Many things are written on the maintenance of the discus, and can be read everything and its opposite on the sites internet and other media…
Way of life of the discus, cohabitation, water quality, or supply; This article does not claim to provide the "divine truth" but to trace the outline of the maintenance of the king fish…
A gregarious lifestyle
First, I think it is important to note that the discus is a gregarious fish that maintains preferably in Group of 5 to 6 minimum individuals.
Many of you start buying 2 to 3 individuals; the reasons cited are frequently; "I prefer to slowly start to see" or "considering the price., I prefer to begin by 2/3 fish ".
Now it is in my opinion the first classic mistake (I have the same). The discus maintained group feels secure and much better adapted to its new environment. More aggressiveness is even annihilated; dominant discus not "traumatic" not always the same fish…because our fish remains a "head bacon" cichlid.
Actually, Some will say "I don't have that", for my part I have 2 or 3 Discus and everything is fine ! and that's the charm of discus keeping (like any other animal also) There are many factors in account.
Sex ratio for example; as a "group" of three discus consisting of two males and one female will not have the same behavior as a "group" of two females and one male.
We can evoke moreover the size of the aquarium or the decoration layout . A mated pair can live together without problems.
The important thing is to observe the behavior of fish.
Let's say that you put more luck on his side with a small group of individuals. Often adding an additional discus lead to "calm" the bellicose ardor of a too dominant discus.
The cohabitation in a discus aquarium
In a second time, I think it is interesting to mention the fish live in the side of the discus…
Indeed, We have to choose the future companions of the discus, and always perform a quarantine for newcomers.
Overall, avoid fish high or too much stirring nature. Customize your choice depending on the requirements of the discus.
Think of the corydoras in selecting tolerant species high temperatures, some CHARACIDAE as classics cardinalis (Paracheirodon axelrodi) also agree; Similarly some loricaridés.
Many books evoke this topic as such «» The discus Crown "in the collection AQUALOG SPECIAL
Our dear fish environment is also very important if not the most important. An imbalance between fish and its environment can cause problems (loss of appetite, Chicken fish, respiratory disorders etc.…) or the appearance of diseases.
The book "Majestic Discus"
A good water quality: The basis of a good maintenance of the discus
Many discussions on this subject have been, and are still debate. But one thing is certain, the discus is a fish which physiologically requires little mineralized water. Although some strains have adapted to water more "limestone"; we note that for proper maintenance of discus, we will have more success by offering a low mineral water.
To properly control the water in the aquarium, equip you reliable test to test drops or electronic (for pH and conductivity). First, equip you test KH, GH, pH, nitrites and nitrates tests.
For a Lac of maintenance including KH between 2 and 4 should be with a RI between 4 and 7. of course, the pH should be between 6.5 and 7.; with a RI between 4 and 7. Naturally, the pH should be between 6.5 and 7.
The rate of nitrite should remain close to zero and below 25 mg/L nitrates. Similarly a temperature around the 28-30 degrees Celsius will be necessary.
Read also: Nitrates in the aquarium
Which water for discus? How to get it?
There are 3 case of figures:
* We are fortunate to live in a region where water is slightly mineralized with low nitrate content, unpolluted: Ideal for maintenance of discus. This water lacks major pollutants. Simply well prepared with a good water conditioner (SERA Aquatan, JBL biotopol, TETRA aquasafe…)
* It has a good quality water (no nitrates, phosphates etc…) but relatively limestone. In this case a mixture of tap water (treated with a good conditioner) and osmosee water should be. The RO water has a low mineral content. Thus by mixing a proportion (to define) of osmosed water and tap water; It gets the values that are to be.
* The water which flows from the tap at high levels of nitrates or other pollutant (phosphates, silicates, metals etc…). In this case it will not be used to much. Should be used 100% water osmosee will remineralize with specific mineral salts. (for example, mineral salts of mark PREIS, Will be or DENNERLE).
I advise also the Remineral + the Dennerle
To ensure a good quality water for fish, It must also be regular in its aquarium and its change of water maintenance. In paper tray set correctly populated by discus having finished their growth; need to change 25 to 30% the minimum aquarium volume 1 twice a week using a Bell in sand.
The particular case : The injection of CO2 with the discus
Beginners often want to use CO2 to low the pH of the discus aquarium…
However its use in a discus tray must not be lightly.
Too much "dosage" can bother the discus see even cause their death. To avoid this it is imperative to carry an array of relationship KH/CO2/pH taking a margin of safety. By experience, in many cases of figure, I have observed that the discus would not tolerate same CO2 levels than other small fish.
The presence of a «permanent test» of CO2 as above is a minimum (inexpensive). The remaining ideal setting by a pH meter control valve with overnight shutdown by.
The use of CO2 should in my view take place if it is sought to obtain a beautiful planted tank. If the goal is to lower the pH of a discus aquarium, first lower the KH of your water (Thanks to osmosee for example water) and you will see your pH down naturally.
The choice of the aquarium and its equipment
Do not hesitate equip you an Aquarium of at least 350 litres. Young discus may use a smaller aquarium (next to 250 litres) but growing your protected will require more space.
Adult once, your discus will require approximately 50 litres of water per person. (Maintenance of type 'set tray.)
Breeders fish are placed in larger numbers but it is farmed and no maintenance "classic.". Used aquariums do not have sand or plants because it emphasizes the practical side. Similarly the rate of change of water is higher.
Side filtration, Choose the security by choosing a good filter. I recommend the brand EHEIM external filters. They have been proven and powerful. Their maintenance is very easy which spoil nothing…a flow of 3 times the hourly volume should be with a volume of filtration in adequacy with the size of the aquarium.
Side heating, There are many brands, but many fans of discus advise you the Jäger brand distributed by Eheim.
Distribute in small quantities by adapting the number of meals at the age of fish.
The bases of maintenance of discus are posed… ready to start?
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