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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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need advise

I have been reading for hours and have a headache,lol but i am more confused now that when i started. I have a 450g tank i just purchased. I have the co2 set up with gauge,etc.. i am trying to figure out what to do for substrate, i want to do moderate to high light plants with my discus. Can someone or everyone help me out here please. Thanks in advance
-Tony

Last edited by tony4143; 07-23-2015 at 01:06 AM. Reason: mis spelled a word
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 04:13 AM
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High tech 450g with discus is CHALLENGE MODE. High tech anything over 125 is tough simply because of sheer size and maintenance required. AND keeping discus on top of that is quite a feat.

For substrate I would do something cheap like black diamond sand and rely on fast growing stems to populate your tank. you will need a LOT of CO2 pushed into that tank into probably a massive reactor and the effort it will take to balance all that with a fish as difficult to keep as discus will be extremely difficult.

I'm certainly no expert on discus as I have never owned them but it is a known fact that they require extreme amount of care to thrive. you could have an amazing school of them in a tank that large - just be wary of the risks that may be associated with balancing CO2 in a tank that large and if it can be harmful to discus.

Not to be a dick but if you have neither had a high tech tank or owned discus you will 100% not be able to pull this off. This is kind of an 'experts only' tank setup that I certainly would not even dream of attempting. Not sure where you're at in either of these areas but I would advise against attempting both of these goals at once without being a total expert in both subjects if that is not the case.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 05:05 AM
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In order to pull this off you would have to have drill the tank for a drain and fill or you wont want to go the gym anymore you will be carrying so many buckets of water.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 05:20 AM
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The number one question is what kind of tap water do you have? Discus require pretty specific water chemistry and with a tank that large the only way to make this feasible is if your tap water just happens to be perfect for them. Otherwise You will struggle to prepare 250 gallons of water each week for water changes. It can be done but as Klibs has mentioned it will be a very big challenge. I would suggest either not choosing Discus or not going planted. And for sure choose a fish species based on what prefers your tap water.

With a tank that large it is much wiser to stock it based on your tap water readings than trying to control the GH, KH and PH. You will save thousands of dollars and many disappointing hours stressing out over your tank.

Also picture getting your wetsuit on to do basic plant trimming and tank maintenance. A tank that large sounds really cool but I would not like the task of cleaning it.

Good luck though, it will be really cool if you can pull it off.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 02:21 PM
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hmmm

+1

A headache is going to be the least of your worries, I think.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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water is not a problem at all for me i have everything going to be plumbed for quick water changes and several barrels with water aged already. Discus are very easy to care for. I dont know why people think they are so hard to care for, anyways i have had discus for many,many years. Was just wondering what would be the easiest way to do the planted way.Co2 i have and plenty of it. Thanks for the input
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 05:49 PM
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Have you had experience with planted tanks in the past? Have you run a high tech / high light setup before?

If not then I seriously recommend against trying this on a tank that large. Go with a low tech setup and if you succeed there then add CO2 and ramp up your light / replace with plants that are more demading. Your approach here is seriously jumping straight into the deep end with an anchor tied to your ankles. BUY if you are to pull it off this is how I would approach it...

I would use black diamond blasting sand as a substrate simply because it is cost-effective and is great to plant in. If you want to you could also just put a layer of dirt down then cap it with a few inches of sand. With a tank that large I would just use straight black diamond. If you have cash to blow then you could get some higher-end substrates like ADA. Personally I wouldn't bother with this in a tank that large and just use something easy.

I would start off with discus, acclimate them to however much CO2 you will need, and then add plants and start hitting the tank with light. People may disagree with that approach but my take on it is that if you try to acclimate discus to CO2 while trying to keep plants alive and avoid algae all at the same time you may be in for some seriously bad times.

CO2 distribution would be difficult in a tank that huge but if your flow patterns are good you should have no problem. I would say that you NEED to invest in a pH controller to run your CO2 off of and ramp it up VERY slowly with the discus. Without the controller you run the risk of injecting too much CO2 accidentally and then all your discus die overnight. In a tank that large it will be a challenge to get it right no matter what. Again - I have never owned discus but I am quite sure that they need to be carefully acclimated to CO2 - more so than other fish. Discus experts may correct me on that one. My experience with other species is that in environments with a lot of CO2 the fish will be fine because they have been acclimated to tolerate so much. Adding new fish is much more difficult at least from what I have experienced because it is a major shock to their system. This is why I think you need to fully stock your tank with discus, have everything be stable, and THEN acclimate the whole lot to CO2 over a period of at least a month or two. I would exercise EXTREME caution here or else you run the risk of killing hundreds of dollars worth of livestock.

