mixing domestic and wild discus

Mixing Domestic and Wild Discus

Mixing Domestic and Wild Discus – can it be done?

Mixing Domestic and Wild Discus


Mixing Domestic and Wild Discus can be challenging. Discus fish can either be wild or domestic. Normally, these two types would have two almost totally different requirements in terms of food, water temperature and so on. So before we talk of the how to keep the two types together in a single fish tank, we should talk about the differences between the two.

We begin with wild caught discus fish. Wild caught discus come from what we may refer to as ‘harsher’ environment with murky and muddy water condition as opposed to the clean, fresh fish tanks that domestic discus come from. Hence it is reasonable to assume that wild discus are more hardy and can take a lot than captive bred ones.

Domestic discus fish, on the other hand may be healthier since they were farmed in a clean, controlled environment. However, if you look at it from another angle, it may just mean that their immunity is not as strong and hence its self-defense mechanism against diseases may not be as strong as a result.

For these huge differences and reason some aquarium keepers have suggested that wild caught discus should not be mixed with domestic fish. However, some discus fish keepers have mixed wilds and domestics and have completely enjoyed the beauties which both have to offer with no adverse effects. This has a good explanation which is the fact that at one time all discuses came from the Amazon and later when they were bred in captivity, they morphed into the beautiful varieties we have today. This therefore means that you can keep the wild discus and the domestic discus fish together and you will not see any erratic behavior between the two. You should however be careful when you first mix the two. Below is a recommended way of how to go about it, especially for the newcomers.

Mixing Domestic and Wild Discus Properly

Before setting new fish free in your aquarium, always quarantine them and make sure you know where your discus are coming from, because wild discus and domestic discus have different immune systems as mentioned earlier. The wild discus fish have been exposed to many different bacteria and parasites than the domestic discus. It is therefore possible and highly likely that some parasites that may not be harmful to one may be fatal to the other.

Another way to take advantage of your existing tank is to add a sponge filter. After a few weeks you will have an established bacteria colony and the sponge can be transferred to your quarantine tank, introducing your wild discus to the new environment they will soon be living in. Quarantining is a basic common practice that should help you achieve a healthy and thriving environment when your fish are introduced.
After the quarantine, your fish will be able to get along quite well, both the wild discus fish and the domestic fish in the same fish tank. After introduction of the wild discus into the fish tank, always monitor them closely at all times to ensure there isn’t any unusual behavior.

Mixing Domestic and Wild Discus Conclusion
We have seen that as much as the wild discus fish differ quite significantly from the domestic discus fish, they can get along well in the same fish tank provided you take the necessary precautions before introducing the wild discus fish into the fish tank. You should be on the lookout as well for any unusual behavior of the fish in the fish tank. This is however a common practice for all the aquariums and hence isn’t something you can worry about.

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discus water changes

All About Aquariums

why discus fish are expensive

Why discus fish are expensive

Why Discus fish are expensive

Discus fish are very interesting fish to keep for aquarium keepers and they have gained popularity over time because of their unique beauty as they are very colorful. Despite their appearance among other benefits of keeping discus fish, there are other shortcomings and the most notable among them is the price. Discus fish are relatively expensive even to buy compared to other aquarium fish available in the market. There are several reasons why discus fish are expensive and they are discussed below.
Reasons why Discus fish are expensive

i) They require warmer temperature compared to other tropical fish
For those discus fish keepers in the colder climate, this is a big cost. This is why imported discus from Asia is much cheaper when they leave the breeding facilities. It cost less to grow them out there. For this reason, retail for discus fish is expensive because the seller has to make enough to account for loses and stay in business.

ii) Food and water quality
Regardless whether you go with homemade food or off the shelf food, discus fish food is relatively expensive. Making your own beef heart or seafood mix isn’t cheap either. They have very strict water requirements as well and most of the breeders have to work very hard to meet these. These strict requirements make them very expensive.

iii) Time to grow
There is a lot of time involved in growing discus from fry to adult. The higher quality adults are also a lot more because it has probably been through a culling process. So basically discus fish expense comes down to how much time breeders put into the fish. Time is money and to raise good high quality discus you will need lots of time.

iv) Demand
Another reason discus fish are so expensive is a simple supply and demand situation. There are not many breeders in the U.S. for example. For this reason, they are not producing anywhere near the demand for particular strains. Another option would be imported discus fish, but they come with lots of expensive and risk that have to be covered. The trans-shipper has to house them, treat any problems, absorb any losses due to carrier negligence and give some kind of guarantee to the buyer. These factors make the cost of imported discus even higher.
Aside from the lower supply, people really like the discus fish and so the demand is huge as well. For this reason, shops can charge more, and people will pay. There is also a huge demand for these fish as they are gaining in popularity for their stunning appearance.

v) Breeding brand
Discus fish have name brands, so it depends on who bred the fish. Some people prefer a certain brand of breeder of the discus fish and will pay any price as long as it is from the brand. The breeder will take advantage of this and set a high price making the discus expensive.

vi) Labor
Discus fish are so expensive because breeding and keeping them requires some of the most labor intensive fish keep practices known. A lot of effort is put into keeping and breeding the fish in order to produce big and better specimens with the best colors. For most of the common fish, you can just throw them in a pond in a tropical area, feed them and come back in 6 months with a net and scoop out hundreds of small fish. So they are super cheap to breed. Breeding discus, however, requires more care, very good water conditions, less fish in the tank and the expensive bigger ones are probably a year or so old. They had to be kept in very good conditions and fed good food to get them to grow. All these labor intensive tasks make discus fish more expensive.

