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Thread: Daniel's First Discus Tank

  1. #16
    Registered Member Shan_Evolved's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daniel's First Discus Tank

    I do a water change on mine when Nitrates get above what I can read. And I only change 50%. Since I started cycling some 4 weeks ago I've only done 3 water changes to be honest.

    Some things important to note during fishless cycling -

    1) Do not add more ammonia until your Ammonia AND Nitrites are 0 or near 0. Adding in more Ammonia will not let the Nitrate colony build fast enough to keep up leading to too much nitrite. I saw a speech by some doc I think it was Novahek (sorry spelling) that talked about nitrate bacteria taking double the time to multiple than nitrite ones.

    2) Check your KH levels (not just your PH.) Your water NEEDS at least 2-4KH for the cycle to establish a cycle. Going through high ppms of ammonia and nitrite use up a lot of the alkalinity or something. PH will drop as KH drops and that can lead to PH crash as well as cycling stall.

    I'm not sure how high nitrates can be before it becomes troublesome but I personally don't like doing 100% water changes - - takes too long so I just do 50% when needed to make nitrates legible on the chart. I will do 2x 50% the day before my fish go into the water
    Amateur discuskeeper, Professional doofus

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Daniel's First Discus Tank

    Thanks, I appreciate the info. I'll check KH this morning to make sure it hasn't dropped too far. Water from the tap has a KH of 7, so hopefully I'm still OK.

    My long term plan is to be able to do 50% water changes (hence the 40G holding tank for the 75G) daily. And I'll wait til ammonia and nitrites drop to 0 before adding any more ammonia. The Dr Tim plan I was following had me adding ammonia on Day 1, Day 3 and Day 6, which I did. I've tried to keep the overall ammonia under 4 ppm, so I didn't add as much as they suggested. Their plan also calls for adding the fish on Day 9, so I think I'll just throw out the plan and go with the Shan 2 step plan above.

  3. #18
    Registered Member Shan_Evolved's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daniel's First Discus Tank

    Every tank, every bio load, every bacteria is different.

    I dislike plans that estimate how long it would take or how often you should put ammonia or other time based plans into effect.

    The goal is to get Ammonia and Nitrites to 0 with 24h no matter the length it takes. Put 4ppm ammonia, put some seeded material, some surface area for the bacteria to grow on, and then wait for all of that to turn into nitrates. After that just keep adding ammonia until that process becomes 24h.
    Amateur discuskeeper, Professional doofus

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Daniel's First Discus Tank

    The doors arrived on Friday, so Saturday I stained and finished them. This morning I installed them on the stand, so now all I have left to do is wait for the tank to finish cycling.

    IMG_0963.jpg

    My ammonia levels have dropped to 0 but I still have nitrites. It reads as 2.0 or 5.0, can't tell from the card since to my eyes the two values look the same. Similar problem with the nitrates, which are either 40 or 80. But the cycle is moving, which is good. pH is holding steady at 8. KH is about 3. Out of the tap its 6-7, so there's definitely been a drop. I guess I'll need to do a water change before the KH drops much further.

  5. #20
    Registered Member Shan_Evolved's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daniel's First Discus Tank

    Nice! Glad you saw the drop in KH. If you had 4KH in your tap, imagine the problems you would have had.

    If there are people reading this post, MEASURE YOUR KH WHEN YOU CYCLE!!!

    Daniel, your setup is looking fantastic. They are gonna grow out so fast!

    Some things to consider -, there's a tidal filter upgrade video on my thread somewhere recent, it would be good to do that now while its still clean. A prefilter sponge on the intake of the tidal is also a necessity IMO. Also, have you added a lift tube inside of the sponges? It helps pull water further down the sponges
    Amateur discuskeeper, Professional doofus

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Daniel's First Discus Tank

    Shan - thanks, I hope you're right! I've done all the easy parts (well, except for waiting for the tank to cycle, that part is hard if you're a bit impatient). So I hope that when I do get the fish everything goes well! I'm very much looking forward to placing my order with Hans. I know exactly what I want, I just have to wait.

    It does feel like the cycle has stalled a bit, possibly because of the KH dropping. My nitrite levels have been at around 2.0 ppm for the last 2 days, so I'll do a water change today & see if that starts things up again.

    Thanks for the video recommendation, I'll check it out today. I have lift tubes on the outside of the sponges, but not on the inside. I'll look into that.

  7. #22
    Registered Member Shan_Evolved's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daniel's First Discus Tank

    Give it time. Nitrites will stay high for awhile. Days to weeks even. I've had my nitrites go above 5ppm and just waited until it all converted. Doing water changes is not a good idea. You WANT high nitrites while cycling. It's SO important to give it time to feed the nitrate bacteria so they can develop. P A T I E N C E

    I hate to keep nagging but from my own mistakes and how bad the littel things ended up hurting me I highly recommend you be patient with the cycle.

    Also, Hans is going through some stuff. Not sure when he will be able to ship out again. Golden State Discus 3.5" is a great size to get as well though 40-60 a fish. Hans can still be good but I would check in with his injury
    Amateur discuskeeper, Professional doofus

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Daniel's First Discus Tank

    I'd heard a bit that Hans had something he was dealing with, and his webpage (https://discusfishstore.com/) mentions being closed for a bit due to Doctor's orders. I certainly hope he's alright.

    Since I have to wait for the tank to cycle anyway (patience, patience), I can wait for Hans to get better.

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