Why Hobbiest find Discus fish Demanding!

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Before I got into convincing my mind on discus it was a one fish, two fish ride with my friend and look out for a mid ground plant to face light the tank.
My friend loves discus and we saw a F1 grade red melon at The Fish Stop in Dehiwela. That interest me on reading and researching the following few days and made me get the discus juvis at a reasonable price.
So my friend told me to return the group since he was not convinced with the grade and I called up the breeder and he hung up on me.
Now the past 3 weeks have made me more interested in discus than I ever have been my whole life. 😀. So thank you for not killing it for me and keeping the hobby alive.
 
I've watched this thread since the start, and I think the title is deceptive. Discus fish are not demanding. Hobbyists are.

The problem isn't the fish, but the difficulties we have making them fit to our convenience. Our tanks are often too small and poorly designed, we want inappropriate tankmates for them and we worry about energy costs to keep their water warm. We want to avoid doing water changes, and we want nicely packaged prepared foods. We want to make Discus fit our plans. But if we don't adapt, our personal hobby dies...

There's no right forum. I'm sure gabe (whoever that is) knows more about making weird coloured Discus than most of us, and that there are people here, often silent, who know more about keeping Discus in home conditions. There are issues of hybrids, forced growth techniques, good and bad breeders, stubborn beliefs not supported by data, fish lore and all its negatives, etc. There is a lot of knowledge about these money fish, and most of it is conflicting. The fish just live in their natural habitats and that's where the real info lives too.
I would definitely agree on the density issue and the desire to push fishes to be more colourful and extra large. I've been slowly transitioning to more sparse populations and it definitely helps a *lot*.

I guess there is also the question do you want a healthy fish or a colourful fish and while the two are not mutually exclusive they way we muck with genetic and diet does not always result in healthy fishes.

One point on diet (maybe there is a link in this thread) but there is a paper that talks about how discus change their diet over time.
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I definitely recommend wild caught discus over tank raised discus - the only real negative of wild caught discus is that they are taken from the wild (also i suppose parasite are more common with wild caught).
 
Parasites in wild fish are less common than in farm raised. The reason? Water volume - fish on farms are crowded to reduce costs, and crowding aids the spread of parasites in any creatures. An ich parasite seeking a host in the Amazon has a lot of hunting to do, while in a farm pond, the all you can eat buffet is right there.
I have seen one fish louse in over 50 years - a creepy creature. And helminth, gutworms (not nematodes) have been low grade present in a lot of the wild fish I've gotten. That is so easy to deal with though.
Farmed fish often have Mycobacter (untreatable and incurable), and Camallanus nematodes - serious and often fatal issues. The nematodes are especially prevalent on some farms. Ich and velvet (Oodinium) parasites abound, as do bacteria capable of infecting a vulnerable fish.
The safest fish are ones raised by people you know - small scale, breeding for fun types. They're the ones you find at the quickly vanishing clubs. For a few years, I hoped that might be the direction the aquarium hobby could go in, but it didn't.

Wild caught Discus certainly force any aquarist who wants to keep them alive to adapt the setup to their needs.
 
This is 100% true GaryE.

Anewbie, please share your experience how did it help?
It helps in less aggression between fishes (esp cichild) and better water quality. This past year i added 5 aquariums that were 180 or larger. In my 600 i moved my stocking from a 120 - and when the fishes get pissed at each other (wild cichild are very good at signalling piss off moods) the other fishes have lots of room to leave it alone. My only comment is if i had the room i would double the dimension of the aquarium (4x larger) though truth be told i would not like to maintain it since the middle would not be reachable.

My discus are in a 180 (24 wide 72 long - inches); and I think they should be in a 36 x 108 but i don't have the room :(

When i moved several of my smaller aquarium (29,120) were over stocked while i was trying to figure out where to move things and that caused diseases to break out. Same fishes that were disease free all of a sudden had worse water quality and were getting very ill and some died.

Space definitely helps reduce diseases.
 
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At one point, I got to watch one of my favourite non Discus Cichlids in nature, in Central Africa. I stood knee deep in a stream and realized I had Chromidotilapia feeding all around me. I could see several metres around, and was able to carefully rotate and count the population density in thousands of litres of moving river. I saw five adults.

