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Some women have children. I have discus.¬†ūüėČ

Though I'd start a journal for my planted discus tank. It's been running a few years now, and these fish are my babies. The tank sits next to my desk, and I work full time from home. We all spend a lot of time together.

Photo from Spring 2020 (and the best photo I've gotten of this tank!)2092776152_IMG_1964copy2.jpg.77d7e8cc6c7b0ae310fc52b96fc908f6.jpg


Here's the tank in Dec 2019, a few weeks after planting



The layout for the tank was inspired by an ADA tank I saw in a youtube video, this tank: (this photo is a screenshot from a youtube video of the ADA gallery in Japan. It is not my tank)



Stocking in the tank is currently 10 discus, 5 Sterbai Cories, 4 oto cats, 10 Amano Shrimp, and some random guppies who snuck in on a net as fry and grew up in the tank. I had 12 discus, but decided to re-home two who were pairing off and picking fights a few months ago.

I hear some people say discus are skittish. That is not my experience. They are nosy, always up in my business when I'm trying to do maintenance. I end up pushing them away so I can see what I'm doing.. lol!



Thanks for reading! I'll keep updating as the tank evolves.

Edited by Jessica.
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1 hour ago, Andy's Fish Den said:

Your discus tank is beautiful! the green of the plants with the bright colors of the discus makes for a beautiful display. What plants do you have in there and do you run CO2 ?

Thanks @Andy's Fish Den

These are the plants in the photo. This picture is from spring, and I've switched out a few (not because the didn't do well, but for aesthetics). I'm aiming to do some maintenance this weekend and get a current photo. IMG_1964plantnames.jpg.19e3ab3dd1d9085d94c63b92022af5f5.jpg

I do inject co2, but I do it a very low a level (about one bubble every three seconds, on for 8 hours a day), and I also run two ziss bubble filters in the back. I'm not sure the co2 is doing anything at all. I had a drop checking in the tank, it would always stay blue. The discus probably produce more co2 than what in inject. I could maybe take it off, but I've got the balance keyed in on this tank and hesitate to change anything. 


I also fertilize with micros only and potassium sulfate (I don't add any nitrates or phosphates, the discus produce enough, and get unhappy when nitrates climb). My tap well water has 5ppm nitrates, the tank stays between 10-20 ppm nitrates. I water change 2-3 times a week, depending on how heavily I've fed that week.


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  • 2 weeks later...

A little update. This photo is an in progress shot (aren't aquariums always in progress? Feels that way), since taking it shows me a few things I want to change. 


Did some glass cleaning last night, and refreshed the white sand in the front.

So future things to change: 

The val is taking over the back left more than I'd like, and has choked out some of the giant haigrass. Looking at the pic from 6 months ago, the hairgrass was almost double the width it is now. I think next water change, I'm going to pull out a bunch of the giant val and replace it with some giant hairgrass to grow in. 

I also added 3 crinum natans in the back left. They're growing in slowly but surely. I hope they'll one day be large enough to replace the val in this corner and drape across the top. They're very slow growing though, it'll probably be years until the get to be that big a size. 


And, I added some mini velvet buce on driftwood to the foreground. Just did this last week, so it needs time to grow in. 



Edited by Jessica.
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Lol, that video of you pushing the discus away! I love how inquisitive they seem. The picture labeling all your plants is very helpful too. I may just have to push discus to the top of my "large aquarium" bucket list now.

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4 hours ago, Irene said:

I may just have to push discus to the top of my "large aquarium" bucket list now.

@IreneI can't recommend them enough, if you have the inclination and budget. I'd certainly enjoy any videos you made keeping them.

I get so much enjoyment from this tank. They develop their own personalities, the beg for food incessantly when I'm around. There can be a learning curve, and I did lose a few when I first got them as 3" fish. But, watching them grow and bonding with them is so enjoyable for me. 

I often handfeed them for fun- 



Edited by Jessica.
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On 10/28/2020 at 5:57 AM, Ruud said:

Hi Jessica, your tank and Discuss truly look amazing. They look healthy and happy, which is the best you can hope for as a fish caretaker!

Can I ask what size is your tank?

Hi Rudd! The tank is 120Gal. Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it. 

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Sunday maintenance day update!

I did a big trim today and replant. I pulled out and trimmed val, replanted the hairgrass background plant to extend it further to the left, and removed some java fern and replaced it with stauro to extend that carpet. 


Before and afters:





It took about 8 months for the val in this tank to start growing well, but now (1.5 years of being in this tank), the val gets huge, wide leaves. This is giant "americana" val.


Edited by Jessica.
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