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Need some advice

628 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  hueyn
Hello all,

I haven't posted here for a while. I set up my first planted discus tank about 2 years ago. It is a 58G oceanic, high tech (presurrized co2), dosing, and 192W CF lighting.

I started out with 5 2" discus and I have 2 discus about 5-5.5" in size left today. Boy, have I learned alot along the way. The tank was basically not big enough for 5 discus and being 2 inchers, I had to feed much and often...that was messy... I started losing fish when they were all at around 4-4.5" in size.

The fishies didn't like the dosing and I was forced to stop dosing at some point along the way. That created all sorts of problems...I ended up having to stop the CO2 at some point along the way as well...turned off one of the 96W bulbs...

So, now i have a tank with plants that survived through all of these...but the tank really needs to be torn down and get a new set up. There is green hairy stuff that is on my driftwood as well as the rock and substrate that I clean up every several weeks. Probably some form of algae developed from non dosing, non co2, and etc...

I need some advice on the re-build. I was thinking of using some ADA substrate, go with some low maintenance plants (ferns, crypts, etc), new driftwood, one 96W cf bulb, no dosing, no co2, etc.

Is that a wise choice or am I going to run into some serious issues starting out that way?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Sounds good to me.
I am curious as to why the dosing made problems? Can you explain, because I am planning on starting to dose my tank soon as I have some ferts on order.
Not sure why they didn't like the dosing...I suspect it's the change in water parameters when dosing.

Anyone have any input on my thoughts? I would really like to see who else have had success with going the route i'm going...I just hate to go down this route and run into issues I haven't thought about.

Thanks in advance!
I think it might be pretty hard to keep juvenile discus in a planted tank. I'm no expert, but many, many discus keepers prefer bare bottom tanks to keep water conditions pristine. As the discus get older and you don't need to feed as often, it would be easier to keep them in a planted. Try over at the forum.
You would probably be alright. I have never used the ADA substrates but I have run a tank with similar lighting and plants. I would think about doing some ferts though. I would recommend a small dose of flourish at water change time.
Thanks for all the advice:)

I will be temporarily hosting the 2 adult discus in another barebottom tank until the new setup has stabilized. So, whatever I can to get it stabilized quicker would be great.

Does anyone think I should get the tank stabilized with highlight, CO2 and fert dosing to start out with and then cut the dosing off and co2 off as well as lower the lighting?
Hueyn - I have a planted discus tank as well, very low tech. I don't feed beefheart at all so I don't have the feeding mess that a lot of discus keepers encounter. First and foremost comes the health of the discus over the plants, for sure. I rarely dose ferts, since I noticed that when I added Excel, my fish were not happy. You are the only other person that I have come across that also feels that way, so I know I'm not crazy:)

Hey Debbi,

Glad you had the same experience. I dosed both macros and micros and they didn't like both...

but the real reason 3 out of 5 died was due to tank volume. There just wasn't enough space...I wishes I would have gone with a 75 or 90 gal but I just couldn't convince the wifey at the time for it:)

I will proceed with this plan then. A low tech tank it is. I will probably setup a high tech tank later on with the equipment left over.

Any other advice?

I'm guessing that your plants took up way more room than the discus? Because without high tech heavy plantings, you should have easily been able to keep 5 adult discus in a 58G. I have only amazon river small round gravel, a large piece of malaysian driftwood and clusters of plants around the large diftwood.....various tall and short crypts, red tiger lotus, short java ferns, hygro. 1.8W of light, no CO2. I do two large (at least 2/3rds of the water) changes a week with a gravel cleaning each time and all is well. How are the two remaining discus doing? Do they get along? Since they are adults, they may do just fine for a very long time. Younger discus need more discus company to really be happy.

The two adult discus have paired up and have been spawning every couple of week or sometimes every week for the past 3-4 or so months now...but the male kept eating the eggs either the same day or the morning after...

The female originally paired up with the largest male in the tank. When he died, she went with the second largest male, and when he died, she paired up with the current male and the other single discus which was kind of the unhealthy runt died shortly after.
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