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How to treat a skinny discus

Discussion in 'Disease and Illness' started by Amy, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Amy

    Amy New Member

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    Hi all

    I've been keeping fish for around 20 years and I've recently gone back to Discus after dabbling unsuccessfully with them a few years ago due to my tank being too small. I bought them from a very reputable UK supplier and I've been extremely happy with them. However, one of the 8 discus started to look very skinny around 8 weeks ago. It is still eating although its appetite has lessened in the last 2 days. It is also starting to turn dark on occassions. Unfortunately another Discus now seems to be heading this way too with the same symptoms. I have treated with Wormer Plus with no difference.

    Stats - 450 litre tank,
    8 adult discus
    ammonia - 0, nitrite - 0, nitrate - 15ppm
    temp - 28 degrees celsius
    50% weekly water change with RO water
    fed twice a day with Stendker beefheart

    Unfortunately, since buying from a LFS around 15 years ago, I have noticed fish of various breeds becoming skinny and then dying after a long period of time. This seems to be no different. I'm really worried it may be fish TB but I'm hoping someone can prove me wrong. I don't think these Discus are too far gone to be saved - the knife ridge is not very prominent so I'm hoping someone on here can point me in the right direction.

    Many thanks for everyone's help
    Amy
  2. matt19852011

    matt19852011 Active Member

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    Personally i would turn the temperature up to 32, and up your water changes to 2 50% a week and see if that helps
  3. JOHN .A

    JOHN .A BIDKA Mentor & Show Shareholder

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  4. Amy

    Amy New Member

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    Brilliant, thank you both so much for your advice. They are both still feeding but I can't see any improvement yet and their colour isn't good at times. How long should I keep the temperature at 32? Is it dangerous to keep it that high for too long?

    The later affected fish had a poo this morning and it was very red - not stringy or white, so I don't know what to make of that. I'm wondering if varying their food will help too but they won't take any flake or Prima. They take beefheart from my fingers readily but they won't even touch bloodworm as the occasional treat.
  5. matt19852011

    matt19852011 Active Member

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    I would leave it for a week or 2, if you have tetras in with the discus they might struggle with that temp. If poo is red i wouldnt be to worried at the moment, are they beìng bullied or bottom of the pecking order ?
  6. Steve Lancashire

    Steve Lancashire Active Member

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    Hello Amy, I'm just catching up after being away for a while. Not many left in this forum these days which is a great shame.

    I just wondered what the outcome was with your discus going thin. My guess is there was no improvement and you lost them both. I hope I'm wrong and you got them back on track. If you did what was it that worked in the end.

    Although Stendker Beef Heart has a great reputation, especially for putting weight on young discus, it is only a matter of time before the digestive system will show signs of problems especially if that is their main source of food.

    I gradually weaned all my discus away from Beef Heart, it is after all meat from a warm blooded animal being fed to a cold blooded fish, so not natural really.

    If you find yourself in the same position again contact Mark Neill at IP Discus Scotland and ask him to send you one of the Manaus Aquarium products called Bilocil, or if you have got Coryadorus in the tank also, then use Bilocil Sensitive.

    A five day course of treatment using this will see you fish improve rapidly. But you need to try different foods other than beef heart otherwise the problem will probably return.

    Cheers,

    Steve
  7. Steve Lancashire

    Steve Lancashire Active Member

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  8. blueeyes

    blueeyes Member

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    I am in the process of weaning all my discus over to a seafood and white fish diet, what is the protein % Steve do you know
  9. Steve Lancashire

    Steve Lancashire Active Member

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    If you combine the ingredients as per the recipe, allegedly the protein content is as high as 61%.

