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Thread: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

  1. #16
    Registered Member danotaylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    I reckon it looks mint mate. My only concern would be the sharp points on the manzanita branches. Discus often skitz out and dash about the tank so they could really damage themselves on some of those sharper branches...I know Patty (Pisces) uses manzanita and dedicates sanding time to smooth off anything that may damager her precious discus. Watching your thread closely...love it!

  2. #17
    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    Very eye pleasing and aesthetically done Biotope Lyle.
    This tank looks so natural that it would be unnatural to put anything other than wilds In it .
    Where do you want your pH to be , and why do you want go that low if you plan on getting Stendkers ?
    I'll be closely following this thread , that's for sure .
    Keep up the good work Lyle .

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    Quote Originally Posted by Filip View Post
    Very eye pleasing and aesthetically done Biotope Lyle.
    This tank looks so natural that it would be unnatural to put anything other than wilds In it .
    Where do you want your pH to be , and why do you want go that low if you plan on getting Stendkers ?
    I'll be closely following this thread , that's for sure .
    Keep up the good work Lyle .
    I have actually been working on raising the pH a bit. I now have it balanced @ 6.5. I placed a small amount of aragonite in a media bag and placed it in the sump, after a few days is stabilized. I feel this is a better pH for the bacteria. Right now I am waiting for the cycle to complete. The ammonia is being processed in less than 24 hours, but the Nitrites are still REALLY high. Hopefully they will drop soon, so I can focus on adding the fish!

  4. #19
    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    Quote Originally Posted by lpsouth1978 View Post
    I have actually been working on raising the pH a bit. I now have it balanced @ 6.5. I placed a small amount of aragonite in a media bag and placed it in the sump, after a few days is stabilized. I feel this is a better pH for the bacteria.
    Just make sure you'll be able to maintain it there and prepare the proper water pH in the aging barrel prior every waterchange.

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    Quote Originally Posted by Filip View Post
    Just make sure you'll be able to maintain it there and prepare the proper water pH in the aging barrel prior every waterchange.
    So far the pH is staying stable at about 6.5. I had to use some aragonite in a media bag to get it stable, so the GH and KH are a bit higher, but still in acceptable range. I have found that by mixing RO/DI with tap water at a 1:1 ratio and adding some of my homemade blackwater extract to the aged water, I can match the 6.5 pH.

    Now if only the cycle would complete. The ammonia dropped almost 2 weeks ago. I add ammonia every other to 2ppm and it is processed in less than 24 hours. Unfortunately the nitrites are still somewhere between 2-5ppm, hard to tell exactly. I am hoping that the nitrites drop soon. it has been 5 weeks since getting the tank wet.

    On another note, I am not sure that I will still be putting Discus in this system. The more time I spend thinking, reading, and planning, the less confident I feel about my plan. Keeping my first blackwater system will already be a challenge, but making my first blackwater system my FIRST Discus system, seems like too high a risk. I don't feel that I would be able to maintain it to standards that discuss demand. It seems it would be nearly impossible to remove all the waste and detritus with the leaf litter and other botanicals in the system. For this reason I have decided to forego the Discus in this system. Instead, I will be doing a more forgiving community blackwater system with Angel's, tetras, German Blue Rams, and corydoras. I will still update my progress here until (if ever) there seems to be no interest in the tank from others in this community.

  6. #21
    Moderator Team and Homesteader Swedgin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    Quote Originally Posted by lpsouth1978 View Post
    So far the pH is staying stable at about 6.5. I had to use some aragonite in a media bag to get it stable, so the GH and KH are a bit higher, but still in acceptable range. I have found that by mixing RO/DI with tap water at a 1:1 ratio and adding some of my homemade blackwater extract to the aged water, I can match the 6.5 pH.

    Now if only the cycle would complete. The ammonia dropped almost 2 weeks ago. I add ammonia every other to 2ppm and it is processed in less than 24 hours. Unfortunately the nitrites are still somewhere between 2-5ppm, hard to tell exactly. I am hoping that the nitrites drop soon. it has been 5 weeks since getting the tank wet.

    On another note, I am not sure that I will still be putting Discus in this system. The more time I spend thinking, reading, and planning, the less confident I feel about my plan. Keeping my first blackwater system will already be a challenge, but making my first blackwater system my FIRST Discus system, seems like too high a risk. I don't feel that I would be able to maintain it to standards that discuss demand. It seems it would be nearly impossible to remove all the waste and detritus with the leaf litter and other botanicals in the system. For this reason I have decided to forego the Discus in this system. Instead, I will be doing a more forgiving community blackwater system with Angel's, tetras, German Blue Rams, and corydoras. I will still update my progress here until (if ever) there seems to be no interest in the tank from others in this community.
    You can syphon around all that, moving the litter etc while you do it. No problem at all. Don’t give up so easily

    Would make an excellent biotope for some wild type angels as well though, at this point you have the luxury to choose freely. Mesonauta are great, as are severums.

    But if you stay on top of your maintenace, keeping discus in there will be very rewarding I’m sure....

  7. #22
    Moderator Team and Homesteader Swedgin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    And we’re looking forward to seeing the process on this no matter which species you choose

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    No going back now. I picked up 12 4-5" Discus this weekend. They seem to be settling in pretty well and some have already dropped the black bars (pics were taken just a few hours after putting them in the tank. They already swim to the front of the tank to greet me anytime I come near and all are eating well. They don't seem to have any interest in the pellets or Cobalt flakes, but greedily eat the blood worms, beef heart, and other frozen foods. I know they may not be the absolute best specimens, but I think they are beautiful and have some great potential. I also added a school of Rummynose Tetras. Let me know what you think.

    Sorry about the pictures, my reflections kind of washes them out.

    20190513_132759 by Lyle Southard, on Flickr

    20190513_090623 by Lyle Southard, on Flickr

    20190513_090524 by Lyle Southard, on Flickr

  9. #24
    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    I think they will be great addition to your excellent looking tank Lyle. I'm glad you have decided to go discus after all and I hope you won't regret it .
    As for your discus , are they your planed German wonders?
    They seem to me like a decent discus with a lot of growt potential In Them .
    Last edited by Filip; 05-13-2019 at 08:54 PM.

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    Unfortunately, they are not German wonders. They are red turquoise, blue turquoise, red blood pigeon, and a single yellow blood pigeon.

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Waterbox 230.6 Blackwater Discus tank build

    Things in the tank are going relatively well. Unfortunately, I have lost most of the rummynose tetras that were added to the tank. I purchased 30 of them and they were doing great for the first couple of weeks, but then they started to die. Now they ALL have ich. I raised the temp from 84-87 in hopes that the heat will solve the problem. All of the discus look fine, are eating and acting normal.

    Another issue I am having is that the water will NOT clear up. It has been somewhat cloudy since the beginning. I cleared for about a day, but clouded back up after a water change and has stayed that way since.

    On another note, I have discovered that feeding Discus frozen foods can get VERY expensive. I purchased a variety of frozen foods for them as well as Cobalt Discus Flakes and NLS discus pellets. They WILL NOT touch the flakes or pellets. Now I am preparing to make my own fish food, but would like your thoughts on my plan. her is what I am thinking:

    Beef heart - ordered 3 hearts trimmed
    Salmon
    Shrimp
    FD Cyclops - already ordered
    Wheat Germ - already ordered
    Spirulina flakes - already ordered
    Cobalt Discus flakes - already have
    Paprika - have
    Garlic - have
    Spinach
    Banana - have

    I will basically be grinding this all together with the meat grinder, placing it in freezer bags, and using as needed. I am just not sure on the quantities of each ingredient to use. Let me know what you think.

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