Discus Aquarium

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Marijn Lange, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Marijn LangeValued MemberMember

    I currently have a hundred gallon aquarium with 14 cardinal tetra’s, 5 siamese algea eaters, 1 chinese algea eater, 1 bristle nose pleco, 4 german blue rams, 3 electric blue rams and seven leopard danio’s.

    I’m planning on moving them to a 50 gallon aquarium. That way I can use the 100 gallon aquarium as a discus tank.

    The way my aquarium is currently set-up is the following

    The large pieces of drift wood make it very hard to clean the aquarium. A lot of waste is collected on and under the driftwood. Because of that I’m planning on only keeping one piece of driftwood for the discus tank.

    The gravel also collects a lot of waste, even with a 50% weekly waterchange and a good gravel cleaning. That’s why I’m planning on taking the gravel out and replacing it by sand that is 0.4/0.8 millimeters. I hope that that will make it easyer to maintain cleaner water. What do you guys think?

    I’m planning on getting five or six discus around 5 centimeters, combined with my bristlenose pleco and some cory’s. Hopefully the cory’s will keep the sand clean. What do you guys think of this stocking and the changes that I want to make?

    I want the aquarium to look somewhat like the following

    What do you guys think?

    General information:
    - Juwel Bioflow 8.0 that filters 265 gallon per hour
    - Resun Sp-1100L Powefilter that filters 130 gallon per hour
    - Aquarium is 100 gallon
  2. AJEFishlore VIPMember

    It looks great

  3. DonthemonValued MemberMember

    Sounds good. You will need two heaters. Incase one goes down and also to keep it in the 80’s for the discus. Can all the other fish you are planning take the heat required for discus?

  4. 86 ssinitWell Known MemberMember

    My opinion is keep the gravel maybe up the filtration. Also because these are your first discus get bigger full grown fish. 5-6 inch fish. Tank that big you could get as many as 6. Discus take a lot of care. A tank that big and already set up it would be much easier to start with bigger fish. Start with 2 and see how it goes. Do a lot of reading. Discus need special care and a temperature of 84-86. Some of the fish you have may be able to be reintroduced to the discus tank. The cardinals and rams both will do well in that temp. Not sure of sae but the cae is no good as is the pleco. Both may eat the slime coat of the discus.
    Tank looks great as is! Looks like the perfect discus tank :).

  5. Marijn LangeValued MemberMember

    I’ve thought about upgrading the filtration and getting a Fluval FX4, but I don’t really see the point in it. I’m currently filtering almost 400 gallons whilst the aquarium is a 100 gallons. A fluval will upp that turnover rate to 600. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that but mt water quilty is already very good at the moment. My perimeters have been perfect and stabel for over five months. So investing $220 for that little bit of extra filtration is not worth it to me. Besides that, the changes like removing driftwood and possibly adding sand will also make it easyer to reduce waste and have a cleaner aquarium.

    Then the discus part. Yes, getting grown discus is much easyer as they require less waterchanges, les feedings and they are overal easyer. But they are also much much more expensive. A grown discus will cost me around $70,- over here. Having to get six, well, that is much more then I want to spend.

    And I think small discus will be much more fun and challeging to keep. And I quite like that challange.
  6. 86 ssinitWell Known MemberMember

    What you could add is a marineland 350 it moves 375gph. You should be filtering 800gph now with discus 1000. Please read up on discus. Large discus are hard to keep and demanding. Small are much harder. They need clean water figure in the 120 40-60gal daily to keep them eating and healthy. 70 sounds like a lot but will be cheaper in the long run. Get 2 first see how good you do with them. After 2 months and all is well get 2 more and so on. Bigger fish in general are just stronger and healthier. Also try and buy from a breeder not local fish store.
  7. Marijn LangeValued MemberMember

    Thanks for your advice. A lot of people tell me to buy two discus to see how good I do with them. I've read that you need to keep discus alone or in groups. People advice to buy a group all at once, from the same breeder, around the same size. Buying them separately can result in them bullying each other. That's why I'm against buying them one by one or two by two.

