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lastflea
05-13-2018, 06:25 AM
Hi everyone.

My name is Rob, and I'm based in the South East of England, on the coast. I had a couple tanks about 3.5 years ago, but had to shut them down due to moving to a smaller house. I ran them successfully for about two years. Since we moved back into something bigger (me, my partner and two kids), I've been desperate to get back into fish keeping, and the fish I've always wanted, since I started up the hobby, are discus. I think it's fair to say I have the bug, on an untreatable level, except of course to get some discus. A sort of palliative care treatment.

I have a decent size tank (166g with 34g sump), which will eventually be stocked with 8 6" discus, 10/15 cory's, 10/15 silver hatchets, and possibly a large school of rummies. This is my initial idea, which may well change over time, but for now that's what I'm aiming for. This tank will be planted, but mostly on wood and rock. I'll be putting a plenum in the sand substrate, and have a couple swords, and other easy level plants.

This is my end game for my first attempt. I'll be buying 12 juveniles at around 2 to 3" and growing them out to 6" in a smaller, bare bottom tank with a sponge filter and daily water changes at 50%. Tank size around the 55g mark. Possibly a little bigger. Their diet will be a home made recipe I got from someone fairly familiar here. Joey (aka The King of DIY). I'll be weaning them off that before putting them in the main tank, because it'd be too messy for a tank with substrate. I've had this idea that I can dissolve the spirulina and carotenoids from that recipe into the main tank, so the discus can absorb it through their respiratory system. I think this might benefit them nutrition wise, on top of dry foods. Would this work?

As a first attempt, I'm going for a local Stendker dealer, as they're well tuned to our water from the tap, and by discus standards, are a safe, sensible starting point. I think.... I'd love to go head first and get some wilds in there. The Iripixi's I find particularly beautiful, and seen some amazing pictures of those crossed with Trombetas on this forum. Just beautiful, beautiful fish, and perhaps one day I'll be ready to take on that challenge.

For now though it's KISS all the way. I want to grow out some strong, beautiful Stendker discus, and get them in the display tank when they're ready.

Please, please do offer advice a long the way. I've been reading and commenting in this forum for a few weeks now, and browsing the web for information. Something I've learned from this forum, among many things, is my tap pH is 7.4, and 8 after ageing it. So I'll be investing in a large butt, maybe 1000l for water changes. I have reasonably soft water at 7GH, and a reasonable buffer at 5KH. I think these parameters will suit locally bread Stendkers just fine.

That's it for now. Updates will follow, and some pictures too.

Rob

Second Hand Pat
05-13-2018, 07:21 AM
Hi Rob, your plan and tank sounds very thought out and glad you are starting your juvies in a BB tank. As you know starting with juvies will be a harder road then starting with adults but they will teach you alot. Also know that even thru you have keep fish before discus are different and sounds like you are ready for this.

On another note I have not heard this...


I've had this idea that I can dissolve the spirulina and carotenoids from that recipe into the main tank, so the discus can absorb it through their respiratory system. I think this might benefit them nutrition wise, on top of dry foods. Would this work?

But perhaps if Al sees this he might comment. Looking forward to seeing you being successful with discus. :D
Pat

PS..need pictures :D

Second Hand Pat
05-13-2018, 07:37 AM
Rob, do you have any experiences with a plenum. I did a search for it on the forum and only found this.

http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showthread.php?60275-Uber-filter-Jaubert-plenum-Cell-Pore&highlight=plenum

This sounds like a high tech under gravel filter which use to be in common use and was known for trapping junk in the under the filter plate. I used them in early tanks and it was a mess when you removed the gravel and lifted the plate.

I would suggest rethinking this. I suspect a thin sand bed with vacuuming is way easier to maintain then a plenum.
Pat

lastflea
05-13-2018, 10:06 AM
Rob, do you have any experiences with a plenum. I did a search for it on the forum and only found this.

http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showthread.php?60275-Uber-filter-Jaubert-plenum-Cell-Pore&highlight=plenum

This sounds like a high tech under gravel filter which use to be in common use and was known for trapping junk in the under the filter plate. I used them in early tanks and it was a mess when you removed the gravel and lifted the plate.

