120 Gallon Planted Discus Tank

jake37
  • #121
Full tank shot ?

Ok I’m lost and this is probably stupid but what is FTS?
 
jmaldo
  • #122
RollaPear
Thanks for the mention.
You guys have been busy. So here is my .02.
For starters, I use Eheims on all my tanks, I like them and really no problems. My Discus build is only a 55g, had plans to go larger but... since I am down to just a pair from the 8, it is working just fine.
For filtration I use a 2217 along with a 2215 with the pre-filters. Yes, the flow does become restricted over time so I rotate cleaning them every 2 months +/-. I started out with a bare bottom tank with a couple of potted plants and driftwood, since all the research I did suggested this to the point of mandatory for success. Hey, I was newbie and figured the Pros on the other forums knew better. I even tore down my planted tank to accomplish this, it was the worst mistake I made after seeing the success 86 ssinit has had. See pic of 55 before.


Planted 55 gallon.jpg

I am in the process of planting again, I have had my struggles with plants at 84' but... it appears to be on its way. Not ready for prime time, but pics to follow soon. I should change my thread title to "Planted Community with Discus Build".
As mentioned, I gathered as much info as I could and joined a couple of other forums but... have since left them especially SD. Tired of their ranting on the need for bare bottom. My pairs have spawned in planted and bare bottoms, so not sure what all the fuss is about. I understand if I want to take the next step to breed then I may need to move them, already have a 29 gallon to accomplish this if/when.
In conclusion, over the last 3 years in this hobby,
I have found that every tank is as different as a fingerprint.
Just my .02.

Learning all the Time.
 
FinalFins
  • #123
I lurk through SD a lot and they do quite rant over about planted tanks discus combo and its frowned upon... I always thought it was more beneficial for them
 
86 ssinit
  • #124
FTS well I was way off on that! And glad I was wrong .

Jmaldo yeah I just don’t understand the bare bottom tanks. It was you the Dude and Nikm that got me back into discus and I thank you guys. But when I left last time in 04 I had a planted 200 gallon and that was what people were going for back than. So starting again and all my other tanks being planted that’s just where I went. May say most comfortable with. These new discus are so far removed from what I had before. Back than there was no shipping. Just way to expensive. I once bought whattly discus and had to go to the airport to pick them up. But that was a one time deal. 2 fish and they cost more than they cost now. Most of mine were bought from the local store and fed live black worms. Today’s fish are just so much stronger. But for some reason the SD crowd are still back in the 90s. Beautiful fish but all in bare bottom tanks. It’s also a very slow site. Much more going on on this site. People trying different things. Also we have the internet now! So much info out there and the food we have to feed our discus is just amazing. Back than live black worms were it. Beef heart was next. But only breeders fish would eat it. You could never get store bought to eat it. The fdbw are just great and I also make a mixture of blackworms flakes with garlic flakes just to get them eating some garlic daily.
But back to planted tanks. The thing with them is plants also need clean water so I’m now doing 50% wc every other day. Was going 3 days but noticed the discus were getting pimples on them. When I increased the water changes they went away. My tank is set up like a planted tank. I have mts snails cleaning the gravel a cherry shrimp cleaning the plants. Also ottos and a SAE helping on algae. Discus are the color in the tank. Them and corals rams. Yes I know they don’t come from a planted environment but fact is our colored discus don’t either . To me no better place than a planted tank for discus. Now if you don’t want the extra work of a planted tank you can still decorate. Gravel and driftwood still look so much better than bare bottom.
 
jake37
  • #125
One quick question: Does the colour of the substrate makes a big difference with the discus. I'm considering three colours - black, white or stone (like caribsea peace river which is brownish). All of these are coarser than sand but finer than caribsea eco complete.
 
