Do you ever feel uninspired?

BumblePrime

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I truly love this hobby of ours. But recently due to the limitations of my tank (which ironically is one of the larger mass produced tanks) I'm beginning to feel a little uninspired. After starting this hobby I moved into planted tanks. My first plant was a hygrophila and since then I've been unable to escape the planted tank rabbit hole. I truly love a planted setup. I love finding the right balance and using plants as way to measure of the biology of a tank...

But then, one day I walked into a not so local Fish Store and was mesmerized by Discus. Absolutely stunned. Because up and until that point, I'd only ever seen them in videos but to me they were majestic. However, in order to keep them I need to maintain a temperature of 28C and most plants simply melt at that temp. Also due to their diet being rich in protein and despite having a skimmer, I find myself in a constant battle with surface oil/protein.

I'm sure everyone here is aware of that unique frustration... You know, when your aquarium is not where you want it to be figuratively speaking. I want to reduce the equipment but need adequate filtration and due to the tank being a juwel sumps are out of the question. I also desperately want to get back into plants in a meaningful way but I'm unsure of where to begin.

Any suggestions?
 

FishBR

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I am not sure I got all the information. How big is the tank? Did you get discus? What plants and fish you currently have? Please provide more details about setup and equipment.
 
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BumblePrime

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Stats:

Tank: Juwel Rio 450
Filtration: Fluval FX6 & Oase 300 + Eheim Surface skimmer
Flora: Crypt balanse X 20/30
Fauna: 6 Blue Diamond Discus, 6 Sterbai Cordora, 25 cardinal tetra
Lighting: Juwel LED
CO2: Pressurized (But hasn't been in use in months
 

FishBR

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I suggest figuring out what excites you more at this point in the hobby, either a planted tank or the discus. Keeping discus in a planted tank is possible, but difficult. I would not recommend doing both in the same tank. Most discus keepers have them in bare bottom tanks or tanks with sand, which are easier to clean and maintain. If you are excited abut discus, you might want to prioritize them and possibly breed them (depending of your water parameters). Breeding discus was the climax of my limited fish-keeping experience, but they require work. If you go for discus, consider a manzanita driftwood setup with some hardy plants, such as this tank, which I had back in the day:


I was able to get two pairs spawning in this tank and successfully raised a batch of fry. In this next video you can see the two pairs and the fry in the breeding cone:

 
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BumblePrime

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I have had my discus since they were 3 months old. I have 2 pairs and another female who had her first spawn 2 days ago. I agree it takes work but I've been in a maintenance rhythm for some time now. I've seen some new tanks from people online however in practice they seem... Well... Impractical.

I mainly feed Australian Black worm but it's really oily and overwhelms my skimmer. Great source of protein but as I speak my surface is the unsightly white despite cleaning my filters and skimmer last week. I think I might have to go back to basics and start from the ground up. The filtration might need to be adjusted and perhaps I might need to abandon my trusty Fluval FX6.

I was looking at the huge OASE earlier today. I think that might be a starting point if I combine that with a surface skimmer that sits on the filter.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I'm sorry I can't be of any help, I just want to ask if you can please share photos or video of your tank! It sounds wonderful :)
 

FishBR

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Beautiful!

Why don't you use Australian Freeze Dried Blackworms? They don't foul the water.
 
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BumblePrime

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I use AFDB but they're very oily hence the oil slick.

I can't sing the praises of the fluval FX6 but the tubing is really restrictive in terms of options. I purchased this earlier today



I'm still looking at filter options but the pre filter on the OASE Bio master 850 looks mighty lol and it has an heater that's housed in the filter.
 

Retired Viking

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Your discus really look great, do they go after your tetras? The tetras look like cardinal tetras or are they neon? I like the plants in the background give a nice back drop.
 
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BumblePrime

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Your discus really look great, do they go after your tetras? The tetras look like cardinal tetras or are they neon? I like the plants in the background give a nice back drop.
Thanks for your kind words. The tetras are cardinal. I have about 22-25. Discus can't catch them to eat them. They did try for like a day or two but cardinals are simply to fast and so they gave up trying a very long time ago and show zero interest in them.

Absolutely stunning fish!
What is the plant in the background? Is it a type of vallis?
Thank you.

The plant is Crypt Balansae. The only one that I've found that will grow at 28C
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Thanks for your kind words. The tetras are cardinal. I have about 22-25. Discus can't catch them to eat them. They did try for like a day or two but cardinals are simply to fast and so they gave up trying a very long time ago and show zero interest in them.



Thank you.

The plant is Crypt Balansae. The only one that I've found that will grow at 28C
Oohh, nice! Haven't seen that one before. If only vallis would grow at that temp, would look gorgeous and make the fish really pop, and would hide the equipment.

I'm sorry I can't be of any help, but the tank still looks stunning to me!
 

WhistlingBadger

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Nice looking discus, BP. I've struggled with that lack of inspiration, too. My tanks just weren't fun anymore, so I finally just decided to take a break from the hobby. I only have one tank now, at a business in town. I'm starting to feel it again, though. I think a nano tank is in the works. And eventually a palurdarium...
 

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