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Thread: Tank Setup Questionaire

  1. #211
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    1) Please Introduce your self and tell us what your experience is with fishkeeping, give us as much information as possible as to how long in the hobby, what you have kept in the past and what you currently are working with.

    My name is Barry. I've had aquariums since I was a child; but 4 years ago got back into the hobby with a lot more time, money and energy for it. A friend and I competed in an aqua scaping contest at Aquashella last year and won first place. So, I greatly enjoy the aquatic plant side of aquarium keeping. But my greatest passion in the hobby still remains with fish keeping. My latest years I have been keeping angelfish. There has been challenges which I have learned from. I was overstocked and learned quickly the disaster of doing so from aggression issues to bacteria outbreaks to mated pairs, i understand the need for QT and know how to set one up, etc.. I have a circle of friends who are hobbyists as well. We spend a lot of time discussing aquariums, sharing information, going to aquatic seminars, participating in the local aquarium community. I belong to a local plant club where we have regular meetings. I am pretty much on a first name basis with most of the LFS.

    2) If you have no previous experience with keeping discus, have you done any research to properly prepare yourself, e.g. have you read any Stickies in this section of SimplyDiscus, or other material?

    I have no previous experience keeping discus. I have spent hours watching videos, reading/engaging people on FB in "All About Discus" group, and have been reading threads on this website. I am very comfortable with water chemistry and somewhat familiar with fish diseases. I have a good basic understanding of the ideal way to start a discus tank for beginners. I am fascinated by the fish.

    3) Describe your tank, its size and dimensions, breeding or display. Include how long it has been setup or if it is still being cycled.

    I have a 90 gal display. Its been running for 3 years. Its cycled.

    4) Describe the décor for the tank; type of substrate or bare bottom (BB), whether the tank will be planted or a biotope.

    I have a hardscape consisting of granite (inert) rocks and Wood. The tank is very heavily planted with Bolbitus, blood red rotalla and amazon swords as background with the wood covered in anubius, java fern. I have a mass of tripartita canopying the surface across roughly 1/4 of my tank and attached to the wood structure as well as monte carlo growing on the branches. The foreground consists of small crypt parva across most of the remaining substrate at the front of the tank. There are lots of places for the fish too relax and get away from one another with the entire front of the tank open for swimming. My substrate is aquasoil, Fluvall Stratum. I switched from gravel to this for plant growth and it has been remarkable. My plants are beautiful with reds and explosive growth and no algae issues.

    5) Describe your water changes planned or practiced, percentage and how often. Include if you age your water and use of tap/RO or mix.

    With this tank I started off doing weekly water changes (had much more livestock than I currently have and very week plants). I have since worked my way into not really needing to do water changes with regards to Nitrate level as the plants keep the nitrates consistently at or below 10ppm. However, i still do them as Nitrates are not the only thing that can build up (TDS). SO, currently I do 15 gal water change every 2 weeks. I top off in between usually around 5 gal the week between. I use all RO and re-mineralize with equillibrium to a GH of 6. With the 5 gal top offs I do not remineralize since i am not water changing if that makes sense to you. I am just now (today) going to start with a mix RO with tap. I read about aging on this website (thank you!) and discovered why its important. SO I am going to do 15 gal change with 5 gal tap to 10 gal RO. I will remineralize to bring my GH up to 6. my aged Ph combined with the RO at this ratio closely matches that of my tank water. I heat the water to the same temperature in a large bin where i add in the equilibrium, a small amount of ferts for the plants, a little bit of prime for the chloramine from the tap and any not removed in the RO process.

    6) Describe the type of filtration planned/used for the tank; sponge, HOB and/or sump. Also include the other equipment you are, or will be, using in your tank, e.g. heater, lighting, etc.

    I have 2 Oase 650 thermos (built in heaters) and on one of them I have an in-line UV sterilizer which i run 24/7. I get about 320 gal/hour turnover. Both filters have a pre-filter compartment which I clean once a week. The main filter housings i clean less frequently and they are never dirty. I have bio media balls and sponges in the main filter housing of both filters. I run 2 aeration bubblers which come on about an hour before my light goes off to help bleed of CO2 over night. My filter tank input lines can be set-up as a spray bar; but i currently just have them shooting out of the 90 degree elbows across the top of the water column. My light is a programmable fluval 3.0 and it runs 13 hours total a day but 4 of those hours are gradually ramping up and down., AKA as a sunrise/sunset.

