Ask the breeder if you can see the fish
fed, then observe their actions. Are they
eagerly accepting all the food being offered?
And will they eat more than one type or
variety of food? A varied diet for discus is
important, unless the food being fed is a dry
flake or pellet food with all the necessary
nutrients, including minerals and vitamins.
Of course, even then some amount of variety
The discus you acquire should be well-formed, vigorous, and free of defects or
disease. They should be properly colored
and up and about, not dark and hiding
away. They should react normally to their
environment and be properly interested in
food. Once you have determined that they
are healthy, all you have to do is decide
what variety you like best!
I am having a problem with some of my
discus. They are developing either bloat,
constipation, or some kind of blockage—I
really can’t tell. My fish stop eating but
their stomachs still appear swollen, as
if they’re full from eating. They never
eat again and eventually die. Other than
the swollen stomachs, the discus look
absolutely perfect in every way. What do
you think this is, and is there a cure or
anything to prevent this condition from
happening again? The only food being
fed is color-enhancing granules. Out of
desperation, I tried a couple of drops of
castor oil directly through the mouth, but
to no avail. Thank you.
One of the most accurate measures of a discus’s well-being is its breathing rate, with 60 to 70
breaths per minute being the normal rate for a resting discus.
None of our discus have experienced
the problem your fish have regarding
constipation, bloat, or any form of intestinal
blockage. In one of my recent columns,
the reader asked what action I should
take regarding the “headstanding,” whirling
problem his discus have (“Ask Jack,” TFH
July 2009). My answer was that I would
have to assume it’s probably caused by a
general breakdown or deterioration of the
tank conditions—and this is the same reply
I have to give to you.
I know nothing of your tank conditions
(pH, temperature, hardness, feeding
program, water changes, etc.), thus making
it difficult to make any form of a diagnosis.
You do say you feed your discus granules,
which sounds very acceptable to me.
Juvenile discus about 2 inches in size generally acclimate better than either smaller or adult-size
specimens, and they have the added benefit of costing less than their larger counterparts.
Tropical Fish Hobbyist