Attention planted discus owners!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2005, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Attention planted discus owners!!

Alright, so I lurked around on another discus forum and have gathered a bit of info on their setups...seems like the majority of hard-core discus keepers prefer the "ease" of barebottom setups...I personally like the look of planted.

Shalu, and others can you post your weekly routines? Shalu, are you still doing wc's every 48 hours or so with no nitrate dosing? Have you stretched it to three days? How is your dosing schedule?

What about a good size recommendation? 4-5 inch?

The general consensus seems that smaller juveniles grow better on barebottom tanks.

Also, what about foreground plants? Keep a foreground or remove it for ease of maintenance? Good bottom dwellers? (cories?)

From a bit of research I've picked up that discus can be kept (not bred) at virtually all pH (I've seen from 6.0 to 7.6), adding peat is my choice, co2 during the day is just fine (no harm of pH swings) with adequate kH, lighting should be fine between 3-4 wpg. Good filtration a must.

What about food? Are you guys feeding beefheart? (I read Carol's food method and am intrigued)? A lot of folks seem to feed Tetra Color bits? What about you guys? (Shalu, is the frozen blood worms good enough?).

Thanks!

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 12:09 AM
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I have now settled at 60%x2 weekly water changes. I did every other day water changes at the peak when I was feeding a little more. I dose heavily, typical EI. I also dose nitrate, 1tsp after each water change, a bit less than normal.

I found that frozen bloodworm is the only food that does not make a big mess in the tank. So that is almost exclusively what I use. I keep full foreground plants, no bare substrate. In the feeding area, I use marsilea minuta, which grows slower than some other plants and stays very low. Discus has no problem picking worms in the foreground.

I am currently growing out another batch of juvenile discus in my 55gallon low tech/light planted tank. Water change 2x80% a week, some dosing after each wc. A few 1-1.5" babies 2.5 months ago are now 3-3.5". I will never do bare bottom again.


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Shalu, I think I'm going to go your route...possibly choose a different foreground plant or maybe keep an open spot.

What's your take on beef heart?

Anyone else with discus?

I figure if I'm going to make a $200-250 plunge I might as well ask questions and keep reading!! (playing Santa for myself)

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 01:00 AM
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When I was doing the research on Discus it appeared that a couple of things came into play. The fish stop adding large amounts of size after they hit sexual maturity, which is about nine months(?). So the goal of all that high protein food is to add size as quickly as possible. The downside of that is a lot of fish waste and nitrates, which retard growth, hence the big water changes.

After they are grown out, the feeding routine can be changed to something more easily maintained. But they sometimes need to be weaned over to packaged foods. Several of the breeders refused to do that for me, so I lost interest.

TW

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 01:15 AM
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I kept discus for years on frozen Daphnia, bloodworms and brine shrimp. Beef heart was an option back in the day, but very messy compared to the other three.
The biggest problem I had was getting them to eat the others after eating bloodworms. IME, discus can get very spoiled, very quickly.
There is supposed to be a sinking pellet that they really like, but I find that hard to believe in light of my experiences with them. I really loved them, but couldn't deal with some of the hassles around feeding them.
Mine continued to grow as long as I had them, but did slow down slightly after a couple of years.
Good luck with your discus Georgiadawgger.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWood
When I was doing the research on Discus it appeared that a couple of things came into play. The fish stop adding size after they hit sexual maturity, which is about nine months(?). So the goal of all that high protein food is to add size as quickly as possible. The downside of that is a lot of fish waste and nitrates, which retard growth, hence the big water changes.

After they are grown out, the feeding routine can be changed to something more easily maintained. But they sometimes need to be weaned over to packaged foods. Several of the breeders refused to do that for me, so I lost interest.

TW
I suppose a good question to ask a breeder (there are three local I'm planning on visiting) is what food are they feeding them and possibly go from there.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djlen
I kept discus for years on frozen Daphnia, bloodworms and brine shrimp. Beef heart was an option back in the day, but very messy compared to the other three.
The biggest problem I had was getting them to eat the others after eating bloodworms. IME, discus can get very spoiled, very quickly.
There is supposed to be a sinking pellet that they really like, but I find that hard to believe in light of my experiences with them. I really loved them, but couldn't deal with some of the hassles around feeding them.
Mine continued to grow as long as I had them, but did slow down slightly after a couple of years.
Good luck with your discus Georgiadawgger.

Len
I was hoping that they will be fine on frozen food. I've also read that mysis shrimp are good along with what you mentioned. And I belive and can get a hold of a black worm culture. I'm not too keen on the beef heart idea, but there was someone on SimplyDiscus who mentioned using a food grater to chop up the BH into bite size pellets.

Maybe the sinking pellet everyone likes is Tetra Color Bits? They do talk about that a lot.

Thanks! I'm hoping to pick out some good ones.

