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Changing an Old Tank for a New Use - II

by George J. Reclos

Next morning the sun rose up as usually, we had breakfast as usually and then Christine rushed to the petshop - not as usually. She bought 6 small discus which all had some fancy names like Brilliant Turquoise discus (2 of them), Seven Color - Rainbow discus (2 of them), Blue Diamond discus (just one) and Blood Red Dragon discus (one). I always wonder that those names stand for. I mean what is a "brilliant Turquoise" supposed to mean ? Is there a "Simply Turqoise" variety which might confuse us ? Anyway, we placed their bags in the tank and we acclimatized them slowly over a 75 minute period by adding 50 ml of tank water in their bags every 5 minutes. Lamps were switched off and the room was darkened to reduce stress. We all know that Discus are quite sensitive fish. While waiting we added the peat in the external canister filter, waited till the water became cloudy, performed a 20% water change to make it again crystal clear and finally waited for Lady C to give us the green light in order to release the fish in the tank. 

The tank full of bags.

Two of the discus being acclimatized.

The happy owner, Lady C, in front of her aquarium with the Discus immediately after their release. All of them really happy. An old dream finally came true. At this point we were kindly reminded that the Discus is also called the "King of the Aquarium" (and there are many good reasons for it - she said) that their "sleepy" mode of swimming is called "majestic swimming" (Johnny and I still call it "sleepy"), that aggression doesn't always mean "personality" - it can also mean "style" (at this point we even considered giving our mbuna a lobotomy to become more stylish) and many more things.. Yes, she had done her homework.

Three of her Discus, two hours after being released happily (= majestically) swimming in their tank. None of them seemed stressed or tried to stay hidden behind the filters. Some of them even nibbled on the Anubias of the tank removing the algae.

The Blood Red Dragon Discus. Quite an impressive, long name for such a small fish. We hope that when it grows up it will live by Lady C's expectations. The funny thing with this particular fish is that it is Christine's favorite. Once we were ready to leave the petshop, Christine asked me to see where the "orange" discus was. After checking the 5 bags which were ready to get in the trunk, I noticed - to my horror - that there was no orange discus in those bags. I had to run in the petshop again and get (and pay for) that "orange" discus.. So here we were with 6 fishes instead of the 5 we had initially planned to get.

This is a Blue Diamond Discus. Measuring a mere 5-6 cm it is hardly blue but it has some style. Even to my African eyes.

The tank was inspected again 12 hours after it was setup with the fishes (about midnight) and everything was OK. Now, all that is needed is patience and time. Some reading will be needed, too. It is our belief that no matter if a fish is your favorite or not, you still have to give it the absolutely best.

The only side effect of this tank is that now Lady C keeps on asking me how many discus would fit in my future 1500 liter Mediterranean marine tank. My answer (with a smile) is "as many as can withstand a specific gravity of 1,027".. You see, a wife has to know where her limits are. Of course, getting her a bigger tank would be better.. in due time.

Continued in next page

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