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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well my 85 gallon is up and ready to start.Have been considering a discus tank,even started saving for the fish but I love the planted side so much and all research points to problems with a planted discus tank that i think I may just go with Angelfish...
 

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I had physco angel fish in my 125......they all went to new homes.
They destroyed my plants also.
I see all kinds of pics of planted tanks with angels....I guess I got the delinquent ones....lol
 

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Well my 85 gallon is up and ready to start.Have been considering a discus tank,even started saving for the fish but I love the planted side so much and all research points to problems with a planted discus tank that i think I may just go with Angelfish...

An 85 gal tank is just perfect for discus, and they can do very well in a planted set up if you get adult, or near adult-sized fish from a reputed quality discus supplier, are prepared to do reasonably ample sized wcs on a regular basis, and pay attention to adopting a good tank cleansing routine.
It's not rocket science and it's not difficult - just takes a bit of commitment, and good care & attention to the fish.
Be glad to help you out in any way I can if you wish.
How far away from Chicago are you located ?
 

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As long as I throw elodea in the tank, nothing else gets eaten.
They eat the elodea down to the stem like corn on a cob.
Then again even my platy fry love eating that.

I think there is a (potentially expensive) learning curve with discus, which would start by successfully keeping them in a bare bottom tank.
Then when you can handle that, move to a sand substrate, and if they still don't die after a few months, try sticking a piece of wood, and some very open plants that won't collect trash at the bottom....
 

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I have raised angels for years. I have no problem with them in my planted tank until I try to plant wisteria. For some reason that they eat until there is just the stem.
 

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Discus seem amazing but the work associated is a little extreme unless you plumb the tank for easy water changes. Discus look like they take more effort than a reef and thats saying something.
 

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An 85 gal tank is just perfect for discus, and they can do very well in a planted set up if you get adult, or near adult-sized fish from a reputed quality discus supplier, are prepared to do reasonably ample sized wcs on a regular basis, and pay attention to adopting a good tank cleansing routine.
It's not rocket science and it's not difficult - just takes a bit of commitment, and good care & attention to the fish.
Be glad to help you out in any way I can if you wish.
How far away from Chicago are you located ?
As long as I throw elodea in the tank, nothing else gets eaten.
They eat the elodea down to the stem like corn on a cob.
Then again even my platy fry love eating that.

I think there is a (potentially expensive) learning curve with discus, which would start by successfully keeping them in a bare bottom tank.
Then when you can handle that, move to a sand substrate, and if they still don't die after a few months, try sticking a piece of wood, and some very open plants that won't collect trash at the bottom....
Discus seem amazing but the work associated is a little extreme unless you plumb the tank for easy water changes. Discus look like they take more effort than a reef and thats saying something.

Everyone has these scary notions in their head when it comes to discus. As Paul pointed out though, it doesn't have to be as difficult as it sounds. Raising young discus into big healthy adults is the tricky part. Thats when you need the bare bottom tank; and the 5 + feedings daily with high protein foods which make a huge mess so you are doing multiple water changes to clean the mess and to ensure at least 50% new water daily. Keeping full size discus in a planted tank should be no harder than most other species though and IMO leads to one of the most beautiful setups out there!
 

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I have raised angels for years. I have no problem with them in my planted tank until I try to plant wisteria. For some reason that they eat until there is just the stem.
I can add Rotala stems to the list. If I can generalize, they have an affinity for softer stems.

The only thought I'll add to this discussion about Angels and or Discus is that I tend to think of neither of them as good candidates for a brand new tank. Both no longer bear much resemblance to the wild specimens of decades ago, and neither react to stresses in their environment very well. New tanks usually go through a "break-in" period after being fully cycled and until water parameters stabilize over a longer period I wouldn't consider either a good first inhabitant.

Once the tank has been running for a bit and all seems stable and consistant, I'm with lksdrinker. They basically have the same needs that any fish would appreciate and thrive in.
 

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I noticed one picking at the cucumber I staked for the bristle nose. I've never had them eat my plants but then I've never fed them a purely carnivorous diet so maybe that's why.

