New to the Froum and I have Questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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New to the Froum and I have Questions

Hello I am new to this forum and I have some questions. Right now I have a bare bottom Discus tank. I get Discus from a breeder friend and then sell them to LFS. I plan to get 2 more 55g tanks and put the fish I get from him in those tanks to sell and then make the tank you see in the picture a planted discus tank. Right now I have a AquaClear 500 and 2 sponge filters. Obviously I cant keep the sponge filters but would I need more filtration than that? What would be the best substrate to use - Gravel, Sand, or that Floraite stuff? What are the best plants to use for Discus? I want to add some driftwood and I have seen pictures of people that have a green moss covering it - what is that green moss stuff so I can get it? Last question - im going to get some cardinal tetras to go along with the Discus but what type of bottom feeders should i get so that I dont have to syphon out the gravel/sand all the time.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 12:26 AM
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Welcome to the forum !

Those are some beautiful Discus and would surely appreciate some plants to make them feel a bit more at ease. I think the best choice of substrate for that tank would be Eco-Complete due to the dark color (almost black) , it would show off the fish's colors better.
Before you get any plants be sure to do some reading in the lighting section here, I am sure you have just 2 - 40 watt bulbs over that tank and that wont cut it.
The moss you see covering wood pieces is normally "Java Moss" and grows fairly easily. Another good choice for discus tanks are the Valisneria's... its a grass like plant and the vertical lines are great to show off the Discus's body contours I think.
Bottom feeders... get yourself a half dozen cory cats and some Otto's and they will be more then happy to keep your bottom nice looking.

There is a lot of info here and I would suggest taking a night or two and perusing through some discussions to get some ideas on what to do and what not to do to get the best start in the planted world.

Again, welcome aboard... you will find a whole bunch of very friendly, helpful people here to get ya going on your new adventure !
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Buck. I will need some more lighting because there is only 1 small 2' light in there. How much appox. do you think the lighting, Eco-Complete, plants, and everything else for the tank cost. I will probably just use the money I get from selling my Discus to pay for my Planted show tank.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Oh and will I need a Co2 reactor?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 12:43 AM
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Welcome to the forum

Read the articles in this site :

Those pretty much explain everything. Regarding the cost, it depends also on how handy you are. You could basically retrofit your canopy for the lighting to save some green. Go to and check their price. You could also check for the substrate pricing.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 02:52 AM
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The figure for a planted tank runs from around $10-$20 a gallon. Most people use cannister filters for planted tanks. Mainly this is to help prevent out-gassing of the CO2.

You can go with a low light tank which for your 55 would be 110 watts of light. You would not need CO2 for that setup but it would help. Plant selection would be rather limited but you would be able to grow some of the taller narrower crypts which the Discus would love. The moss used on the driftwood is normally Java Moss and it would do fine at those light levels. As for bottom feeders I always use Corys. You will also need some algae eaters and Otto's are the most commonly used.

I too would go with Eco-Complete for the substrate due to the darker color of it.

Now mind you I would not recommend that you use this tank as a grow out tank for the Discus. Feeding young Discus is a messy affair and is best done in a bare bottom tank.

Head over to and take a look at their kits. You have the canopy so with just some basic tools you can add more light in an hour or so. I really suggest that you start at 110 watts and get the hang of a planted tank. Then if you wish you can add another 110 watts and a CO2 system and move up to a high light planted tank.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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I do not plan on putting young Discus in the tank. I want to buy full grown wilds so I can have a natural look. I want to have the tank fully planted with some java moss on the driftwood so I will probably need alot of light.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 11:39 PM
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The 110 watts of light that Rex suggested would grow some beautiful moss and ferns... they are not a very light demanding plant to look nice and you can still get away without the CO2 setup.
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