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how to deworm wild caught discus

anewbie

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1,424
Any hints of what to look for if they need additional meds? I'm really clueless as to what to look for while they are in qt?
 

Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
303
Any hints of what to look for if they need additional meds? I'm really clueless as to what to look for while they are in qt?
My big concern when importing “delicate/blackwater” fish was always columnaris. For a blackwater fish with a “lazy” immune system, the bacterial loads of life in a glass box can be difficult to adjust to. I’d go pretty nuclear at the first signs of fin deterioration (PP/Salt/RO). By the time the body starts to get fuzzy, the gills are going to be in pretty bad condition.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,424
My big concern when importing “delicate/blackwater” fish was always columnaris. For a blackwater fish with a “lazy” immune system, the bacterial loads of life in a glass box can be difficult to adjust to. I’d go pretty nuclear at the first signs of fin deterioration (PP/Salt/RO). By the time the body starts to get fuzzy, the gills are going to be in pretty bad condition.
Does my close up image (last page) show any indication of such? So far i don't see a hint of columnairs or similar. No fuzz at all. Some of the other fishes i picked up from this guy did come down with ick (had that problem last time i purchased from him); but i don't even see ick on these guys.
 

Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
303
Does my close up image (last page) show any indication of such? So far i don't see a hint of columnairs or similar. No fuzz at all. Some of the other fishes i picked up from this guy did come down with ick (had that problem last time i purchased from him); but i don't even see ick on these guys.
I don’t see anything. Just stating the big red flag I’d be watching for.
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,424
I don’t see anything. Just stating the big red flag I’d be watching for.
ok - i'll post new images in 2 weeks and if they still look clean maybe release them at that point. Kind of hoping it will be easier to get them to eat other food if they see the tetras going after other foods. Right now they mostly only willing to eat freeze dried black worms; they won't even go after the version with sprintula. Picky little devils.
 

anewbie

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1,424
This is an updated close up picture after a water change; they always huddle after a water change:

Their poop is black sort of like rodent poop probably due to diet. I'm feeding them twice a day approx 8 small pellets and until today 1/2 cube of freeze dried black worm (per feeding). Today i decided to see if they would eat without the black worm. I'm worried they are not getting enough greens hence i want to get them eating without the worms.

My question is do you spot any reason they should remain in qt longer or is it probably safe to move them into their target aquarium. The target aquarium is approx 240-280 gallons; has around 40 small/medium size cardinals; 15 glow light and 3 2 inch gold nuggets.

Also when these 4 discus eat they spend more time bickering with each other than actually eating; at time one of them will turn very dark almost brown and only when they seem really 'happy' do they display their stripes.

The seller had 6 left and wanted to dump them since no one wanted them so i agree to take them (at an ok price); so after i move these into the large aquarium i'll put 6 more into the 40b for qt but they should be the same as these.

I can take more pictures in case that will help - let me know if there is something specific you want to see; i was trying to check for hole in the head or other obvious bacteria/parasite problem:

ddd.jpg


(with today feeding they were less eager when they saw i excluded the black worms; they really do like the black worms but i worry it is not healthy for them to feed every day even in small quantity).
 

Apistoguy52

Active Member
Messages
303
Look pretty nice to me, I’d be moving them to their forever home.

*should something go sideways, medicate for 175ish gallons (72x24x24 = 180 gallons)
 

anewbie

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1,424
One observation i made over the past 3 weeks; if i set the temp down to 82; the discus crowd into a corner and refuse to leave it even when i feed them but if i set it up to 84 or 85 they become more lively and will leave their corner and eat. Naturally it takes a while for the actual temp of the aquarium to change after i adjust the thermostat (which is external to the tank); so this is based off of behavior after the aquarium has changed temp.

My question is should i trust the fish that 84 or 85 is better than 82; or take the view that i know what is good for them and go with the lower temp ?
 

anewbie

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1,424
Is it bad to feed them freeze dired black worm every day? I realize in the wild they eat more veggie matter so i'm worry too frequent black worm is bad; on the other hand it seems to be what they prefer - i haven't found a good algae like food that they will go after - they will eat a few hikari and tetra pellets if they get hungry enough but they always seem very mad at me if i don't include at least some of the worms (i.e, when i pour in their food if there is no worms they quickly retreat to the back corner and then maybe later slowly come out to poke at some of the pellets).
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,424
This is the current aquarium (180 - 240 with sump):
discus.jpg

I have 6 more discus in the 40b in qt. The current stocking is:
~30 cardinals (mix wc/tank raised)
~12 glowlight (mostly tank raised)
~6 blue rams (wc)
~2 a. lineta (wc)
1 L18 2 inch gold nugget (wc)
1 L204 flash pleco (tank raised)
4 cameta discus (wc)
---
I'm very concern with the 6 additional discus the aquarium will be overstocked (thoughts?) and i'm thinking of taking 2 or 3 of them to the petshop. I only wanted 4 more but the guy had 6 in stock so sent them all.

