New tank on the way

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Colinlp, 3 Feb 2010.

  1. Colinlp

    Colinlp Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    ANGLESEY
    Hi all :D

    Needing a little pointer here. I've ordered a new aquarium from our friends at Aquariums Ltd, 68" x 30" x 24" with a 48 x 18 x 18 sump. It is to hold Discus (28C) but it has to be planted nicely those are the rules I have to abide by. Currently I have a 240l tank with a fire extinguisher CO2 producing triffid like growth but since getting the discus I'm throwing away 25% of the water every day. The sump will help me do water changes by trickling in filtered water and the excess overflowing to a drain. I understand that sumps tend to gas off CO2 more than normal external filters, so.....

    I'm thinking along the lines of going CO2 free (unless I can find free CO2), I've read briefly about the Diana Walsted method but that seems to require few to no water changes. I would like to have tall bushy plants to fill out the back of the 30" tall tank and look generally stunning. Is this possible or am I looking for something that will be a whole heap of trouble? I'm not adverse to researching but in this case I'm not really sure what I should be looking at. If you do know of a thread that might put me on whatever track I need I would be eternally grateful or feel free to help in any way possible.

    Thanks guys and..
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Hi Colin, and welcome to UKAPS. Take a look at Tony's discus tank in this thread:

    viewtopic.php?f=35&t=4593&start=0

    He overcomes many of the issues you're considering at the moment, so hopefully it should be some help! It's a long read but worth it :)
     
  3. Colinlp

    Colinlp Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    ANGLESEY
    Thank you Steve :D I'll have a read through that when I get home and finish the daily water change. I'm happy to go in any direction really, I just want to create stable conditions in the tank for the fish at the end of the day
     
  4. Colinlp

    Colinlp Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    ANGLESEY
    That's a nice tank!

    I think that might answer my CO2 thoughts, I am probably going to have to add it even though I hoped not to. I think I need to be smooth with my sump to keep gassing off to a minimum and possibly get a Ph controller? CO2 at ~ 30ppm keeps my Ph at 6.6.-6.8 whereas my tap water is about 7.5. I'm not sure how much a 25% water change over 12 hours would affect that. Probably a whole lot less than the same change over 20 minutes they are getting now :rolleyes: Still I want to get it right this time
     
  5. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi Colinlp.
    I wouldn't bother with the ph controller. Uneccesary expense.
    Changing the ph with CO2 does not impact on the fish half as much as changing it with powders/chemicals.
    Tom Barr replied to one of my posts explaining the reasons why, but I can't find the post just now. I'll have a proper look later.
    Stability of your CO2 is one of the key factors for a succesful planted tank.
    Save your money and spend it on more plants :D
     
  6. Colinlp

    Colinlp Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    ANGLESEY
    Thanks Chris, I spent a lot of today reading various stuff on planted Discus tanks. It's all very confusing to say the least, I would still like to get away from CO2 and there are some that seem to swear this is the way to go. Some recommend the low light-high tech tank which looks like it might actually be the best option. I think I would be set on no CO2 in a tank of say 20" high given that I will probably only be growing things like Amazon swords (nothing demanding in any way) but in a 30" deep tank I suspect there might be a long wait to see the back of the tank fill up to a nice level. I won't be having high lighting levels 216W T8 over 150 -160 gallons or so. I read a post by Mr Barr about using CO2 in such a set up with shorter photo periods and how that would let the plants make the most of the little light rather than spend that time trying to get CO2. Is this my best approach do you think?
     
  7. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi colinlp
    Sounds like you're heading for the CO2 route which ever way you look at it.
    The main reason being that if you're keeping Discus, most keepers swear by very regular water changes. This alone will mess with your 'natural' CO2 levels in the tank and a sure fire way to induce an algae attack.
    I will just say however that when I kept Discus some 10 years ago they were lucky to get a 25% water change once a month and I never lost any fish :rolleyes: , although the tank wasn't planted.
    However, I know Discus keepers today that do 25% water change daily.
    So it appears that the only way you will have stable CO2 levels is by injecting it and controlling it yourself. If you do this and get the ferts right, the only thing left limiting your growth rates would be the lighting period. Low light plants will adapt to the shorter photo period without any problems. Growth rate will be slow but they will certainly be healthy :D .
     
  8. Colinlp

    Colinlp Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    ANGLESEY
    Hi Chris, thanks again.
    I've been researching low low tech tanks using no CO2 but with plenty of substrate for growing plants like swords and crypts. This actually looks doable. I see what you're saying about water changes, I plan to do them very slowly over 7 hours (economy 7 - cheap to heat the water) say 10L per hour, do you think that this would still have an adverse affect?.
    I think given that the tank is 30" deep I would prefer slower growth if possible, I imagine it will be a pain to reach down there. If I could get away from CO2 I would be more than happy, I'm going through 2kg a month at the moment, it's a pain in the ..... to et them refilled
     
  9. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi Colinlp
    You may get away with this if you are doing daily water changes as your CO2 levels will be replenished daily. However there will still be some fluctuations of your CO2 levels during the photoperiod as the plants use it and it is not replaced until the water change. I don't know if these fluctuations will be enough to cause an algae outbreak as both of my low tech tanks don't see any water changes. Not the done thing for Discus these days.
    I think all you can do is give it a try and don't go too mad with the lighting period to start with.
     

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