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crazyfishlady_

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I currently have a discus that is alone in my 46 gallon tank. All of the other discus I have tried to introduce to the tank both originally with him and afterwards have died. Is there a trick to introducing discus that allows them to have a better chance at survival? I am planning on moving all of my fish to a 55 gallon tank soon so I will be able to get more to keep him company.
 
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Can you tell us a bit note info?  Like, do you know the reason the others have died?  What other fish do you have in there?  What are your water parameters?
 
OP
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crazyfishlady_

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Three of them died from a stomach parasite I believe and the other two I had before them died because I had two males that were fighting over a female which the female had bonded to. One of the males died and the female was bonded to that male and also died as a result. I have a pair of appistogrammas, a pair of german blue rams, corys, a pleco (who gets along with the one discus), and some tetras. The water temperature is around 82 degrees Celsius, pH around 6.8-7.2 (higher at 7.2 towards the end of a week between water changes). 
 

hobby5

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Sorry to tell you but discus are no fish for beginners at all, even experienced fish keeper struggle to keep them healthy. You would need a larger tank and they are best kept in groups of 6+ without other fish except maybe some cardinal tetras and corys.
 

Ryan10

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Stomach parasites are very common in discus and should all be treated for them.  Like it was said before they are very hard to keep and need pristine water.
 
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hobby5 said:
Sorry to tell you but discus are no fish for beginners at all, even experienced fish keeper struggle to keep them healthy. You would need a larger tank and they are best kept in groups of 6+ without other fish except maybe some cardinal tetras and corys.
That's isn't completely true...  You can keep an established breeding pair.  That's what I have in my SA tank.  But yes, if you are keeping juvi discus, they need to be in groups of 6+.  To the op, I would not add many more discus to the tank until you are sure that you are rid of any parasites.  A 46G tank will be 'okay for one single discus really, but it is still on the small side.  I would say like 60G and up really would be your minimum to keep a pair.  Honestly until you can upgrade to a bigger tank, I would hold off on any more discus, regardless of any stomach parasites, etc.  Discus are really not that hard to keep if you know what you are doing, have done your research, and are on top of your water quality.  That's the most important bit by far: water quality.  Adults need at least several fairly decent sized wc's weekly, and juveniles every day.  If you keep them in less than pristine water, cramped space, or with tank mates that can stress them out, their chances of getting ill are faaaaar greater.  One wc a week is a not enough really.  It won't kill them if you miss one now and then, but several is really preferred. 
 

zildjian5446

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Okay, so I am a bit confused.
 
I have read that discus are a great community fish, and also have read that they are best kept in a species tank...
 
Is it a trial and error type of deal? Right now I would like to have a set-up consisting of...
 
1 Discus
1 Geophagus
1 Pearl Gourami (male)
1 German Blue Ram
1 Knight Goby
 
I have a 55 gallon tank with sand substrate. I keep the temperature generally around 82 degrees and do 1/3 water changes weekly. I am trying to find the better fit, whether it be a single discus or red severum. Any advice? I would prefer a discus but keep reading that it might not work out.
 

hobby5

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@EW Sure you can keep an established breeding pair but naturally discus live in large groups also as adults.
 
@OP Discus are not great community fish. They are very sensitive to high bacterial loads and new bacterial strains. In addition they feed slowly, which meens they are outcompeted for food by most other fish in your tank. This means one usually over- or underfeeds one or the other.
 
Introducing new discus is tricky as they usually come with new bacterial strains and in the worst case your old discus die by the new bacteria, while the new discus die by the old bacteria. So you would need a quarantine tank and very slowly adapt the old and new discus to the bacteria new for them by exchanging small amounts of water between those tanks.
 
Sorry to tell you, but I don't like your setup at all. You got a very decent sized tank, which gives you tons of options to house fish in a rather natural setting and you go for the stamp collection type version, which denies your fish all species specific behaviour with conspecifics. Nearly all fish live in groups with conspecifics or at least have them nearby. I would recommend 1-3 species. An approximation is to divide the tank in bottom middle and upper level and pick a species for each region. (Fish will not always stick to that artificial classification but its a good approximation). Then add sufficient large numbers of each species.
 
Btw. what is your water hardness (KH & total hardness)? Without knowing it we cannot give meaningful recommendations.
 

zildjian5446

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The water I have is pretty hard water, and my PH is also pretty high. Not sure the KH though, I would have to test my water which I can do later this evening...considering that was a response to my post haha. (new to this forum...not sure how things work here yet) 
 
I am looking more towards the gold red spotted severum at this point. My only concern is that they may be too aggressive (as I have heard from some of my friends). I also hear that they are typically peaceful, but certainly capable of causing some serious harm to my other fish. My ultimate question would have to be if it would be more logical and safer than adding a single discus to add a severum.  
 

snowflake311

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I have not been on here in a long time I moved my focus to breeding show quality bettas. But I still have my cichlids and had kept the sample for over 5 years.

First wild discus must be kept in groups. Domestics IME don't need to be kept in groups. They are so far removed from the wilds they don't need the same things the wilds do.

Discus are hard to keep they need Lots of food when young and there food they. Need lots of wc. They are so easy to stunt it's just not fair. I got my first discus his name is School Bus. He is from a petstore over 4 years ago. I still have him he lived alone for the first 6 months and was able to grow pretty well because he was alone and spoiled. I soon got a larger tank a 80 gal and bought more discus. Some lived a year some made it 3 years. I just lost my last one a week ago but I still have my first one good old School Bus. He now is the only discus in a planted tank with some tetras. He is doing perfectly along I fact I think he is happily. He is more active and outgoing now.

If you have one discus and he is happy and fine they just let it be. I would not add any other fish just some tetras and he will be fine.
 
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If you decide to go with Discus, you have to really keep an eye out for internal parasites. It's key that you hit them hard with medication at the first sign of any illness, because their health will take a turn for the worst very quickly, and if you wait too long it's usually too late to get them back on track. Discus are peaceful fish for the most part, which is probably why you had heard they make for good community fish. In your 46g you could probably fit a group of 5 alright. I would recommend finding some healthy adults to stock the tank with. Best of luck!
 
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