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Sick Discus - ID Disease & Treatment?

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  • Regular Member

Hi everyone,

I recently purchased 4 discus from an 'LFS' (wouldn't call it that as it's quite an appalling place).

I did the stupid thing of not quarantining them, and now I'm paying for it, literally.

The 4 discus turned out to have some sort of disease, I'm unsure whether it's internal or not, but I'm presuming

it's either gill flukes, or some other parasite.

2 out of the 4 purchased discus died within 2 days, and I lost one of my original ones last night, while in quarantine (I think it was too late for him).

I've been treating 1 of the remaining 2 in quarantine, with Blue Planet's Fluke and Tapeworm Tablets, and seems to be helping.

The symptomns the discus were showing before death included:

- Rapid breathing

- Clamping one pectoral fin while paddling with the other

- Slightly clamped dorsal fins at some point

- Slight redness around the gill area

- Occasional flashing against plants

- White faeces (haven't seen it in the new discus, but other discus and angelfish have done so).

The quarantine tank is a 20L tank. I have a 25W heater in there, with the temp set to at least 31 degrees at all times. I'm trying to keep it at around 33 if I can.

I added a few java ferns to float around in there, just to give the fish some comfort and security.

An air-stone is running 24/7 to provide adequate aeration during treatment.

Can anyone help confirm the disease? I'm waiting on some Metro to arrive, but I'm not sure if I should use it, as I've been advised not to by some people,

but others encourage it.

If any of you keep discus, you know how expensive they are, and I don't want to lose any more of these guys!

Hope you guys can help me out. I've attached a few photos below.



My first loss of the new 4. Poor thing died within 1 day, wasn't eating and displayed most of the symptoms mentioned above.

Not sure if a pic of the gills would help? This was when it was still breathing. You can see some sort of white-ish substance in there?


Second loss. Ate on the first day home, but refused food later on. Received a few hours of treatment with Prazi in quarantine, but died soon after.


My current survivor. This blue diamond is doing quite well, although not out of the woods yet. He's eating fine, and has a great appetite, but shows a few symptoms such as clamping one pectoral

fin to the body, occasional flashing against java fern, and rapid breathing.


A strip test was performed the day the first one died. (I know these aren't very reliable, but it's better than nothing. I'm waiting on the API Master Test Kit).

Thanks in advance!

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  • Regular Member

I don't know anything about discus, but good luck! I know they are very sensitive

That's ok, thanks anyway. :)

They're not as fragile as most people think they are though, they can adapt quite well to higher pH levels, hardness etc, but diseases are quite harmful.

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Hi Nat!

As I said, metro really is not seeming necessary, and is prescription only, so you'll be lucky if it does arrive. If you do get it, keep it for future use when you may need it, but for now, it might not be needed. I'm glad the blue Discus is showing signs of recovery. Due to the current display of symptoms, we are treating for internal/external parasites at the moment.

It will be good, at this stage, to also be adding some salt to the tank, however it's very important to have the ammonia readings. If you take a water sample (main tank and quarantine tank) you can get the water tested for free at your local pet/fish shop, and they will use a liquid test kit. Get the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH readings of both quarantine and main tank, and also the pH of your tap water, please :)

If the readings are all 0ppm, and the pH is good (you may need a buffer to match in between water changes if tap and tank pH are different, as you need to be doing large water changes), you are fine to be adding salt. I'll wait for the readings before giving a dosage and further instructions

Edited by Narny105
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  • Regular Member

We do salt dips and if they start to act weird at all we always use this http://www.petcarerx...ole-5gm&id=1775 . Do you put anything in their tank?

metronidazole is not freely available in Australia, and is a prescription-only med :) That being said, adding in metro when the circumstance might not be of need, is not a safe practice.

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