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Roy's 30 Gallon Red Spot Green Discus F1

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Seattle_Aquarist, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    Last weekend I tore down my 30 gallon to make room for a new species (for me). The this will be the first time I have kept the species and from doing some reading, research, and talking with the breeder I am doing a set-up I have not done before.

    2020/07/19

    Here is my old (15+ years) 30 gallon tank (36"X12.5"X16.75" high). Note the scratches on the glass showing years of use! Thank goodness most of those scratches disappear when water is added.
    [​IMG]

    After cleaning the heater and canister filter I added four (4) Osmocote Plus "00" root tabs. Based upon my experience with the 45 gallon which showed residual ammonia for about 2 months when I used one root tab per 2 gallons I decided to go stingy this time. There will be some species of plants in this tank but the fish will be the primary consideration.
    [​IMG]

    I covered the four tabs with a handful of sand substrate to keep them from shifting and added the rest of the sand substrate.
    [​IMG]

    This is the first time I have used sand as a substrate in a tank and I went with HTH Pool Filter sand which is made from crushed quartz, contains no shells to effect water hardness, and is definitely white! I am not a fan of white substrates because they can show all the detritus and other stuff but I want to keep this tank clean and pristine as possible.
    [​IMG]

    I put in a total of 50# of sand which is one bag. It cost me $9 including tax. This gave me sufficient for 2-1/2 inches in the back of the tank sloping to 1.5 inches in the front of the tank; an average depth of 2 inches. I did not wash or rinse the sand first, it went straight from the bag into the tank.
    [​IMG]


    2020/07/20
    Next come the filling. I could have done the three (3) gallon bucket and made eight or nine trips up and down the stairs but I chose to use my weekly water change hose instead. I put down wax paper and a dinner plate to minimize disturbing the substrate during filling and added the water slowly.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is how it looked when filled before turning on the filter.
    [​IMG]

    I set the heater for 83 degrees and took some tap water readings for a benchmark, then called it a day.

    Tap Water
    pH = 7.0 (degassed 24 hrs)
    dKH = 2.0
    dGH = 3.0
    Ca = 20 ppm
    Mg = 0.9 ppm
    NH3 = 0.00
    NO2 = 0.00
    NO3 = 0.00

    And here is the equipment list:
    Aqueon 30 gallon aquarium
    Aqueon glass top
    Fluval 2.0 LED fixture (36"-48")
    Marineland C-220 canister filter (two sponges; filter floss; bio-balls X2 trays; Purigen)
    50# HTH Pool Filter Sand (crushed quartz) 2-1/2” back / 1-1/2” front
    Osmocote Plus root tabs ( 4 each “00” size)
    Inline CO2 diffuser
    Fluval CO2 drop checker with 4.0 dKH indicator solution
     
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  2. sarpijk

    sarpijk New Member

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    Nicely presented Roy! What species are you keeping? Sth from South America I believe?
     
  3. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi @sarpijk , the species will be revealed shortly.


    Hi All,

    2020/07/20
    The tank is currently at 85 degrees and the water had started to clear. The drop checker is medium green and with 4.0 dKH indicator solution that means I should have about 30 ppm of CO2.

    I decided to add a few plants that came out of the previous 30 gallon set-up. I added two pieces of Malaysian driftwood to the tank. One piece had an established thicket of Microsorum pteropus 'Windelov' and the other had a not fully established thicket of Microsorum pteropus 'Trident'. I also added 17 plants of Eriocaulon sp. 'Vietnam' to the center area. How are these plants going to do in 85 degree temperatures? I guess we will find out!

    30 gallon 24 hours after filling
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    2020/07/24
    So with a temperature of 85 degrees this is definitely a warm water tank. Did you ever wonder what species would do well at a temperature in the mid-80's? How about with high temperatures and very, very lean dosing of nutrients? I did so I grabbed a bunch of plants from my emersed plant bank and one species from another tank and planted them along the back of the 30 gallon. This is what they looked like when I planted them.
    [​IMG]

    All of the plants are cuttings without roots, so what did I plant?

