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Old 02-11-2013, 03:21 AM   #46
bbrackeen
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Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Overall, your tank and the discus look just superb ! Keep up the good work - I'll bet it's a great satisfaction to you.
All the best for the future.
Regards,
Paul
Thanks Paul, without your added nudge, I might have not gone through with discus. They are just fantastic to watch... Amazing fish. They are establishing their pecking order, and so far the carnation turk seems to be the leader, everyone follows him around (or her).
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:51 PM   #47
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No worries at all... I love to talk about designs.

When I did the layout I did so with the "Golden Selection" in mind. If you were to draw intersecting triangles from the top left to the bottom right (following the hardscape slope), and then the same from the right treetop to the left; the layout follows the 3/5ths rule (well at least was my intention). The layout style I chose was based off Amano's U-Composition. (See Nature World Aquarium book 1, page 156-159). My success, as with most things artistic, is subjective to the viewer.

Not much I can do about it now though since its attached to 18" of slate under 3-4 inches of substrate. lol... (makes it easy to come up with excuses to keep it doesn't it)

The discus seem to really like it since they all hang out around it most of the time. When I added it my thoughts were of the lakes around where I grew up (east Texas), most of the fish seemed to congregate around tree tops sticking out of the water; as most of the lakes are flooded valleys.

The idea was the discus would do the same, without some type of structure on that side of the tank I worried they wouldn't spend time over there.
Well, I think a way to incorporate that driftwood back into the scape a bit more is to have plants behind it.

One idea from the top of my head is medium-sized swords in the back in a way brings movement from the left side with larger cryptocorynes surrounding the driftwood tree. I also understand it will look better when the carpet fills in .

Keep it up! BTW your Discus looks great!
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:13 PM   #48
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the tank is lovely, but I tend to agree with Kevin about the tree. I was thinking that instead of moving it turn the tree so the curve of the branch brings your eye back into the tank, as it is the lines of the tree visually send you out of the tank.
a small thing in a over all beautiful tank. nice job
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:43 AM   #49
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the tank is lovely, but I tend to agree with Kevin about the tree. I was thinking that instead of moving it turn the tree so the curve of the branch brings your eye back into the tank, as it is the lines of the tree visually send you out of the tank.
a small thing in a over all beautiful tank. nice job
Thank you very much Meganne.

While we as humans define things as we see them; this is pretty and that is wrong... and the other such and so... It appears the real truth is through the looking glass. From the eyes of the fish, are they happier? It seems so.

Although it might not appear astatically pleasing, the tree seems to have value for these fish. It seems to be the congregation point for all feeling comfortable.

What that really means at times for me seems to blur; but for them it seems to be where they are at a comfortable state in their consciences because they keep going there because they cannot leave this glass cube that I have defined for their lives. (to which I do my best)

So I'm ok with the tree, lets move onward.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:00 AM   #50
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Default March Update

Everything is going fine, the discus have adjusted well and seem to be more comfortable every day. I've not been as heavy on the dosing, and it shows in the HC (Dwarf Baby Tears). The carpet is showing some signs and the cory cats are doing a good job of tearing them up as well. I'll up my dosing for the next month and that should help. Algae is pretty much non-existent (well within reason and non-nuisance), so that's a great.

Parameters;

PH 6.8
Temp 83
NO3 5-10
dKH 7
dGH 3
TDS 214 (IMO, perfect given my makeup is about 200ppm TDS)

Water change 25% every 2 weeks with the following;

RO Remineralization (per 5 Gallons)

4g Seachem Equilibrium
2.5g Seachem Alkaline Buffer
.47g KNO3 removed; seems to be a nice balance of NO3 naturally.

On to the pics. First of the discus, whose coloration has really improved.

Maxie, the Marlboro Red, started showing some peppering after the first week (inherent to pidgin bloods) but other than that seems healthy. Maxie is the most aggressive and first to eat and out and about of the group and seems to do the most pecking (although it doesn't seem to be the leader).

Maxie by bbrackeen, on Flickr

This is Penny, a Penang Eruption, and the shy one out of the group. My personal favorite. Its color has really started to pop in the last week or so with very iridescent blues.

Penny by bbrackeen, on Flickr

This is Elvira, a Ruby Sapphire. It has the best shape of the group and is really a fish that is growing on me. Not shy, but not aggressive ether. Seems to have the best well rounded attitude.

Elvira by bbrackeen, on Flickr

and finally "Brain", a Carnation Turquois. This one seems to be the oldest, largest, and the most humble of the group. Brain is the leader of the pack, and is really interesting in how it watches after everyone always waiting until everyone else has been fed before eating.

Brain by bbrackeen, on Flickr

Right now they are all still being hand fed frozen blood worms, which seems to be all they are interested in. I've not really starved them yet, I wanted their first month to be about getting adjusted and minimizing stress. I've attempted other foods (freeze dried black worms, tetra color bits, freeze dried blood worms, freeze dried brine shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, and flakes).

I need to get them on freeze dried foods, and bits, but just have not had the heart to starve them until I feel like there is a level of comfort and trust for me is there (which is growing every day).

