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discus in 40g EI tank

Discussion in 'Fish for Planted Tanks' started by cazandchris, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. cazandchris

    cazandchris Subscriber

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    Hi there
    I have a few queries!!!

    Have been succesfully doing EI now for 4 months and am interested in starting out some discus in my 40g tank.Tank is densely planted and looks great...
    1. Is 40g too small for any number of dicus?
    2. Would I continue to do 50% w/c?
    3. Is 26degrees c ok or not....
    any toughts would be appreciated

    cheers
    chris
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat Prolific Poster

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    From what I have read a 40 is to small for any discus. Double that volume and you can have some. I think you should read some forums about discus or maybe a discus keeper will chime in and give a more insightful response.

    From my understanding discus require a lot of water changes with water low in TDS and higher temps. Extra work..... lot of it i think.

    Maybe you could consider pearl gouramis or something different for a bigger species?
     
  3. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    cazandchris I am a newbie to discus and planted tanks, but I have kept cichlids and some other tropical fish for several years now. I have a 46 gallon bowfront tank, and I have had my FOUR discus since March of this year...not to long, I know, but so far, so good. They didnt go into my display tank until May. I just starting doing EI, and the 50% weekly water changes, about 3 weeks ago. I was actually thinking I may do like 30% twice a week, like I used to....they do create a good bio load. What Ive read is 1 adult discus per 10gallons(40L) and they like highly oxygenated water

    I have my tank set at 84F (28-29C)....when they are younger, the higher temps are more important, and you will have to feed more often, due to higher motabolism, and do more water changes cause of this, but once they get older, you can back off the temp, and the amount of feeds per day. When I first got them, I kept them in a 20gal. bare bottom and fed them up, and actually had the temp in that tank at about 87F (30+C)

    Maybe if you have room, try to get your feel for them in a bare bottom tank first, before putting them in your planted tank. Then when they get bigger, you can upgrade to a bigger tank....thats my plan;)

    I am a member of Discus Forums :: Index

    Take a read there, and see what info you can gather....discus are beautiful fish, and they have a great personality

    Hopefully someone else will chime in and give their opinions, and correct me if Im wrong with any of my advice....again, Im a newbie to these fish, so take any advice you can from me with a grain of salt...hahahaha

    Good luck:)
    Eric
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Try 40-50% 2x a week water changes.

    This works very well with EI and discus(or any fish! But is more work).
    Add about 60% of the EI dosing due to the large bioload.
    This assumes higher feeding and fuller sized fish.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks Tom,

    Does that mean if Im following Greg Watson's suggested EI dosing regime for a 40-60 gallon tank, using:

    40-60 Gallon Aquariums
    +/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
    +/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    +/- 3/4 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
    +/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
    50% weekly water change

    I should cut all those measurements down by 60%?

    Ive been trying to grow my plants, and havent bee that successful so far, and I think this may help

    Thanks for the input about the 2x/week water change schedule...I will do that from now on....or as close to it as I can

    Eric
     
  6. cazandchris

    cazandchris Subscriber

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    thanks for the help. Assuming I do 50% w/c 2x weekly. I'm guessing I should limit numbers to say 5 discus at the most.
    cheers
    chris
     
  7. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    Well discus are considered "schooling fish" so in that aspect, the more the merrier, but four is a good number, and from what Ive read on the other forum I told you about, four is the least you should go with.

    What other tankmates are you planning to keep in the 40 gallon, with 5 discus? They really dont like nitrates much over 20, so you may end up having to do more water changes then 50% 2x/week with 5 discus

    Good Luck
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not think it's the NO3's they do not like, rather, the NH4 that it starts off as.

    If you add KNO3, they do not mind it. at 30ppm for long periods.
    They bred for me at those levels(20-40ppm range).

    But NH4 and feeding was closely watched.
    Large water changes removes a lot of the NH4 directly.

    That's why they do dailt water changes at the hatchery, not so much for NO3 which is pretty non toxic compared to NH4 which is extremely toxic, especially to fry.

    Keep in mind what the Nitrogen starts off as and the end product.
    If the NO3 builds, then you can remove it via a water change, but every mole of NO3 starts off as NH4 if it's from fish waste!!!

    So 30ppm of NO3 via fish waste means 30ppm of NH4 for each week of build up!!!
    Even if it's added at low levels, and converted quick.........that's a lot of stress.

