus problem

Discussion in 'Discus' started by Nicolaas Nel, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Nicolaas Nel
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    Nicolaas Nel Algae harvester

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    Hi, anyone out there!
    I have a Cobolt Blue discus (about 100mm dia.) which actually looks perfectly healthy and colourful, but is hovering about the bottom of the tank, and has (what seems) a rather full belly, and is breathing in gasps.
    All the other discus and fishes are looking great with no apparent problems. My water test results (last night) showed "Good" except for a high PO4 (phosphate) reading of 5, but that only came up after dosing the tank with pH (down), which is currently at 7.4.
    Can anyone advise me as to what the problem with my poor discus is?
     
  2. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Hi Nicolaas

    Really sorry to hear about your problem...I know how stressfull it can be. Could you please give exact readings regarding those parameters...pH, Temp, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia etc. Is the tank planted or bare? What are you feeding and how often. When last did this fish feed? How big is the tank? How often and how are you doing water changes?
    Sorry for the interogation, but it definately helps in possibly finding a solution to the problem.
     
  3. Nicolaas Nel
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    Nicolaas Nel Algae harvester

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    Hi Rowland!
    Thanks for the interest.
    Okay, here are the results of the water tests done yesterday with a Hagen Test Kit:
    pH = 7.4
    NH3 = 0.1mg/L
    NH4 = Green zone, given that the pH=7.4 and NH3 = 0.1 on the chart.
    NO3 = 10mg/L
    NO2 = <0.1mg/L
    PO4 = 5mg/L
    Ca2+ = 2 x 20 = 40mg/L
    GH = (7 x 20) = 140 ie "moderately hard"
    KH = (9 x 10) = 90 ie "excellent buffer capacity"
    Fe (non) = 0mg/L
    Fe (chelated) = 0mg/L
    Water Temp = constant 28 deg C (and does not budge)
    Tank size = 1,5m x 0,5m x 0,5m
    Water capacity approx. 370L
    Bio-Filter Tank = 0,8m x 0,3m x 0,25m approx 60L
    Waterpump cycles about 2600 L/hr
    Fish are fed mostly AKWA Tropical Flake and Tropical Bits (which the Discus like) and say once a day a block of "Bloodworms" in the mornings.
    A 25% water change was done about a week ago, with a 20L top up tonight.

    Since I posted this problem up, I have noticed that the affected discus has secreted some "bubbles" and spat out some food particles, and seems less "bloated", hopefully getting rid of what is bothering him/her.

    That's it Doc.
    cheers for now!
     
  4. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Hi Nicolaas

    Thanks for all those results. Can see you're really serious about your hobby. Is the "affected fish" feeding or sort of rolling food over in its mouth and then spitting it out?
    When you say it has secreted some bubbles...were these bubbles attached to its faeces? Are the faeces short and dark or long and stringy...any white areas to them?
    Sorry for all the gross questions, but need to know bud...
     
  5. Nicolaas Nel
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    Nicolaas Nel Algae harvester

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    Hi Rowland,

    Sorry, I have been in Pretoria the last two days and only flew in tonight.
    Okay. My blue cobolt is still alive! But its condition persists. While I was checking him out, he suddenly goes into some violent moves, with jerky actions.

    to answer your question again, there were only clear large bubbles coming out, and it spat out some pieces of chunky bits about 2mm in diameter. There was no sign of actual feaces excreted. It just hovers on the bottom with back and forward movement. Yet it looks in good colour and condition, but very bloated!
     
  6. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Hi Nicolaas
    Searching for help at Discus Page Holland brought me back to an old thread of Peter Meiring who also comes here. The advice given to him was as follows:
    "Suggest a "purge" of the fish in the pic... a 4 hours "bath" in water with Epsom salt... 2 tablespoons per 40 liters.... idea is that fish expells contents of intestines in that time. Fish WILL change colors temporarily from this treatment... but will not be harmed"
    While I know that the condition and context are different, epsom salts are used frequently to do exactly that...clear out the fish's gut.
    Let me know what you think??
     
  7. Nicolaas Nel
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    Nicolaas Nel Algae harvester

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    Hi Rowland,

    Okay thanks, I will try the epson salt treatment, must just set up my hospital tank. I will let you know the results.
    Thanks again for your concern.
     
