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Thread: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

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    Registered Member EIHAB's Avatar
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    Question My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    Hi Guys,

    Well its time to get my hands dirty and start with setting up my 1st discus tank after over a decade break!
    I always kept Discus in BB tanks, now I am looking to setup my first planted discus tank, which will be to admire the lovely fish rather thank growing young or breeding.
    I know there are mixed views on this; especially when it comes to using sand, but here is what I think I am doing:

    => fluorite/eco 2cm bottom => feed tabs => sand on top 2cm => decorate and plant plants (Possibly carpet plants too/grass) => start a healthy water cycle with filter => in 2 weeks get smaller tetras in => 4 weeks get the discus in.

    The main point I am concerned about is the substrate as I have zero experience with. My main priority is the well being of the Discus! Plant wise I will get plants that donít require CO2 added and hopefully easily maintained.

    Any tips or direction will be much appreciated.
    Thank you
    Eihab

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    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    Morning Eihab, my first question is do you have any planted tank experience? If no I would suggest keeping a planted tank without discus for six months successfully before mixing the two. Personally I have no planted tank experience but have seen beautiful planted discus tanks and have also seen it go horribly wrong.
    Pat
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening


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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    Hi, I have 5 planted tanks but my discus one is still BB, will add some wood with epiphytic plants once they are 2 years old.
    In my experience with low-tech planted tanks, and a discus planted tank will almost invariably need to be low tech (no injected CO2, no stadium floodlights, no daily ferts), there is no need for fluorite or fertile soil. Plain sand will do just fine as most plants used in discus tanks get their nutrients from the water column, maybe with the exeption of Amazon swords (Echinidorus) that are root feeders - but even for these a tab in the sand by the roots will suffice. If you have layers of different substrate these will eventually mix, either while syphoning or fish rooting about or you have to remove a plant and then the roots will pull everything up.
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    Last edited by Paul Sabucchi; 11-13-2018 at 09:29 AM.

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    Registered Member EIHAB's Avatar
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    Default Re: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for that, with me 6 months is a life time hahaha, But I totally get what you are saying I was looking to get setup by Xmas but I think I might get the tank to mature before getting any discus in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Second Hand Pat View Post
    Morning Eihab, my first question is do you have any planted tank experience? If no I would suggest keeping a planted tank without discus for six months successfully before mixing the two. Personally I have no planted tank experience but have seen beautiful planted discus tanks and have also seen it go horribly wrong.
    Pat

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    Registered Member EIHAB's Avatar
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    Default Re: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    Thanks Paul, I also always kept Discus in BB tanks ... seems I have to weigh it in... fancy looking tank and wait on Discus, or go old school with BB and get discuss sooner lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Sabucchi View Post
    Hi, I have 5 planted tanks but my discus one is still BB, will add some wood with epiphytic plants once they are 2 years old.
    In my experience with low-tech planted tanks, and a discus planted tank will almost invariably need to be low tech (no injected CO2, no stadium floodlights, no daily ferts), there is no need for fluorite or fertile soil. Plain sand will do just fine as most plants used in discus tanks get their nutrients from the water column, maybe with the exeption of Amazon swords (Echinidorus) that are root feeders - but even for these a tab in the sand by the roots will suffice. If you have layers of different substrate these will eventually mix, either while syphoning or fish rooting about or you have to remove a plant and then the roots will pull everything up.

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    Thinking rationally (and not in the usual "I want the fish yesterday" way), if the fish you will get still have a fair bit of growing to do then get them asap, go BB and put the plants in later. If you are getting ready grown fish then get the plants in, cycle the tank, wait a few weeks to make sure the plants are happy then get the fish.
    This is the oak "tree" I will put in the tank, bark is now removed, wood is dry and sanded adnd also had 3 coats of clear, food safe epoxy. Hoping to grow a *canopy* of anubia on the top branches (but may be too close to the light) and maybe some Microsorum pteropus (Java fern) Windelov on the bottom one. Definitely not rushing things, I cut that oak branch 2 years ago and it will be maybe another year before it goes in the tank
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    Last edited by Paul Sabucchi; 11-13-2018 at 11:27 AM.

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    Registered Member EIHAB's Avatar
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    Default Re: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Sabucchi View Post
    Thinking rationally (and not in the usual "I want the fish yesterday" way), if the fish you will get still have a fair bit of growing to do then get them asap, go BB and put the plants in later. If you are getting ready grown fish then get the plants in, cycle the tank, wait a few weeks to make sure the plants are happy then get the fish.
    This is the oak "tree" I will put in the tank, bark is now removed, wood is dry and sanded adnd also had 3 coats of clear, fiod safe epoxy
    Thanks for the tip Paul, love the doggies

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    MVP Oct.2015 discuspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    Eihab,
    Suggest you get the discus first and allow them to get comfortable in their new surroundings before adding any tank-mates. This will make things a lot less stressful for the discus when quarantining - as it's the tank-mates that need to undergo placement in a QT tank, then a further change to move them when being placed in the main tank after QT.
    As for the discus, it's only one fish (your selected specimen to be exposed to the other fish in QT) that will have to deal with being moved about twice.

    (I don't like the expression 'sacrificial lamb'.)
    Last edited by discuspaul; 11-13-2018 at 12:24 PM.

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    Default Re: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    Agree with Paul on getting Discus before the other fish, also because a tank cycled and housing a bunch of discus will have no problem coping with the addition of some "small fry". On the other hand if you cycle the tank but then just keep in it for a few weeks a shoal of tetras and maybe some Corys it will definitely not be up to supporting the discus (at least not without doing big daily water changes)

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    Default Re: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    Flouorite and sand are very different grain size . In a short period with vacuuming you should have the sand underneath the fluorite .

    I would go with plain sand And consider pots or root tabs on the places where I plan to plant . Leaving the front open for feeding and pooping is most important for discus and I would avoid carpets because of this.
    Here is a link from my planted tank journal , it may give you some ideas about plant selection and plant planning .
    There you can see that you can have nice plants even in a BB growout tank.

    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showth...growout-thread
    Last edited by Filip; 11-18-2018 at 08:15 AM.

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    Default Re: My First Discus planted tank, Help!

    I would start with sand. Then get some warm water plants like anubias, swords, maybe some vals, and plant
    your scape. Use root tabs for vals and swords. In three to four months you should see stability with the plants.
    Just do your water changes and have a decent light source. You can get some driftwood and tie the anubias
    on to them. Then if you buy discus and quarantine them. By then end of quarantine you should see if you can
    grow plants. The warm water discus plants are easy to maintain.

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