I think I may be shooting for 4 inchers and start them off in a bb tank for a quarantine before I put them into the main tank.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 01:56 AM
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Good luck, Georgia. I kept one briefly, so I am very much a novice. Maybe I got lucky, but the fish I kept wasn't difficult at all. He ate like a pig and grew like a weed . I only fed him frozen bs and bw's. After 4 months, it was clear he was going to outgrow my tank, so I gave him to someone with a massive discus tank. He's almost the size of a CD now.

June 3, 2004


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Ted, sorry to hear that he had to go...you could have kept him in there, but I do realize I'm going to have to scape the tank to provide ample swimming space.

That was a good lookin' one too! The size of a CD!! Now that's a monster!

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 02:41 AM
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IMO, no need for a bare bottom tank unless the discus are the only fish in the tank. I have 10 wilds in a 110 gallon with a 25 gallon sump. Feeding only Hikari frozen bloodworms twice a day about 1/4 pound each feeding and bellies are bulging. I change water 3 gallons a day and a little over 25 gallons once a week. I only use RO water. I have injected CO2 and keep the PH @ 6.7 - 6.8. Tank is kept at 86 degrees and I use powered sponge filters kept inside the sump. I have 21 bottom dwellers (see sig) that keep the bottom clean, actually a war when the bloodworms hit the bottom. Several mystery and trapdoor snails assist in the janitor duties. I would caution against feeding brine shrimp; beefheart will cloud the tank and require more frequent/larger water changes. I think corydoras sterbai handle the warm temps better than other cories, I would recommend 1 per 10 gallons. The substrate is Onyx sand and I have a lot of driftwood with the plants. The discus like the driftwood caverns I made to sleep in. Have you considered getting wild caught juvies? Sure is a pleasure having discus that act like cichlids and still eat out of your hand!
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 03:15 AM
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i keep one in a planted tank. sure it isnt good to keep them alone but i am planning on more soon. for plants they are mostly stems with crypts for the foreground. pH has come back up alittle bit, now about 6.8 or so. water changes happen every two weeks or so. i have a school of about 7 bronze cories and they have no problems with the discus. he gets fed flake food just like the others and blood worms. hes getting nice and fat so im obviously doing something right.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 04:42 AM
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I do a 50% wc once a week dose using the EI as a base.
I feed once a day,Between,BS,BW and flake's,I don't feed any live food's or BH,Plus BH make's to much mess for my likeing.
In a 48X18x18" i have 5 discus,5 corys,2 BN peper,did have 10 od cardinals,Ph sit's around 6.5,My other tank sit's on 7.3.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unirdna
Good luck, Georgia. I kept one briefly, so I am very much a novice. Maybe I got lucky, but the fish I kept wasn't difficult at all. He ate like a pig and grew like a weed . I only fed him frozen bs and bw's. After 4 months, it was clear he was going to outgrow my tank, so I gave him to someone with a massive discus tank. He's almost the size of a CD now.

June 3, 2004


October 5, 2004


Really nice setup unirdna i still have a fondness for discus

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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This is all very encouraging!! Thanks for the tips and experiences! I may start toying with water parameters soon (lowering nitrates down a tad) and see what happens...and raise the temp up to about 82ish (its at 78).

I'm going to have to get rid of the Rasboras soon...augh

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2005, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiabloCanine
IMO, no need for a bare bottom tank unless the discus are the only fish in the tank. I have 10 wilds in a 110 gallon with a 25 gallon sump. Feeding only Hikari frozen bloodworms twice a day about 1/4 pound each feeding and bellies are bulging. I change water 3 gallons a day and a little over 25 gallons once a week. I only use RO water. I have injected CO2 and keep the PH @ 6.7 - 6.8. Tank is kept at 86 degrees and I use powered sponge filters kept inside the sump. I have 21 bottom dwellers (see sig) that keep the bottom clean, actually a war when the bloodworms hit the bottom. Several mystery and trapdoor snails assist in the janitor duties. I would caution against feeding brine shrimp; beefheart will cloud the tank and require more frequent/larger water changes. I think corydoras sterbai handle the warm temps better than other cories, I would recommend 1 per 10 gallons. The substrate is Onyx sand and I have a lot of driftwood with the plants. The discus like the driftwood caverns I made to sleep in. Have you considered getting wild caught juvies? Sure is a pleasure having discus that act like cichlids and still eat out of your hand!

The wilds have definitely caught my eye...really strong looking and they have a subtle beauty. The GF likes the Brilliant Turquoise, Red Turq, Flachen. I like those but also favor the Red Scribbelt and Pigeon Blood....seen in the following link.

This is probably the first place I'll check out. I did a little poking around and this place was on Larry Grenier's webpage (Larry, if you see this, hello), and Aaron recommended him too.

http://www.discus-hans-usa.com/ go to pricelist

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