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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After renovating my living room earlier this year, I am putting a 125 in it. I bolstered the floor from below and tiled the floor where it sits so it is as level as I could get it. I'm going to lay out my plans so I'm asking for feedback on any or all of it. Staring from the bottom up:
Substrate is going to be safe-t-sorb covered with a layer of similarly colored fine grained gravel
Water column: fish list - 7 discus, 50 cardinal tetras, 10 deep bodies tetras (diamond, lemon, etc.),10 Sterbai cories, 10 ottos, one "Royal Farlowella" and possibly a few dwarf cichlids.
Plant list - Assorted swords, assorted crypts, contortionist Val, Blyxa, possibly some Buce and possibly a few red stems
Equipment: Fluval FX6 (is that too much flow for discus), 2x 250 watt heaters, possibly a powerhead on the opposite end of the filter outflow and possibly a CO2 set-up (which I do have lying around)
Lighting would be a 72in. Beamswork DA with the 5 rows of .5wt diodes but I'm not sure about the mutli-colored "full spectrum" or the white/blue "6500k"

Again, any input or feedback would be greatly apperciated.

THANKS.
Roy
 

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I'd be marginally concern that you are pushing the limit for the otto temp wise esp if you keep the tank closer to 86. There are a lot of different species of otto so perhaps there is one that is more tolerable of warmer temps.
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This is a personal concern but at higher temps the water has less oxygen and i'm unsure if co2 would be problematic in such a tank with regards to oxygen levels.
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For dwarf cichlid - german blue rams (and colour variations) seem like a natural fit.
 

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Some folks have a really hard time keeping plants alive at discus temps. I'd be careful with your plant list as some of it may not do well and you could end up with a lot of very expensive mush instead of a nicely planted 125.

Also keep in mind that safe-t-sorb is very very light. So if you try to layer it with basically anything else, the safe-t-sorb will eventually float to the surface of the substrate list. So long as this doesn't bother you, it's fine. But don't go in expecting them to stay separated.
 

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I have a 180g with:
5 - Angels
3 - Discus
3 - Pearl Gouramis
10 - Cardinals
10 - Rummy nose tetras
10 - Sterbai cories
1 - Long fin albino Bristle nose pleco
1- Tiger pleco
About a dozen guppies.

Super red Ludwigia
Moneywort.
Hornwort.
S.Ripens
Guppy grass
Nano anubus
5 really big Amazon swords.
Dwarf hair grass.

So far I am quite pleased with this stocking level and find that there is plenty of activity in the tank to keep it interesting to watch. The plants are mature enough and big enough that there are plenty of hiding places so no one gets picked on too much. The Cardinals, Rummy noses, Cories Angels and Discus all tend to cluster together and school (shoal) which is fun to watch. The guppies are from an old tank of ours and they are fun because they kind of fill in the middle of the tank when the other fish are hiding in the plants. The only big disappointment is the Tiger Pleco who only comes out at night. The long fin albino bristle nose Pleco comes out in the evening as the lights are starting to dim which is nice.

From your stocking list 50 Cardinal tetras sounds a little much to me. My Cardinals are kind of a pain in the rear. They like to ride the overflow down to the sump and are a royal pain to fish out of the sump once they get in there. But they do look cool and it is fun to watch them as the school together.

I have a dirt bottom with gravel, Amazonia and Amazonia powder cap. Everything is growing quite well without any ferts or CO2. I actually started the tank with CO2 and stopped using it because I couldn't keep up with the plant growth.
 

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There are a lot of different schools of thought.......whatever works for your particular taste / situation (whatever you can keep alive)........go for it! :)

Here is what is working for my Discus tank so far (I am still in the learning mode).........75 gallon standard tank with sump, 2 x SB reef lights freshwater version, 2 x 300 W heaters, pressurized CO2, inert substrate with root tabs, PPS pro ferts, two powerheads on opposite sides making a high tech planted tank kept at 84F with 4 Discus and 4 glass catfish. Adding 4-5 more (ideal for Discus is 10).... again, debatable....but that is what my Discus supplier says. Mine are Stendker (German) Discus, around 4-5" size right now. I push a ton of C02, absolutely no issues...of course I take care not to gas my fish ;-)

My notes about your setup:
You may need more heaters than that. My single 300W was unable to heat all that water in the DT and the sump. There is really no need to go higher than 84F (again, highly debatable)
Make sure you do not mix types of Discus (Asian, German, wild)
Many plants adapt to high temps slowly, some of mine melted at first (when I raised temps for Discus) but later came back YMMV
FX6's flow should be fine, I probably run higher flow rate.


Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd be marginally concern that you are pushing the limit for the otto temp wise esp if you keep the tank closer to 86. There are a lot of different species of otto so perhaps there is one that is more tolerable of warmer temps.
-
This is a personal concern but at higher temps the water has less oxygen and i'm unsure if co2 would be problematic in such a tank with regards to oxygen levels.
-
For dwarf cichlid - german blue rams (and colour variations) seem like a natural fit.
Jake, I appreciate your input. I will look into ottos that may tolerate a warmer environment. The CO2 is certainly a decision that has not been finalized although it would be on a solenoid timer on after the lights came on and off before they are off (if I choose to go with it). I was thinking Ram or one of my personal faves, Laetacara curviceps

Some folks have a really hard time keeping plants alive at discus temps. I'd be careful with your plant list as some of it may not do well and you could end up with a lot of very expensive mush instead of a nicely planted 125.

