08-19-2009, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bettababy
The thing I'd be looking for is TOO MUCH light. Java fern tends to be a lower light plant, so be sure to shade it with other plants that thrive on higher light. I have grown java fern in 84 degree temps and had it thrive, my husband has had it thrive at up to 86 degrees.
I would not suggest lowering the tank temp, especially for discus.
Blue, I know you say your discus are thriving at lower temps, but I wanted to warn you that this is like playing with a time bomb. Long term you can cause damage to the organs of the fish if they don't have the needed environment, and this includes temperature. At the very least, you will most likely shorten their life span this way and the lower temp leaves them more prone to parasite problems in the future. Discus don't have a very strong immune system and the higher temps help to avoid many of the common illness problems, like ick. Lowering the temps leaves them very vulnerable.
I certainly concur with this advice on temperature (and on the JF too, but am here commenting on the temp issue). Temperature has a huge impact on a fish's metabolism, growth and health. Fish are poikilothermic, "cold-blooded" with their body temperature corresponding directly with that of the water they live in. Metabolism quickens as water gets warmer, and slows as it gets cooler. And the metabolism rate determines how fast the cells can convert food into energy and otherwise function. Cooling their environment beyond what nature has programmed them for is, put bluntly, tampering with nature and as Dawn says,only asking for eventual problems. The preferred temperature of any fish is the temperature that exists in its native habitat, just as with the preferred pH, hardness and salinity. Breeding fish in tanks in differing water parameters may in time have some effect on these preferences, but I tend to think it is minimal at best; fish have been programmed over millions of years and I am highly skeptical that this internal "blueprint" can be altered significantly in a few generations. I do not think the health of the fish is worth risking, especially when there is no need.