The cardinals prefer to stay away from the discus as you can see ;)
 

illumnae

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
68
I have some thoughts. Take them for what they're worth. I've kept wild Discus off and on since 1968. I used to have a fish store and an attached quarantine/breeding room. The first I was able to get breed was a wild pair of Royal Blues during the first Apollo moon landing mission. I was only 17 at the time and my attention was torn between what to me were two major events. Since then I have had many other successful wild discus spawn.
I have had success with three species, S. axelrodi, S. haraldi and S. aequifasciata. lord knows I've tried but I have never been able to get a spawn from S. discus. My best result was one spawn of S. axelrodi which had been given over an entire 125 gallon tank. That pair raised 147 fry to one inch. Quite the sight.

I'm well aware of the flaws of using beef heart but the fact remains I have had success with it as a staple food in the past. In more recent times I have relied on Tetra Bits, frozen blood worms, live black worms and believe it or not but earthworm sticks have proven to be extremely useful staple food for all discus to me.

Disease treatment.
Always starts in a 40 gal breeder quarantine tank. Large enough to temporarily house six 5 inch discus but small enough to minimize the quantity of medications consumed.
I expect most reputable suppliers now provide some useful treatment such as deworming. However I also know the fish business and prefer to treat my new wild discus. I happen to use a "shotgun" regime consisting of Prazipro, flubendazole and metronidazole(Flagyl.). I began experimenting with Flagyl in 1970.
To each their own but to quote the acid rock music guru, Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane, "I don't care if there are chemicals in it as long as my lettuce is crisp.)

I'm quite late to this thread but I dropped by to say hi to Larry. You may or may not remember me but we've communicated before on simplydiscus many many years ago.

For what it's worth, my wild discus quarantine process is more or less identical to Larry's. Granted I haven't kept wild discus in a few years, but I first started the wild discus hobby about 15 years ago (much less than Larry) and other than 2 years dabbling in reefs and another 2 years with Tanganyikan cichlids, I've always kept wildcaught South American cichlids including a wide number of Geophagus and Satanoperca species, and true blackwater species that are reputedly hard to keep like panda uarus, altum angels, etc.

I can respect the philosophy not to use medication unnecessarily, but in my mind wildcaught fish always come with both internal and external parasites - it's just a matter of to what degree they are infected - so medication will always be necessary with these fish. Of course if you can trust either your importer or exporter to have done the necessary quarantine process and kept the fish clean thereafter then there's no need to do it yourself. It's up to you how much you trust them of course.

This is a tank of Curuai red (species is S. haraldi, the brown/blue discus) that I kept back in 2012:
8352391931_bb6b1ef0f4_k_zps9967e6e6.jpg



P.S. I note that you've been referring to your discus orders as "royals" and "cametas" as though they are different subsets of the same thing. Just to be pedantic, "royal" refers to a colour morph of the fish, describing that it has a full body of blue striations over the brown base (usually describing S. haraldi but i've seen it used on S. aquafasciatus before too). "Semiroyal" would describe only partial body coverage of the blue striations (many dishonest sellers sell semiroyals as royals to jack up the price so ge careful of what you pay for). Then there are other descriptions tagged along like "ica type" or "wide middle bar", "red base", etc. An on topic example would be a red bellied A. elizabethae.

On the other hand "Cameta" is the locality or name of the river or lake that the discus was caught from. It may or may not be a real location because of marketing or other reasons. Example here would be Ivanacara adoketa from Sao Gabriel. Certain localities have alleged predisposition to certain patterns, like Cuipeua is known for bright red clean bodied discus with no striations at all, the Alenquer region in general is known for Red based discus and the Xingu region is known for yellow based discus. However, my view is that this is to some extent marketing. I've seen semiroyal discus from Cuipeua and dull brown discus from both Alenquer and Xingu. I've also seen bright red discus from outside Alenquer.