86 ssinit
  • #126
This I’m not sure about. I do know that my pigeon bloods did pepper and I have a black background. Nothing different in the other discus. I’ve always used a walnut colored gravel 1/8” size. The smallest sold. Other than black I think all others are good.
Eco- complete is worthless. It’s lava rock. But a small amount (like a 5lb. Bag) mixed with your substrate will help. Being lava rock bb will grow in it and being buried in your gravel denitrify bacteria will grow in it. Thus helping remove nitrate from the water. Needed not so much but a nice option. I did do this in my tank.
 
jake37
  • #127
My comment on eco-complete wasn't a comment on if it provided any benefits but rather the size of the grains. eco-complete is .25 to 7.0 mm;
moonlight is .25-.70mm (which is powdery fine).
I would go with either
crystal river (0.5 to 1.0mm) or torpedo beach (0.5 to 2.0mm) if I went with white
peace river is (1.0 to 2.0mm) if I went with walnut
if I went with black I would go with estes stone river black which (guess they don't provide numbers) 0.5 to 1.0.
--
I find eco complete too coarse. I've seen peace river in tanks and it is not very fine; I have moon light and it is too fine. way too fine.
-
1/8 inch is 3.2 mm;



This I’m not sure about. I do know that my pigeon bloods did pepper and I have a black background. Nothing different in the other discus. I’ve always used a walnut colored gravel 1/8” size. The smallest sold. Other than black I think all others are good.
Eco- complete is worthless. It’s lava rock. But a small amount (like a 5lb. Bag) mixed with your substrate will help. Being lava rock bb will grow in it and being buried in your gravel denitrify bacteria will grow in it. Thus helping remove nitrate from the water. Needed not so much but a nice option. I did do this in my tank.
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #128
jmaldo 86 ssinit and FinalFins
Jmaldo you're more than welcome for the mention. I always read through your updates as soon as they pop up...

As to the larger point about Discus forums and the at times, hostile, responses they give. Particularly in terms of planted tanks is (in my opinion of course) not actually about the planted tank. It's about growing their discus as thick as possible.

Planted tanks disrupt that specific pursuit. And basically go against that specific grain...

jake37 Pigeon blood discus pepper with dark backgrounds and substrate. There are a lot of varieties that fall within the PB and out side of that strain. Obviously go with what appeals to you the most. My only advice would be to avoid sand and go with a substrate that's easy to clean.
 
jmaldo
  • #129
One quick question: Does the colour of the substrate makes a big difference with the discus.

Hmm... I have all Blue Diamonds and not experienced any peppering as mentioned. Maybe not possible with the BD? But when stressed and or breeding they do darken up. Since I have changed backgrounds and now added BBS substrate. I have noticed a very subtle difference in their coloring. Not sure it has a direct correlation with the background/substrate or just the change of light dispersion/reflection.
I do know with my EBAs and Bolivian Rams, the background and substrate have an effect. After viewing others pics and raising and viewing them in bare bottom and dark substrate tanks. Mine appear darker than most then again could just be the light dispersion/reflection.

Learning all the Time.
 
jake37
  • #130
Hum. Do rams and EBA look better with dark or light substrate ?

Hmm... I have all Blue Diamonds and not experienced any peppering as mentioned. Maybe not possible with the BD? But when stressed and or breeding they do darken up. Since I have changed backgrounds and now added BBS substrate. I have noticed a very subtle difference in their coloring. Not sure it has a direct correlation with the background/substrate or just the change of light dispersion/reflection.
I do know with my EBAs and Bolivian Rams, the background and substrate have an effect. After viewing others pics and raising and viewing them in bare bottom and dark substrate tanks. Mine appear darker than most then again could just be the light dispersion/reflection.

Learning all the Time.
 
jmaldo
  • #131
Hum. Do rams and EBA look better with dark or light substrate ?

I am biased of course but mine are absolutely gorgeous with the dark substrate and background. Take a look:


Bolivian Pair 12719.jpg


EBA Parents.jpg
 
86 ssinit
  • #132
And mine with a lighter substrate
65C45116-2977-40FC-ABF2-D712E2445240.jpeg
D116ABBC-DEB8-4F7F-AA6B-DEC3BA302BDC.jpeg
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #133
Personally, I prefer a black back ground and substrate. My background was spray painted the darkest shade of jet black I could find. But that's just personal preference.

Oddly enough, I think it's plants that benefit from this more than fish. Fish will be as vivid as they can be if their parameters are stable.
 
jake37
  • #134
Well the basis of the question was due to the fact i had heard that certain discus will change depending on the gravel. I will say that the kuhil i have on black substrate are really friendly and the ones on white are terrified of their shadows (much less my shadow); but my sample point is very small.
-
My angels dont' seem to care one way or the other - as long as they have another angel to beat up they are content.

