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ins and outs of planted discus tank - feeding problems etc.

Then I posed the question to the Discus-L group as to whether it would be
possible to buy already grown-out Discus and place them in a planted tank
fed only with Tetra-Bits.  Most responses I received were from breeders who
insisted that Discus won't survive on Tetra-Bits alone.  Others indicated
that fully grown Discus don't ship well and don't adapt well to new
surroundings.  Any comments/experience?

I have raised discus for about 18 months now succesfuly,
I would agree that tetra bits exclusively is not really an ideal diet,
hoever it could be done but I would ecpect to see a vitam deficiency
disease after a few moths such as whole in the head). The best thing I
would recomend is to purchase 'young adults' maybe one year old (almost
full grown) These will be expensive but worth while. Feed them once per day
with tetra bits and at least once per day with frozen or live food, If you
use beefheart - very high protien and P, cut it into mouth sized cubes so
there is no cloudy wastage which polutes water, takashi Amana keeps planted
discus tanks with something like weekly 50% water changes. He feeds once
per day and keeps atleast 100litres (25 gallons) of water per fish. With
other frozen foods first defrost them in water. I put the cubes in a small
fine net and rinse them till they are thawed then I add them to the tank.

Plant heavily with lots of fast growing plants, use extra CO2 and more
light to comensate for the increased temps and to make the plants grow fast
and use up the nutrients.

Adult as in 1 year + do not adapt as well but I would say that healthy 1
year old discus should have no problem adapting to life (and the high water
quality of a planted tank) Feed them adequately change the water as often
as possible and I am sure it will be successful. Maybe consider phosphate
removing resins. 

Obviously if you want the discus to be purely accents in the tank then high
feeding wont be as important. However if you want them to breed in the tank
then consider warmer temps atleast 82f,  heavier feedings, lower stock
rates and more water changes.

I am about to convert a discus tank to a planted discus tank. :)

Regards All
Daniel Green
bevgreen at cygnus_uwa.edu.au