Originally Posted by MayorNewton
I know I can dig around and find what I'm looking for, and am enjoying doing so and am learning a lot. I would highly appreciate, though, a few of you giving me what the 'best' numbers for all the 'usual'...gh, kh, pH, CO2, nitrates, TDS, etcetera, etcetera...are for a discus/plant tank. I will be keeping the temp up to around 84-86, and will be using RO water.
Here is my opinion and by no means is it an expert one:
"Discus naturally live in water at a temperature of about 78 to 84 degrees F. with a pH of about 4.2 to 6 containing very little dissolved salt and minerals. Sometimes the pH is higher, but Discus prefer the warm rainwater of the rainforest". quote from:
What kind of water do they need, 100% stable 100% of the time. High TDS and GH will kill wilds! They will acclimate to say a PH of 7.0 but will not stay healthy if that PH swings, would not recommend putting any additives in your water unless you have a way to ensure it is stable. A lot of discus owners that must put additives in their water have a storage area to treat and stabilize the water before putting it in the tank. Temperature swings are not as critical, my tank temp drops significantly during water changes, the fish get pissed but no worse the wear. After all, it rains a lot down there and that chills the water. If you are wishing to spawn your wilds keep in mind they take a lot longer to pair off and sometimes only spawn once a year.
Here are the different types of wild caughts:
As you can see there are many different strains and they come from different areas of the amazon. I will try to find the map I have and send you the link. The amazon is a very stable water source but temperature and PH do vary depending on the location. I would recommend you concentrate on fish native to Brazil and stay away from Peru. Additionally, the individual that you purchase wilds from is very important, they need to be quarantined properly and medicated, they will have parasites. The importer that sold me mine kept them for 2 months before allowing me to have them.
I do not wish to discourage you but you are taking on quite a challenge starting a planted tank and placing wilds in it. Keep in mind that they have been plucked from the amazon not spawned and raised in a domestic environment. Do not get me wrong, they are very hardy fish, contrary to what you usually hear but they will die very quickly if not given the proper environment and care. Recommend a whole lot of research into wilds, they do have differences from domestics. Bernd Degen's Wild-Caught Discus is a good book. Domestics have had a lot of the wild instincts bred out, that is why you see varying levels of cichlid behavior amongst domestics and why I keep wilds, they are predictable cichlids and the king.