View Full Version : My first 55 gal Discus Tank

04-18-2017, 03:03 PM
So long time lurker here, recently registered and decided I would put up a post about where I am and where I hope to take this tank.

First I should mention this will be my first time keeping discus, but not fish in general. I have had salt and fresh water fish most of my life and almost always have at least 1 tank going in the house some where :) I have kept planted as well as bare tanks and everything in between.

So here is my plan.

Bare bottom 55 Gallon tank, possibly with a little driftwood, but I want to keep this bare bottom for my first discus tank. I built the stand with room for a sump, but found a very nice deal on a couple HOB filters and went that route. I had been "preparing" 2 sponge filters in one of my other tanks for a while and just put them into the new tank to jump start the cycling process. It has been running for over a week now, fishless and everything has stabilized nicely.

Stealing this from the questionnaire in the other part of this forum I will add it here :
Temp - 84.5 +/- .5
Tank PH - 7.2 - 7.4
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - <.5 ppm
Nitrate <10 ppm
The water is city supplied, de-chlorinated and aerated, brought to temp then used. I don't do anything with the PH and from testing over the past year it has been very stable between 7 and 7.4.

Now the stocking questions. I have a local fish store that has been awesome to me over the past year they have been opened and recently started bringing in some discus. I would like to stock the 55 gal in the range of 4-6 adults, maybe more, but starting light :)

