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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Been a long while since I have been on but I have successfully maintained my tank for over a year. A 29 Gallon stocked with your normal pet shop fish that are for beginner level hobbiests. I am now ready to move on to a bit more of a challenge and put together a specific tank (around 125 gallon) that has a specific community in mind (discus). I love their look and offer some of the best color for a tank that is not salt water. The room the tank will be going into is on a slab so weight is not an issue.

Questions I have

1. First these little guys love acidic water and I want to make sure that I take the time to get it done naturally so what are some ideas from you experienced discus owners

2. Water parameters from our local water plant will be checked and posted here soon.

3. I planned on giving a refugium filtration system a go for these guys. Information on this would be helpful

4. Planting live plants to help with those nitrate levels. I believe this also helps in getting your water to be more acidic, is this true it is what i had read?

Biggest thing is making sure the water is optimum for these fellas, going to use this thread to price, and slowly piece together the system, tank etc since with this tank I plan to have some $$$ invested.

Look forward to hearing back and discussing both this tank and these fish over the next few weeks so that I have the layout and all knowledge needed to keep these little guys healthy as they will be an excellent view for our living room. Please feel free to also share links that I can read on as I have been reading as much as I can find on acidic discus tanks.
 

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You can find some amazing deals on craigslist, if you are patient. My one 125 I got for $500, and that included high quality filters and everything else needed. My other I got for $300, and was just for the tank, stand, lights and glass tops. I already have filters for it. Patience is key though, and you MUST act fast. Good deals are gone in a day. Check craigslist twice a day to make sure you are the first one to respond to the ad.
 

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You can find some amazing deals on craigslist, if you are patient. My one 125 I got for $500, and that included high quality filters and everything else needed. My other I got for $300, and was just for the tank, stand, lights and glass tops. I already have filters for it. Patience is key though, and you MUST act fast. Good deals are gone in a day. Check craigslist twice a day to make sure you are the first one to respond to the ad.

Yup i am a craiglist nut. They have some really good aquariums down around cincinnati ohio. Biggest thing is making sure that it fits the look I need in my living room, and financing. I am aiming more for doing this project in the next 6 months so that I have as much information on these fish, and have a guided plan to slowly piece together the project. First step was making a plan. Second step is saving for it.

Thanks for the info jaysee.
 

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Yeah, that's one of the factors that took time - finding a tank that was the right color, with a matching wood stand. If you can swing it, I would jump on a good deal when it comes up - doesn't mean that you have to set it up then and there.
 

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can never go wrong with a good UV light for discus and im talking about a sterilizing light not a algae killing light.
Why is that?
 

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http://aquadaily.com/2009/01/13/ultraviolet-sterilizers-and-discus/

uv in duscus tanks is very controversial and there are many opinions on it heres a link for refrence on why you would want on in a discus tank. hes planning the ultimate setup. in my opinion a uv light would be the cherry ontop especially if he plans on breeding them later down the raod.
 

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Saying one can never go wrong with one, then saying that it's a highly controversial subject, seems a little inconsistent. By the logic of the pro UV argument, UV should be in EVERY tank, not just discus tanks.

I have UV sterilizers in my tanks - I like the green killing machines. I agree that you can't go wrong with UV, in that it can only help.
 
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Hey, Allen!

Discus!!! This is going to be a fun tank for you, looks like you have a lot to get sorted out before you get that far, so I hope you don't mind me hanging out to learn, even though I don't have much to offer by way of help or advice?

You're right in that water is always the most important thing to get right before bringing a new fish home - well, that and the tank to put it in! It sounds like you're already working on getting the necessary information on your tap water - I'm interested to see the results from your water company when they get back to you.

API also makes a test kit for gh and kh, it runs about $8 or so, I'd recommend grabbing one. Paramaters in a tank can shift from tap once it's been established for a while, and since these softies are so sensitive, you'll want to be sure to monitor these levels frequently after setup. Most especially if you'll have to alter anything from tap. I'm sure ro water is going to come up here at some point, but I'll leave that to members more experienced than I am!

