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Old 11-06-2012, 04:03 AM   #1
Cashmere
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Upgrade 90g discus community


Hello The Planted Tank!Let me preface by saying that the other night I typed up a new thread, tried my best to figure out how to attach a photo. I could have sworn that I submitted it correctly, however I have yet to see it appear anywhere. So if I have another thread floating around this site I apologize. I have been an avid aquarium fanatic for many years. I spend more time on aquarium forums than I care to tell. I have joined many, however this is my first actual post. I have kept fish only tanks, a 10g nano reef, which was converted to a planted tank (terrible failure,) I then upgraded to a 29g (great success.) It is time for me now to upgrade to the 90g, and to keep the king of tropical fish. The loverly discus. I made many mistakes with my first 10g, I can say however that I do have 3 of the original harlequin rasboras from that mess, in my 29, and soon to be into the 90. Let me say first of all, the keys to my success are religious water changes, I quit messing around with DIY co2, and I have a set lighting schedule. I have never had nuisance algae in the 29, I have a magnet scrubber, but have never had to truly use it. I have never really dosed the tank like I should have, I plan to in the 90. I am going to continue the "low tech" method, as it has really worked for me. I really enjoy having a beautiful aquarium and I actually tend to enjoy water changes, I would like to keep the maintainance to trimming plants, dosing, feeding, and water changes. In the 29 currently I have 2 "blush" angelfish, 2 roseline barbs, 7 harlequin rasboras, 5 rummynoses, 5 black neons, 1 rubber lip pleco, 4 corydoras sterbai. And I still maintain a small population of ghost shrimp for a little clean up crew. The filtration is 2 HOB filters, really only using biological, and mechanical. I use carbon when needed. I have driftwood, and 5 different plants, including dwarf lilly, echinodoris, moneywort, wysteria, and I believe some sort of ludwigia. Anyhow, the plan for the 90 is really to get a larger schoal of rummy nose, black neons, sterbai, and few rams, and 5 to 6 discus, red turquoise, and blood pigeon. I will post pics as soon as I learn how of the current setup and the workings of the 90.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Nice setup
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:41 AM   #3
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I will be using 2 48" 2x 32w shop lights. Using 4 Aqueon bulbs from petsmart, 2 colormax and 2 floramax. The lights will be hooked up to a timer, I plan on using the 2 colormax bulbs on the front fixture and leaving them on 13 hours 9am-10pm, and to have the floramax come on for 2 hours in the middle of the day 11a-1p , and then again from about 4p to 9p. I just finished working on the stand for the lights, I used 2x4s to make 2 L shape stands to hang both lights on above the tank. It is the only way I will be able to have easy access to the tank. I just hope that hanging the lights roughly 28" above the substrate will be enough light for growth. I have a glass top that will be on and fit to the tank over the DIY pvc overflow and the return. I painted the light stand gloss black to match the stand, and I will be painting the pvc with krylon fusion most likely black to help hide the uglyness of pvc. The sump is a 20Long, I will be making a DIY wet/dry filter, I will be using the submersible uv sterilizer rated to 100g, and 2 300w heaters in an open concept sump leading into a freshwater refugium using several moss balls, and floating pond plants, then the bubble trap to the pump an Aqueon quietflow AQ1700. Rated for 449gph at 83" head height, so about 5 times the tank volume per hour. I will be seeding the tank with my 29 filter media, I am diligent with water changes on the current tank and nitrates barely register on the dipstick. Going into this 90g, Im planning to do about 5g water changes each day using 1/2 tap and 1/2 ro. Hoping the sump design will help me to keep the nitrates down while only doing small daily water changes. If anyone has any thoughts on the growth conditions for my plants in this setup, please let me know. I'm hoping that with the tight fitting lid on the tank it will slow gas exchange in the tank and leave the sump to help suck in co2 from the atmosphere, and the floating plants( when the lights out.) I will have pictures up tomorrow after I attach the lights to the tank. I can hardly wait, I hope it looks as professional as it does in my head.
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:13 AM   #4
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I got the lights hung up and running, despite the first big snowstorm of the year. I also worked on the wet/dry filter and the pvc overflow is put together and running like a charm. Tomorrow I'm going to glue the pvc together, and do some silicone work on a few things, I also got the spray bar return put together, I need to paint a few things, and I'm having a big problem finding krylon fusion for the pvc. Anyways here are a few pictures of the lights hanging above the tank.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:36 AM   #5
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Wow...never even thought of doing that to hang lights. That is really simple, and yet looks awesome!
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:21 AM   #6
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Thanks! It was really simple to make, some 2x4s, L bracket, screws, paint, 1/2" of wood to make it flush with the tank and voila. Good for renters like myself. I lucked out to find nice shop lights, I'm really pleased with thier look, and light output.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:00 AM   #7
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Here's my thoughts...