    1) Persicaria sp. 'Kawagoeanum' (from stems growing submerged in another tank)
    2) Myriophyllum sp. 'Guyana' (cuttings from emersed growth in plant bank)
    3) Hygrophila serpyllum (cuttings from emersed growth in plant bank)
    4) Oldenlandia salzmannii (cuttings from emersed growth in plant bank)
    5) Limnophila rugosa (cuttings from emersed growth in plant bank)
    6) Ludwigia sp 'Red' (cuttings from emersed growth in plant bank)

    I am curious to see what species can adapt to the 85 degree temperature and which ones will not. The light level measured at the substrate (through an Aqueon Versatop) is PAR@50 measured with an Apogee MQ-510 PAR Meter.

    Here is one of the shelves of my 'plant bank', just a bunch of species I grow emersed because I don't have enough tanks to grow them submerged. Many are 'uncommon' (i.e. not common in a LFS) and not always available on the forums.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    2020-07-25
    When I started the tank I seeded the Marineland C-220 filter with some detritus from one of my HOB filters on another tank to kick-start the nitrogen cycle. Today I added a couple more plant species and three (3) fish to ensure the nitrogen cycle starts and maintains well. I added an Otocinclus, a Siamese Algae Eater (aka SAE / Crossocheilus oblongus), and a 'runt of the litter' Corydoras aeneus. The Otocinclus will eat any diatoms which seems to be fairly common with out soft water. The SAE will eat any hair algae that seems to show up in my tanks during the ammonia portion of the nitrogen cycle, and the Corydoras will stir up any detritus so the canister filter can remove it. If they get hungry I'll add 1/4 of an algae wafer just before lights out.

    SAE and Corydoras
    [​IMG]

    I checked the PAR level today, with the water clearing even more the light intensity is PAR@48. I am running the Fluval 3.0 on a split photoperiod of 09:00 - 11:00 and 19:00 - 21:30 for a total of 4 -1/2 hours of light per day.

    I also added a Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green Gecko' from the previous 30 gallon set-up and some Bacopa colorata from my emersed plant bank.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    2020-07-30

    Well it has been a week since the last update. The fish are doing fine as are the plants. The tanks is clear and the PAR level increased to PAR@50 now that the cloudiness is gone. I did a 33% water change this week, dosed 4.5 ml of Seachem Comprehensive twice and glutaradehyde (Excel strength) Initial Dose (4 tsp) once. The water parameters after the water change were:
    pH = 7.6
    dKH = 2.0
    dGH = 2.0
    Ca = 15 ppm
    Mg = 0 ppm
    NH3 = 0.25 ppm
    NO2 = 0.0 ppm
    NO3 = 0.0 - 5.0 ppm

    I don't know why my pH climbed this week, my CO2 is actually higher (about 40 ppm) is it possible the HTH sand is not totally inert? I added 2.0 ml of Muriatic Acid to the tank and that dropped the pH to 6.4 after 24 hours. I will monitor the pH for the next couple of weeks and see if it creeps back up. The fish didn't show any signs of distress.

    It looks like the species fish will be arriving soon. In the meantime the plants seem to have settled in fine. The Persicaria sp. 'Kawagoeanum' has a couple of new leaves showing good color. The Myriophyllum sp. 'Guyana' seems to be a slow grower but there is one new leaf and it seems to be larger than the emersed grown leaves. I added some Eleocharis sp (possibly robbinsii?) to the tank that was growing submerged in my 75 gallon and I trimmed down. The other emersed grown stems I added a week or so ago are also showing new growth and looking healthy. The Ludwigia sp. 'Red' isn't showing any red coloration but with PAR@50 it may not show color until it gets very near the surface (if at all).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    2020-08-03
    I know it is not time for my weekly update on how the tank is progressing however the species arrived yesterday afternoon with a few friends. I drip acclimated them for about an hour, waited an additional 1/2 hour, and the introduced them into the tank. They even brought some friends with them that they grew up with, three (3) Corydoras sterbai. For the first couple of hours they huddled together in a corner and then they started to explore the tank. I lightly fed them some frozen bloodworms about an hour before 'lights out' and they all seemed to eat.