I do overly large weekly water changes on everything just out of habit.
 

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As long as I throw elodea in the tank, nothing else gets eaten.
They eat the elodea down to the stem like corn on a cob.
Then again even my platy fry love eating that.

I think there is a (potentially expensive) learning curve with discus, which would start by successfully keeping them in a bare bottom tank.
Then when you can handle that, move to a sand substrate, and if they still don't die after a few months, try sticking a piece of wood, and some very open plants that won't collect trash at the bottom....
Discus seem amazing but the work associated is a little extreme unless you plumb the tank for easy water changes. Discus look like they take more effort than a reef and thats saying something.

I have to point out, without intending any offence, that these comments are typically the overly negative &/or out-of-context commentary of persons who have not previously kept discus themselves, and are simply repeating what they have read or heard from those people who have not successfully kept discus, mainly because they didn't know how to care for them.


Sad to say - I dearly wish that people who haven't had the actual experience of keeping discuss over a reasonable period of time would cease from offering their advice or negative commentary.
I myself have kept discus on & off for 35 years, and I repeat it's not difficult to keep discus in a planted set-up if one does it the correct way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the replies now I am thinking again

Bump: It's not rocket science and it's not difficult - just takes a bit of commitment, and good care & attention to the fish.
Be glad to help you out in any way I can if you wish.
How far away from Chicago are you located ?[/QUOTE]

Hi paul,thanks for the offer,my plan was to set up my tank with one or more lg.Amazon sword and maybe a couple Ozelots or shorter swords as well as a bunch of crypts many of which I have growing in my other tanks,also some Java ferns and Anubias.I was thinking of leaving the front half or more un-planted for swimming room or only some scattered short plants the idea from a source making the point that the plants should be low maintenance so trimming and planting is kept to a minimum thus less disturbance for the Discus.
First mistake was getting 80 lbs. of eco complete before research ing the importance of a light substrate to enhance color of fish and plants.This can fixed by selling the eco.and going with pool filter sand.
So as for my set up
I have a cascade 1500 canister filter and will add an aqua 70 hob for water movement,Lights are one meamsworks planted led and one current sat. led.no heater yet still looking.I am planning on co2 injection with a 10lb tank and regulator.more of my plan was to get this set up planted and stable than add Cardinal tetras and build up to about 30 fish also about 9 cory cats than after again being sure all is stable getting the Discus.
Questions
1 Should I get all the discus at one time as I heard that is the best way.
2 Are water temps of 82-84 about right.
3 Do you know of a breeder close enough or is shipping o.k.
please let me know what you think and any changes I should make.I am retired and live alone except my best friend ,a big black lab so I have plenty of time for regular water changes and maintenance.I often do twice weekly water changes on my two 40 gal.tanks just because i like the fresh clean look and fish seem to love it also.i live in Mich. about 4 1/2 hour drive to Chicago Thanks
 

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Thanks for all the replies now I am thinking again

Bump: It's not rocket science and it's not difficult - just takes a bit of commitment, and good care & attention to the fish.
Be glad to help you out in any way I can if you wish.
How far away from Chicago are you located ?
Hi paul,thanks for the offer,my plan was to set up my tank with one or more lg.Amazon sword and maybe a couple Ozelots or shorter swords as well as a bunch of crypts many of which I have growing in my other tanks,also some Java ferns and Anubias.I was thinking of leaving the front half or more un-planted for swimming room or only some scattered short plants the idea from a source making the point that the plants should be low maintenance so trimming and planting is kept to a minimum thus less disturbance for the Discus.
First mistake was getting 80 lbs. of eco complete before research ing the importance of a light substrate to enhance color of fish and plants.This can fixed by selling the eco.and going with pool filter sand.
So as for my set up
I have a cascade 1500 canister filter and will add an aqua 70 hob for water movement,Lights are one meamsworks planted led and one current sat. led.no heater yet still looking.I am planning on co2 injection with a 10lb tank and regulator.more of my plan was to get this set up planted and stable than add Cardinal tetras and build up to about 30 fish also about 9 cory cats than after again being sure all is stable getting the Discus.
Questions
1 Should I get all the discus at one time as I heard that is the best way.
2 Are water temps of 82-84 about right.
3 Do you know of a breeder close enough or is shipping o.k.
please let me know what you think and any changes I should make.I am retired and live alone except my best friend ,a big black lab so I have plenty of time for regular water changes and maintenance.I often do twice weekly water changes on my two 40 gal.tanks just because i like the fresh clean look and fish seem to love it also.i live in Mich. about 4 1/2 hour drive to Chicago Thanks[/QUOTE]