Here are some pics of a few of the fish they have, I wanted to get your opinions on them. I have spent a few weeks looking at them and they all seem healthy, active and well, but there are many more experienced folks here.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/LX-zkeTmpLXCekz_c0WgzawRYh-TGGFO7O2RCZ79E8BYN4kw1NE7SOCdr3LcHaa4UyJKWvwZj7tI_ pNy98sRCjiXh7OwHUsgFPHQrpb6uzxTKsnDUqYmFkz_57HW4CL iGp25nndRZu1UoYI2bN0dMLN6PB5bwr6_yJKtYbU3uIz1brN5Q P0tBnDT1OIKKaNHI2RXf_Z3_VletmxNeUzjtgLvGpGlkxc_mcf wDJw64aEEtWUhKLx-lJ1K5lUDI-6fjnVCQfYCHB9OKnyaAILToG57LZjDSRCwd6G31DRIbRlAubRe VGzhLdB1SKodHCKSmhzmFQJoh_qfpjgG0cAn01BtNerJ_PvUi0 JG0z_2hUw0O8tDiKI_EYH8pK7n0wka9eeHbEbtKavn0ZM4w-bv3hWpksns-eZEW1wux6VEj6VzE7LLEiZUNS5pzK0oz8Dd4t8MSJxyMSfmutN 6Ug7GQtYqvi1YOiHUiq61ISWjVLwjuks4iMqZ6j420jIkTtPpF mVFL4WHZvxJYdoGwnDo40HmOIPsk2jTysUd93-Ds5y-vgRVPdvesUIy7E2rFzaEL4-solzFmrv0lfl7rLUHW2ePuiyz0Kat5saU7Dsm99OWzZxhVMPwr LNgupkg-YkpKkUGh3bUoaTHnfcmYzLE2Zna4E_bgGTwFmlf74dOLlE=w52 6-h935-no
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TcUYn1Bq3BSllLUTDAtCYw8O_t1UT2Pn2aieWPLRgsWE84hlyL jISZNVzBIQvW-nhOUPpJM_-0mP7Nn2NHs8zHPPOp8yXtTuRzrcKwVU4tUyggvT540IAUt5SDo vdYLGHQqkFx26KAejCXV8j8S6n8YY9Pg8WKVPpzUiUM4Dj1RVG hf6iW-f65UTo_9L-gVzp2m74r8hDmdpfZZq_x_VfnefQx95NGwQUggm1CFXmKpT6eO qKyVcEmWq604AsV4sc9q_lAmFxeDWFnJ0I0XoYYI78pcqKHJBR x9UHhgfv0lro8u6vvxf-7q7EE-gzwPHhiqfhX90ilb0GoaHQ9RPDRiQNEmvTr-GI0X8bi2qTvXvdRJpn-EpyNg-b2CKo1RVd4n1goryIEK9laPgyhz9rxwfMxbP6smyqSWMo7bStC H3SqGhP7Quw4yWmDYr7WFTb7cwZAri62Tit489Bn3AvMa98QzA m80AbrKxdYrxEu_0qURxUkS6XTDfgZVDBwk-W1R_Yi33njirt8mC3nMuww_NlpVYdm1Mxobhe6C5mQyhtDquey QxPelhQHcEqg0APVpwkCvHevKBt3qYRvlAtKUK0YC7Etfr4qua nLLSxh1tIDRB7g=w526-h935-no
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7MQdfA3cDZYySV3KA-P9JGoFtr-96dBMhy3kBhgQ8wABCqoRVdWOeoiMW2a-CzzCp-3HEiUKgf1NbmXsdiPwrZuJRDOcCu-NxPZcDaFQqwtsjHXamOOvRsvpioL8qStZ9SCdPCIKzYdzD4oss Tvc3fO21p247JjZvFediTBzQ8CIe8x4OVzsHuRtc7twafi1Rj-EDN8uPp2VJPdZBBFWqbiSTayKWPMmac_x6nnyPdND_HXVf099I BHRt28NObMvDYwSIIYS-gg9Q0UjH8lBUlL6uv_4WCEveoHmsfI7YQtheiw8qLUvp8u18my UfSxdUEqHYheGoGMWr1Qpxk8c4RBdFoVbC0Tm4m5VJYhpSZvGn 2Dg7jSrxBDW_20UAr_4y1vw_h3koGlutKUsTXFSKtIuonUJoCS vg1SwruJHOjuMhFEtzVHNZY0w_fMcnn8jZ8o3e6rF0zJLiYVnn OFQtpulmIRoEi2XSkQVjUEjNBJeSbIqCq7Irua7o6SdvJPz7wf DGmnd4lwmngA7ubrXoLWAEhJB2AGv-TMiI4uMMzpPHFLE5VQIRcRi6tZZnJmhvos92D3OrQOBS1kDtjq LQC2beFvZ8sVIA8B6R6b7c0WdbtS7MA=w526-h935-no
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nlnDIJSQpnj5fmvpOBuz3KOpQiG6nExw7lJQqiSrvUSFDeXgJ1 t6hgRIxp6Kpzj-nEcHoXbuay9G4UaWIuGqedwNvgLpt_IxPWCecJjTumu9wQQUX5 EDKfX2oUtAOO4N34CibAYoHNPIU58VxWYmIryWCFYsumk9gF9b N2vUhTLkj-WosEB8sbdbYLecuUu_4oxNPYYGRJBHDUvuoV36rZO4jSONabJu icD7kr0-rrXE7JfEipbDDLySbZ3fVGO_VZd0CgEvCE5gXlaaOktabXm6rQ YpE8fVTfNzZ9rVGgDQIbLuoms65pexlL_EAzfSWp1eWfBJ_qpS BT7oozos7IX1j7Rw20kLL87NhAZJd9PF1Zc5CuzlQAvJgzHUm2 NTPltkamU2qz-FolVcQ4x1ElFO0qcqVrWlGaBXwAC-3J4xcELreRK1tBUxO41nMAREG3hqGXqgbKCIFk1vD4gTRvn6TZ W1LgvzQcKE-1aFs-_170zgNjh6zbYYity5qwuyp_Frkw6YEFMXLEl_mOixEmcEY8m2 JrBFKRiLqe7gaxlpaUpVP6nh23f_TsL92Do8zfUdZw07N1drd0 LWyy1C-I58ID2IfVl7wwrIesoxRtvk8NoCvQ=w526-h935-no

Let me know what I am missing on the setup, and what you all think of the fish. Thanks all and glad I finally decided to stop being a lurker!

Second Hand Pat
04-18-2017, 03:13 PM
Hi rellik and welcome to Simply. While the discus appear overall healthy their eyes seem quite large to me. Generally we do not recommend discus from the LFS as they tend to get added to the general fish population which exposes them to all sorts of parasites etc. There are other options if you care to explore the sponsors on Simply. Where in Orlando are you. I am in the Lake Nona area.