Plant heavily once your CO2 is dialed in and the tank is stable with fast-growing plants that can use a LOT of nutrients and grow quickly. This is key. You NEED a large plant mass to pull off a high tech tank or else algae will grow given all the light you are hitting the tank with.

Start off with medium lighting - just enough to keep plants growing and healthy without things melting away. Obviously for best results you will ramp the light level up for higher light but to begin with you DO NOT want algae outbreaks. Once the plants settle in you can start ramping the light up and things will fill in and your tank will thrive under higher light levels.

Again - if you have never had a high tech tank before do not underestimate the amount of maintenance required to keep things in check and avoid algae. With a tank that large you will be spending many, many, many hours each week pruning your plants, keeping things tidy, etc... and If you slack off algae will attack your tank and it will not be fun.

Take it slow - if you come home one night and your whole tank has an algae outbreak it is totally game over. I couldn't even imagine the effort it would take to combat algae in a tank that large so caution is key. It would be HELL trying to fight algae in a tank that size.

I hope you can pull this off - it would be Amano-level $#&@ if this worked out and your tank was a success.

People will doubt the feasibility of this project with good reason - just don't want to see someone burn hundreds of dollars and countless hours on a project like this and never have it succeed.


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Last edited by klibs; 07-22-2015 at 06:04 PM. Reason: yerp
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony4143 View Post
I have been reading for hours and have a headache,lol but i am more confused now that when i started. I have a 450g tank i just purchased. I have the co2 set up with gauge,etc.. i am rying to figure out what to do for substrate, i want to do moderate to high light plants with my discus. Can someone or everyone help me out here please. Thanks in advance
-Tony
Sounds like an awesome project! Good luck with that!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 07:35 PM
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If you got the cash...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony4143 View Post
water is not a problem at all for me i have everything going to be plumbed for quick water changes and several barrels with water aged already. Discus are very easy to care for. I dont know why people think they are so hard to care for, anyways i have had discus for many,many years. Was just wondering what would be the easiest way to do the planted way.Co2 i have and plenty of it. Thanks for the input
If you got the cash, which it sounds like you do, I'd go for the ADA Aquasoil or that Aqua soil that Takashi Amano uses.
Other than that, the best advice I can give is advice is spelled with a "c", not an "s'.

40 breeder - 1.25" Dirt/1.25" Black Diamond cap - Pressurized CO2 (2.25bps) - 2x54watt T5HO and 42watt LED (total 150watts; 14,500 lumens) - EI dosing - 50% weekly WC - H.O.T. Magnum 250 canister - SunSun 530 gph pump - Set-up 7-14-2015 - Cycled 8-1-2015

"Whatever is inconsistent with the facts,
no matter of how fond of it we are,
MUST be discarded or revised." - Carl Sagan
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 07:54 PM
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 08:43 PM
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I can definitely be done - all I'm saying is that it will take an extreme amount of work and expertise to pull off.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 10:01 PM
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I'm sure you're aware of this, but i'd also recommend heading over to SimplyDiscus and read the "So you want to keep plants and discus". If you've never kept a planted tank before, just be aware that high light and hight tech planted tanks are a lot of work. I've kept both successfully and together. There are needs of the discus and there are needs of the plants. It can be done. I got sick of the maintenance and have turned my display tank to a somewhat hybrid tank...low maintenance tank but since i had all the c02 stuff already i do inject c02. But im growing ferns, anubias and crypts. I'll be adding discus soon.

How big are you discus? One conundrum you'll have to face is ...how do you fertilize a high light, high tech tank and reconcile that with daily water changes for growing discus (that is if you are, still growing out the discus). Of course you could have adult sized 6-7" discus and not have to worry about that.

