View Full Version : 90 gallon planted Discus Tank

09-25-2017, 11:09 AM
Hello! My name is Jerad, and I'm from Sioux Falls, SD. I have kept fish for a couple years, and I think I am ready for a challenge in fish keeping. I will soon be purchasing a 90 gallon tank and stand of Craigslist. It includes a finnex planted + light. It also includes a sunsun filter, but I don't trust those, so I will be upgrading.

The plan is to purchase 8 or so discus from a quality source, such as Chicago Discus. I will raise them in a 40 gallon breeder (bb) until they are about 6 inches round. I will try to do daily 50% water changes for the most part. I will pick the best 6 to put in the planted tank.

Meanwhile, why raising the discus, I will get all the quirks worked out in the planted tank. I have experience with planted tanks, so it shouldn't take more than a few months. I will be running C02 and go with a Dutch style aquascape. The plant groups will be separated, and we'll spaced so it is easier to vacuum.

I will be using 3/4 inch or so of sand for the substrate. A deep substrate isn't needed, as I am mostly growing a variety of stem plants. The tank will also be stocked with specialty Cory's, 3-4 Apistogramma, a school of cardinal tetras, and a small shoal of ottocinclus.

In order to help lower bacteria counts I am going to be using a UV sterilizer, mainly do I can try and get away with using a lot of plants. This will be a fairly slow build, so I can do it right.

Questions: what filter system should I run with? Last time I used a canister filter, it leaked all over, so I am kind of weary. (It was a used eheim) a couple aquaclears? I was thinking about a sump, but I think it will degas the tank too much.

How long will it take (with feedings 3 times a day and daily water changes) for 3 or 4 inch discus to grow to about 6 inches?

What else can I do to decrease my chances if failure? (I am planning on using R/O water as well.)

I work at my LFS, so I can get equipment and fish pretty cheap. Thanks.

09-26-2017, 02:11 PM

Welcome to the forum and the world of discus! Sounds like you have a lot of experience and some good resources under your belt to be successful. It also sounds like you have done your homework and read a lot before even getting going which puts you light years ahead of most people when they begin, myself includes, so kudos to you for that...

I think you have a great plan from what I have read!

Are you dead set on growing the fish yourself? Or would you consider getting the 5-6" off the jump. Have you decided on strain?

Like you, I have come to detest canister filters. I have a sump myself and love it, but the AC HOB always worked fine for me and were easy to clean and maintain.

Did you test if you need to age water?

Shaun's Discus
09-27-2017, 08:49 PM
Sump is by far the easiest filter to maintain in a Discus tank. I look at it from this approach, if you are raising young discus and strive for the best possible water quality, a bare bottom or maybe a very thin 1cm or less FPS covering is best so you have no detritus build up and left over food to cause potential problems because it is very EASY to vacuum away each day or even twice daily.

A canister on the other hand could potentially get you into a situation like "out of sight, out of mind" because the canister will remove most of the left over food and poo. Problem with this is that its still in the system, and ultimately we don't want any poo in the tank at any given time. So unless your prepared to pull down the canister all the time and remove the gunk, its way way more easier to have a sump that takes care of the water biological side of things and a simple vacuum of the bottom here and there when the poo arrives.

In my prefilter on the sump, all I have to do is change out the filter pad whenever I see it starting to discolor. Plus I always shut down the pump when feeding so any food on the surface doesn't get skimmed in and get left to foul in the sump,,, my sump is as clean as the main tank.

Anyway these are things I do to ensure my tank is poop free most of the time, wheras is some of my other cichlids tanks, the canister is simply a poop collecting dump, something my Discus will never see..