04-18-2017, 03:15 PM
I am up in Oviedo actually, but most people have no idea where that is unless you live around here :) Was down at the farmers market by you a few weekends ago. I am open to look at all options honestly, thanks!

04-18-2017, 07:08 PM
That is a very good recommendation from pat. All too much often we see new discus keepers have a bad first experience with discus due to lfs purchase. As you know getting started into discus is an investment so you want to do all you can to give yourself best chance for success. Starting off with quality stock will help you avoid a lot of issues.

Take some time and browse the sponsor page. You will find trusted trusted suppliers with high quality stock, most of which will ship right to your doorstep.

Good luck

04-18-2017, 07:24 PM
Yes, there are some beautiful fish there. Honestly was a bit overwhelmed at first. Having the fish at the LFS was a nice way to see some of them in person. Now that I am not as overwhelmed I can go back and look through there again. I must have spent an hour on Kenny's current list alone :) Thanks guys, love all the advice here.

04-18-2017, 07:30 PM
Yes, there are some beautiful fish there. Honestly was a bit overwhelmed at first. Having the fish at the LFS was a nice way to see some of them in person. Now that I am not as overwhelmed I can go back and look through there again. I must have spent an hour on Kenny's current list alone :) Thanks guys, love all the advice here.

I know the feeling. All my fish are from Kenny. I've visited him three times for fish and now I'm out of room lol

04-18-2017, 07:42 PM
If only I had know when I lived in CA or MD that there were such amazing fish and people there to visit... Maybe when I am back visiting relatives.

05-11-2017, 08:23 AM
So I spent some time talking with people on the forum and a few friends and gave Kenny a call last month. Like everyone says, he is awesome! He walked me through things, gave me a bunch of advice and helped me pick some great fish to get my tank started. He also has helped get me addicted and now I need more tank space... Oh well, I suppose that is a good side effect.

I ended up going with

1 x 3.5-3.75" HB Blue Diamond x Cobalt
2 x 3.75"+/- Blue/Red Snakeskin
1 x 3"+/- Albino Platinum
2 x 4.5" Mosaic Turquoise

The shipping was very well done, everyone was warm and snug. The box was held at the fedex location so I could pick it up there and all went smooth. I took them out as soon as we got home and floated them for a while, ph was just about the same so scooped them out and put them in the new tank.

One thing I was surprised by a little was just how skiddish they all were at first. Darting all over the place and splashing like kids if I moved to fast near the tank. I decided to try an old trick I heard of and covered the tank for the first couple days, then slowly started getting them light. They are now on a timer and besides the morning moans of waking up they are fine with the light. Still like to hide, but are much more friendly and now when I walk by they beg for food. Seriously, how do you not feed them around the clock when they are always asking for food and will eat out of your hands :)

