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Hi Everyone,

I have a little experience with small tanks over the years and have had one planted tank in the past (29 gal).

I want to get a planted discus tank and I have been spending several weeks reading about discus and trying to come up with a plan.

I think I want to get a 90-125 gallon. My past experience is all with HOB filters but it sounds like canisters or a canister/HOB mix is best. I have had coralife fixtures and bulbs in the past and will probably use them again.

I am thinking of buying new to avoid any problems like leaking, disease, etc., but there is a used (7 year old) 125 gallon available locally with stand, hood, lights, two Rena XP3's, air pump, etc with cichlids in it for $500.

Is that a great deal that I should snap up or is it worth the extra money to get everything new?

Also, is it safe to switch a cichlid tank to a discus tank or would I have to break it all down and recycle it like new anyway?
 

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Good to hear you're doing your homework - that's the only approach to take with discus.
I don't believe there is any particular benefit to using a canister in conjunction with an HOB.
If you get a 90 gallon tank, and you're used to the HOB's and like them (I certainly do in my discus tank, for a variety of valid reasons.),why don't you consider running 2 - AC HOB 110's - that'll do a good job on that size discus tank. If you go for the 125, perhaps you should consider a good canister to run with an AC 110. (I run 2 AC 110's on my 75 gallon.)
That 125 gallon kit for $500. sounds quite reasonable if it's all in good condition - would be worthwhile to seriously consider it. If the Cichlids in that tank are healthy, there shouldn't be a real need to completely break it down, but once the Cichlids are removed, you should nevertheless do a real good cleansing job on the tank, substrate, filters/ media, etc. if you plan to use the latter. (Although it may be a safer bet to completely re-cycle that tank).
It may help you to have a read of my illustrated discus guide on the simplydiscus.com forum - here's the direct link:

www.forum.simplydiscus.com/showthread.php?86009-Beginner-s-Guide-to-Getting-Started-with-Discus

As a matter of interest, it may also give you some thoughts to have a peek at my planted discus tank:
http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/h357/discuspaul/Sept2011
Best of luck
and don't hesitate to PM me if you have questions or I can otherwise help you out in any way.
Regards, Paul
 

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Hi,

I've been dying to try a discus tank for forever but I never did because of all the crazy water changes the discus people kept telling me I'd have to do. I just don't have the time...but the most repeated advice was to set up the tank and run it for at least 6 month so that it's a well established tank before adding discus.

Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!

I'm green with envy!
 

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Well... you sure as hell don't need to have a discus tank set up and run it for 6 months before adding discus.
And yes, you hear a lot about many large wcs, daily usually, but that's if you wish to grow out young discus to their greatest growth potential.
It's not really that difficult if you're happy with good-looking, healthy discus being raised to a reasonable size. Twice a week wcs or less will do, if you follow a few simple rules keeping your water conditions in good order, with a reasonable tank/filter cleansing routine.
As I've said before, if you'd like to try it, but you're a little scared off because of the rigorous regimes said to be necessary, I'll be glad to help you out raising discus without getting bent out of shape trying to overdo it, like some will tell you.
Discus are actually quite hardy fish, they just require a little more attention, and reasonably good water quality.
 
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