On to the monthly pic;


March by bbrackeen, on Flickr

I'm really loving the new layout, and its simplicity of maintenance. The tree, a source for love or hate for some , looks fantastic in real life, and the moss is doing exceptionally well and remains the main discus meeting point.

Last edited by bbrackeen; 04-12-2013 at 04:48 AM.. Reason: Brain is not a he or a she yet
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:14 AM   #51
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Ooo that is amazing!
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:40 AM   #52
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Thank you, and love the Big Lebowski reference in your sig. One of my favorite movies!

This is by far one of the most amazing things I have ever done. Its really insane in person. I'll have to post a video.

I am very pleased with things.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:31 AM   #53
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The tank is looking great! Discus are just amazing. With 90 gallon tank you should maybe think about adding a couple more friends to their population. I have 6 in my 72 gallon and that still seems on the small to average size of a group. I think I liked the picture of your tank on 3,3,13 the best but it looks like it is starting to fill in again and starting to look great once more!

I was wondering what type of lighting you use because mine seems a bit out dated and dull and I wanted to make a change. Also, what kind of substrate are you using? The dirt in mine seems to still be turning my water a tea color even after 8 months of use and I'm thinking about changing that as well.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:49 PM   #54
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Thanks for the kind words. I'm enjoying it tremendously, just slowly but surely simplifying my process.

Quote:
I was wondering what type of lighting you use because mine seems a bit out dated and dull and I wanted to make a change. Also, what kind of substrate are you using?
I use a AquaticLife 48" T5 HO 4 Lamp FRESHWATER Fixture w/ Lunar Lights. I love it, the on/off timer is built into the lighting. I also use Seachem Flourite substrate. I've used it in the past with great success as well.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:51 PM   #55
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where did you get your light from? I'm trying to get a cheap 48" T5 HO light. right now I have 4 T12 and they just arn't doing the job I want.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:37 AM   #56
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Default April

Late update, my wife just gave birth to our 3rd child (It's a girl!) and I've been very busy with that as you could imagine. In fact, its long story but I delivered the child. A first for me.

Things are going really well, very low maintenance, very little to no algae (just a weekly scraping on the front and side glass with a magnetic scraper, letting the back do whatever). The discus are trucking along, they are eating just about anything I throw at them now. Currently they are loving the freeze dried black worms. The little blocks can be smushed against the glass and they have a time pecking at them. They still get frozen blood worms and brine shrimp daily until I run out, I am no longer hand feeding them though. I just cut the filters off and drop the blocks in frozen. They figured it out.

All parameters are (pretty much) the same;

PH 6.8
Temp 83
NO3 0 (I have not dosed it in weeks)
dKH 7 (CO2 ~20ppm which means PH 6.8)
dGH 3
TDS 250 (I dosed yesterday)

I've REALLY chilled on the dosing and not really doing any method, just an occasional Seachem Flourish when the TDS gets below 220ppm, along with all the evaporation makeup water being RO (6ppm as measured). Water changes are pure RO plus Seachem Equilibrium (4g per 5G) & Alkaline Buffer (2.5G per 5G). I'll also note I am using 350ML Seachem Purigen as chemical filtration, and 1L of Seachem Matrix for biological.

Water change @20G (preferably) once every two weeks, though I changed it at 3 weeks last Sunday and the TDS was still around 220, I think I could push this even further. The tank seems to be in a really good balance and the plants seem to be keeping the water at a pristine condition. I've seen fluctuations as high as 260ppm after a few dosing's, and then watched it drop back down to 210ppm a week or two later.

I guess you could say my dosing method has been based upon watching the TDS level and adding when it drops down around 220ppm (my base level for makeup water).

The baby tears (HC) got the boot. The Cory cats pretty much tore them up, and they were becoming a daily nuisance in the surface skimmer. Sucks because the wife really loved them, but the utility of the Cory's out weighed the need to keep them. I have very little to no mulm when vacuuming, visually none, so some one (I assume the Cory's) are eating the waste, and breaking it down into a water soluble form that the plants are using for uptake.

Well enough banter, here is the pic.


April by bbrackeen, on Flickr

Last edited by bbrackeen; 04-12-2013 at 04:54 AM.. Reason: small edit on paramters
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:53 AM   #57
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Looking just great, my friend - keep up the good work.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:14 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Looking just great, my friend - keep up the good work.
Thanks Paul. I know some of what I'm doing goes against the grain, but I'm taking a very scientific view focusing on things I can measure and perceive. My end game is finding simplicity in what was otherwise very complex.

The Marlboro Red seems to be peppering a lot (and had been from week one). Other than visually it has not concerned me a whole lot as I know its inerrant to the breed (pidgin blood) and it seems very active and its behavior has not blemished.

Other than that they all appear to be healthy, actively being seen, and eating virulently.

Last edited by bbrackeen; 04-12-2013 at 05:17 AM.. Reason: grammer
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:59 AM   #59
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Default Re: Bill's 90G High Tech Planted

I love the tank it looks great. And congrats on the baby girl!
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:42 AM   #60
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ah man this is like my dream tank. One day I will be able to house discus, my dream fish. Your set up is awesome, and for what its worth, I love the tree. And your discus are beautiful.
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