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Thread: Water changes, filtration, diet and growth

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    Default Water changes, filtration, diet and growth

    I am planning on picking up a 120 gallon (60"x18"x26") this week (on sale for $750 plus stand and lights!) and am still deciding if i really want to get discus or go with something a little less demanding. I have some questions, sorry in advance if they've been asked before or the information is readily available.

    Is the main reason for huge water changes just to keep nitrates at 0? Do any amount of nitrates stunt growth?

    If i get juveniles should i use the 120 to grow them out out or should i get a separate tank? would a 29 gallon be large enough to grow them to 4-5" with daily 50-100% water changes? or do i need to get a 50 gallon?

    Provided they have clean water and are fed enough how long would it take a 3" juvenile to reach 6"?

    Is a mixed pellet diet with the occasional frozen bloodworms be okay?
    Is feeding twice a day okay or would four be better? how much should i feed per discus at one time?

    Sump, hob or sponge filter?

    How fast do pythons drain/fill a tank?
    What ways do you use to make water changing easier?

    And at the risk of sounding like a complete butt hat who wants to cut corners, in a 120 gallon with 5 adult discus and 20 rummy nose tetras what would be the best way to reduce nitrates to limit the need for large water changes? I can definitely commit to 50% water changes twice a week and am willing to do the daily water changes until they grow out, but i'm not sure i can commit to doing mass water changes for the rest of their lives.

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    Moderator Team Adam S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water changes, filtration, diet and growth

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfish View Post
    I am planning on picking up a 120 gallon (60"x18"x26") this week (on sale for $750 plus stand and lights!) and am still deciding if i really want to get discus or go with something a little less demanding. I have some questions, sorry in advance if they've been asked before or the information is readily available.
    Congrats, sounds like a fun project.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfish View Post
    Is the main reason for huge water changes just to keep nitrates at 0? Do any amount of nitrates stunt growth?
    Nitrates aren't really the enemy for most. Bacteria and dissolved organics become problematic much more quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfish View Post
    If i get juveniles should i use the 120 to grow them out out or should i get a separate tank? would a 29 gallon be large enough to grow them to 4-5" with daily 50-100% water changes? or do i need to get a 50 gallon?
    No to the 29, probably the 50.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfish View Post
    Provided they have clean water and are fed enough how long would it take a 3" juvenile to reach 6"?
    No experience, hopefully someone else can chime in.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfish View Post
    Is a mixed pellet diet with the occasional frozen bloodworms be okay?
    Yes. Check out the pellets sold by Al: https://www.aquaticsuppliers.com/
    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfish View Post
    Is feeding twice a day okay or would four be better? how much should i feed per discus at one time?
    I fed my adults twice a day with no issues. Hopefully someone else can comment on fry.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfish View Post
    Sump, hob or sponge filter?
    Sponges are the cheapest but don't keep the bottom clean (becomes your job with a siphon).
    Sumps offer a lot of flexibility but are easily the most expensive option.
    HOB's are a good option if you want power filtration but don't want to invest in a sump.
    Whatever option, water changes are still your best option to maintain water quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfish View Post
    How fast do pythons drain/fill a tank?
    Depends on water pressure and height difference for the siphon. Bigger diameter hose (I think Python is 1/2" ID) also helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfish View Post
    What ways do you use to make water changing easier?
    I use various PVC fittings and lengths connected to garden hoses. Hard to describe without a picture. You will probably have to age your water, so allow space for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfish View Post
    And at the risk of sounding like a complete butt hat who wants to cut corners, in a 120 gallon with 5 adult discus and 20 rummy nose tetras what would be the best way to reduce nitrates to limit the need for large water changes? I can definitely commit to 50% water changes twice a week and am willing to do the daily water changes until they grow out, but i'm not sure i can commit to doing mass water changes for the rest of their lives.
    If you don't enjoy water changes, it may be in your best interest to consider another fish. Just too easy to get burned out. At 26" tall, I bet your tank would look great with some angels.

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    Default Re: Water changes, filtration, diet and growth

    Thanks! Even if i don't end up getting discus its still pretty exciting

    Are discus very susceptible to bacterial infections then?

    The 120 is a no go for grow out as well then?

    It doesn't seem like Al ship's to Canada unfortunately

    Do i need aged water if my waters ph is already low? its 6-6.5 out the tap.

    Its not that I hate water changes, this is my first big boy tank I'm just really anxious haha. In theory I'm pretty sure i could do water changes every other day, but I'm scared I'll fall short once the fish are on the line or that I'll change my mind in three years and be stuck and out $2000+. Im thinking once I have the tank I'll do a trial run of daily water changes for a month or two to ease (or worsen lol) my fears.

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water changes, filtration, diet and growth

    Hi, it will take about 6-8 months or so for 3" to grow to 6" depending on feeding and water changes). In that bracket if you want to encourage rapid growth I would still feed at least 4 times a day and do big daily water changes. Setting things up so to minimize hassle sure helps to take the sting out of daily water changes. Some kind of (at least semi-) permanent plumbing or hose to empty the tank (either keeping the end syphoned in the tank or using a pump) and at least a pump and hose to get the water from the ageing container back in the tank. Ageing the water helps not only to let pH settle but also to eliminate microbubbles, de-chlorinate with Prime or similar if required, adjust temperature etc. Sounds really sensible to try out the water changes before committing

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    Default Re: Water changes, filtration, diet and growth

    Here is my own grow out chart as well as Jorg Stendkers grow out chart reference(my chart is in Cm instead Inch. Sorry ) . Post number 24 :

    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showth...t-thread/page2

    Your water PH is perfect for discus and if you understock your tank raising 12-15 juvies you can get away skipping WCs here and there . 50% every other day should suffice if you go Bare bottom and keep the tank and filters clean .

    I would go with sump stuffed with biomedia and some sponges as a first stage regular cleaned filteation .

    Good luck and please share your new project with us .

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    Default Re: Water changes, filtration, diet and growth

    I was worried about doing big water changes and what not but once u get in to a routine itís pretty easy to do . I do a full clean everyday drain water / wipe tank out with paper towel / and suck up all the waist at bottom of tank . Every second day I change out sock filters on sump and clean the dirty ones so there ready for next time . And once a month I clean sump filter floss and stuff and change out half the filter floss . And here and there all skip a water change but not very often lol . I have a striked cleaning schedule for my discus and I love doing the maintenance on it weird I know ps itís only takes me around 20mims a day to do it

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