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Thread: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

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    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
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    Exclamation The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    Hello all,
    Just thought I would clarify this as I have seen far too much BS on the subject here over the years. The Forum's Position on Discus in planted tanks is that it has no Position. It really doesn't care what you do with your fish. The forum is an inanimate object that does not have a position on anything. It reflects the feelings of its members on any subject. Seems like a no-brainer, but I just want to be sure that people don't think otherwise. Personally I am neither for against them, which is why I give a section of the forum to them. What I am against is poor information on both sides of the issue. Personal views are also welcome on issues, but they are called opinions and should be expressed as such. It is equally wrong in my book to say you can't keep discus well in a planted tank as it is to say you can easily do so. There are factors involved in both these views that either make them accurate or terribly flawed.
    Seriously though, over the years theres been alot of arguments and discussion on the subject. Some people love discus in a planted tank and are very successful according to what they are trying to achieve. Other have tried this approach and failed miserably. Still others have attributed many problems people report to the fish being in planted tank. I think its time for another open discussion on this. This is to be a respectful, civil, open discussion where ideas, and experiences are shared, evidence for opposing views is layed out. Zero tolerance for trolls so think twice before you post. Theres no reason why a discussion on this can't take place in this fashion.


    My personal views are as Follows..
    1) Yes you can succcessfully raise, grow and keep discus well in a planted tank...IF, and here is whats always missing from the proponents side of the arguement. You can do this if you have both an excellent understanding of Discus husbandry and care, and Planted tank know how. Have one with out the other and you will fail if you try to keep your discus in a planted tank..You may still fail if you have both, but the odds are better.

    2)The definition of Success... Just what exactly are you trying to accomplish with your discus tank and the occupants. Its different for everyone...some want huge fish, others just happy to have a few discus swimming around in a tank .

    3)Lets end the myth. Theres been so many pictures in the books that show discus in a planted tank. the green plants really show of their colors, its often the first image a new hobbyists sees when they see discus in books and magazine. Its a LIE. It gives the impression that Discus come from areas that are lush with aquatic plants. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is fine to want to keep your discus in planted tank. I have over the years, I have kept them in bare tanks, my current tank is sand and driftwood, which I feel is probably a closer to nature thing... People succeed at all of these things....and they fail as well. Its a personal choice.

    4) For the Novice ....12 years ago I got together with other hobbyists to make a place where people can learn about discus and share their info. This Forum is an educational place with the stated objective of promoting good care and husbandry. I will always direct novices to keeping discus to what I feel is the safesty way for them be successful at keeping discus. That way is the one with the least variables... clean water, good stock, discus only,good food, good temp, bare bottom tank. Its what many do here as well because it works. The more parameters you add the harder it is to succeed. What you do with this information is your choice...BUT I would be failing in my goals here if I did not promote this method. For those that want to see their discus in a planted tank. They are your fish...go for it, but learn to walk before you run. Spend some time reading our planted tank section, talk to those that know this subject, and sign up with a forum that specializes in "planted tanks" to learn how to best meet your goal...Then come back here and share that information in the section We gave you to do this in.

    5)Bare bottom tankers... When will you ever learn that you can not make someone who likes planted tanks see that Discus are probably not the best fish for them? Thats something people learn on their own, or disprove on their own. You can only show what you do and demonstrate how it works by example. The Planted tank people need to do the same...you aren't going to convert a Bare Tanker Enthusiast to start running planted tank by words alone. However if you share the hows and whys and document your successes, you will over time gain more converts ..or at least be respected for having a viable way to successfully raise discus.

    6) Just like there are many variations on keeping discus in a bare tank... sand only, driftwood only, terrestrial vines, etc, "Planted tanks" have a huge variation. Low tech, high tech, sparsely planted, CO2 injected. All of these variations have their pros and cons with regards to discus. lets try to be a little more specific on what exactly we mean by "planted" and "bare"

    7) I have personally seen some very low tech tanks and highly planted tanks with discus in them that were successful for years. A good friend of mine had a high tech heavy planted tank that was amazing. They too succeeded by their standards and goals, and by mine in these cases. They raised some nice fish...but they put the time into understanding "planted" tanks, and they did the same with understanding Discus.