  8. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Hi Nicolaas
    Good luck. Please keep us posted. The treatment need not last the full four hours...monitor the stress of the fish. We don't want to do more harm...
     
  9. Peter
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    Peter Algae harvester

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    Hi Guys

    Rowland is asking all the right questions and with a good solution, :thumb: I would only be repeating, but I have also been following your thread here and on another forum with interest. You have such a cool set-up so I have been trying to work out how or why this problem started, but I can only speculate at this stage from your postings to try and help you prevent this problem from recurring.

    Generally the root of all problems is water related, however I have seen a different approach to this that blows what I have learnt out the water, I can’t comment on it yet as I have only seen it working but I have not tried it yet.

    Nicolaas, you spoke of a strong smell of ammonia, adding "pH Down"
     
  10. Nicolaas Nel
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    Nicolaas Nel Algae harvester

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    Hi Peter!

    Thanks for your input.
    I recall saying that an "ammonia" smell was evident when I removed some wooden ornaments from the tank when I was having "BIG" problems some time after I did my setup, and lost 4 discus and other fish, but not recently. The cobalt blue doesn't appear to have anything like slime or growths on it's sides, in fact it's colour is a rich blue metallic colour, and really looks fine. In fact, it's behavior is still a bit "bossy" about the tank when his other mate gets closer, and when I feed them, he storms in to chase the other blue away, then seems to feel sorry for himself, then sulks in a corner again.
    I will try soaking the "bits" before feeding them and see if there is a change, thanks!

    I am told (by the aunty) at the "Another world of Pets" in Bloem, that feeding "Bloodworm" which come in these frozen packs (like a slab of choclate), to discus is not good, she says that this food puts dangerous bacteria into the tank that the Discus is very sensitive to. I this true?
     
  11. Rattail
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    Rattail Algae harvester

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    I can't contribute but have been following. Tell me, so he's better now? no more bubbles, dashness, etc?
     
  12. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Nicolaas

    Yes is partly correct. Bloodworm on its own is not always a good idea, depending on the source. One needs to understand the full life cycle of these creatures to get a good picture of what you are feeding. Having said that...some people stay clear of it altogether.
     
  13. Nicolaas Nel
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    Nicolaas Nel Algae harvester

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    Hi Rattail & Rowland,

    'Cobalt blue" seems to be okay this morning, (not so bloated), and is swimming amongst his other maats. I have not had a chance to give him the "epson salt" treatment ( I don't have any), and its been a bit hectic around here.
    Rowland, is there another type of "live" or good food I can feed the Discus?
     
  14. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Hi Nicolaas
    Most discus keepers have there own secret recipe of food. I have heard of beef heart with prawns, spirolina, vitamins etc, to some folk just feeding beefheart. What is important though, is whatever you use don't thaw out and refreeze each time...Prof Belstedt taught me this.
     
  15. Peter
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    Peter Algae harvester

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  16. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    Hey Rowland

    I hear you bought that nice pair of wild discus from Nick. How are they doing for you?
     
  17. Rowland
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    Rowland Algae harvester

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    Hi Andre

    Yep, they were sold to me as browns, but the more I look at them, it looks like Alenquers...even better!! Still some evidence of flagellates, so will treat in a week or so. Just making them strong for now.
     
  18. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    Freakin awesome. Get me some fry please! :)
     
  19. Philip
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    Philip Algae harvester

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    Hi Nicolas
    There is a product available, but only overseas, but it works fantastic, It is the Heuy Hung range. I imported some a time ago, it has a nice price TAG to it but you can order via the internet this product, especially for the problem you have.
     
  20. Nicolaas Nel
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    Nicolaas Nel Algae harvester

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    Hi Phillip,

    Browsing thru my old topic, I found your advice on this posting :

    "There is a product available, but only overseas, but it works fantastic, It is the Heuy Hung range"

    Please give me more info on what it actually is, and where to get it from?

    My 4 Discus's I still have are looking fine (except for a bit "thinnish" look). the 2 larger "Browns" (about 15cm dia.) looks like they are pairing up. One is cleaning the surface on top of the "old boat wreck" and chases the other fish away, when they get too close. Hopeing they will breed!
     

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