    Could you explain to me why my current aquarium needs a turnover rate of 800 gallons per hour please?I'm curious:p
  8. Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

    A general rule of thumb is to filter your tank capacity 8-10 times per hour.
  9. Marijn LangeValued MemberMember

    I have never heard that before, to my knowledge it is four times.

    What do you think about reducing the wood and switching the gravel to sand. Less wood will make the tank easyer to clean but I habe no experience with sand.
  10. jmaldoWell Known MemberMember

  11. Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

    You need to remember that the flow from your filter is rated when it is empty of filter media, and on a level surface. So you could very well be losing 25% of the flow capacity when you add media to the filter, and possibly yet another 25% depending on the lift need to return the water from the intake to the output.

    Sand is much easier to keep clean because you can literally see the detritus when you are vacuuming or doing water changes, making it much easier to remove from the tank. No spaces like you would have with gravel. Plus, if you are doing discus, I think the sand would make for a much more striking tank.

    As for the wood, I have seen a lot of people use a turkey baster with success to clean under driftwood and around plants, either by sucking stuff up, or using a gentle stream of water to push it from under the wood/plants to a place where it is easier to vacuum out.
  12. Marijn LangeValued MemberMember

    Alright, sand is a really good option for my discus tank then. What about adding some cory’s? They will sift throug the sand and stir up waste.

    You are defently right about losing flow capacity. I could look into a external filter like a fluval FX4 or a FX6. Main problems are that they are really epensive around here and are also almost impossible to find used. And what about the hoses? I have a closed lit so I would need to take them out en install new light ( isn’t a big problem as I was already planning on switching to LED) ). Won’t discus jump?

    Regarding the small discus. I have a automated feeding machine which can feed five times a day. I can feed them twice in the evening. Doing a a 50% waterchange twice a week or doing 30% waterchanges three times a week isn’t that much of a problem either.
  13. Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

    I honestly do not know anything about discus, other than they are gorgeous, so I will leave those questions to someone much more qualified to answer them lol.

    The Fluval filters are great to be sure, but there are less expensive alternatives out there. A lot of people here like the SunSun canister filters, and I myself have two Cascade canister filters on my tank. You would need to check and see if either of these are available where you are.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  14. Marijn LangeValued MemberMember

    Awesome. I can get the SunSun filter around here. 500 gallons per hour, which is a five time turnover rate. What do you think about that?

    The problem is that my aquarium has a lit.
  15. Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

    What kind of lid? Mine has a lid as well, but the back portion of the lid is plastic that can be cut to allow for the intake and output tubes, heater cord, etc.
  16. Marijn LangeValued MemberMember

    Hmm nevermind, that problem is solvabel. Can you tell me your experience with the SunSun Canister filter. I’m thinking of getting the 2000 gallon per hour one. I think it will increase the water quility. It will have much much more biological media then the once I have now.

    If anyone else has experience with SunSun canisters filters tell me your experience please :)
  17. Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

    I can only attest to the Cascade canister filters. I have (2) 1500's on my 75 gallon tank. They are rated at 350 gph, but with media and the 3 foot lift from canister to aquarium, I am guessing about 250 gph. Very quiet canister, 5 media trays per canister so plenty of room for bio-media. But what I like best is the adjustable flow. You can control the output (I confirmed this with Penn Plax, the manufacturer).

    If you don't get replies here, I would check out Amazon. Lots of reviews there.
  18. Marijn LangeValued MemberMember

    Has anyone have any experience with Biohome Ultimate? I’m thinking about getting it but I have mixed feelings about it. Some people call it the best filter media there is and some people say that it gets clogged, some say get eheim matrix, get lavarock etc.
  19. AJEFishlore VIPMember

    All media is the same in my opinion. One is as good as another, so get whatever you want
  20. Cold&warmWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Marijn!
    Quite a splendid start you are taking in the aquarium hobby, geweldig! Congratulations!

    Hopefully my question is not (or, at least, not too much) off-topic: how is the tap water in Rotterdam nowadays, also in terms of pH and hardness?
    If I remember correctly, when discus fish still had to be imported from the Amazone basin and only few people were knowledgeable and experienced enough to succesfully keep them, the tap water in your home town was not by everyone considered pleasant to drink.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019