    8)Some people that promote bare bottom tanks have not actually kept planted tanks.. These members may have extensive discus keeping experience and have learned by reading the forum posts that in many cases when people have issues with their discus, planted tanks can be a factor. This is not a fallacy. Its a fact. Its not meant to knock planted tank peoples methods, but it illustrates a serious problem in the planted tank community here. You don't educate well enough. Those of you that are successful are often so worried about having the bare tank crowd knock you that you don't share where you succeed and fail. Thats self defeating. How can expect people to change their views if you don't do more than Rant. We have given you a section to do this in....USE it to educate.... who really cares what others think ? That doesn't mean that you won't get challenged and have to defend yourself and methods. Where would we be in this hobby if people didn't question the "fact" that an undergravel filter was perfect for discus, or that you had to keep them in soft acidic water? Theres no doubt People can have a beautiful planted discus Tank... BUT HOW? thats for you to show and prove.

    9) Having a planted Discus tank often means needing to make a compromise between what a healthy planted tank needs and what a healthy discus needs. neglict one over the other and you will fail.

    10) Most planted tanks rely on ditherfish,clean up crews, may have inverts like snails that carry disease. Its probably one of the primary problem spots in the planted tank with discus scenario and often neglected as a point of concern, IMO..

    Okay, so there you have it... members of the Planted Discus Tank community, I encourage you guys to stand up and be counted, and share your experiences. I'll go one further, I have a section of the forum here that is need of your development. Why not start writing some infoposts and articles. Our staff here will be glad to post them and organize for you. WE can do planted tank of month type contests. What I need though is dialogue and information...Not the more common "we're the under dog here, the forum doesn't like us." The truth is the reputation of keeping Discus in a Planted tank is the responsibility of YOU...the planted tank experts here...NOT THE FORUM. We've given you the tools to do so.. organize yourselves and go for it. First step is communicate,educate, and mentor.

    As for the non-planted tank people here.. You can only honestly share what you know first hand. Show what you do as well and why, but keep in mind that what you want for your fish, is not the same as what someone else wants.. These debates and discussions about the pro's and cons of a certain way of keeping discus needs to take that into account.

    Mods and Admins will monitor this discussion closely...so please be mindful. I've shared my views openly here. They are based on my years in the hobby and the Forum. In closing I am not against planted tanks, nor is "The Forum" Anyone is welcome to share theirs.. Ideally If you have a planted tank, I would strongly encourage you to post it here, share the info fully as to what you do and why... and take questions...Its your best chance to gain the respect you are looking for.

    Best always,
    Al
    Last edited by brewmaster15; 02-06-2014 at 12:41 PM.
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    Registered Member BODYDUB's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    Very well said and I agree with everyting. As one member put it a couple of months ago. All we can do is offer what we have done from past experiences and give our knowledge and advice. People are gonna listen to them, follow some and not follow others. Then there's people who do what they want to. IMO this is a forum for discussion and experiences to be shared with, not law. I personally have no experience with planted tanks which is why I only scim throuth that section and not post in it...............
    Last edited by BODYDUB; 02-06-2014 at 09:09 PM.
    John

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    Registered Member John_Nicholson's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    Well written. I know that I am often painted as someone that does not like planted tanks and that is not entirely true. I have had many through the years and will have some more in the future but I still think the best place for a new discus owner to start is in the bb world. I see so many issues with new people and planted tanks. I have often posted that you can do whatever you want with your fish but to follow through and post your results. I often see folks come in here and try to set the world on fire. They post how great everything is going and then disappear. They could disappear for many reasons but most of the time it is because they failed in their experiment and after several months of bragging on it they do not want to disclose that. This is where the danger lies. It sets the stage for another new person to come in and read their post....they see a success and try to follow suit. They also often fail. Once again to be clear I have no problem with planted tanks but hate it when someone says have great they are only to disappear when problems start.

    I hope that all makes sense....LOL.