Sounds like a good plan to me, except I'd strongly suggest you change 2 things.
1. - Get your tank up & running & cycled, get your discus all at once, and put them in the tank first. The tank- mates should come later, to allow the discus to become fully comfortable with their new surroundings, start eating well, and for you to become relatively familiar with their traits & behaviors. This is the best approach.
And when you get the tank-mates, you would of course need to do a proper quarantine. I can instruct you on how to do this.


2. - Similarly, delay the use of pressurized CO2 for a couple of months for the same reason as above.
You want to keep things as simple as possible for the start-up, and avoid any complications the CO2 can produce by way of producing unwanted pH swings.
Water temp of 82-84 is just fine. Glad to hear you're going with PFS.
Always remember - your focus should be on the expensive fish, not the plants - got it ?


I've been in touch with a well-experienced, fully reliable breeder acquaintance of mine located in Grand Rapids, just a bit over 2 hours from you, to see if he has suitably-sized fish to supply you with. I'll let you know as soon as I hear from him.
If that doesn't work, my recommendation would be to get your fish from Chicago Discus (Josie & Miranda) who are excellent breeders & suppliers of high quality discus. You could either drive there to select in person, or they would FedEx or airship after showing you pics to choose from.
They guarantee live delivery.


That's it for now. I'll be back in touch soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Paul,have decided to take the plunge and will begin setting up and cycling tank.Should take a few weeks.This may seem like a dumb question but if Discus are purchased as adults how long of a lifespan do they have assuming all is done properly/
 

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Thanks Paul,have decided to take the plunge and will begin setting up and cycling tank.Should take a few weeks.This may seem like a dumb question but if Discus are purchased as adults how long of a lifespan do they have assuming all is done properly/

They have been known to live well beyond 10 years in captivity, but you wouldn't need to get older adults, sub-adults will do - 4" or somewhat larger - approx. 8 to 12 months old.
BTW, my source in Grand Rapids doesn't have any discus for sale at the moment.
So I highly recommend Josie & Miranda of Chicago Discus - website: chicagodiscus.com
Click on the "Shop" section near top of home page to see a gallery of the strains currently available, with prices. You can't go wrong with them - they're among the top 5 list of highest quality commercial domestic discus suppliers in the U.S. Arguably # 3 in ranking.
Getting high quality discus is 50% of the way to being successful at discus-keeping, imho.
 

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I agree with everything discuspaul says, the problem most people have with discus is they try to save money on the most important thing,the discus.I have no experience with chicagodiscus but see some nice discus on their website.As far as water changes I do a 50% every Sunday morning that includes cleaning the sides of the tank,trimming the plants and vacuuming the bottom it takes between 2 and 3 hours that's for a 150 gallon discus tank and then I wipe down and change about 10% on my 75 and 10 gallon shrimp tanks.

Bump: One thing I forgot is make sure you want fish for life because once you get discus your hooked.
 

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I agree with everything discuspaul says, the problem most people have with discus is they try to save money on the most important thing,the discus.I have no experience with chicagodiscus but see some nice discus on their website.As far as water changes I do a 50% every Sunday morning that includes cleaning the sides of the tank,trimming the plants and vacuuming the bottom it takes between 2 and 3 hours that's for a 150 gallon discus tank and then I wipe down and change about 10% on my 75 and 10 gallon shrimp tanks.

Bump: One thing I forgot is make sure you want fish for life because once you get discus your hooked.


I really like these comments - not because mooncon agrees with everything I said, but because of what else he said in these comments.
 
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