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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - My discus tank from day one
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My discus tank from day one

Post the complete story of setting up your tank, stage by stage from the beginning to the present day.

My discus tank from day one

Postby Mick » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:37 pm

I have always toyed with the idea of setting up a discus planted tank, all of my other ones were bare bottomed so this time I wanted it to be different.
I knew that I would need a relatively large tank for this purpose and after a lot of patient waiting, found the one I was after.
A Rena 150cm(100 gallons). I received it in a bit of a state but after letting sterilising fluid soak in it for 48 hours, all the algae had disappeared and the tank looked like new.

March 2008
The tank is ready to start setting up.

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The luminaire is a 4 x 54 watt but I plan on running two plantgros and 2 actinics for evening viewing.
Night lighting is going to be added in the form of LED moonlighting that I used on my reef tank.
Filtratiion is supplied by one xp3 filter and one aquaone rated at 500 gall/hour
Heating is 1x200watt 1x300 watt(to be upgraded)

March 2008
The hardscaping is going in
2" 3mm gravel, rocks and loads of bogwood

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Not being a plant expert I decided to plump for buying a discus collection to add to the tank
Having to wait a week for the plants to arrive the next job was to rig up the water filter. I intended to use purely HMA but when I tested it the KH was far too high( reading at 7 pH 7.6)) so the RO unit came into play.
With a 75/25 RO/HMA mix I ended up with the correct KH (KH3-pH 6.6)

April 2008
The plants have arrived, straight into the parcel and planned where they were going in the tank. 2 hours later they were all in

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Not impressed the tank looks bare _(
I knew they would fill out in time but took the decision not to run a CO2 system as I was in no rush for fast growth.

4 weeks later( I wanted the plants to have time to settle) the first fish were added as the tank had cycled with the frozen prawn method.
The first inhabitants were 6 panda cories and a male Bristlenose.

June 2008

I decided that it was time to add the tetras, 10 glo lights and 10 cardinals.
Contacting a lot of old friends at this time to see if they had any fresh discus fry ready for moving on.

Bingo!!
One of my friends was closing down his fish house, the only snag was I had to take his last 25 fry, not a problem at the time as the discus were only 1" in size.

These are the parents of my discus

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Left it for another couple of weeks and fetched my babies

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The plants took hold quickly
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October 2008

The plants were now outgrowing the tank :)

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November 2008

I had to make a decision, the amazon swords at the rear of the tank were just getting too
big, they had to come out. I had already given the Lotus away to a friend as it was taking over the tank.

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Removed the large Amazons to give more swimming space to the fish but left in two of the dwarfs.

Half of the babies have been sold on and new discus have been added so heres a few pics of the residents.

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This is one of my babies growing fast
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January 2009

The tank has been upgraded since I started it

The aquaone filter has been replaced with a Tetratec 1200, the xp3 is being replaced soon with another Tetratec as well
I have removed the 2 seperate heaters and replaced them with 1 500 watt titanium heater.

Floating plants (Amazon Frogbit) have been added to provide shady areas#

new pics to be added soon!!!!!
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Re: My discus tank from day one

Postby malakye » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:04 am

Your tank is stunning, I never ever thought to take pictures of mine from empty.
Barry and I were looking at discus today, he is quite taken by them.
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Re: My discus tank from day one

Postby Mick » Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:19 am

Living in Scotland youre water should be perfect for them, get another tank and go for it.

Could sell you some cheap :-):
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Re: My discus tank from day one

Postby malakye » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:06 pm

Barry said that yesterday fun enough when we were looking at the rather poor specimens in the fish store that if he were to have those he would ask you first off lol.
Yes our water would be great for them, I have a real fight with my pH. in my big tank, it keeps dropping to 6.4 will sit steady there but its a bit low for the fish I currently have so its a pain. My 2ft tank I can keep at 7.2 no probs, I even removed the boat to see if that would help in the big tank but it didn't so it can go back in.
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Re: My discus tank from day one

Postby Mick » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:08 pm

I tend not to buy discus from the pet stores, I can send you a link to my supplier if you want so that you can have a look around his site
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Re: My discus tank from day one

Postby malakye » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:14 pm

Yes please do. I wouldnt have bought them from that fish shop, they were really in poor condition.
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Re: My discus tank from day one

Postby Anita » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:07 pm

Tank looks great Mickey :ok:

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Re: My discus tank from day one

Postby Nec » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:28 pm

Apologies for not seeing this earlier. I love seeing the progression of tanks from beginning to the present. Lets face it, tanks are ALWAYS a work in progress no matter how perfect you think they are. Thanks for showing us this Mick.
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Re: My discus tank from day one

Postby donalo » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:11 pm

Hi Mick,

Lovely tank setup. How long have you been keeping fish?

I was reading your other threads about keeping Discus.

I am new to the forum. I have a 60litre tank and have it up and running over 2 years now (want to upgrade to a Rio125 later in the year). I am still learning all the time about the hobby. I have some Cardinals, Neons, Glowlights, Harlequins and Cory Cats. Also been ordering and researching a lot about plants and have been going with the easy to grow plants to start - Anubias, Java Fern/Moss, etc.

Are Discus difficult to keep? Would love to have a Discus tank one day when I know a lot more and have a much bigger tank.

I saw your other post about the latest version of PFK magazine. Are there any pics of that Discus display tank?

Cheers :)
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Re: My discus tank from day one

Postby Mick » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:49 pm

Discus are not difficult as long as you are prepared to do the extra water changes and keep checking parameters. Having said that if you read my latest thread you will soon realise that if things go wrong it goes wrong big time.
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