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Re: Discus tank set ups

> 1)     Size of tank: probably a tank from 55 to 75 gallons. What are the
> best dimensions of the tank?

75 or larger, 90-150 is good. These also are much nicer when it comes to
planting and display, the 12" front to back depth is very limiting in a 55
and the tank is rather small for a nice group of fish.
Remember, they get big.
> 2)     CO2 system: what kind of system should I consider...brand, etc

The www.dlink.com + a www.clippard.com needle valve is good then you can
make a DIY CO2 reactor etc from here:

> 3)     Undergravel heater system: is Dupla the way to go here?

Don't bother.
If you do bother, Dupla.
If I had the $, I wouldn't.
> 4)     Substrate: what's a better substrate to go with? Laterite or
> Flourite?

Flourite seems better IME.
> 5)     Lighting: Is the compact florescent lighting the best solution? Metal
> Halide? Mercury Vapor?

CP FL's if you want a semi open or closed hood, MH's are nice for an open
> 6)     Filtering: what kind of filter should I consider? Eheim canister?
> Wet/ Dry? Etc...

I'd lean towards a large canister, W/D if you plan on adding too many fish
and over feeding and other things folks should know better but do anyway.
> 7)     Electronic controllers for pH, temp, oxygen, etc: are these devices
> worth getting? 


A pH monitor is worth it, runs about 70-90$. Nice for pH control for CO2.
> 8)     What plants should I only consider for this discus tank?

Pretty much everything except a few Aponogetons like the lace plant etc.
Everything else is fine.

> 9)     How many discus should I get?

I'd get 5 or so for a 75, maybe 7 for 90 max. Get all the same variety.
> These are some of the things I am contemplating about. I haven't been in the
> aquarium hobby for about 10 years so I am trying to catch up on what the
> latest stuff can do for me. I used to have a few bare bottom discus tanks 10
> years ago. I have never had a live planted aquarium. Anybody have any ideas
> on the above? Have any good recommendations / good experiences that might
> help me determine what equipment I should get?

Well 50% weekly or 2x a week water changes will help the plants and the
routine. RO is waste if you have tap with KH or 5 or less and GH of around
6-10. Mine bred in this water at 82F, or about 27.5C. Good food and good
conditions will provide good health. Do not let the KH or the GH get below
2-3. 82-86F is fine, I opt for lower temps. I'm not after max brood
production nor max growth rates, just long term health. Breeding is another
set up, if I want to have a tank look good, then I focus on the plants.
They take care of the fish very well. Try a varied diet for the fish as

Discus are not going to die, get sick etc if they have 82F water and a KH of
5 and lots of light. These are big old cichlids. They have bred in such
water and grew into very good sized colorful dinner plates, no runts. 2-3x a
day feeding for little fish and adults once/twice a day. The only live food
was brine every so often, the rest was frozen foods. I hear the same thing
over and over about needing 86F+, RO water, nothing but live worms for food
etc or else the fish will get stunted or won't breed/Die look bad, dark
etc..... You might get more brood, but I don't think the fish will stunt or
be in poor health in the conditions I had. I may do a Blue Diamond tank
again sometime in the future for my own home.

Tom Barr

> Thanks,
> Shane