Plants for a discus tank???

cc_woman

Junior Poster
Apr 7, 2008
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I have some trouble finding plants I like to go in my discus tank. Problem mostly is the higher temps, and seems most plants end up dying off or barely hanging on with my experiments. My temps I keep at around 86 degrees, which is quite warm, and sometimes have to turn the temps up to 88 degrees.

Right now I have some anubias nana (doing well), egeria densa (also doing well), Egleria fluctuans which doesn't seem to thrive, some hygrophyla corymbosa "angustifolia" which is thriving, some cryptocorne wendtii which is growing very slowly, an amazon sword that is doing well, and I am trying some tiger vals out which are just dying off. I have tried many other plants like giant leaf hygro, rotala rotundifolia, ludwigia repens, dwarf riccia, and a few others that never do well at all. Problem is I don't want all my tanks to have the same plants in them, and some of the plants I am using I don't really prefer to have in this particular tank.

I dose by the EI that you (Tom Barr) wrote, it is a 90 gallon tank with a 48" hagen glo double T5HO 54watt (108 watts altogether), and I also dose with CO2 (just DIY right now). The substrate is seachem fluorite black sand. It just seems the plants that are mostly thriving, are not plants I really want to keep in there. What other options do I have?

I really want to go for some nice foreground plants, then some taller plants for the background. The egeria densa seems get all entangled in other plants which I hate, but it is one plant that is doing really well in my tank.
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
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Hi,

I think your current and bigger long term issue is most likely c02. DIY c02 is difficult to produce stable and sufficient quantities for the plants. Plus, as the
bio-mass of the plants increase, they will need MORE c02. Have you been increasing the amount as the plants grow in?

I have temps in the 84-86F range and I have the following plants (foreground are indicated) doing very well using pressurized c02. EI, black flourite, and MH lighting:

Ludwigia Inclinate var Cuba
Limnophila Aromatica
Pogostemon Stellata
Riccia (foreground)
Lobelia Cardinalis (foreground)
Glosso (foreground)
Anubias Barteri
Anubias Nana (foreground)
Java Fern
Hygrophila Difformis (wisteria)
Hygrophila Angustofolia
Amazon chain sword (foreground)

I have also had numerous other stem plant species with no issues.

Egeria however and some of the vals are more temperate over their range and some do require much lower temps.

IME and IMO many plants will adapt well to temperature if all other requirements are met for that species. Which is somewhat supported by your egeria doing well
in much higher temps.

The second thing is light. Growth of plants and nutrient update are driven by the amount of available light. I am thinking you may be a little underpowered for your GOALS in this regard. You may want to research a 4 tube fixture with separate switches so you can control the amount of light.

However, this will cause more issue with c02 deficiencies, so look at c02 long term first.

Hope this helps.
 

rich815

Guru Class Expert
Jun 26, 2008
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Albany, California
>>>>,,,,,,,and sometimes have to turn the temps up to 88 degrees.

Why? The discus? I've been reading other posts saying they are fine at about 83 or so.
 

cc_woman

Junior Poster
Apr 7, 2008
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rich815;31271 said:
>>>>,,,,,,,and sometimes have to turn the temps up to 88 degrees.

Why? The discus? I've been reading other posts saying they are fine at about 83 or so.

If discus get sick, or stressed and start to not eat or something, it is good to do large frequent water changes as well as raising the temps up to 86-88 degrees. So keeping in mind I might have to sometimes raise the temps to this, since I have a couple of really picky discus that seem to get stressed over the littlest things. If however they are healthy and there is nothing wrong with them, then 83-84 would be fine. I am just going by in case I have to raise them to those levels, and don't want the plants to suffer.

I don't have the tank heavily planted right now. Basically just a few smaller plants and the egeria and hygro are larger. For CO2 I have a 4L bottle being diffused by hagen bubble ladder, and I also have the red sea yeast CO2 system (with the power head attachment). I change the mixture often enough it produces constant flow of CO2. I also dose a little bit with excel, to give the extra carbon.
Since the tank isn't yet heavily planted I haven't invested in pressurized yet.

For filtration I have an eheim 2250 canister, so I don't have too much CO2 loss due to the filtration. I under dose with the EI by a bit right now since it's not heavily planted either, but follow what ferts and when I need to dose them.

Problem is the tank is a fluval osaka open top tank, and the lighting hangs from a bar attached to the tank, it doesn't just sit on top. With an open top tank it makes it difficult to use light fixtures that just sit on top. What if I were to add another 48" T5HO fixture like another glo, or a coralife? The fixture will have to have a plastic or glass cover to protect the ballast and bulb from moisture, to prevent corrosion (or me getting electricuted lol)
 

nelumbo74

Junior Poster
Jul 10, 2008
25
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Atlanta, Georgia
It is true. Discus are very, very susceptible to ich under 85-86 degrees. However, I don't understand the frequent water changes. I think frequent water changes would be even more stressful for an already stressed fish. If you have modern hybrids, a weekly water change of 1/3 of the water is more than sufficient. Mine thrive for years at a time with one weekly water change, and the temp around 85-86. I also grow whatever plants I like, but I do have pressurized CO2, so I think that is your issue. I have even had temps up to 87-88, and have not lost plants.
 

nelumbo74

Junior Poster
Jul 10, 2008
25
0
1
Atlanta, Georgia
cc_woman;31265 said:
I dose by the EI that you (Tom Barr) wrote, it is a 90 gallon tank with a 48" hagen glo double T5HO 54watt (108 watts altogether), and I also dose with CO2 (just DIY right now). The substrate is seachem fluorite black sand. It just seems the plants that are mostly thriving, are not plants I really want to keep in there. What other options do I have?

This actually could be a case of not enough light in addition to not enough CO2. This is only 1.2 wpg.
 

Panda

Guru Class Expert
Jun 14, 2008
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Puerto Rico
cc_woman is right in some part.
I have a discus tank and some plants are not just meant for warm water, IMO.
Sometimes I had to take out some plants and use them on other cooler water tanks and I do have plenty of CO2.

For now, you should work on the CO2 set up and lights
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
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Jan 24, 2005
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nelumbo74;31292 said:
This actually could be a case of not enough light in addition to not enough CO2. This is only 1.2 wpg.
The only problem the lower watts per gallon might cause, if it is a problem, is slower plant growth. If you have good CO2 concentration all over the tank with good water circulation, that is enough light, using T5HO bulbs.