Jmaldo's Discus Build

jmaldo

Member
2 years into this wonderful "Wet Pet" journey. With the help and advise from members here and a few other forums. Finally, I think I am ready for "Discus". I have been researching, researching and then more researching. Also, started a thread for "Discus Info" for anyone interested here:
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...s-info-from-successful-discus-keepers.395674/

On to the build. Starting with a 55g, I know people advise the larger the better. And when I am successful, I will be upgrading to a 125g. So here is the tank about 3 weeks ago, freshly cleaned.
More details to follow.

cf5Bc5C.jpg
 
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stella1979

Moderator
Member
Yessss! So glad to follow along on this one. Congratulations!!
 

coralbandit

Member
I am in .
 
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jmaldo

Member
Okay, here are some specs.

55g - Bare bottom for now, considering the addition of black diamond blasting sand.
Filtration - EheI'm 2217 along with 2 sponge filters
Lights - Fluval Aquasky and Finnex 24:7 SE (4 hrs on - 3 off- 4 on then off)
Heater - 2x Aqueon Pro set @ 84 degrees
Chihiros doctor
2 Thermometers

Plants in Pots or tied to 3 pcs of driftwood:
2x - Red Tiger Lilly
2x - Anubias
2x - Java Fern
2x - Aponogeton
2x - Bolbitis
1x - Echinodorus Red Flame

Ferts: NilocG DIY EI dosing along with NilocG root tabs

Inhabitants:
4x - Electric Blue Acara (size from 1/2' - 2")
1x - Mystery Snail
Just for the bio-load

Maintenance -
70% weekly water change
Water Parameters:
ph - 7.6
0/0/15
TDS - 200

And here is a pic, of course not ready for prime-time.

mJT9x5D.jpg
 

nikm128

Member
So you're using the acras and snail to cycle the media?
 
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jmaldo

Member
"No", the tank has been cycled for 3 weeks before I added the inhabitants. I used established canister and sponge filter along with Stability.
 

coralbandit

Member
That Bolivian ram is good at 84 ?
All the fish are moving when you add the discus ?
I would not add sand ,just me and a lot of tanks ..
 
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jmaldo

Member
coralbandit said:
That Bolivian ram is good at 84 ?
All the fish are moving when you add the discus ?
I would not add sand ,just me and a lot of tanks ..
Good eye. The Bolivians were a temporary move while setting up a breeding tank for them. Yes, all the fish will be moving before the "Discus" arrive.
 

toosie

Member
jmaldo said:
"No", the tank has been cycled for 3 weeks before I added the inhabitants. I used established canister and sponge filter along with Stability.
I hope this isn't an insulting question, but what did you use as an ammonia source during the cycle period?
 

86 ssinit

Member
Will be watching . Nice plants! Try to set them up on either side leaving the middle open. Also try to make it so discus can swim around or through them. Try stacking driftwood on top of plant pots. Or even stacking pots. Also some aponogeton need a rest period.
Glad to here those fish are leaving. Good luck and are you ordering your discus online?
 
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jmaldo

Member
toosie
Normally when I need a tank say to move fry I transfer some substrate along with the sponge filter. Never a problem. Since this was a larger tank and cleaned very well. I used an established canister filter and sponge filter along with a boost from Seachem Stability.
Just to be safe I did add a couple of doses of ammonia. I expected and did experience a bacterial bloom. After some water changes. no ammonia or nitrites and nitrates. I needed to move some fish around so I added the Bolivans as coralbandit keenly noticed. All is well.
Hope this helps.

86 ssinit
I know I have a lot of plants and yes I need clear and safe swimming room for the "Discus". Still undecided where I want to go with the placement. Thanks for the ideas.

Okay, Everyone, what would you do,looking for advise?
I originally planned on picking up the "Discus" from a local breeder, it appears he will be getting the shipment in about 2-3 weeks. Keeping them for me until the I pick them up Memorial weekend. Or should I just order directly from:
 

nikm128

Member
jmaldo said:
Okay, Everyone, what would you do,looking for advise?
I originally planned on picking up the "Discus" from a local breeder, it appears he will be getting the shipment in about 2-3 weeks. Keeping them for me until the I pick them up Memorial weekend. Or should I just order directly from:
How do his discus look? Would you be able to get any pictures? Discus hans is pretty good, so is discusguy
 
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jmaldo

Member
During research it was recommended if possible to see the "Discus" before purchase, but...
Looking for 5-6 Blue Diamonds around 3"+.
I have viewed some pics and vids of some of their stock. All look good and have good reviews. I have been in contact with 2 local breeders and 1 LFS. Waiting for pics/vids,
 

Ohio Mark

Member
Following with interest!
 

toosie

Member
jmaldo said:
Normally when I need a tank say to move fry I transfer some substrate along with the sponge filter. Never a problem. Since this was a larger tank and cleaned very well. I used an established canister filter and sponge filter along with a boost from Seachem Stability.
Just to be safe I did add a couple of doses of ammonia. I expected and did experience a bacterial bloom. After some water changes. no ammonia or nitrites and nitrates. I needed to move some fish around so I added the Bolivans as coralbandit keenly noticed. All is well.
Hope this helps.
If seeded media was transferred the bacteria needed a constant supply of ammonia to feed it. Stability also needs a constant supply of ammonia to feed it. It sounds like you gave it some ammonia but then did water changes before the bacteria consumed it and after doing water changes you were reading zeros.