I would suggest rethinking this. I suspect a thin sand bed with vacuuming is way easier to maintain then a plenum.
Pat

Thanks for the link and advice. I haven't used a plenum before, but was going to DIY it. First bio balls, then covered with weed fabric, then the substrate. I think the weed fabric will act well as a filter. I'm only putting a plenum across the back of the tank, maybe 6 to 8" deep towards the front. It's just for the swords, and maybe other taller plants. I'll then use egg crate on a slope so the substraight can level off to a thinner majority of sand. I hope that makes sense....

I'll have a look at that link though, and search out the negatives of plenums. It's funny how when you search something Google usually only returns positive results, unless you specifically ask for the negatives. I hadn't really considered the maintenance, because of the weed fabric. Food for thought though. Thanks again...

lastflea
05-13-2018, 10:19 AM
Hi Rob, your plan and tank sounds very thought out and glad you are starting your juvies in a BB tank. As you know starting with juvies will be a harder road then starting with adults but they will teach you alot. Also know that even thru you have keep fish before discus are different and sounds like you are ready for this.

On another note I have not heard this...



But perhaps if Al sees this he might comment. Looking forward to seeing you being successful with discus. :D
Pat

PS..need pictures :D

Hi Pat. Yes, I was going to grow them out in a planted tank, but thanks to this forum I decided to avoid the inevitable. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm going to give it my best shot and actually listen to people, for a change. In fact, I think I'll pass on the plenum in the main tank and maybe try it in another first. I'm setting up a shrimp tank too, just a small one. Maybe that would be a good place to try out the plenum and see how the weed fabric works....

Paul Sabucchi
05-14-2018, 03:44 PM
Hi, having started to grow out my juvies 9 months ago I have found the advice given on this forum invaluable. I may be over-simplyfying things but the cardinal rules I have gathered are:
1) Buy the best quality fish you can find (and don't mix fish from different provenence). As far as I have seen the Stendker fish (at least those imported here in Italy) are very average and sometimes outright uninspiring (maybe they send all the good ones to the States!). Should I return to the UK I would get mine from somebody like Francis Hu (Chen's discus).
2) Get a decent number from the get go (12-15?)
3) As much clean water as possible so big daily water changes (your tapwater seems reasonably good but measure the nitrate content), bare bottom tank helps but also put in place a system (hoses, taps, plumbing, water storage and heating, pumps) to make water changes as painless as possible. The easier it is the less you will resent doing it, I have been changing 60 gal a day and without a decent system it would soon get old!
4) Good food, now there is a choice of quality granules (NLS, NorthFin), Frozen (Chen's sells their own), I don't know where you could get fdbw in the UK or you could make your own as per Joey's video, although I find home-made foods messy so I just use grated (from frozen with the thingy used to shred carrots) wild Alaska salmon fillets (plenty of protein, not as fatty as farmed and no thiaminase). Enjoy the ride!

lastflea
05-15-2018, 04:28 AM
Hi, having started to grow out my juvies 9 months ago I have found the advice given on this forum invaluable. I may be over-simplyfying things but the cardinal rules I have gathered are:
1) Buy the best quality fish you can find (and don't mix fish from different provenence). As far as I have seen the Stendker fish (at least those imported here in Italy) are very average and sometimes outright uninspiring (maybe they send all the good ones to the States!). Should I return to the UK I would get mine from somebody like Francis Hu (Chen's discus).
2) Get a decent number from the get go (12-15?)
3) As much clean water as possible so big daily water changes (your tapwater seems reasonably good but measure the nitrate content), bare bottom tank helps but also put in place a system (hoses, taps, plumbing, water storage and heating, pumps) to make water changes as painless as possible. The easier it is the less you will resent doing it, I have been changing 60 gal a day and without a decent system it would soon get old!
4) Good food, now there is a choice of quality granules (NLS, NorthFin), Frozen (Chen's sells their own), I don't know where you could get fdbw in the UK or you could make your own as per Joey's video, although I find home-made foods messy so I just use grated (from frozen with the thingy used to shred carrots) wild Alaska salmon fillets (plenty of protein, not as fatty as farmed and no thiaminase). Enjoy the ride!

Hi Paul, thanks for the tips :)

How big were your juveniles when you got them, and how big after 9 months? Sounds like you achieved something very difficult for a first effort. Nice work!

