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Thread: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

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    Default Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    Hi folks, I've got a 6x2x2 with a 5 ft sump. It was a full blown reef tank until about two years ago when I decommissioned it. I've just refilled it and I'm going to set it up as a discus tank with a few compatible fish. I would like to run through my plan with those in the know so that you might identify mistakes that I'm about to make.

    My filter is a 100 micron sock, below this is a MBBR filter with approximately 20 litres of K1 filter media. After that there is about 30 Litres of submerged bio balls. The water then returns to the tank via a variable speed DC pump.

    The proposed stock list is as follows, not set in stone though.

    12 Discus, purchased at 3-4 inches.
    50 Cardinal tetras
    10 Sterbai cory's
    6 Blue ram's
    10 -15 marbled hatchets
    2-3 Bristlenose catfish
    Agassizi's - mabye one boy and a few girls.

    Is this overstocked, will the filtration handle it, are the fishies compatible?

    My planned aquascape will be a mix of driftwood and rocks on a bare bottom (painted blue). I'm thinking something minimalist. My lighting is a cheap RGB LED strip, I'm planning on running it very dim. Once the discus have grown I might consider putting in a spotlight and a planted section. No plants for now though.

    For water changes I'm planning on converting my 4 stage RO filter to a 4 carbon cartridge inline dechlorinator. I'm going to hard line it to my tank and do very slow continuous water changes, my tank has a permanent overflow drain to outside. I can turn on the tap slowly and walk away. So the plan is to slowly push tap water through 4 carbon filter cartridges and then straight into the tank. Do you think this will work? MY tap water is awesome, <50ppm dissolved solids and 25 degrees celcius but a fair wack of chlorine at times.

    What do you folks think? What have I missed?

    Thanks all.

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    If you also have a dosing pump lying around from your reef days you might consider slowly dosing prime while doing the continuous WC. How much water/day do you plan on exchanging? The 100 micron sock will clog, I'm a big fan of poret foam blocks in sumps they are remarkably maintenance free.

    Does the pH of your water change after putting in an air stone for 24 h? If it changes you might need to have a holding tank reservoir to equilibrate it before adding to the tank. You could still do the planned trickle change you propose.

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    I agree that a 100 micron sock will clog, and fast. I am using a 200 micron sock and have to change it every few days or it clogs and overflows. I have a similar setup to you and perform 30g daily water changes. I use my RO system (also have a reef tank) and fill a brute can with RO that I then add RO right to. This gets aged for 12-24 hours and then I hook it up to my ATO at night. I simply have some 1/4" tubing going from the tank to another brute with a float switch attached. As the tank drains via the 1/4" tubing, the ATO pumps clean water back into the tank.

    As for stocking, that seems like quite a lot of fish. I have 12 discus, 11 sterbai cory's, 5 german blue rams, and 3 rummynose tetras (was 30, but lost most to an ich outbreak). I have been told that my tank is overstocked and I have fewer fish than you are planning.

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    Sounds like a nice plan.
    The stocking seems a bit much but if you change the right amount of water you might be ok. I try to keep my Nitrates around 10 but sometimes they do bump up near 20 so you need to keep an eye on it and the amount you are feeding.
    I've been changing my water the way you have proposed for many years now and it has worked well for me. No need to dose dechlorinator with my water and I'm only using 2 stages, 5 micron sediment and then a carbon block.

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    Thanks folks, I'll reassess the stock list. Perhaps loose some of the cardinals, rams and hatchets.

    I just dropped a chunk of chicken fillet in my bio filter yesterday, should be looking ripe in about two months.

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    Household ammonia from Bunnings will do the job for a fishless cycle mate. 2-4ppm. Then you're starting with "food" for the BB and won't have a rotting chicken breast in your sump, lol.
    Whereabouts in Aus are ya? I grew up in Brissy and lived in Perth for 13 yrs b4 moving to the US. If you're in/near Melbourne drop two utes a PM. He should be able to assist your search h for good doscus stock...

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    I actually purchased some ammonia but it had some sort of detergent in it so I threw it in the cupboard and resorted to rotting flesh LOL, slow release goodness.

    I'm in Cairns, there's not may options for discus up this way. I think I'm gonna have to get some online. Anyone have any experience with Sydney Discus World or have suggestions?

  8. #8
    Registered Member danotaylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    I can't help ya with aussie vendors, but I would PM two utes anyway as he is not on thr site a whole bunch and the PM may go to his email. Pretty sure there is a member from North QLD but I cannot remember his site name and don't recall seeing any posts recently...I will try a search and get back to ya if I find anything helpful...

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    Thanks danotaylor, I've got a couple of months to work things out so no hurry.

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    Dano, how'd you know he was an aussie!?

    I'm originally from brisbane and didn't know how spoiled I was with the water there. Ideal for Discus or at least better than the liquid rock here in madison, TDS is >500 from the tap. Aquarium industries import Stendker discus and likely also import asian breeders as well, you can find their pet store partners here: https://www.aquariumindustries.com.au/where-to-buy/. Otherwise a quick trip to bali wearing baggy pants is always an option.

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    Hey James! I asked him and in post #7 of this thread he replied that he lives in Cairns.
    I'm a Brissy native as well, though I lived 13yrs in Perth before moving to Ohio in 2013.

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    Mad hacking skills

    Really, I posted my location in the "tell us about yourselves thread"

  13. #13
    Registered Member danotaylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    Haha, it was actually on this thread...look up at post #7, it was here alright

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    Default Re: Tank setup - From reef to discus.

    So it was. Looks like I can't read.

    I lived in Redcliffe until I was 21 then moved to Stanford for my PhD in organic chemistry then followed my wife to Madison for her MD and now residency in Ob/Gyn. 11 years stateside in September.

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