Why do plants care about the colour of the substrate ? I understand an issue with granularity and composition but colour ?

Oddly enough, I think it's plants that benefit from this more than fish. Fish will be as vivid as they can be if their parameters are stable.
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #135
Why do plants care about the colour of the substrate ? I understand an issue with granularity and composition but colour ?

My bad. I meant in terms of how the plants look aesthetically, not biologically.
 
86 ssinit
  • #136
Funny I was thinking the light would reflect brighter off the dark colors and help with plant growth.
 
jake37
  • #137
You mean light colour - you see things as light because they reflect light; you see things as dark because they absorb light.

Funny I was thinking the light would reflect brighter off the dark colors and help with plant growth.
 
FishTankCharles
  • #138
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
View attachment 665040
That’s beautiful! Love the plant selection too!
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #139
That’s beautiful! Love the plant selection too!

Thanks FishTankCharles

I'm glad you like it.
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #140
So it's that time of the month! Oddly enough almost to the day. Oh and please excuse the stability and definition of the vid. It's super zoomed in...
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #141
Super weird angle but this is my first Discus spawn / eggs pic.


fdrfDpI.jpg
 
tuggerlake26
  • #142
RollaPear
Thanks for the mention.
You guys have been busy. So here is my .02.
For starters, I use Eheims on all my tanks, I like them and really no problems. My Discus build is only a 55g, had plans to go larger but... since I am down to just a pair from the 8, it is working just fine.
For filtration I use a 2217 along with a 2215 with the pre-filters. Yes, the flow does become restricted over time so I rotate cleaning them every 2 months +/-. I started out with a bare bottom tank with a couple of potted plants and driftwood, since all the research I did suggested this to the point of mandatory for success. Hey, I was newbie and figured the Pros on the other forums knew better. I even tore down my planted tank to accomplish this, it was the worst mistake I made after seeing the success 86 ssinit has had. See pic of 55 before.

View attachment 681779

I am in the process of planting again, I have had my struggles with plants at 84' but... it appears to be on its way. Not ready for prime time, but pics to follow soon. I should change my thread title to "Planted Community with Discus Build".
As mentioned, I gathered as much info as I could and joined a couple of other forums but... have since left them especially SD. Tired of their ranting on the need for bare bottom. My pairs have spawned in planted and bare bottoms, so not sure what all the fuss is about. I understand if I want to take the next step to breed then I may need to move them, already have a 29 gallon to accomplish this if/when.
In conclusion, over the last 3 years in this hobby,
I have found that every tank is as different as a fingerprint.
Just my .02.

Learning all the Time.

This is beautiful. Are the plants on the sides hygros?
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #143
I'm having a dilemma...

I'm considering moving my spawning pair but that'll leave me with 4 discus. Knowing how aggressive these beasties can at times, coupled with the bare minimum number being 5-6, depending on who your asking...

It seems I'm in the market for another discus?
 
86 ssinit
  • #144
And that’s the way it begins . Got to say with a 120 your in the market for 6+ more discus . I’ve got 13 .
 
jake37
  • #145
How tall is your tank - can you keep discus in an 18 inch high tank or do they prefer 24 ? A 120 is 4x2x2 ...

And that’s the way it begins . Got to say with a 120 your in the market for 6+ more discus . I’ve got 13 .
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #146
And that’s the way it begins . Got to say with a 120 your in the market for 6+ more discus . I’ve got 13 .

Indeed, indeed.

But I'm starting to look at different strains and right now I'm thinking...


wRwSoVM.jpg
 
FinalFins
  • #147
Ooh, are those stednker flachen?
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #148
Yup FinalFins Stednker But they're called "solid turquoise." There are a lot of sellers which all cost the same but stedker have the best rep so I always go with them, which limits my choices but the condition of their stock is always top notch.
 