    Today they are much more active and bravely exploring the tank so I grabbed this picture. I know that the 30 gallon is just temporary for these seven fish and in the future they will become the inhabitants of my 75 gallon. -Roy
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    2020-08-03
    Here they are eating their third (3rd) cube of FB Tubifex Worms!
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    Well the discus have settled in for a week now and so far no surprises or issues. My only concern is that these guys may eat me out of house and home!

     
  10. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    Here is what has been happening in the tank since I added the discus.

    This last week I increased the PAR from PAR@20 to PAR@40 on Tuesday and then on Saturday I increased it from PAR@40 to PAR@70 (all measured at the substrate level).
    I did a 50% water change yesterday making sure to match within 5 degrees the new water with the tank water. I added 3/8 tsp CaSO4 (3 ppm Ca / 0.4 dGH); 3/16 tsp MgSO4 (1.04 ppm Mg / 0.25 dGH); 3/16 tsp K2SO4 (7.5 ppm K)

    The water parameters today are:
    pH = 7,2
    dKH = 2.0
    dGH = 4.0
    NH3 = 0.25 ppm
    NO2 = 0.25 ppm
    NO3 = 10 ppm

    The ammonia level remains stable and I attribute the not before seen levels of nitrite and nitrates to the addition of the discus and the large amounts of food they consume. I will likely do a second water change on Friday and check the water parameters again.

    Here is an overall view of the 30 gallon
    [​IMG]

    The Trident Java Fern (Microsporum pteropus 'Trident') is doing well and looking good. The Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green Gecko' has put out more leaves in the last couple of weeks than it did in the previous 3 months, I think the substrate feeding is having a positive effect.
    [​IMG]

    Here is an overall view of the center of the tank. The Eriocaulon sp 'Vietnam' is growing although slowly with no signs of algae on the leaves. In fact, I haven't seen any algae whatsoever on the glass or plants since they were planted.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a shot of some of the plants I am experimenting with along the back glass. These all come from my emersed plant bank and were planted July 30th so they have been in place about 11 days. This picture shows the Myriophyllum 'Mini' and the Bacopa colorata. Note the top leaves are noticeably larger on the 'Mini' compared with the lower leaves that were grown emersed. The same is true of the B. colorata but it is difficult to see in the picture. Also notice the top leaves are starting to show some pinkish coloration.
    [​IMG]

    The Limnophila rugosa has put out several new leaves and is starting to look 'bushy'. The Ludwigia sp 'Red' has gone crazy (arrow) it must have 10 new nodes and the new submerged leaves are 5X the size of the emersed leaves. The leaves are green likely due to the low PAR level I have been using but the stems are growing toward the top and with the higher PAR I would expect to start seeing some normal color.
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    Time for another weekly installment!

    2020/08/13

    Today I did a 6 gallon water change on the tank.

    2020/08/16

    I took ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings again today, they were:
    NH3 = 0.25 ppm
    NO2 = 0.00 ppm
    NO3 = 10 - 20 ppm

    2020/08/17

    Today is water change day. I changed 50% of the water in the tank (approximately 12 gallons) and did a light vacuum of the substrate in the front to remove detritus and the top layer of sand was looking a little dingy. I added 3/8 tsp of CaSO4 for 3 ppm of calcium, 3/16 tsp of MgSO4 for 1.0 ppm of Mg, and 3/16 tsp of K2SO4 for 7.5 ppm of potassium. I also added 15 ml of Excel/glutaraldehyde for carbon molecules. The fish all ate well about an hour afterwards on San Francisco Bay Brand freeze dried tubifex worms (FDTW). I took some pictures of the tank as well, here they are:

    The full view
    [​IMG]

    The C. wendtii 'Green Gecko' added another leaf this week. The 'Trident' is doing well
    [​IMG]

