Matching water parameters of new water and the tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Matching water parameters of new water and the tank

So thinking about taking a stab at keeping discus in a planted aquarium. My water is quite hard as it's from a limestone area. The tank has a substrate of Oynx sand and ADA Amazonia.

As part of the process, I have been reading background material, including this guide https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/21...de-discus.html. How does one ensure the water parameters (especially pH) of the new water match the tank conditions when the substrate is altering the water conditions?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 03:59 PM
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Unless I was feeling very bold--- I would not!
I find more fun in adapting my choice of fish to suit the water that I have rather than fighting the never ending battle with nature and water. While discus can be great, the work involved is not where I put myself when there are so many really super fish that can impress me just as much as discus.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 06:31 PM
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I'm with @PlantedRich- many/most that have Discus, (even in bare bottom tanks) do 50% water changes daily...and that's with 'good' water! They're a great fish, but I feel very high maintenance.
They might do well in an established heavily planted balanced tank...but I'm uncertain.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 06:42 AM
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I don't know that much about Discus...but from what I've read:

Depending on where in the Philippines you live...I'd recommend using a mixture of rain water and fallen brown talisay (Catappa terminalia) leaves. The leaves bring down the pH of the water (you'd have to check by how much) by releasing humic and tannic acids. You then mix that water with your regular water to bring down the pH of your regular water. You'd have to make sure the rain water wasn't polluted (ie you don't live in a super industrial area), and that the talisay leaves aren't sprayed with pesticides).

The substrate you mention buffers(brings the water parameters to) the water to a preferential range, which you also have to figure out. For example, aragonite sand substrate preferentially buffers the pH to approx 8.2 . The same applies to your substrate, but I have no experience with Onyx or ADA Amazonia, so you'd have to check, again by testing.

But hey! Why are you doing discus? If this is absolutely something you want to do, then go for it! But I'll caution you by saying this: discus are very, very expensive in upkeepand depending on where you get them from, fragile and picky. You might want to check and see if there isn't some other fish that would do better with your water. Surely your local fish store, retailer, or website (wherever you buy your fish) can suggest fish that would like your water, allowing you to do more water changes and keep them healthier!

So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 07:05 AM
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I think in cases where one would feel the need to do parameter matching, it would be prudent to have a water reservoir from which you fill your tank. So all adjustments are made prior to the water going into the tank.

I would also completely automate water changes to remove the human factor (important for us bipolar bastards).

I just need to finish insulating the room they would go into because of the winter heating costs. (really expensive heating the cold water from our taps in winter).

My motivation will be completely financial. Because of the relative small size of my little fish farm it is necessary to have a few more expensive fish in stock to keep things ticking over every month.

A breeding pair is about $50 over here. I would go for one of the darker phenotypes as it will be a fish I have not bred or raised before. I believe it is easier for the babies to find darker parents.

Out of the 12 tanks I have running at the moment, only 2 are planted and one more has a thin sand substrate for baby corys, so bare tanks don't phase me. Stick a piece of wood in there with some java fern tied on, and call it a day.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-27-2016, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaticArt View Post
So thinking about taking a stab at keeping discus in a planted aquarium. My water is quite hard as it's from a limestone area. The tank has a substrate of Oynx sand and ADA Amazonia... How does one ensure the water parameters (especially pH) of the new water match the tank conditions when the substrate is altering the water conditions?
Maraming talisay po dyan sa pinas, use them to make your water soft & acidic, walang bayad pa rin. Mura na yung mga Discus sa Cartimar @ Manila. Saan ka po sa pinas? Many years we raked up Talisay leaves for free, the same ones that foreigners pay money for @ AquaBid + Ebay --- libreng libre all over Philippines. Also, during TagaUlan collect rainwater. That can go straight into the tank with Talisay + Discus. Your substrate will cause an increase in pH. Professional Discus breeders don't use it. Also, be careful with the plants you use. Professional Discus breeders don't use them either. Soft, acidic water kills most plants. Ingat!

I notice a troubling trend in modern aquarium keepers, where the measure of welfare seems to be steeped solely in terms of survival: if the fishes live, things are good, if the fishes die, things are bad. It is an inappropriate position to take. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-27-2016, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaliberti View Post
Maraming talisay po dyan sa pinas, use them to make your water soft & acidic, walang bayad pa rin. Mura na yung mga Discus sa Cartimar @ Manila. Saan ka po sa pinas? Many years we raked up Talisay leaves for free, the same ones that foreigners pay money for @ AquaBid + Ebay --- libreng libre all over Philippines. Also, during TagaUlan collect rainwater. That can go straight into the tank with Talisay + Discus. Your substrate will cause an increase in pH. Professional Discus breeders don't use it. Also, be careful with the plants you use. Professional Discus breeders don't use them either. Soft, acidic water kills most plants. Ingat!
And for those who don't speak Tagalog (credit to my mom):

Maraming talisay po dyan sa pinas -- There's a lot of talisay (Catappa terminalia) in the Philippines
Walang bayad pa rin. Mura na yung mga Discus sa Cartimar @Manila --It's free. The Discus are cheap in Cartimar in Mainila.
Saan ka po sa pinas? --where are you in the Philippines?
Libreng libre --The talisay is free all over the Philippines
TagaUlan -- rainy/monsoon season
Ingat! --Take care!

OP, are you planning on breeding the Discus? Or just keeping them for show? If just for show, then plants are fine. I'm fairly certain that Professional Discus breeders also use bare bottom tanks that don't look showy at all.

So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the help, I just plan on keeping a show tank for these fish. It's 180 x 60 x 60cm. I will be running the tank for quite a while before adding the discus, so I can be certain I can maintain the tank correctly.

At the moment, this is just research to figure out how to age the water to roughly the same pH before I add it to the aquarium, so the fish aren't too shocked by the water change. ADA soil should make the water a little acidic so aging the water using Talisay leaves seems like a good idea. Ofc, one would need to check the pH (probably several times) before adding it.

Regarding some of the other comments. I have seen discus planted tanks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb3fnsHOzp0. It seems as those adult fish do fine, but growing them to full size is best done in a bare bottom tank. Mostly because they need to be feed a lot and it will create issues in a planted aquarium.

I am ok with splashing out some cash for adult discus. Dxcus in Manila has some really top strains for reasonably money.

Last edited by AquaticArt; 08-28-2016 at 04:18 AM. Reason: Added further info
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