I have just started keeping discus and have decided that try to keep
both discus and plants together. Yes...there are trade off that have
that have to be made.
1. Feedings and water quality have to be monitored. One good thing is
that the plants also love the additional ammonia that occurs through the
breakdown of the protein rich discus food.
2. Water Temperture is something that most people would not even think
of. I quickly found out that some of the plants that picked out for my
new discus tank immediately turned into cooked spinach when i added them
to my tank :( Those that did not die immediately either thrived or
slowly declined until now i have some very heat tolerant plants such as
rotala, hygrophila, cabomba, echinodorus, and a "giant" cryptocorne
which is actually THRIVING (will wonders never cease). I have had to
settle for my tank temperture to be at the lower end of comfort for the
discus and the higher end of confort for the plants.
3. Water changes should be made frequently anyways so this is no issue
(esp now since I finally broke open the piggy bank and got a RO unit).
I have to admit that I am still a neophyte at discus, but i have had
successful planted tanks for about 4 years now. i think if you practice
good husbandry techniques for your fish...the plants will only thrive in
this environment. One thing that I am thinking about trying is having a
NO SUBSTRATE plant tank with all of the plants being those that attach
to driftwood. This way the tank can be easily cleaned of uneaten food
and detritus. Any thoughts on this??? i have seen one similar to this
at Aquarium of the americas in New Orleans.
jdavis at bio_tamu.edu
jmd9261 at tam2000_tamu.edu