I'm very lucky to live 45mins drive from a very reputable Stendker dealer.... https://www.devotedly-discus.co.uk. I have looked at Chen's, but he's a bit further away, but I might just do that anyway, to have a comparison. I think he's about 1.5hrs away, which probably sounds like nothing to the people here, in the States. My plan was to buy 12 juveniles and maybe reduce them to around 8, depending how they turn out. My tap has 0 nitrates, so quite lucky there, but I'm also using anoxic filtration in the display, and from other accounts, this helps a lot with water quality by reducing nitrates on a large scale. For the grow tank though, I won't be taking chances and sticking to the tried and tested method.

I have a decent size decking, and a garage for the grow tank, and planning to put a large water butt next to it, and will sort out some kind of system to make life easier. The grow tank will be smaller than the display though, so I reckon on maybe half an hour per day on water changes, an hour or so every 3 days for cleaning. Joey's recipe shouldn't be an issue as I'll have a bb, so just hoover up what's left after 10 minutes. I still need to look into feeding times, and that side of things a little further, but the grow tank isn't even bought yet, so plenty time. Not sure exactly what I'll be feeding in the display tank yet either, but needs to be nice and clean...

Anyone know if disolving the spirulina and carotenoids in the display tank water would work?

Paul Sabucchi
05-15-2018, 07:38 AM
Hi, I got mine (driving 4 hours each way) when they were 3 months old and about the size of a (big old) 50 pence coin, now 8 months later the bigger ones are nudging 5". Here is a video from when I first got them
https://youtu.be/l6G9b3KZvOk
And here is one from last week
https://youtu.be/bXEtfgRp91Q
As the tank is 60 cm wide they still appear smaller than in real life, also as fed on a 100% natural diet they are not as red as fish fed on a high asthaxantin diet (I don't think desolving it or spurulina in the water would achieve much besides making a mess, I believe it is only electrolytes that can be exchanged through the gills).
I have read good things about devotedly discus too, but probably I would like to have a peek at more than one retailer. I have some anoxic baskets in my tub ponds and an algae scrubber in one of my mbuna tanks so I am all for natural waste reducing methods but would not put a plenum in a display tank (and if it needs removing you will make the mother of all messes), just stick the anoxic baskets in the sump on some little spacers to make a plenum beneath them.

Paul Sabucchi
05-15-2018, 08:29 AM
For the grow-out tank are you planning on an external canister filter? If so you may want to consider some simple modifications that, although less than aesthetically pleasing, I have found to be really practical.
I have fitted a large filter sponge as a prefilter on the canister intake, this way it prevents all but the most minute particles of waste to get into the canister and also it is a doddle to rinse out daily during water changes.
Also I have fitted some 3 way taps, one on the tank on the intake and two just before the canister filter; of these the one on the intake can send the tank-water out (to the veggie plot) while the one on the return is connected to the pump in the ageing bins.
My daily routine is: turn filter off and turn off water flow to the canister, remove sponge from tank and put in a bucket, syphon bottom and fill said bucket (+ another one), open tap and let 240 liters of water out, in mean time wipe glass with "sponge on a stick" and Syphon some more with short hosepipe connected to 3 way taps in tank, turn off waste pipe and turn on return tap and pump to refill, rinse sponge in bucket and fit it back on, once full turn pump and tap off and turn filter taps and power back on

Paul Sabucchi
05-15-2018, 09:38 AM
Just to add that again Francis Hu swept most of the prizes at France Discus 2018 just 3 days ago: Best in show (PB), 1st and 2nd in solid blue, pigeon and spotted, 1st in solid red, turquoise and wild. Ok most of his fish are bred by others such as Daniel Indarta or caught by Hugo Quaresma but he sure knows how to pick them!

lastflea
05-15-2018, 04:35 PM
Just to add that again Francis Hu swept most of the prizes at France Discus 2018 just 3 days ago: Best in show (PB), 1st and 2nd in solid blue, pigeon and spotted, 1st in solid red, turquoise and wild. Ok most of his fish are bred by others such as Daniel Indarta or caught by Hugo Quaresma but he sure knows how to pick them!

That's quite an impressive scoop. That's pretty lucky to live 1.5hrs from his shop.

I was thinking just to use a sponge filter on the grow tank, and work on a method to make daily wc's easier direct from the butt. Pat's already turned me off the idea of a plenum, but I might try one in the shrimp tank I'll be building. I think I can make a clean one with weed fabric, so I guess I'll either find out the hard way or get a patent and earn millions of , lol....

I'm no expert, but to me those discus are growing out nice. They look healthy.

