Care and Feeding

Acclimation

For those of you that purchase Discus from Chicago Discus online this is how we recommend you acclimate your new Discus. Before receiving your new fish test your tanks pH and see what you are working with.

1. Float the bags in your tank for 15-20 minutes to adjust the temperature in the bag to the temperature of you tank.  You don’t want to subject your fish to thermal shock.

2. If the pH is lower than 7.0 or you are using R/O water than you will need to take some precautions when acclimating. Take normal airline tubing with a shut off valve attached that can reach from the tank to your bucket. Get a five gallon bucket and place the bucket below the tank on the floor. Cut the bag open and gently pour your fish and water into the bucket. Take a couple cups of tank water and pour it into the bucket as to neutralize the shipping water. Then start a consistent drip (not a flow) into the bucket. When the water reaches the top of the bucket you are done. Net the fish out and place him in your tank.  The entire process should take less than 1 hour.

3. If the pH is higher than 7.0 and below 8.3 than just place the unopened bag in the tank and wait 20 minutes. Cut the bag open dump the shipping water out and plop the fish (not the shipping water) in the tank.

4. Once you have safely placed your fish in the tank, turn the lights off for the remainder of the day and let them get use to their new environment. The next morning turn the lights on and start your normal routine.

This video shows Josie acclimating Frank’s Giant Floras in a tank with pH that is over 7.0.

Feeding

The question we are asked most often is “What do you feed your discus and how often do you feed them”.  Discus like a varied diet that contains high quality nutrients, but they like their goodies as well.  We feed adults at least twice a day, and juveniles at least 3 times a day.

Sera Discus GranulesIn the morning, Beefheart Mix according to our own recipe (see video and recipe below)

In the afternoon, Sera Discus Granules and/or Freeze Dried Australian Blackworms

In the evening, Hikari Frozen Bloodworms and Hikari Frozen Brine Shrimp

Discus are slow eaters, sometimes taking an hour or more to finish a meal.  But be sure to remove all uneaten food so it doesn’t foul the tank.  However, you can leave the bloodworms and brine shrimp overnight and clean up uneaten bits in the morning.  Your discus like to snack at night.  You can buy Sera Discus Granules from us (call or email for prices) and Hikari Frozen Bloodworms/Brine Shrimp from you local aquarium or pet store.

Basic Beefheart Recipe

Here’s the basic beefheart mix recipe that we use.  You can adjust the quantities according to your needs, and feel free to add other ingredients that your discus may like.   Frozen Cyclopeeze as seen in the video is no longer available.

10 lb trimmed beef heart
1 lb salmon (skin off)
1 lb shelled jumbo shrimp
3/4 lb cooked spinach
1 large ripe banana
2 vitamin/mineral tablets (ground)
2 fish oil capsules (1000 mg, cut open)
2-3 tbsp ground garlic
1/2 cup spirulina flake (binder)
1/2 cup high quality flake food (binder)

Grind the first 5 ingredients together using a meat grinder or food processor.
Mix the remaining ingredients into the ground meat mixture using food processor (low speed).
Pack 1.0-1.5 lb in flat sheets in 1 gallon ziplock bags.
Freeze until ready to use.

Making Beef Heart