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Thread: Back to discus & lots of learning

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    Gold Member Jandiscus's Avatar
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    Default Back to discus & lots of learning

    I just wanted to say how much I appreciate simplydiscus and all the great content that fellow discus lovers have created over time. Thank you Al and thanks to everyone who has shared their wisdom with us.

    I had discus on and off throughout my life and had to abandon the hobby several times due to job related moves. It broke my heart every time! I jumped back in just a few weeks ago and am super excited to be surrounded by discus again.

    My setup includes 2 separate 65gal tanks 18.4L x 36.4W x25H, filtered by hang on back Marineland bio wheel filters. They are packed with nothing but bio-media. I am using pre-filter sponges on the inlets to keep the filters clean of debris. I have used these filters in the past and really like them. They are simple in nature and provide plenty of aeration as the water returns into the tank. Bare bottom with an artificial driftwood piece and 3-4 amazon swords/Java fern planted in whiskey glasses. While the deco and the plants add a bit more work in keeping everything super clean, I do enjoy observing the fish display their behaviors around it.

    Tank 1 is stocked with two 6 and three 3.5 discus.
    Tank 2 is stocked with four 3.5-4 discus.

    All of them came directly from the breeder and are healthy and happy. I might add a few more to bring the total count up to 5-6 fish per tank.

    I have three 44gal Rubermade Brute containers to stage, age and heat up my water for water changes. I am using a 50:50 blend of tap (+ dechlorinator) and r/o water. My blended water parameters are: Ph 7.4, temp is 82F, KH/GH approx. 100ppm. No other chemicals are being introduced. I am performing daily water changes of approximately 80% and I am feeding a blend of high protein frozen and dry foods 3-4 times a day. All they can eat within a few minutes that is.

    The tanks and the equipment is brand new and the filters are cycled with the fish in the tanks. NH3 is between 0 after the water change and max 0.25 before the water change. Nitrite and Nitrate are still zero. With 2 weeks into it, I would expect them to be fully cycled within the next 4 weeks. Given the daily water changes, I am not concerned about the cycle (in the past I would have been obsessed by it ).

    So, why am I sharing all this? Of course because I am excited to be back in business again but more importantly because the great expertise that resides here on simplydiscus helped me to avoid making my old mistakes over and over again.

    In the past I would have used all kinds of chemicals to manage my ever fluctuating ph levels. I would have overstocked my tanks by maybe 1 or 2 too many fish. I would have avoided using tap water. I would have kept my temperature higher than necessary and I would have had too few water changes. I would also not have used temperature regulators. So again, thanks for allowing me capitalize on your experience and for getting it a bit closer to right this time around.

    Greetings from Michigan,

    JC

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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learnigs

    JC,

    Welcome! It is nice to see and feel your passion and excitement! Must be a rush to be back in the hobby with not 1 but 2 tanks! Pretty cool!!

    It sounds like you are off to an awesome start and have things churning along nicely and doing what works for you!

    Any pictures or video to share?

    I agree with bumping the numbers up a bit, sounds like you have things in order so you can support a few more. It will fill the tanks out nicely and the fish will like more mates. Seeing any issues with that mix of the 6 inch boys vs the 3.5? Thats a big diff in size...

    Always caution qt and all... if things are rolling now, may want to leave well enough alone! Call is yours! Best of luck, look forward to seeing more!

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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    Welcome back JC,
    I am sure there are still a lot of familiars around the place but a lot of us are fairly new and all just as passionate.

    It is interesting to hear how things have changed. I had a salt water tank years ago and was not very successful at it. Just getting a new reef tank going and so much has changed with the help of technology and all the sources of information as well as online ordering for hard to find equipment.

    How much have the varieties changed since you left? Are there new strains that surprise you?

    I am hoping you post some pictures for us like DatDiscusDude had mentioned.