Now the pictures :D
This is when I first put them in, turned the lights on for a picture and then into the dark they went. I wanted a "before" picture if you will.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Q-JUuCz8aG6pfMSZjkZKqLKVk_Co42n5BQy4oSCkU0kBUkpaZF6s 8yXg_G1s_RfrKq1KP8TuUfiO0FBBgwJroDlGD0gEYBaRyB-F0AiuIVVJuiMCwgzn4XIKN0PQwdW2l94-JdZZeJqS1Sz7WqcwtbfG44MZO-DqKstx17OW_ps4WRN9rNyyZ2h9bpM9oht5IjjuKRFeKzfHdYRh tSj8rl0YGEWQS_B01qMAqfLeOBf0VcJT-ImhH87bj_RRFTMHhQ3Nwm3s9-BhduaVrlS__QqEliYbdYI-5ayylrkwMUa68S8-aDCQWLWfberzgYwkeiTQlVna5AqN-euCTdwt3JjuJrYQPV9SsstPHZQxRAtpEi7Up4MjR52IvzCfZU1 EaiYQ9lzFuSBRE-uNgZkAWBR17Obm3Dg-eHb63Z0JlhN7Lxpj6bxsy5lB9MlIDiHghtMIOq4do3TlJ-QUYqg2wnCIm3527YoB3PKTW7nU7pRwqaMd_Z24GRRs_RnlW1fd DApL4PoXlvYa64Fji7TzUddA0k0v31LcYGX2YdcfQu9UkupEOl ZxMhRZy75gx4KwvRA-_-UqXbnkpCNbB6MWK1SC0bSF4d2FixQbZ1NNcptMPGUcpvxuYnbg ONYsgjvdu2SJb54pfDW52Ny05G7ht_wMdGY1Zg8LjiPumLQPs5 U=w554-h984-no
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9_DhaPIsPMXdACQ1exzaoef43Virh3AaAyxByd_5l5PWUyBR_h 9ZTsYsF18eCJvNmXLmJoR65_922frB9rzzVslrhR-DHfzOACxU6Tkm0zdrEEFW6We-KPSHJwKUR4TxoJcUa_fkcePisg3QtPJmC-f6ho4IvApYCeHUQngURDsb46z5Qt1XbziL7-CeElxWV0ZWlt-i8QywUtZUJl94F6G24EkEdYQYg2_-wXwg01bEL_x6aoZP7rIo0xmFjQo-sb29mW4qx0Wm4jdp2onda9Ie4mLiY32JA4MRSE1IUkKpOXP7M-do7iqzVhxpwEcUyKzlnWOHNQGsRzXV57GYgU7oni58ZqaXU9Ul zhUOfc5dKr8E_-8gtWPlzURZ3Z1-dKAAraUUC8GIYJ1G3IKh2rR8LM3Lhjp2p0nnNAivY714lI0qe_ tc7c58mn0rPnc4agzjvekjpziNygymbo6OJEeJgHfaRCkzZFC4 ACPoKztO5ExYHneHBeDdLQ_tEKV-yVSe1BulU1TyyCb6yzum46ZKngVTjhcZl85kT6IjC6cN5vDFMe x_pWz3uGHfxjmmqLEy5s3uI-iga8wfgcMK7JDPB-c2s1DQgZys90lWHyCY4eAWHm4AkD0NYn0VLbUUKi0z0W2ygsAL azUQVBhbI84TscexFwc1RnG2Kc5trL0=w554-h984-no
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/090iHGSS0S4j5ccU61DUApDDlz5J_88kefWaGQ3exMFmbgNDmL kPfRTtj2ego7P6SQ6dyGZ3o7W20sqv2-3qHTXHmpATxKE1ed3Iriyzcl4f0fjlYol4xkx7hSQW7kCDmdOC yyzGwxFcPUUTHBm6-ulNa95EQThzkZdBvpVLEaHq1TAUGx6GvonlpPI70HRP8COzLCm QCie0sLqIBpNDho0rhUKybqJTsFB-_dcjPw9GzDTCZ8nn3XLSG-FRhBNw_Wbz5s1XqpUj02d0wEq5501Xl5hbPci9viHO1GL2Ta4-Uz0pPSZeicEsIeaUPOkfjPcgPI-ccQmfmTlMZQZnRT-MGl0TzDyJZwlRfJjD49VPZuhT_2QYX4giYfJFcPSmSshLOo8Ry 6jHUj5YiNNN090Z1jrn38F_a4DLLVw-CVvbeUmQbcb-YEUEvdi7X1dxa_lghrTwbA2b8qRNaJ5r8D8YmWjsFqgYlvdc33 _ZFs8q0s6R7JpTYS1_MvwzvMjErfbi2MR3IHhQUfciqBl556nv uL3jZr-njHS4t37PzOyPu-XsqEDiUssRExMD9HmHvU0UsaRwar9Dyocne-M7akKuOXGsaHyVJLOwT8Wb1s_Rm0VHohwKHwxe1u-4dzW0nKcvHBV5uTdRsqJkWcuOdCzitJF7sFy5Mtq1wBM0Z4Y=w 554-h984-no

