Discus grow-out tank
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:58 PM   #1
Basilisk
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Question

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.
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Old 06-08-2004, 02:22 AM   #2
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Default water is fine

The water is fine, keeping it clean is the issue.

They say discus are much happier with 6 or so, so if you can find some others that might be good. Meanwhile keep up the water changes, daily is good.

I didn't see your location, you might be able to find culls cheap from a local breeder. Discus get expensive quick, hope you don't have to pay for water!
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Old 06-08-2004, 02:35 AM   #3
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You might want to age the water from the tap 24 hrs before adding it to the tank. There is a possibility the pH will drop over this time, and would make things a bit better for your discus. I agree with anonapersona - frequent water changes is the real key in a BB tank... 50% daily seems to be the norm from what I've read. Also the discus will do much better in groups of 4 to 6 (or more) so I would also get a few friends for you're new addition. Growing them all out in a 29 gal BB tank should prove to be no problem at all.

Best of luck
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Old 06-08-2004, 02:11 PM   #4
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Default room for 6

You'll want to get a 55 gallon or better to grow 6 to adult size. But, a 29 gallon will take you through several months.

I have 23 1"+ babies in a 20 Long now. I have a 18 gallon bucket under the tank that holds todays water. I feed 6 times a day, cleaning the tank bottom first thing in the morning, and about 1 hour after beefheart (2x/day), and during the big 50% water change after dinner. Each siphoning removes about 1/2 gallon of water and after the tank gets a bit low I'll refill that during the day. So, I run through most of that 18 gallons in a day. The bucket sits with a heater and airstone running to age the water to adjust the pH. I dechlorinate when I fill the bucket, but I may change to doing that before I fill the tank to keep the bucket cleaner.

My babies will move to a 55 gallon in another week or so, then they will split into two tanks later depending on how many I am able to keep. You need to have a plan for what to do as they grow.
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Old 06-08-2004, 06:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

Now the 20G tall is all I have in hand, and I have still the issue of a stand, the table where I planned to put it on is not too steady and will oscilate if pushed. The other fish I have to get because I already paid for it, and I worry about a too direct pecking relationship. If this tank is good for some 4 months I will be able to get better equipment. I have looked for breeders around, but seems there is none, at least not in the city. I refused a lot of discus until I found this couple of good ones. Most I've seen around are already a bit stunted.

Good to know water is fine, I can manage the daily water changes, but could not afford to buy the bottled water everyday.

Does the bare bottom planted poses any problem?
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Old 06-08-2004, 08:39 PM   #6
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What city? The forums at SimplyDiscus and DAAH have a lot of breeders and hobbiests that from time to time sell off fish.
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:24 PM   #7
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It's in México. There are a few in México City, but none I can reach. Many sell their fish exclusively to premium dealers. A few else might sell, but I can't contact any, and most discus here are imported.
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Old 06-09-2004, 12:15 AM   #8
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Hmm.. you sure your fish is truely stripped... I have seen a lot of discus pics and not sure they are all stripped.. some get dark stripes from POOR WATER quality. Some the stripes only disappear with the water changes.

I would go along with the advice to talk with discus breeders specifically. Don't want to throw money down the toliet litterally.
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Old 06-10-2004, 01:55 AM   #9
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Fedge: With stripped I meant the blue lines of a turquoise. More accuratley, I should have said striated. The fish was dark had the stress/mood bars the first couple of days. By the third day the fish was no longer dark, and the bars were going fainter. After the weekend power outage the fish was black, he's now relaxing, still shows faint bars and darkness some times in the day, for five to ten seconds, the bars alone when fed. It seems to me that the bars show a particular excitement when fed, rather than stress. I will keep up the water changes until the grow out tank matures.

Thanks for replies.
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Old 06-25-2004, 03:31 PM   #10
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i recently read in tropical fish hobbist that you can keep discues in a PH8.5 if you do like a 50-75% water change every day=)
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