Discus Fish Acclimation Instructions
We keep the PH in the hatchery at a range of 6.8 – 7.0. Well water is fine.
- Take each bag and place them upright in a bucket. Cut off the tops of the bags and fold them back.
- Take a cup of water out of the tank you are placing them in and pour a little in each one. Do this every 15 minutes for up to 1 hour.
- Then, just empty as much water as possible and then let the fish slide into your tank.
- Add the Stress Guard that will accompany the shipment directly to your tank.
- You should have the temp around 86-88 F degrees for the first month to stimulate their appetites and immune systems.
- After the first month, bring the tank temperature down to 84 F. Enjoy the new additions to your collection.
Now that you have received a box of carefully packed fish via FedEx, UPS, or retrieved from the airport, there are some important steps to follow which will ensure the fishes successful introduction into your tank(s).
Discus Quarantine Process – Scenario #1: Purchasing New Discus Fish
Whenever you get new discus fish you should quarantine them before putting them in your main discus tank. The purpose of this is to observe the new fish to ensure that their internal and external surface bacteria (microbiomes) are compatible with your aquarium and existing inhabitants. Allow me to use an example: an organ donor and recipient may both be perfectly healthy. However, the recipient may REJECT the organ due to incompatibility. You can have two perfectly healthy populations of fish that cannot coexist due to incompatible micro fauna on the surface as well as the intestinal tracts of the fish. I always quarantine new fish before adding them to my collection for 2-3 weeks to play it safe.
This quarantine process itself is fairly simple. You set up a small fish tank filling it up using water from your main aquarium. You will need to make sure that the quarantine tank has proper filtration and heat. You need to replicate your main tank as far as water temperature and water quality. When you new fish arrives acclimate them in the quarantine tank. It is highly recommended that you keep them in the quarantine tank for at least 3 weeks. Make sure that you keep the quarantine tank clean and perform regular water changes just like you do on your main tank. Keep close observation. Make sure they are eating and acting normal. After 3 weeks simply scoop them up in a net and place them in your main tank.
Discus Quarantine Process – Scenario #2: Treating Sick Fish
Another cause cause for a quarantine is usually an infection whether disease or bacteria on the discus fish. The exercise is usually carried out to prevent further spread to the other discus fish and hence prevent further damage. Therefore when carrying out the exercise, it’s important to understand and follow standard quarantine procedures. The reason we quarantine discus fish because they are living creatures. All living creatures have the ability to carry pathogens like bacteria or protozoan of one sort or another. Bacteria are frequently carried externally on discus.
When new discus fish are introduced into the same fish tank which already has other discus, the bacteria mixes and one or more of the discus may become sick as a result. Apart from that, when two independently healthy discus are mixed together, one may become sick in the process. Oftentimes discus will have a resistance to the bacteria they carry in small amounts and it may not make them sick unless they become stressed. At such a scenario, they may be overcome with the bacteria they carry.
It is recommended that when carrying out quarantine to first of all have their own tank, nets and hoses, filling devices, airlines, filters and buckets for a minimum time of 5 weeks. New discus should be kept in a separate room if possible from all your existing tanks. You have to remember even 1 drop of water from your old tank to the QT tank is cross contamination and vice versa. So it is very important to remember this when feeding and doing water changes. You should clean the quarantine tank either first or last and ensure you wash your hands and arms between the process of cleaning the quarantine tank and your other existing tanks.