120 Gallon Planted Discus Tank

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RollaPear

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I've wanted to start this new build for a while now. But between renovations and family life I couldn't find the time. I had a journal on here previously which I closed due to the focus being soley on keeping the discus healthy. Unfortunately, while I kept a laser like focus on that aspect, I paid less attention to other factors of this hobby of ours and eventually, over the course of a few months algae took over. In particular Cynobacteria aka "The unrelenting!" I knew it's composition and what it needs to thrive: Excess Phosphate, Nitrate, Light, and Nutrients but despite my best efforts (and with Phos & Nitrate being high from my water source.) I just couldn't get it under control. And so with this journal, I have decided to return to the much frowned upon (by Discus experts) aspect of the hobby.

A planted tank.

The goal here is simple. Balance. Balance by using plants to consume and absorb the excesses and prevent algae gaining a foothold. But getting to that point in a tank that has to be heated to 28-30C / 82.4 - 86F is the conundrum. As most plants will simply melt at the temperatures discus require.

Due to the melt factor I have been sourcing plants from ebay instead of my usual go to Tropica vendor. To be honest the quality of those ebay plants are not great but financially, given that this may be a process of trial and error paying the lower ebay price seems like the sensible way forward.

Some stats...

Tank Dimensions: 151 X 55 X 66CM
Filtration: Fluval FX6. Oase Biomaster 350
Flora: Valliseneria (Gigantea & spiralis) various cryptocoryne, Crinum and lotus bulbs, and Sagittaria Subulta,
Fauna: 7 Blue Diamond Discus
CO2: Pressurized
Ferts: S. Flourish
Lighting: Juwel Spectrum LED (WRGB programmable)

Due to a mix up with Amazon I didn't get all of the substrate so as things stand the aquarium is only two thirds planted. I plan to get some dithers this weekend and some corydora and although corys may add to the biolad, the discus are really messy eaters and having the corys scavenge may reduce the excess nutrients available. I'm also leaving the feeding of beef heart behind and adding CO2. The lighting isn't set up. In short there is lots to do but for the first time in months I'm hopeful and excited about finding the balance.

FTS
njwstee.jpg
 

Amazoniantanklvr

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Love it!!

A201, nikm128 and 86 ssinit are the experts here. Crispii Knows some stuff too. They will all be able to help you out with all your discus questions.
 
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RollaPear

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Amazoniantanklvr said:
Love it!!

A201, nikm128 and 86 ssinit are the experts here. Crispii Knows some stuff too. They will all be able to help you out with all your discus questions.
Indeed indeed!

For example, advice from 86 ssinit literally saved me hundreds of pounds in emergency veterinary fees. Behind the scenes advice from angelcraze earlier this month, reminded me that Jungle Vall could be an option (which is why I have two varients) and is why my new set up looks the way it does.

The advice and musings found on this forum is worth it's weight in gold. Obviously I don't expect smooth sailing for this or any build but being able to be here to converse and research is a blessing.
 

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RollaPear

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Crispii said:
Cardinal Tetras and Sterbai Corydoras are great tank mates for Discus.
nikm128 said:
Clown loaches can also apparently take the heat
I have been researching these catfish

adolfoi,
burgessi,
davidsandsi,
imitator
delphax,
ostecarus

But so far haven't had much luck in sourcing them.
 

Crispii

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RollaPear said:
I have been researching these catfish

adolfoi,
burgessi,
davidsandsi,
imitator
delphax,
ostecarus

But so far haven't had much luck in sourcing them.
You can try ordering one of those species online or ask your LFS if they can special order the fish for you.
 

86 ssinit

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Don’t get to many catfish. The Cory’s are enough. I have bronze Cory’s in my tank 10. As your looking for them to eat all the food that hits the substrate. They do a great job. I added them first than I added an SAE 2 would be better and 5 Otto cats. As for the heat my tank is at 86 and I have 15 different plants now growing in it. About 7 different types of anubias. Plants do grow in the heat:).
 
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RollaPear

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Crispii said:
You can try ordering one of those species online or ask your LFS if they can special order the fish for you.
I had 25 lemon tetras in the tank up until yesterday. I want to keep the bioload in peak condition and so unfortunately It'll have to be an in store purchase or online order. MY LFS' are terrible at ordering in unless you're prepared to wait a month or two.

I have been using a 4 day discus treatment to speed up the quarantine process for new fish, it hasn't failed me so I'm hoping to get everything in within a week.

86 ssinit said:
Don’t get to many catfish. The Cory’s are enough. I have bronze Cory’s in my tank 10. As your looking for them to eat all the food that hits the substrate. They do a great job. I added them first than I added an SAE 2 would be better and 5 Otto cats. As for the heat my tank is at 86 and I have 15 different plants now growing in it. About 7 different types of anubias. Plants do grow in the heat:).
How many Cory cats would you recommend? I'm thinking 7/8. Also I've never asked but what plants are you keeping in your tank. That list would be useful if my plants melt.
 

