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hoa!! Before you decide to just click away and email me, read these questions and answers FIRST!
(yes, these are really based on actual e-mails that I have received).
I often get asked about keeping discus in a planted tank rather than a bare bottom tank.  I will say this, just because plants take in nitrites produced by fish waste and uneaten food, etc... does not mean you should get lazy and cut back on doing water changes.  All fish, especially discus, will grow out much better and faster (and stay more healthy) if they are kept in fresh, clean water.  That is why practically all breeders raise discus in bare bottom tanks - it's easier to keep clean and they do water changes very often, sometimes more than twice a day.  So if you want your discus to grow out large to their potential size and look magnificent, I recommend growing them out in a barebottom tank for several months with frequent water changes, and then if you want, move them into a planted tank and continue the water changes and maintenance.
Question: My three discus were fighting, one is dark, with it's fins closed/ clamped and it's hiding in a corner.  Why is this happening?
Answer:  It's a common mistake made by beginners who believe that they can just get two or three disucs and place them in a small (29 gallon tank). Discus are territorial and if you have a small number in a small tank, eventually, one will become the alpha (dominant fish) and terrorize the rest.  Try to get at least a 50 or 55 gallon size tank and at least 6 discus if you are starting out with juvenile discus.  That will give the fish room to grow, space to roam, and spread out the aggression. If you don't do this, chances are that one fish will get very stressed out, become weakened and susceptible to illnesses, and possibly die on you.

Question: I want to get discus and set up a tank right away - tell me what I need to do right NOW!
Answer:  Hey, slow down!  Have you done any research on keeping fish?  Are you familiar with the Nitrogen cycle, filtration, lighting, water parameters, etc...?  If not, go to the The Kriband read up.  As basic as it sounds, do your homework first. Discus are expensive fish and you don't want to be "learning on the battlefield".
Question:  I'd like to know what a 75 gallon setup would cost me at a pet store (fish, tank, stand, hood and lights, gravel, plants, filter, heater, fish food, etc...)
Answer:  I don't run a store, and I haven't claimed to on my webpage.  I'd suggest calling around to various stores in your area.  Prices do vary. I'd estimate that getting a 55 gallon tank, stand, hood, and all the supplies - nets, filters, gravel, heater, etc... you're looking at around $200.00US-450.00US and that's before you even get the fish.

Question:  I'm in the market for some discus; I've kept several species of fish before, but never had discus.
Answer:  I'd suggest contacting some of the breeders on the links section of my website.  Two other good forums are Simply Discus and Discus as a Hobby. Also, you can sign up onDiscus-L (not very active anymore, but good information in the archives) and ask people what they think of certain breeder's fish.  Plus, a lot of other discus keepers are quite helpful! As far as keeping them with other fish, some general comments can be found on my Discus tank mates section.
Question:  Do you recommend any specific discus breeders?
Answer: I have only personally purchased fish from:

April Volz (no longer in business)
Wayne Ng (Wayne's Discus Centre)
Greg Smith (Piscine Products, Inc. no longer in business)
Michael Wells (A Discus Dream no longer in business)
Alberto Barboza ( )
Lee Shadbolt (Fine Quality Discus not sure if he is still in business)
Eric LaCroix (Carolina Discus)
Kenny Cheung (Kenny's Discus

All of these breeders/ importers have good stock.  I'm sure there are other excellent breeders out there; my suggestion would be to make a visit to a hatchery and hand pick the ones you like.  I've visited hatcheries beyond a 5 hour drive from my place - the fish made it back fine. (my parents even picked up some fish for me from Michael Wells' place and he's about 10 hours away!).

