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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I'm moving down the hall this summer and thought that this would be a perfect time to upgrade from a 50 to something a little bigger, maybe a 65 or 75. I hate the dimensions of my 50 gallon. It's way way too narrow (48x12x18).

I am considering a discus set up. Here's what I had in mind:

5 Discus
4 German Blue Rams
20 cardinals or neons or rummy nose tetras.

The reason I'm considering discus is because this will be a very heavily planted tank (with CO2 injection and daily fertilization), and I don't want cichlids that will eat the plants or dig up my plants. I already have enough of those guys :D

I already do weekly 50% water changes.

Here are the questions:

1. Is a 65 big enough for a small group of discus? (36x18x24)
2. If not, is a 75 big enough?
3. 5 discus a good number?
4. will 50% weekly water changes be sufficient?
5. Any other suggestions for a good set up?


Thanks!

Lara
 

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I've never kept discus, so I can't help much on that front. However; the notion that a heavily planted tank suggest discus doesn't really make sense. A lot of people do keep discus in planted tanks, but the warmer temps that discus are kept aren't ideal for the majority of aquatic plants.
 

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Ho there,

Some things to consider.

A heavy planted tank is dificult to keep spotles clean. Lots of dirt gets trapped between roots and flip over the sand layer is even more dificult. Discus produce lots of waste (poor metabolism) and need at least 2 feedings a day. Best food is beefheart or fishmix and those are messy foods. At the same time discus need very clean water.

Discus don't take high CO2 levels that well so I recommend to stay below 15mg/liter. Most plant ferts are nitrate based. Discus don't handle higher nitrate levels and the nitrate should stay below 15 mg/liter and preferable lower.

Discus do best in groups of 6 or more or a proven pair. Keeping 6 discus in a heavy planted tank is imo a good recipe for disaster. A proven pair in a 75 moderate planted tank (without the CO2 and fertilizers) is very well posible. The best aquascape for a discus tank is a discus boitope ( 1/2 inch sand substrate, some larger pieces of driftwood, some floatingplants and thats it).

Imo a planted tank and discus is a bad choice. I recommend to go planted without discus or go discus with very limited or no plants at all. If your new to discus I recommend a bare botom tank and when you become more skilled you can slowely turn over to a biotope.

A bare botom 75 gallon tank with 6 adult discus needs at bare minimum 50% wc twice a week.

Also check www.simplydiscus.com/forum Thats imo the most reliable forum dedicated to discus.

Take care,

Ruurd
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, ok. After reading that it sounds like Discus would be a terrible idea. Is there another cichlid set up that would work well with a heavily planted tank? I love dwarves, but I also want to make sure that there is a little bit of action at both the upper and lower levels of the tank.
 

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Hi there,

I expect a proven pair of discus can work fine in a moderate planted 75 but if your priority is set to plants (CO2, nitrate based ferts) I'm quit sure it won't work out well. Discus and Rams are the more "delicate" fish. Besides that they need high temps and most plants don't take that to well. I do recommend to look into a discus biotope. Quit a diference to your original plan were the plants are the centre piece. In a Discus biotope the Discus are the centre piece.

A group of 6 to 8 bolivians should provide you some action and those tolerate quit a lot. Pinguinfish are active swimmers for the middle layer and hatchfish a nice posebilety for the top layer. Emperor tetra is also more temperamental and is a beatifull little fish.

Unfortunately most SA cichlids dig pits or uproot plants to make room for a territory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right now the tank has 4 Bolivians :oops:

Used to have hatchetfish but I had to get rid of the rest when I couldn't keep them from jumping.

I will have to think about this. I really really love doing high tech planted tanks and that was the one thing I wasn't going to sacrifice for this tank. If that means I have to wait for discus, then I willl. Maybe I'll just have to settle for shrimp then... :? Or keep my Bolivians. I've had them for a few years now, and I've bred them, so I just want to do something else now!!
 

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Have you considered angels and/or mesonauta? They are both mid to upper water swimmers and a planted tank classics. Most apistogramma, laetacara and/or bolivians should work for a bottom dwelling cichlid. I may be corrected on this, but I don't think crenicichla bother plants. I'm sure you could do some dwarf pikes. Ofcoarse there are thousands of non-cichlid species that will work.
 
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