    I've just made my first batch, 3 x 200 gram packs. They do eat it, but the water does smell salty after using it, so make sure you vacuum any waste out sharpish.
  10. blueeyes

    blueeyes Member

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    whats the recipe , I cant get into that site tks
  11. blueeyes

    blueeyes Member

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    Also what would be a good clean up regime to get all the fish spic and span for breeding etc tks
  12. Steve Lancashire

    Steve Lancashire Active Member

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    Water fleas are less valuable, but serve the "entertainment" and can therefore be given quiet often.
    And then even the "vexing question" about the how often and how much ?! Search In nature, the animals all
    day for food. An opportunity presents itself, then snapped - at least until they are saturated. A overeating is
    actually not available since the fish still swimming around in the habitat (natural habitat). To stand still as we
    occasionally observe it in our aquariums are only available from danger or at night. Since the motion is
    neglected in our aquariums in most cases, this will also result in a reduction in food intake. It follows: Several
    times a day in smaller rations that are eagerly eaten feed (juveniles often). Ideally, just enough so that the
    animals are interested in looking after the last ration still for food. Even an occasional feeding pause is helpful;
    so that the insects are also easier to new, introduce them unfamiliar foods.
    Perhaps this report will help to rethink the feeding of discus launch.
    1,9,10 Source: Dieter Untergasser, Healthy Discus and large cichlids - Volume 1, (bede Publishing - ISBN 3-
    927997-01-3)
    2-6: Source: Heiko Bleher, Bleher's Discus - Volume 1 (Aqua Press - ISBN 88-901816-0-5)
    7: Source: Hans Mayland - discus fish, kings of Amazonia (Publisher: Country Book - ISBN 3 7842 0250 0)
    8: Source: Bernd Degen - The new big German discus Book (Publisher: bede - ISBN 3-9801265-0-1)
    As a result of the things I had read above the nutrifition off our fishes I created a recipe:
    1 kg snapper fillets (tomboy, no breeding because of Antibiota) -> € 8.95,
    1 kg shrimp meat (preferably organic quality) -> € 11.96,
    1 kg of flesh (mussels, New Zealand green-lipped mussels or clams) -> € 8.45,
    1 kg organic carrots (washed and steamed) -> 0.99 €,
    750 g spinach (organic quality) -> € 1.49,
    4 (peeled 300 g) bananas (organic quality) -> 0.95 €,
    50 g of dried figs -> € 0.65,
    150 g of dried papaya (from organic farming / unfortunately, light syrup, so relatively little) -> € 2.50,
    200 g dried mango (organic quality) -> € 3.99,
    100 g Spirulina flakes -> € 2.50,
    50 g of dried nettle leaves (nettle tea from the pharmacy) -> € 1.90,
    25 g of dried chamomile flowers (chamomile tea from the pharmacy) -> 0.95 €,
    1 cup (250 g) organic yogurt with live cultures -> € 0.39,
    65 g of carob powder for binding -> 3,95 €,
    Abrasion of 1/2 nutmeg -> € 0.50,
    2 g of papaya seeds (even dried) finely ground,
    80 g of paprika (mild, organic quality) -> 1,95 €
    20 g Acerola powder -> € 2.25,
    25 g Moringabaumblätter (dried and ground) -> € 5.96,
    4 egg yolks (organic quality, as fresh as possible) -> 2.00 €,
    60 g of peat -> 0,05 €,
    100 g Heilerde -> € 1.12,
    20 g sera Mineral Salt -> € 0.10
    Optional: 10 ml Multibionta Drop by Merck -> € 3.23.
    But you should also know, that this is not finalized yet. The fishes liked it when it was fresh, but after deep
    freecing it, something must have become to the taste. The frozen food isn't really liked by my fishes; So I will
    make a little charge next time, splitt it into 4 or 5 portions and spice them differently.
  13. Steve Lancashire

    Steve Lancashire Active Member

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    This is the other recipe, this is the one I used.

    Here's my latest discus food mix. My goal was to go more for a natural feeding of my wilds. More vegetable-fruits...less meat... no beef heart...

    So here's my new discus mix.

