The Planted Tank Forum banner

Questions About My First Planted Tank

602 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  trist
Hi all!
I'm trying to start a freshwater planted tank and
want to eventually add discus fish to it. I have been reading up at various sites and talking to folks at my local pet stores to determine the best way for me to go, but I still have a couple of questions. And just came across this site which I'm sure glad I did as there seem to be a lot of helpful info here. And I'm hoping someone can help me out.

I decided on the Eco Complete for the substrate and I know which plants to use in a discus tank and compatible fish mates. I found the proper lights for my tank, which is a 55g tank. I have 2 gouramis in it currently. I've had the tank up for about a month. Initially I had some guppies and 2 angles, some gold fish which I was using to establish my tank with, and I also had 3 very large fancy goldfish, which I had before my 55g tank. When I first put them in, the water clarity was doing okay but then got cloudy, which I gather was because of the goldfish which I removed, but the amonia was off the chart. About a week ago I just restarted the entire tank over, without the goldfish in it. but I did end up losing all the other fish but my gouramis which are now the only fish in the tank. Not sure why the others died on me.
I know the tank has to cycle and so far the water is clear, and the amonia isn't too bad. Hopefully it'll be at zero soon. I've been checking the quality of the water and it rates at about a 7.0
for PH and I know that the Discus prefer a more acidic environment, I have been adding a Ph lowering solution to the tank for the last 2 days, but so far it hasn't gone down. Is there a better way to lower the Ph?

Secondly, I checked my tap water and it's hard water. I do add conditioner to the water to remove the chlorine ect. but I'm noticing that the plastic intake valve in my tank that pumps the water has actually started to rust in 2 places. I know I've had this happen before with my Cat's water bowl, it's one of those that has a filter and waterfall effect to it. It's plastic too, and began to show signs of rusting so I just switched over to using bottled water for my cat.
Since my fish tank is showing signs of the same
thing, I'm thinking even with the conditioner, the tap water is no good to use. So I thought about buying one of those attachments you add to the faucet to filter the water and go with that instead. Forgot the name of the one I wanted to go with, but it says it really dissolves all the solids. My question is, if I go this route does that mean I need to then go back and replace certain elements that the filter removes, if the water is deionized? And what would they be?
Also does filtering it this way remove all the co2? Because I selected plants that didn't list additional
injections of CO2 as being necessary and I didn't want to get into setting up a CO2 injector if I didn't need to. But if the filter removes all of that, I guess I would have no choice. But I wasn't clear on if faucet filters will cause that to happen.

And lastly, I wanted to know if I need to start all
over with new water or would a partial water change be okay? I think my tank is still cycling from the last full water change I did, and I didn't want to have to start all over again if I didn't have to, with the bacteria that eats it I mean, what I wanted to do was to remove about 50% of the water and dump it, and then store the other 50% in a couple of plastic tubs, then set up the substrate and put back the saved water along with new deionized water. Or would it be best to just start all over with all filtered water?

I appreciate any advice I can get with this. Thank you! And sorry that this was such a long post! ^_^
PS What is the safest method to remove that rust from my intake valve? Or would I just need to replace it?
See less See more
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
K, several things here.

First, Angels and goldfish shouldn't be in the same tank, different tempterature requirements I believe.

The cloudiniess you saw was a bacterial bloom most likely, caused by high ammonia counts - which were probably induced by all the goldfish, these are extremely messy fish. The othe fish probably dies from being in a tank in the beginning of its cycle, most fish are not well suited to cycle a tank.

I'm dying to figure out how you got plastic to rust, because, well, it can't. :)

If you are speaking of a reverse osmosis filter, then yes, you need to go back and put in all the "goodies" the plants need to grow. Wild discus are soft water. Most LFS discus are not - ask your shop what water parameters they keep the fish in.

You can try a SMALL bag (fine mesh bag) of peat moss in your filter to soften water.

Bacteria resides on surfaces, not in the water column. If your tank is cycled, keep all of the filter media. Put the filter media in the old tankw ater while you switch stuff around. Use it to start the tank with.

Another trick - Keep some of the old gravel, put it in some panty hose. Keep the panty hose bag sitting in your old tank water while you set up new - then hang it in the tank for a couple of days.

PS Discus are notoriously sensitive to water quality, much more so than many common fish - if you are losing angels, you'll want to hold off... they need a well established tank with pretty pristine water conditions to flourish.
See less See more
Hi ingg, thanks for your reply.
Yeah, I really regret having put the goldfish in there. and I guess whatever they did was too late to fix, because the odd thing is I didn't lose most of my other fish until after I took out the goldfish and did the complete water change.

lol, okay, it's not rust, but it looks like it. I guess it's a build up of whatever minerals are in the water. But do you think a faucet filter, (it doesn't do osmosis, it says it deionizes the water) would be suffiecent to keep that from happening? This is a link to the filter itself

So I should start the planted tank with my current water? I'll try the pantyhose trick too, thanks for that! ^_^

Definitely I won't be spending money on discus until I'm certain I can keep the compatable fish alive in it first. So I know that's a ways off.

But thanks again for your help!
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.