Those were from just about a month ago. Here is some I took the other day.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/oBjt6Curlt-0gLf5Akysq8Lk7nyN3-mw43RvOin22anfAuDgezfjNXDv0H15zeQAUlbMHhSXDe4_UeCC-F4YXE5MbmK8kQ-e0yXXGBJ9CYFtDg1LvpfEXA9Lr848Hi1gPfzm9D6TbEM9bjtsN nzHDz0WsHo8bj_MyvqDvBCCggpDnfMqdxgbyNNDlycrzHYCbmw JVcWMrpXJhpsN4baf2fM9ZA4V6P_6ihKksi43b6abYpRXgHCj7 uStqR-dJ1d5CRPr-ocSzXSrXP7KV5PlOORvLIJvoJLbCT8CuHfoRrqb7G9b7SYCfkL ePfOrW5EvXuYLz3fKM7a973jZyj9XC30sio7fnDDyqHgrshRT1 5BpHPt4ZEWoU1HxZTDy2KPasuw4RaSFcmfp3RDBQyinZHha7nE Fak5nIPQ4Y1tpu9qYDuMYpLuvj7pHiMMn0WHTO2k_NDOadGyTj su4Gdc-n83hYWZnJ-OPRe9VXbg_qmK993LBn-6UE-0I4uCigwbBUBIYAtpw3MhrcmyV5XyeG5YyXiwN48qPoTF_AdpA gz_PUaQK1a9qB30IVj83V-CAxOEpRQ3e1zYb_XahYtXXNbopdXMYd6BpX_heDB-6pGuLjTKE2SajkvounL57SQFzysmZPqh4VlNM6AErpcZ7RlFhg r3QNG7atkkXThd-ixk=w1180-h984-no
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/fKr8rE0OVyxqDLmMvLMY2tJ8MVzfx3yaiGBq70Yz5KQiFm-afPsBSnKyPgMCuV8uRMpWSh63SVF_UFGS472JGgPcge_Tj0BKb 9ZZ7-jn79UFmZ-4r8Mz8K5jtH9KyBK4ZJ7TWU77E66DfUj7rchp0cUe5aa9CAGHZ sH2dbo6LGwrqOrlKxegYHEXgR0xLsmPZudyCy5Y-MDX2wO4X8MTEtgJPJn_W6puS2XDkk_Mu6ZIje3CvWGlY3Y3eqb _AUv2RKw7ZggT-McUUeKCfVZzdPWWOPbEw6oXS2SkafJC6exlN7rz4nV-unSBAedvFkU9mnCfrOm_FTq8VgArmaknHbO7eNPCkWMJ6im6gf u3Q4mBbppUXonZis9QFA5s08bWBTQTtCDDHiKUDnNWJDE0mB_S 5H0BVwTO2oHOPJ_vqGe1ofE9xtmf0-2XTCr8-bXGOnds9zJNLy4z0ed341kMq5nj3pw3AbKDPZIhz4QXyU_fX2U qk98Eij6r3mO5dSo8O43sCbtYtLnaPn0uk46H4Dlg_mQd-bqhuayuvwRIzVOS8X9v0cgbD17HVGuskhaM5ESC8pIOet4IOE_ FuHmR8V24goN0awhcWV5E5-9BO93TsUYBq2ZLombG1o7q7sPT3Sh7mOFwkeIH6wKxocAvY5XK-4P5GA4ke68_1gZf1_0=w1476-h984-no
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/D7Ou_tSRt77ZYo6lPR4yAOggOdkoheRx9S0xMonyl16UlhJQ_f jq4mdbBux_RvU7iSnTM9vEjrH-D1K5izu23PzZ4X0bP0BoNtW1POE7GDxcXkJY_LmOakGfuMTfby pXf2onRjg8n3xxrwC04wWxcxJNCLknK08HwdrtzCbDQacEZkUc gbre5wCpy56nQMCmG7c6L0WRKCryHvjdgYNCOZ-ZAvaIrfuHl2qsKvcjOZoEj0Ljcr2gMna32atn9fxyTEbWjn3E0 VONlBiDJ-kydOxePlYAEEedBdsMhMLPIiT87i7Yr0PQLRqtZKjs8JthYk6V cIbRnyV5IW3FpueEKop9M-6YAP0syTfacqeSyk3McDzsOkcIZ5ORurqM7V4wt1GFvf304vud xojVaqORlwL41zxW1jj0sw7mSY5OkUYozP1OUz7v7Jk5Q384Hi qN9nbDfOzcjnN1jrg0gn6JaOtg-eLlnhp2qmkpY0cL8iyPC-p8QwPixMfTWmdpQhr_4hSz79yHB7yxbiV2HCq5agtjp4_Lc5Fn pyO6ieg9NJmZVqP5822caI0MTaoVDzxbkk7LkTTZldm1y9Y2Hp PpxAS-ccbrcZ6XI39OGfYas3X0QPWpeS2gU28jiLSszqH_FbWp1SrpLf didu1l_DEhyLWmYltXCTRGSVvtyRCvPUs=w1476-h984-no
