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Thread: New member setting up a new tank

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    Default New member setting up a new tank

    Hello all,

    I am new to the forum, and in a few months I also hope to be new to keeping discus.

    Over the next few months, I will be setting up a 210 gallon aquarium. There's some stuff that needs to happen in the house first before I can put a literal ton of water in one spot for the foreseeable future, so I have plenty of time to plan the tank part.

    Ideally, I would start with a school of small discus and grow them up in this tank. I'm thinking 10-12 in that size tank?

    I understand from a number of things I've read plus Al's video that the King of DIY posted that the most critical thing is clean, stable water.

    I also gather that, for smaller discus, substrate and plants can be bad. Does that mean bare bottom tanks while they grow?

    Looks-wise, I like the way some tanks I've seen in videos look when they have a small amount of substrate (1/2 in deep, no more) and epiphyte plants attached to wood or rocks.

    But the focus of this tank will be healthy Discus, so I am willing to do what is needed to make that happen.

    Any advice will be read and appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Daniel

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    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    Hey Daniel welcome! Do you kept fish now or are you starting from scratch? My suggestion is get a small tank (or 2) and start there. Start up a smaller tank and get your discus. Grow them out in the smaller tank while your setting up your main tank. If bought at the 2.5 size it will take a few months to grow them to 4-5. Now you get the idea of how to kept discus. Plus you can use the smaller tank down the line for qt or growing out new fish. Me Id suggest the 2 tank approach. A 45 to start with and a 75 to grow them out further once they reach 4. Both of these would be bare bottom with daily 50% or better water changes for the 45 and every other day for the 75. With feeding at least 6 times a day. Lots to learn and ask lots of questions. First thing will be to find out what your tap water has in it. Ph,ammonia,nitrite,nitrate, kh and gh. So get an api master test kit and the kh/gh kit so you can start testing. Put your results here and well get back to you .

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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    Welcome to the forum and discus keeping Daniel.

    You can certainly keep 12 and even more very small juvenile discus in your 210 Gallon tank. If you can get them for a good price, i would even purchase 20 and slowly thin them out to your final 12, keeping the best ones.
    Bare bottom is the best way to go for the grow out process, with lots of water changes, and good quality food. Within 12 months you will end up with large beefy adults discus which would grace a lightly planted tank.

    Good luck with your project.
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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    Tom - Thanks! I've kept freshwater fish before, though nothing larger than a 50 gallon tank at that time. Gouramis and Angelfish when I kept them. The 210 is on it's way already, and with the other tanks in the house, there just isn't room for a 75 or even a 50. I do have a 36 gallon bowfront that will be my QT/hospital tank, but since the discus will be the first fish into the 210 once the tank is cycled, I won't be quarantining them.

    As for the water parameters here, water out of the tap is 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, maybe 2.5 nitrates. pH is 8.0. I've been testing weekly to see if those values stay stable. I haven't tested kh & gh yet, though Albuquerque is known to have hard water. I've just ordered the kh/gh test kit, so I'll be able to tell you more in a few days.

    Joe - Thanks for the welcome. Is it really only 12 months to grow them out to full size? I was expecting longer for some reason. So when thinning out the school, is it a matter of selling/donating the ones you don't want back to a store or to some other fish keeper? Sending them to a store feels like a death sentence, as the stores here aren't great.

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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    Small discus will not thrive in a large tank. A 55/75 gal tank would be more than big enough to get a dozen 2" discus going. I'm raising 8 3-inch fish in a 40 Breeder and you can see there's plenty of room for them to grow. http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showth...19#post1354219 A 210 gallon tank is not easy to manage and not a terribly good choice to start with expensive fish.

