It’s All About Chemistry!

Discussion in 'Welcome to FishLore' started by bill1433, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. bill1433New MemberMember

    Hello Everyone!

    My name is Bill and like so many here, I have come to learn. I have a well water problem.
    Since I already know (through many fish loses, until I found out why), my water is not great
    for tropical fish unless I were back raising Discus as I did back in the seventies, I Doctor it.

    Normally my water is: pH 5.5 to 5.8, GH about 2o or 35.8. my KH is just a barely there 1 or17.9.
    The manufactured parameters are now: pH 7.4 to 7.8 GH 143.1 and KH 89.5.
    The tank is a 29-gallon up two years with a major conversion last month to all live plants and
    the removal of all gravel and replacement with all black Florite.

    Many years ago while working with Discus I still had a few livebearers around. My all time
    favorites and still are; Red Wag Platys. However since returning to the hobby, I notice that these once prominent fish are no more, at least not around here and I’ve been looking for a few years. The closest that I have seen so far is what the LPS calls “Mickey Mouse” platys. NOT!

    Anyway, getting back to the water parameters, the tanks temperature is 77o and has a few Tetra’s and a load of Cory cats. Why I am writing is my concern for the Platys or Red Sword tails, should I find any. You will notice that I am a bit shy on my GH by a few degrees. I am wondering if this lack of GH will harm the fish or little ones, should they have any. I could raise the GH more but the tank seems to be in balance now as the other two factors, pH and KH are holding well at the values I’ve given. In addition I should also mention that this tank receives PWC’s at the rate of 30% that are done twice weekly.
    Any advice would be welcomed.

  2. ayladWell Known MemberMember

    Red wag platies are still available, although you might have to order them online if you can't find them locally.

    GH should not be a major health issue for your fish, as far as I know. I'm curious about what method you're using to raise your pH?

  3. Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    Hi Bill, Welcome to Fishlore. Wow, i would love to have that type of PH for my Discus. sorry can't help but wanted to welcome you aboard.

  4. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    I've seen red wag platties in petco. I've also seen them for sale on

  5. bill1433New MemberMember

    Hi Disc61!

    Some advise on the Discus? They are not what everyone seems to think. They love to eat, swim and have fun! As for their water parameters mine were in basically pH of 7.0 and did just fine. That’s about all I can tell you. Back in the seventies we never checked on GH or KH, only pH. If you have fish in a bare tank, which is just plain smart, you’re thinking right. On the numbers of them to work with? If you are going to use the 55 pictured (nice wood work) I’d put a bit
    in there. How much? At purchasing anything but a mated pair, most usually go for
    young juveniles at about the size of a 50 cent piece. That said, 12 is not too many
    for a 55 if you’re pocket-book can stand the strain.

    Why? Greater chance of paring. You will quickly find that the Discus, is just like
    anyone else! They all will develop at different rates. If you buy 12 at once and they
    are all near the same size (and so most probably from the same spawn),
    you will be astonished at their size at 6 months. I used mostly 40-gallon for spawning
    tanks because they gave the same surface area of a 55 but gave you much more
    room to work with as they were not that high and could easily be stacked.

    Next, fed well, use sponge filters, and change water, a lot of water. I changed 25
    to 30% everyday. At the first signs of any paring at all, the fish if I got to them quick
    enough, before any spawning, were then moved to their own tank. Never at
    any time try to move any Discus once their tubes are down or exposed. Keep
    their tanks at about 84o or so and you should be just fine. I never used any power filters
    in a Discus tank because as mentioned with those water changes, nothing ever got
    that dirty. They had just a regular tank hood with only one of those “make the fish look pretty” tubes. No harsh or excessive lighting. Cleaning and vacuuming every day, the tanks stayed in almost pristine condition.

    Nice to meet you and good luck with those Discus, basic care and patience.