Paul Sabucchi
05-16-2018, 06:03 AM
Hi again (or Buongiorno as we say around here), always wise to head Pat's advice. I think you can easily get away with a big sponge filter for the grow-out tank, with all the water changes you are planning. With a 55 gal tank you will be aiming to change at least 30 gal every day so you either have some sort of drain on your tank connected to some kind of semi-permanent plumbing or you can just plonk a pump (2000 l/h should be swift enough without it upsetting the fish) on a hose to scavenge the waste waste water to wherever you need.Yoy can even use the same pump to get the water back in from the ageing butt.
For this purpose I use a cheapie pump (about 15, look up MH5036 on fleabay), in the ageing tanks I use Sunsun jvp100 wavemakers, again cheap as chips and frugal on the leccy. I recently even put a small wavemaker in the discus tank. As for heating I am very happy with the Schego titanium heater - Inkbird 308 temperature controller combination.

lastflea
05-18-2018, 07:56 AM
Thanks, Paul. I was thinking the Schego for heating, two of them in case of failure. Not really something to go cheap on...

So I have a little update, with some photos. Probably not the type you'd have wanted to see Pat. It's not really good news on the tank.

Cracks and separations from the tank have started appearing along the top of the base unit. This isn't good. There is a slight, ever so slight tilt on the tank, lower on the right side. I'm wondering if the added pressure is causing this, but then the cracks are in between the two uprights on the left as well, where the pressure is lighter. I was going to address the tilt after cycling, but it now looks like the top of the base will need replacing.

It might well be due to a leak and there's a condensation issue as well, which is dripping down the front of the tank, as the hood is not sealed in. I've ordered a reel of foam tape to address that, I don't think this is the cause. Just doesn't look nice to have water dripping down occasionally. More likely to be the leak I've discovered in the return gasket in the weir, and the water spreading across the top of the base, under the tank.

So, quite a lot to sort out, once the tank is cycled, but nothing too serious.

On a positive note, my 120l QT/hospital tank is here, and have painted three sides and the base. Also the smaller shrimp tank, which I've started cycling.

Second Hand Pat
05-18-2018, 08:52 AM
In the one pic is the stand top made from a wood composite? If so perhaps getting wet is causing the top to fall apart? I would check the stand top and the underneath for wetness. Could be why you are seeing cracking (vs weight) Rob.
Pat

lastflea
05-18-2018, 09:06 AM
In the one pic is the stand top made from a wood composite? If so perhaps getting wet is causing the top to fall apart? I would check the stand top and the underneath for wetness. Could be why you are seeing cracking (vs weight) Rob.
Pat

Yes, I think the core is MDF, which is a bad choice for anything near water. There's also swelling, which is quite telling. There aren't any cracks in the tank bottom, and it's sealed into it's base with silicone. I'm pretty sure now it's from the leaky gasket in the weir. It's a bit of a drag, but I'm glad it's happened now, and not after I scaped it, or worse, when full of discus...

lastflea
05-20-2018, 10:58 AM
I've decided to speed up the cycle by using Stability, and it's doing a great job. Further more, it's proving the anoxic filtration system to be a success. My ammonia levels go down very quickly now from 4ppm top ups. I've put over 100mm of ammonia in so far and this morning they were 4ppm, 6 hours later they are 1ppm. My nitrites went off the chart day before yesterday, but today, and yesterday, do not go over 2ppm. The best bit, my nitrates peaked at 20ppm two days ago, but now remain lower than 10ppm. Still no water changes, so nitrates are being consumes by the biocenosis clarification baskets in the sump. This is so cool....

Feels like I might be cycled in a week or so, hopefully, which is reassuring. I'm not worried my base cabinet will collapse, but it's just not very nice seeing the cracking and swelling in it's top, and getting that repaired will relieve the unwanted stress.

lastflea
07-09-2018, 08:25 PM
Well it's been a while since my last update here. This is quite a long post, but stick with it...

So you might remember I was having a leak problem, which I thought was the gasket for the inflow, which would have been an easy fix. I employed the help of some muscle (thank you builders from next door) and we tipped the tank on it's side, so I could take a good look at the base of the tank. This is what I found....

116617

Aside from the random scratches (they weren't there when I bought it, and have no idea how), there's some pretty nasty swelling there, and the worst of it was the bottom left, which when turned upright is exactly where that cracking and splitting had occurred in the top of the base unit. You can see pictures of that in the first page of the thread.