You may want to try your hand at a smaller tank and see if you like it. I find that i need more aquarium to do's so i started a nano high tech, high light tank that lets me scratch that itch. But the smaller tank does not require the maintenance of a high light, high tech large display tank.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasa73 View Post
I'm sure you're aware of this, but i'd also recommend heading over to SimplyDiscus and read the "So you want to keep plants and discus". If you've never kept a planted tank before, just be aware that high light and hight tech planted tanks are a lot of work. I've kept both successfully and together. There are needs of the discus and there are needs of the plants. It can be done. I got sick of the maintenance and have turned my display tank to a somewhat hybrid tank...low maintenance tank but since i had all the c02 stuff already i do inject c02. But im growing ferns, anubias and crypts. I'll be adding discus soon.

How big are you discus? One conundrum you'll have to face is ...how do you fertilize a high light, high tech tank and reconcile that with daily water changes for growing discus (that is if you are, still growing out the discus). Of course you could have adult sized 6-7" discus and not have to worry about that.

You may want to try your hand at a smaller tank and see if you like it. I find that i need more aquarium to do's so i started a nano high tech, high light tank that lets me scratch that itch. But the smaller tank does not require the maintenance of a high light, high tech large display tank.
Thanks for the info, I didn't think about the water changes to be a problem until now, Discus are all adults so that's not an issue. Maybe i should conside a med. tech set up instead.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs View Post
Have you had experience with planted tanks in the past? Have you run a high tech / high light setup before?

If not then I seriously recommend against trying this on a tank that large. Go with a low tech setup and if you succeed there then add CO2 and ramp up your light / replace with plants that are more demading. Your approach here is seriously jumping straight into the deep end with an anchor tied to your ankles. BUY if you are to pull it off this is how I would approach it...

I would use black diamond blasting sand as a substrate simply because it is cost-effective and is great to plant in. If you want to you could also just put a layer of dirt down then cap it with a few inches of sand. With a tank that large I would just use straight black diamond. If you have cash to blow then you could get some higher-end substrates like ADA. Personally I wouldn't bother with this in a tank that large and just use something easy.

I would start off with discus, acclimate them to however much CO2 you will need, and then add plants and start hitting the tank with light. People may disagree with that approach but my take on it is that if you try to acclimate discus to CO2 while trying to keep plants alive and avoid algae all at the same time you may be in for some seriously bad times.

CO2 distribution would be difficult in a tank that huge but if your flow patterns are good you should have no problem. I would say that you NEED to invest in a pH controller to run your CO2 off of and ramp it up VERY slowly with the discus. Without the controller you run the risk of injecting too much CO2 accidentally and then all your discus die overnight. In a tank that large it will be a challenge to get it right no matter what. Again - I have never owned discus but I am quite sure that they need to be carefully acclimated to CO2 - more so than other fish. Discus experts may correct me on that one. My experience with other species is that in environments with a lot of CO2 the fish will be fine because they have been acclimated to tolerate so much. Adding new fish is much more difficult at least from what I have experienced because it is a major shock to their system. This is why I think you need to fully stock your tank with discus, have everything be stable, and THEN acclimate the whole lot to CO2 over a period of at least a month or two. I would exercise EXTREME caution here or else you run the risk of killing hundreds of dollars worth of livestock.

Plant heavily once your CO2 is dialed in and the tank is stable with fast-growing plants that can use a LOT of nutrients and grow quickly. This is key. You NEED a large plant mass to pull off a high tech tank or else algae will grow given all the light you are hitting the tank with.

Start off with medium lighting - just enough to keep plants growing and healthy without things melting away. Obviously for best results you will ramp the light level up for higher light but to begin with you DO NOT want algae outbreaks. Once the plants settle in you can start ramping the light up and things will fill in and your tank will thrive under higher light levels.

Again - if you have never had a high tech tank before do not underestimate the amount of maintenance required to keep things in check and avoid algae. With a tank that large you will be spending many, many, many hours each week pruning your plants, keeping things tidy, etc... and If you slack off algae will attack your tank and it will not be fun.

Take it slow - if you come home one night and your whole tank has an algae outbreak it is totally game over. I couldn't even imagine the effort it would take to combat algae in a tank that large so caution is key. It would be HELL trying to fight algae in a tank that size.

I hope you can pull this off - it would be Amano-level $#&@ if this worked out and your tank was a success.

People will doubt the feasibility of this project with good reason - just don't want to see someone burn hundreds of dollars and countless hours on a project like this and never have it succeed.
Thanks for all the points you made here.I totally understand where you are coming from. I will do it slow and easy.
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