Question:  I really like the way your planted tanks look, can you help me create something similar?
Answer:  Thanks.  Practically all the information I've learned about keeping aquatic plants came from people I've met on the internet.  Check out the KribAquatic Plants Central, and the Aquatic Plants Digest.  Also Tropica has an excellent website and there are several more on the links section of my website.  The plants and materials I use are listed on the my planted tanks section.  If you want some real inspiration, check out the aquarium tanks by Takashi Amano's company, Aqua Design Amano.
Question:  I'd like to know where I can get some of the plants you have in your tanks?
Answer: There are some decent mail-order places which have a good selection.  You can also trade with some other plant people who are both on-line at Aquatic Plants Central andAquatic Plants Digest.  Unfortunately, I usually don't have any extra plants to spare because I'm regularly trading my plants into the local aquarium store in my area.  Check the linkssection of my website.
Question:  I skipped quarantine, added one new discus to my tank and now ALL of them are sick!  Help!
Answer:  It's always a good idea to set up a quarantine tank; Years ago, I was being too eager and didn't quarantine long enough; it left me with one dead discus and several other sick discus.  That's the last time I skipped quarantine.  Don't be cheap or lazy - definitely get a quarantine tank!  I also suggest every discus owner go out and purchase a good book on fish diseases and parasites.  Both the quarantine tank and the book will pay for themselves the first time you have a sick fish.  See below for some general tips on what to do at the first signs of trouble.
Question:  How do I know you're not just reading out of a book and how do I know that you really have discus? (A few years ago, a person out in Oregon told me he was in a group out there claiming I really didn't know anything and they were going to try to shut my website down! Not surprisingly, I've never met them and they obviously didn't even know me! Good thing they aren't detectives!). 
Answer:  I've kept freshwater and brackish water fish since the early 1970's - everything from guppies to Jack Demseys, from Archerfish to black ghosts, angelfish to swordtails, corydoras catfish to banjo catfish, etc....  I even have some old metal framed tanks and Dynaflow filters from the early 1970's.  I've attended several workshops & seminars, given a couple of presentations about aquarium fish and aquatic plants, and I'm an active member in theRaleigh Aquarium Society.  I am friends with several discus breeders, a few guppy breeders, a few angelfish breeders, and several aquatic plant enthusiasts.  In addition, my discus webpage has been running since 1996 on two other webservers at Duke Universityand two other addresses at before I moved it to where it is today (on webserver).
Question:  What the heck is a DIY CO2?
Answer:  This is the one question I have been asked more times than any other.  DIY CO2stands for "Do It YourselfCarbon Dioxide.  I have a few links leading to information on how CO2 helps aquatic plants thrive on my links section.
Question:  Can I email you and ask you some basic questions?
Answer:  If the answer can be found ANYWHERE either on my webpages OR on one of the links (like The Krib), don't expect a reply.  Not to sound mean, but I get a LOT of email from people who don't seem to want to do any research on their own or lift a finger before running to me to "spoon feed" them help.  Sorry, I don't have the time to help all of these people out - that's why I've provided the links section - use it as a resource (like the reference section in a library).  Also don't forget Simply Discus and Discus as a Hobby - there are discus owners on those forums who have kept discus longer than I have.
Received this email:
Subject: Questions and answers
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 16:46:17 -0700
I can see you easily get annoyed by stupid questions. Well you know that annoyed feeling you get - all you do by announcing and repeating your point in Questions and answers is aggrevate everyone one else. A simple one-line disclaimer would do the trick. You have alot of useful info on your site, but it's too annoying to read through all the useless garbage you care about and no one else does.
My thoughts on this email: "Useless garbage"?  by referring people to internet sources to do their research before blindly jumping into keeping discus (which are expensive fish by the way)?  You'd be surprised how many breeders contact me asking me to broker their fish!  And no, I've already tried your "simple one-line disclaimer"; it doesn't work.  So, I have to resort to several, long, drawn out, and often sarcastic explanations.  Perhaps you could set up a discus site and see for yourself?  I'd be happy to refer visitors of my site over to you to answer questions.
Question:  My discus are looking sick, what should I do?
Answer:  Here's a Top Ten list of things to do at the FIRST signs of trouble.
(These were written up by Toni-Ann Mistretta and I have her permission to post them on here:)
If you think your discus are in trouble, the first thing to do is remain calm.  Make a massive water change and observe.  The first discus I lost was due to panic.
2.     WATER CHANGES - Before you carelessly fling every medication everyone recommends into the tank, try some massive water changes. Unless you have some specific symptom, like white feces, it is better to start out with a water change.  Many medications stress fish out and destroy the bio filter, so if you don't need them or know exactly what to use, do a water change first.
3.     BOOKS - Get a lot of books, each one has something in it the others don't.  Get general books, disease books, breeding books, whatever.
5.     TRY TO FIND A LOCAL BREEDER OR KEEPER - Most breeders and hobbyists are willing to help out a new discus keeper.  The advantage to having a local person is they know what the water is like in your area.  Diagnosing discus by e-mail and sometimes in person is not trivial, so having a local source of information is invaluable.
7.     QUARANTINE - I admit that I am guilty of skipping quarantine and using dip as a preventative, but after a bout with costia or chilodenella, you will become a believer.  I always treat during quarantine for external parasites
8.     MEDICATIONS - Have some general meds on hand always.  I keep Quick Cure,  metrodazinole, disco-worm or disco-med, table salt, epsom salt, antibiotics (watch expiration) and some broad spec stuff around.
9.     WATER CHANGES - Did I mention water changes?
10.     HOSPITAL TANKS - The few times I was without an extra tank is exactly when I needed one.  I do not like to move my discus too much.  They don't seem to like it and more importantly, it is likely that is one discus has it, the rest do too, even if they are not showing symptoms yet.  The only time I have used my hospital tank is when the least dominant discus is not getting food and is looking badgered and for swim bladder trouble.

Here is what my wild discus taught me
1.     WATER CHANGES - Surprise!
2.     Low pH - mine get bars if pH goes anywhere near 6.5.  They like it
around 5.5
3.     Worms - I have not yet had a wild discus that has not had capillaria. Thanks to Stan G, I saved my first group of wilds, except for one.  Now I treat upon arrival and repeat worming in 4-6 weeks.  I have done to additional rounds on occasion.  Just because they start eating again and look better, DO NOT FOREGO the second round.   It is very likely that some eggs survived in the tank or their intestinal tract