86 ssinit
  • #149
How tall is your tank - can you keep discus in an 18 inch high tank or do they prefer 24 ? A 120 is 4x2x2 ...
You can keep them in an 18” high tank. But how many gallons? His 120 at 2’ deep and high is fine for about 12 discus. Mine is a 125 at 5’x2’x18”. Me I like the longer tanks. But many do it in shorter tanks. The thing with the 18” high tank is going to be how many gallons. If a small tank 40g or less. It will be good for growing out discus. But to each his own. It will all be up to you and your dedication. There are those who keep discus in smaller tanks. Daily water changes and bare bottom tanks make it possible. Just read a theory that they grow faster in smaller tanks because they can’t burn off the calories by swimming as much .
 
jake37
  • #150
I was thinking around 300 gallon.

You can keep them in an 18” high tank. But how many gallons? His 120 at 2’ deep and high is fine for about 12 discus. Mine is a 125 at 5’x2’x18”. Me I like the longer tanks. But many do it in shorter tanks. The thing with the 18” high tank is going to be how many gallons. If a small tank 40g or less. It will be good for growing out discus. But to each his own. It will all be up to you and your dedication. There are those who keep discus in smaller tanks. Daily water changes and bare bottom tanks make it possible. Just read a theory that they grow faster in smaller tanks because they can’t burn off the calories by swimming as much .
 
86 ssinit
  • #151
Yes now I remember. Yeah 300g at any height will work. You could go with 30 discus. fa4960 has a 300 and a good build thread. Think he’s 3 years in now. Once you get into the big tanks the maintenance isn’t as hard. Much bigger body of water. Stays cleaner. But you will have to grow yours in a smaller tank to get them to size for the bigger tank. I had a 200 but my fish were in an 80 for two years before and pretty much grown. So if thinking a 300 for discus you may want to start now with a 75 and start growing some out. You could probably do 10 at a time. Grow your first 10 and learn the ins and out with the fish. Start up the 300 in a year after. Move the first 10 and start your second 10. Wish I had went this way! 30 in a 300 grown by yourself over a coulple of years is a great accomplishment. And it will really get you into the fish themselves. Good luck and waiting for your build thread .
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #152
Solid advice as always 86 ssinit
 
86 ssinit
  • #153
Yeah I wish I didn’t just jump right into this (a problem of mine). Doing it that way I think will be so much more rewarding. To me the most fun is setting up the tank and growing out the fish. Don’t get me wrong I still sit and watch the fish but with a 300g these would be living there and I’d have a new group in this tank growing out. So many discus out there from reliable breeders/sellers. The end result would probably be stunning . My problem is I put the 90 where the next big tank should be . I hate to have to move it again.
I also think the 10 at a time is a better approach than buying 30 at once (a lot cheaper too). I think with 30 you will have a lot of aggression and some will be left behind. Again the fa4960 thread is a good read. Haven’t seem him recently hope all is well.
 
jmaldo
  • #154
RollaPear
I ran into the issue with aggression when a pair spawned. I decided to move them to a 29g. They continued to spawn, but only got to the wiggler stage once. The remaining group were "Ok" in the 55g, but the hierarchy changed.
Ended up with another pair, since sold.
More details in my thread.

Good Luck!
 
jake37
  • #155
I don't want 30; I was thinking of this stocking:
10 discus -> the real problem is which type - i love the yellow and aqua but others folks say stick with hans and more say you can't mix em.
12-14 rams
20 cardinals
20 rummy nose (or maybe congo - worry might be too warm for them)
15-20 sterbai
4-6 flash pleco
-----
The dimensions would be approx 8 feet long 3 feet wide 20 inches high.


Yes now I remember. Yeah 300g at any height will work. You could go with 30 discus. fa4960 has a 300 and a good build thread. Think he’s 3 years in now. Once you get into the big tanks the maintenance isn’t as hard. Much bigger body of water. Stays cleaner. But you will have to grow yours in a smaller tank to get them to size for the bigger tank. I had a 200 but my fish were in an 80 for two years before and pretty much grown. So if thinking a 300 for discus you may want to start now with a 75 and start growing some out. You could probably do 10 at a time. Grow your first 10 and learn the ins and out with the fish. Start up the 300 in a year after. Move the first 10 and start your second 10. Wish I had went this way! 30 in a 300 grown by yourself over a coulple of years is a great accomplishment. And it will really get you into the fish themselves. Good luck and waiting for your build thread .

For me 1/2 the target is the plants. And it is the plants that really demand a 3 foot wide tank - the discus would be happy with something a lot narrower.

