Planted Discus Tank and Juvenile SAE feeding

Subject: Planted Discus Tank


> I am starting a 135 gallon planted Discus tank, and would like a
> suggestions on plants that can do well with the warm temperature
> I will keep the temperature around 82, my ph 7.4 (I know a littl
> high for discus), and I have 6 X 40W biolume bulbs (overpriced),
> a sandpoint co2 unit.  I've heard that crypts and anubias due fi
> but what about any stem plants (ie. polyspermas, anacharis).

I have kept Discus and plants together successfully for extended 
periods.  There are very few plants that grow well in my cooler 
tanks that don't also grow well in the Discus tanks.  The secret 
is that plants in warmer water grow faster, and therefore need 
more light, CO2 and trace element supplementation.  Since all 
three are abundant in my tanks, I have had little trouble with 
even so-called "cool water" plants like Bacopa.

The biggest problem with keeping plants and Discus together is the 
fact that to grow large and healthy Discus, they must be well fed. 
 This means that there is a heavier waste load on the tank thatn 
with smaller fish.  To avoid algae problems, plan on large 
frequent water changes.  Even _with_ large frequent water changes 
(30% twice a week) I found that in my 55G tank with 4 good sized 
Discus I needed to run a phosphate resin in the filter to keep 
algae at bay.

If you're willing to do the extra work, go for it... nothing could 
be prettier, and your plants will do fine!
> Any suggestions would be great.  Plus any recommendations on mai
> order plant shops, I've only heard of Delaware Aquatics. 

I have done most of my mail order plant buying from Mike T. at 
Delaware Aquatics.  His plants are nice, and his prices 
reasonable.  If you can put together a "club order" he drops the 
prices even more, and you save by splitting the shipping costs.

Subject: Juvenile SAE feeding

> I have 10 young SAEs in my tanks. They are still fairly small a
> about 2" each. If I put flake food in they will eagerly take thi
> and spend a lot of time actively moving about, nibbling briefly
> at leaves or bits of algae growing on the gravel but don't seem
> to settle down and seriously chew on a particular bit of algae
> for very long. 

Are you sure they are the "real thing"?  Mine stripped their tanks 
bare of algae within a few days, even though they were very tiny 
when I got them. (about 1")

> What kind of a feeding schedule do you SAE owners follow?

Mine went into a fully stocked mature tank, so I feed all the fish 
once a day.  They seem to eat right along with everyone else.  
That said, my two newest ones I purchased from a pet store with no 
algae in the tanks.  Although they were feeding them daily, the 
SAE's were close to starvation when I purchased them, thin all 
over with very hollow bellies.  I bought them because I was sure 
the store was going to kill them.  I broke the quarantine rule and 
put them right into a planted tank with small amounts of algae, 
because I knew they needed food right away.  After a couple of 
weeks in my tanks, they are already putting on size and have nice 
fat bellies.  So I _do_ think that they need vegetable material in 
their diet.

> Will SAEs eat live tubifex or brine shrimp?

I never feed tubifex, but they do strike on brine shrimp and glass 

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA