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Thread: Can I force feed discus?

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    Default Can I force feed discus?

    I got a discus from a LFS two weeks ago and I was told then that they wish the discus were eating more. Well the discus I got is not eating at all. My water parameters are in check and I only have 2 zebra danio as tank mates which I used to cycle the tank with. The discus is 4 inches in length and appears to be health looking except for his stomach area which is indented. I wish he/she would eat I have tried many different foods and have gone as far as using a meat baster to get the food close to him/her. My only concern is the fish and not what I paid for him/her and as a last resort I might have to force feed. Even people need to have this done sometimes to get through a bad time. I am fairly knowledgeable about the care of discus and I have been their care giver years ago so I think I have not missed the most obvious things and know there will sometimes be period when fish needs to become familiar with their environment. I have bumped the temp up to 85 to maybe stimulate some activity but the fish only seems to stay near the bottom in mostly one place and beat is pectoral fins. I ask about force feeding only as a last resort because I am concerned he/she will waste away. I will keep waiting for he/she to come around but I want to be prepare to do what I can to save the fish. Any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated. Thanks for any help.

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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    Welcome to SD Inkidu! I'm sorry for your troubles with your discus. Your post would probably get the right attention in the Disease Section of the forum. Maybe a moderator will move it, but in the mean time, you are aware of your equipment and water parameters, but it will be helpful to tell folks on the forum to help you better. Please copy/paste this questionnaire with your answers as soon as you can.

    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showthread.php?t=38545

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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    In the meantime, when you mention an indentation in the stomach area, is it possible that the area just before may be swollen?

    PS: discus can go weeks without eating, so you should be fine until more information is available to give you the best advice.

    Take care,
    David

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    Registered Member tdiscusman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    I'm not recommended this at all, but I did try force feed discus a few time when I was starting out. I did not have SD then, so didn't know about all the treatments. What I did was liquidized some beef heart put in some metro and put the mixture in a syringe. Catch and hold the discus so that it mouth were just above the water then I squirt some food in it mouth, it spit most of it out. I was able to saved the fish.

    tony

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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    I think the fish is starting to get comfortable and I have notice some pecking around and exploring of the tank. Although the discus stills seems not to be eating.

    Well I got the rest of the discus,5 from the same tank, from the LFS today most where quite dark and other drastic signs of disease for a greatly reduced price. I told them that what ever they were doing is not working because every time I came in to get live food, to stimulate my fish to eat, the discus they were caring for only look worse and worse. I personally think that even if a LFS keeps discus in corner the traffic through the store is too much especially for sick discus. One thing I have been doing is putting a scrap piece of drywall up in front of my tank to give the fish some privacy
    Good idea?
    I have a newly started algae scrubber that I hope will take off with this increase bioload. Any problems with the algae scrubber removing the meds?

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5536398.pdf



    DISEASE QUESTIONNAIRE


    Problem

    1. Please explain the problems with your fish/when and how they started

    tilting, dark, fin rot, fuzz, head down swimming, lethargic, slim malnutrition
    red gills I don't know what they don't have
    Oh my I hope I didn't make a mistake



    2. Symptoms (i.e. turning dark, excess slime, not eating, clamped fins, flashing, darting, clamped gills, white/yellow/green poop, hiding, headstanding or tailstanding, white on tips of fins, rotting or fungus, blisters/ white zits on fish, bloated, cloudy eyes, wounds)






    3. What medications/ treatments that you have already tried and results. Include dosages and duration of treatment.

    First dose of FURAN-2 (Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone) 9 packets today
    Directions say every 24hrs (4 times) Would more dose help?
    I did also add a little more fish salt than usual Thats one thing I never quite knew, how much too add. I have no tester for salinity Is a salt water tester accurate enough for FW? ( the kind that float )

    What meds should I try next? Should I carbon after the first four doses and before any other meds?





    Tank/Water

    4. Tank size and age, number and size of fish
    90 gallon, new, 3-5 inch


    5. Water change regime/ how long has tank been running/ bare bottom or gravel/ do you age your water?
    3 months(mostly cycling) open top mainly been topping off 1/2 inch only of gravel, add water conditioner when topping off
    I try to add only a small amount at a time

    6 Parameters and water source;

    - temp _____85

    - ph _____ around 7

    - ammonia reading ____low right now

    - nitrite reading ____low

    - nitrate reading ____low

    - well water ____no

    - municipal water ____yes

    7. Any new fish/plants added recently
    Planning on adding many plants once I have my lighting put together

    5 very sick discus

    Maybe your right this should be in the disease section although my original discus seems to have only an eating problem.

    Do platinum discus turn dark when sick?

    Should I try more salt water dips? I have read some things about a 3% dip till
    they start to turn

    Thanks for any help hopefully with help of this forum I can save these fish

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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    I've sent a request to move your thread to the disease section. Hopefully that will help you get the attention you need from experienced folks with illness and disease.