I realised that the base of the tank was constructed of a plastic frame around the edge of the tank, but then a sheet of MDF core laminate was recessed into this. So what I thought was a simple bulkhead repair was actually several leaks at the base of the tank, at which point I was pretty devastated that the effort I'd made so far was going to end with a trip to the dump to get rid of the tank.

Before throwing the towel in I chipped away a bit at the worst of the swelling, just to see how the tank was built. I already knew I had a 50/50 chance of fixing it, and it all depended on one thing. How the sides were siliconed to the base.

116618

You can see how rancid and soaked the MDF was here. It was a marine set up before. It absolutely stank to high heaven!!!

Thankfully the side, front and rear panels were siliconed to the side of the base panel. This meant I could patch up the leaks pretty easy. So I chipped away at the MDF, holding my nose at the same time, and ended up with this...

116619

Had a couple dings in the plastic frame of the base, most notably in the top left of the picture above, but this is the back of the tank, so not bothered. I ordered pieces of perspex that I could silicone to the outside of the base, but also tucked up to the plastic frame. Even the big ding in the top left still had enough edge to it, that I could seal the perspex to it. So there would be a 2" wide frame around the base, sealed at every single place possible on both sides, so there wouldn't be anywhere for the leaking water to go. Here's how that looked.

116620

I also replaced the top of the base unit, which you might remember was horribly cracked and swelling, due to the leaks in the base of the tank.

116621

This has all taken weeks to sort out. Our family dining area has been reduced to this for the duration. I think I have a very special lady in my life, for not complaining, not even once. The kids, they just think it's their Dad goofing around, as he always does :p

116622

I filled the tank up and left it for 24hrs to see if the patch had worked, and no tell tail water bubbles in the base, which would have meant even more work, before throwing the towel in and packing this tank off to the dump. Success!!!!

116624

If you're wondering what happened to my anoxic BCB's, that were cycled and ready for fish. Well, I just had my return pump sending water right back to chamber 1, just pumping the water round and round the sump. Had a mini cycle when I returned to the full set up, but within 2 days I was back to the usual readings of 0, 0, 0ppm.

And now....... My tank is ready!!

116623

This tank has become as much a part of me as the fish I will keep in it. As with discus, it's taken a lot of work to get it right. I'd have given up a while ago, but given it's size, and a fully operational sump with cycled media, I just had to go as far as I could. I'm glad I did.

Will be a long while before any discus go in there. A delivery of plants and wood arrive tomorrow, so will finish the scape and update you with that. In the mean time, I'm picking up my grow tank on Thursday, which will look after my 16 Stendkers I'll be ordering in a few weeks. In the mean time, I'll scape this baby and stock it with corys, hatchets and GBRs....

Exciting times....

Second Hand Pat
07-10-2018, 10:11 AM
Wow Rob, sure am glad you found and were able to fix this. Nice job BTW. Look forward to seeing what you do here!! :D
Pat

lastflea
07-10-2018, 09:08 PM
Wow Rob, sure am glad you found and were able to fix this. Nice job BTW. Look forward to seeing what you do here!! :D
Pat

Thank you Pat. Believe me, I am more than relieved that things turned out ok.

Been a busy day for the tank. Plants and wood arrived around 11am, and stopped work on it around 7pm. I just couldn't resist buying some fish, I mean seriously.... I realised it's actually been 4 years since I kept one, or two, or 50...... I realise patience is key, but please forgive me.....

So I picked up the kids from after school club at 5:10pm and told them we were finally getting some fish for this beast, that's taken over our family room for so long. The fish shop closes at 5:30 so I had to whip them into shape. Funny enough, it usually takes me 10 minutes to get them out the door of after school club. They love goofing around with their friends. This time, they were out like a shot. The staff just looked at me with disbelief as the kids sped off out the school like a flash. Guess I'll just have to keep buying fish again, and again, and again.... Mwahahahahahahahahahaaaa

On a serious note. I deliberately chose sensitive fish. A couple GBR's, with some rummies, which school very tightly when feeling insecure. My reason was due to the filtration method. As most of you know I'm trying the anoxic BCB method. So I wanted to see two things: 1) How the rams would settle 2) How quickly the rummies would start moving end to end of the tank, and then feeling brave enough to separate.

