new aquarium, discus or saltwater - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-18-2012, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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new aquarium, discus or saltwater

I have very little experience, currently finishing cycling my first fresh water tank, it is my wifes tank and she has it stocked with platys and cherry barbs, and what not. As much as I like the tank, I find it not very enjoyable to look at, and want a tank of my own, I am debating between a 75 gallon discus tank or a saltwater tank of the same size, what are your thoughts, biggest issues are startup cost and difficulty of maintenance...
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-18-2012, 01:52 PM
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I can't speak for saltwater as I have never gone down that road. But with respect to discus, this is not a beginner's fish. And I mean this with no disrespect, since i have no idea of your level of knowledge or experience, but I would not advise discus to anyone without a good level of both. I have been maintaining tropicals for 20+ years, and still have not ventured into discus. One must consider the very high cost of good quality fish, where you get them [buy from a breeder, not a chain store], plus the higher temperature makes it difficult for many other species of fish. Consistent and high water quality is essential.

Are you aware of our fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page? Check the profile on the two discus species. You will note the name shaded, meaning you can click it for the profile. We have the common discus and the Heckel Discus included.

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 #3 of 10 Old 10-18-2012, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Byron, I appreciate the feedback, I was going to stock my next tank with discus only so I didn't think the higher temps would present an issue, as for consistent high quality water, how difficult would this be presuming I have no problem with frequent water changes, as well as frequent testing.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-18-2012, 05:38 PM
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I can only say second hand stories as I haven't kept them myself either. From what I've heard of those who do, most do multiple water changes a week, and use an RO/DI water mixture if their tap isn't already very soft. With the high cost of RO/DI in combination with frequent changes, it's best if your water is already soft. But, depending on how they've been bred, it may be possible to find ones that can tolerate slightly harder water (but still not 'hard' water).

Live plants help a lot with Nitrates, but that's only one pollutant in a fish tank.

I'm sticking with my Angelfish, Discus would require more attention to detail than I could give right now.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-18-2012, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Geomancer, I was considering angelfish as well, do you have any pictures of yours, my wifes tank is stocked with just cherry barbs, a few platys, one Molly, one dwarf guoromi. Nice and fun and all, but I'm eventually wanting bigger and more colorful
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-18-2012, 05:52 PM
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I have a few uploaded, most when they were still young.





This guy developed a little ... special ... it's not normal for their find to grow bent like that, but I suppose even in the fish world you get an anomaly now and then. I think he looks pretty interesting actually.

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post #7 of 10 Old 10-18-2012, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dethnode View Post
Byron, I appreciate the feedback, I was going to stock my next tank with discus only so I didn't think the higher temps would present an issue, as for consistent high quality water, how difficult would this be presuming I have no problem with frequent water changes, as well as frequent testing.
I think most of the experienced members would agree with me, that we all took time to become reasonably "experienced." Many things factor into this as well.

I mentioned about the source of the discus; they are almost certain to be tank-raised fish; while imported wild fish are available you are not going to find these at most suppliers. The "pedigree" if you like is important. You source water (presumably tap) is relevant, and what if any adjustment may be needed (GH, pH, nitrogenous substances like nitrate, etc).

One of the most acknowledged authors on discus is Jack Wattley, who now in his 80's is still breeding and selling discus and travels the world speaking at conferences. His monthly column in TFH is full of wisdom, and one recent column set out the "basics" which I will attach as it may help. Thought I could link to the digital page but apparently not, so had to scan it; but I think it is readable.

Byron.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Discus basics 001.jpg (55.3 KB, 33 views)

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 #8 of 10 Old 10-19-2012, 02:15 PM
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Perhaps some Australian Rainbow fish.
Look at oddballfish.com, they have some interesting relatively colourful species, many of which are not too difficult to maintain.

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two cents ˘˘
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-19-2012, 09:23 PM
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saltwater is harder. fish are cheaper. but the water changing process and the skimmers and the chillers and the complicated sump are all more expensive and complicated :)

i suggest go for freshwater, if you want a relaxing aquarium, try my current project right now :) its mostly tetras :D
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-21-2012, 07:23 AM
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I can only speak from my experience, but saltwater is MUCH more expensive and slightly harder to maintain than your average freshwater tank. This is largely dependentant on your specific setup.....for example a fish only tank is easier to keep than a reef tank.
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