Discus Fish Care Tips- How Many Discus Water Changes!?

Discus Fish Care Tips- How Many Discus Water Changes!?

Hey everybody. Devon here from American Aquarium. How you doing? Want to talk to you today about how to keep
the discus fish. A lot of people think it’s hard to keep the
discus fish, but if you can keep some general basic principles in order, in check and then
it’s not as hard as people make it out to be. So, I want to say there’s lot of resources
out on line on how to keep these fish. American Aquarium, while we’ve kept them,
there’s actual true experts in the hobby industry and there’s lots of good information. Marc Weiss being one of them. So, the fish is thought to be kept at a certain
pH, a lower pH of 5.0 and 6.0. When American Aquarium and others have experienced
that you can actually keep this fish in higher pH, but the goal is you don’t have a swinging
pH. A swinging pH, will actually cause far more
damage. So, keeping the discus fish at 7.0 to 7.5
is not a problem, as long as there’s no major swings. Keeping a discus fish between 5.0 to 6.0 is
actually a little more beneficial when you want say to breed the fish, but it’s not required
and it’s not to say that you need to keep that discus fish at 5.0 to 6.0 because that’s
the natural environment that they came from like you’re making a biotype aquarium. These fish are usually breed at different
conditions and have adapted and so you necessary don’t have to recreate a natural environment,
because they didn’t come from the natural environment. Unless they did come from the natural environment,
then it would be in their best interest. It’s also thought to keep a little lower pH,
they will have a little bit better disease resistance. American Aquarium experience keeping a stable
pH will have good disease resistance and also focusing that you provide electrolyte minerals. That’s one of the key things people end up
doing for discus fish is that they will try to make softer pH waters and then they end
up striping the water of their important electrolyte then the fish suffers osmotic regulation and
then there’s problems absorbing minerals back and forth between the water and that’s actually
where the major damage can happen. So, if you’re going to us RO water or if you’re
going to soften your water, make sure your replenishing the electrolytes. We recommend the AAP Wonder Shell, because
it sits in the water and contentedly dissolves. There’s a benefit to that. It’s like a constant recharge like a battery. Like water is running over river rocks, same
that would happen in the waters they live in nature. So constant charge is best. There’s other products out there like SeaChem
Replenish. You know, but your not getting the constant
charge. But it is step in the right direction. There’s so a concept about keeping a lower
pH waters. Keeping a lower pH water, does take toxic
ammonia and neutralizes into non toxic ammonium, which will make it so the fish never really
have to endure or tolerate that ammonia. So, if you can do a little bit lower pH it’s
an added benefit, but like I said earlier, not required. Like I said earlier, just making sure you
have a stable pH. Which is maintaining a proper KH and if you
guys need any additional information about these terms I’m throwing around. Your alkalinity. If you can maintain your alkalinity, if you
need help with that, see the description below. I’ll throw some links in there. Maintaining your alkalinity at 3-5 will stabilizes
your pH. Now measuring GH for your discus fish, you
do want to have a little bit lower GH, but I don’t want you to get confused here, because
GH is where your going to add minerals that have been stripped out of softer waters back
in and so you might see a little bit higher KH reading. The GH reading is not going to show you if
you’re actually getting an electrical charge back into the tank, which is the benefit of
dosing these electrolyte minerals. But you want to make sure you’re not striping
these by not having a lower GH, but make sure your dosing a constant GH supply to supply
these electrolytes back into the water. and this is the same thing that would happen
in the Amazon basin where these fish are naturally found. Where water is running through rocks river,
coming down, running down, gaining an electrical charge and supplying that to the fish. It’s more common, people know that we want
to keep a higher temperature for discus. Around 84 degrees is the set temperature. When you’re struggling with a little disease
issues you might lower that to about 79 degrees, but having a warmer temperature actually helps
them protect their slim coat. Recommend higher temperatures. Water maintenance is a big one for discus
fish. A lot of people will say you need to have
a daily water change of about 15% to maintain no toxicity in the water. This is one way of doing it. There’s also other ways of utilizing polymers
to minimize nitrates, keep toxicity out of the water. So, if you’re keeping good husbandry and maintain
the nitrates, you should not have a problem. You’ll just have to figure out which way you
want to do that. A lot of people will do daily water changes
with their discus. If that becomes a lot of maintenance you can
consider other polymers like the Two Little Fishy, NPX polymers, which will strip nitrates,
phosphates and then you can minimizes your water change schedule and keep it more for
maintaining your GH/KH minerals. And not so much have to manage your Nitrates. The discus diet is more in line with carnivore. You want to feed them shrimp, worms, a carnivore,
higher protein based diet, closer to 40% protein and there’s, the more digestible the protein
the better menhaden is a good example. Krill is a good example, which are better
for this carnivore fish. One common myth disclaimer that has been discredited
for discus fish and really any fish in the hobby many times, which is feeding beef heart,
which is said to have a high protein, but still lower digestibility and actually has
been disclaimed regular part of the diet, because it comes from a warm blooded animal
and we’re talking about a cooler blooded animal. The way the beef heart metabolizes. At these cooler temperatures will actually
become will actually be less salable and so it does not pass through the fish as readily. So, beef heart from a warm blooded animal
is not a good choice and has been discredited by some of the biggest names. Mark Weiss, so I would not recommend it, but
is something that is out there, because it’s an economical option for a semi decent protein. Would not recommend it. So, high protein. Then also something too is high Fiber diets. This is something newer in the hobby that’s
being explored, but it’s better, because it contentedly keeps the digestive tract clear
and also feeds good bacteria in the gut, where other fish foods are having to supplement
probiotics. So. look for a fish food that has higher fiber
that 4 or 5 percent. You could go upwards into the double digits,
12 to 15 or a little bit higher fibers. And that’s best for the digestive. The thing discus, is you know we can give
maintenance as possible. We can give the best care as possible, but
can what we need to consider is genetics. Genetics is a big player with these harder
to keep fish. So, definitely getting your stock from a quality
source. Consider going through a fish club society. Making sure your local fish store is getting
it from a quality stock. If your having trouble keeping the fish and
you feel like your doing everything you can in your maintenance husbandry, consider the
source your getting it from. And go through a more reputable source. And we’ve seen that many times as well, cause
these fish are kept in many different conditions and even we know genetics for fish, humans,
and animals. starts at birth, starts at before birth and
so if there’s not the best care possible from the get go. then there could be health issues down the
road and lead to a more sickly fish. Some behaviors you should look out for a healthy
discus fish, is that this fish should be a really personable fish. While it could be more shy in a condition
it’s not familiar, once it gets comfortable, it should be a type of fish that comes to
the front of the tank, is very personable. Looks you in the eyes and follows you knows
that your it’s owning and your going to feed it. And so if these behaviors are not being exhibited,
consider that something is going on with the fish. Check your water parameters. Consider is something new has been added to
the tank and make sure everything is in check. If everything is in check and then there’s
still having an issue, give it a couple of days, but try to pursue what that could be,
because the fish should be personable. They’re a very personable fish. And one last thing I forgot to mention about
some really good prevention for these type of fish. Considering they are a more spendy stock. It is in best interest to get yourself a UV
sterilizer. That’s more a debated topic for keeping your
aquariums. American Aquarium Products has done a lot
of research and testing using sterilizers on 100s of applications and we can tell you,
not only does it get you water clarity and disease prevention, so bacterial up to viral
protection, it also boost immunity. So, it’s best interest to have a sterilizer
on the tank. and really just helps for most long term health of the fish. Like when you provide the electrolyte minerals. It boost their immunity. Super important. UVc sterilizer also boost their immunity,
but keeping a lower amount, it combats the amount of acids that could effect the fish
and building up in the fish and effecting the tolerance and immunity of the fish. So, definitely look at a UV sterilizer as
an addition to your husbandry. Alright, I’ll talk to you guys next time. Bye.

