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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm fairly new to planted tanks. I've run a few nano tanks with buce, hairgrass, babytears, monticarlo, dwarf babytears, pearlwead, ammannia gracillis, staurogyne repens, hydrocotyle tripartita, dwarf chain sword, and java moss with fairly easy success. I don't use Co2 and I use fairly simple medium lighting. I've also run an anubias, java fern 55 gallon. With a Current USA orbit light set at 100% green, 75% red, 50%white, 25% blue on for 10 hours, I use the full line on ADA Ferts on them, even though I'm getting new growth, I'm also having die off for lack of Nitrates. I can't seem to get them above 5ppm. This is also a Discus tank so, yeah. Also I can't seem to get the ph below 7.8 in this tank. I change 5 gallons every 3 days with 7.0 water. I use eco complete substrate so the rise of ph makes no sense to me. Ammonia, nitrites at zero. Nitrates can't seem to break 5ppm. That useless rant to give you an idea of my lack of experience and to ask - I'm going to set up a red stem grow out tank. 20 gallon long with a Fluval planted 3.0 and UNS contosoil. How many bunches would I be able to fit into that tank?
 

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Depends on the stem plants you're talking about. I'd start by keeping your bunched about a half inch to an inch away from each other until you've read up on the specifics of each plant (some will melt if they touch other plants, others will out compete for nutrients- it's basically a lab experiment until you've experienced it a few times through)

Do you have any rocks or other hardscape that could be leaching minerals? I would suggest pressurized CO2 to combat the rising ph but I'm afraid it might be counter productive. I have the opposite problem, my water is softer and I can't get it above 6.5- 6.8.
 

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A 5 gallon water change is not much in a 55 gallon tank. That's less than 5% at a time or a little under 10% per week. What is your tap water parameters like?

If you can use tap water in this tank you should. A 50+% water change at least once a week is normal for most planted tanks and what is probably a bare minimum for discus.

If your tap water is not usable in this tank then you basically have 2 options, you can buy an RO system and a big holding drum and use that for water changes. Or you can re-home the discus as my admittedly basic knowledge of them suggests they need soft acidic water to live.
 

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Capitive bred discus can usually tolerate ph up to mid sixes as long as they are acclimated over the course of a few hours. I've had wild caught stress out with ph of 4.6. I'm sure there's people out there that have had some success getting them to acclimate to 7 but I wouldn't suggest it. I did some co op discus breeding and they are not a fish you're going to want to keep in ph that high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Capitive bred discus can usually tolerate ph up to mid sixes as long as they are acclimated over the course of a few hours. I've had wild caught stress out with ph of 4.6. I'm sure there's people out there that have had some success getting them to acclimate to 7 but I wouldn't suggest it. I did some co op discus breeding and they are not a fish you're going to want to keep in ph that high.
The Discus won't be a problem. They've adapted fine and lived in 7.8 - 8.2 PH for over a year. And I've not had any reason to change out 50% of the water per week as the parameters haven't changed that much. Like I said before I can't even get my nitrates to break above 5ppm let alone Ammonia or Nitrites. The only reason I'm changing out 5 gallons every 3 days is to try to bring down the ph so the plants can uptake their fertilizers. Tap water is a no go for me as the ph is 8.4 with GH and KH around 180ppm and high in phosphates as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Depends on the stem plants you're talking about. I'd start by keeping your bunched about a half inch to an inch away from each other until you've read up on the specifics of each plant (some will melt if they touch other plants, others will out compete for nutrients- it's basically a lab experiment until you've experienced it a few times through)

Do you have any rocks or other hardscape that could be leaching minerals? I would suggest pressurized CO2 to combat the rising ph but I'm afraid it might be counter productive. I have the opposite problem, my water is softer and I can't get it above 6.5- 6.8.
As for hardscape the only rock in the tank is a small 5x5 inch Seiryu Stone. I Don't want to start experimenting with co2 as it has discus and I don't want to fail on that part.

