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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-10-2004, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Discus question

I have a well established 46 bowfront overgrown with 2 types of valisnera and some sort of "lawn" plant.

Its got a UV sterilizer and a fluval 304 with nothing but sponges in it. Sponge on the intake as well.

Substrate is ecocomplete over thin peat, 5 inches deep.

kh around 4 or 5
ph 6.5 - 7, 7 is at waterchanges, which I do fequently ( 15 - 25% 3 times a week) to keep nitrates undercontrol.

The tank is a bit crowded with @30 cardinals, 4 queen loaches, 8 ottcinclus, 2 true siamese AE, and 3 clown (dwarf) pecostomus...

I currently also have rams, but I am toying with the idea of getting 3 discus and taking the rams out.

I know there are varying opinions on how well Discus will do in tapwater minus chlorine, vs using r/o water.
I basicaly have 3 questions...
Will my setup support 3 discus?
Has anyone had any success keeping them in non r/o water?
Is there a certain type of discus that might be easier top keep in these conditions?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-10-2004, 01:59 PM
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Water change is Key, plus cleaning canister

If you can keep it clean, and if the otos don't go after the discus slime, you are probably OK. It sounds like a lot of fish, overall, so you'll have to work to keep it clean.

Your discus ratio is 0.5 using 25% water change every other day, not including any biomass of the other fish, and 0.6 is the norm for planted tanks (see SimplyDiscus.com for how I got this ratio). So, you need to commit to that every other day all the time, or steep up to 30% or better even.

The ratio is (#discus)(days to water change)/(water change ratio)(gallon tank)

So, you have (3discus)(2days for every other day water change)/(0.25water change)(46gallon nominal tank size) = 0.5 without considering other fish

If the other fish are about equal in size to one discus or two, then you ought to add that in also, then adjust the water change volume and frequency to keep that ratio to 0.6 or below. And you still have to keep it clean, wiping down glass and vacing up mulm and cleaning canisters often and any prefilter on the canister can be cleaned daily which will help.

110G, 10 adult discus, barebottom with plants on wood
58G, 3 adult discus, barebottom with plants on wood
59G thickly planted tanks, rummey nose tetras, kuhlies
300G goldfish pond outside
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-10-2004, 05:29 PM
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First time that I've seen an equation for planted tanks and discus . I've always just use common sense and prefer to keep the fish down to a minimum, especially in a discus tank.

To answer your question:
1) Your setup can host that many fish. You just have to adjust the others to the conditions of the discus (higher temperatures, and if you have any wild caught fish, then I would deworm them).
2) I've kept them in non-RO water before and they do fine, especially when they're juveniles. When they're young, they actually don't mind harder water (harder than yours), and grow quickly with the right amount of feeding and water changes. Breeding them is another story.
3) Not really. You can always find some from breeders who have kept/bred theirs in harder water. Also, no wild discus, since they're widely available and the trouble isn't worth it (plus no sense in plucking more out of their environment). Same goes for where you get your fish from (don't buy them from overseas, SE Asia, since they're notorious for tweaking them).


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-10-2004, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for the great advice and the link!

I am concerned about the otto's.... totaly forgot about that. They are well fed, fat little critters, but you never know...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-10-2004, 11:42 PM
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I've got Otos in with my Discus and they never bother them.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 10:33 PM
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If I were you, I would have the 3 discus and 10 cardnials and thats it.
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