    Must be my neck of the woods! I can't find any Red Wags at
    all. I never bought fish on line but there’s a first time for everything I guess
    as I can see it coming to that. I just went that route with live plants, a first for me.
    Thanks for your reply. Nice to meet you,


    Hi aylad,

    Thanks for your reply. The method I am using is an old “recipe” from another senior
    friend from New Jersey who has been coaching me back into
    the hobby. It’s a mixture of salts plus old fashioned Epsom salt,
    this plus Seachem’s Alkaline Buffer to work on and stabilize my KH.
    All of this together keeps the pH from making any “wrong moves”!

    bill 1433
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2012
  6. Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    exactly, simple is best for them. i actually do about 90% WC Daily, bare tank, have even taken the wood out presently. when they become Adults in another year or so i will look at some Aquascaping but until then nothing more then the essentials. it really is the best method. my PH is at 7.6 and mine are thriving. But, if i try to alter the WC regimen at all from daily you can begin to see a difference in their attitude. nice talking to you, i certainly enjoy talking about Discus anytime.

  7. bill1433New MemberMember

    Hi Tom

    Nice talking with you. Any time you want to talk Discus, just let me know.
    I still miss them! I think that they are one of those type fish that once you
    work with them and have them for a while you sudendly realize that they
    actually have you!

  8. Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    haha, agree 100%, and they've had me for the past 2-3 years. read thru my New Discus project and you will see what i mean. i have had my ups and downs with them but have hung in there and really starting to pay off. look forward to talking more with you about these guys. i also am tied up with Africans (Mbuna at the present) have been keeping them for 4-5 years and currently have a nice group where all 3 species are spawning and i have fry from all of them. just love cichlids in genral, can you tell?
  9. KaiValued MemberMember

    Hello and welcome, Bill! ^_^

    I love how discus look in tanks. Terrified of caring for them myself, though.
  10. bill1433New MemberMember

    Hello Kai,

    The Discus are just big (and expensive) babies! They are just like an other
    Cichlid. Some bit of extra care on the owner’s part is always appreciated
    and rewarded. A nice warm tank, clean and lots of PWC’s will see you through.
    Space is necessary though and they really do best in a “gang”. 12 juveniles in a 55
    is a good start. Should the fish pair, if possible remove said pair to their own tank.
    I always liked 40-gallon tanks for this purpose. They stack better and have the
    same surface area as a standard 55 but are much easier to work with.

    With the Discus the simple rule is: “Never let them see you sweat”! Get yourself
    a hand full and jump in, the water is warm!

    Regards, nice to met you



    Tried sending you a message and did something as it did not
    appear here. Would you please contact me directly at:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2012
  11. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome Bill!!! Lovely to meet you.

    I've always loved the discus, but never tried keeping/raising them, but I've been learning more about them and considering them for the next tank we get. If I can talk the family into it, I will definitely be asking for LOADS of advice.

    Best of luck with your red wag platy search.. I have seen them in the lfs that I have.. but Canada is a far ways to go to stock a tank.

    Anyway, Welcome again!!! glad to have you with us!!! :;hi1
  12. Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    we will be here to help when needed.

    I think your post count needs to be 50, not positive though, i did email you directly.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2012
  13. bill1433New MemberMember

    Hello Shayla1,

    If you get some Discus, you won’t be sorry, only amazed
    as most of us are. It was quite a while ago when I had them
    but if there is anything I say do to help, just let me know.

    Nice to met you and thanks for the welcome,

  14. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Bill and Welcome to Fish Lore!

    Disc61 is correct, you must have 50 helpful, informative posts to the forum before you can use the Private Message feature. Keep making helpful posts and you will reach 50 in no time. Please to not post simply to boost your post count as this is frowned upon.

    ChristmasStar1.jpg Too, I have removed your email address from the open forum for Privacy and Security reasons. Although the site has spam blockers in place, and the Moderators also block spammers, sometimes spammers still get through.

    I have also merged some back to back posts within this thread. Feel free to respond to more than 1 member per post. Saving some space on the forum and it makes the thread a little more neat in appearance, not having to scroll post after post after post.


    Ken candycane2.gif

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice