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Ok i am going to be turning my 54 gallon corner tank into a discus tank. I will be keeping the temperature at around 84 degress. What kind of plants do all of you discus owners use? Thanks and any recomendations or suggestions would be great. I will be using ada subsrate which will be delivered soon. I am going to have some harscape which will be manazita driftwood. Hopefully this will be a sucessful project.

Tank specs:

Ehiem 2215 filter
Coralife fixture 130 watts (2 65watt bulbs)
Ada subsrate
 

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Well I don't keep discus but with my MH lights my 120gal tank was between 85 and 90 degrees this summer. I didn't have any problems growing plants in those temps. I had watersprite, javamoss, african water ferns, corkscrew vals, amazon swords, red mellon swords, Nuphar japonica, blixa japonica, bacopa, banana plant, hygros, and brown wendii cypts. I am probably forgetting some stuff but I never noticed a problem growing certain plants due to the higher temp. Hope this helps
 

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As long as you stay at or below 84 degrees, you can grow whatever you want practically. Your limits will only be lighting, ferts and CO2. I have kept discus for awile now. I keep my tank between 82 and 84 without any problems. You may at some point have to raise the temp to 86 - 88 degrees to deal with parasites, but short stints (less than 10 days) at even those temps have little effects on plants. As for types of plants, you nme it and I've probably grown it so pick the ones you like best given all the parameters.
 

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you can actually go up to about 86 degrees, at least thats what my 125 gal discus tank is at, and I can grow just about anything. It is a good idea though to acclimate your plants for a while, when bought from a local LFS they are probably in water temp. of 70 to 74 degrees, so dont shock them by just throwing them in there
 

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Stick to 82F and your plants will look better. :)
Pick young adults to minimize the problems with stunting/overfeeding and IME not more than 4-5 of them for your size tank.
You may have to give up the others once a pair forms.
 

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Stick to 82F and your plants will look better. :)
Pick young adults to minimize the problems with stunting/overfeeding and IME not more than 4-5 of them for your size tank.
You may have to give up the others once a pair forms.
I agree! Above 83-84 some plants (particularly mosses) will not thrive. They will live, but not thrive...big difference. Oh, and don't let those discus forums scare you into going higher than 83-84. It is not necessary for the discus to be healthy and happy. Mine spawn weekly. What I have done, because heater thermostats are so bad (regardless of quality) is add an electronic temperature controller. The heaters plug into the controller that has a VERY good thermostat. I set it for 83 with one degree variance allowed so my temp ranges between 82-84, but 99% of the time it sits at 83.2.
 

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I think the question people should be asking is why are you subjecting your discus to such unnatural temperatures?!!!

They are amazonian fish just like most of our tetras, corydoras and other South American fish. How many of you keep your cardinal tetras and angelfish constantly at such high temperatures?

Get some healthy discus from a breeder and acclimatice THEM to natural temperatures! The high temperatures supposedly recorded in the natural habitats were, as far as i am aware, all taken during the dry season when the fish are in low water, often trapped in shallow pools that obviously heat up rapidly. Hardly the ideal!
 

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the fish are in low water, often trapped in shallow pools that obviously heat up rapidly
Sounds like an aquarium.

I want a planted discus tank also. I'm afraid my pH may be too high, even with injected co2.
 

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Sounds like an aquarium.
Not really! Hopefully we should all be aiming to keep our aquariums as stable as possible - hence the heaterstats set to keep the temperature steady.

I'm not saying discus can't cope with high temperatures, or that there aren't some benefits to higher temperatures for a while, but higher temps mean higher metabolism, and, in the end, a shorter life too.

While discus may get trapped in pools for a few months (and possibly eaten if they do!), the rest of the time they are usually in a huge river system with constant water changes and temperatures a lot lower than many discus keepers and breeders keep their fish at. Discus, like most Amazonian fish, breed during the rainy season, when the water is at it's highest and that water has come from rain / meltwater from the Andes!

