Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
December '11

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12_Discus_Tank_1.jpg (66kb)

December '11 - Paulo Freitas's 576 L Discus Aquarium. (Brazil)

We end the year with a portentous planted aquarium, which houses a motley collection of discus fish from various lineages. Merry Christmas to all and see you in 2012!

Owner:Paulo Freitas, 30, from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 7 years of fishkeeping.
Setup:October 2008.
Dimensions:160x60x60 cm.
Volume: 576 L (nominal), 500 L (effective).
Filtration:2 Jebo 839 canister filters, 1500 L/h each.
Lighting:6x40 W fluorescents: 2 Power-glo (8 h), 2 Aqua-glo (7 h), 2 Grolux (6 h) + 4x15 W compact daylight fluorescent bulbs (4 h).
Heating: 2x300 W Atman.
Substrate:Prodac Humus Plus + Sera Floredepot (1,5 cm) and pool filter sand (7 cm).
Decoration:Rocks and driftwood.
Others:9 W UV filter, 6 timers for the lamps, 1 automatic feeder, 2 kg CO2 cylinder with solenoid.
Water:Temp 30C, pH 6.6, GH 3, KH 2, Fe 0.5 ppm, O2 11 ppm.
Maintenance:Weekly 20% water changes, pruning only when the plants reach the water surface (varies a lot). I use fertilizer for the plants and vitamins for the fish. For the water I use Seachem Prime and Sera Phosvec filter media.
Fauna: 14 Discus: 1 red turquoise, 1 blue turquoise, 1 pigeon, 1 pigeon blood, 1 blue diamond, 1 snow white, 1 blue white spot (jade), 1 red marlboro, 1 red dragon, 1 red map, 1 golden blue snake face, 1 red white spot, 1 red white, 1 eruption; 30 cardinal tetras, 20 black neon tetras, 15 rummynose tetras, 2 neon rainbowfish, a variety of bottom species and lots of shrimps.
Flora: Heteranthera zosterifolia, Micranthemum umbrosum, Lobelia minima, Limnophila aromatica, Rotala wallichii, Ludwigia 'Pantanal', Hygrophila balsamica and others that I won and still haven't identified.
Comments:Up to now I haven't had many problems with fish losses (only neons). Because I do a lot of water changes I don't always check the water parameters, only if there's something going on in the tank, since it's quite stabilized. I still have brush algae, but I've been removing slow growing plants, rocks and driftwood to get rid of them. I'm also controlling phosphate, I still haven't solved the brush algae problem but they've reduced a lot.

One of the worst algae blooms was with cyanobacteria (looks like a green carpet) that destroyed my glossostigmas and my minimas. I used pharmacy medicine (erythromycin), for each 100 L I added 250 mg and solved it.

Be careful with CO2 injection in the tank, I had a problem with a solenoid that didn't turn off at night and the morning after all the fish were gasping at the surface. I did a 60% water change and let an air pump on all day long to help get things back to normal with the fish breathing.

For anyone planning a similar setup, I observe that you need to set a priority: discus or flora. Mine is discus, I do whatever is needed for the discus to be well.

If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.

12_Discus_Tank_2.jpg (81kb)
Multicolored strains of discus fish to collect

12_Discus_Tank_3.jpg (41kb)
Older photo, with plants in need of a good pruning

Photos taken by Paulo Freitas and displayed here with his permission.

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