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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm interested in getting some Discus for my 60g high tech planted tank. It has ADA Aquasoil Amazonia 1 as substrate, fill with tap water, and I dose using the EI methods. I read that Discus like a stable water condition. My concern is how to manage 50% water change with the buffering capacity of Aquasoil. My water parameter are:

Tank
pH - 6.6
kH - 2.5 dkH
gH - 10 dgH

Tap
pH - 8
kH - 7 dkH
gH - 14 dgH

After a 50% water change my pH read around 7.4 before lowering back down to 6.6 by the next day.

Would this much of a fluctuation be detrimental to Discus?

What other option/methods do you folks have/use?

I would prefer not to use RO/DI water. Other alternative I consider are doing small multiple water change weekly for less of a fluctuation or switching to PPS Pro.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks, Tony
 

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If the tank is lower light, I'd cut the EI by about 1/2.
Most do 2x a week water changes for Discus, say 30%.

I'd not worry over the pH, that will move around no matter what if you use CO2.
The ADA AS is the reason the KH is moving around. I do not think many are willing to give up water changes with discus. Dosing less/more is not going to get you away from that issue, the bioloading tends to be higher.

I would try and acclimate the discus to your tap water's KH slowly.
The ADA As will slowly taper off it's effect.

If daily works better for you, divide by 7 instead of 2-3x a week.
With most discus tanks, dosing 2x a week right after 30% water changes works best. I bred discus using EI personally with a KH of 5.5. I did 1x week, 60 even 80% water changes.

Clients tend to do a similar routine, large weekly(40-60%) or 2 X 30-40% WC's a week, followed by dosing thereafter.

Not hard at all the remember to dose after water changes.
I do not think there's much issue unless you do not do a water change for say 2-4 weeks, then suddenly do a 50% water change. So frequent water changes will keep the tank pretty stable in terms of KH/TDS and in general.

Most focus on good light and CO2, those tend to be more the issues concerning success. You cannot overdo water changes also, they work best when done a little bit after the lights come on.

I've bred discus and raised quite a few up, so have the clients.
Angels and others as well.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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If u don't wanna use RO filter or DI u can try with this product http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/DiscusBuffer.html
should help u :) and fish as well
The issue is not pH, rather, KH, and adding any thing will not resolve that, other than perhaps a strong acid(HCL, H2SO4, HNO3 etc) that will fry the HCO3 and turn it into CO2 and H2O.

Weak acids simply cannot do this, and the DB is unable to do that as well, it will change pH, but that is not the issue, the KH, not pH directly, is what is the issue, the stress factor for fish.

A simple method to test this concept is usign CO2, we can change the pH a full unit and do nothing to the KH. This causes no issues to discus, angels, Altums, however, the pH changes a full unit in less than and few minutes time.

Large water changes with CO2 enrichment alos can change the pH 0.6-0.8units in a copule of minutes, also again.....no ill effects over logn long time frames.

We cannot possibly conclude the pH directly has ANY negative impact given such long term wide spread observation. So then what changes if not the pH that might affect fish health?

TDS/EC, the sum total of the salt content, and the KH.

Fish have trouble responding to rapid changes of those, but not CO2/pH.

See the difference?
Adding buffers to lower pH does not address this, nor do adding things like DB add more CO2.

So it cost more, does not fulfill the real need, and offers no useful help to the aquarist using CO2(and I'd question the usefulness in general, there is a long history of over focus on pH and not the specific issues).

Water changes are easy and simple.
The KH is about 1.5 degrees or 26ppm higher than the tank I had where they bred in the poster's tap.

The fish will do better with more water changes, I do not know any folks that keep them and bred that would argue that point.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys,

I'm currently dosing 30ml NPK 3x a week (M,W,F), 10ml trace 3x a week (Tu,Th,Sat), and doing a 50% water change on Sudnay.

How would I devie up the fert dosing? if I were to switch to 20% water change 3x a week (M,W,F).
 