1. discuspaul I think has a guide to discus posted somewhere...read that
2. get some dwarf water lettuce or something to help control nitrates AND to give those discus some shade, which they like
3. realize that if you follow most people's advice you will be feeding the discus a lot of food and often, if you use beefheart it's also a messy food. That being said you're tank may have to cycle again to handle the higher load of fish and waste
4. what temp are you planning? 82-86F, then carefull with plant choices.
5. better to do a 50%water change a week than 5% a day.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:44 PM   #8
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I have 2 300w aqueon submersible heaters, that will be placed in the sump to keep the temp. around 84F. I was planning to just keep some floating plants in the sump with a full spectrum bulb above them... if the lighting is too much I will throw some in the display. I found a few recipes for beefheart for discus and I plan to be making up a batch down the road. I plan to purchase older discus so the heavy feedings won't need to be as heavy. I have just about everything I need to actually get the tank running however I am lacking the uv sterilizer and I will be placing an order for driftwood and substrate and plants in a few weeks, after those arrive I will get the tank wet and start the cycle. I am going to seed it from the 29, however I do have some questions.... Ideally I would like to get the discus in the tank first to let them settle in and get thier boundaries set. But I am wondering if that will be necessary... it would be easier for me to move the driftwood and plants and fish over to the 90, get them up to temp, and use the current filtration in the sump to handle the bioload. Any ideas would be helpful, I will need to do some more research into plants that will do well in higher temps... The 50% change weekly would actually be very nice rather than daily, I will need to then start shopping around for a 50g barrel to keep the wc water so I can keep the temp up and the ro and tap mixed well. Being that I don't have much space in my apartment that may be a problem. I have to use ro, because my tap water is very alkali and the ph is in the high 7s. Does anyone have experience keeping discus at that ph??? If I could save the hassle I will. But if not healthy discus are well worth it. Im also considering looking for some peat to throw in the sump... any experience with that too?? Thanks for the input!
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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I forgot to mention that I will be placing several moss balls in the sump as well and the output to the submersible uv sterilizer to keep the moss balls moving around somewhat like the fluidized bed filter, but for reducing the nitrates and not making them...



Just for fun... Gunter is enjoying the forum and anyhelp we can get.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:24 PM   #10
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okay. IMO

get the tank all set up before the discus get in there. If you add stuff to the tank they will just re-establish new territories anyhow with the new scape. Discus are schooling fish so it isn't really a matter of territories anyhow more a matter of dominance.

I don't think beefheart is needed at all especially if you are getting larger fish (but many will disagree with me)

50 gal barrel?? think home depot 50 gallon garbage can w/ lid.

BEST PART- discus, just like angels, neons, rainbows, plecos and the rest will do perfectly fine in whatever water comes out of the faucet (after being treated for chemicals, temp and microbubbles) ----pH, TDS and all the rest do not matter, your fish will acclimate and be fine forever as long those conditions are kept stable. RO is not needed unless you are trying to breed. peat is not needed ever
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:09 AM   #11
Cashmere
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I read through Discuspauls beginners guide, and it was very informative. It was great to read that I will be able to keep discus with minimal adjustment to my normal routine. So the few kinks I need to work out now are proper stocking, no matter what I would like to keep the current stock of the 29, in the 90. Which includes the 2 angels, black neons, roselines, rummey nose, harlequin rasboras, sterbai, and 1 sm rubber lip pleco. So I am hoping that the 2 angels will get along swimmingly with the discus, and ideally I would really like to get larger schools of roselines, rummy nose, and sterbai. Would discus be happy in a group of 5? I have read they are better in even numbers. Meaning that my prefered stocking list would be as follows. 2 blush angels, 5 discus, 4roselines, 7 rasboras, 5 black neons, 10 rummy nose, 8 sterbai, 1 rubber lip. I know it sounds awfully overstocked for a planted aquarium. I am hoping the sump really filters through the tank, and I can keep nitrates low. I will gladly do 2 50gallon water changes a week. Other concerns arise concerning heat tolerant plants, and of course getting discus and plants shipped to the current tundra that is North Dakota. On the bright side of it all, I got the pvc overflow put together and painted with krylon fusion. I got the wet/dry trickle filter put together and siliconed as well as the sump and return. I will post pictures tomorrow when I get them home and setup. Then I am going to cycle some water in the system for a few days to get the kinks worked out, then put in my order for driftwood, ferts, plants, any suggestions????? I have book marked green leaf aquariums for their driftwood... No lfs near me carries proper driftwood, or equipment for plant specific aquariums. We have a great local reef shop, but no plants.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:25 AM   #12
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5 should be good enough, more is better, but 5 will do. discus do not need to be kept in even numbers...they can't count so they won't know the difference. I kept anubias without any problems but that is the extent of my experience with plants at that temp. I think you will find both hans and kenny ship discus in such a way they would be fine going to the arctic.

-careful with the angels, I kept two with some discus and they are such quick and aggressive eaters compared to discus it becomes hard to make sure the discus are getting enough.

looking forward to the pics!!
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:12 AM   #13
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Update... I have been busy with work and working on the tank. The people on this forum have been very helpful. Here are a few shots of the 29... It really is time for an upgrade it has been running strong for 18 months and in its prime it was a beautiful tank. There are also pics of the whole system the pvc overflow and the diy return spray bar.... excuse the awful caulking job. And the uneven holes in the spray bar... I figure it won't hurt it will keep the flow spread out. There is also a pic of the final piece of the puzzle the uv sterilizer. Some say unnecessary, however I really felt the need to have one. If it keeps my water crystal clear and kills off unwanted pathogens and algae, then it is only helping. I am going to get water in the system tomorrow making sure there are no leaks in the plumbing etc. I'll most likely have more pics then. I may also try to hide the return hose a bit better.
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