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Thread: My Discus Journey Begins Here.....

  1. #16
    Registered Member lastflea's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey Begins Here.....

    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.

  2. #17
    Registered Member lastflea's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey Begins Here.....

    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....

    Tank35.jpg

    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.

    Tank36.jpg

    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...

    Tank372.jpg

    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.

    Tank41.jpg

    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.

    Tank40.jpg

    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

    Tank43.jpg

    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!!!!

    Tank42.jpg

    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!!

    Tank45.jpg

    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....

  3. #18
    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey Begins Here.....

    Wow Rob, sure am glad you found and were able to fix this. Nice job BTW. Look forward to seeing what you do here!!
    Pat
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening

  4. #19
    Registered Member lastflea's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey Begins Here.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Second Hand Pat View Post
    Wow Rob, sure am glad you found and were able to fix this. Nice job BTW. Look forward to seeing what you do here!!
    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
    Last edited by lastflea; 07-10-2018 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Just some additional info on timings

  5. #20
    Registered Member lastflea's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey Begins Here.....

    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
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by lastflea; 07-10-2018 at 09:26 PM.

  6. #21
    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Discus Journey Begins Here.....

    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 .

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