1026077
 

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Looks gorgeous. Wow- I've never experienced discus that have acclimated to ph that high!! Impressive!! Have you considered using peat moss? I used it in the filters of my bw tanks to lower ph/ gh. It can get really messy, though.

I've heard Seiryu stone can raise ph if not used in combination with an active substrate but I haven't used or tested it so I'm just basing that on what I've heard others say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looks gorgeous. Wow- I've never experienced discus that have acclimated to ph that high!! Impressive!! Have you considered using peat moss? I used it in the filters of my bw tanks to lower ph/ gh. It can get really messy, though.

I've heard Seiryu stone can raise ph if not used in combination with an active substrate but I haven't used or tested it so I'm just basing that on what I've heard others say.
As far as I know these guys were bred in hard water so I don't want to drop the ph too much. I just want to get it low enough for the plants to make use of the Ferts. It may be attributed to the stone, possibly the fertilizer as well. I've purchased an ADA liquid softner and will see how that does. I'm hoping the old leaves are just dying off due to conversion. I'm getting new growth at least. I've also cut the lighting intensity by 75% no massive algae blooms as of yet, just a light coating of diatoms on some of the older anubias leaves. I've got 10 new Ottos in quarintine at the moment to take care of that. I'm considering doubling the fertilizer but I'm not wanting to break the balance. Feeding has been light but often as well. I feed 1 cube of freeze dried brine shrimp at 7am for breakfast with lights at 5% Then before I leave for work lighting goes up to 25% At 2 pm I feed 2 cubes of freeze dried tubiflex worms and raise the lighting to 50% Then at 5 pm I feed 1 teaspoon of freeze dried blood worms. At 8 pm they get either a pinch of Vibrabites or discus bio gold and lights go back down to 25% At 10 pm lighting drops to 10% At 11 pm Lighting drops to 5% then off at midnight. Fertilizer goes in before lights come on in the morning. This seems to be a fairly good schedule at the moment. Temps may have been too high for the plants as well as they were set at 85° I've lowered them to 82° That being said I'm planning to scape another tank with all red stems but I'm unfamiliar with ordening them and what to expect to recieve in the mail. As of yet I've got 20 stems from Buce in my cart, I just don't want to over buy and have no place to put them.
 

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It could be the temps. I have had melt from high temps before. You sound like you have a handle on it. It does sound like you're feeding a bit excessively, though. Are they eating everything you're giving them?

I don't have any advice as to ordering and what to expect. I had an aquarium set up/ maintenance business for years that was passed to me and I just passed it on to a friend of mine. With it came fish breeding and plant propagation. I still get my plants for free and I know exactly what to expect from them. As far as buce go just make sure you do a little research on the types you plan on keeping together. Some don't play well together and well melt if they touch or overshadow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It could be the temps. I have had melt from high temps before. You sound like you have a handle on it. It does sound like you're feeding a bit excessively, though. Are they eating everything you're giving them?

I don't have any advice as to ordering and what to expect. I had an aquarium set up/ maintenance business for years that was passed to me and I just passed it on to a friend of mine. With it came fish breeding and plant propagation. I still get my plants for free and I know exactly what to expect from them. As far as buce go just make sure you do a little research on the types you plan on keeping together. Some don't play well together and well melt if they touch or overshadow.
Definitely don't think I'm over feeding, they clean it up fairly fast. There are also a half dozen angels in there as well. I'll have to reach out to Buce CS and see if anything I'm considering isn't compatible. Thanks.
 

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Didn't realize there were that many in there, my mistake. Yea, I'd check up on the compatibility. I'm not very well versed with buce, they didn't grow in quick enough and had too many restrictions for my clients to be interested so I didn't bother with them. I know there's a few threads here that go over trials and tribulations with them, they might be worth looking through, some discuss compatibility issues. Good luck!!
 
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