17 thoughts on “Discus Fish Care Tips- How Many Discus Water Changes!?

  1. You guys should do some specific uploads on aquarium myth-busting. Mr. Strohmeyer certainly has compiled decades of knowledge to help with that.

    The beef heart misperception was on point. I know a lot of hobbyists and Youtubers swear by homemade Discus Beefheart recipes. Thanks AAP!

  2. This was not a good video. While stable conditions were stressed there were things stated that are incorrect. They aren’t 5.0-6.0 ph. They’re more like 5.8-6.6 ph. And when they’re sick you’ll most likely raise the temperature because the micro-organisms can handle the high heat like the discus can.

  3. Good one mate. Please can i ask your advice. I had 4 discus for over 6 months without having any crisis. 3 days ago i end up buying another 2 ( one large and other one medium ). It was intended for my coffee table aquarium but it was delayed with some troubles. My tank is not that big 100 gln. I end up adding this two and a wood with some plants. I was so stupid to think only one or two days not taking things seriously. I noticed they were not moving much , the new two fish not eating well or didt eat at all . 10am i looked at the tank they were alive but when i got back 1pm after church 3 out of 4 old one died. I think it very obvious why they died but do you think anything more than that ? Any advise yiu can give as those two new fish still not eating

  4. Hi….Which strains (colour) of discus were Hi….Which strains of discus were easy to breed for beginers?

  5. Hi great vedio
    Just please help me .

    I have 240 L inside I have stendker discus 8 fishes they are in the same size of yours .

    I have in this tank 3 filters
    FX 6 fluval
    Juwel internal filter
    Eheim experience 250.

    I am planing to add 2 fish so total will be 10.

    My question will 240 L be ok when 10 discus grow in full size.

    Please note I do not have lot of decoration only I have two artficial plants 18 CM long,

    I use Easy life benficial bacteria

    Easy life filter medium
    Aqua safe tetra
    Easy balance tetra

    I feed 3 times beef heart.

    Please give me your opinion?
    Note I clean filters as follow

    FX 6 every 3 month
    EHEIM EVERY 2 Month
    Juwel internal filter every month

    Water change weekly 10 % and monthly 30%

    My fish is stendker tap water raised


  6. Hey there, I'm interested in installing the reactor on my Discus tank and could use a little step by step. All the information I can find is on reef tanks and installing them in sumps. Can you help me out pls? Thanks

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