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Discus and BGK

This is a discussion on Discus and BGK within the Cichlids forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Dylan, this is a major topic. This will be a real overview. Most all discus available now are raised by breeders; the many colour ...

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Old 03-18-2010, 06:24 PM   #21
 
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Dylan, this is a major topic. This will be a real overview.

Most all discus available now are raised by breeders; the many colour varieties have been developed from the wild stock over many years through selective breeding. But I am one who still feels the fish will do best when their ancestry is understood and their habitat replicated as much as possible, so we are on the same wavelength. You cannot eradicate millions of years of evolutionary development by a few decades of tank rearing.

All discus belong to the genus Symphysodon, and although there is some disagreement as to the actual species, everyone agrees there are three. Symphysodon aequifasciata Pelligrin 1904, S. discus Heckel 1840, and S. haraldi Schultz 1960 are the scientifically recognized valid species; the variant "species" names are recognized as synonyms for one of these three.

S. aequifasciata occurs in the western Amazon River basin in Brazil, Columbia and Peru. S. discus occurs in the lower Rio Negro basin, and S. haraldi is found in the clearwater lakes and rivers in areas of the Amazon River basin in Brazil, Columbia and (possibly) Peru. The species do not overlap, that is, each is endemic within their respective watercourses.

Given that your discus will most probably not be wild-caught [see * below], you could ascertain the ancestral species and build the aquarium accordingly, or more easily simply select fish from any rivers known to be discus habitat regardless of the species. Or a third and easiest method, select fish that occur in identical habitats in terms of water parameters and environment. This latter consideration will be constant either way: very soft, acidic and warm; slow-flowing streams, thick with plants, dim light, bogwood, etc. Tankmates will have to be compatible, which leaves out neon tetras since Paracheirodon innesi occurs in cooler streams than any discus. On the other hand, the cardinal tetra, P. axelrodi, is found throughout the Rio Negro basin in identical habitats to discus. The German or common Ram, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, would never be found with discus, but is an admirable tankmate because it needs basically identical water, and it tends to remain close to the substrate (like most dwarf cichlids from SA) while discus prefer mid-tank. Hatchetfish on top would be compatible. And Corydoras sterbai (one of the few corys that can tolerate the warmth), Farlowella, or the Whiptail are admirable other catfish species--and the last two are incredible algae eaters.

*Being in Quebec, you could obtain some from Oliver Lucanus at Below Water in Montreal; he has wild-caught S. tarzoo [green discus] from Tefe, Brazil, included in his latest fish list this week. This is an example of the "disagreement" over species I mentioned above, S. tarzoo is officially recognized as a synonym for the valid species S. aequifasciata.

How's that for starters. B.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:49 PM   #22
 
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I was tinking of having a few school of tetras, 8 discus, 2 german blue rams, a shoal of corydoras sterbai and a school of hatchets. For the tatras, I was thinking cardinals, black neons, rummynoses and glowlights. I like the look of smaller colourful tetras like the ones I mentioned with discus.

I want to completely cover at least half of the substrate in a grassy ground cover type plant. Do you recommend any plants for that? This tank is going to be gorgeous.

I read somewhere that the recommended ratio of RO water to tap water is 3 to 1. That is 25% tap water. I think that sounds more reasonable than 1 to 50... what do you think?
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:51 PM   #23
 
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* I meant to say 50 RO to 1tap and 3 RO and 1tap... just to clarify :)
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:32 PM   #24
 
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I've not had to use RO so I will leave all that for those who have. Once you set up the tank, without the fish of course, you can experiment with the water to get it where you want the hardness and pH, then work out the amounts for water changes and you're set.

I prefer not suggesting fish to others because it should be what you want, so I only point out troubles if I see them. And I don't here. But I would just comment that 3 tetra species have similar appearance, and you might think about that. Cardinals yes; instead of glowlights maybe a different shaped tetra for contrast and colour, one of the Hyphessobrycon "rosy tetra clade" species, check the fish profiles sectio under characins for lots of examples. I think almost every regularly-available tetra (and some not so regularly availble) is there now. You may get other ideas from those.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:18 AM   #25
 
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I have redone my stocking list slightly:
- 8 discus (symphysondon aequifasciatus)
- 3 yoyo loaches
- 1 farlowella
- 8 corydoras sterbai
- 10 cardinal tetras
- 8 black phantom tetras
- 8 emperor tetras
- 8 bleeding heart tetras
- 8 marbled hatchets
- 3 german blue rams
- 40 cherry shrimp !!!yay!!!
Do you think that is over stocked for a 112 gallon, 6 foot tank?

Aqadvisor says: http://www.aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.p...rchMode=simple
I was also wondering about silver dollars. They aren't very colourful, but they are shiny and it must be cool watching a school of those swim around. I decided against them however, because, they are big, might stress out my discus and are not very colourful, which is what I want. Maybe I will include them in an angel tank one day :)

I calculated my water changes percentage:

1 degree is around 18ppm so my water is 200ppm (11 degrees) if 3/4 of my water is 0ppm/0dgH, and 1/4 is 200ppm/11dgH, the outcome of mixing them would reslut in 50ppm(around 3dgH). Do you think 3degrees sounds good or should I try to go lower? I know these numbers might change, when I am actually setting up the tank, so like you said I will have to experiment with this. I wanted the water to be around 5.5pH. Will the pH drop that low with a low enough dgH?
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:04 PM   #26
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dylan94 View Post
I have redone my stocking list slightly:
- 8 discus (symphysondon aequifasciatus)
- 3 yoyo loaches
- 1 farlowella
- 8 corydoras sterbai
- 10 cardinal tetras
- 8 black phantom tetras
- 8 emperor tetras
- 8 bleeding heart tetras
- 8 marbled hatchets
- 3 german blue rams
- 40 cherry shrimp !!!yay!!!
Do you think that is over stocked for a 112 gallon, 6 foot tank?
Yoyos do much better in a group, rather than a trio. I always like to see five or more when it comes to yoyos. Loaches love inverts and shrimp will make for some pretty tasty snacking for the inquisitive yoyos.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:55 PM   #27
 
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I think dwarf tears or something will form a nice carpet and will grow on driftwood and rocks.

If you decide to change your stocking list at all, angelfish are from the Amazon area and will peacefully coexist with discus.
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:58 AM   #28
 
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You definitely don't want silver dollars in your discus tank. Silver dollars would quite literally eat your discus out of house and home as they'd eat all of your plants. I'm also not sure how well the cherry shrimp would do at those elevated temperatures (plus they'd likely get eaten by the larger fish like the rams, loaches and the discus themselves).
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:02 AM   #29
 
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I have decided to switch out my yoyo loaches and shrimp for some other fish. The yoyo loaches were taking up a lot of stocking space... I will replace them with 4 sparkling pygmy gouramis and maybe a species of apistogramma. At my LFS they keep angels, apistogramma cacatuoides and apistogramma agasizzi with their discus. I tried both of those apistos on aqadvisor but it said that they will be too aggressive to coexist with cardinals,bleeding hearts, black phantoms and emperors. Do you think that is the case or would the tetras just quickly swim away from them?
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:41 AM   #30
 
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Only real problem might be the cardinals but I doubt it, I dont agree with a lot of things on that program. But a lot of people find it useful.
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