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The Hobbyist Guide for Discus Fish Care and Maintenance

Copyright 2011 Do not reproduce without authorization


Disclaimer: The Hobbyist Guide for Discus Care and Maintenance has been written as a helpful guide for caring for Discus fish. All information contained in this eBook has been compiled from sources written by experts in the care of Discus fish. It is not however a replacement for a veterinary professional. The producers of this book recommend you seek the advice of a veterinary professional before administering any medication or taking any steps to diagnose or treat your Discus fish.

CONTENTS
Introduction------------------------------------------------------------------------3 About This Book-------------------------------------------------------------------4 Chapter 1- Choosing a Suitable Aquarium-------------------------------------5 Chapter 1a- Dos and Donts----------------------------------------------------10
The Hobbyist Guide for Discus Fish Care and Maintenance

Chapter 2- Required Equipment------------------------------------------------11 Chapter 2a- Dos and Donts----------------------------------------------------28 Chapter 3- Aquarium Hygiene--------------------------------------------------29 Chapter 3a- Dos and Donts----------------------------------------------------42 Chapter 4- History of the Discus Fish------------------------------------------43 Chapter 5- Your Discus Selection-----------------------------------------------47 Chapter 5a- Dos and Donts----------------------------------------------------50 Chapter 6- Discus Diet-----------------------------------------------------------51 Chapter 6a- Dos and Donts----------------------------------------------------59 Chapter 7- The Health of Your Discus-----------------------------------------60 Chapter 8- Types of Diseases---------------------------------------------------68 Chapter 8a- Dos and Donts----------------------------------------------------87 Chapter 9- Conclusion-----------------------------------------------------------88 References------------------------------------------------------------------------99

The Hobbyist Guide for Discus Fish Care and Maintenance

ABOUT THIS BOOK

This book is designed to make the process of starting, maintaining and enjoying
a Discus aquarium easy. Discus are not especially difficult fish to keep, but they do require a little extra maintenance and certain environmental conditions. This makes Discus a fun and challenging aquarium species for anyone looking to have a beautiful aquarium set-up. What You Will Learn From This Book: This book is designed to be a start to finish guide for creating a Discus aquarium. It begins with the equipment you will need to set up a Discus tank and then it covers how to manage the tanks water before you get your fish. Then it moves on to finding the perfect Discus for you. You will also learn how to properly care for your Discus, including tips and solutions on: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Setting up the perfect habitat Maintaining water quality History of the Discus fish Specific Discus species How to buy healthy fish Keeping your Discus healthy Proper feeding methods Diagnosing and fixing health problems And much more!

Each chapter in the book will have a helpful Dos and Donts Section to make learning about Discus care as easy and fun as possible. This book will also go into depth about specific health problems that can affect Discus. These health problems represent one of the biggest hurdles that Discus aquarists face. By understanding what causes specific Discus health problems and knowing what treatments are available for these ailments, you will have the confidence and knowledge to handle any problems that arise. By the end of this book you will be an accomplished Discus aquarist!

The Hobbyist Guide for Discus Fish Care and Maintenance

(Excerpt from Chapter 1- Choosing A Suitable Aquarium)

CHAPTER 1a DOS AND DONTS


Aquarium Location Dos
1. Place your Discus aquarium in a place out of direct sunlight and away from open windows, AC and heating vents and other drafty places. The goal will be to maintain a specific warm temperature in the tank and drafty spots, heating vents, air-conditioning and direct sunlight can severely alter the temperature within your tank. Direct sunlight can also cause too much algae to grow in the tank. 2. Place your aquarium near an electrical outlet and water source. You will need electricity to run your heaters, filters and lights and you will need easy access to water to perform numerous water changes. Plan your tanks location so that it will be easy to move water in and out of the tank. 3. Place your tank where you will be able to enjoy it! The whole point is to enjoy your Discuss beauty and placing the tank where you cant easily see it will defeat the purpose.

Donts
A. Dont place your Discus tank in a spot with high levels of human traffic. Too much noise or movement will scare your Discus and stress them out. Stressed Discus are not healthy fish. Avoid placing your Discus tank too low, where children may bang on the glass. A high traffic place such as the waiting room of a dentist office may not be the best spot for a Discus tank. B. Dont place your tank where it will be impossible to reach your filter, lights and other accessories. Too much movement to get to these things will scare and stress the fish. C. Dont place your tank where water may damage your floor.