Bacteria blooms are heterotrophic bacteria and not nitrosomonas. They aren't an indication a tank is cycled.

I am concerned that once the discus are in the tank that you may find the tank isn't cycled. I would not at this point assume it is.
 

nikm128

Member
It does take a while for the bacteria to even go dormant though, longer to die
 

toosie

Member
nikm128 said:
It does take a while for the bacteria to even go dormant though, longer to die
It does but was it ever cycled to a degree that it can handle the amount of waste from that many discus in the first place? I'm not saying there is no bacteria, but I don't think enough to be able to handle the bio load. And without dosing ammonia and seeing a certain amount disappear and transferred through to nitrates in 24 hours.....

I'd hate to see the discus go into a tank that can't handle them.
 

nikm128

Member
Totally agree with that, jmaldo if you have some prime you could dose the ammonia to 1ppm and see how long it takes to go away. Just to get an idea of the size of the colony
 

toosie

Member
nikm128 said:
Totally agree with that, jmaldo if you have some prime you could dose the ammonia to 1ppm and see how long it takes to go away. Just to get an idea of the size of the colony
The 2 bolivians in there complicate things. I'd sooner see them removed and then see this bacteria colony grown to a comfortable size for the discus. Discus really need a well established bacteria colony.
 
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jmaldo

Member
Thanks for the concern but the tank is cycled. As mentioned in post #2
Water Parameters:
ph - 7.6
0/0/15
TDS - 200
 

86 ssinit

Member
Dont you have the other fish in the tank now feeding your bacteria?
 

coralbandit

Member
Have you looked into Jack Watley .
I don't think the cycle is that important but seriously wonder about 70% water changes weekly ...
5 3" discus in a 55 ? I would be thinking 70% 3-5 times a week ?
 

86 ssinit

Member
Jack Watley has been breeding discus for 40yrs! Don’t think you could find better . I would say most discus sold at your lfs can be traced back to Watley.
 
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jmaldo

Member
86 ssinit said:
Dont you have the other fish in the tank now feeding your bacteria?
Yes, the Inhabitants:
4x - Electric Blue Acara (size from 1/2' - 2")
1x - Mystery Snail

coralbandit said:
5 3" discus in a 55 ? I would be thinking 70% 3-5 times a week ?
Just a clarification, the 70% weekly water change is what I am doing right now. Of course when the "Discus" arrive, I plan on a minimum 3-5x per week.

Question: As mentioned most local options get their supply from a hand full of breeders. Would it be beneficial and better for the fish to skip/ bypass an acclimation to another tank and have shipped directly to me?
 

nikm128

Member
I wouldn't worry about an extra acclimation, but I would worry about the potential cross contamination in getting them at an lfs where they're sourced from more than 1 breeder
 

tfreema

Member
Following with excited interest.
 

86 ssinit

Member
Yes it would be better to come right to your tank .
 

Thedudeiam94

Member
I’ve looked into jack wattley also. He has a very good reputation and stays in contact with you throughout owning your discus and can answer any questions you have or may have. coralbandit good source!
 
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jmaldo

Member
Well, I have decided to have the "Discus" shipped directly to me. Bypass the additional handling using Local suppliers. I have contacted:

Hans Discus
and
Jack Wattley Discus -

Will post responses.
 

86 ssinit

Member
Wow some beautiful fish!!
 
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jmaldo

Member
Ok, pics of the Blue Diamond Discus available from 1 of the breeders mentioned.
Curious, what you think?
4MLiPFB.jpg
CdbL6dK.jpg
 

tfreema

Member
Beautiful.
 

coralbandit

Member
DiscusMadness ships also .
Danzinger discus are fantastic.
 

86 ssinit

Member
Nice! They are high fin blue diamond. Did you look at Wattley. Look at his video for small blue diamonds. See how the body to head is almost perfectly round. Notice to ones you posted have the pointed heads. Also look at the full grown blue diamond. Though I can't stand they holding the fish like that. See the color. His are a darker blue. Just something to think about.
 
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jmaldo

Member
86 ssinit said:
Did you look at Wattley.
The pics are from "Wattley" .
86 ssinit said:
They are high fin blue diamond.
Thanks, I thought they looked different than most "Discus" I have seen. I do want the "body to head is almost perfectly round" type.
coralbandit said:
DiscusMadness ships also .
Danzinger discus are fantastic.
Thanks, I''ll give them a look.

So, I decided to give the tank an intensive "Discus" cleaning today as recommended by keepers. Wiping down all the sides inside and the heaters. I removed the plants and did a good vacuuming along with a 70% water change. Whoa! It took me a full hour. More work than I thought. Normally, it takes me on average 2 hours to do 5 tanks (normal cleaning).

Learning all the Time!
 

86 ssinit

Member
Wow just looked at shipping!! Is that per fish or per order?
 
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jmaldo

Member
And here are the "Discus" on offer from Poppa Ryan, they are about 2" should be around 3" by the end of May.


86 ssinit said:
Wow just looked at shipping!! Is that per fish or per order?
I looked up Discus Madness, submitted a request. It appears that shipping is per order, will verify.
 

nikm128

Member
I think the first set looks better
 
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jmaldo

Member
And here are the "Discus" on offer from "DiscusMadness",

sBn8vrk.jpg

Okay all, which would you choose?
Wattley - Poppa Ryan - Discus Madness
 

Thedudeiam94

Member
If I had to choose I would go with Wattley, however the ones from discus madness look pretty good too.
 
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