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Re: New Discus

I have to jump in on this one.

I have a 92 gallon with discus.  My tank was set up and I was preparing to
order a box of discus.  I have often considered skipping the quarantine ( it
is a pain to temporarily set up a tank) but never do and I am very glad I
didn't.  I set up a tank "cold" with no bacteria but stole some media from
my daughters tank a few days before they got here(her tank is my quarantine
for small fish here and there, for big shipments, like this, it wouldn't
work).  The Q tank was smaller(26 gallons) but the discus were 6 little
quarter sized fish.  I had gravel and some plants in there so they would
feel at home.  They didn't, the entire aquascaped idea scared them to death.
They were raised in bare bottom tanks.  They wouldn't even eat much less
come out!  This went on and I got concerned and took everything out.  I
covered half the tank in a towel and turned off the light.  Within half a
day, they were more at ease and started to eat. I pulled the towel back off
but left the light off for a week.  I dumped in tons of food but because it
was bare, I easily siphoned it back out a few hours later.  It was much
easier to observe them and check for problems.  All but 2 were doing very
well but the 2 were so stressed from the ordeal they died.  They were in
there for about a month or two before I started slowly acclimating them to
the planted world.  I started throwing in some big java ferns and then
gravel and finally a bunch of plants.  They stayed in this tank for probably
close to 4 months.

I have never kept fish that were so skittish.  Discus are a totally
different fish from any I have ever kept and IMHO require a bit more
work/care if you will.  I would highly recommend a Q tank.  It is hard to
make any major changes to an established tank.  With the quarantine you have
lots more flexibility.