86 ssinit

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Let me get that for you later. I’m at work and not really sure of all the names. As to Cory’s mines a 125 and I have 10 Cory’s.
 

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Just thought i'd throw out another plant, Hygrophila angustifolia (now pantenol). It's a stem plant, but grows nice and flowy with bright green leaves. I'm pretty sure ssinit keeps it in his discus tank.

If I kept discus, and I wanted a little plant at the substrate, I grow stargrass in plain gravel, no root tabs, no ferts. Seen in the pic as well, it's the bright green carpet like plant with the star shaped crowns.

Potted melon swords are another popular option for discus.
 

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86 ssinit

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jmaldo

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And I thought I was the only one struggling with plants at the higher temp.
Watching :watching:

Beautiful tank 86 ssinit
 
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So far... Things are "OK" The Val Gigantea is fairing better than the spirallis but I haven't added carbon yet. I have an old cylinder which appears to have some pressurized CO2 left so I'll be testing that out later today before the lights come on. Speaking of lights, I consider myself technically proficient in terms of tech but the instructions on this customizable led unit are the definition of convoluted.

The good news is the cyno hasn't made a return yet. It usually rears its head within hours which is why I call it "the unrelenting" so I'm sure at that, the very least, I've disrupted it. The rest of the substrate is on the way and I've taken half day from work tomorrow so that I can peruse the lfs and see what I can find in terms of dithers. I had lemons which worked fine but I'm looking to reduce the biolad and so might go back to cardinals because of their smaller footprint... I think I can add 30-35 and still be under the bioload my Lemons produced.

angelcraze said:
Just thought i'd throw out another plant, Hygrophila angustifolia (now pantenol). It's a stem plant, but grows nice and flowy with bright green leaves. I'm pretty sure ssinit keeps it in his discus tank.

If I kept discus, and I wanted a little plant at the substrate, I grow stargrass in plain gravel, no root tabs, no ferts. Seen in the pic as well, it's the bright green carpet like plant with the star shaped crowns.

Potted melon swords are another popular option for discus.
The Hygro "Angustfolia" seems to be one of those plants with several different names. I love the look of it but it might take a while to narrow down the "true" plant and order it in. Again, thanks for taking the time to give your much needed advice angelcraze

86 ssinit said:
Ok it’s a long list :).
2 Amazon swords
Red pearl sword
Westeria
Crypt wendit
Cardinal plant
Mellon sword
2 aponogeton crispus
Hygro Agustifolia
Anubias Barteri
Anubias nana
Anubias afzelii
Anubias minima
Anubias lanceolota
Anubias nangi
Anubias frazeri
Dwarf lily
Crypt crispatula
And a few others that I just don’t know what they are :). But they are growing well.
BEB4E757-F5F0-47F5-9221-10A7B58DE8E1.jpeg
I appreciate the time taken to compile it. I often forget names of plants once they're up and running so this is a much needed reference point for me.

Are you using CO2?

Your aquarium is looking spectacular as always.

jmaldo said:
And I thought I was the only one struggling with plants at the higher temp.
Watching :watching:

Beautiful tank 86 ssinit
jmaldo My fellow Blue diamond keeper. We shall struggle and persevere together lol. In all seriousness I hope you can get some ideas via my trial and unavoidable errors on this planted build.
 

86 ssinit

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No I’m not using co2 gas. What I do add is the api co2 booster. It does help. I also have a uv steralizer and a doctors 3 in 1. Both reduce algae. I feed flourish comprehensive,iron and potassium. Also will add osmacoat and api root tabs when needed.
 

angelcraze

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The hygro angustifolia is the narrowleaf version of Hygrophila costata or formerly Hygrophila corymbosa.

I bought angustifolia growing emersed under the name hygro pantenol sp.'wavy'. I mentioned some stems because I like to try and balance 'heavy rooters' with some 'water column filtering' plants. Also floating plants such as water lettuce or amazon frogbit make a nice addition with the roots hanging down in a tall tank (also seen in my pic).
 

Amazoniantanklvr

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Is amazon frogbit native to the amazon river? If so i might get some.
 

SlvikanAKAMsWorryWart

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angelcraze said:
Just thought i'd throw out another plant, Hygrophila angustifolia (now pantenol). It's a stem plant, but grows nice and flowy with bright green leaves. I'm pretty sure ssinit keeps it in his discus tank.

If I kept discus, and I wanted a little plant at the substrate, I grow stargrass in plain gravel, no root tabs, no ferts. Seen in the pic as well, it's the bright green carpet like plant with the star shaped crowns.

Potted melon swords are another popular option for discus.
My hero
 

Amazoniantanklvr

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SlvikanAKAMsWorryWart

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Amazoniantanklvr said:
What about your fience?
fair enough! And you too!
 
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