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/THeB49h6kslwluNKYQjyvwB78oC0JRz48pMouiMoM0rljsXBOB DwTHEXRo9Du2scNVMXKmIJAuj8I3Nom6TFZWyXSrVZA9-35nSlfqwIex8T4HPZ8MP3yl7IFgQv6SIhKZXJOlTdMJHAzYUoC eMow2g5BzVRlegRW_3cPBzmrlNhusMFVm4p94R9fPkCHWeobX-aVxuyS4KRr4OccJVs4-AWFHRDoiwM6oVbw1n5azbYmYEGnVPX2-eYPeNFIZ_jrpRdgQJq14sy3iiLVZ_2sZhV3MUHQjj8RNyp8xmk oYeEDL4JaVKefAWV4M3tg4wkOfCW2XlZq9uUJNvTcMaVrKZE7F 5MR6Wf94dGgBA6euskiFGgsaKdtkBXG2S5pBLfYb0hc1Nps7el aOfoL5vRh67N3FtS87-iCaszca5_e2zolXwrVMcJOexNGq5B1UieRv22iztgKwsOTu7qp lcGp7fqlnjhu5Pk_HTi5YjVdnOe7_x7mT29G9OnPe-6nwa49YOEhfAoRKjHlVUfv6q3DUMIO2CED0DDefLv0ediV0iaL uss_Bk-rNfevVDOmLfEhXW6VFuziNEB8Q8QeoYOt54fHXE2nnxAfgdC9B sMyZn65yRlC-Iiw0Jm0kRTQFgplDf-GaHpd7_uOt9CtMs4V_5BAkWC-OPiSrDulH5qyiU=w1476-h984-no
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/csX5EhMaFSuZN-e1u5NGcL3PFTttCUmi4dmivolluI_9U24TvysSzVWq-npBg9jFLqCGWdch85aDnQieX_RUqoM1GTlcLW6gBDc-2pndS_mxU-fvf5ib0nUQtRoauohV8iezzEec8G9suURvgPXb--UYTIFGFSyI5LjCBiccXrXshsxCBmIdx8VbAaAZYkReucC7h_J3 DratCMzirgcPyyC7BFAzNK2pY3P_70BD4wz6PKqPLg8lfq5x0l 2BKT5CLJgf99Mh1lqTHvOymYzy9CBoi5jRurJj9jjbnt-oN8XsXIbBeHiiac7EinPzOkViUP2H2zq8s5JyELoyjm89YmIWU 0zHt3NRDqrcVx52FGFAHWCmT8vKxjx9gBTw-JvKdzE_yO2WIjzmc_bFXgf8ouHqvqJyS-BTIwYTvmLpqtr9l0e8ZqIFFMhvTqlD6gTuM6cYraMyOtMrCgXn j9JlvdXszTeVFDKhonNw_EDbpEHXegv8ec-C0IfFM8J1rMHDyt9YcMuLlA36vc5frnkDzQpSed6qc47K4oRBU 9MxJ1gVdqJE8Pqpnp3YJ5sS8EpB7uIMDBbHRGrS8RnuNgVQzfY 6Zr2bfNrw4MxrLmj5Fxuf_cXD-3B64xW52lAQhe3zEzs4kEVuNrU-uLLI42yiJH_yPG-5UVsyfmwJYjCig8c=w1476-h984-no

They have all adjusted well from what I can tell. I would like to put some driftwood in the tank and move some pothos over on top, but in time. I wanted to keep it as clean as I could in the beginning to make sure they all transitioned well. They are getting the FDBW, Discus gold dialy food, and some occasional frozen bloodworms when the rest of the fish get some. Thanks again for all the advice everyone!

05-11-2017, 08:36 AM
I should also mention I got a new camera around when I got the discus, I only have the kit lens at the moment, but need to hit up the other section of the forum for advice on what other lenses to get and tips on taking fishy pictures :)