Discus grow-out tank
I've recently acquired a young 2 inch discus that seems to be a red turquoise or some similar stripped variety. I have him now in my main tank, and he is doing pretty well, eating well since the first day. But feeding is making my tank too dirty, so I think of using a 20G tank to raise him. I've searched the web, and all advice to use 29g or 55g for a lot of small discus, but I only have one (maybe I'll get 2 more). Do you think this is size will be ok?
I plan a bare bottom planted tank: plants will be kept in pots, so I can vacuum easily. I think of wisteria, hygro and other stem plants to soak up ammonia and nitrates quickly. Any thoughts on this?
I also have the water changes problem. My tap water is: pH 8.7, and GH over 300 ppm. I can get soft water at the cost of $1 per 5 gallons, gets too expensive for a lot of water changes, and it is not delivered. Most people say pH and hardness are not very important as long as water is clean, but I think this is too high for discus, am I wrong?
Any comments and suggestions welcome.
BTW, I was out of town since thursday night, and electricity was cut for lack of payment (not my fault, I don't run the money here), my tank stayed unfiltered and unheated (at 20°C) from friday morning to sunday afternoon, and the discus did fine. He was dark from stress, but not sick. These fish are really tougher than I thought.