    You can grow discus to adulthood in 12 - 15 months, but not without lots and lots of water changes and heavy feeding. Again, that's totally impractical in a 210 gal tank and virtually impossible in a planted one. I recommend you do one step at a time. Get a smaller, barebottom tank to raise your discus. Landscape/Plant your 210 gal tank and learn how to manage it. When the discus gets to a size where no further growth is okay, put them into the big tank.
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    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    Your tests all look good! Now age a gal of water 24hrs and retest the ph. Willies the man!! Start with a smaller tank. Thanks Willie got the answer from the other thread. 40g.

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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    Willie - thanks for the info/advice. You've given me something to think about for sure.

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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    Quote Originally Posted by karmicwheel View Post

    Joe - Thanks for the welcome. Is it really only 12 months to grow them out to full size? I was expecting longer for some reason. So when thinning out the school, is it a matter of selling/donating the ones you don't want back to a store or to some other fish keeper? Sending them to a store feels like a death sentence, as the stores here aren't great.
    Hi Daniel.

    If you maintain daily water changes and lots of good quality feed your juvenile discus will grow to their full potential in 12 months. I started with very large groups of juveniles and sold them privately as they grew, always keeping the best ones to grace my tank when they became adults. l actually made some money which offset the cost of the initial purchase as well as some other expenses.

    l tend to agree with with Tom and Willie about growing them out in a 75 gal tank, but if that's not an option maybe consider not filling your 210 Gal tank to the top, which will save on some time changing access water. The juvenile fish would feel much safer in a tank with a smaller footprint.
    We're here for a good time...not a long time

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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    I'm still in the process of thinking about getting a 55 gallon set up for growing a group of 10-12 out in.

    Alternately, could I take my current 36 gallon, strip it down to bare tank, and grow a group of 6 out in it? It's only a little smaller than the 40 gallon that Willie is using for his group of 8.

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    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    I’d say yes to that. Just do 50% or more daily water changes.

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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    Well as it turns out PetCo was having a sale on fishtanks. So I am soon to be a proud owner of a 75 gallon aquarium that will be used as the discus grow out tank.

    It will be bare bottom of course.
    I will need a heater and some filtration.

    With grow out tanks where you do big daily water changes, what kind of filtration is best?

    Willie's tank appears from his video to just have a big sponge filter? In a 75 do I need something more? A HOB maybe?

    Then the next thing I need to figure out is the best procedure for doing water changes. Siphoning 50% or more into buckets and then refilling from buckets is not a viable long term solution.

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    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    Well water changing will depend on your water. Have you tested it? I use bucket to remove and the python hose to return it to the tank. I temp match new water. For filtration sponges work great. I use the ATI sponge with an air pump and an internal powerhead with 2 sponges attached. The odyssea 250 in 75 and smaller the 350 in bigger tanks.
    Great move with the 75. But if you start with 3” or smaller fish start with the 36 using the same filtration. In the 36 you can change a higher % of water easier. Grow them to 4” in that tank than move to the 75. Bring all your filtration from one tank to the next and no need to cycle. Grow them as big as you want in the 75 and when ready move into the 210. Which by now after 6 months of growing out your discus should be up and running. Move filtration over to big tank and leave in for the first month.

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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    From what I've been reading the recommended procedure appears to be to age the water overnight with some aeration and a heater so the temps match and the chlorine can outgas.

    Do you take your water straight from the tap into your tank? Adding some kind of dechlorinator directly into the tank first?

    Or do you have an aging tank somewhere?

    I've tested the tap water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH. pH out of the tap is 8.0. After aging it for 24 hrs, pH is still 8.0. The pH in my 36 gallon is also 8.0. So it seems like the pH is stable.

    My hardness test kit arrives tomorrow, so I'll be able to test KH/GH then.

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    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    My water is very good. Gh1 Kh4 and a Ph of 7.0. It does have chlorine in it. So what I do is run it through a under counter filter that removes chlorine and heavy metals. Temp match and into the tank. When I do 80% or better water changes I do add prime. But for my 50% changes I add nothing.

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    Default Re: New member setting up a new tank

    Thanks Tom, I appreciate all the info. I'll post the results of my hardness test here tomorrow once I get the test kit.

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