Discus tank size?

Discussion in 'Other' started by fshygirl101, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. fshygirl101

    fshygirl101

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    Hi guys and gals

    I have a fairly large tank lying around, waiting to be filled. I'd like to investigate the possibility of keeping discus. I was not really sure where to post this, so if it's in the wrong section, mods please move it. Anyway, the tank is 200+ liters (50x50x90) - ya I know, 50 LITERS PER DISCUS, MINIMUM 5 OR 6 DISCUS. BUT, I remember reading a post saying that it's actually about the amount of water, not the space. IF this is correct, I could probably get by with a 120L+ sump. That is simply the biggest sump I can fit in my stand. So, 1st question, Is that correct/would that work? The second question, Could I not simply keep some rather young/small discus fish, and sell them to a good home when they outgrow my tank? I don't know if it makes a difference to the answers, but the tank would/will be hi tech planted, and will receive weekly water changes of RO water - probably RO anyway.

    Thank you for all help in advance.


    regards
    Alex


    PS: yes, I have done my research. ;)
     
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  3. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    Alex.... Keeping Discus in a hi tech planted system has been done in the past, but I definitely would not go this route. I investigated it for about 18months, and eventually I decided it wasn't the best idea.
     
  4. Reyno Gower

    Reyno Gower Platanna

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    This is where I foresee a definite problem.
    From my experience with these lovely creatures, once you get to know the individual personalities of them it is gonna be more than difficult to part with them.
    Regarding the rest I can not comment as I still see myself as a novice.
     
  5. OP
    fshygirl101

    fshygirl101

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    Indeed, what went wrong? Those pics of planted discus setups always look so amazing...

    I was wondering about that. I might just HAVE to get a bigger tank.... LOL, sounds fun. On a more serious note, I understand what you are saying, I will see what happens. Dam the spacelessness of my house!
     
  6. disco

    disco

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    Also consider that with discus you will hav to budget for meds, some not easy to come by cheaply....metronidazole for flagelletes...prazi for worms etc. the discus WILL need meds on a regular basis cause eventually they will succumb and stop eating and its a 50/50 chance of recovery...sorry just my rant cause im tired of replacing discus and spending on meds.
     
  7. pHish_man

    pHish_man Discus

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    Hi fshygirl101

    just my 2cents worth here. I would definately NOT grow discus out in anything other than a bare bottom tank with zero ornaments. The feeding regime and subsequent waste produced is too difficult to manage in anything else where the primary focus must be on getting the discus to reach their full growth potential. I am no expert in the field, but I have had a bit of experience with these fish. My view is if it is your intention on affording the fish the opportunity of reaching maximum size, then you cannot compromise any parameter along their way. I would go for a bigger group than 5 or 6 as these fish school in the hundreds as juveniles in the wild. 5 or 6 will probably lead to a single fish being bullied in such a small tank, and if there are plants etc where it can hide, this fish will stop eating and vrek.

    My advice if you want to try it out, then go for a group of minimum 6 and not 5, in a bare bottom tank with nowhere for any of the fish to hide if they are being bullied.

    Next tip is ONLY FEED PROF DIRKS FOOD. I can vouch for the results and there are many discus keepers here who back me up here.

    Lastly you say you have done research. Great, too many people go into discus keeping had first and suffer the consequences afterwards. Marry in haste and repent at leisure.......
    Btw, i take it the research include all the informative articles written about keeping and feeding discus here on this forum.

    Good luck in your decision.

    regards

    Andrew
     
  8. Dolphin

    Dolphin

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    @fshygirl101

    Growing out young discus is not a simple thing to do, it is challenging and demanding for the most experienced fish keeper who must keep up with large multiple daily water changes and huge amounts of high quality food for the young fish that must be fed several times a day.

    I would suggest you do look at a larger tank, and a tank that is fairly deep - I personally prefer a water depth of 60cm for discus setups to allow these beautiful fish room to swim as they should... this water depth requirement will then pose lighting challenges if you decide to keep plants with very high light requirements so you must be prepared for the setup requirements.

    Planning and research are your best friends before you start this project. Good luck.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  9. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    @fishygirl101

    Yes... planted discuss tanks do look amazing, and this is one reason i was looking into it, as they do look stunning, but the basic requirements of the 2 are like comparing chalk and cheese. I'm not saying it cannot be done... there are many members here on the forum who are silently doing it... but let's just look at the different requirements. Please remember that I am referring to high tech planted systems as this is what you mentioned in the first post:

    High tech requires high lighting. Discus prefer more subdued lights
    High tech requires harder water than Discus prefer
    High tech requires cooler water to the 30deg that Discus prefer
    High tech requires the addition of CO2, which obviously compromising on the water requirements of the discus
    High tech requires the addition of a lot of fertz, obviously compromising on the water requirements of the discus.