    -john
    Please check out http://forum.discusnada.org/

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    Moderator Team Chad Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    Well said Al!

    I like both the Challenge of a planted tank as well as the simplicity of a simple glass tank with a sponge filter!

    I've done both and had great success with both. Either way, you have to know what you're doing.
    Chad Hughes

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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    It's hard to deny the beauty of a well done planted tank, like the one Wildcaughtdutchman has been posting. Scully also posted some pics of a self maintaining planted tank of wilds that were just beautiful. If it can be done, what does it take to do it right?

    BTW Al, what is a troll?

    Never mind, I found it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)
    Last edited by OC Discus; 02-06-2014 at 10:31 PM.

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    Platinum Member and Homesteader nc0gnet0's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    A simple snap shot in time............

    Currently when I browse through the disease section I show 20 posts on the first page. Here is the breakdown

    Planted tanks 9 issues
    Bare Bottom tanks 2 issues
    Other 1 issue (it had potted plants, not quite sure where to classify that one)
    Unknown 4 issues (user never gave that data)
    did not apply 4

    The 2 issues found in the BB tanks was one that might have been a tapeworm, another was a case of bloat. Both relatively minor
    Most if not all the issues in the planted tanks were either hex, flukes, poor WC, velvet, or ich. Or any combination of those issues.

    This is not at all uncommon to see this type of breakdown. It also speaks volumes as to why many of us recomend BB tanks. This is a DISCUS forum, and IMHO the health of the Discus should always come first.

    Not saying that a planted tank can't work, only that it is much harder to do right, and should never be a new hobbiest first attempt.

    -Rick
    President-North American Discus Association-NADA

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    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    Rick, how many of those are fairly new members. We get many new member newbies with new discus in a planted tank who are now in trouble because they did totally no research on keeping discus or planted tanks. The problem is not so much the planted tank as the lack of knowledge on the members part.

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    Registered Member Chad Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    Pat,

    A new person who has no knowledge and does not do their research will have more problems in a planted tank than in a BB. That's a fact. So the problem is not newbie because that is irrelevant. You would have to assume that most newbies are coming in with planted tanks to say it is the person's fault and not the planted tank. Therefore it has more to do with the planted tank.
    Hope this didn't sound argumentative, it wasn't meant to.

    Chad
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    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    Agreed Chad, however the core problem is still lack of knowledge.

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    Platinum Member and Homesteader nc0gnet0's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    No, the core problem is the substrate, it's ability to hide debris and uneaten food, harbor bacteria and parasites, all while giving the hobbiest a false sense of security. All because he or she thinks it is natural, therefore it must be healthier for the fish.
    President-North American Discus Association-NADA

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    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    Well, if the person had done their research they would not have added the substrate.

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    Registered Member Chad Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    Quote Originally Posted by Second Hand Pat View Post
    Well, if the person had done their research they would not have added the substrate.
    Pat, not trying to beat up on you honestly. But, your argument can apply to anything from A-Z.
    If only... Had done their research... This never would have happened. Fill in the blanks.
    The discussion is not "If people don't do their research is there a greater possibility of failure?" Of course. I would hope that would be common logic. It is the difference between bare bottom & planted. Wether the person is a certified marine biologist or a certified idiot doesn't matter. When the control groups have the same parameters the question is "Where does the greater degree of success favor"?

    Chad
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    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    Chad, guess I am a common sense type of person who likes KISS but some people will have to go the planted route for whatever reason. So join me in helping to give our new members a warm welcome and let's see if we can put them on the road to success with their fish. Us debating the evils of a planted tank serves no use within the context of this thread nor is it the point Al was trying to make in the first post.

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    Registered Member mooncon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    You people must have some really boring tanks

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    Default Re: The Forum's Position on Discus in Planted Tanks....

    We all know why many people seek out and subscribe to forums whether it be discus or a Toyota. There's something wrong they don't know how to fix and people on forums know everything at the touch of a keyboard. Makes sense why our disease section is what it is.

    That said, yes, bare bottom should be the first method of keeping discus for a new hobbyist.


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