Also keep in mind that safe-t-sorb is very very light. So if you try to layer it with basically anything else, the safe-t-sorb will eventually float to the surface of the substrate list. So long as this doesn't bother you, it's fine. But don't go in expecting them to stay separated.
I will certainly chose plants that can tolerate the higher temps. I've used saf-t-sorb for years + the gravel I chose is very similar so mixing it not a problem. Thanks for your input

The only big disappointment is the Tiger Pleco who only comes out at night. The long fin albino bristle nose Pleco comes out in the evening as the lights are starting to dim which is nice.

From your stocking list 50 Cardinal tetras sounds a little much to me. My Cardinals are kind of a pain in the rear. They like to ride the overflow down to the sump and are a royal pain to fish out of the sump once they get in there. But they do look cool and it is fun to watch them as the school together.
/QUOTE]

Not the biggest fan of plecos, that's why I chose a "Royal Farlowella" - I hope I can find one. I will probably start with half that amount of cardinals and see how that feels. Thanks for the input
Adding 4-5 more (ideal for Discus is 10).... again, debatable....but that is what my Discus supplier says. Mine are Stendker (German) Discus, around 4-5" size right now. I push a ton of C02, absolutely no issues...of course I take care not to gas my fish ;-) Are you getting your fish from DISCUS Hans?

My notes about your setup:
You may need more heaters than that. My single 300W was unable to heat all that water in the DT and the sump. There is really no need to go higher than 84F (again, highly debatable) So you don't think 2x 250 would be enough? Should I go 2x 300?
Make sure you do not mix types of Discus (Asian, German, wild) Help me understand why not?
Many plants adapt to high temps slowly, some of mine melted at first (when I raised temps for Discus) but later came back YMMV Will definitely plant first with higher temp tolerant species. I will make sure plants are growing well and temp is stabilized over time before I add Discus
FX6's flow should be fine, I probably run higher flow rate. okay, good to know

Thanks for the input.
 

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Royal Farlowella are a nice fish. If i'm not mistaken they are actually a family of similar fishes or perhaps i am mistaken an they are a specific member of the family. Hum. I remember my whip tail catfish fondly - oh will i diverge. Let us know how it turns out. Just that your mention of Farlowella makes me think about the large number of very interesting cats out there.
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Oh yea the reason you don't want to mix asian, german and wild discus (more so asian and german) is that some discus carry a pathogen they have gained immunity and when exposed to non-immune fish the non-immune fish gets very sick and frequently die. I've read a lot of stories of this specifically happening between Asian discus and German discus (the Asian discus being the carrier). It doesn't always happen and many people have happily mixed the two. Also it has been suggested (can't vouch for accuracy) is that if you do mix them it is best to buy them small and mix them in qt/grow out tank while still young.

This is interesting. Attached is my 120 which has 25 cardinals. Mine avoid areas of flow and spend a bit of time here and there. To be honest I started with 3 angels but then bred them so now i have 11 angels (or is it 10?). Now that the 'babies' have reached full size the cardinals have become quite intimidated since the angels are everywhere and are spending more time in the plants. To be honest after i move i will put the cardinals in the ram tank so they feel less intimidated.

The angels have become a bit of problems esp now that three tight bond pairs have formed which means lots of period of aggression not to mention the attempts by the 'solo' angels to 'steal' mates:
1028391



One oddity is that my small female lemon pleco, who was quite upset when i moved her from the 29 to the 120, hangs out in the open in front. You can see her in the picture next to one of the L204. She spends about 90% of the time in that region. Part of it is of course food which attracts her (I feed her zuc twice a week) but she is rarely startled when i approach the tank and readily lets me watch her though i think if i were to put a net within 10 ft of her she would vanish in a flash.

From your stocking list 50 Cardinal tetras sounds a little much to me. My Cardinals are kind of a pain in the rear. They like to ride the overflow down to the sump and are a royal pain to fish out of the sump once they get in there. But they do look cool and it is fun to watch them as the school together.
 

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Adding 4-5 more (ideal for Discus is 10).... again, debatable....but that is what my Discus supplier says. Mine are Stendker (German) Discus, around 4-5" size right now. I push a ton of C02, absolutely no issues...of course I take care not to gas my fish ;-) Are you getting your fish from DISCUS Hans?

Yes, my Discus are from Hans. His store is around 1.5 hrs drive from me. BTW, he just had an heart attack....so is closed for some time.

My notes about your setup:
You may need more heaters than that. My single 300W was unable to heat all that water in the DT and the sump. There is really no need to go higher than 84F (again, highly debatable) So you don't think 2x 250 would be enough? Should I go 2x 300?