    Meats:
    360 gr. Of Shrimps
    180 gr. salmon
    130 gr. mussels
    100 gr. freeze dried silkworm pupae grounded
    35 gr. of freeze dried Krills grounded
    To the grounded silkworm and krill I added 240 gr. of carrot water to rehydrate them for 6 hours.

    All of the above ingredients we mixed together and passed 2 times in the meat grinder then set aside.

    Vegatable and fruits
    300 gr. of bananas
    275 gr. of unsalted canned peas
    200 gr of boiled carrots, keep the eater to rehydrate the silkworms and krill
    175 gr of bok choi

    These ingredients are passed in the meat grinder once and mixed withe meats.

    Additives
    4 boiled egg yolks
    20 gr. of ground paprika
    20 gr. of crushed garlic
    20 gr. of spirulina powder
    20 gr. of peat powder
    15 gr. of ground nutmeg
    10 gr of calcium powder
    10 gr of camomille tea
    10 probiotic capsules

    I add the additives to the mix and pass everything in the meat grinder, after i put everything in the cuisinart and run it for a couple of minutes to get the consistency of crunchy peanut butter. I then add some agar agar as a binder and bag the mixture in 100 gr package.
  14. Steve Lancashire

    Steve Lancashire Active Member

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    Instead of doing massive water changes like 50% per week or more, I siphon daily a minimum of 50 litres out to get any left over food and the fish waste out.

    But my tank has got 400 litres in it, so you would need to work out the volume or percentage equivalent to 50/100 litres.
  15. blueeyes

    blueeyes Member

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    Hi Steve thanks for the reply and recipe , I meant a clean up with meds before breeding and then on fry etc tks
  16. Steve Lancashire

    Steve Lancashire Active Member

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    If you think your discus need a bit of a clean up on the inside and the outside, I.e for gill flukes and internal parasites, the best I would recommend is something called, BILOCIL produced by Manaus Aquariums in Germany and stocked by Mark Neill at IP Discus Scotland. BILOCIL is a three day treatment done over 7 days with no water changes in between. Then a 50% water change on the 7th day.

    If you have got Coryadorus or any other sensitive fish in your tank then order the BILOCIL Sensitive. Both these products are brilliant and you will see a huge change very quickly, breathing back to normal within hours, colours better, and most of all they will start feeding again.

    Cheers,

    Steve

    Ps tell Mark I said hello!
  17. Steve Lancashire

    Steve Lancashire Active Member

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    Hello Amy, I'm just catching up after being away for a while. Not many left in this forum these days which is a great shame.

    I just wondered what the outcome was with your discus going thin. My guess is there was no improvement and you lost them both. I hope I'm wrong and you got them back on track. If you did what was it that worked in the end.

    Although Stendker Beef Heart has a great reputation, especially for putting weight on young discus, it is only a matter of time before the digestive system will show signs of problems especially if that is their main source of food.

    I gradually weaned all my discus away from Beef Heart, it is after all meat from a warm blooded animal being fed to a cold blooded fish, so not natural really.

    If you find yourself in the same position again contact Mark Neill at IP Discus Scotland and ask him to send you one of the Manaus Aquarium products called Bilocil, or if you have got Coryadorus in the tank also, then use Bilocil Sensitive.

    A five day course of treatment using this will see you fish improve rapidly. But you need to try different foods other than beef heart otherwise the problem will probably return.

    Cheers,

    Steve
  18. Steve Lancashire

    Steve Lancashire Active Member

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    You all sorted Now?
  19. blueeyes

    blueeyes Member

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    Hi Steve yes got some of Mark at IP for my 6 ft tank , fish were fine but just not as ravenous and a bit nervous than they were so into 3 day of treatment and do see a difference already less skittish, so will see how it goes tks
  20. Steve Lancashire

    Steve Lancashire Active Member

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    That's great news, keep us updated. That Bilocil really works! Did you say hello to Mark for me?

    Good luck!

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