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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in early June I posted my first thread in the forum. I've had my planted tank up and running since then and wanted to post some pics of the results so far. Originally I planned an Asian themed tank, but then the discus bug hit me (again). It's been about 9 years since I last kept these wonderful fish and I'm very happy I went that direction again. This tank is giving me a lot more joy than my reef tank at half the price.

I appreciate any feedback or suggestions. I'm still very new to plants so the tank is only full of fairly easy species. My primary focus is on the discus, but I still would love to add more colorful plants if you have any recommendations. I run 3wpgs with daily doses of excel on a timer and dose flourish 2x a week.
 

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Looks very nice! Those swords you have growing in front of the driftwood are eventually going to get very, very big and will probably have to be moved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the nice words. Actually, only one of them is a sword (far left), the other two are anubias. You can't really see it in the pic, but there is a lot of open space on the left side of my tank where I planted a lot of corkscrew val that only seems to grow about 6-8". Hopefully the sword up front will fill in some of that space.
 

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Erock,

Your tank looks like it's well established and has quite a few plants. I bet you don't have issues with the maintenance.

Do you use CO2?

What kinds of light do you have?

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Niko,

Thanks. I don't use CO2, but I do have an eheim doser that adds Excel throughout the day. I also add a little extra Excel after my weekly water change.

For lighting, I use a Nova Extreme t-5 setup with two daylight bulbs and two plant grow bulbs. I have two of the lights on for 10 hours and the other two come on for 7 hours in the middle of the 10 hour schedule. It's during this 7 hours of full lighting that I dose Excel.

I'm happy with the tank. I would like to add some broad-leafed foreground plants, maybe something that has some red to it. I decided against doing any "carpet" type plants as the discus like to eat off of the substrate and I don't want them to have to dig through plants to get at their food. Also, I may have to eventually catch my 3 SAE's as they seem as though they are starting to prefer fish food than algae.
 

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Very nice tank. My wife has started her own discus tank, and was wondering what the long green curly plants were. TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jeff

The large curly plant is a single plant. It was sold to me as a "ruffle sword", but I believe it is a type of aponogeton crispus as I can't find any documentation of a sword that looks like that. Planted around it is multiple onion plants(I guess that is what they are called) and it makes the perfect discus hideaway.

Where did your wife get her discus? I bought mine from a breeder in Plano and I've been very happy with their health, colors and quality.
 

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Thanks! She plans on getting them at LFs near by. They have a great selection with some great color.
 

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Where did you find the bulbs for the "aponogeton crispus"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jeff

Just noticed by your signature that you are not in DFW, so I guess a discus breeder in Plano, TX is out of the question ;)

I bought the "ruffle sword" as a full grown plant from a LFS, I've never tried growing anything directly from a bulb.
 

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I have a melon sword that has a red blush. It gets about 8 inches tall. I can't think of any other broad leafed red plants at the moment. You could use some stem plant but would have to trim them constantly to keep them as short as you want them. Broad-leafed red is hard....
 

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The plant is Aponogeton ulvaceus. It's a funky looking plant that is totally gorgoeus when growing. It also blooms often. When it shift into full throttle it grows very, very fast. It also supresses other swords when it grows well.

Compare to A. crispus:

Ulvaceus:
http://images.google.com/images?gbv...&ct=result&cd=1&q=aponogeton+ulvaceus&spell=1

Crispus:
http://images.google.com/images?gbv=2&hl=en&q=aponogeton+crispus

It seems that everythig is growing well for you. I don't see a need to add a CO2 system What you wil see is different pattern and speed of growth of the plants. But your tank is clean and well established so is it worth it adding a CO2?

For a broad leafed foreground plant I think Lobelia cardinalis is a good choice. Leaves are the size of a thumbnail (real thumbnail, not an undersized internet picture) But it will take some time to cover a good area unless you start with a lot of plants. Praxx used to have tons of this plant, but I don't know about now.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/images/Lobeliaceae/lobelia_dwarf_top.jpg
http://www.azgardens.com/images/LobeliacardinalisSmallForm-.gif

--Nikolay
 

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Very very nice biotope tank. The Dallas World Aquarium would be envious.

What do you maintain your water temps at and what is your water change/dosing schedule? I am going to be a plants-first tank but I do love discus. I am a newbie to both though so I don't think I will be trying both at once.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Niko-You hit the nail on the head, this is an Ulvaceus and it does grow like mad. I regularly have to remove old leaves to make room for the new leaves and it sends out 2-3 runners that bloom at the surface at a time.

Speakerguy-Thanks for the kind words. While I do try to maintain a biotope type setup, my tank isn't a true biotope. Most of the plants in my tank are Asian or African in origin. I tried to do a planted tank many, many years ago that was strictly Amazonian and it was tough. I also have 3 siamese algae eaters in there, so that kinda throws off the biotope theme as well ;)

As far as my tanks schedule is concerned, it is actually pretty easy. I change 20% water once a week. Yep, just once a week. Many people think discus tanks require lots of time to maintain (i.e. tons of water changes). The secret is to know your discus source and buy discus that have been tank bred for generations. My discus were bred and raised in good old fashioned dechlorinated city water. Give them a planted tank where nutrients are taken up by the plants along with a really good plant substrate that converts fish waste into plant food (I use eco-complete). Also, make sure to establish your plants before you add the discus and your gold.

I keep my temps at 83 degrees and I'm careful not to overfeed. I also clean my canister filter with every water change, which I feel if very important so that you don't have anything rotting in your filter which leaches nitrates. I dose flourish excel every day and regular flourish twice a week.

I hope you give discus a try. They are wonderful fish and the tank bred varieties are typically very hardy. Keep in mind most of what you read about how to maintain these fish are based on either keeping wild caught discus, breeding them, or growing them to show size which is larger than they are found in nature. Wild caught and breeding requires soft water, which has a greater chance of ph drops while grow outs require tons of feeding leading to tons of waste, which is why these methods require more attention to water quality and changes. To keep them as pets just requires understanding their basic needs for clean, warm water as well as making them feel secure as breeders still haven't found a way to breed the skiddish nature out of them.

Good luck.
 

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I think that Aponogeton ulvaceus is the same plant that I had for a while. It grew and multiplied like CRAZY for about a year, then all of the sudden it quit growing, melted, and I haven't seen it since.

Nice tank erock!
 

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Yes, the ulvaceus will decide to disappear one sunny day. And come back full force in several months. That is a common problem with Aponogetons.

--Nikolay
 
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