    7) If the tank is already setup and running, include the water parameters;

    - temp _____78 (will go to 82 if i get discus. prefer this lower end because of the aquatic plants. That is the upper limit for almost all of my plants)

    - tank ph _____6.4 to 6.6

    - Ph of the water straight out of your tap _____7.4 out of the tap. 8.0 aged for 24 hours

    - ammonia reading ____0 in my tank. And anywhere from .5 to 1.0 ppm out of the tap

    - nitrite reading ____0 in my tank. a trace in my tap

    - nitrate reading ____10 ppm or below in my tank. 1 -5 ppm from the tap

    - well water ____no

    - municipal water ____yes Dallas city water and I am familiar with their water quality report and EPA standards required.


    8) Describe your current or planned stocking levels; number/size of discus and number/type of dither fish. Where did you get your discus from or do you have a proposed source for getting your discus?

    SO here's the challenge and i have spent a lot of time picking people's brain on this. I want to run discus with my angels. I know I will have to get rid of some of my angels as they already are at capacity for my tank. I will not turn them back into a LFS so I will have to find a trusted person that i know will take good care of them. I treat my fish like pets. My hope is to keep 5 adult angels and get 3 maybe 4 discus starting at 3-4" as i understand younger is more pronblematic especially given my situation. The only other fish will be 4 cories, 1 clown pleco (3" long full-grown) and 3 siamese algea eaters.
    I do not have a proposed source but would love to know a recommended supplier in TX. My preference would be to drive to pick them out as opposed to shipping.

    9) Describe your planned or existing feeding regimen. Include what and how often you are feeding on a daily basis.

    Currently, I feed 2 times/day. In the morning and evening. I fed best quality flakes I can. Avoid fish meal and use whole fish flake foods. I feed both plant based and protein based foods as my angels are omnivores. I provide algae wafers for my cories and pleco every so often as well as blanched veggies every week or so. I use frozen myso and brine shrimp and hikari frozen blood worms. I use bugbites, spirulina flakes too. Sometimes i pre soak their food in garlic for additional nutrition. If needed i willing to fed more often. When I go out of town I have an automatic feeder thats programmable up to 3 times per day.

    10) What are your goals in this hobby? For example are you looking to keep discus in a planted community tank, or do you hope to become a hobby breeder of Discus? Do you want to raise Discus with the hopes of competing in shows?

    My goal is to have discus with angels in a heavily planted aquarium with aquasoil. I only want to do so with two conditions. That I am able to find some of my existing angels a good home and that these two fish can coexist comfortably together. I understand the challenges and really need to understand if having 3 discus and 5 angels is doable. Thanks for taking your time to read and help me. It's greatly appreciated.

  2. #212
    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    Welcome to discus keeping . A)don’t believe anything on “All about discus”!! Probably the worst Facebook site. But fun to read and add comments .
    Unfortunately you’ve been on there way too long. Just beginning your tank will not work. May work for a time and then you’ll have problems. 90% of beginners just start buying more and more discus. Then end up with a problem. A planted tank is not where you want to medicate fish. Next as you’ve already stated angels can be very aggressive. Yes you’ve heard already they’re great with discus on Aad. Not true. They will cause your discus to stress the stress will get them sick. The sickness will cause you to medicate.the meds will kill your plants and probably your discus.
    Best to start another tank bare bottom 75g or better and take it slow and learn your discus like you learned your plants before you start mixing. They can work together but first you need to know discus as much as plants. Here’s a thread I’ve got running here on planted tanks.https://forum.simplydiscus.com/showt...ed-discus-tank. And a pic of my 18085699209-69A5-40DC-84B8-98121CA7C384.jpg.

  3. #213
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    Thank you for your reply. So your position is that Discus should not be in an aquarium with angels no matter what, correct? Can you please be specific on the reason angel fish would stress a discus? Angel fish aggression is almost exclusive to their breed in my experience and to my knowledge. And that aggression can be mitigated to some extent with understanding the species. Feeding more frequently, providing line of sight blocks, not overcrowding, etc.