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IME mature discus will do fine with weekly water changes. I think they are misrepresented as fragile fish, when adults that are acclimated to tank conditions are actually very hardy. Discus fry up to 4 inches (fish up to 6 mos old) and wild caught discus are another story though. In order to bring discus up from fry to the 4 inch mark, they absolutly require large daily or QOD water changes....no exceptions, along with very frequent feedings of rich foods (bloodworms, beefheart, etc). Discus will stunt growth otherwise. I think this is where they get their high demand reputations. Discus do require very soft water for breeding, but can be acclimated to fairly hard water condintions soon after hatching (weeks old). I have had good success with them in tap water with KH as high as in the 10 - 12 degree range. I know everyone has different experiences, but this has been mine.
 

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IME mature discus will do fine with weekly water changes. I think they are misrepresented as fragile fish, when adults that are acclimated to tank conditions are actually very hardy. Discus fry up to 4 inches (fish up to 6 mos old) and wild caught discus are another story though. In order to bring discus up from fry to the 4 inch mark, they absolutly require large daily or QOD water changes....no exceptions, along with very frequent feedings of rich foods (bloodworms, beefheart, etc). Discus will stunt growth otherwise. I think this is where they get their high demand reputations. Discus do require very soft water for breeding, but can be acclimated to fairly hard water condintions soon after hatching (weeks old). I have had good success with them in tap water with KH as high as in the 10 - 12 degree range. I know everyone has different experiences, but this has been mine.
Mine bred at 5.5 KH.
Hardly very soft.

Client's tank was 4-5KH, they and angels both breeding. Large tank, but breeding nonetheless.



I agree however, in general, with all of your experiences/assessment.

Still, switching to 2x a week 30% works nicely for most planted tanks, regardless of fish.

Dosing is similar.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I know this is probably a stupid question, but what's the reason for the water change?

Do I need to get down to the substrate level to vacuum the poop and left over food or can I just siphon out water from the surface to control the build-up of nitrate?
 

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I know this is probably a stupid question, but what's the reason for the water change?

Do I need to get down to the substrate level to vacuum the poop and left over food or can I just siphon out water from the surface to control the build-up of nitrate?
Mostly to reduce the loading rates from the fish waste.
This works well with EI, since water changes also make the targeting of a ppm for nutrients very easy.

Water changes also make it much easier to trim, prune, clean everything in the aquarium with far less mess and wet dripping arms, sloshing water, and head underwater. Plants also perk up very nicely with frequent water changes, particularly if done about 1-2 hours after the lights come on.

Alternatively, with a calibrated test kit, which you'd need to calibrate, you can measure and dose via replacement and not do any water changes, however, most do not like to test or calibrate, water changes tend to be a habit folks are more likely to do.

You may also use plants emergently in the filtration and not do any water changes for years on a discus tank. Some have used floating water sprite mats on the surface and done this also.

Another method that can be used with EI or any water column dosing method is enriched sediments, like ADA's aqua soil or a DIY mix like the mineralized soil(plenty of threads here on it).

This allows a synergistic approach since the plants have a long term source as well as the water column for nutrients. So if you forget to dose the water column, you have some back up. Or if you want to run it leaner to avoid water changes, you can. Either way with the water column dosing, you win.

Most folks tend to do the water changes however with discus.
It's cheap, simple, can be automated and you can do the other maintenance while it drains/refills that you might not otherwise.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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im writting you to ask about Discus.
I have read some articles and done some homework
now, here are my specs:
55 gallon, fully planted
ph 6.4
temp 84F
gh/kh 4
ammonia 0
nitrites 0
nitrates 0
phophates about 1.0
CO2 injection 24/7
260 watt compact fluorescent
i use RO/DI water
my tank has been stablished for two years now
JBJ canister filter 250gph max with UV
SubCurrent Internal Wet/Dry Filter by Current USA

i feed red tinny bits by O.S.I "high protein"45% crude protein
tetra min flakes
blood worms

i currently have rainbows "marci"
one angel
corys
ottos
clown loach
bottia loach
three days ago i bought a red Turquoise discus and a snake skin discus
so far the discus are doing well, they are comming out from behind the plants ike you said and swimming around they are "eating" i read in your artie they take their time so im watching that.
i do a 15% water change every week sharp.
i want to know what is your advice in keepping this guys
i would greatly appreciated
 
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