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  1. #1
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Black discus better off in main tank? Any advice much appreciated!

    Hi there,

    I have a juvenile discus in a hospital tank and he seems to be doing much worse than when he was in the main tank. I separated him due to a bad gill and treated him with Kusuri wormer plus for gill flukes. He seemed to be doing slightly better but now has fallen victim to fin rot, and is blacker than black.

    My suspicion is the hospital tank is too small (30 something litres, I know, but the discus is also very small), I started off doing 100% water changes on the hospital tank daily, and have been adding melafix ( I know, it's useless, I've only recently realised this) and salt, plus salt baths when changing water. I've now moved down to 50% water changes on the hospital, but the discus is black, fins look terrible, and it's just awful to look at him. The gill looks better, still slightly red, but I am concerned that this hospital tank is doing it more harm than good.

    I have a group of 8 discus in my main tank, tank is 520litres, water changes for main tank are 50% every three days, with HMA stored and aerated water. Ph is 7. Nitrite 0, Nitrate - unsure, 20something.. My discus in the main tank are healthy, large fish. The little one never really got a growth spurt on (stopped eating due to the inflamed gill). I've only had him since January.

    I've kept discus for some years, I've had my fair share of ups and downs and I know about the clean water, clean water, clean water approach and find this is the best cure for anything for all my healthy discus, but this little sick one is driving me mad. Can I put him back in the main tank? Maybe he'll be do better in there with the group and stop being so black. But, of course, my fear, like every other discus owner, will he infect the others (particularly, with this fin rot?), I know it's stress related and water quality in the stupid little tank, what would you do? Any advice would be very very appreciated.

    Also apologies if I have not completed the sickness questionaire properly, I couldn't find it


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Hi Steff,

    Well first off it sounds like you are doing the right thing, I would have done the same. It is sad sometimes that a fish just won't grow or stops eating and fades away. I wouldn't have thought that the gill thing would stop it from eating though, I would have said some internal problem. How long since it had food? Can you post a few photos, you can post photos via a photobucket link or from a host site. If he has a sunken look to his head and a pinched look then I would say already too late and to euthanize with clove oil. Don't put back in with your other fish. Can you tell me what you did for the salt dips, how long etc.

    This is my method for a salt dip, I posted back in 2009.

    Salt dip:
    2 tablespoons per gallon water. ANY salt so long as ther are no anti-clog additives. Iodised salt is safe, cooking salt is cheaper.

    Mix in a clean bucket with water of the same temp or from the tank. Net fish and place into bucket. After 30 mins remove back to clean water, if the fish rolls before the 30 minutes is up then remove it straight away to clean water.

    The fish may end up looking a bit sorry for itself, producing extra mucus, but it will be fine. This treatment can be done once a day for 3 days, depending on how your fish is.
    Last edited by Hollowman; Sat Jul 29, 2017 at 12:44 AM.
    Why me ?

  3. #3
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Hi Hollowman thank you very much for replying to my post,

    I think you're right, he may be too far gone... I was considering buying some NT lab stuff with potassium permaganate in it and treating him with that but it's possible he just has too many problems at this stage I guess, I suppose treating with metro is a little pointless now as that won't help the fin rot?

    I follow those recommendations for a salt bath from the sticky on BIDKA, have been salt bathing the little guy every now and then for about a month, at first was using epsom salt but then moved on to aquarium salt. I would leave him in the bucket for 20 - 30 mins.

    When first he stopped eating properly he was in the main tank, and would try to eat food and spit it out which I assumed was down to the swollen gill, but then after a week in the hospital tank he just wasn't touching any food at all. He does have that pinched look head bones quite visible. I will try to take some photos to post.

    I am at this point thinking I'm not sure I have the skills to make him better, and agree with you that rather than watch him suffer may have to euthanise

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    S.E Melbourne VIC
    I just did the salt bath as Steve has advised and you immediately see the ease of breathing , just a small point ,i did the dip in a bucket with a small heater and an air stone and the fish took the 30 min dip no problem.

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