    Growing out discus, and even adult discus, require numerous feeds during the day (8 times a day AND more). This require regular vacuuming of excess food. Plants obviously hide all this excess food, and therefore the excess food lands up fouling up the water
    Discus tanks, based on my research, should have a MINIMUM of 2 water changes a week... approximately 25% at a time. High tech requires a 50% WC once a week. Whilst the volume being changed is the same, you are adding a larger volume of new water in one go with the 50%, and thus pH shock, temperature fluctuations and other problems associated with water is more problematic.

    So whilst I still agree is can be done, it is not the norm, and it requires you to give-and-take / compromise on many fundemental issues. I know from discussions with @Dirk Bellstedt that he tried a planted discus tank, and eventually he decided that it was far too much effort, and too risky on these beautiful fish. I believe that the chances of you having stunted discus is much greater, and I am pretty sure that the Discus will be much more prone to diseases as you are not actually able to provide their ideal water situation.

    This was the reasons why I eventually decided not to go this route anymore.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  10. Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi

    The mistake most people make with Discus is assuming they can be just an "add on" to any tank. They are simply not that. One can never think "I'll keep x, y and z, and just for the heck chuck a few Discus in also". It never works. They are not tetras or cories that adapt and do fairly well in most cases.
    Discus are demanding and play second fiddle to nothing, not even plants. When keeping them, the tank should be set up for them first and foremost, and whatever can adapt can be added then.
    In other words, have a Discus tank with some plants, but forget about a hi tech planted tank with Discus.

    That said, it can be done, at the owners peril. Forget about ever keeping perfectly happy, fully grown Discus in a hi tech planted system, and keeping a day job, its just impossible, to the level of it being an oxymoron.

    I remember when @Zoom was considering this I sent him reading material, and in all the material it was stated clearly-it can be done, but you will not be able to get optimal growth from your Discus in such a setup. True, alternatively you can purchase adult Discus for such a setup, at about R1200 each, it would be an expensive endeavour to get at least six of them.

    Discus are so super though, they dont need plants to make the tank look good. . .they manage that all by themself!

    Rgds

    Marco
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  11. mark d

    mark d

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    @Marco. Does it matter what plants I use? I want to add some plants with my discus.They are coming out now after all the struggles I had to go through(the solution was salt). Now the tank looks so bare. Any plants for a medium to low tech discus tank would be nice(common and scientific names please).
    Kind regards

    MD
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  12. Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    Hi @mark d

    Haha! Sorry bud, when it comes to plants, I know about two. . .

    Someone else should be able to assist you with names of plants that will be suitable for Warm discus water. I know amazon sword and java fern works. Rest? Wouldnt know

    Sorry bud

    Marco
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  13. OP
    fshygirl101

    fshygirl101

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    Thank you for the help and info guys. I understand what you are saying. Ok, so one more question that has not been directly answered. Would grown discus be ok in that tank with the sump I talked about? If discus can't go in a planted tank then a biotope is the next best option. I have seen some stunning ones. BUT I admit I doubt I will be keeping discus after all (in this tank). Facts fight against me. One day when I'm rich.....
     
  14. nrc

    nrc

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    These plants can handle the temperature, grows like weed, not sure if they are BL

    BTW all the fish except for the top one thats cut off in the picture are from @Marco. Dankie Maat

    photo1.jpgphoto2.jpg

    photo1.jpg

    photo2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  15. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    @fshygirl101 - I know where you are coming from. I wanted Discus. Really really wanted Discus! But it is a huge commitment. And a lot more work than "ordinary" tropicals. Didn't get them in the end :sad2:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  16. mark d

    mark d

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    What kind of discus are they? I have three and don't know what they are
     
  17. mr blue

    mr blue

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    Is dai nie amper dieselfe discus as wat jy het ni, Marco?
     
  18. Marco

    Marco Retired Moderator

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    @mr blue

    As jy praat van die fotos wat nrc geplaas het, dan is die antwoord ja, dit is kleintjies van myne af
     
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  19. Dirk

    Dirk Dwarf Catfish

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    Hi nrc,

    The plants that you show are Anubias. Yes they can tolerate the higher temps quite well and you can attach them to logs which is quite handy, but they don't grow like weeds, they actually grow quite slowly. But they are a good plant to combine with discus even if they do not occur in the areas where discus occur, Anubias come from Africa.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  20. mr blue

    mr blue

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    Yes, the Anubias is great plants to keep with discus I've got a few in my tank as well, you could try the vallisnarias too.
     
  21. Dirk

    Dirk Dwarf Catfish

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    No, don't bother with Vallisneria because it requires alkaline water which is not what you want in a discus tank!
     

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