Yeah I wish I didn’t just jump right into this (a problem of mine). Doing it that way I think will be so much more rewarding. To me the most fun is setting up the tank and growing out the fish. Don’t get me wrong I still sit and watch the fish but with a 300g these would be living there and I’d have a new group in this tank growing out. So many discus out there from reliable breeders/sellers. The end result would probably be stunning . My problem is I put the 90 where the next big tank should be . I hate to have to move it again.
I also think the 10 at a time is a better approach than buying 30 at once (a lot cheaper too). I think with 30 you will have a lot of aggression and some will be left behind. Again the fa4960 thread is a good read. Haven’t seem him recently hope all is well.
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #156
Yeah I wish I didn’t just jump right into this (a problem of mine). Doing it that way I think will be so much more rewarding. To me the most fun is setting up the tank and growing out the fish. Don’t get me wrong I still sit and watch the fish but with a 300g these would be living there and I’d have a new group in this tank growing out. So many discus out there from reliable breeders/sellers. The end result would probably be stunning . My problem is I put the 90 where the next big tank should be . I hate to have to move it again.
I also think the 10 at a time is a better approach than buying 30 at once (a lot cheaper too). I think with 30 you will have a lot of aggression and some will be left behind. Again the fa4960 thread is a good read. Haven’t seem him recently hope all is well.

I'm not sure what the fa4690 thread is 86? Excuse my lack of knowledge on that one. The US seems to have a lot more selection of reputable breeders. My other half went to a LFS before the lockdown and the discus she found there, while bright to most were in poor condition and had obvious signs of worms etc.

I'm thinking of getting a 12-14cm just to keep it inline with the remaining 4 and stop any potential bullying.

RollaPear
I ran into the issue with aggression when a pair spawned. I decided to move them to a 29g. They continued to spawn, but only got to the wiggler stage once. The remaining group were "Ok" in the 55g, but the hierarchy changed.
Ended up with another pair, since sold.
More details in my thread.

Good Luck!

And my next stop on the forum is...

I don't want 30; I was thinking of this stocking:
10 discus -> the real problem is which type - i love the yellow and aqua but others folks say stick with hans and more say you can't mix em.
12-14 rams
20 cardinals
20 rummy nose (or maybe congo - worry might be too warm for them)
15-20 sterbai
4-6 flash pleco
-----
The dimensions would be approx 8 feet long 3 feet wide 20 inches high.

I can't wait to see it up and running!
 
jake37
  • #157
Sadly it will be about 18 months; after i move. I'm not allowed to have large aquariums in the condo where i live.

I can't wait to see it up and running!
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #158
I have been doing a lot of reading into different strains recently and still have several I'm considering. But it wasn't until recently I realized some discus have variations with the strain. I didn't notice that I had one such variation among my own blue Diamonds. Meet Scar

His eyes have never been fully red like the others. They're 90% black with 10% being red. He has jet black pelvic fins. So dark they're camouflaged against the black background despite them being really long and he has a dark mark at the base of his caudal fin. Also his dorsal and Anal contrast significantly with the rest of his body.


8qRmIkM.jpg

In comparison to the other known male and every other blue diamond there are a lot of asthetic differences that he's had since i got him at 6cm / 2.3 inches.


Y0alBY0.jpg

Sadly it will be about 18 months; after i move. I'm not allowed to have large aquariums in the condo where i live.

I still can't wait.
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #159
I wasn't sure if I should have made another thread to say thank you to the community. It seems I have "won" the photo competition for a photo I posted earlier in this build / journey> The pic is of my black neons schooling. I wanted to say thanks to everyone here who liked the pic here because it gave me the confidence to post it in the competition thread.

As I've mentioned before, I'm actually pretty bad a taking photos. For every one of them that I've posted, there is easily 20 that were a blurred mess. And because of the picture that won was actually taken to count how many black neons I had... From the responses here, I thought it was cool enough and added the photo there...

Thanks to everyone who replied here and to every other hobbyist who posted their photos in the competition thread. I'm always stunned by the submissions in that monthly competition and I'm grateful and also very much humbled to have won.

My black neons. Again


1ilckqk-jpg.jpg
 
RollaPear
  • Thread Starter
  • #160

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