So it is possible for you to obtain a royal from cameta - they're not mutually exclusive. Ultimately they're just different varieties (pattern wise or locality wise) of the same species of discus Symphysodon haraldi. But this may be a discussion for another time or thread
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,424
I'm quite late to this thread but I dropped by to say hi to Larry. You may or may not remember me but we've communicated before on simplydiscus many many years ago.

For what it's worth, my wild discus quarantine process is more or less identical to Larry's. Granted I haven't kept wild discus in a few years, but I first started the wild discus hobby about 15 years ago (much less than Larry) and other than 2 years dabbling in reefs and another 2 years with Tanganyikan cichlids, I've always kept wildcaught South American cichlids including a wide number of Geophagus and Satanoperca species, and true blackwater species that are reputedly hard to keep like panda uarus, altum angels, etc.

I can respect the philosophy not to use medication unnecessarily, but in my mind wildcaught fish always come with both internal and external parasites - it's just a matter of to what degree they are infected - so medication will always be necessary with these fish. Of course if you can trust either your importer or exporter to have done the necessary quarantine process and kept the fish clean thereafter then there's no need to do it yourself. It's up to you how much you trust them of course.

This is a tank of Curuai red (species is S. haraldi, the brown/blue discus) that I kept back in 2012:
View attachment 14329


P.S. I note that you've been referring to your discus orders as "royals" and "cametas" as though they are different subsets of the same thing. Just to be pedantic, "royal" refers to a colour morph of the fish, describing that it has a full body of blue striations over the brown base (usually describing S. haraldi but i've seen it used on S. aquafasciatus before too). "Semiroyal" would describe only partial body coverage of the blue striations (many dishonest sellers sell semiroyals as royals to jack up the price so ge careful of what you pay for). Then there are other descriptions tagged along like "ica type" or "wide middle bar", "red base", etc. An on topic example would be a red bellied A. elizabethae.

On the other hand "Cameta" is the locality or name of the river or lake that the discus was caught from. It may or may not be a real location because of marketing or other reasons. Example here would be Ivanacara adoketa from Sao Gabriel. Certain localities have alleged predisposition to certain patterns, like Cuipeua is known for bright red clean bodied discus with no striations at all, the Alenquer region in general is known for Red based discus and the Xingu region is known for yellow based discus. However, my view is that this is to some extent marketing. I've seen semiroyal discus from Cuipeua and dull brown discus from both Alenquer and Xingu. I've also seen bright red discus from outside Alenquer.

So it is possible for you to obtain a royal from cameta - they're not mutually exclusive. Ultimately they're just different varieties (pattern wise or locality wise) of the same species of discus Symphysodon haraldi. But this may be a discussion for another time or thread
My problem is telling IF the fish need meds or if the importer/exporter did a sufficient job. Also the seller (importer) had two types - but i do get your point that semi-royal could have been in the same location as the browns he sold me. The other 6 are definitely rougher than the first 4 but again i can't tell IF they need meds. Also i'm very concern about overstocking - i think i'm putting too much into the 240 (i call it a 240 since it is a 180 with a 60 gallon sump). I can't tell the size of your aquarium but it is definitely less populated.
 

illumnae

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
68
If I didn't know for sure that the importer/exporter did the exact quarantine procedure that I would do myself, I would just go ahead and do it myself. That's the bar I set for myself and my fish. I have not found any of my wildcaught fish to react adversely to standard anti parasite medicines.

Thereafter I would observe for any other telltale signs in behavior or physical symptoms like perpetually clamped fins, perpetual huddling in a corner, black or white external spots, fungus or fungus like growths, red streaks or patches and in discus being perpetually dark and if they exhibit any of those symptoms I would then treat appropriately. If you observe any such symptoms and are not confident in diagnosing then bring it to the forums with as much detail as possible, preferably with pictures and videos. I don't think anyone can help much with just a "can you see anything wrong here?" question as that would be to general in nature to be able to tell.

This is just my opinion personally, others may have different views
 

illumnae

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
68
In terms of stocking the general rule of thumb as I know it is 1 adult discus per 10 gallons of tank volume. That's for a bare tank though, you may want to reduce it slightly for a scaped tank. The tank I shared was 6 adult discus and 5 angels in a 120 gallon 4x2x2 tank. I also had bunch of Biotodoma wavrini (which I eventually replaced with 5 Geophagus winemilleri) and corydoras in that tank.