Discus fish are sometimes loosely referred to as the king of the aquarium. I guess this is because, on a light note, you almost have to be royalty to afford some of them. All in all, despite all the expenses, discus fish keeping is worth it when all is said and done. Hopefully this article will help you understand why discus fish are expensive.

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Discus Quarantine Process

Discus Quarantine Process

Discus Quarantine Process

Discus fish care should be taken seriously. For this reason therefore, there are different scenarios that will require a quarantine period.

Discus Quarantine Process – Scenario #1- Purchase of New Discus Fish
Whenever you get new discus fish you should quarantine them before putting them in your main discus tank. The purpose of this is to observe the new fish to ensure that they are not sick and prevent them from getting your healthy discus sick. This quarantine process is fairly simple. You set up a small fish tank filling it up using water from your main aquarium. You will need to make sure that the quarantine tank has proper filtration and heat. You need to replicate your main tank as far as water temperature and water quality. When you new fish arrives acclimate them in the quarantine tank. It is highly recommended that you keep them in the quarantine tank for at least 3 weeks. Make sure that you keep the quarantine tank clean and perform regaular water changes just like you do on your main tank. Keep close observation. Make sure they are eating and acting normal. After 3 weeks simply scoop them up in a net and place them in your main tank.

Discus Quarantine Process – Scenario #2- Treating Sick Fish
Another cause cause for a quarantine is usually an infection whether disease or bacteria on the discus fish. The exercise is usually carried out to prevent further spread to the other discus fish and hence prevent further damage. Therefore when carrying out the exercise, it’s important to understand and follow standard quarantine procedures. The reason we quarantine discus fish because they are living creatures. All living creatures have the ability to carry pathogens like bacteria or protozoan of one sort or another. Bacteria are frequently carried externally on discus.

When new discus fish are introduced into the same fish tank which already has other discus, the bacteria mixes and one or more of the discus may become sick as a result. Apart from that, when two independently healthy discus are mixed together, one may become sick in the process. Oftentimes discus will have a resistance to the bacteria they carry in small amounts and it may not make them sick unless they become stressed. At such a scenario, they may be overcome with the bacteria they carry.

It is recommended that when carrying out quarantine to first of all have their own tank, nets and hoses, filling devices, airlines, filters and buckets for a minimum time of 5 weeks. New discus should be kept in a separate room if possible from all your existing tanks. You have to remember even 1 drop of water from your old tank to the QT tank is cross contamination and vice versa. So it is very important to remember this when feeding and doing water changes. You should clean the quarantine tank either first or last and ensure you wash your hands and arms between the process of cleaning the quarantine tank and your other existing tanks.

There are several methods you can adopt for the discus quarantine process. One of the effective one is as follows:-
1. Isolate the fish for a minimum of six weeks. All equipment should be dedicated to the quarantine setup.
2. When you first receive the fish they should be dipped in methylene blue and placed in a tank that has salt at concentration of 1 – 2 tablespoons /10 gallons. This helps them deal with stress.
3. If there are any signs of bacteria or fungus, they get an increase in the salt to 1 tablespoon/1 gallon water plus Furan 2 until the problem clears.
4. Deworm with a tape worm specific medicine (Praziquantel)

Once the discus start eating:
1. Feed them with medicated gel food containing ‘panacur’ for a period of one week or longer in case you suspect presence of worms.
2. Feed them with medicated food with Metronidazole to deal with internal protozoans
3. External parasites are dealt with using formalin, Fluke tabs, Clout, or potassium permanganate.

You should be careful also as some medications may be harmful as they don’t mix well with discus. Ensure you do at least a 30% water change daily in all your tanks or even more. This should however be only when no treatment recommends otherwise. This particular method of quarantine is one in which you anticipate for likely problems and try to deal with them before they spread into all your tanks.

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discus tank mates

Discus Tank Mates

Discus Tank Mates

Discus Tank Mates make up an essential part of your discus fish aquarium. Discus fish are naturally not meant to exist alone. Discus fish are the type of fish that are slow moving schooling fish. This therefore means that you should always look for mates for your discus fish in your aquarium. When looking for discus fish tank mates you want to make sure that you select fish that are essentially like the discus fish in terms of behavior, that is, slow moving and ensure they will not compete with the discus for food.