    The Persicaria sp. 'Kawagoeanum' is not doing well, the leaves are small and not well formed and the growth has slowed. On the other hand the Myriophyllum sp. 'Guyana' continues to grow well with about 4 nodes (1") of new leaves.
    [​IMG]

    Another shot of the Red Spot Green Discus (RSGD), they are almost always schooling
    [​IMG]

    Not much noteworthy on the rest of the plants other than the three small sprigs of Ludwigia arcuata are showing new submerged growth and the Limnophila rugosa is branching at the bottom.
    [​IMG]

    Lastly, the Ludwigia sp. 'Red' continues to grow quickly, however PAR@75 at the substrate and PAR@120 at the tip of the tall stem is not yet creating red coloration, however the stem is starting to branch.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    2020-08-21

    Today I did a six (6) gallon water change. The tank has a water volume of 24 gallons so 25%. Here are the water parameters after the water change:
    pH = 6.8
    dKH = 2.0
    dGH = 3.0
    NH3 = 0.0 ppm
    NO2 = 0.0 ppm
    NO3 = 5.0 ppm

    I did a light gravel vac in the front again, added 3/8 tsp of CaSO4 for 3 ppm of calcium, 3/8 tsp of MgSO4 for 2.0 ppm of Mg, and 3/16 tsp of K2SO4 for 7.5 ppm of potassium. Why did I dose those nutrients? I noticed the deformed new leaves of the Bacopa colorata which is likely insufficient calcium. I also noticed the necrosis occurring in the older leaves of the Eriocaulon 'Vietnam; likely insufficient potassium or magnesium. Lastly the Limnophila rugosa was showing interveinal chlorosis on the older leaves indicating insufficient magnesium and the older leaves of the Bacopa colorata have their leaf margins curling (under in this case) also indicating a need for more magnesium.

    [​IMG]

    Eriocaulon 'Vietnam' showing necrosis of older leaves
    [​IMG]

    Bacopa colorata showing #1 deformed new leaves emerging and #2 curled under leaf margins
    [​IMG]

    Limnophila rugosa showing interveinal chlorosis (dark leaf veins with lighter areas in between (sorry a little blurry)
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    2020-08-24

    Monday and today is water change day for all my tanks! I have also been doing water changes on Thursday or Fridays as well however based on input on another forum I will likely increase the frequency. Today the tank got a little over 50% water change.

    This last week the fish seem more acclimated. They are no longer staying in a tight school most of the time as they were the first week or so. Instead they are exploring and foraging more individually. All the discus are eating well (and continuously) and I've upped my food budget for the hobby.

    I have received a lot of feedback on the forums where I have been posting this thread that "you can't raise discus in a planted tank" or "you can't keep discus in a planted tank, when you see pictures of discus in planted tanks they are only there for the photo and then returned to a bare tank". I honestly don't know if those individuals are sharing information based their own personal experiences or if just repeating something they have heard or read. In either case I propose to continue with this set-up unless the fish show signs of distress and/or I have trouble maintaining good water quality. Again, good fish growth and healthy fish are the primary concern....not the plants.

    After the water change the water parameters in the tank were:
    pH = 7.2
    dKH = 2.0
    dGH = 3.0
    NH3 = 0.0 ppm
    NO2 = 0.0 ppm
    NO3 = 5.0 ppm

    Other than the slight increase in pH which I attribute to the increased volume of the water change the parameters remain the same. After the water change I added 3/8 teaspoon of CaSO4 for 3 ppm of Ca; 3/16 teaspoon of MgSO4 for 1.0 ppm of Mg; and 3/16 teaspoon of K2SO4 for 7.5 ppm of K. I also did my weekly 15 ml of glutaraldehyde / Excel.

    It's been almost exactly a month since I first added plants to the tanks and some are showing a strong ability to adapt to the low nutrient environment and some are not. Here are some pictures I took today.

