filteration, and waterchanges for discus - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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filteration, and waterchanges for discus

hello all! i am new to the forum, and have a quick question. i would like to create a 90 gallon discus tank featuring about 6-8 small discus fish. this will be an unplanted display tank, with a fluval fx 5, stocked with Chemi-Pure, and seachem matrix. in addition, i will use an Aqueon pro-flex 3, 20 gallon sump, as a refugium stocked with freshwater miracle mud, and alot of hornwort to attack nitrates.(and possibly a deep sandbed as well) i will also put more seachem matrix in the return chamber of the sump. return pump will be a magdrive 5, and estimated sump waterflow turnover rate approx 4 times per hour. now using this setup along with the fx5, how frequently, and how much water would i have to change to keep those discuss happy?
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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filteration, and waterchanges for discus

hello all! i am new to the forum, and have a quick question. i would like to create a 90 gallon discus tank featuring about 6-8 small discus fish. this will be an unplanted display tank, with a fluval fx 5, stocked with Chemi-Pure, and seachem matrix. in addition, i will use an Aqueon pro-flex 3, 20 gallon sump, as a refugium stocked with freshwater miracle mud, and alot of hornwort to attack nitrates. (and possibly a deep sandbed as well) i will also put more seachem matrix in the return chamber of the sump. return pump will be a magdrive 5, and estimated sump waterflow turnover rate approx 4 times per hour. now using this setup along with the fx5, how frequently, and how much water would i have to change to keep those discuss happy?
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 04:59 PM
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First, let me say that while I'm a discus admirer, I am not a discuskeeper - too much TLC needed!
The discus experts here will be able to provide more detail but it's my understanding that you just about can't change the water too often or too much. I know discus keepers who do 70% water changes daily. They use RO water and I think their tanks are well-planted. It's my understanding that discus like a calm tank with plenty of cover so you don't want a lot of current flow in the tank.
BUT you do want plenty of filtration!

Good luck with your tank, they are beautiful fish, even if high-maintenance!

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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man!!!!!!! that's ALOT of water changes! but then again, the discus is one heck of an AWESOME freshwater species!!!!
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 06:46 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

One of our members, 1077, has discus, so he may see this thread at some point. I can't recall others at the moment. I've been keeping soft water freshwater fish, and mostly wild caught at that, for well over 20 years but still haven't ventured into discus.

I would point you to our profile, we have both primary discus species:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/c...discus-189177/

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/c...ciatus-188601/

You will find some good info on the tank aquascape. You really have two choices, planted or biotope. Remember that plants will do a much better job of keeping the water clean, with much less expense and bother. I am one who is not a fan of over-filtration, and with discus you do not want strong currents.

As for water changes, Jack Wattley recommends twice a week minimum, but this is without plants. In a planted tank I would go with once a week, same as I do with all my tanks, changing half the tank.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 07:39 PM
I don't have discuss but I will comment that any required filtration/purification is relative to the frequency/volume of water changes. That is to say, if one will do 50% water changes once or twice a week, (advanced) filtration is almost unnecessary. It comes down to what is required to keep the water pure enough to maintain the health of the stock.

I think your plan to use an FX5 as well as a sump with mud and matrix etc. in a 90g is over the top.

Plants can be a good thing, but I also think today's science and filtration products can also do the job well. In my tank I found that even with floating plants, I had to add fertilizer or the plants would wane. If the objective is to purify water, why add impurities for the plants?

In addition to massive water changes, I've read that many discuss breeders use no substrate to keep water cleaner.

[Pondering] I often wondered that if discuss were so very sensitive to fresh/pure water, why do massive water changes several times a week? It seems to me that rigging a trickle system with an overflow/drain would make much more sense so that fresh water was introduced continuously. With such a system, water circulation would be important but filtration would not.

Sorry for the ramble with not much help. Welcome to TFK!
Keep us posted on your progress.

AD

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post #7 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 08:00 PM
I agree that your filtration is probably a bit overkill. As long as you do proper water changes you don't need anything really advanced besides RO water, RO however depends on your tap water parameters. Far as how often water needs to be changed, more is always better. I also don't have personal experience with discus but I do know the younger the fish the more important it is to change a lot of their water or they may not grow right, that is typically where the daily water changes come from. Feeding high quality food is also important. Discus always temp me around here since someone is usually selling young ones for pretty cheap.

@AD some people do rig a continuous water change system if they want low care on their part. Its more often heard of from breeders. The thing with doing large water changes is actually that the larger and more frequent the water change the less actual change there is between the tank water and the new water.

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Last edited by Mikaila31; 06-08-2013 at 08:04 PM.
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 08:50 PM
The point was that with a continuous system, the water is always the same and maintenance free.
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Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
@AD some people do rig a continuous water change system if they want low care on their part. Its more often heard of from breeders. The thing with doing large water changes is actually that the larger and more frequent the water change the less actual change there is between the tank water and the new water.

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` •...><((((º>` • . ¸¸ . • ´` • . . . ¸><((((º>¸ . • ´` • .. . ¸ ><((((º>
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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"'Pondering] I often wondered that if discuss were so very sensitive to fresh/pure water, why do massive water changes several times a week? It seems to me that rigging a trickle system with an overflow/drain would make much more sense so that fresh water was introduced continuously. With such a system, water circulation would be important but filtration would not."

Read more: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...#ixzz2VgYD8tHw I was actually thinking the same thing! and yes the filtration is over the top, but i guess redundancy/backup can be a good thing, and plus, when i finally talk the Mrs into the 150g build, filtration will be one less concern to tackle.
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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now is the RO water an ABSOLUTE MUST?
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