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re: Filterless Discus?
I guess that this is just a question of how far you can carry this thing.
In my 75-gallon tank I now have 22 Rathburn's Bloodfins, Aggazi Apistio pair
(breeding) 1 male 2 female betas 3 Singapore wood shrimp, 3 yamoto shrimp, 5
ghost shrimp and clams and snails
I'd be curious to know what kind of load other non-filtered tank carry.
I feed a lot, mostly a combination of ground shrimp, squid and salmon and
also some Kent products. By all normal accounts I overfeed. The plants
grow like crazy and I remove fistfuls of hornwort and some other floating
stem pant whose name I can't recall. I have 210 watts of compact florescent
and high-pressure co2. I realize that these are all small fish but it must
be the equivalent if 2 discus. I have never been able to record any kind
of N in the tank at all. There must be plenty of O2 because the plants
bubble like crazy if I turn the CO2 up. I believe that if you keep to
within the gas exchange recommended by surface air for non-aerated tanks
(like you'd see recommended in old Innes books) you should be OK.
I've never kept discus and don't intend to. I kind of believe that discus
'culture' mandates things in the same way reef 'culture' mandated things
like wet drys until protein skimming came along. Especially with emergent
plants that can scour waste without using the co2 from the water I cant see
where waste would be an issue, and if you stick to recommended gas exchange
levels why should discus be any different than any other fish, they aren't
the most active fish in the world.
Discus 'culture' with is bare bottom tank background has got a long history
and a lot of that is built on a methodology that relied heavily on
filtration, more heavily even than other kinds of setups that at least had
lots of surface area in gravel and such. My feeling is that at least part
of the objection comes from this legacy.
This is my fourth year without a filter, this idea came up in an off list
discussion and I am only posting here again because there seemed to be some
interest in the thread. I don't know what I am talking about with regards
to discus but I've seen my tank be rock stable and suck up every lat bit of
N available and I've seen my fish as healthy as anyone's, why should discus
be any different except they are big, reduce the load accordingly and go.