    Here is the obligatory full tank shot
    [​IMG]

    The 'Trident' java fern and Cryptocoryne 'Green Gecko' are doing fine
    [​IMG]

    The Persicaria sp. 'Kawagoeanum' (left rear) is not liking the conditions; the Eriocaulon 'Vietnam' are just sitting there
    [​IMG]

    The Myriophyllum sp. 'Guyana' is doing fine with a couple of inches of new growth; I'm unsure if the Bacopa colorata will adapt or not; and the small Eleocharis (hairgrass) plants are starting to put out runners
    [​IMG]

    The Oldenlandia salzmannii is adapting well (left), as are the few sprigs of Ludwigia arcuata however the Limnophila rugosa is not doing much
    [​IMG]

    The Ludwigia sp 'Red' is growing very well but not much color with PAR@75
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Seattle_Aquarist

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    Hi All,

    2020-08-25
    Added 4.5 ml of Seachem Flourish Comprehensive

    2020-08-26
    Based upon recommendations from folks on the forums I have upped my water changes. I will be doing three a week on this 30 gallon tank (24 gallon water volume) with 12 gallons done on Monday, 9 gallons done on Wednesday, and 9 gallons done on Friday. This will be the equivalent of 1.33 complete water changes per week. I did a 9 gallon water change today, did a light vac of the substrate in the front, noticed some green spot algae (GSA) along the front glass just below the substrate line and cleaned that up. Magic Erasers (aka melamine foam) are great glass cleaners (be sure to get the ones with no detergent etc).

    After the water change I added 3/4 tsp of CaSO4*2H2O for 6 ppm of Ca (hardness increase approx 0.8 dGH); 3/8 tsp of MgSO4*7H2O for 2.1 ppm of Mg (harness increase 0.5 dGH); 3/8 tsp of K2SO4 for 11.8 ppm of K; and 3/64 tsp of KH2PO4 for 2.0 ppm of P to hopefully reduce the GSA. I also added 4.5 ml of Seachem Flourish Comprehensive.

    2020-08-29
    I did a 9 gallon water change (approx 33%+) today. Also picked up some live adult brine shrimp to give them a little treat. Here they are 1/2 hour after feeding still looking for any BS they may have missed.
    [​IMG]

    Also here is a picture of the big brothers and sisters of the fry I have, notice how the nice coloration is starting to emerge.
    [I[​IMG]
     
  15. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    2020-08-31
    Today (Monday) I did a 12 gallon water change (50%) and added 3/8 tsp of CaSO4 for 2.98 ppm of Ca (hardness increase approx 0.42 dGH); 3/16 tsp of MgSO4*7H2O for 1.04 ppm of Mg (hardness increase 0.24 dGH); 3/16 tsp of K2SO4 for 5.93 ppm of K. I also added 15 ml of Excel/glut for algae prevention. All fish are active and eating well. They have finished off the three (3) portions of live adult brine shrimp I bought on Saturday with some help from the Turquoise Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia lacustris) that I am conditioning to breed. I try to feed at least one portion of dry food (FD tubifex, Krill flakes, Extreme pellets) and one portion of frozen or live food per day. I have a white worm (Enchytraeus albidus) culture that is not quite ready to harvest yet but I will add them to the food rotation in the future.

    2020-09-01
    Dosed 4.5 ml of Seachem Flourish Comprehensive for plant micro-nutrients and 3/64 tsp KH2PO4 (2.0 ppm of PO4; 0.66 ppm P; 0.8 ppm K) for GSA

    2020-09-03
    Today (Thursday) I did a 9 gallon water change (37%), added + 3/4 tsp CaSO4 (6 ppm Ca / 0.8 dGH); 3/8 tsp MgSO4 (2.08 ppm Mg / 0.48 dGH); 3/8 tsp K2SO4 (11.83 ppm K); 3/64 tsp KH2PO4 (2.0 ppm of PO4; 0.66 ppm P; 0.8 ppm K) for GSA. I did a light gravel vac in the front of the tank and siphoned any detritus on the rest of the substrate. It was time to clean the canister filter so I rinsed all the bio-balls and Purigen in tank water as well as one of the two sponges in the filter. The other sponge got thoroughly cleaned in tap water. I replaced the filter floss and started the filter. Here are some pictures I took today.

