Question Possible discus in a 50gallon? gallon?

Hazzy

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Hi, so I recently bought a 50 gallon tank (200litres) Id like to keep 4 discus with a school of tetras (cardinal or rummys) and a pair of rams, but there are a couple of things I'd like some help with.

1) ideally I only want to be doing a water change once per week. (I don't mind how big, but just the one)
2) Also I love to aquascape and I have aquasoil, wood and alot of plants ready for the tank. Will the plants be okay at higher temps and what's the lowest temperature discus can live comfortably at?

I would have gone for just 2 discus, but from what I've read they like to be in groups and because my tank is on the smaller side for them I think 4 seems like a good number.
Any discus keepers think this sort of set up would work? Thanks.

Recap (4 discus, rummy or cardinal tetras(12?) and 2 German blue rams)
 

FreshwaterHG

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I’m actually very curious about this as well. I can only fit a 55 in my living room next year and it’s my DREAM to get discus but I wasn’t sure if I could actually have any in that size tank. I would love to hear some of the logistics with plants you can have and other fish as well!
 

Mike1995

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Only limited knowledge on discus but I know they like temps 82-86. I'd maybe reconsider getting discus. they do get fairly large, around 8" or so. Groups should be at least of 5. Not sure 50 gallons is gonna be quite large enough.
 

Meg123P

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I have a 55 gallon and I would not have discus in that size tank personally. There are other beautiful and better fish options for a 50 gallon
 

FreshwaterHG

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I have read that the minimum is 55 but it’s really preferable to have at least 75-100, which I understand. That’s why I had kinda given up on the idea till I have an actual salary (college kid here) but I would love others input who have kept discus themselves!
 

tuggerlake26

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A fifty gallon would fine for a small group of discus (4-5) but I wouldn't add any rams or tetras as you're really at the max with the discus. If you want to keep all of them, pick up a 75-100 gallon. In my experience, discus are relatively aggressive with one another, which honestly was my biggest surprise when I first started keeping them. Only having 2-3 will cause bullying issues.

The larger question here is the frequency of water changes. With discus, you should be changing the water almost every other day, especially if you get juveniles. Juveniles need to be fed 4-6 times per day. Some discus owners do water changes every day. A large water change once a week isn't going to cut it. The fish need pristine water, and it could actually cause the fish to stop growing and become "stunted".

They really are beautiful fish, just know it's a lot of upkeep. It is worth it in the end, I promise!

What types of plants do you have? Is the tank set up or are they from another tank?
 

86 ssinit

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Can discus be kept in a 50-55g tank? Yes! You can keep 5 discus easy in these tanks. Thing is discus are work. If you want large discus you will need to change the water. Minimum of 3times a week at 50%. It’s your first discus tank. Your a beginner so this is what you have to do. If you buy small discus 2-3” more water changes will be needed for the first 6 months. Till they hit the 6” size. Than you can decide if that’s big enough and lower your water changes or continue and grow them bigger. I would also recommend a bare bottom tank. They are easier to keep. Temp is 82-86. I keep mine at 85. Plants will grow but your adding that much more to your work load. Planted tanks are hard enough now adding discus you still have to keep the water clean. So your vacuuming your tank at every water change. With a 50 I’d go bare bottom.

I’m getting ready to do a 45g with 6 discus. It will be bare bottom. I’ll filter the water at about 600gph and change 10g of water daily. I plan on getting 2-3” discus. Then down the line move them into a bigger tank.

Discus need the water changes! That’s just the way of the fish. You can’t avoid it. I’m running a 125 planted tank now and you have to be dedicated.
FA142537-85DF-4AFA-B2C4-A6462B875437.jpeg
 

FreshwaterHG

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Wow that’s beautiful! Thanks for all the info! Makes me realize as a college student, discus will not be the best choice for me. My rental pays water but I don’t think they would be thrilled seeing the water bill these guys would rack up! It will happen someday though!
 

Meg123P

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FreshwaterHG said:
Wow that’s beautiful! Thanks for all the info! Makes me realize as a college student, discus will not be the best choice for me. My rental pays water but I don’t think they would be thrilled seeing the water bill these guys would rack up! It will happen someday though!
What do you plan keeping instead?
 

86 ssinit

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10g a day is about one shower or flushing the toilet 6 times. Not that much. But no I wouldn’t recommend you keep discus. Maybe once you’ve got a permanent place.
 

FreshwaterHG

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Meg123P said:
What do you plan keeping instead?
I believe I’m just going to do a super lush planted tank (or try) and do a huge community tank. Lots of tetra, corys, etc. I haven’t even gotten close to picking the stocking but I think I’m going to let my roommates all pick a school of fish (With guidance of what works) since there are letting me keep the tank in our living room.
 

