Spencer's 125G Planted Discus Tank
First real post here, please be gentle... a year ago I had a betta in 5g with fake plants, and now:
Tank: Standard shape 125g tank and DIY lids made of ceiling egg crate plastic to allow more gas exchange
Filtration: Pair of Eheim Classic 600s aka 2217s filled with Eheim blue & white pads, Seachem Matrix & Eheim Substrat
Heaters: Pair of Ista inline 300w heaters at 28C
CO2 : CO2arts Elite regulator using 2 manifolds, an inline Niloc G diffuser on one side and an inline reactor on the other
Lighting: 3 AI Prime Freshwater (8in above surface), each cover 24in of tank length. Photo period: 1hr ramp-up 2 hrs after CO2 on, 6hrs on, 1hr ramp down w/ CO2 off.
UV Sterilizer: TMC Vecton 600 25 Watt
Substrate: 2/3 of the tank with 2.5-30in. of Mr.Aqua soil. Foreground topped with a thin layer of UNS Controsoil extra fine. The remaining area separated by dragonstone is Caribsea Sunset Gold sand 1.5in.
Flow: 2 small Hydor Koralias and 1 larger 3rd gen Koralia powerheads, 2 SS Jardli intakes with skimmers, 2 Jardli glass violet pipes (trying to aim CO2 lower - failing?). 3 air stones.
Decor: 2 large pieces of Mopani driftwood, one Manzanita branch, dragonstone, UndergroundRocks Rocky 3D backer
Fish: 8 discus, 4 angelfish, 24 cardinal tetras, 8 Congo tetras , 11 Sterbei Corys, 3 SAE, 2 bristlenose plecos and a small army of assassin snails(was 10, now about 30).
Dosing: PPS Pro (GLA dry ferts mixed as micro & macro solutions). Been dosing 6.5ml micros daily, but cut macros daily dose of 12.5ml to 3x weekly to reduce Nitrates. Planning to alter my recipe with less N next time I mix the macros.
Water parameters: With Texas tap water ~7.2-7.5 ph,[censored] high chloramines and ammonia, I mix in about 25% RODI and maintain a steady 6.6ph degassed, 5.6 fully gassed. No Am or Nitirites, Nitrates 25ppm. KH 1.5-2.0(3-4drops) and GH 80(4 drops), Phosphate 1.0. All measured with Fluval test kits. Do 25% water changes 3x/week.
Tank Start: July 2019.
Focus: While I love my plants, the health of my discus and other fish is my highest priority. This has led me to a minimum temp of 28C and lower CO2 levels than I'd otherwise run, as gasping is obvious at higher levels even with 3 air stones and highly ventilated lids. Pearling plants is a rarity. As I've played with light settings, I also notice fish hiding and more stressed when I crank up the lights to high levels. I'm happy to put in the work and would love a colorful heavily planted tank that balances the challenges of keeping healthy discus with the visible impact of the nicer planted tanks I see here and elsewhere. It's an interesting challenge!
Plants that have done pretty well:[censored] Tiger Lotus, Rotalla H'Ra, Rotalla Indica, Rotalla Wallichi, Myrio Green, Crinum Calamastratum, Bacopa Caroliniana, Red Rubin Sword, Apongeton Undulatas, Ludwigia Ovalis, Amazon Sword
Plants meh: Glossostigma(started really slow; now long runners spreading, but attracts black algae), Limnophila Heterophylla (grows fast and self-propagates, but leggy--stretching to lights), Anubias Nana(better lately, but still small amounts of blackish algae spots on some leaves).
Plants that have done poorly in this tank: Pink Panther Crypt tissue cultures(turned beige and crinkly leaves), Dwarf baby tears tissue cultures(uprooted a bit at a time before taking off), Bronze crypts(instant melt, roots still there for potential recovery), Corkscrew Vals(total melt), Assorted Buce[censored]in shadowed nooks & crannys(melted, turned blackish eventually, uprooted by fish), Ludgwia Super Red, AR mini and varigated, S Repens, Ammania Gracilis (These last few all perhaps not enough lights access, black browning crinkling of leafs)
New plants going in soon Hydracoytle Tripartita, Ludwigia Arcuata Narrow Leaf.
Current issues are:BBA on the 3D backer - tried spot spraying 2x dose of Seachem Excel directly on BBA during water changes; 4 applications, not much impact. spot-spraying hydrogen peroxide is my next tactic.Small amount of cyanobacteria on 3D backer, mostly just below the lights. Have been manually removing easily. Thinking of treating with recent increase of dark green and blackish algae on the dragonstone.
I'm a newbie with aspirations. Looking for general feedback (and encouragement, lol) especially:
1) comments from AI Prime Freshwater users on their light settings, learnings
2) suggestions from discus planted tanks owners on what works and doesn't in warm tanks and with discus & CO2
3) 3D backer owners on keeping them algae-free
Thanks in advance to everyone for your input! Sorry for the long-winded post, but it seems like this crowd wants all the details...Pics coming soon.
Walking the tightrope of discus in a high tech planted tank.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.