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Thread: Should I even try?

  1. #1
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    Default Should I even try?

    I'm brand new here so before I get started on my question a quick hello to all! I'm not easily offended so direct answers to my direct questions will be appreciated

    My main display tank is a 260 gallon custom built tank (84 x 30 x 24) and the sump is a 135 gallon running approximately 60 gallons for an approximated 320 total volume of water. I am using lava rock for my biological filtration, and filter floss (changed every other day) as my mechanical. I have approximately 100 lbs of lava rock in a section of the sump with room for more if it makes sense to fill that section up? I have recently closed down my saltwater setup and I am in the middle of starting up a fresh water tank. I am committed to a planted tank and I thought discus would look awesome as my main display fish. The tank has cycled and I have added approximately 45 harlequin raspbora's and about the same in cardinal tetra's.

    I left the saltwater hobby due to it feeling more of a chore than an enjoyable activity. I don't mind maintenance at all but I don't want to be "chained" to the tank and I want to be able to potentially vacation etc. without excessive concern for the fish and the tank. The more I've read in this forum the more I question if Discus are right for me. I don't want to do daily water changes. Weekly is no problem at all I enjoy having a task on the weekends.

    So my question remains the same as in the title. Should I even try Discus or is this just a fish that I should leave off my list?

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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    If you go ahead with it I personally would get full grown adults for your tank.. Just based on you wanting to do planted and only weekly water changes.. Just my thought... Welcome and best of luck

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    Hi and welcome to the forum. Tank sounds awesome so you have plenty of options. From your concerns I take it you are already aware that discus can be amongst the most demanding of freshwater fish and will pose some limitations as far as scaping goes. PossibleOn the other hand in a big tank like yours I doubt you could find a more stunning centerpiece species. As probably you have gathered, growing out youngsters involves exactly what you are trying to avoid. So that means buying fish that are already 5" or bigger where, for a price, someone else has done the work for you. You can also keep them at slightly lower temperature than juveniles, 80f or not much higher, that would benefit the Harlequins that at this temperature are already at the top of their comfort zone, plants will also be happier. You will have some issues to overcome when introducing the fish to your tank, nominally having to allow the filtration to adjust to the greatly increased load and ensuring that the newly introduced discus do not catch anything carried by the pre-existing Harlequins and cardinals. If I were in your shoes I probably see if any of the forum sponsors are close to your location, they all have a very good track record, and purchase only a few discus to try out and all being well then gradually adding more but always from the same provenance so to reduce the risk of introducing new pathogens. Anyway nice to have you on this forum, let's see what else is suggested and take your time to make your mind up

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    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    Hi and welcome Tim .
    My straight forward would be "Yes, you can".
    The best way to achieve this would be to start with grown discus, the bigger you can afford the better.Coming from the Reef world I guess you are already well accustomed spending a lot of $$$ for the hobby so 10 adult discus shouldn't hurt you a lot .
    10 discus +some diether schooling fish would be considered as an understock for your +300 Gallons of water and you should be able to maintain that system well with just one WC per week .
    I would buy them all at once and from the same place and introduce them in your established tank only after a QT procedure and a test discus to rule out cross contamination issues on the start .

    Good luck and don't hesitate because you won't find any other freshwater fish that can match discus beauty and grace.

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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    Note that most plants will melt at 80F or higher. You can rely on Amazon swords and not much else. Fortunately, these come in many forms, small ones that can create a carpeting effect to show pieces.

    Good luck.
    Whenever you feel stupid, remember that there are people out there looking for Pokemon.

  6. #6
    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    Over here for at least 3 months of summer even with cooling fans the temperature in my planted tanks is still 28C, my anubias, crypts, java ferns (windelov), ceratopteris, ludwigia, rotala and althernantera don't even wilt let alone melt (photo of one of my nano community taken about a fortnight ago at the tail end of a long roasting summer)
    The reason why I advised about not putting a lot of big discus in all at once was because the tank is already cycled to support a shoal of rasboras and one of cardinals, not suddenly a ton of discus. The only way to do this safely would be by doing lots of water changes, at least to start, but this is exactly what Tim wanted to avoid. So the next best thing I reckon would be to put a deposit down with a reputable retailer for a batch and bring them home a few at a time to give the tank a chance to adjust gradually.
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    Last edited by Paul Sabucchi; 10-10-2018 at 01:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    Thanks for all the speedy feedback! I really appreciate everyone's opinion. Sounds like this might just work after all. I'm going to go with the plants first and get them established or find out they aren't compatible without the added bio load of the leaves dying etc. I'll keep in mind about the temperature of the tank too. I'd still love more feedback if any others want to voice their opinions too!

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    Way to go Tim! As you have probanly learned from your reef-keeping experience slow and steady is the way to go with fishtanks. Even with all the hurdles I think discus make the most stunning highlight in a big planted tank. Other alternative would be angels, maybe Liz can chime in. Anyway please do continue to use the forum as a sounding board before taking any further steps
    Last edited by Paul Sabucchi; 10-10-2018 at 02:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    There are variety of plants that can cope and live with the discus 84 F temps. and more importantly their sterile water conditions . You can check for discus plants suggestions in my current and my ex tank journal thread on this link :

    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showth...t-thread/page4

    Ex tank thread is linked in the first post of my tank journal thread .

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    Thanks for the encouragement everyone.. Filip thank you for the additional link for the plants. I'm going to be going quite slowly at this but I'm very thankful for everyone's feedback thus far.

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    Silver Member Willie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    Are you guys using CO2 or high intensity lights? I have trouble keeping any of the Asian plants alive above 80F in a low tech tank.

    Willie
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    Willie, I get by with 60w CFL or LED screw bulbs with clamp reflectors from HD. 1 bulb per 12"-18" is enough to grow just about anything, though brown algae/diatoms are an issue on slower plants like anubias without CO2, floating plants, etc.

  13. #13
    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I even try?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    Are you guys using CO2 or high intensity lights? I have trouble keeping any of the Asian plants alive above 80F in a low tech tank.

    Willie
    I do have high intensity light In my tank Willie . My Moto is "you gotta give 'em something right ? "
    Working with plants and reading a lot about them through the years my personal conclusion is that high temps. Is not their main growth obstacle in discus tanks but rather the lack of food and sufficient light.
    By food I reffer to the lack of nutrient rich (or stuffed with poop and dirt )substrate and the very clean and sterile water column we provide for discus to thrive .

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