Discus in a planted tank
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Old 03-30-2004, 04:58 PM   #1
TeeItUp
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I am setting up a planted tank for my wife and after seeing this picture I have been thinking of adding Discus for fish. I no problem with the added maintenance of the Discus but I am concerned about the plants and temperature. I wonder if anyone has discus in their planted tanks? Any advice or thought would be appreciated.

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Old 03-31-2004, 02:23 AM   #2
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Yes, you can do a planted Discus tank. Since discus like higher temps around 82 degrees then you need to get plants that like higher temps like: Amazon sword, Sagittaria subulata & Alt. reinecki amoung a few.
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Old 03-31-2004, 10:45 PM   #3
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From my reading on the discus sites, it is considered unlikely that you can successfully grow juveniles in a planted tank. Much better for both fish and plants to do the growing in a bare bottom tank with massive feeding and massive water changes and add them to the planted tank when they are near adults.

So, you might want to grow the discus first, then plant the tank.
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Old 04-01-2004, 12:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonapersona
From my reading on the discus sites, it is considered unlikely that you can successfully grow juveniles in a planted tank. Much better for both fish and plants to do the growing in a bare bottom tank with massive feeding and massive water changes and add them to the planted tank when they are near adults.

So, you might want to grow the discus first, then plant the tank.
Yes I get the same feeling anonapersona but occasionally I speak with someone who says it can be done. I am not going to rush into it based on emotion (I sure do think that tank picture above is gorgeous) but I think I would also be happy with a tank of rainbows too.
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Old 04-01-2004, 08:51 AM   #5
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Hi

There I have an 8ft planted Discus tank with 10 adult Discus in it. The Discus are all about 8 years old. You know there is a lot of hype and bull about Discus floating around and the temperature is one of those for sure!

I keep my Discus tank at 28 celsius (sorry we use metric) not 30 as all the 'experts' suggest. At 28 you can grow almost anything as I do. In the 8 years that I have had these fish, I have never had a single sickness! Good fish husbandry is better than any arbitrary temperature guideline for fish!!

I hope that you go the Discus route they are wonderful fish and well suited to the planted. A planted keeps the water purer than a normal fish only tank. It also makes the Discus which are shy fish very robust and outgoing.

Don't be disuaded by the temperature rubbish. In their native streams where these fish live the temperature only ever goes that high for a few weeks a year. It is not natural to keep them at these elevated temperatures for long!!

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Old 04-01-2004, 11:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morpheus
Hi

There I have an 8ft planted Discus tank with 10 adult Discus in it. The Discus are all about 8 years old. You know there is a lot of hype and bull about Discus floating around and the temperature is one of those for sure!
Morpheus
Thanks very much Morpheus. A high quality LFS that I would buy my Discus from also keep their discus tanks at 28 C so I know what you are saying. Is your planted tank with a substrate or pots and what is your water change regiment please?
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:51 AM   #7
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Hi

My tank has a soil substrate as there are no prepared substrates where I live. I am sure though you will be happy with Eco-complete or flourite as many people are.

A planted tank is a giant filter so where other fish only Discus keepers need to change 50% every week or twice a week. I change 30% per week. I go away on business a lot and there are times that I am gone 3 weeks or more, my wife feeds and fertilizes but no water changing. They are more than fine when I get back!!

Discus really prefer the plant tank as it mimics their natural environment. I have seen shy Discus totally transformed when they go into a planted. They become really confident and robust. That IMO keeps them healthier as well!!

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Old 04-01-2004, 12:10 PM   #8
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Morpheus, do you feed live food to your discus in planted tank? I'm just wondering how you do the clean up if you do feed them those. For sure they won't finished them as they always take their time eating. That's why I always use bare tanks for discus. I really like the idea having discus in planted tank but just worry about the maintainance.
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Old 04-01-2004, 02:20 PM   #9
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Morpheus, what sort of water parameters do you have?

I get the impression that the low TDS and acidic water of the natural discus environment is what keeps bacterial problems under control, plus of course massive water changes.
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Old 04-01-2004, 03:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morpheus
Hi

I change 30% per week. I go away on business a lot and there are times that I am gone 3 weeks or more, my wife feeds and fertilizes but no water changing. They are more than fine when I get back!!Morpheus
When you do your water changes are you cleaning the gravel too? That would be good for the discus, but take away nutrients for the plants.
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Old 04-02-2004, 11:45 AM   #11
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Hi again

To answer questions one at a time and give you something to really think about regarding a planted tank.

My param are as follows with injected CO2 my Ph goes down to about 7. Kh is around 13, temp 28C Gh I don't know, keep Nitrates at around 5ppm (have to add it to get it there).

I feed flake, pellets, live food and prepared foods. No beef heart as there is no cichlid that I know of in the wild that has access to cows! I watch the fish carefully when they eat and always feed in one part of the tank. I have kuhli loaches in there, about 20 of them. They make sure the bottom stays clean.

Shrimp are hard to come by here but the ones I have tried were eaten. My discus are BIG.

Now for water quality. I have done a lot of experimentation. Running a bare tank with the best filters I can buy and my planted. Feeding the bare tank less, changing water more and having less Discus in the tank, the planted out performed the bare tank in every single parameter denoting cleanliness!!

There is no better filter than a well growing planted - None end of story. If you want Discus that are healthy and well socialised, put them in a planted. I have friends that breed Discus in the bare tanks and their water quality with 50% changes twice a week don't come near mine!! There is no better filter than a well growing planted!

Plant tanks are quite new and Discus breeders set in their ways! I tell you that when plant tanks become more mainstream you will see more and more Discus keepers go that route. The water quality is awesome and the fish are HAPPY.

There is no sight more beautiful than a well planted Discus tank!! Believe that!

Sorry for the long post!!

Morpheus
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Old 04-02-2004, 11:57 AM   #12
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I agree with Morpheus ... I had Discus that got HUGE and bred profusely. I disagreed with many of the hardcore breeders (although they did produce beautiful fish). I was unschooled on lighting, so the only plants I grew were java ferns, which did well & multiplied for a pretty dense look. But the thing is the personality of the Discus is so well suited for planted. They really shine when they have places to hide. They are like an entirely different, and much more personable fish. And since they sometimes "bolt" when startled, plants are a soft place to land.

Good luck.
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Old 04-02-2004, 01:36 PM   #13
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Thanks guys before reading your replies and some other recent articles I have decided to go the Planted Discus route. You comments are the approach I was thinking and I now feel much better.

While I have you can you comment on tankmates. The only request from my wife is a small school of Cardinal Tetras which I know will be OK. The rest that I add will most likely be bottom cleaners. I really want to showcase the discus however. I will probably get them in the 2-1/2" to 3" size and maybe go 4 each in a 55. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-02-2004, 01:37 PM   #14
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morpheus and sunny do you have any pictures of your discus tank?
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Old 04-06-2004, 04:03 AM   #15
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Yes I too have a planted discus tank. Feed them twice a day and have the tank set at 28 degrees myself. The metal Halides get it up over that temp during the daylight hours.

My fish are healthy and so too are my plants. KH is 4 Ph 6.5 N03 is 5-10ppm.

If you want to see a shot of my tank look in Photo Album then go to 90 gallon journal new set up, go to last page or browse if you like.

This tank has been going sine july last year, never had a problem with the discus yet.

Paul
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