Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   55 Gallon Discus Tank! (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/cichlids/55-gallon-discus-tank-1314/)

koolman56 11-11-2006 11:59 PM

55 Gallon Discus Tank!
 
O.K i need to cover a lot BTW, heres just a little information about my aquarium...

My tank is a 55 gallon tank. Dimesions are 48 x 18 x 13 i believe. It will have substrate w/ some driftwood but no plants. It will have approximately 6 discus in it with No Other Fish! It will have a 10% water change daily(5 Gallons) and a 25% weekly(15 gallons). I will syphon the tank out bi-weekly. It will have a H.O.T Magnum Canister Filter w/ a DIY powerhead filter. The tank will be tested before and after water changes on the weekly water changes.

So... My questions are

1. How do you get discus to grow above 8 inches?

2. How often should i feed freeze-dried bloodworms?

3.Should i feed flake food occasionally?

4.Could i use sand as a substrate, if so which kind do you reccomend?

5.If I can't use sand, what substrate do you reccomend?

6.Should I Feed Adult Discus Live Brine Shrimp?

7.Beefheart/Turkey Heart/Chicken Heart Which One Would You Use?

8.Should I Give Vitamins To My Fish?

9.What Temperature Should I Keep My Tank At?

10.What Would Be the Ideal Range of KH,GH,pH, and Nitrate levels that i should stay in?

Thanks,
Taylor

crazie.eddie 11-12-2006 12:16 AM

1. Feeding several times a day and keeping the water clean.

2. Once or twice a day, along with other types of foods, like Beefheart, frozen blood worms, frozen mysis shrimp, flake foods, tetra bits, etc.

3. Yes. See answer to #2.

4. Yes, you can use sand. Just make sure it is inert.

5. Gravel or even bare bottom if you don't like to use sand.

6. Yes, if you like.

7. Beefheart

8. Yes, but most beefheart mix usually already contain vitamins.

9. 82°F - 88°F

10. Even though wild discus prefer to be in soft water, tank bred discus can thrive in various ranges. Most fish do fine with Nitrate level of about 40 ppm. Some discus are kept in such prestine water conditions (Nitrate <20ppm) that when grown/raised into a tank with common ppm of 40ppm, they may get stressed out.

jojoyojimbi 11-13-2006 03:42 PM

discus also grow larger if there's no aquascaping in the tank

Alexis 11-13-2006 04:04 PM

1. How do you get discus to grow above 8 inches?
Perfectly clean water and lots of food

2. How often should i feed freeze-dried bloodworms?
Once a day or more

3.Should i feed flake food occasionally?
I feed Tetra color bits, mysis shrimp, bloodworms, and brine shrimp
(all frozen)
4.Could i use sand as a substrate, if so which kind do you reccomend?
Sand is OK as long as you make sure it doesn't get air pockets.

5.If I can't use sand, what substrate do you reccomend?

6.Should I Feed Adult Discus Live Brine Shrimp? Can't hurt.

7.Beefheart/Turkey Heart/Chicken Heart Which One Would You Use? All are fine.

8.Should I Give Vitamins To My Fish?
Yes.

9.What Temperature Should I Keep My Tank At?
84 to 86


10.What Would Be the Ideal Range of KH,GH,pH, and Nitrate levels that i should stay in?
PH and hardness don't matter unless they have paired off and are laying eggs. The important thing is to keep the pH stable.
Nitrates need to be kept under 20 ppm...anything over that and they start to get stressed. If something happens (you get the flu, etc...) and you miss a water change, ppm over 20 won't kill them, they will just get lethargic and start getting darker. So, short term, 20 to 40 is not Horrific, but it is NOT good long term.
Have fun.
Discus are AWESOME!

Alexis 11-13-2006 04:32 PM

BTW, here's my two cents on something you didn't ask...you're planning on too many Discus for a 55 (only my opinion).

I know that the water changes that you plan on will help, but I have 7 young Discus in a 55 right now and they have gotten to the age (9 months now) where they are fighting for territory and stressing each other out.
I just haven't had time to move them.

Here's some more info for you so that you can gauge how many you want in a tank and how much water maintenance you will need.

I have 6 in a 100 gallon (with no other tank mates) and in order to keep the water clean enough, it requires an 85% water change every 6 days.

I also have 8 in a 125 with a 6 inch plec, and that one requires an 85% water change every 7 to 9 days.

bettababy 11-13-2006 05:17 PM

Just to touch on the issue of size of fish vs tank, and water quality... if the fish are stocked properly to the size of the tank, the large water changes weekely wouldn't be needed. Changing too much water at once can be dangerous for various reasons. 1. It interferes with the bacterial growth for breaking down waste levels, thus the water changes must be done ALL THE TIME, religously to keep ammonia and nitrite levels from spiking. 2. If there is any difference in pH from the tank water and tap water, a jump or drop in pH can be lethal. 3. If the temp of the water fluctuates too much or too often, this will make the fish sick.
That is a lot of discus for a 55 gallon tank. Even with all of the water changes, territory will be an issue as they grow, as will space to swim properly. Full grown, I would never keep more than 4 discus to a 125 gallon tank, with or without a pleco.
As for lack of foliage, keep in mind, the plants (even if they are fake) will help to create territory for the fish. A space between 2 objects is a territory, and each fish should have at least 1 territory of its own to get away from the others. Discus can be somewhat shy fish, so the more hiding places the healthier and safer they will be.
For substrate use, I would not suggest a bare bottom tank other than quarantine. The substrate and filter media are the 2 places that the bacteria will thrive most to keep the tank cycled and stable. Without substrate, you risk water quality issues as waste builds and not enough bacteria to break it all down. Small gravel, is ideal. Sand can be a problem because it's hard to clean. If/when doing a gravel vac, you have to be careful not to suck up the sand or let it go down your drains because it will collect and clog your plumbing QUICKLY! The issue of air pockets is another good point already mentioned. Those "air pockets" will build up a toxic gas, and if/when disturbed, can be highly toxic to your fish. I'd stick to fine grade gravel, which is slightly bigger than sand and heavier, much easier to take care of.

Alexis 11-13-2006 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jojoyojimbi
discus also grow larger if there's no aquascaping in the tank

Never heard of, OR experienced that one, where'd you get it?

crazie.eddie 11-14-2006 02:35 AM

Probably becuase BB tanks are easier to syphon up waste/excess food. In planted tanks with substrate, it may be difficult, unless you perform gravel vacs daily. But I know someone on a planted tank forum who has raised discus in a planted tank with no problems of growth rate.

bettababy 11-14-2006 01:00 PM

I have raised discus in planted tanks with no problems in growth rate. Bare bottom tanks make it difficult to keep enough decoration in the tank to keep the fish stress free and healthy and makes it near impossible to keep a good bacteria culture capable of handling the waste levels in the tank. A bare tank with nothing in it other than fish and a piece of wood or 2, is not going to be a very healthy tank.

Alexis 11-14-2006 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bettababy
I have raised discus in planted tanks with no problems in growth rate. Bare bottom tanks make it difficult to keep enough decoration in the tank to keep the fish stress free and healthy and makes it near impossible to keep a good bacteria culture capable of handling the waste levels in the tank. A bare tank with nothing in it other than fish and a piece of wood or 2, is not going to be a very healthy tank.

Well, I have to respectfully disagree with that unless you qualify your statement to mean that it won't be healthy without water changes or a large enough amount of biological filtration in your filters.


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