86 ssinit

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Definitely easier than discus. But still an advanced tank. If this is your first plant tank start with easy plants. But a few at a time get them growing before you get more. You can grow nice plants with just standard substrate and liquid ferts and good lighting.
 

FreshwaterHG

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86 ssinit said:
Definitely easier than discus. But still an advanced tank. If this is your first plant tank start with easy plants. But a few at a time get them growing before you get more. You can grow nice plants with just standard substrate and liquid ferts and good lighting.
I have some low tech smaller planted tanks at the moment. I’m eventually going to make a thread for my collection and building of the set up. I’m still looking for the tank and stand itself at the moment. I’m hoping to do CO2 as well. We will see how it all pans out but it’s going to be my summer project to start collecting all the stuff I will need. I’ll be setting it up in September so I have tons of time to plan :)
 

Jerome O'Neil

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I kept basically that exact setup (55L - the Rams) for years. As noted, Discus like fresh water, so don't let it go stale, but the general setup is fine.
 
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Hazzy

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Thanks for the replies.
I plan to do a hitech planted set up. I've already bought the hardscape for the tank and ordered plants due to arrive soon. (rotala h'ra, pogostemon erectus, s repens, dwarf hair grass, crypt balansae, hygrophila pinnatifida and some others) I will have a clay base with aquasoil at the back held in place with some rocks and the front of the tank I have some 1-2mm sand/gravel that will have the hairgrass carpet. So bare bottom isn't an option for me lol.
I didn't mention my filtration but I have 2x eheim classic 250 canister filters from old tanks so I am able to use both of them.

If 3x 50% water changes per week and feeding 4/5 times a day is the way they are kept then I'm going to scrap it and choose other fish. I suppose I could manage waterchanges twice per week and feeding 3x per day but not more than this.
I kept rams in the past and loved them so I Might go with 4-6 of them with rummynose, cardinals and cherry barbs.

I love angelfish too but my girlfriend hates their "long whispy" ventral fins :(. So it's looking mostly like a small fish only tank for now.
 

tuggerlake26

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Hazzy said:
Thanks for the replies.
I plan to do a hitech planted set up. I've already bought the hardscape for the tank and ordered plants due to arrive soon. (rotala h'ra, pogostemon erectus, s repens, dwarf hair grass, crypt balansae, hygrophila pinnatifida and some others) I will have a clay base with aquasoil at the back held in place with some rocks and the front of the tank I have some 1-2mm sand/gravel that will have the hairgrass carpet. So bare bottom isn't an option for me lol.
I didn't mention my filtration but I have 2x eheim classic 250 canister filters from old tanks so I am able to use both of them.

If 3x 50% water changes per week and feeding 4/5 times a day is the way they are kept then I'm going to scrap it and choose other fish. I suppose I could manage waterchanges twice per week and feeding 3x per day but not more than this.
I kept rams in the past and loved them so I Might go with 4-6 of them with rummynose, cardinals and cherry barbs.

I love angelfish too but my girlfriend hates their "long whispy" ventral fins :(. So it's looking mostly like a small fish only tank for now.
Yeah probably better to switch then. They're a lot of work and sometimes I'd love to go back to less finicky fish.

Rams and the tetras would like great with the plants you're planning on using.
 

86 ssinit

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Glad you asked first :). Have you been keeping plants for a long time? Do you plan on using co2? Plants are great to have and I enjoy my tanks. What type of lighting will you be using?
 
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Hazzy

Hazzy

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86 ssinit said:
Glad you asked first :). Have you been keeping plants for a long time? Do you plan on using co2? Plants are great to have and I enjoy my tanks. What type of lighting will you be using?
I've been keeping planted tanks for 5 years now and I'll never go back. They look much more natural and appealing. And yes I'll be using DIY co2 yeast/sugar in 2 litre bottle to keep costs down and may upgrade to a proper co2 system down the line.
Lighting I'll be using are 2x T5 bulbs. :) shame about the discus though, I really do like them.
 

Lswims11

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Hazzy said:
Hi, so I recently bought a 50 gallon tank (200litres) Id like to keep 4 discus with a school of tetras (cardinal or rummys) and a pair of rams, but there are a couple of things I'd like some help with.

1) ideally I only want to be doing a water change once per week. (I don't mind how big, but just the one)
2) Also I love to aquascape and I have aquasoil, wood and alot of plants ready for the tank. Will the plants be okay at higher temps and what's the lowest temperature discus can live comfortably at?

I would have gone for just 2 discus, but from what I've read they like to be in groups and because my tank is on the smaller side for them I think 4 seems like a good number.
Any discus keepers think this sort of set up would work? Thanks.

Recap (4 discus, rummy or cardinal tetras(12?) and 2 German blue rams)
You should keep at least six in my opinion. I was also going to try this. A 55 or larger is best. Good luck!
 

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