    The full tank shot
    [​IMG]

    Time to rethink some of the plant species. The Persicaria sp. 'Kawagoeanum'. Limnophila rugosa, and the Erio 'Vietnam' don't seem to like the conditions necessary for the discus. I will have to try some different species. On the other had the Myriophyllum sp. 'Guyana', Oldenlandia salzmannii, Ludwigia arcuata, and Ludwigia sp 'Red' seem to be doing well. I have a couple of other species I want to try maybe I can do some changes this weekend.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    2020-09-07
    Yesterday was water change day. I did a 50% water change and took the opportunity to make some of the plant species changes I mentioned earlier. I removed the sad Persicaria sp. 'Kawagoeanum' which had very little root system and they went into the compost pile. I removed all but one of the Limnophila rugosa which had good root systems but poor growth and I moved them to my 75 gallon. The Ludwigia sp 'Red' (which to me doesn't look like L. sp 'Red') was cut down to remove the emersed growth at the bottom and replanted just the submerged growth tops; the stems all had a good root systems. I dug around in my tanks and plant bank and added a couple of Nymphoides hydrophylla (aka sp. 'Taiwan'), some Rotala H'ra (aka 'Vietnam'), and a couple of stems of Limnophila sp. 'Wavy'. Here a picture showing the new layout and trial species.

    [​IMG]

    1) Nymphoides hydrophylla (aka sp 'Taiwan') hiding behind the 'Trident'
    2) Rotala H'ra (aka 'Vietnam')
    3) Limnophila sp. 'Wavy'

    Here are a better shots of the three species I added. First Nymphoides hydrophylla
    [​IMG]

    Next Rotala H'ra
    [​IMG]

    Lastly Limnophila sp. 'Wavy'
    [​IMG]

    I also took a full set of water parameter readings after the water change and plant changes; here are the results:
    pH = 6.8
    dKH = 2.0
    dGH = 4.0
    Ca = 20 ppm
    Mg = 5.23 ppm
    NH3 = 0.25 ppm (possibly from disturbing the substrate?)
    NO2 = 0.00 ppm
    NO3 = 10.0 ppm

    The fish are eating three meals a day consisting of frozen bloodworms, frozen adult brine shrimp, frozen adult brine shrimp with spirulina algae, freeze-dried tubifex worms. The discus are not really interested in Fluval Bug Bites, Extreme Krill Flakes, or Extreme Pellets. My live white worm culture has grown large enough that I should be able to add that sparingly to the food rotation.

    Have a great week everyone! -Roy
     
  17. Seattle_Aquarist

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    Hi All,

    2020-09-10
    Today I did a 9 gallon water change and did a light vac at the front of the tank. Added 1/2 tsp CaSO4 (3.97 ppm Ca / +0.56 dGH); 1/4 tsp MgSO4 (1.38 ppm Mg / +0.32 dGH); 1/4 tsp K2SO4 (7.9 ppm K); 1/32 tsp KH2PO4 (1.34 ppm of PO4; 0.44 ppm P; 0.55 ppm K for GSA. All the discus are eating well and seem to be establishing a comfortable pecking order.
     
  18. Seattle_Aquarist

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    Hi All,

    I apologize for being a little late in my posting this week. I am on the Board of our local aquarium club, Greater Seattle Aquarium Society (gsas.org) and we had a board meeting last night that I had to prepare for. I did do my water change as scheduled on Monday.

