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Setting up 4ft (300Ltr) discus aquarium

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Nicko19, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Nicko19

    Nicko19 New Member

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    Hey people,
    Just looking for any extra advice hints tips expertise with the basics of preparing a discus tank for cycling!

    I found myself a near new 4ft aquarium with capacity of 75gal or 300ltr it comes as a complete unit 2x T5 tube lighting appropriate size heater and a canister filter rated for 1100ltr/hr.
    Now I have upgraded the filtration system by adding an additional identical canister so now I’m filtering 2200ltr/hr equal to 7.5 times an hour cycle i also have the spray bars setup all along the back of the tank and the inlets at either end of the tank, I’m getting great agitated surface but I’m yet to determine if this is going to be to strong of a current for the discus!?? I have also rearranged the media in both filters, my 1100s consist of firstly the water from tank being sent to the bottom of the canister filtering through good quality noodles I had this is to break up the detritus initially before making its way through my first basket witch consists of my mechanical media, course medium and fine floss. Then on to the last basket being my biological media where sits 2ltrs of seachem “matrix”, seachem recommendation is 1ltr of matrix for Any additional steps in my filtration that could be added do you think? Maybe some active carbon once the tank is cycled but anything else I am missing? Also any extra advice would be much appreciated interms of lighting future planting of the tank etc and flow rate being compatible for discus do you think the current of the flow rate I have now may be to strong for them?
    Thank you!
     
  2. Moony42

    Moony42 Fish Fanatic
    Tank of the Month Winner!

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    Hi and welcome to TFF:hi:

    Could you please send a photo of your tank? I don't think you should keep discus in it based on charecteristics of the tank
     
  3. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator Tank of the Month Winner!

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    I’m curious as to what characteristics. It’s large enough. Is it his filtration? I’m considering a discus tank too and reading everything I can.
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

    What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply. This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

    ----------------------------
    The filters should be fine and adequate for discus.

    Make sure you have 2 aquarium heaters and set them on 27C. If the fish get sick, raise the temperature to 30C.

    Captive bred Discus need soft water with a GH below 200ppm and preferably below 150ppm, and a pH below 7.5.
    Wild caught Discus need a GH below 100ppm and a pH below 7.0.

    If you buy discus, get fish that are about 2-3 inches in diameter. Bigger fish (5-6 inches +) can be difficult to rehome and usually stress out when moved into a new tank. Small fish (1-2 inches) are usually starving and struggle through the importation and quarantine process.

    Look at the fish and they should have a nice rounded appearance to their back and head. If it looks skinny or sunken in around the head, do not buy them.

    Do not buy fish that have just come in. Wait for them to settle into the shop tanks for 2 weeks (or more), and make sure they are eating a wide variety of food at the shop. Ask the shop to feed them so you can see them eating.

    Do not buy fish if they have had a water change in the last couple of days. Find out when the shop does water changes and buy the fish a few days before or after the water change.

    Find out what the pH and GH are in the shop tank and match your tank to it. You can change your pH and GH a few weeks after you have the fish but you want your tank water to match the shop's tank water when you first get the fish.

    Deworm the fish as soon as you get them. Treat them with Praziquantel and Levamisole.

    Don't feed them live Tubifex worms and make sure any frozen food is fresh out of the freezer and has not been left out for a few hours.

    Do big regular water changes and gravel cleans.

    Have the tank in a room where lots of people walk past it and move around it. Discus and other fish become shy and retiring and panic a lot if they are in a quiet corner of the house. Whereas fish kept in a loungeroom or kitchen get use to people moving around them and tame down really quickly.
     
    #4 Colin_T, Jun 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. Nicko19

    Nicko19 New Member

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    Thanks Colin_T you have covered a lot of excellent points there! I will definitely follow your instructions!
    The tank is roughly 120cm long 70cm tall and 50cm deep. I set it up 2 days ago and when I got home last night the tank was still very murky and full of dust, I thought I had cleaned the gravel enough but looks like I didn’t so I did a 100% water change an gravel clean last night as well as filter wash out but unfortunately one of the filters is 5 months old and after the water change I fired up the filters an the old on pumped a lot of dead looking algae that was still left inside the return pipe but it had cleared up a little this morning as you can see in the photos it’s not to bad but I may end up turning pumps off an letting more debris settle to the grave an clean it out once again. It’s been 15years since I kept an aquarium and the biggest thing I learnt from my previous experience is patience! I’m taking as long as necessary to get the tank in pristine condition before even thinking about starting the bacteria cycle and setting water parameters. I have also noticed my single 300W heater isn’t doing the job I have had it set on maximum for a day an half and only hit 28C with the heater working overtime around the clock so definitely going to add a second thanks for the tip!
    Also as you can see I have painted the back of the tank jet black and I have got a fine natural gravel Substrat, once I am happy with the water clarity conditions I will then look at adding drift wood to create a more natural look to the tank by finding some trunk type looking peices to cover up the heater an intake pipes followed by finding a few nice snail and egg free plants suited to the discus climate to finish off! As for lighting I’m only running the stock lights witch is 2x 39W T5 tubes one white an one pink.
    Your advice to attention to detail with discus condition from the fish shop is very impressive and I have noted all that down I much appreciated your experience and sharing with me thank you!
    I’m looking to Home either 4-6 discus a few peppermint bristle nose to help clean up and maybe a school of cardinals to also help with eating up small food particles the discus leave behind but primarily have the discus on display with basically a small clean up crew if you want to call it that.
    So once I’m happy with the clarity of the water even with some help from active carbon for a few days I will finish setting up the inside of the aquarium as mentioned before then I will begin my bacteria cycle!
    Once the tank is cycled I will the look at adding my “clean up crew” to give the tank a boost to build up the bacteria colony more and I’ll house them for a month or more whilst taking my attention to the water parameters and getting the hardness etc correct am ready for homeing the discus.
    I’m also going to get a sample of my water supply and get a full test done as you mentioned and depending on the results I will correct the water on my water changes from now to get a routine of how much correction is needed for each water change to minimize water param fluctuation!
    Thank again for all your expertise!
    If you have anything more to share it will be much appreciated!
     

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  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Insulate the tank with 6mm thick coverglass and use 1/2- 1 inch thick polystyrene foam on the back and sides. Then the heater won't have to work as hard.

    Get another heater. That tank needs 2 x 300 watt heaters.

    Get 6 discus, not 4 fish. It will help spread the aggression around more.

    Use paragraphs with spaces between the paragraphs so it's easier to follow what you have written. :)
     
  7. Nicko19

    Nicko19 New Member

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    Awesome thanks again Colin_T I’ll be getting another heater ASAP and I’ll set both to 27! I love the info, the more the better haha!

    Thank you
     

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