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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm in the process of moving from one tank to another, the new one is a custom 80 gallon tank and all I've really decided on is light (tek 4*54) and filtration (FX5). I'm struggling to find substrate locally but will likely end up with fluorite or a fluorite mix.

Are there any considerations I should take into account for Discus, I know there's two schools of though, one is the purist, the other is keep the fish alive and don't be too neurotic about perfection. I'd like to go with some moderately natural/wild types that have been acclimated to local water if possible but I'm not 100% on that yet.

My water has a GH of 11, a KH of 7 and a pH of 8.2 out of the tap. The tank pH runs about 7.6 without CO2 and I'm in the process of experimenting with pushing it into the sub 7's. So far I've killed my 5 year old wood shrimp...but all the fish have been fine.

I do have one specific question though, are Discus as happy with a CO2 induced ph that's slightly acidic as they are with a natural sub 7 ph?
 

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From what I've read before I dove into discus-keeping is that the fish will not really care what GH, kH, pH, or whatever conditions they live in...they only care what the water is for breeding.

I think if you go with wild-type, as long as they become acclimated to the water, tank, and you, they'll be fine. PM Diablocanine or maybe he'll chime in...he has a great looking tank, about the size of yours and has wild-type in there as well.

Mine are Stendkers and have been raised in pH 6.2 (7.something out of tap), kH of 4. Breed regularly...but they eat their eggs. They do fine with plants...beg for food...and relish water changes.

My only suggestion if you want both the good looks of the fish as well as a planted tank...go for larger fish (5+ inches). That way you don't develop any culls that look like footballs (although the GF likes the "cute" football I have :cool: ). It might cost you more in the short term, but you've also purchased fish that have gone through their initial developmental growth spurt (ie pure beefheart diet) by someone else in a barebottom tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've heard that several times of buying only late junenile or adult discus. Its going to hurt the pocketbook but I think you're right.
 

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well if your doing planted adults only. Unless you want to stunt your discus.

bare bottom tank for a year with babies. So then they can fully grow and easy to clean the tank. Well there growing up you get the big planted tank all organized and after the one year bday. You put them into the tank.

I hated when i first started the planted tank I stunted my discus. And its way easy to clean now. Now the new batch is a year old and the tank is slowly going to be planted.

If you don't mind haven 4 inch discus over 8" then go for it. If you don't mind sick discus then go for planted. I say wait on the planted and grow them to adults. They will be huge, they will be beautiful, and they will be less work.
 

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thats ok size. I got 2 mandarin passion at that size. but then I have 3 other fish that are almost 6.5"

I wish I new what i new now cause I would love to see them at 8". I seen Barb newells in Burlington Ontario. And wow there beautiful and huge.
 

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IMO the wilds are better/stronger then the domestic ones cause they havent been inbred to high heavens. over my time of keeping discus, i have lost about 4-5 domestic breeds and not yet a single wild. my wilds are the best looking in my tank too, as far as i am concerned.

they will do pretty much in whatever water you get them in. if you dont want to go lower then 7 with your pH then dont. you prolley wont breed em but it could happen. my discus breeding had a sucessfull spawn in water with a pH of close to 8 before.

my fish are rockin out in what i would call a "sesse" pool after what the buckets looked like after the water change. haha but they were out most the time,lookin at me, trying to eat the chunks of nasty flaoting around and such. it has been 15 minutes since i finished the water change and now they are all out, begging for food...again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The only thing limiting about a planted tank is the rate at which you can feed. In a bare bottom tank you overfeed and siphon out any excess. This just isn't really possible in a planted tank in most circumstances.
 

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why does a planted tank stunt growth?
because of the water paramiters. the babies need really clean water to grow fast and ptoperly. with a planted tank you want to keep in some nitrate and other things which can hinder growth. however, mine are still getting large in a planted tank, but they wont be dinner plates, and im ok with that
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What's your feeding routine as well as the initial size vs current size? Also, are the pics in your sig posted anywhere else?
 

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huh..appears that i dont have that picture up anymore. haha. i need to fix that.

initial size was maybe about 1-2" inchs at best. they were just a couple months odl at best. now they are all the size of my hand. the wilds i have were purchased big. and the oldest fish i have has been in there for alittle over a year. and its still getting bigger.....

the stunnting that is caused from a planted tank does not effect lifespan. these are not do to overcrowding or anything where they are severally stunted. these will be maybe 5-6 inches total size vs 6-7 inches they could get in a BB.
 

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because of the water paramiters. the babies need really clean water to grow fast and ptoperly. with a planted tank you want to keep in some nitrate and other things which can hinder growth. however, mine are still getting large in a planted tank, but they wont be dinner plates, and im ok with that
No, this(water quality alone) is not why the fish do not attain full size.
It's developmental, namely feeding, like not feeding humans when they are kids will stunt our growth, and no amount of food/health etc later change that.

Once the adult gets to 4' 8" and 22 years old, that's it. But if they had been fed lots of milk, food etc, they might get 5'10", same deal here.

NO3 is not what is hindering growth, there's a lot in many tanks and NH4 as well, NH4 is much more problematic to growth than NO3 in fry and juvinile fishes. Overfeeding fish all the time will produce a lot of NH4, plant tanks have virtually no NH4 present.

You are more than welcomed to research NH4 vs NO3 toxicity and sublethal effects on development and growth in life stages. They have done a lot of this on Salmon and many other critters and such physiology and stresses apply to a very wide range of fish species.

Low NH4, lots of food, softer KH water.
NO3/PO4 will make no differences unless they are well above normal plant tanks ranges of 20-30ppm of NO3, likely in the upper 80ppm and above ranges.

Also, NO3 derived from KNO3 vs fish waste are quite different and have a different impact on the fish.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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huh..appears that i dont have that picture up anymore. haha. i need to fix that.

initial size was maybe about 1-2" inchs at best. they were just a couple months odl at best. now they are all the size of my hand. the wilds i have were purchased big. and the oldest fish i have has been in there for alittle over a year. and its still getting bigger.....

the stunnting that is caused from a planted tank does not effect lifespan. these are not do to overcrowding or anything where they are severally stunted. these will be maybe 5-6 inches total size vs 6-7 inches they could get in a BB.
I'm not sure about that the whole inch difference. I got My golden snake skins from A good breeder close by. I bought them at about 1" or 1.5". Now 3 months later. there almost at 4 inches. They are growing at an inch per month. In a planted tank I don't think they grow that fast.

I noticed that my Blue diamonds when i first got them they started grew slow. There now 5" adults and spawning. I had them a whole year. Now if I'm at 4" and I had them 3 months. When there a year they will be about 8"

THis is if I keep doing water changes every other day. over feed them and feed about 5 to 10 times a day. Maybe its just me. But I do agree with everything else you have said.
 
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