Well, mine is only 75 gallon. Yours is almost double. Wattage depends upon your home temp and what you plan to keep the tank at. If the difference is more than 10F (like mine)...you need to go higher than the usual recommended wattage. See this article:


Make sure you do not mix types of Discus (Asian, German, wild) Help me understand why not?

So what I have heard from multiple people and also is mentioned at Stendker's website is that there could be a mis-match of bacteria. This causes one type of Discus to die. a couple of LFS have mentioned the exact same thing to me, actually warned me to not mix their Discus with Hans' Discus......citing examples from their customers whose Discus died.
Good read here:
Specifically this one:

Many plants adapt to high temps slowly, some of mine melted at first (when I raised temps for Discus) but later came back YMMV Will definitely plant first with higher temp tolerant species. I will make sure plants are growing well and temp is stabilized over time before I add Discus
FX6's flow should be fine, I probably run higher flow rate. okay, good to know

Thanks for the input.


BTW, IMHO you are creating a community tank, and not a Discus specific tank. You will need to consider (strongly) the needs of all the other fish (and plants too) which you are going to put.......especially from the perspective of the high temperatures Discus need. I think you "are" doing that but need to be more careful about Discus. They are rather fragile....although Stendker says their strain of Discus is not that fragile. What type of water are you planning to use? I am doing RO-DI, but learnt later on that Stendker Discus does not need RO. I have RO-DI already setup....so are continuing on with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is interesting. Attached is my 120 which has 25 cardinals. Mine avoid areas of flow and spend a bit of time here and there. To be honest I started with 3 angels but then bred them so now i have 11 angels (or is it 10?). Now that the 'babies' have reached full size the cardinals have become quite intimidated since the angels are everywhere and are spending more time in the plants. To be honest after i move i will put the cardinals in the ram tank so they feel less intimidated.

The angels have become a bit of problems esp now that three tight bond pairs have formed which means lots of period of aggression not to mention the attempts by the 'solo' angels to 'steal' mates:
View attachment 1028391


One oddity is that my small female lemon pleco, who was quite upset when i moved her from the 29 to the 120, hangs out in the open in front. You can see her in the picture next to one of the L204. She spends about 90% of the time in that region. Part of it is of course food which attracts her (I feed her zuc twice a week) but she is rarely startled when i approach the tank and readily lets me watch her though i think if i were to put a net within 10 ft of her she would vanish in a flash.
Beautiful tank Jake, thanks for sharing.

Adding 4-5 more (ideal for Discus is 10).... again, debatable....but that is what my Discus supplier says. Mine are Stendker (German) Discus, around 4-5" size right now. I push a ton of C02, absolutely no issues...of course I take care not to gas my fish ;-) Are you getting your fish from DISCUS Hans?

Yes, my Discus are from Hans. His store is around 1.5 hrs drive from me. BTW, he just had an heart attack....so is closed for some time. Yes I did hear he had a heart attack. I was planning on getting my fish there or from Myrtle Beach Discus (but now I know not mix the two because I'm pretty sure Myrtle Beach Discus sells Asian fish). I am close to him too relatively speaking, I'm just north of Harrisburg

My notes about your setup:
You may need more heaters than that. My single 300W was unable to heat all that water in the DT and the sump. There is really no need to go higher than 84F (again, highly debatable) So you don't think 2x 250 would be enough? Should I go 2x 300?

Well, mine is only 75 gallon. Yours is almost double. Wattage depends upon your home temp and what you plan to keep the tank at. If the difference is more than 10F (like mine)...you need to go higher than the usual recommended wattage. See this article:


Make sure you do not mix types of Discus (Asian, German, wild) Help me understand why not?

So what I have heard from multiple people and also is mentioned at Stendker's website is that there could be a mis-match of bacteria. This causes one type of Discus to die. a couple of LFS have mentioned the exact same thing to me, actually warned me to not mix their Discus with Hans' Discus......citing examples from their customers whose Discus died.
Good read here:
Specifically this one:
I appreciate the extra "reads"

Many plants adapt to high temps slowly, some of mine melted at first (when I raised temps for Discus) but later came back YMMV Will definitely plant first with higher temp tolerant species. I will make sure plants are growing well and temp is stabilized over time before I add Discus
FX6's flow should be fine, I probably run higher flow rate. okay, good to know

Thanks for the input.


BTW, IMHO you are creating a community tank, and not a Discus specific tank. You will need to consider (strongly) the needs of all the other fish (and plants too) which you are going to put.......especially from the perspective of the high temperatures Discus need. I think you "are" doing that but need to be more careful about Discus. They are rather fragile....although Stendker says their strain of Discus is not that fragile. What type of water are you planning to use? I am doing RO-DI, but learnt later on that Stendker Discus does not need RO. I have RO-DI already setup....so are continuing on with it. As you mentioned, Stendker discus are supposed to be raised in tap water. that was one of the reasons I was going to choose Hans . . . and yes I am taking my other flora and fauna into account in regards to compatibility with the discus. Obviously they will be the "Stars" and the tank will be designed with their needs first and foremost but I want all the rest to fit well together
 
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