Best water flow practices in heavily planted discus tank?
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:59 PM   #1
dan woods
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Best water flow practices in heavily planted discus tank?


I am a newbie and have started (actually first big tank) with a 120g planted discus tank and want to be sure I have plenty of water movement for a healthy tank environment for fish and plants. Equipment setup so far is as follows;
filters- 3 G6 canisters
UV sterilizer- 57 watt inline on one G6
CO2- aqua medic 1000 inline reactor w/Milwaukee PH controller/gauges on one G6
lights- 4 30watt LED marine white units, 2 54watt t-5 bulbs
heat- 2 Rena in tank in-line 300 watt units
gravel- 240 lbs Eco complete, 75 lbs of petrified redwood
wood- very large African branchwood centerpiece and 6 smaller African pcs.
Air- small airstone and pump (just in case I need)

The tank (plants) looks like a little better water movement is in order. My first question would be about the thoughts of using a VorTech MP40w ES Propeller Pump for added circulation or does this seem extreme? My only familiarly with the pump is on line research and looks like a great pump with lots of flexibility. Any input greatly appreciated. The tank is only 3 weeks old and has what i would characterize a robust contents. You will have to excuse my ignorance for proper names (and spelling) but has various large Amazon swords, Java mosses and ferns.
10 Discus 4 and 1/2 to 6 inch size
3 bristle noise plecos
10 Sterba's Cory
8 black phantom tetras
8 espei rasboras

Again, thoughts on best pump addition for water movement in the tank?
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:51 PM   #2
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Your 3 G6 canisters should create a good amount of flow even for a tank that size. However the Vortech power head is awesome, it would be a bit of an overkill. A more cost effective option might be buy koralia powerheads. You could even buy 2 and put them in places that need more flow. Or buy 2 of the smaller vortech ones.
Those larger powerheads 1,000 gph+ are more designed for reef aquariums. Discus dont like living in a high flow aquarium.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
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I agree with Solid. I'm assuming those filters have spraybars so you can line them up at water level to create even flow. Your current plant lineup isn't too demanding and should do fine without the extra current which will probably only upset the discus.

That is a hell of a setup for a self proclaimed "newbie." Good luck!!!
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys. I started with 2 g6 filters but the one with the in line CO2 reactor has reduced flow by 50% or so. I added the 3rd filter in hopes to get tank flow up a bit. I read somewhere that a discus tank should turn the tank contents about 7 to 10 times an hour and with the reduced flow on the 2nd filter with inline CO2, I needed the 3rd to get there. I am guessing about 350 GHP on a G6 unrestricted with a typical head height. So if that is all close to true, 3 sounded about right for filtration. I do not want to over stimulate water flow for the discus but want to make sure I have no dead spots as well. Based on your feedback, I think I will start with 1 VorTech MP10 ES and see how that does in one corner. I am getting much startup info from a very large LFS (Preuss Animal House about 60 miles away) they are setting up a discus planted tank in a 175 bow in the store. It looks great so far and has what I might consider on the high end of flow for a discus tank. They have a couple big power heads in the tank but I thought I might try the VorTech because it has the power cord on the outside of the tank and has a smaller footprint in the tank. The LFS is not making the same rookie mistakes I am making by my lack of patience. They do not have the discus in their tank yet (just the dither fish) while I do. I now know I should have quarantined all dither fish prior to introduction into the main tank with my discus (don't ask, you already know). So when I can afford it, I will purchase a proper quarantine tank for my display tank. Does this sound like a symptom of MTS? I hear there is no cure for this if I catch it. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. -Dan
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:05 PM   #5
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Oh, the list of fish in the tank is a little short, I also have; 12 Crossocheilus siamensis and
5 Blue Rams in the tank.
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:41 PM   #6
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The Vortech are awesome for just the reasons you mentioned. Ive never used one, but I've read on alot of reef forums they are the cream of the crop. They are also very adjustable so you can adjust their flow which might work for you.
I might also try asking over on http://www.simplydiscus.com/forum/ if they think the flow is too much. I still consider myself a newbie at discus (had them about 7 months).

Either way it sounds like your doing things the right way and have a pretty nice set-up! And like i said in the Fluval pimp club thread, post some pictures for us to drool at. =D
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:57 PM   #7
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Dan,

The Simply Discus forum is great. I started a planted discus tank a few months ago and have learned a lot from them. Good luck and enjoy.
Patti
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:59 PM   #8
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i was just gonna refer you to simply discus as well. i was too slow though
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for the heads up on simply discus. As I said earlier, I made a big rookie mistake by not quarantining fish prior to introduction into the display tank. As a result I am treating the whole tank for ick (ick-attack and 88 degrees). I am 6 days into the treatment and a pair of discus decided to lay eggs yesterday. Not sure if it is a male/female pair but there was a 3 day/3 way squabble prior to laying eggs over whick 2 would be an item. I have tried to attach a pic.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:01 PM   #10
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will that did not work. try this link: http://picasaweb.google.com/10552337...39819597011106
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:32 PM   #11
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Nice fish! Egg laying is usually a sign of happy discus.
Also I wouldn't worry too much about a minor Ich infection, in my experience it has gone away after a week or so with just increased water temperature and a bit of aquarium salt. Im sure your Ich medication will do the job too.
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:44 PM   #12
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Solid,
Is it ok to add salt for medication to a planted tank without plant stress? If so, how much and what kind?
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:22 PM   #13
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It might stress out the plants but most plants can take it for a week or two. Some people say you can use sea salt or kosher salt, but i prefer the (better safe than sorry) "aquarium salt" sold at my LFS. The recommended dosage to treat ich is 2-3 tablespoons per 5 gallons of water. I tend to lean towards the safe side and use a bit less. If i were you I would be patient and wait to see if the temp+medication you are already using works. If your fish are happy, and I suspect they are, it should be gone in a week or two.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:04 AM   #14
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I'd buy a wet dry and toss the canisters.

I've done enough O2 testing to tell folks that the wet/drys are certainly the way to go on larger tanks where fish are of primary importance.
I have consistently higher DO levels at every time of day with the wet/drys.

400-1000gph for the wet/dry is plenty and a wide range.
Additional flow can be added using small powerheads, wavemakers etc in the plants.

Leave the open areas where you want them to spend most of the time slightly still, but......they do come from rivers, and the flows change throughout the year, not just Bubba the collector is there during and dry season only. They should/will eat better and be more frisky if O2 is tracked and wet/drys are used, good current etc.

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Old 12-01-2010, 01:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid View Post
Nice fish! Egg laying is usually a sign of happy discus.
Also I wouldn't worry too much about a minor Ich infection, in my experience it has gone away after a week or so with just increased water temperature and a bit of aquarium salt. Im sure your Ich medication will do the job too.
Temp for a bit at 88 and malachite green should do the trick, leave out the salt.
Should be able to drop it back to 84 or so, they should breed consistently at that temp.


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