Muz - the new setup

Discussion in 'Discus' started by Muz, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Muz
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    Muz Algae harvester

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    Alrighty, I am glad that I came across this website ( Thanks Henk for the lead )

    I am starting what I think is going to be a really spectacular setup but I really need as much input from all of you to get it right the 1st time around.

    The tank is destined to become a planted discus tank, it will be 2250 x 700 x 700

    For filtration I have planned to drill the bottom of the tank which will go down to a 1.3m sump, filter media I was looking at was bio balls and filter floss, I was also looking at an X5 external cannister filter, I also have an H2) ACF - 2000 which I can use. Return pump I have 2 lifetec 4800's that I can use.

    There is so much info that I am not sure really to start, I am assuming that substrate is going to be improtant so I was thinking of a 2cm clay substrate with a 2 or 3 cm silca sand topping, I was also playing with the idea of using cable heating for the substrate.

    Lighting, well I was considering 2 options 1) going T5's probably about 8 x 1.2m mixture of power glo, aqua glo & sun glo also there are some new t5's by Osram called skywhite I was looking at, all on reflectors, or 3 x 150W MH with supplement T5's.

    Heaters 3 x 300W jager

    I have no experience with CO2 but the setup looks simple enough.

    Internal flow I have not looked at yet.

    The stand has been built but I am making some adjustments to the height and adding adjustable feet, the glass has been ordered so the tank build should start soon.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Murray
     
  2. Muz
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    Muz Algae harvester

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    Just been reading through some threads.. so a planted tank is not advisable for discus.. this may require a rethink, this miss will not be happy with a BB because the tank will have so much bracing.
     
  3. Muz
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    Muz Algae harvester

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    OK, so last night, well early this morning I was doing some tank designs, I have decided through going over many threads on this website that a full blown planted discus tank is not a great idea ( thanks for all your knowledge posted here ) I am determined to keep it a discus tank though, or else I may as well go reef .

    So I was thinking a silca based substrate ( dump the clay idea ) or the black substrate from Jason and then have the aquascaping so that it raises in the back corners creating 2 triangles, the decor will be driftwood, rocks and a min amount of plants which will be aquascaped into the corners leaving quite a minimalistic middle and front so that I can vac up eccess food.
     
  4. City bowl
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    City bowl Noob

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    I have kept planted discus tanks for years.
     
  5. Muz
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    Muz Algae harvester

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    Thats nice, can you give me any more info from my 1st post ? I could use as much info as possible, sorry but telling me you have kept it for years does not help me much.
     
  6. morpheus
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    morpheus Noob

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    Hi

    Here is my take on your tank. Size is pretty impressive, however if money is no option it will make a really good planted tank. However, for a high tech planted you need to come out of the gate with a lot of plants to combat algae. I would say in the region of 75% substrate coverage. You are easily talking a few grand for plants alone.

    Having a sump is a beautiful idea and I am planning to do something similar. What you have to watch is the water being returned to your tank, a rough return and you may lose a lot of the CO2 you are adding. I personally think adding it to the sump is the only way to go, keeps all that unsightly rubbish out of your tank.

    Water - For Discus RO water is my preference, not because you cannot keep them in almost anything but it makes life a lot simpler. With the water volumes you are looking at, you will need a seriously high output RO system, again if it is in your budget go for it. A place you can look is www.thewaterboy.co.za. This guy is a reef keeper and makes systems for very large reef aquaria.

    Please keep in mind that if you do not have an auto water changer, using the EI method of dosing for plants requires a 50% weekly water change. On the volume you have there, that is a some water change. If you have the RO system setup with an auto changer, no worries and it will take care of itself. Talk to the waterboy, he can advise you best.

    Discus keepers on the most part, like those sterile tanks without any substrate to keep water quality perfect. I have news for them, discus come from rivers in the Amazon basin and well, there is sand, there are plants and rocks and all sorts and they seem to do just fine. Discus like any fish like good water quality, with an RO unit and regular changes you have that covered AND you have the best filter there is, growing plants.

    The last issue Discus lovers have is the temp of the water. Insisting that 30 degrees is essential to keep them at. Again in the wild, the temp does not hit that height for more than a few weeks per year, for the rest of the time they are in the mid 20's. Plants are not crazy about the 30 degree temps so that is why some people say they are not compatible. Personally if your water quality is good, there is no need to push your temp that high to take care of pathogens. It is not good husbandry to amp up the temp hoping no pathogens will show their ugly head. Good water is good water. Just make sure once it is all set up you quarantine new additions.

    I know this post has been a bit all over the place but I am trying to do this and work at the same time.

    Read as much as you can about the planted tank. Sort out your water issues and think about how you plan to fertilise. Once you know that and you order your plants etc. first set the tank up and get it stable. Once you have it the way you want it and the maintenance is sorted, get your Discus. Take lots of pics and show us all so we can drool at how a well planted HUGE discus tank looks.

    Ask as many questions as you need to. It is a lot of money you will be investing so make sure it is money well spent.

