Fishes

JadeButterfly

Guru Class Expert
Jan 23, 2005
115
0
16
Hey guys.

I know we've been concentrating on plants lately...but I wanted to bring up this topic since fish is also nice to have along with our aquascape...

I already have a school of rummynose and a pair of apisto doing well in my tank while dosing EI...

but I have always wanted some nice fish like discus or angelfish...

according to EI...the level of my nitrate should be too much for them...how can I manage to keep these fishes along with my high level of nitrate...?

and according to breeders, 50% water change/week is too little.

how can i make EI work well with these fishes?

thanks...!
 

Gill Man

Prolific Poster
Feb 10, 2005
48
0
6
59
San Francisco
Re: Fishes

Not sure about nitrates. 10-20ppm doesn't sound that high to me. I believe that when experts or breeders talk about high nitrates, they assume that having high nitrates is a result of poor aquarium maintenance, which leads to hole-in-head and such. When they say high, how high? If you're gonna breed, then you would probably do it (keep the youngin's) in a seperate tank, anyway.

I have a question regarding cardinal tetras, which I see in many EI dosed tanks. I've read that these tetras can't be in calcium-rich waters for very long as their kidneys get blocked. They're supposed to have a light phobia as well, but I see tanks with bright lights with discus and cardinals swimming 'happily' to and fro under these conditions. Just some passing thoughts as I think about combining two tank (inhabitants) into one as I move towards upgrading my 125G to a 225G or larger tank in the relatively near future.
 

JadeButterfly

Guru Class Expert
Jan 23, 2005
115
0
16
Re: Fishes

I've always wanted to get some discus into my tank.

but I've contacted a couple breeders...and they have been always keeping them in low nitrate (i think max 10ppm)...and 50% w/c daily..

I'm not trying to breed them or anything...but not sure if it can adapt to my tank...
 

Laith

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
182
0
16
Geneva, Switzerland
Re: Fishes

Remember that many breeders are keeping their discus in bare bottom tanks. So no plants to suck up any NO3. Therefore 50% daily water changes.

I have discus in a 200l heavily planted IE method tank. My Nitrates hover around 15 and discus are very healthy (as are my cardinal tetras with a GH of about 10).

I think Nitrates are an issue for Discus when they get up past the 40mg/l mark and perhaps even higher. In a bare bottom tank with many discus (messy fish!) that level is quickly reached: not in a healthy planted tank with reasonable discus stocking (about 1 discus per 50 l).
 

GreenStuff

Prolific Poster
Feb 11, 2005
62
0
6
Canada
Re: Fishes

There's a very good article at the Tropica.com website.
http://www.tropica.com/default.asp
You'll have to click on the Aquaristic link at the top and then Aquaristic again on the next page. They have a selection of articles. The one on Success with planted Discus aquaria has two parts and covers a lot of "need to know" information.
 

Greg Watson

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
5,023
3
38
United States
Re: Fishes

JadeButterfly said:
I've always wanted to get some discus into my tank.

but I've contacted a couple breeders...and they have been always keeping them in low nitrate (i think max 10ppm)...and 50% w/c daily..

I'm not trying to breed them or anything...but not sure if it can adapt to my tank...

I kept show discus in my 180 gallon aquarium for years ... fed them a heafty raw beef heart diet ... the food waste and fish waste kept my nitrate levels routinely in excess of 20-30 ppm ... with an automated 15% daily water change ... with untreated tap water at a GH/KH of 10-12 ...

My normal routine was to do a 70% water change on Monday mornings ... My 180 gallon was plumbed then to turn a valve on which would drain the tank, turn a different valve on to fill the tank ...

So ... my Discus adapted quite well to high nitrates and hard water ... and grew very rapidly (of course I fed them like pigs) ...

Greg
 

underground

Junior Poster
Feb 17, 2005
17
0
1
Re: Fishes

Hi all, sorry to interrupt, but as a newcomer to plated aquaria, and having seen the term a few times in these forums, what does 'EI' mean?

Thanks.... :confused:
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
751
113
Re: Fishes

JadeButterfly said:
I've always wanted to get some discus into my tank.

but I've contacted a couple breeders...and they have been always keeping them in low nitrate (i think max 10ppm)...and 50% w/c daily..

I'm not trying to breed them or anything...but not sure if it can adapt to my tank...

You should forgive the Discus people, for they knoweth not what they say....

I've bred Discus in several of my tanks, I did not try, they just did their thing and kept on for a few months.

The issue is water quality, NO3 build up for over feeding and NH4=> NO2=>NO3 and no NO3 removal by plants, organic waste build up is quite another matter.

O2 levels are higher in planted tanks for 50-100% of the time than anything they can hope to achieve using filters or aeration.

The cover available for the fish is also much denser, they can hide if they want or go roaming around.

If you want to do more frequent larger water changes, some do 50% 2x a week, some use autochanges, some do every other day etc.

50-60% weekly seems to do the trick for me.
12-14 discus and other fishes in a 120 gal well fed worked well at 2w/gal+ CO2 etc.

If they fish are old, healthy, good sized and happy and breeding...........perhaps the anal Discus folks would be happier with a bit plant fiber.

You could say the same of CO2 and Discus, Temp for plants, etc.

My fish bred without using live parasite laden worms(You can add medications to the worms prior to feeding them), good frozen food and live brine, temp was 82 F, high light(4w/gal), lots of plants, NO3 15ppm or higher, PO4 1.2 ppm, traces high, GH 9 , KH 5.5, weekly 60% water changes.
I bred Blue diamonds regularly.

So I suppose if it is bad, cannot be done, whatever claims they might make....why did they bred and were so healthy and grew fast?

I've kept fish for over 30 years now......they are big old cichlids, they are not wimpy sensitive fish, that's a myth. If you want to farm the fish and raise them only(Max size and max growth rate), then you can do the frequent water changes, bare bottom tanks and stuff them with as much worms as you want.

Those tanks will never win any aquascape competitions.
The fish, if they are very lucky, might.

AF cichlids do well in planted tanks as well. You can adjust things a little each way and meet in the middle , plants are able to live in a wide range of parameters, the fish are fine in planted tanks.

Most brereder are into producing as much and as large as fish as possible, that is not the goal of many that buy them.
We have several big name breeders here in SF bay area, I know them.
Bing Seto and Dick Au both are local here, I talked a long time to several folks, Dick in particular and another gal, many years ago.

I am not a big Discus fan personally, but I do like Altum angels and have kept those numerous ocassions, no breeding yet:)

I would say they are more fragile than any Discus.
They do quite well in my tanks.

My Discus never had any disease ever. Same for any of my fish in planted tanks............Ask them if they can say the same without lying.

Regards,
Tom Barr







Happy plants = happy fish.
 

JadeButterfly

Guru Class Expert
Jan 23, 2005
115
0
16
Re: Fishes

thanks all.

I have more confident in myself now...and will probably get myself 1 or 2 Discus for my tank

btw: does anyone have any recommendation how to acclimate the discus properly into the tank?