View Full Version : Ralph, here is the post you asked for

01-28-2003, 08:53 PM
Thanks for the interest and the compliment but I was raising children at the same time so although I kept discus I really wasn't involved in the discus/aquarium culture.
First the tank is 100 gallon glass with one florescent strup and 2 100 watt incandescent lamps (didn't have alot of money when the tank was set up and I have grown fond of the set up since it works so well). I used 1/2 inch lateralite and approx3 to 3.5 inches of natural type small gravel. The plants are: mondo grass, 1 rueben sword, 1 queen sword, 3 common swords, cabomba, 3 apogenton crispus some red fuzzy plants (the LFS didn't know what they were) that could be red milfiol, dwarf chain swords, and various cryptocorynes. there is one large piece of bogwood that has some cryptocorynes growing on it. The inhabitants are as previously stated. I use 2 penguin 330 with biowheels and put peat in the baskets. I don't use either RO or CO2 just good old tap water which is soft and neutral so with the peat my pH is 6.5.
In the 80s discus were not easy to find but at that time I lived near New York City and you can find anything you want there! The fish were all wild caught because an uncle of mine knew some one who collected his own fish (I suspect it was an illegal operation because there was some secrecy involved). The fish were very sensitive and I remember adding HCl (hydorchloric acid) to the water to lower the pH. Water wasn't changed nearly as often (also lower survival rate of the discus). When they spawned it was thought you should remove the fry ASAP, now we all know that isn't the case. I used to spend quite a bit of money on the fish because they were so hard to find. The most I spent was $300.00 per fish for a pair of wild caught greens. The juveniles were easy to sell because noone else had them.
We have learned so much since then, and information spreads fast through the internet.

01-28-2003, 09:35 PM
I know about the competition for time between kids and hobbies, the kids always win, always. My son though was the one who got me started with fish, now I have more tanks than he does.
Sounds like a great set up, we usually have some suggestions for people but I can't think of anything. Your lighting is right at 2 watts/gal, your water is enviable, your fish load is small, and your filter sounds fine (I use the peat too but my water is too hard and it doesn't change the pH much).
I like hearing about the early days of discus too. I couldn't help it, I got this image of a dark NYC alley at midnight with a lot of whispering. I hope it wasn't that bad.
We're still learning about discus too, it was recently that people were still being told that discus die at a pH of 8. The internet has sped up this trip on the learning curve, and sites like this have really helped.

01-29-2003, 03:15 AM
No it wasn't that seedy. I didn't accompany my uncle too many times but when I did it was either to an apartment or a warehouse with other fish and animals. Probably all illegal but that was when we were just becomming conscious of the inpact blackmarket was having on the environment. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have bought the fish.
I remember when UGFs were state of the art. To tell you the truth, they aren't all that bad for discus keeping. I would not recommend them any more because there are many better filter systems but they did a pretty good job at the time.
For many years I just kept two tanks with discus and they were from spawns of others so I really didn't know what was going on in the hobby. A couple of years ago I made the decision to get back into the hobby more actively. I was amazed to see all the beautiful hybrids. Now I don't have any wilds only hybrids. I don't keep too many, I have the show tank, 2 breeding pairs (pidgeon bloods and blue turquoise). I also have a couple of non discus tanks. The kids are older now and now I have time for me.
Also you understand that while I have kept discus for many years, and experimented with many setups, I really am not an expert. I don't really get into the micromanagement aspect of discus keeping, only the keeping of beautiful, healthy, and appealing fish.
Sites like this really help. I have learned so much about discus and fish by trial and error (and spent alot of money doing so). At the same time I have learned so much more by others experiences.
This is a great site, I have been lurking here for a while, learning the culture of the site and alot of great information.

01-29-2003, 10:37 AM
Welcome Debbie! Lurk no longer, join the masses! It's good to have you here.

I've got a question though, how have you managed to get crypts to grow on your driftwood?

01-29-2003, 03:43 PM
It was easier than you think. I used new cryps on an older piece of wood so the wood was somewhat soft. As you probably know cryps are susceptable to "melting" when their roots are messed with, that is why I used new cryps as they were going to be handled no matter what. I use nylon line used for jewelry so it has some stretch and is easier to tie. I gently wraped the line around the wood, and plant root so that almost the whole piece of wood was wrapped, being careful not to have any line the fish could get caught in. After about 3 months I removed the line. The cryps don't spread much but they do grow. This piece has been in the tank for 2 years and there are 2 or 3 new plants on the wood. Most of the plants didn't "melt" but a couple did. They did grow back in a month or so.
Thanks for the welcome.

01-29-2003, 08:47 PM
There is a thread that has run over the last couple of days where they discuss the ethics of wild caught discus, it is in interesting read and there are a couple Brasilians and a Columbian in on the talk.


I have a crypt and an aponogeton tied to the backside of some driftwood in a tank with no substrate. It's only been a month or two but they are still growing like crazy. I'm beginning to wonder if any plants actually requires gravel. If not, any would qualify to be attached to driftwood (though they may not physically attach themselves).

01-29-2003, 10:47 PM
I know what you mean. Many plants get uprooted at some time and they have floated around my tank for a few days because I didn't see it until I was comfortable. Right now I have 3 large "baby" plants attached to my queen sword. They have been there for a couple of months and no substrate, just floating.

01-31-2003, 01:55 AM
Thanks Ralph, great thread.

01-31-2003, 07:46 AM
Drop in anytime. We need more late night people here (maybe it's the time zones). I really enjoyed you talking about the early days of discus. It's funny just how recent the early days of discus are.