I've watched a lot of underwater video of Discus from a friend who visits that region often - lots and lots of raw footage. The Discus are in huge volumes of water relative to their body mass. Even if you consider the other fish that dart in front of the camera, my largest aquarium would qualify for less than one Discus.

In the real world, it doesn't bother me to keep two 3cm non-shoaling fish in a 60cm, standard North American 20 gallon. Yes, you have to look for them sometimes, and they aren't in your face always. But they are more inclined to breed (a measure of lower stress) and less inclined to fight.
What works for small fish works for Discus sized ones at a different scale. Fish need room if you want to see their behaviour.

I do think the "rules" are different with man made Discus forms. This might be because I don't like them! The very unsubtle colours take the behaviour out of the equation, and I would keep them at one fish (no tankmates) per 30 gallons in a 180 gallon. But people will successfully keep them in tanks small enough that they hover in plain sight all the time.

I don't have those resources, so I don't have some of my favourite fish.
 
Why are Discus fish considered as meat in the amazon. Do they taste good.
 
Why are Discus fish considered as meat in the amazon. Do they taste good.
Amazon Indians are hunter gatherers and don't normally farm much meat food. So they eat fish, birds, insects, spiders, reptiles, etc. Basically they eat anything they can catch just like most other people. Wild discus can get to 10-12 inches in diameter and 2-3 inches wide and make a decent meal when you are hungry.

We had a customer that used to come into the shop every few weeks to look at the discus. Her name was Teri and she was a South American Indian and was about 4 foot tall. She wasn't a dwarf, she was average height for people in her village. She used to come in and look at the discus and talk to the boss about them. The boss liked discus too. Every now and then she would tell the boss that fish there looks really tasty. She had a great sense of humour and used to stir the boss up, but she was also serious. She brought some photos into the shop and it showed her and several family members with discus they had caught for dinner. The fish were massive and were a regular part of their diet.
 
Amazon Indians are hunter gatherers and don't normally farm much meat food. So they eat fish, birds, insects, spiders, reptiles, etc. Basically they eat anything they can catch just like most other people. Wild discus can get to 10-12 inches in diameter and 2-3 inches wide and make a decent meal when you are hungry.

We had a customer that used to come into the shop every few weeks to look at the discus. Her name was Teri and she was a South American Indian and was about 4 foot tall. She wasn't a dwarf, she was average height for people in her village. She used to come in and look at the discus and talk to the boss about them. The boss liked discus too. Every now and then she would tell the boss that fish there looks really tasty. She had a great sense of humour and used to stir the boss up, but she was also serious. She brought some photos into the shop and it showed her and several family members with discus they had caught for dinner. The fish were massive and were a regular part of their diet.
So all these years we have been raising and breeding Red Indian food.
 
The food is doing its job. The pigments are showing when they start to feed. The best time for my juvis are around sun rise 5.30 am - 6.15 am.
They pounce on the food and I find the dull skin fading and darker colors appearing.
For now blood worms, black worms and tubifix worms are not available where I live. I shall hunt for them maybe after 2 months if the bio-gold and BH mix dosent bring out the bright Orange and Yellow face in the Juvis.
 

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I was finding green algae leaching on my plants and was wondering how it germinated. The culprits were the overhead filters. When the sun is out at peak hours the plastic containers were germinating green algae inside the filter Containers. So placed some pothos with granite pebbles to provide shade for the filters and filter the fresh air that comes down the pearlings.
 

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A friend who researches a lot in Amazonia says Discus are only when you're desperate food, as there are too many bones and they aren't that tasty.

In Gabon, we traded a lot with local fisher families - we wanted dwarf Cichlids and they wanted elephant noses, which they said make great soup. It can take hundreds of the small fish (barbs, killies, elephant noses, gouramis, tetras) we like to make a good soup. The little one inch fish go into the broth. It's the same with Discus in South America.
 
A friend who researches a lot in Amazonia says Discus are only when you're desperate food, as there are too many bones and they aren't that tasty.

In Gabon, we traded a lot with local fisher families - we wanted dwarf Cichlids and they wanted elephant noses, which they said make great soup. It can take hundreds of the small fish (barbs, killies, elephant noses, gouramis, tetras) we like to make a good soup. The little one inch fish go into the broth. It's the same with Discus in South America.
Happy fathers day GaryE.
 

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