I just think it's a shame that we try so hard to provide great environments for our fish to live in and then keep them at too high temperatures and affect their life so much.

Please note I am not saying we should completely replicate their natural environments all the time, after i have fish from three different continents in my tanks and plants from more than that I think. They also get food they would never eat in the wild and live amongst loads of plants that wouldn't grow in most of the streams my fish come from. And there are no predators!
 

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I keep my discus at 82F and all plants are doing fine. The only plant I would not recommend is HC. My Blue Diamonds decided to uproot every little patch of HC I was trying to grow. Oh well... They also take an occasional nip at more delicate plants such as R. wallichii but without causing any damage to it.
 

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Not really! Hopefully we should all be aiming to keep our aquariums as stable as possible - hence the heaterstats set to keep the temperature steady.

I'm not saying discus can't cope with high temperatures, or that there aren't some benefits to higher temperatures for a while, but higher temps mean higher metabolism, and, in the end, a shorter life too.

While discus may get trapped in pools for a few months (and possibly eaten if they do!), the rest of the time they are usually in a huge river system with constant water changes and temperatures a lot lower than many discus keepers and breeders keep their fish at. Discus, like most Amazonian fish, breed during the rainy season, when the water is at it's highest and that water has come from rain / meltwater from the Andes!

I just think it's a shame that we try so hard to provide great environments for our fish to live in and then keep them at too high temperatures and affect their life so much.

Please note I am not saying we should completely replicate their natural environments all the time, after i have fish from three different continents in my tanks and plants from more than that I think. They also get food they would never eat in the wild and live amongst loads of plants that wouldn't grow in most of the streams my fish come from. And there are no predators!
One thing to consider is that almost every discus with the exception of wild caught was born and raised in the conditions that you are talking about, meaning they have never known anything else. have you ever kept discus? I see rather large and very healthy discus all the time from breeders that stay in the 82 to 84 degree mark, I have been keeping mine at 84 for a few years now with no problems, and a mess load of plants, look at my tank in introductions and greetings, its titled "hello from Wi." the other thing that really makes a difference in the overall health of discus is there diet hands down, a lot of the things that they eat in the river where they come from are just not reasonable for a aquarium, and again they were born and raised without it. As for the higher motabolism, discus are very suceptable to flagletts, the higher temp. and increased motabolism, decreases the risk of this diseases (is a fish really happy when he has flagletts). Yes flagletts are easily treatable but who in the hell wants to try to cath discus out of a heavily planted tank, my tank is 125 gal and I would rather stick a knife in my eye then try to catch them to quarintine them. If you buy a fish from a breeder that is not a juvenile the chances are it may be a year old or more, meaning they have been in that water temp there whole life, if you bring them home and put them in a 10 degree difference from the past year or more of there life I dont think they would be very happy. I think I will stick to the higher temperatures rather than chance flushing about 450 dollars worth of my fish down the drain do to chance of disease at lower temps.
 

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One thing to consider is that almost every discus with the exception of wild caught was born and raised in the conditions that you are talking about, meaning they have never known anything else. have you ever kept discus? I see rather large and very healthy discus all the time from breeders that stay in the 82 to 84 degree mark, I have been keeping mine at 84 for a few years now with no problems, and a mess load of plants, look at my tank in introductions and greetings, its titled "hello from Wi." the other thing that really makes a difference in the overall health of discus is there diet hands down, a lot of the things that they eat in the river where they come from are just not reasonable for a aquarium, and again they were born and raised without it. As for the higher motabolism, discus are very suceptable to flagletts, the higher temp. and increased motabolism, decreases the risk of this diseases (is a fish really happy when he has flagletts). Yes flagletts are easily treatable but who in the hell wants to try to cath discus out of a heavily planted tank, my tank is 125 gal and I would rather stick a knife in my eye then try to catch them to quarintine them. If you buy a fish from a breeder that is not a juvenile the chances are it may be a year old or more, meaning they have been in that water temp there whole life, if you bring them home and put them in a 10 degree difference from the past year or more of there life I dont think they would be very happy. I think I will stick to the higher temperatures rather than chance flushing about 450 dollars worth of my fish down the drain do to chance of disease at lower temps.
I agree with almost everything you say! I would not want to put $450 dollars worth of fish in peril. But while your expensive fish are in quarantine, why not treat them preventatively for the flagellates with Paragone (or something else with Metrondiazole or sim) and then very slowly acclimatise them to their natural temperatures monitoring carefully?