    Think about that for a bit and see if you think NO3 is the same via KNO3 vs fish waste. Read the reseach done on the aquatic toxicology for NO3 vs NH4 and NO2.

    Also, the O2 levels will decline as the NH4 is converted, KNO3 has only a positive O2 effect due to plant growth.

    Plants have a limited capacity to assimilate NH4. They are very good at it otherwise, but if you exceed their ability to sequestered it, then you end up with algae if you have enough.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks Tom, I have read so many conflicting reports about the nitrates and there levels with discus, before coming here.

    I have to admit I am good for overfeeding, and Im still working on it.

    I guess I was always under the impression that once the filter is established the only thing left to watch is the NO3. I know NO3 is the least toxic out of the NH4, NO2, and NO3.

    My tank usually reads 20-40ppm of NO3, and I always felt the plants didnt use the nitrogen properly...so I guess I really need to watch my feeding from now on

    Sorry cazandchris if I gave bad advice....Im now going to do 40% 2x/week WC's

    Thanks for the info Tom.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I ttypical systems, NO3 is a good indicator, but when we dose KNO3 and have plants, that changes the rules.

    No one adds KNO3 for the fish alone without plants after all:D

    Yes, they school and behave far far better the more of them there are.
    Smaller tanks, fewer fish?
    The runts will get picked on and hen pecked.

    That influences behavior, stuff like that makes behavior determination based on CO2, NO3 or other things far more diffilcult because the fish often are stressed or have poor diets etc.

    When folks can grow a huge mongo Discus and have plants, then we can talk;)

    As that falsifies such claims...........

    [​IMG]
     
  11. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    A 40 gallon tank, for discus? I'm pretty sure I have been reading here and other places that discus need more room than that. Also, they need to be in larger groups for social reasons, and 40 gallons is far short of big enough for a school of discus, except perhaps as very young fish. What am I missing here? I gave up the idea of discus in my 45 gallon tank just because of that reasoning.
     
  12. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    Is there a thread anywhere on this site about how to "sterilize" an old reef tank and get it ready for a planted freshwater tank?

    There is a 75 gallon old reef tank at work, and the guys said I could have the tank, stand, and light fixture for free!!

    The tank has been out of commission for quite some time now, but still has pink, purple, and white crusty stuff all over the glass. It has a leak too, but one guy said he will re-caulk it for me.

    Thanks very much
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    All I did to clean my ex-reef tank was wash it out with lots of water and a sponge. I did have to scrape a few minor places, but mostly the salt deposits just dissolve off. I rinsed it a few times with more water, and that was it. Even if it takes you a few hours to wash it out the price is still as good as it gets! Just don't forget that you will still have to buy lots of other stuff before this becomes a planted tank.
     
  14. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks VaughnH....I was hoping everything I had and use now would be ok to use in the 75? I wasnt going to keep the 46 after I made the switch, so pretty much everything in my signature would go on the 75.

    Your thoughts?

    If I should start a new thread...I will?

    Thanks again
    Eric
     
  15. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Since you can just switch equipment to the larger tank you really do have a bargain! I don't see where there would be a problem, the filters are certainly big enough. You might need a different CO2 reactor system, but everything else should work fine.

    A new thread would have been better, but I don't see any harm done.
     
  16. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks very much VaughnH
     
  17. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    Vinegar will help remove calcium deposits...bleach works for sterilizing. Using dechlorinator on your final rinsing should eliminate any bleach residue. Or just let iet dry out good and any leftovers will evaporate.
     
  18. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

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    Tom,
    Was that discus raised in that tank? ITS HUGE!!!!
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No,

    The owner is bad about feeding fish in that tank, he simply does not have the time to really feed them to get them that size. In smaller tanks and when he's not insanely busy, then he does okay, 2x a day feeding, but the best growth comes in large bare bottom tanks at 4-8X a day feeding.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    Without Discus in my planted tank, I would do a 50% WC on a Sunday. Then finally adding KNO3 and KH2PO4, CaSO4 and MgSO4.

    Now, you are recommending to do twice 50% WC weekly. Suppose I opted to do the 2nd WC on Thursday. Then I will as usual add KNO3 and KH2PO4. Am I right to say that I should also add in the CaSO4 and MgSO4 ?
     
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