Took a while, but the rummies are flying around the tank like they own it. The rams hid away for an hour or so. They went in separately, so didn't know they had a companion. When they found each other they very slowly got confidence. Eventually mooching around like Cichlids do, but never too far apart. It was so cool to see all these fish find their feet, relax and get to know their surroundings.....

It's soooooo good to have fish again.....

Here's a snap video of the initial set up. No doubt it will change many times before the discus go in there. It'll be at least 9 months from now, but in the mean time, I'm just buzzing to be keeping fish again....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsPl5bvLyFA

lastflea
07-10-2018, 09:23 PM
Here's a full view shot of the tank. I'm happy with it, and just going to enjoy it for the time being. I'm not sure this is what I'll put my discus in. They'll be growing big and strong under more traditional methods in a very different set up. But like I said, 4 years since I kept a single fish. Just happy as a pig in big pile of that smelly stuff :thumbsup::thumbsup::wave::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Filip
07-17-2018, 05:05 AM
Great looking setup Rob.
You can start with adult discus if you want to enjoy the tank scenery and have healthy discus at the same time .

lastflea
07-19-2018, 02:34 PM
Great looking setup Rob.
You can start with adult discus if you want to enjoy the tank scenery and have healthy discus at the same time .

Thanks Filip on both counts. That's very sound advice, but I have good reasons for wanting to buy juveniles. I plan to set up a small tank room for hobby breeding, and my logic behind buying juveniles for a first run is simply that I'll need some experience in raising them, if I'm going to be successful. It's going to happen one way or the other. I'm not deluded to think everything will go according to plan, without my share of problems. That's like putting plants in a tank, switching a light on and dosing ferts, expecting a beautiful, algae free planted tank. I'm not really a display-only keeper.

My white sand is developing an orange film, with a very small number of bright, light green spots on it. My lights are only on for 6 hours per day, I'm dosing TNC complete as per instructions and there's no direct sun light. Not even sure if this is algae, but any advice appreciated.

JamesW
07-19-2018, 03:21 PM
What is your sand? Silica based sand are known to generate diatoms. Do you have cories/bristlenoses? They are likely just the solubles leaking out of your substrate but silica will continue to generate diatoms for all of time.

Paul Sabucchi
07-19-2018, 03:27 PM
Glad things are heading in the right direction and you sorted the leak, without having to pull the tank apart and reseal it. One of my tanks, a 250 liter planted sprung a leak last year and I had to tear it down completely and reseal it all.
I like your scaping, the brownish stuff on your white sand is most likely diatoms, quite normal for them to bloom in a recently set up tank. Their growth can be oncouraged by silicates, either in your tapwater or in the sand. They usually tend to decrease as the tank matures.

lastflea
07-20-2018, 06:06 PM
Thanks for the input guys. My sand isn't silica based thankfully, so this should disappear in time. No corys or BN either. Do they feed on this stuff? I'm planning to get 20 sterbai in there at some point.

Putting another 4 GBR's in tomorrow, and that'll be enough of those. Pretty sure the two in there are female, so another two females and two males. I'm already gazing into the tank at these two, so looking forward to seeing how six get on, with males in the mix...

Sump wise, I had a big problem with the main chamber, where the BCB's are, and stagnant water on the surface. There was no flow across the top at all, due to water being drawn from the pre-filter chamber into it from the bottom, and then being drawn from the main chamber into the return chamber from the bottom as well. So the flow was all along the bottom, leaving no movement across the top. The water was literally still, across the top, so zero flow along the top of the BCB's.

I resolved the problem with yet another re-configuration of the sump. I took out the partition between the main chamber and the return, and replaced it with a shorter one. I still left the gap at the bottom, so water could run straight across, into the return chamber, but then water could overflow from the top into the return chamber as well. Now there wasn't that much more movement across the top of the main chamber, because all of the pull (from the return pump) was at the lower end, seeing as the return pump is placed at the bottom. So I bought one of those surface skimmers and placed it in the return chamber, so it drags in water from the surface and pumps it down below, where the return pump takes it in and puts it back in the tank. Now I have a nice flow rate from the left side of the main chamber, top and bottom, across the BCB's and straight back into the tank. The result is super clean, clear water in the main chamber with plenty of flow all round.