Obviously a 10 degree temperature drop would cause the fish immense stress if performed quickly and they would probably promptly catch whitespot (amongst other things) if this happened. There is quite a bit of research done on the effects of temperature change in fish and how slow acclimatisation is needed, especially when lowering temperatures.

I totally agree with your comments about captive bred discus having been kept at those high temperatures all their lives, but many breeders always keep their fish in bare tanks and in quite hard water too. Do you keep all your discus in the same conditions in these respects? After all bare tanks done partly to minimise waste and any possibility of diseases. Hard water is used by some because it improves the growth rate apparently. But if these fish were growing at the normal temperatures would this be an issue?
You can change these parameters, why not the temperature too?

I never said the discus wouldn't grow large and be apparently healthy in unnatural conditions and have seen many in tanks too. The breeders/dealers I have talked to though have never been able to pin down exactly why they use these high temperatures, apart from it keeps certain diseases at bay. I don't think they wanted to abmit that a part of the reason was that their fish grew more rapidly and hence reached a saleable size quicker.

As the main cause of disease is normally stress don't you think we should be doing all we can to reduce this in our pets? These fish evolved for millions of years living at their natural temperature range, which included the ability to tolerate periods of high temperature. Why not take that as a good basis over 40ish years of captive breeding?

I have kept discus but they really didn't have enough room as they grew. They were kept at normal temperatures (26oC) in soft water with plants and other fish and were in absolutely bullish health. They were 'bog standard' Blue discus. I wouldn't keep any more until I have a bigger tank and would get some wilds, or near wild, preferably Tefe greens (but will need to wait for a long while to get the funds necessary). I currently do keep wild angels though.

I hope you don't think I was trying to have a go at anyone or the way anyone else does things. I can, I'm afraid, come across far more bluntly than I usually mean to. If something works for you then great, but they really don't NEED these high temperatures. If they did, why wouldn't the angelfish, tetras, catfish etc. that live alongside them in the wild need them too?
 

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Respect to all

I completely respect everything that you said in your post, if none of us here had a difference in opinion then we would all learn nothing, this site would be useless. I respect everyones "method of madness" to doing there own thing. As for my water, yes it is hard I do not use RO water I did at one time but then slowly acclimated them to tap water by doing small water changes more often, the only reason I did this was because I do not have a RO system, but I think I should really get one for the sake of the overall health of my plants, what do you think? As for the quarantine tank I like your idea of very slowly re- acclimating them to there original temp. the only thing that worries me is that when I have discus in my quarantine tank there is nothing in it, meaning no other fish or plants. If I treat them and they are not diseased the whole time they are in my quarantine tank at lower temperatures because there are no other variables (being fish or plants) what will happen when I put them in my 125 gal tank with a descent amount of fish and plants, because they are usually kept in warmer conditions are they going to still get diseases easier because they are with other fish?
 

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I completely respect everything that you said in your post, if none of us here had a difference in opinion then we would all learn nothing, this site would be useless. I respect everyones "method of madness" to doing there own thing. As for my water, yes it is hard I do not use RO water I did at one time but then slowly acclimated them to tap water by doing small water changes more often, the only reason I did this was because I do not have a RO system, but I think I should really get one for the sake of the overall health of my plants, what do you think? As for the quarantine tank I like your idea of very slowly re- acclimating them to there original temp. the only thing that worries me is that when I have discus in my quarantine tank there is nothing in it, meaning no other fish or plants. If I treat them and they are not diseased the whole time they are in my quarantine tank at lower temperatures because there are no other variables (being fish or plants) what will happen when I put them in my 125 gal tank with a descent amount of fish and plants, because they are usually kept in warmer conditions are they going to still get diseases easier because they are with other fish?
Couldn't agree more, glad we think the same way! Healthy debate is a good thing! Glad I didn't put you nose out of joint!

