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DISCUS SWITCH FROM TAP TO RODI

Aquaruimaddictuk

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29 Mar 2022
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Good evening.
I'm seeking some opinions on my current discus setup.
Some background in tank:
I have a 55 gal with a mature 15 gal sump running a moving k1 filter, socks and a UV selterilser.
Turnover is currently 500 gal per hour.
Stocked with 6 discus between 4.5-6 inches.
No other fish in tank, sand substrate & a piece of Manzanita wood.

I purchased some beautiful discus from Francis hu of Chen's discus.
His fish were all thriving & lived up to the hype that surrounds him.

My issue is my tap nitrate levels are around 50ppm from the TAP.
My water is also very hard with a pH of 7.6
The discus were purchased from 15 miles from my house and imported from Singapore.
I was told they are currently kept in tap water & I would be fine to continue doing so as my water wil be the same being so local.

I'm completing 50% daily changes but feeding beefheart it's boosting my nitrate levels to 60-80ppm which obviously is way too high.
Ammo & nitrite remain at zero.

I use RODI in my planted scalare tank and the fish absolutely thrive.
I cut it with some tap to give a pH of 6.4 & it remains soft with nitrates never exceeding 5ppm.
They generally remain at zero.

What would be the best way to introduce RODI to the tank and in what increments?
I really don't want to kill the discus off but these nitrate levels will if I don't change my water chemistry quickly.
The fish are already showing signs of stress e.g loss of some slime coat/leaning sporadically etc.

Any advice would be appreciated!
IMG_20220609_213831_HDR.jpg
 

Conort2

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16 Feb 2018
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To be fair I always think fish are tougher than people make out and can take changes easier than people realise. For example if my large display tank tds gets too high I will do a 50percent water change with pure RO. Fish seem to love it. Think of it this way, in the Amazon water levels can rise drastically when the rainy season arrives and I’m sure tds, temperature etc will change drastically in a short space of time in small forest streams.

However you do have tank bred discus which are notorious divas! Go 20/25 percent for now and see how they go. I’m sure Asian breeders keep their fish in soft water so would be beneficial to get them over to water similar to your scalare tank.

Cheers
 

Aquaruimaddictuk

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Thanks for reply!
The long term plan was some some Anubia's tied to a large central piece of wood so I can still vac daily & not gather too much detritus & some frogbit.
I'd love to run a fuge in the sump but I'm sadly all out of space down there.
I'll try the 20% changeover today & monitor.
Cambridgeshire water is ropey with high TDS & nitrates.im using 85% RO to tap in scalare tank with no ill effects & fish seem a lot more energetic with better colours & spawn constantly
 

Aquaruimaddictuk

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Bring your temp down to 28c, weekly 50% water changes using ro will suffice, unless you are breeding or have wild Discus then they are more hardy than people think, especially as alot of Discus now are raised in hard water.
Add some plants to bring nitrate down and give cover to the fish.
What's your thoughts on beefheart?
I feel that non daily water changes are not really an option as it's so messy.
The fish are taking to the tetra prima granules slowly but surely.
It seems a divisive subject amongst die hard discus keepers
 

Conort2

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What's your thoughts on beefheart?
I feel that non daily water changes are not really an option as it's so messy.
The fish are taking to the tetra prima granules slowly but surely.
It seems a divisive subject amongst die hard discus keepers
Freeze dried blackworms are a good cleaner food that a lot of discus keepers swear by. I use them but not with discus and the fish go mad for them. Great for conditioning corydoras. They come either loose or in cubes, I use the cubes and stick them to the glass.
 

NorthernDan

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Back when I bred Discus it seemed like it was only beefheart on the go. Noticed when looking into different breeders this time that a lot seem to go with a more seafood mix, similar to the beefheart mix but using things like salmon instead. Seemed quite easy to make yourself. Advantages seem to be that it's far less messy so I'm probably going to give it a try when I get mine.
 

Aquaruimaddictuk

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I'll definitely try the black worm & look into creating my own mixes.im a chef so sourcing ingredients won't be too hard!
I've added 20% RODI today.will check parameters tomorrow and continue switching over.many thanks for replies!
 

Aquaruimaddictuk

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Back when I bred Discus it seemed like it was only beefheart on the go. Noticed when looking into different breeders this time that a lot seem to go with a more seafood mix, similar to the beefheart mix but using things like salmon instead. Seemed quite easy to make yourself. Advantages seem to be that it's far less messy so I'm probably going to give it a try when I get mine.
Only issue I could potentially see with a salmon heavy mix would be oils leaching into water.
Perhaps the salmon oil in limited amounts could be added to a lean fish mix.
It would certainly be beneficial health wise and I've used it for many years in fishing baits so can certainly vouch for its qualities in attracting fish!
 

Aquaruimaddictuk

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As suggested-ive added some low maintenance plants today e.g swords, Anubia's, hygrofila & Egeria densa.
Mangrove wood is easily movable for vacuuming and I've left area where detritus is blown unplanted for easy cleaning.
I've brought nitrates down to 5 ppm with RODI/tap mix & KH is 5.
GH remains at 9 though.
Ideally I'd like to lower this further but certainly moving in the right direction.
Fish seem to be breathing much easier & are generally livelier.
IMG_20220614_192615_HDR.jpg
 

Aquaruimaddictuk

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I'm also looking at adding another partion to sump for further plants.
I only have tempered glass to hand so will have to order in some materials for this to drill
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