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Buying Discus

Buying from your local pet store.... 

If you wish to purchase Discus from your local pet store, be patient and careful. Observe that they are not dark in color, always hiding in the corner of the tank or very skinny looking. Ask the store to feed them while you watch. Watch to see if they aggressively eat or not. You'll want the ones that do. If you can manage the wait, come back again a few days later to see how they're doing. They may take a deposit to hold them for you, and if you decide you don't want them, will refund it later. If they still seem healthy, then go ahead and buy them. Most pet store owners with any Discus knowledge will understand and hopefully respect your skepticism, especially considering the prices you usually will pay for them. Be sure to find out what the PH is in the pet store's water. If it's much different than yours (.5 or more .... for instance if your home tank is 6.5 and the store Discus are at 7.2, go back home and adjust your water before bringing them home.) Discus can adjust to higher PH levels more easily than lower ones. In other words, if the store PH is low and yours is higher, you can take them home and slowly bring up the bag water to match the tank by adding tank water. But don't take store fish home from 7.5 water and put them into a tank at 6.5! 

Mail Ordering Your Discus.... 

If you are planning to mail order your Discus, there are a few more things you'll need to take into consideration. Be sure to ask what the PH of the water is, so you can have your quarantine tank ready for them. Some breeders don't ship during the winter, but it can be done.

A few more important considerations before you buy Discus! .... ( How many should I get??...etc. ) 

One reason many people give up after one bad experience is that they were tentative and got only one or two fish. Thus part of the continuing myth about Discus being hard to care for. Discus don't usually do well in very small numbers. Some may disagree with this and say they've done it with just one or two! These types of decisions are hard for most beginners and understandably so. Discus fare much better in a group of at least 4 to 6. Again, understandably this may scare off many new keepers, but if you think you're ready, it's much better to jump in with both feet and go for it.

As stated on the front page, you're usually better off beginning with medium size fish, rather than babies or adults. Adults usually acclimate to new environment with much more difficulty than medium size fish. Babies are very susceptible to disease, if you're not familiar with required conditions for them. With this in mind, shop for a group (maybe 4 or 5) of small (2") fish or at least 3-4 medium to larger (3-4") ones to start with. 

Are you ready for them??... 

Common sense, acquired knowledge and patience helps alot when making judgements concerning Discus. If you have a "Type A" personality, lose or change interests quickly, are impatient, get hyped or discouraged easily and/or tend to make decisions quickly, you may wish to reconsider entering the world of Discus keeping. You must be ready for the responsibilities that include regular water changes, feeding 2 or 3 times daily and dealing with health problems that may arise. 

Give new ones time to adjust.... 

If you get new Discus, don't be disheartened if they don't acclimate to their new home quickly! This is somewhat abnormal, as usually they're happy within a few days, but it happens. If you're fairly sure the fish aren't diseased, just give them some time and they'll usually come around! This is just part of their unusual, but very attractive personalities!





 
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