I've got an RO system and wouldn't be without one. The health of my fish has improved no end and they breed like rabbits (rabbitfish?!!) My plants seem to love it too. I suppose in the end I love the control it gives me. I want hard water I can add exactly the right amount, I want nitrates I can add the right amount. Not that I'm a control freak!!!!!
The only slight glitch is the time it takes to generate the water and all the waste water produced by an RO. I have solved these by having my 50gpd unit feeding into a 100l barrel with an automatic top-up valve that shuts the unit off when it's full. The waste water goes through a long length of the green waste pipe into the filter of my pond to give that a bit more of a slow water change whenever the unit's running. 25 litres of product water will mean about 125l of carbon filtered water into the pond (small fry in a 3,500 uk gallon pond, but waste not, want not!

From my experience with wild cichlids, I have always treated as a precaution in quarantine to get rid of worms etc to reduce their parasite load and prevent those problems surfacing when they are mixed in a tank with others.
As far as I know, this should apply the same with the flagellates carried by the discus. They are after all 'micro'-parasites and can't appear by magic in a tank, they have to be brought in somehow.
Of course if you already have untreated discus in the display tank they may well be carrying them (held at bay by the high temperatures) and they would need treating too. I would treat the display tank; plants, fish and all, and then that effectively becomes your quarantine tank with all your current stock.
You could then lower the temperature slowly over a couple of weeks or more. This should prevent any stress and that's the cause of all the problems IMHO.
Whenever new fish are bought they would have to undergo the quarantine / acclimatisation process I mentioned before.
I do a similar, small scale version of this (without the temperature change) with my new fish to acclimatise them to the pH / hardness values in my tanks when i buy them as they are kept in tap water at all my LFSs.

Does that slightly rambling explanation all make sense?
 

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I here what your saying 100% about quarantining, I do this with EVERYTHING that goes into my 125 gal to ensure no deaths among the very beautifull but expensive discus that I own, I even have ghost shrimp in a quarantine tank right now with 2 discus a little smaller then a u.s .25 cent piece. It is constantly running on my counter top in my kitchen.
 

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As long as you stay at or below 84 degrees, you can grow whatever you want practically. Your limits will only be lighting, ferts and CO2. I have kept discus for awile now. I keep my tank between 82 and 84 without any problems. You may at some point have to raise the temp to 86 - 88 degrees to deal with parasites, but short stints (less than 10 days) at even those temps have little effects on plants. As for types of plants, you nme it and I've probably grown it so pick the ones you like best given all the parameters.
I’m raising the temperature in my planted tank to 88 slowly , it’s been one week and only two 3 inch discus the bigger ones out of 9 that came in from uncle sams are eating . They look healthy but are timid and hiding in the plants .A few pooped white from not eating , I rather try heat than meds and the stress of moving them . I don’t see ick or other issues they just won’t eat . I’m glad tho you told us your plants can handle higher temp for a few days . I only have a few black tetras and rummy nose also Cory cats . I have two vecton 25 w sterilizers w two cascade 1000 pumps w extra bio in them it’s a 60 gallon . I’m going to try frozen hikari beef heart and maybe frozen hikari black worms and get more live California black worms . Two are eating live cali black worms . Hope I can get them all eating . Their colors still look amazing so at least that’s a plus . I did add air stone for them at night to cope w the higher temps . Any thoughts let me know .
 

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Welcome to APC! This is a really old thread (2007) so none of the original participants are likely to respond. Try a search on discus and/or SeatleAquarist (Roy). He has a recent tread on a planted discus tank.
 
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