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re:re:schizoid tank

........spray bar across the back of
>the tank.  Nice for the fish not so good for CO2?

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association

Correct.  You don't need that much bacterial filtration in a planted
and you sure don't want that watter agitation.  You can use your sump if

you want, and even use the bioballs during the run-in period if you feel

that you must. (although you'll do at least as well by limiting the
bacterial filtration and establishing a good healthy growth of plants
before introducing your big fish)  But return the water BELOW the
and install supplemental CO2 in the return line to replace what you've
outgased in the filter.

My thought was that I always had trouble before with algae because of
the ammonia and nitrites and the fish I spoke of don't
like it either (Altum angles, Discus and zebra or gold nugget plecos).
As to the water movement.  I want good oxygen content
for the fish.  Can I have both oxygen and CO2?  I understand that the
plants will produce some oxygen in the day and I can
limit the CO2 at night.

You also were hesitant on the plecos - I understand the big herbivores
but the zebra (aqualog L 46) and gold nugget plecos
(L85, L177) are, despite what many think, more of a carnivore and should

leave the plants alone (there were some good
articles in TFH Aug 98 by Larry Vires) but feeding them without
polluting the water may be a challenge or they may
complement the Discus since they like the same kind of food and should
clean up some of what the Discus miss.  Note that
these two plecos also like warm 84 F water just like the Discus

>So.... Am I asking for trouble with temps in the 80's, messy fish and
>trying to grow plants at the same time on my first real plant tank?  Is

>there any synergy in what I want to do or am I just making a compromise


It's certainly not the easiest tank to attempt on your first try, but it

certainly can be done, and done successfully.  You might want to check
my column at the Aquarium Frontiers web site:


I don't remember which month it was, but I discussed the set up and
maintenance of just such a tank recently. I want to guess maybe Sept.?
any case, they're all archived there, so I'm sure you can find it.

Thanks - a great article! (yes September)
Some important points I pulled out:

*    With CO2 injection be careful of ph swings - better to have some
hardness (buffering) to the water than try to simulate the
natural environment because of  the stability of the chemistry.
*    Give shading/hiding places for the Discus so they will feel secure
- the plants will give some of this too.
*    Setup order is important
        Algae eaters first
        Schooling fish before the discus
        Discus last
*    Minimize decaying food
*    Weekly water changes ~30%
*    Put only quarantined fish into the tank
*    Becareful about live food

A few questions please if you would:
*    What plants will not like the 82-84 C temp?
*    Is it better to start some of the swords small at high temp and let

them grow into this environment?
*    You mentioned some plants for beginners - although I said I had
killed a lot of plants, mostly I have stunted them, or let hair
algae grow on them and occasionally I was successful.  I'm tired of
plants like water Sprite (a weed!).  What would your next
step up or two list be?
*    I like live food - I understand the black worm problems although I
think they are almost dead when most hobbyists get
them and dead things are bacteria problems.  I have cultured them into a

healthy state yet I am still worried about bacteria
problems.  I would think white worms would be better but somewhat
fattening.  What are your thoughts on cultured earth
worms, fruit flies ?  Any live food sound ok?

Thanks for the feedback