29 September 2013

7 : Stunted Discus - Something Blue

My Tiny Cobalt Discus
 Stunted Cobalt Discus
Indication of size difference between Marlboro Red
and Cobalt Discus who are the same age...

It seems that my little cobalt blue discus is officially stunted.  I've read up on all the descriptions and he falls into this category.  He has a larger eye in proportion to his body, his body is more football shaped than round and his colour is dull.  I purchased him at the same time as the majority of my discus, he has fallen behind in growth despite appearing to be feisty at meal times.
I have noticed he will ignore a lot of the variety of food supplied and prefers to only eat dried black worms.  It is such a pity as he is duller in colour than the other discus and hides the majority of the time, however, is front and centre of the tank at meal times.  There are some aquarist that are keen on breeding that may decide to cull a fish like this, however, I could never do that.  He may be more prone to disease should he be exposed to it but so far his health, despite remaining small, has been good.
Discus like to live in schools and there is a natural pecking order amongst the fish, I'm guessing my little cobalt is the runt of the school and will always hold this position.  As long as he keeps fighting amongst the bigger guys for his food, and manages to eat a little of something every day, I don't see any reason to cull him.  There are many reports of stunted discus living long healthy lives, despite their size, and even breeding and producing normal size fry. 
Sometimes I just want to remove him from the tank and beef him up all on his own in another tank, however, I know that he will stress about being alone and is likely to deteriorate.  Either way as long as he remains healthy I must admit I really like him, he is very endearing with his larger eyes and will probably permanently look like a juvenile discus.  Now what's wrong with that?  After all we can't all be the same, it's sometimes nice to be different than the rest.

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