New Article on how to acclimate discus with buckets!
Just posted a new article on how to acclimate discus using a bucket...

I know a lot of you will be for the "float the bag" method, but take a read and let me know if you have tried the bucket method and your experience...

http://tropicalfish.io/article/21/how-to-acclimate...

Thanks!
# How To Acclimate New Discus

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Acclimating new Discus to your tank is a very important step. Not taking the time to do it properly can cause irreparable damage to your Discus, even death.

This article covers some easy to follow techniques to get your new Discus started happily in their new home.

### Float The Bag (Don’t Do This)
The most common way your local fish store will tell you to acclimate 99.9% of all your fish is to __“Float The Bag”__ the fish came in. In short here is what this does:

- Heat transfer so bag water and tank water matchup
- Allows for a quick hello for tank mates
- Gives your Discus time to lay on its side, note this is not a good thing

Floating The Bag has only one positive and that is the heat transfer between bag water and tank water. The chemistry of the water will still be a shock to your Discus when it is introduced into the tank. So how can we take care of this? Let's read on…

### The Bucket Method
__I LOVE BUCKETS!__ There, I said it, it had to be said. You can never have too many buckets, ever. This is why.

When you purchase a new Discus you can take your bucket with you. Fill the bucket one-quarter of the way full with water from the breeder or fish store. Enough to cover your Discus without the bucket weighing a ton. Place a lid on the bucket to keep the Discus from jumping out. Buckets are not transparent so the Discus gets a nice calm place to relax on its journey to your home. And finally, the best reason that buckets are great, acclimation!

Here is what you need:

- A spare heater
- A plastic cup to transfer water
- Possibly a mop or towel, in case of spills
- A timer
- A fishnet

Here is how you do it:

- Place the bucket containing the Discus near the tank that will become its new home
- Place the spare heater in the bucket and set it to match the temperature in the tank
- Using your cup, transfer a full cup of tank water into the bucket
- Set the timer about ten minutes
- When the timer goes off, add another full cup of tank water to your bucket
- When the bucket is about half full, or still light enough to lift, stop!
- You can now either pour in the contents of the bucket into your tank, removing water as needed to lift the bucket or using a net scoop the new Discus out and place it in the new tank

Acclimating Discus via buckets is much more beneficial than the __“Float The Bag”__ method. It allows for the transitional acclimation of water and its variation in chemistry. In other words, it makes switching from the old water to the new water easier.

### Questions For You?

Do you have a different way of acclimating your Discus?

Do you own a bucket for your Discus?

What is the strangest container you have used to transport your Discus?
# Top 5 Discus Fish Myths

So many fake stories are told about keeping Discus, mostly from people who don’t have a clue or have never kept Discus.

We will put to rest 5 popular myths about keeping Discus that have been around too long!

### Ready? Here we go!
If you are new to Discus, hopefully, you are not listening to all those negative Nancy’s who are trying to convince you that Discus are the wrong fish for you. Discus are great and pretty easy to keep alive for a very long time.

### Top 5 Myths in no specific order:

- You must do daily water changes
- Discus belong in a species tank
- You need to be a water chemistry expert
- Discus require super industrial equipment to filter water
- You need to feed your Discus very special food
- So let’s take out these Myth’s one by one.

### Daily Water Changes
It’s true, Discus LOVE clean water, but it doesn’t have to be a museum in your tank for your Discus to be happy.

__I know people who do 100% water changes twice daily! Now that is crazy!__

Keep it simple, 20% to 25% water changes a few times a week is just fine. Even you miss one, it’s not the end of the world. The whole point is to not allow waste to build up in your tank. Obviously, someone with only a sponge filter will have to do more water changes than someone with two canister filters.

### Discus Species Tank
You don’t __NEED__ to keep Discus in a species tank unless that is what you really want. Choosing Discus tankmates is pretty easy, just follow this rule:

*“As long as the tankmate does not try to eat all the food or the Discus, then you probably have a good tank mate.”*

Here are a few:

- Cardinal Tetra
- Lamp Eye Tetra
- Rummynose Tetra
- Corydoras (Cory Cat)
- Ghost Shrimp

### Water Chemistry Expert
This myth bothers me more than others and here is why. Most local fish stores that I have gone to gladly test my water for __FREE!__ That is right __FREE!__ You know why? Because I spend so much __MONEY__ in their store! If you are spending money weekly or monthly at your local fish store and they do not offer free water testing, find a new store that does. There is no reason why your local fish store cannot test your water for you.

Now, if you don’t have a local fish store near you and you are dependent on the internet, get some test strips. They are color coded and offer a huge spectrum of tests on one strip. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

__[amz type="link" asin="B0053PR7P8" text="Test strips are easy to buy on Amazon click here to check the latest prices on Amazon.com"]__

If you want to actually learn about Ph, Kh, Gh, etc… there are endless resources online. Electronic meters to take super accurate results are also available but could be a bit costly. They are not necessary but are great for those who __WANT__ to be super accurate and know exactly what their water parameters are.

Also, test your water __BEFORE__ you buy Discus to see if your tap water is naturally within acceptable levels. If so, then you just saved yourself a ton of money on water treating equipment.

### Super Filters
It does not take super filters, reverse osmosis filtration or chemicals to have perfect Discus water!

You just might have perfect Discus water coming out of your faucet! Have you ever tested your faucet water? Don’t worry, most people don’t, but you should. In fact, aside from the dechlorination and aeration that you should be doing on all water going into your tank, you may not have to do much at all to have great Discus water.

What’s that you say? Your faucet water is no good? Ok, did you know you could use the water from a Water Store? I use it all the time, especially when I have several breeding pairs going at the same time. The Water Store has already invested a ton of money into a massive water filtration system that would dwarf any dinky use at home R.O. filter system.

So why fight it? Go with it! Leverage someone else’s massive filter system to give you great Discus water. Not sure if your local water store has good water? Test it! You should, after all you might already be drinking it!

### Special Food
This one is all up to you. Discus will eat just about anything they like but here is what you have to keep in mind.

Genetically, Discus are programmed to be big fish and that growth requires a good balance of carbs and protein. This is why you hear so much of beef heart, shrimp, and worm-based recipes.

You can easily spot Discus that haven’t receive a well-balanced diet. Typically they are stunted or runts, most of the time never growing to their full potential.

I'm not going to say that every Discus owner has to feed their Discus like it’s destined to be a prize-winning show fish. That’s up to you and not for me to say. What I will say is to keep in mind that, like other larger fish, your Discus requires a balanced meal with more protein to support growth and healthy overall appearance.

And you have a wide assortment of food to choose from:

- Bloodworms
- Blackworms
- Beefheart
- Shrimp
- White Fish
- Tetrabits
- Krill
- Earthworms

Know of other myths you want to share?

Would you suggest anything else on the myths above?
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