Types of Discus Tank Mates:

i) Tetras
The most common discus tank mates you see in a discus aquarium are tetras. There are several types of tetras which include; neon tetras, cardinal tetras, blood eye tetras, and penguin tetras. Tetras happen to be slow moving schooling fish as well so that makes them tank mates for discus fish.

ii) Cory cats
Another set of common discus fish tank mates are cory cats. There are many different colors of cory cats to choose from, hence most people find them interesting to keep. Cory cats prefer to stay at the bottom of the tank looking for uneaten food. Apart from that, cory cats and discus fish get along very well which makes them a great addition to any discus aquarium.

iii) Angelfish
Other discus fish keepers are also known to keep angelfish with their discus fish. This should however be done with extreme caution. This is due to the fact that both discus fish and angel fish are very territorial especially during spawning. During the spawning process, angelfish and discus fish become very aggressive in an effort to protect their spawning site. They can get so overprotective to high levels such that they will start fighting with and chasing after other fish in the tank. This means therefore that you must keep a close eye when keeping angelfish and discus together. As long as neither of the fish are spawning however, they can get along pretty well in the same aquarium.

iv) Plecos
Plecos are also a common fish found in discus aquariums. They go around eating algae and uneaten food and debris from the aquarium. They do a great job in helping you to keep your discus fish tank clean. However this does not mean that they are not a substitute for water changes. You also need to keep a close eye on plecos when they grow larger as they suck up to glass and objects in the aquarium. At times they may even have the tendency to suck up to the side of your discus fish due to the shape of the discus fish body. This means therefore that you need to keep a close eye on plecos as they mature.

v) Stingrays
Other very experienced discus fish keepers keep stingrays in their discus fish aquariums. Stingrays stay at the bottom of the aquarium and do not interfere with the discus fish. However, the diet of a stingray is completely different from the diet of a discus fish. Therefore if you have sting rays in your tank you must cater to both the eating habits of the sting ray and the discus fish. Many people do not like keeping sting rays in their discus aquariums due to the fact that sting rays grow quickly and require fairly large aquariums.

In conclusion, you should choose carefully the type of discus fish tank mates that best serves your aquarium needs without you going out of your norms in maintaining them. This will depend on your preferences most of the times.

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aquarium circulation pumps

Aquarium Circulation Pumps

Aquarium Circulation Pumps
Circulation pumps are responsible for circulation of water in the aquarium. Without circulation of water in the aquarium there would be disastrous effects such as lack of sufficient oxygen for the fish or even plants in the aquarium. Most aquariums can actually survive without other requirements such as light, but none can survive without water movement, that is water circulation. Creating water movement in the aquarium is one of the simplest tasks you can do, yet it’s also one of the most critical. When water is circulated it brings about several benefits. First, it brings oxygen and new algae and washes away any waste in the aquarium tank. More so, when an aquarium circulation pump is installed, it reduces the need for frequent cleanings by moving the water around and providing the necessary catalyst for most filters to function.

Types of Aquarium Circulation Pumps
Different kinds of aquariums require different types of pumps. There are generally two main types of aquarium circulation pumps, including:
• Air pumps
• Water pumps

i) Air pumps
Air pumps work to push air into the water of the aquarium and are often found outside the tank. Air pumps are great for adding pressurized air to the tank to keep filters working.

ii) Water pumps
Water pumps are classified into two main types namely submersible water pump and in-line water pump. Each of the two has its own advantages and the filter used for personal preference often determines whether to opt for a submersible or inline water pump.
A submersible water pump operates entirely underwater by drawing water from the filter and sending it back through the aquarium, often in conjunction with one or more types of aquarium filtration systems. Easy to install, water pumps are considered the quietest style of pump.

In-line water pumps on the other hand are connected to an inlet hose used to filter aquarium water, typically located externally. These pumps are extremely powerful and are capable of moving many more gallons per hour than the average submersible pump.

Both pumps, that is air pumps and water pumps, aerate stagnant water, which creates currents and as a result causes water to move through accessories within the aquarium tank such as sumps, filters and skimmers. It is good to note however that each of the accessories will serve the different needs of any given tank.

Choosing Aquarium Circulation Pumps
i) Capacity
It would be critical that the aquarium circulation pump needs to have the capacity to manage any peripherals of the aquarium tank that may require it for proper functioning. The pump must also be the right kind for the type of water managed in the aquarium.
ii) Other peripherals

If you are running a filter, skimmer or something similar in conjunction with a pump, you will need to consider a pump capable of processing a compatible volume of water, at a given speed. This speed depends on the demands of the additional devices. Most filtration devices require a turnover of around 6 gallons of water per hour and it is best to have a pump that is capable of moving water at that speed. For example, a pump for a 30 gallon tank should be graded to move at least 180 gallons per hour.

iii) Material
Saltwater aquariums are highly corrosive and all pump parts used in these aquariums must be made with anti-corrosive material. However, a pump graded for saltwater can be used effectively in freshwater.

An aquarium pump is an aeration device to keep water circulating in tanks. The aquarium circulation pump creates a happy and healthy environment for fish by mimicking the currents and waves of a natural habitat as closely as possible. A circulation pump also keeps the environment clean and productive for fish.

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