  4. #214
    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    Quote Originally Posted by DallasFishGuy View Post
    Thank you for your reply. So your position is that Discus should not be in an aquarium with angels no matter what, correct? Can you please be specific on the reason angel fish would stress a discus? Angel fish aggression is almost exclusive to their breed in my experience and to my knowledge. And that aggression can be mitigated to some extent with understanding the species. Feeding more frequently, providing line of sight blocks, not overcrowding, etc.
    Welcome To the Forum Barry. I can see by all the information that you posted that you are not inexperienced with planted tanks nor fish, which is great but there are fundamental differences between discus and other species that are hard for non-discus keepers to fully understand. Angelfish can be mixed with Discus.. many do it. ...many also find that Angels are too aggressive at feeding and out compete discus. They also do show aggression to Discus and can destabiliize a discus tank. Angels also can be asymptomatic carriers of nematodes and protozoans. Still some do keep them together. I have done so many times and it never works out "LONG TERM" My discus have always done best without Angels. I do not recommend keeping the two species together, and I double down on that for novices to Discus. The curve with discus is steep. I really would suggest you start discus only to learn the fish.Its less painful to the keeper and gives the discus the best chance to thrive.

    That aside .. You will want to up water changes and the number of Discus.3-4 in a 90 gal is probably going to lead to bullying and fighting.. 6-7 would be better and if you want the best chance of success in that planted tank get larger Discus. Growing Discus in a tank like yours is challenging at best, a recipe for failure at worse.

    Im sure this isn't what you want to hear but I would rather not sugar coat it. To succeed at discus usually means putting the discus needs above planted tank needs. Its something that causes new discus keepers alot of problems because there are so many pictures out there of discus in heavily planted tanks. Those are snap shots in time..not long term scenarios. Im not telling you can't do it.. but It is not easy and often compromises need to be made.

    Hth,
    Al
    Last edited by brewmaster15; 12-23-2023 at 11:33 PM.
    AquaticSuppliers.comFoods your Discus will Love!!!


    >>>>>Want a great forum? Participate in it and make one.. it doesnt happen on its own...

    we need help..

    https://forum.simplydiscus.com/showt...and-Hard-Place

    .


    Al Sabetta
    Simplydiscus LLC Owner
    Aquaticsuppliers.com


    I take Pics.. click here for my Flickr images

  5. #215
    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    You’ll notice discus in tanks with angels are showing stress lines. Almost like the angels lines. Thing is the discus lines are for stress while the angels are natural. Angels are aggresive and will be aggressive with discus. They will be the first to feed. Again do the discus by themselves with dither fish if you want other fish involved. Bushy nose plecos,cory catfish, most any tetra in groups or bosemani rainbows. These types of fish won’t bother the discus. Your discus need to be the main fish. Just for the price why take the chance? Average angel $10 discus $50-100. Why risk it. I’ve had angel kill each other on many occasions. I just don’t keep them anymore.

  6. #216
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    Al,

    Thank you so much for this. I hear and understand everything you are saying. And even though it's not what I wanted to hear I am going to take this advice. The last thing I want to deal with is a cross over of some parasite to the discus and watch them pass away one at a time while I struggle to fix the issue. It's an awful place to be in. I've been there with my angels as I illuded too in my original post, and it is my biggest concern with adding discus. I don't want to go through that again. If I decide to go with discus it will be either in a separate tank set-up properly for a beginner keeper, or I will rehome my angels (not likely) and start off with at least 6 fully grown in my planted display with modifications like only epiphytes on wood allowing for weekly gravel vac, etc. and for all the reasons you list. Thanks again. Barry
    Last edited by DallasFishGuy; 12-24-2023 at 10:49 AM.

  7. #217
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    Tom,

    I appreciate your response. I needed to hear what I already suspected. I see tanks and hear people that have them together; but who knows the pain they went through to get to that point or the pain they are about to have. I will take this advice and put off my discus keeping for a while longer. I had an experience with my angels when I first started off that really was awful. I had 9 in my 90 but like so many I wanted more. I talked to a dealer in depth about how to add them. I think he was more interested in the sale. I QT the new 5 for a month and upon adding them the extra bio load and stress in my tank sent several of my established grown angels into a downslide. Stopped eating. bloated up. 3 died and 3 of the 5 new ones died too. Weeks of daily water changes. A disaster and I lost my favorite angel. I never want to do that again. So thanks for the honest assessment. I feel I have learned more on how to be a responsible fish owner and how to responsibly own discus. This site is the best!