The Hobbyist Guide for Discus Fish Care and Maintenance

(Excerpt from Chapter 3- Aquarium Hygiene)


H2O
Change

Food

Foo d

Nitrogen Cycle

Ammonia
Ammonia can be lethal to Discus if it reaches certain concentrate ions. Ammonia is created as a direct result from leftover food items and fish waste. Ammonia is measured in PPM or parts per million. Any ammonia test should produce no readings or 0PPM. Any detectable ammonia levels could spell trouble for your Discus.

Nitrites
Nitrites are created after nitrifying bacteria breaks down the ammonia caused by uneaten food and waste from fish. It is not as troublesome as ammonia, but it can still be harmful to your fish. Like ammonia, your water tests should reveal zero detectable presence of nitrites.

Nitrates
Nitrates are the final result of the Nitrogen cycle. These chemicals are not extremely harmful to your fish and traces of them will most likely show up in your water tests. 50 PPM is considered to be safe but keeping the nitrate level below 15 PPM is your best bet.

The Hobbyist Guide for Discus Fish Care and Maintenance

(Excerpt from Chapter 4- History of the Discus Fish)

Types of Discus
There are many different variations and color patterns available in captive bred and wild caught Discus. Each has its own attributes and individuality.

Heckel Discus
The Heckel Discus is the most distinctive Discus species and it was one of the first to be discovered. Their most distinguished characteristic is the three bars running vertically down their bodies. These fish are originally from the Rio Negro, Rio Trombetas and the Rio Abacaxis in Brazil. They have a very distinguished stripe that runs down the center of their body as well. You can find these Discus in blue and red variations. This variation occurs naturally.

Blue Discus
The Blue Discus represents one of the most basic naturally occurring varieties and are a great choice for beginner hobbyists. Originally found in the Purus River, the Manacapuru and the Manaus River in Brazil and Peru, these Discus display a variety of blue colors and patterns.

Brown Discus
The Brown Discus is another naturally occurring variation. They can be found in the wild near the Rio Urubu and Belem. They are a classic brown or tan color and have markings on their bodies and the typical stress bars.

Green Discus
Another naturally occurring Discus species, the Green Discus is found in the Japura regions of the Amazon and the Nanay, the Coari and Lake Tef. Most of these fish have green stripes over olive, reddish brown or green bodies.

The Hobbyist Guide for Discus Fish Care and Maintenance

References
(2010). Retrieved March 2011, from National Fish Pharmaceuticals: http://www.nationalfishpharm.com Aquarium Fish Diseases. (2011). Retrieved March 2011, from Fish deals: www.fishdeals.com/fish_diseases Aquarium Medications. (2010, November 15). Retrieved March 2011, from American Aquarium Products: http://www,americanaquariumproducts.com Booth, G. a. (2001). The Planted Discus Aquarium. Retrieved march 2011, from Aquatic concepts: http://aquaticconcepts.thekrib.com Boruchowitz, D. E. (2001). The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums. TFH Publications. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine . (1998, October 8). Treatment of Diseased Fish . Retrieved March 2011, from Cornell Veterinary Medicine: http://www.vet.cornell.edu Discus Tank Placement. (2011). Retrieved March 2011, from Discus Guide: http://discusguide.com Pharmaceuticals, A. A. (n.d.). Buffers and Aquarium Testing . Retrieved March 2011, from API Aquarium Pharmaceuticals: http://www.aquariumpharm.com Problems With Aquatic Plants. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2011, from Badman's Tropical Fish : http://badmanstraopicalfish.com Rocky Mountain Discus Food and Medication. (2005). Retrieved march 2011, from Rocky Mountain Discus: http://www.rockymountaindiscus.com Scheurmann, I. (2000). The Natural Aquarium Handbook. Barons Educational Series INC. Stromhmeyer, C. (2011, March 31). Aquarium Lighting, Facts and Information . Retrieved March 2011, from American Aquarium Products: http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com Types and Strains of Discus . (2010, January 17). Retrieved March 2011, from Walter's Discus Aquarium : http://www.aquariumhobbyist.com Untergasser, D. (1991). Discus Health. T.F.H. Publications. Untergassers, D. (1989). Handbook of Fish Diseases. T.F.H Publications. Veterinary & Aquatic Servies Department, D. F. (2011). Filter Functions and Types: How To Choose the Right Kind of Aquarium Filtration. Retrieved March 2011, from Pet Education.com : http://peteducation.com Yanong, R. P. (First published: January 2003. Major Revision: July 2003. Reviewed April 2010.). Use of Antibiotics in Ornamental Fish Aquaculture. Retrieved March 2011, from University of Floria IFAS Extension: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu The Hobbyist Guide for Discus Fish Care and Maintenance

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The Hobbyist Guide for Discus Fish Care and Maintenance