Plants, yes! They do eventually have an effect on the water hardness, and are certainly helpful in keeping nitrates and other toxins low, but with a fish like Discus, I wouldn't rely *too* much on the plants to do the work for you. Starting with the correct parameters, and maintaining a very pristine tank, are needed to see these beauties thrive. Have you run setups with plants before? If not, there is a world of learning out there for you to get started on. Live plants are fun, too - their effect on a tank is something that I'm still learning about every day.

You might also want to look into where your fish will be coming from. . . not all Discus are created equal! I only know this because I'm lucky enough to have a world-renown breeder right here in town - the quality of the individual specimen can play an important role in your success, or so they'd have me believe!

Sorry I can't be of too much help here, but I'm really looking forward to hearing what our more experienced members have to say, and eventually watching this tank unfold!

ETA: Oh yeah! I'm officially on the Criagslist bandwagon when it comes to purchasing 125g tanks! I got mine for $250 not very long ago, with a stand, a Fluval filter, and a box of assorted fish-related stuff. Good luck on your CL quest!
 

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Hey, Allen!

Discus!!! This is going to be a fun tank for you, looks like you have a lot to get sorted out before you get that far, so I hope you don't mind me hanging out to learn, even though I don't have much to offer by way of help or advice?

You're right in that water is always the most important thing to get right before bringing a new fish home - well, that and the tank to put it in! It sounds like you're already working on getting the necessary information on your tap water - I'm interested to see the results from your water company when they get back to you.

API also makes a test kit for gh and kh, it runs about $8 or so, I'd recommend grabbing one. Paramaters in a tank can shift from tap once it's been established for a while, and since these softies are so sensitive, you'll want to be sure to monitor these levels frequently after setup. Most especially if you'll have to alter anything from tap. I'm sure ro water is going to come up here at some point, but I'll leave that to members more experienced than I am!

Plants, yes! They do eventually have an effect on the water hardness, and are certainly helpful in keeping nitrates and other toxins low, but with a fish like Discus, I wouldn't rely *too* much on the plants to do the work for you. Starting with the correct parameters, and maintaining a very pristine tank, are needed to see these beauties thrive. Have you run setups with plants before? If not, there is a world of learning out there for you to get started on. Live plants are fun, too - their effect on a tank is something that I'm still learning about every day.

You might also want to look into where your fish will be coming from. . . not all Discus are created equal! I only know this because I'm lucky enough to have a world-renown breeder right here in town - the quality of the individual specimen can play an important role in your success, or so they'd have me believe!

Sorry I can't be of too much help here, but I'm really looking forward to hearing what our more experienced members have to say, and eventually watching this tank unfold!

ETA: Oh yeah! I'm officially on the Criagslist bandwagon when it comes to purchasing 125g tanks! I got mine for $250 not very long ago, with a stand, a Fluval filter, and a box of assorted fish-related stuff. Good luck on your CL quest!

Definitely stick around. This thread is specifically for getting all of my ducks in a row. Looking into my plants, water, the fish in general, lighting, filter etc to layout the plan and have an idea on how each stage needs to progress. Once I have all of my information and layout I will begin a thread and slowly post pictures and updates as it comes together.

I do not rely on plants to do the work for me but I do know that they help and any help in natural filtration and setting up a tank that can become a natural ecosystem is why I am approaching this route. Also the look that it will give off when it is finished should be I hope elegant and give our living room great character.

The controversy of UV lighting I do not feel was a bad thing in regards to calling it controversy in a negative way but more less an opinion on best methods based on trial and error. No different then how people prefer to do water changes. Keep the info coming guys but I hope to see some very in depth posts on plant life and growth management. Would love to hear about peoples experience with a refugium filtration system, and also hear from experienced Discus owners. I want to make sure that these guys are in good hands from the knowledge absorbed from others before I bring them home.

Take Care all

Allen5104
 
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