I am reading and trying to follow all the info on ferts and
Discus here. Many posts are convincing and varied.
My question. What about these Ferts? And are these
chemicals good for the fish? And can Discus tolerate
an excess in mixing if you do it too much? I mean if
you have nitrate this, and potassium that, oh and
magnesium this, and plantex for sure. I mean these
are all chemicals. Do these chemicals exist in the
wild? Are they a part of the Amazonian Biotope.
How are Discus effected?
These are good questions.
I have had these fish and used these ferts for about 14 years now.
So have many others that have discus, I keep mostly soft water fish.
These chemicals are fertilizer salts.
The plants use these forms readily.
Discus produce something far more toxic and they make a fair amount of it depending on your feeding routine/foods offered etc: NH4.
That's more a worry than adding KNO3 etc, as it's NO3, a far less toxic form of Nitrogen.
I've detailed plenty of references, as well as have kept this species as well as many others, at the normal EI suggestions for 10+ years.
They bred, they grow, they eat well etc.
Simply because a chemical is or is not present at some concentration in the wild does not in any way imply that it is "best", it's just where those fish or plants can grow and evolve given the past history of that species.
We can grow most any weed or tropical species in our tanks and breed them in far higher numbers than they'd ever get in the wild.
Address disease, feed them to the gills, coddle the fry, place them in predator and other species free environment, many things can be done to amplify their health and growth in our tanks.
Are these bad because they do not exist in nature?
If there is no risk, then it's not something to worry about.
But, you have to show what risk is present through testing.
Our system is artificial anyway so we should test that, not natural systems to answer these questions about fish keeping.
You just do not assume because there is 10 ppm, that must be bad, because it's not found that high in nature.
Then see the results and realize that there are "chemicals" in every tank to some degree and we eat chemicals every day.
Does not mean they are bad for us.
Many in the right amounts are fine and beneficical.
The same is true here.
The dose makes a poison.
Fish waste is "poison" in high amounts yet folks seem less concerned about that than adding ferts that drives plant growth which directly removes NH4 and gives off O2 curiously..........
Some things to ponder.
As far as what is in the biotope, these things, actually very few people can or are willing to provide such conditions are not present as these concentrations.
Many folks use 1-3Kh or higher tap, many folks do not keep the pH at 5, they sell artificial chemicals to adjust the buffering system down, many feed very non natural foods and live critters that do not exist there. There's a huge list one could make about how the tanks we keep are non natural, hardly in any respect. Many do not include planted tanks at all.
Why the red flag here when you can see folks have tested it and kept these fish for over a decade.
Here's a pic of one such tank:
the proof , is in the pudding.