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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    It sounds like the fish are probably suffering from multiple issues. I fyou have them in a community tank, its gonna be a pain to treat them and it may not be successful.

    My own personal thoughts, hit them for external parasites using PP (4 hour bath) or Formalin & Malachite Green (3 day treatment). Finish one of those and follow up with antibiotics if necessary. Just keep them in a clean water and salt. Furan-2 is a good choice for antibiotics, Furanase is better IMO but both are furans.


    All the best,

    Eddie
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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    Thanks for all the replies. Bad news one of the worst fish is no longer with us. He started to show improvement but I suspect he was getting picked on to much. Good news the 4 of the batch of five are all show great improvement and the first discus is much less shy now and starting to eat in front of me. They love blood worms. After seeing some fin regeneration and with closer inspection I think they have hole in the head. There are pits in there head and those pits are symmetrical but they do differ from fish to fish although they are different kinds of discus. Now to somewhat of a food? Do hakari blood worms absorb metro+ ? Does anyone know the concentration of metro to additives in Metro+ ( made by Hakari)

    How long can I feed them blood worms only?

    I try to feed them other things but they just do not seem quite as eager to

    eat. I want to get them well fed to get them health again.

    Thanks for any help.

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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    Thanks for all the replies. Bad news one of the worst fish is no longer with us. He started to show improvement but I suspect he was getting picked on to much. Good news the 4 of the batch of five are all show great improvement and the first discus is much less shy now and starting to eat in front of me. They love blood worms. After seeing some fin regeneration and with closer inspection I think they have hole in the head. There are pits in there head and those pits are symmetrical but they do differ from fish to fish although they are different kinds of discus. Now to somewhat of a food? Do hakari blood worms absorb metro+ ? Does anyone know the concentration of metro to additives in Metro+ ( made by Hakari)

    How long can I feed them blood worms only?

    I try to feed them other things but they just do not seem quite as eager to

    eat. I want to get them well fed to get them health again.

    Thanks for any help.
    Soaking food in metro is very ineffective and a very improper way to use it. It is definitely effective when used orally in feed but you have to have an accurate measurement of 1% metro to food ratio.

    The sooner you break them off bloodworms, the better IMO. They should never be used as a sole food source as they lack in vitamin/minerals that discus need for vitality.


    Eddie
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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    Glad to hear that the majority of your discus are recovering. If there are only two symmetrical holes, I doubt that it is hole-in-the-head disease. What foods are you feeding besides blood worms?

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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Rose View Post
    Glad to hear that the majority of your discus are recovering. If there are only two symmetrical holes, I doubt that it is hole-in-the-head disease. What foods are you feeding besides blood worms?
    Thanks for the replies. I have read that there can be some holes that discus can have on their head but these seem to be numerous and not entirely the same from fish to fish. I did freeze the fish that died with thoughts of taking a biopsy. I have not done much research on the procedure but I do have access to a microscope. To get back to food I had the feeling that soaking something that is already wet would not be conducive to an effective medication. But I want to fatten them up. Not for size but health reasons. I have several kinds of flake and pellet foods, but none besides live have them wanting more. I did try a gelatin method but as I made it I crushed up the worms and the gelatin and the food simply dissolved into a broth soon after hitting the warm water. The next time I am thinking be more careful about crushing the worms and some of the medication that is suspended in the gelatin and still attached to the worm will make into the fish.

    Eddie,

    Thanks for the info about concentration. To make use of your suggestion it would help to know what concentration I am starting with? I paid $6 for 97g when there are people selling 1/4 of that amount for more.
    It is marketed as pure while what I have has polymers and salt in it. In fact it looks a lot like salt.

    Thanks for any help.

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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    Eddie,

    Thanks for the info about concentration. To make use of your suggestion it would help to know what concentration I am starting with? I paid $6 for 97g when there are people selling 1/4 of that amount for more.
    It is marketed as pure while what I have has polymers and salt in it. In fact it looks a lot like salt.

    Thanks for any help.
    Not sure on what type of metro you have, I have only dealt with pure 100% metro.

    Eddie
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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    Its sold by hakari and is called Metro + I have looked on there site and I can't seem to find any thing about concentration. Maybe because it looks a lot like salt. I am having second thoughts about trying to get to much of it into them. I only realized they had pure after some research.

    Thanks for the help

    I have read that Red Wrigglers - specifically Eisenia foetida can fight off hole in the head. Anyone have an opinion?
    Last edited by Inkidu; 02-04-2010 at 04:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Can I force feed discus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkidu View Post
    Its sold by hakari and is called Metro + I have looked on there site and I can't seem to find any thing about concentration. Maybe because it looks a lot like salt. I am having second thoughts about trying to get to much of it into them. I only realized they had pure after some research.

    Thanks for the help
    Either way, treating the tank will be just fine, no need to get them eating the metro.

    Eddie
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    "If you ask for an opinion...don't get pissed when I give you mine."

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