    Morpheus
     
  7. City bowl
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    City bowl Noob

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    I am happy to answer you specific questions, please look at my previous posts on my tanks.
    I do not use RO water in Cape Town and actually I just refill from a hose pipe, 20% 25% a week.
    the only issue with my tap water is pH but that is not a problem if you have CO2 attached to a pH monitor.
    As to temperature 28/82 is fine for discus and plants.
    I believe you need higher temperatures in bare tanks,
    but planted tanks are different both in the water quality and the stress levels of the fish,
    both of which obviously contribute to health.
    The rest of your specs sound fine to me. :)
     
  8. Muz
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    Muz Algae harvester

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    Thanks very much for your posts, I have an RO unit from the waterboy as I have a reef tank as well, it does not have a massive output but I can probably produce enough to do a fair size water change, I agree City Bowl, our tap water is very good quality, dechlorinate, add buffer, amd massive airation for 24 hours before water change should cover what the R/O does not make up for..

    Who are the best suppliers to contact, to get my lighting and filtration & CO2 requirements
     
  9. Muz
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    Muz Algae harvester

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    a rough return and you may lose a lot of the CO2 you are adding.

    What do you mean by rough, are you referring to gas exchange through agitated water flow, I was planning on using a Lifetech pump rated at about 4500l/h I was intending on jusy plumbing the water in through a neat hole on the side of the tank drilled probably just on the water level. The water will be introduced into the tank through I suppose what could be described as a spraybar but with fairly large holes ( approx 5mm) this is just so that the discus are not introduced to this 'jet' return, it is more difused. What do you think?

    for a high tech planted you need to come out of the gate with a lot of plants to combat algae. I would say in the region of 75% substrate coverage. You are easily talking a few grand for plants alone

    I did not want go mad and spend a fortune on plants to cover the tank as I am not convinced I can keep them alive yet !!, I wanted to introduce plants gradually, initial decor will be bio rock and bogwood, I was going to increase the lighting as I went but I suppose this is not condusive to keeping the few plants I start with.. hmmm, I small a problem.

    "using the EI method of dosing for plants requires a 50% weekly water change"

    LOL, not going to happen ! 20% weekly is probably the max they will get unless I can just refill with the hosepipe, as City Bowl suggests, I have to really test my water 1st.

    Personally if your water quality is good, there is no need to push your temp that high

    This I did'nt know !

    It all helps, thanks a mil !

    Murray
     
  10. Gertjc
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    Gertjc Algae harvester

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    Murray, I agree with the other writers. You must start your tank with loads of plants! Plants will help getting rid of the innitial amonia spike and
    nitrates. Lots of plants will also prevent algae from getting enough food to be in competition. Read Diana Walstad's book: Ecology of the planted
    aquarium. This will explain why plants will be your fish's best friends!
    Good luck!
    PS: Jason also got loads of plants in!
     
  11. Solex69
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    Solex69 Algae harvester

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    Hey Muz

    This must be your lucky day because I have plants that I was about to throw away this morning. They are still very healthy as can be and they grow rapidly providing you have sufficient lighting in your tank. If you want, you can come collect it from me. They are the individual strains of plants that shoot all the way to the top (sorry, I don't know what they are called but these type of plants are often shown in some petshops' show tank)

    Let me know if you are interested

    Dale
     
  12. Muz
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    Muz Algae harvester

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    Dale you are a star, please PM me your details I can make a plan to swing by tomorrow ! I have a 1m tank I can setup as a holding tank until I am ready !

    Shto

    Murray
     
  13. Solex69
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    Solex69 Algae harvester

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    Cool, will PM you now.
     
  14. Muz
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    Muz Algae harvester

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    Cool, thanks

    Did you guys look at my thread under lighting, check out the unit I am looking to buy.. undecided between this unit and just T5's on reflectors.

    Muz
     
  15. Solex69
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    Solex69 Algae harvester

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    Yip, just replied there
     
  16. vic+andrea
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    vic+andrea Algae harvester

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    Why is it that ppl are still trowing away plants when there are ppl like me begging for off cuts?? Guys!!! Please!!! if there is ANY BODY that has any plants that htey want to get rid off PLEASE pm me and I ill gladley pay for post and extra!!!
     
  17. Solex69
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    Solex69 Algae harvester

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    Hi

    I will def keep every1 here in mind once I trim my tanks again. PM me with your e-mail and I'll send you a pic of the type of plants that I can get

    Thx
    D
     
  18. Gertjc
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    Gertjc Algae harvester

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    Solex69,
    I am about to send Wikus a parcel (sounds like snoek and chips!) :fish:
    of plants. I suggest that you can bring some over, to include.
    I also heard that biltong is in abundance in the Northern Province! Maybe we can yust hint hard enough, and receive a return packet! :wave:
    Wikus, yust don't send us any Durban Poison Cuttings! :laugh:
    Gert.
     
  19. vic+andrea
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    vic+andrea Algae harvester

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    That sounds like a plan to me!!! What tipe of biltong do you guys like? Beef or game?
     
  20. Muz
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    Muz Algae harvester

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    Wikus, yust don't send us any Durban Poison Cuttings!

    Actually, if there is any space :banana: :angel4:
     

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