    Welcome home!
    "You can't trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it." -W.C.Fields

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    Gold Member Jandiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    Thanks for the warm welcome! Here are some first pics. I used to live upstairs. Now I live in the boiler room

    JC
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Gold Member Jandiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    Hi Jenene,

    perhaps the most significant change I have seen in terms of technology is the introduction of LED lighting. Especially the ones where you can dial into the color and intensity. I am using mostly red and blue frequencies which is what the plants need to grow. So, they put out enough power to grow plants but at the same time they don't make the aquarium uncomfortably bright. In terms of strains, I am seeing a lot more Asian strains hitting the markets and with that solid colors like yellow and white. It is just wonderful to see all the variety. The other realization for me is that I have to "unlearn" all the things I have acquired over the years from reading books and magazines back in the 1990ies. I remember recommendations like putting peat moss into your filter to gradually lower the ph, and staying away from bright lighting. I think they were mostly geared towards wild discus and their first few generations in captivity. So much has changed. Today, I don't worry much about ph for as long as it is stable, nor am I obsessing about super soft water. I am actually starting to enjoy these fish all around versus stressing about water chemistry and disease control/remedy. Keeping the tank clean, healthy diet and plenty of water changes is my new mantra thanks to the great recommendations from the pros here on this forum.

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    Gold Member Jandiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learnigs

    Quote Originally Posted by DatDiscusDude View Post
    Seeing any issues with that mix of the 6 inch boys vs the 3.5? Thats a big diff in size...

    Always caution qt and all... if things are rolling now, may want to leave well enough alone! Call is yours! Best of luck, look forward to seeing more!
    No issues thus far with the difference in size. The two big ones are mostly busy with each other, preparing to mate. She laid eggs once. So they are just there, doing their shakes and cleaning substrates. The small (3.5-4") red Marlboro is trying to join the fun and is also cleaning substrate and is being chased away by the mail.....soap opera :-)

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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    What else are in the tanks? Do I see some type of angel?

    Now that I see the tanks and their dimensions, you may want to hang tight with that you have before adding, especially if those 2 are going to breed. Do you plan to raise some fry?

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    Gold Member Jandiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    Yes there are 2-3 small angels in each tank, which is temporary. I don't have the time to raise fry right now but that would be my dream, once I am retired.

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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    Tanks look nice and clean, keep up the good work! What and where did you get the false branch? Rather realistic looking, except for the fact that they are side by side so it was easy to spot! LOL

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    Gold Member Jandiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    Lol...Petsmart

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    Quote Originally Posted by Jandiscus View Post
    Hi Jenene,

    perhaps the most significant change I have seen in terms of technology is the introduction of LED lighting. Especially the ones where you can dial into the color and intensity. I am using mostly red and blue frequencies which is what the plants need to grow. So, they put out enough power to grow plants but at the same time they don't make the aquarium uncomfortably bright. In terms of strains, I am seeing a lot more Asian strains hitting the markets and with that solid colors like yellow and white. It is just wonderful to see all the variety. The other realization for me is that I have to "unlearn" all the things I have acquired over the years from reading books and magazines back in the 1990ies. I remember recommendations like putting peat moss into your filter to gradually lower the ph, and staying away from bright lighting. I think they were mostly geared towards wild discus and their first few generations in captivity. So much has changed. Today, I don't worry much about ph for as long as it is stable, nor am I obsessing about super soft water. I am actually starting to enjoy these fish all around versus stressing about water chemistry and disease control/remedy. Keeping the tank clean, healthy diet and plenty of water changes is my new mantra thanks to the great recommendations from the pros here on this forum.
    Your response was really interesting JC! I kind of thought you would mention the bright Asian strains. I used to work in a pet shop back in the day and they only had the browns.
    I hadn't thought about the lighting changes but you are absolutely right. Those florescent lights were so bright. I have nice LED lights running on all 3 of my tanks and great lighting options really make all the difference.
    I had the opportunity to look back on how things used to be done. A shop owner gave me a old discus book to borrow. I was interested in the strain development but the information in that book made me cringe! Luckily I found this site first and did not rely on random rookie Youtube videos on how to keep discus. Except for Al's of course, which not random at all but presented by the reputable DIY guy Joey and the best introduction to discus out there!
    I think the ease of communication makes our hobby so much easier now as well. There are so few discus keepers we would have never found a place we can share information and ideas. So as you know, this forum is an invaluable resource and a great place to hang out.

    Thank you for the photos. Your discus are gorgeous and it will be fun to watch the smaller ones transform under your care.
    "You can't trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it." -W.C.Fields

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    Gold Member Jandiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    Very true! I have watched Al's presentation. Very helpful.

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    Gold Member Jandiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    Today I removed the angel fish from my tanks. Discus only it is from now on.

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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    Something go wrong ?

  15. #15
    Gold Member Jandiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back to discus & lots of learning

    No, just want the 65 gal tanks stocked with 6 discus each. I always considered the angels to be temporary. They are now happy in a community tank.

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