    2020-09-14
    Today was the big water change of about 50% or 12 gallons. After the water change I took readings and these are the results.
    I also took a full set of water parameter readings after the water change and plant changes; here are the results:
    pH = 6.4
    dKH = 2.0
    dGH = 4.0
    Ca = 20 ppm
    Mg = 5.23 ppm
    NH3 = 0.00 ppm (possibly from disturbing the substrate?)
    NO2 = 0.00 ppm
    NO3 = 10.0 ppm

    The ammonia came down from 0.25 ppm last week to 0.00 this week which kind of confirms that changing the plants and disturbing the substrate caused the slight increase in NH3 that we saw. Because we have hit my target dGH and Ca and Mg levels I did not add any calcium sulfate (CaSO4*2H2O) or magnesium sulfate (MgSO4*7H2O) for the plants. The fish are doing fine and still eating like swimming pigs although they seem to feel entitled and only eat frozen bloodworms, live adult brine shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, and FD tubifex worms. They turn their noses up at krill flakes and Fluval Bug Bites, any suggestions as to how to encourage them to eat other foods would be appreciated.

    Here are some pictures from Monday; first the overall tank shot.
    [​IMG]

    The Rotala H'ra (aka 'Vietnam') is doing as expected. With the low nutrient levels in the water column the Rotala has taken off, can you see all the new stems starting to emerged along the original stems?
    [​IMG]

    The Myriophyllum sp. Guyana is starting to branch at the top of the stems; the Oldenlandia salzmannii continues to grow toward the surface and will need trimming soon. And on the far right the Hygrophylla arcuata continues to grow slowly. Regrettably the Eriocaulon 'Vietnam' in the foreground continues to just sit there. It will be moved to another tank in the near future.
    [​IMG]

    They Limnophila sp 'Curly' that was added last week is also growing nicely.
    [​IMG]

    Just like the Oldenlandia salzmannii the Ludwigia sp 'Red' (*doubtful this is correct identification) is growing to the surface, this is after I removed the original emerged growth from bottom of the stems last week.
    [​IMG]

    And a partial 'Family Portrait'
    [​IMG]

    Lastly, for [MENTION=75210]Shan[/MENTION]_Evolved a video of the fish eating FD Tubifex Worms
     
    #18 Seattle_Aquarist, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
    toads74 likes this.
  19. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi All,

    2020-09-28
    Another 9 gallon water change today. I siphoned up about 1/4" of the sand substrate at the front of the tank because it was showing little specks of algae and looking "dirty" and replaced it with fresh sand. The fish continue to eat and grow; today I gave them live white worms (Enchytraeus albidus) for the first time. The plants continue to grow including the Rotala H'ra, Ludwigia sp 'Red' (NOT), and the Ludwigia arcuata is looking taller as is the Limnophila sp 'Wavy'.
    [​IMG]

    Notice the watersprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) growing behind the Microsporum pteropus 'Windelov' (java fern); Ceratopteris are great plants for absorbing nitrates and ammonia.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
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    Hi All,

    2020-10-12
    It's been a few weeks since my last update. The fish are doing fine, eating well (too well?), water changes continue two to three times per week and the plants have been growing. Here is how overgrown the plants looked two weeks ago just before I did a trim and split some of the species to additional locations in the tank.
    [​IMG]

    The last two weeks I've been helping my son-in-law build a 15' X 9' frame shed and although the water changes have continued on schedule my ferts went by the wayside. Today I did my 'big' weekly water change, about 60%, and took water parameter readings:
    pH = 6.4
    dKH = 2.0
    dGH = 1.0
    Ca = 10 ppm
    Mg = 0.00 ppm
    NH3 = 0.00 ppm
    NO2 = 0.00 ppm
    NO3 = 10.0 ppm

    Even without ferts being added the plants continued to grow, the cuttings I planted two weeks ago are starting to reach the top of the tank (again) and other are starting to show up from behind the Microsorum pteropus (java fern) 'Windelov'. The Erio 'Vietnam' continues to suffer so I put two (2) beads of Osmocote Plus in the root zone of the three plants on the left to see if they respond. In addition I added some small pieces of Seachem Root Tabs in the substrate near the Cryptocoryne. I noticed some diatom (brown algae) growth about a month ago. I purchased two (2) Otocinclus affinis at the local aquarium shop and quarantined them for a month. I added them today. Here is a picture of the tank taken this morning.
    [​IMG]
     
    toads74 likes this.
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