Here's my 600 gallon (7x3x4) tank 3 years ago that eventually housed about 40 discus alongside other South American cichlids like altum angels and Geophagus sveni. I think at the point the picture was taken I had about 25 discus or so in the tank? It doesn't look overcrowded to me (but hey I'm Asian)

20210420_215642.jpg
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,424
If I didn't know for sure that the importer/exporter did the exact quarantine procedure that I would do myself, I would just go ahead and do it myself. That's the bar I set for myself and my fish. I have not found any of my wildcaught fish to react adversely to standard anti parasite medicines.

Thereafter I would observe for any other telltale signs in behavior or physical symptoms like perpetually clamped fins, perpetual huddling in a corner, black or white external spots, fungus or fungus like growths, red streaks or patches and in discus being perpetually dark and if they exhibit any of those symptoms I would then treat appropriately. If you observe any such symptoms and are not confident in diagnosing then bring it to the forums with as much detail as possible, preferably with pictures and videos. I don't think anyone can help much with just a "can you see anything wrong here?" question as that would be to general in nature to be able to tell.

This is just my opinion personally, others may have different views
the importer said he treated them for 4 weeks; i'll take pictures of the new 6 before i release them in a couple of weeks. Right now (3 days); one of the 6 is staying very dark but otherwise i havent' see any issues - they are much more lively than the first 4 - clamp fins or other marking on the body haven't been an issue with any of the 10. The one remaining dark might be due to pecking order or perhaps as you said might be related to health issue.
 

illumnae

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
68
I don't trust what people say when it comes to fish quarantine. I trust what I can see or at the very least video documentation
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,424
Ok - this will likely be my final or next to final update unless people actually want to see more as I realize this is a dwarf cichild community with little interest in discus. I ended up moving the other 6 into the 180 a bit early since they were getting stressed; were part of the same catch and from the same seller - i didn't treat any of these fishes as i never saw anything to treat. I've been feeding them freeze dried black-worm mixed with other stuff twice a day but i think i will reduce the black worm to once a day as i'm concern that the excess protein is not healthy.
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There are 10 total with 40ish cardinals - 12ish glow light (i might remove these or hope they age out from the warmer temps) - 2 a. lineta 6 blue rams and 1 flash pleco (l204).
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qq3.jpg

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One of these days i'll find a paper backing for the back - probably black - just not quite sure where to get something that is water resistant.
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Some of them have a bit of deformity around the face - this is the worse one - the area is sort of pushed in and the eyes enlarged (runtish?); not sure if this is normal among wild fishes or whatever. This specific one is one of the larger ones - the smallest one looks without deformities - so not sure what it represent or just natural variation. For those who are wondering the actual cost for these fishes worked out to a bit under $80 each so quite a bit more than i normally pay per fish but not out-rageous price i've seen for some discus.
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qq2.jpg

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It has only been about 32 days but the lineta and rams seem to be doing well - i have two pairs of a. lineta - one in a dedicated 20 long with a few pencil fishes @79 and in here @84. The discus sulk if the temp drops below 82 (not sure if that is normal) and the heater has a 2 degree swing. The male lineta in the discus tank has developed just a touch of red around the nose but the ones in the 20 long have very little colour.
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Unlike some of my apisto there seem very little bickering between male and female in both aquariums - less than the a. sp winkelfleck which also show relatively little after the first week. I've seen no real breeding activity by all three pairs - all three tanks have ro water with the a. lineta 20 long having a nice layer of leaves and the 29 for the winkelfleck having a peat bag behind the matten filter - the reason i don't have a large layer of leaves in the winkelfleck tank (they have a few) is it has a heavy layering of plants i don't want to cover up as it was originally a tap water tank - long term i expect the plants to react negatively to the reduce mineral and then i'll probably put in more leaves.
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Too much text.
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Anyway so far i've not seen much fragility in these fishes - at least the none of the first 4 have croaked in 2 months - though i might sing a different tune if i go down there one day and find them all dead.
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unrelated winkelfleck tank (ec around 20-25):
b1.jpg
 

anewbie

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,424
One last note the aquarium was setup in early nov with the plants in it (discus aquarium); so the plants have 3 1/2 to 4 months growth - the various echinodorus have converted to submerged form but still have a few of their emersed leaves - i.e, they are growing but very slow - i expect it to take 24 to 48 months to fully fill in.
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The winkelfleck tank which is not quite as messy as it look - was in the middle of a water change - has been setup for 5 years but was moved 5 months ago - at which time the substrate was replaced. Alas it was not setup for apistogramma and while finer than Mike's substrate it wouldn't hurt it to be a lot finer - i've not observed the winkelfleck shifting through the substrate like my cockatoo and some lineta - the lineta are constantly shifting through their substrate which is pool filter sand.
 

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