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Thread: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scrubber

  1. #46
    Registered Member Luke in Phoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru


  2. #47
    Registered Member Luke in Phoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    6 months old pics from 2-13-2017 below.


    Only Water Changes since August 2015:
    - 50% August – November 2015
    - 5% - December 2015
    - 5% - January 2016
    - 32% - February 2016
    - 50% - March 2016
    - 2% - May 2016
    - 1% - June 2016
    - 3% - July 2016
    - 4% - August 2016
    - 60% & 40% - September 2016
    - 20% - October 2016
    - 30% - November 2016
    - 60% - December 2016
    - 100% - January 2017


    Nitrates: 25

    Fry are fed 2X / day.

    IMG_20170213_085006-2.jpgIMG_20170213_085004-2.jpgIMG_20170213_084459-2.jpg
    Last edited by Luke in Phoenix; 02-18-2017 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Add additional information

  3. #48
    Registered Member Luke in Phoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    These are pictures from a friend who raised 7 fry from this same batch. They were separated at about 1 month old and raised with a traditional water change schedule.

    They were fed a "ton" in a 55 gallon tank with 50% daily WC. He says they are 5" but didn't put them on a tape. 6 are about the same size with 1 smaller one.

    FullSizeR.jpgIMG_7839_01.jpgIMG_7853.jpgIMG_7863.jpg

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    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    Your friend discus looks much better Luke , which is more or less ,expected .Their colour is much brighter and they have less peppering ,any idea why is that?

    As for the comparision sizes , i didnt get the info on how big have yours grown so far ?
    IMO his discus looks above 5 inch from the pics . More like 5.5-6 inches to me.

  5. #50
    Registered Member Luke in Phoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    Agreed, imo, his look great.
    One of the pictures I posted of my growing discus should include a tape measure picture. His look bigger.

    I was under the impression that peppering was genetic but with these results it seems like it may also have something to do with water?

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    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    Luke peppering is genetic but its expression is affected by stress and background. Your background is dark...his blue.. it minimizes the expression. Id say his fish look better, probably have better health and as a result ...less stress. The water itself maybe be stressing out your fish.
    Hth,
    Al
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    I admire your effort to experiment but to me at the end of the day nothing is like fresh clean water.

    Not just for discus but in general.

    Ive run several heavily planted tank's where about 70 - 80 percent is planted. I've had setups where some plants were growing around an inch a day. Even with a heavy plant mass long term success was dependant on water changes. I did a 50 percent change a week. If I skipped one or 2 changes it was apparent.

    I know others will have different opinions but I've never had someone tell me that water changes were bad.

    Out with the old in with the new I say.

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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    Luke,
    I call your experiment a success, at least for me, I am convinced that big water changes are required
    The debate should be finished, and yes, John from Texas was correct. I should have known it.
    Ron

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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    Luke, your thread was solid proof that you can't cut corners raising fry. Your friend got a great deal getting those 7 and raising them. They are gorgeous. This is why I tend to disagree with a previous comment that you should have started with better parents. The one showed some peppering but raised in the proper environment and it turned out to be a non issue.

    My question now is what happens to all these poor fish?

    Thanks for sharing this with us. It was definitely interesting to see.
    "You can't trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it." -W.C.Fields

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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    I really like your experiment, at the least it means you are trying to think outside the box.
    That's how new things are discover.
    Remember that in the old days "they would only survive in acidic waters"

    I think you should try once again, but you need to be in control of all variables. I don't know if you have room for it but you should have a control tank and try different variables in other tanks. Could it be that your friend discus heve been fed different foods? Different quantitys?

    I can confirm that water changes make miracles. You can recovery discus by just change water, their colours turn brighter with and you can see them grow. But that we all know, we just don't know whatever haven't been tried.

    As to the pepper, light can make it appear. Does your tank has light going on? How strong? How many hours?

    Keep on!

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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    What a great experiment! I'd love to see a version that is less extreme - maybe doing 60% wc once per week and cut out the UV sterilizer. I think the big question that most amateur discus keepers are trying to answer is "how little maintenance can I get away with and still be successful." This experiment clearly went way past that line, and we could all pretty much guess at the results. But it seems like we're still pretty far away from answering the question. These results don't really settle anything for the people arguing between daily 80% changes and twice weekly 50% changes.

    I also just love that this is attempting to test the filtering capabilities of plants. Coming from planted tanks myself, I've felt more than a little confused at some of the more adamant opinions on this site regarding plants. Even though the outcomes in this test were poor, they were honestly not as poor as I would have expected. It feels somewhat validating to those of us who have argued from the beginning that plants can be beneficial for water quality.
    Last edited by Demosthenes; 07-15-2017 at 01:23 PM.

  12. #57
    Registered Member Luke in Phoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    Thanks for the feedback, I'm glad some people found it interesting. I agree it would be interesting to do a less "extreme" test and will probably do it in the future. I believe the plants/algae scrubber improved the water quality but not enough in this test.

    When the algae/plants are grown faster they seem to help even more but it I've found the supplements / fertilizers are finicky and by the time you mess around with trying to figure out if you need to add, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphates, etc... list goes on, it is easier to just do a water change. Either way, a positive addition to any aquarium. Up for individual debate is how much of a positive effect. Probably depends on the quantity of algae / plants grown and the fish load...

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    Registered Member Luke in Phoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    Quote Originally Posted by brewmaster15 View Post
    Luke peppering is genetic but its expression is affected by stress and background. Your background is dark...his blue.. it minimizes the expression. Id say his fish look better, probably have better health and as a result ...less stress. The water itself maybe be stressing out your fish.
    Hth,
    Al
    Thanks for commenting Al. Good to know.

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    Registered Member Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    Thanks Luke for this thread, I read it a few months ago as I startes swatting to learn how best to set up a discus tank (100 gal BB almost cycled - fish in by end of September). To be on the safe side I will grow these juvies with plenty of WC but as I also have 2 well established 100 gal mbuna tanks with similar bioload it inspired me to try a scrubber with one tank. I built a 5'4" shallow tray that sits on top of the tank braces, water flows in from one of the canister returns and falls back in the tank through an overflow. Lighting is 4x8w red and blue plant growth LED bars. In a nutshell once established the tank now can go weeks without WC and no detectable nitrates, the other tank goes from 10mg/l to 25 in about 10 days. As rightly said above it would be interesting to see if it is possible to raise discus with a scrubber and little wc, comparing to a similar setup with trad wc. Personally I am convinced algae scrubbers are useful, particularly in tanks with no plants. Maybe though we should look at scrubbers and wc not as mutually alternative but rather as complementary. Probably it would be better to continue the wc to reduce bacteria and other pollutants and use the scrubber to keep nirates and phosphates (and possibly also nuisance algae in the tank) to a minimum in between water changes. Ciao
    Last edited by Paul Sabucchi; 08-09-2017 at 01:35 PM.

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    Registered Member Luke in Phoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test #3 Growing out discus fry with limited water changes and plants/algae scru

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing. Glad it helped. Sounds like your scrubber could easily reduce your needed WC by half or more and still have optimal water. That's a lot of time and water saved! Even better if the fish are happier. Do you notice a difference in the discus in the scrubber tank with less WC compared to the other tank?

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