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I am planning to set up a mini fish room with the main display being a new 370 gallon (8ft x 2.5 x 2.5) heavily planted tank. (see attached plan).

The plan is to stock the display tank with around 12 discus.
To save costs, I'll be planning to buy juvenile discus and then growing them out.
My setup will have a number of spare tanks which will be used to breed the discus later on.

By way of background, I have been quite the successful angel keeper / breeder in the past, but have next to no experience with discus.

2 questions:

1/ My concern is about effectively feeding the juvenile discus in such a large sized tank. The idea is to give them a great diet to encourage solid growth, but the challenge is for the fish to find the food effectively in such a large tank.
Is this really likely to be a problem as I imagine? Am I better off putting the fish into a growout tank where they can be fed well until they are bigger in size before moving them to the planted tank? (this means I have a barren display tank for much longer).

2/ Should I get single strain of discuss or multiple strains for colour?
Considering I am looking to breed the fish eventually, I am concerned about cross breeding different strains and getting excessive black pigmentation.
How do you avoid this in tanks with multiple discus strains? I imagine the discus won't just pair up with a partner of the same strain / colour.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Shan
(Melbourne, Australia)
 

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It will be much easier on you to grow out in a smaller tank than to grow out in the 370 gallon tank. The 5-6 x daily feedings,vacs of uneaten food and waste, and water changes are a whole lot easier in a smaller tank than a big display tank like you are intending to put them in.
I prefer to raise one type/color of discus together so as to maximize the male/female pairings in a given group. And, like you say, you can control any crosses that are not attractive. The discus do not select mates that look like themselves- they will breed regardless.
 

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You should strongly consider using a UV light- and make sure its large enough- if you want to keep infections down and water clear. Even the live foods you give them can carry pathogens so the UV is real insurance.
 
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