    Barry

  8. #218
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    Barry,
    Glad to help and of course I hope you stay on keep reading and asking questions. I look forward to seeing your discus tank when you do it.

    Al
    AquaticSuppliers.comFoods your Discus will Love!!!


    >>>>>Want a great forum? Participate in it and make one.. it doesnt happen on its own...

    we need help..

    https://forum.simplydiscus.com/showt...and-Hard-Place

    .


    Al Sabetta
    Simplydiscus LLC Owner
    Aquaticsuppliers.com


    I take Pics.. click here for my Flickr images

  9. #219
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    Quote Originally Posted by Second Hand Pat View Post
    This questionnaire may be used to either help you to describe your new tank setup for discus or
    be a “food for thought” checklist while you consider what your goals are with your new discus tank setup.

    1) Please Introduce your self and tell us what your experience is with fishkeeping, give us as much information as possible as to how long in the hobby, what you have kept in the past and what you currently are working with.

    Hi, my name is Trey and have limited fish keeping experience. I have had my current 55 gallon with 4 discus 15 cardinal tetras and 2 bristle nose for 3 months.

    2) If you have no previous experience with keeping discus, have you done any research to properly prepare yourself, e.g. have you read any Stickies in this section of SimplyDiscus, or other material?

    very limited experience, i do research daily, but gets confusing. the methods used by others vary greatly, rather it be water changes, feeding, temp, etc.


    3) Describe your tank, its size and dimensions, breeding or display. Include how long it has been setup or if it is still being cycled.

    i am upgrading. i currently have a 125 (6ft x 23" x 18") gallon display tank that is currently being cycled without fish

    4) Describe the décor for the tank; type of substrate or bare bottom (BB), whether the tank will be planted or a biotope.

    i have put approx. 2" of fluval substrate covered with 2" of sand, have 5 amazon swords, 3 java ferns, 3 hornwort, 5 chain swords and 4 four leaf clovers, 3 pieces of 12" saba driftwood, minimal slate stone (about seven 4"), and 2 8" ceramic hollow logs for places

    5) Describe your water changes planned or practiced, percentage and how often. Include if you age your water and use of tap/RO or mix.

    i use tap water(treated with stability and prime) plan on 10 to 20 % water changes weekly

    6) Describe the type of filtration planned/used for the tank; sponge, HOB and/or sump. Also include the other equipment you are, or will be, using in your tank, e.g. heater, lighting, etc.

    have 2 fx6 canister filters, 1 tetra 150 whisper with 2 stones, 2 300w eheim heaters with a ink bird controller, and have 2 48 " fluval plant 3.0

    7) If the tank is already setup and running, include the water parameters;

    - temp __84.3___

    - tank ph ___cycling__

    - Ph of the water straight out of your tap ___not sure__

    - ammonia reading __cycling__

    - nitrite reading ___cycling_

    - nitrate reading ___cycling_

    - well water ___no_

    - municipal water ___yes_


    8) Describe your current or planned stocking levels; number/size of discus and number/type of dither fish. Where did you get your discus from or do you have a proposed source for getting your discus?

    This is what i want and need to know if it can be done, or is it too risky. I would prefer the tank not to need extensive care/maintenance. i want to enjoy the fish, not stress over them. Please let me know your thoughts.

    10 4"-5" discus
    30-45 cardinal tetras
    12 sterbai corys
    2 4" golden nugget places

    i currently have 4 of the discus, 2 albino BN plecos, and 5 kuhli loaches that i plan to transfer to the new tank


    9) Describe your planned or existing feeding regimen. Include what and how often you are feeding on a daily basis.

    Another area i need help with, i currently feed the discus pellets in the AM and frozen brine shrimp and blood worms in the PM. I feed the tetras flakes in the PM and the pe
    plecos wafers every other day.

    i plan to feed the corys with vibra bites, the tetras with micro pellets and the plecos with algae wafers. The discus i want to explore feeding options, will they eat the vibra bites, should i try pellets, freeze dried, or continue with the frozen?

