Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Discus Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/cichlids/discus-aquarium-41654/)

dylan94 04-22-2010 05:49 PM

Discus Aquarium
 
Okay, I know this is like my 3rd thread about the same discus aquarium, but it is now starting to come into place. Now that I have everything figured out I just want to share with people my decision.

I have decided that 100+ aquariums require too much water change maintenance and are expensive, so I have decided to go with a 90g aquarium. To do 20% water changes on a 100+ gallon tank would require a 20 gallon storage tank somewhere but a 90 would require less space. 90g are also more proportionate and "show tank' styled. Also it is easier to fit a 4ft tank in my house than a 6ft one!

A smaller tank means a smaller stocking list, therefore I have once again (for the millionth time) revised my stocking list, so here it is:
- 6 discus
- 2 german blue rams
- 1 twig catfish
- 12 cardinal tetras
- 10 rummy nose tetras
- 8 hatchets
- 8 sterbais cories

Lighting: T-5 lights
Substrate: 1" peat moss + 2" sand
Water: 75% RODI + 25% conditioned tap water
Plants: Java moss+Java Ferns+Anubias+Amazon Swords+Dwarf Hairgrass+Amazon Frogbit+Dwarf Baby Tears
Fertilizer: Seachem Flourish
Filter: Depends on whether or not one comes with aquarium
Heater: Depends on whether or not one comes with aquarium
Accessories+Decorations: Feeder, RO, Driftwood, River Rocks, Slate Rocks

BTW: I am planning on buying the aquarium second hand. So my plans may slightly vary depending on the deal I get.

I am assuming a lot of people are awaiting pics and they shall come within the next month or maybe 2. But hopefully within the next month :)

Romad 04-22-2010 05:56 PM

Sounds amazing. I have no idea about which types of fish go well with discus but i'm a big fan of them.

Good luck.

dylan94 04-23-2010 04:54 PM

Thanks :) I love discus too. I can spend so much time watching them at the LFS! I think this aquarium will be gorgeous :)

Byron 04-23-2010 11:58 PM

Dylan, my only comment concerns the lighting; the fish list looks good for a 90g.

If you have a dual-tube fixture, with T5 it should be NO [normal output] not HO for a discus aquarium. These fish come from quite dark waters and many have written about them being more relaxed with subdued lighting. Two T5 NO or two T8 tubes will give you good plant growth (see my 90g for proof of that) and with floating plants it will not be bright. As T5 and T8 tubes do not fit the same fixtures, you need to know which before you buy; and T5 NO tubes do not seem to be that readily available from what others here have commented, whereas T8's are everywhere in very good light spectrum.

Actually I do have a second comment:roll: on the filter; you don't mention any because it depends. A canister is the best for what you are planning. Discus also prefer minimal water movement, and I believe canisters are the best filter system for large planted aquaria. Most now have variable flow valves as well.

Byron.

aunt kymmie 04-24-2010 12:04 AM

Concur w/ Byron. My discus tank has a nice cover of floating plants and the discus prefer hanging out right below it. You may want to provide some overhead cover as I think it makes them feel very comfortable.

dylan94 04-24-2010 07:43 AM

I was planning on using amazon frogbit as a cover for the discus and hatchets mainly, but also for the other fish that like low light.:)

I am planning on buying the tank second hand, so if the tank comes with a T5 fixture, T8 bulbs wont fit right? Would the floating plants soften the intensity of the T5 lights or would it still be too bright? And speaking of floating plants, do I have to keep the water level lower so the plants aren't to close to the light?

Most aquariums I have been looking at have either rena or fluval canister filters, so I am not worried about that. It would really suck to have a 90 gallon come with a little HOB filter :)

One more comment. I have noticed that all the german blue rams in my area are in harder alkaline water. They even keep them with kribs at one place. Would it be a good idea to put the rams in a 5 gallon quarantine tank at the same pH they were at when I bought them and dradually lower hardness and pH by adding RO water into the water changes? The same applies with most of the places that sell cardinals and hatchets. Or could I just use the drip method of introducing them to the tank? OR I could put all the fish that are currently living in harder alkaline water in the 90 first, slowly drop the pH and hardness and than add the others like discus and farlowella, etc.

I just asked this because I heard many stories of peoples rams dying because of going too quickly from hard to soft water.

Thanks

Dylan

Byron 04-24-2010 10:54 AM

Quote:

I am planning on buying the tank second hand, so if the tank comes with a T5 fixture, T8 bulbs wont fit right? Would the floating plants soften the intensity of the T5 lights or would it still be too bright? And speaking of floating plants, do I have to keep the water level lower so the plants aren't to close to the light?
Correct, T5 tubes only fit T5 fixtures. Two T5 HO tubes is equivalent in light intensity to three T8 tubes of the same specs (full spectrum, etc). That's a big difference over an aquarium. T5 NO tubes would be OK if you can find them. But wait until you see an available setup, it may have a T8 fixture.

Floating plants certainly help to reduce light, and there are many fish, as kymmie noted with her discus, that use them for shelter; my cardinals and rummy nose do the same, they are almost never out under open light except when feeding. And all these fish will always be more colourful in darker rather than brighter surroundings. You will want some open surface if you have hatchets, so the less light necessary the better.

Quote:

One more comment. I have noticed that all the german blue rams in my area are in harder alkaline water. They even keep them with kribs at one place. Would it be a good idea to put the rams in a 5 gallon quarantine tank at the same pH they were at when I bought them and dradually lower hardness and pH by adding RO water into the water changes? The same applies with most of the places that sell cardinals and hatchets. Or could I just use the drip method of introducing them to the tank? OR I could put all the fish that are currently living in harder alkaline water in the 90 first, slowly drop the pH and hardness and than add the others like Discus and farlowella, etc.

I just asked this because I heard many stories of peoples rams dying because of going too quickly from hard to soft water.
Some of us engaged in a thread about this a few weeks back, and Dawn very correctly pointed this out. Knowing where your fish come from is important with such species, and by that I do not mean the store (which is only a temporary residency for the fish;-)) but the breeder/wholesaler/importer. Wild-caught fish are obtainable, and as you are in Quebec, I would seriously consider getting these from Below Water in Montreal. They import fish directly from South America; the owner Oliver Lucanus is a collector himself and has written articles and a couple books on SA fish. Wild caught Mikrogeophagus ramirezi interestingly have more beautiful natural colouration that tank-raised fish, which really is not surprising since most Amazonian fish are the same--the cardinals that are now being tank raised have lost some of their sparkle. [It just occurs to me, that this probably should tell us something about water parameters too. But that's another topic.] Anyway, know the source and proceed accordingly; this applies to your discus too. And the Farlowella are bound to be wild caught, as will the cardinals and possibly rummynose.

Byron.

dylan94 04-24-2010 11:29 AM

Thanks for the help, I will continue my search for a tank and research more about below water. I will write back with more information soon.

dylan94 04-25-2010 09:05 AM

Okay, so I contacted Oliver Lucanus and he said at the moment he has no rams, but also he cannot sell retail in Quebec and his minimum orders are of 200$ I am assuming his business is a LFS supplier. I am not able to get fish from him, but maybe I can ask where his fish are retailed near me.

iamntbatman 04-27-2010 02:50 AM

Quarantining new fish is always a good idea anyway, so you may as well use the quarantine period to slowly adjust the fish to the water parameters in which you'll be keeping them.


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