I'll post some pictures to illustrate over the weekend :)

lastflea
07-24-2018, 06:22 PM
Ok, so the plan was to add 4 more rams and rummies, but didn't have time to go to the LFS. But here, I think, is the final sump set up. Possibly :p


First up is the pre-filter chamber. The usual 3 stage filter, then egg crate separating the 3 6x6x6" BCB's. They're lifted from the base of the sump with 1" pvc pipe, cut along the length to form semi-circle lengths, to allow water to flow underneath.
116939

Next is to illustrate how high I needed the water line into the main chamber to ensure water covers the top of the main BCB's. I explained incorrectly before, when I said my flow went straight across the base of the main chamber, from the pre-filter. The first partition is baffled, so water comes into the main chamber from the top.
116940

Prior to adjusting the height of the second partition there was no flow of water across the top of the main chamber. This picture shows the adjusted height of the second partition, that isn't baffled, and water flows across the top thanks to the surface skimmer placed in the return chamber. There's still a lower entrance to the return chamber, where the pump sits. So water comes in to the main chamber from the top, but most of it is drawn into the return from the base.
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After I lowered the height of the second partition there still wasn't much flow going across the top of the BCB's. It's pretty hard for the surface water to compete with the bottom end, where there's a 5000lh pump taking it from a 1" gap at the base of the second partition. I could see a film hanging around at the return end of the sump surface, hardly moving. That's when I thought that maybe a surface skimmer would help out a bit. I put one in the return chamber, and sure enough, water immediately started flowing across the top of the main chamber, into the return chamber, and because the skimmer pumps out the water it takes in down below, I knew the return pump would be picking it up pretty quick. The result was very quickly realised. No film within minutes.
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I hope all that makes sense. Open to questions if it's confused....

lastflea
07-24-2018, 06:26 PM
Oh, and there's room for another BCB in the main chamber. They are also raised off the base with the PVC pipe, as is the second one stacked on top. I can put another one in close to the return end, but that's a work in progress. I've also aligned the BCB's to opposite sides left and right. That's so I have space for a heater either side. I think two heaters, one on each side, is better and more efficient than having both on one side. JMO...

lastflea
08-30-2018, 05:16 AM
Finally I'm arranging an appointment with a local Stendker breeder to check out his stock and have a good chat. Still a few things to set up: 265g water tank for ageing, return pump to get it in the grow tank, heaters and wavemaker. I already have a couple air pumps and stones spare. The grow tank is 63g and came with 2 Fluval U4, and I broke down a shrimp tank and now have a smaller Eheim in there as well. The reason for so many filters is in case of sickness. I have two hospital tanks ready to go, just in case. So I'm not blowing the discus all over the place I'll have them blowing water out near the surface.

The main tank is going well. I have 6 rams spawning like crazy in there. Even had two females with one male... My nitrate went up to 20ppm though, but haven't increased in 10 days. Did a big water change yesterd and they're down to 10ppm. I decreased the rate of flow for the return pump, and hoping this will help with keeping the nitrate at 10ppm. Still haven't added the 4th BCB yet. Time is an issue here at the moment.

Managed to get a decent shot of two of the rams. Used a flash, which really popped the colours nice....

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Swedgin
08-30-2018, 05:37 AM
Finally I'm arranging an appointment with a local Stendker breeder to check out his stock and have a good chat. Still a few things to set up: 265g water tank for ageing, return pump to get it in the grow tank, heaters and wavemaker. I already have a couple air pumps and stones spare. The grow tank is 63g and came with 2 Fluval U4, and I broke down a shrimp tank and now have a smaller Eheim in there as well. The reason for so many filters is in case of sickness. I have two hospital tanks ready to go, just in case. So I'm not blowing the discus all over the place I'll have them blowing water out near the surface.

The main tank is going well. I have 6 rams spawning like crazy in there. Even had two females with one male... My nitrate went up to 20ppm though, but haven't increased in 10 days. Did a big water change yesterd and they're down to 10ppm. I decreased the rate of flow for the return pump, and hoping this will help with keeping the nitrate at 10ppm. Still haven't added the 4th BCB yet. Time is an issue here at the moment.

Managed to get a decent shot of two of the rams. Used a flash, which really popped the colours nice....

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Nice Rob, looks like it’s all coming together. Great shot of the rams, too.

Do keep us posted on your progress, looking really good so far.

Tobi

lastflea
08-30-2018, 06:53 AM
Nice Rob, looks like it’s all coming together. Great shot of the rams, too.

Do keep us posted on your progress, looking really good so far.

Tobi

Thanks Tobi. Will update the waterworks thread in a little more detail as well :)