    10) What are your goals in this hobby? For example are you looking to keep discus in a planted community tank, or do you hope to become a hobby breeder of Discus? Do you want to raise Discus with the hopes of competing in shows?
    My goal is to maintain a planted discus community tank for the purpose of self satisfaction, i find peace in observing these fish. as stated before, i want more peace than stress. i am aware that problems are unavoidable, but i want the problems to be minimal.

    Thanks in advance for the feedback!


    20240527_121219~2.jpg
    Last edited by brewmaster15; 05-27-2024 at 01:39 PM.

  10. #220
    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    Hi Trey,
    This is what i want and need to know if it can be done, or is it too risky. I would prefer the tank not to need extensive care/maintenance. i want to enjoy the fish, not stress over them. Please let me know your thoughts.

    10 4"-5" discus
    30-45 cardinal tetras
    12 sterbai corys
    2 4" golden nugget places

    i currently have 4 of the discus, 2 albino BN plecos, and 5 kuhli loaches that i plan to transfer to the new tank


    I think with your planned 10-20% water change weekly your are going to be very dissapointed in the growth of those planned 10 each 4" discus.. To grow well Discus need good food and clean water .. and lots of both. Having a substrate tank complicates matters as well.
    approx. 2" of fluval substrate covered with 2" of sand,
    thats a really deep bed.
    AquaticSuppliers.comFoods your Discus will Love!!!


    >>>>>Want a great forum? Participate in it and make one.. it doesnt happen on its own...

    we need help..

    https://forum.simplydiscus.com/showt...and-Hard-Place

    .


    Al Sabetta
    Simplydiscus LLC Owner
    Aquaticsuppliers.com


    I take Pics.. click here for my Flickr images

  11. #221
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    Quote Originally Posted by wjabiii View Post
    My goal is to maintain a planted discus community tank for the purpose of self satisfaction, i find peace in observing these fish. as stated before, i want more peace than stress. i am aware that problems are unavoidable, but i want the problems to be minimal.

    Thanks in advance for the feedback!


    20240527_121219~2.jpg
    It's a very nice looking set up and I think your goal with your discus and the way to approach it is similar to mine. That's why I'm commenting although I'm in no way an expert! I've kept planted tanks for 30 years and had to unlearn a lot of old knowledge with discus. The most important lesson being the importance of diligent maintenance! Planted tank with plenty of plants and substrate needs MORE water changes and MORE cleaning for discus to thrive, as opposed to the usual mantra we hear that plants take care of nitrates so lesser water changes will do. That is absolutely FALSE with discus. Plants add bioload more than they clean the water and they create places for accumulated waste to pile up and grow bacteria. So your planned water change schedule will not be sufficient at all, try 30-40% every 3-4 days, siphoning waste from the top of the sand at the same time and remove all dead/dying leaves and loose plant material while you're at it. That seems to work well for me and takes about an hour each time. It is easy to tell this is the required water change routine because whenever my water changes get delayed to 4-5 days in between, some bacterial nodes start appearing on the discus. From personal experience, I guarantee that more regular maintenance means less trouble and stress!

    Deep substrate is a pollution risk, although my experience with sand (3-5 cm deep is enough for plants) has been good so far, my only advice would be to not mess with the substrate a lot (plants will suffer), instead get a huge army of Malaysian trumpet snails to slowly sift through the sand and keep it oxygenated.
    Last edited by Johanna; 05-28-2024 at 03:11 AM.

  12. #222
    Registered Member bluelagoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tank Setup Questionaire

    Layering substrate will not work in a discus. It needs to be deeply siphoned to help remove anaerobic bacteria that may accumulate there. Some of those bacteria and parasites (flagellates) get in the gut of discus in larger numbers when substrate is dirty. More hexamita in the gut is more likely; not everyone can buy over the counter antibiotics these days and can be expensive in a large tank. Another similar parasite that lives outside the gut can cause hole in head from not enough clean water. You might want to keep plenty of metronidazole on hand for discus in your planned discus set up. Just a thought

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