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Old 03-13-2012, 12:59 PM   #1
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HELP! At a crossroads in stocking 55 gal...

I'm not sure what I wanna do. My girlfriend and I have been wanting discus ever since we got the 55 gal, but it's seeming more and more impractical.
My second choice would be 2-3 large angelfish, and a couple gouramis/rams.

Here's what we've got;
55 gal, gravel substrate, light planting (anubias and crypto), a school of 10 x-ray tetra, 1 butterfly pleco, a couple clear shrimp, driftwood, and a rock cave center.

Here's where I'm stuck;
Discus:
Beautiful fish, wanted for a long time, very colorful
Experienced keepers recommend BARE bottom, meaning uproot all my gravel/plants.
Also recommend no plecos unless BN. I have a butterfly pleco and was on the verge of ordering a gold nugget. I LOVE the plecos and do not want to get rid of them.
Expensive fish, don't want to spend $250 for a school of 5 to "try it out" and see. (I'm a broke student lol)

Angel/Gourami/Ram:
Also beautiful, less colorful, still like these just not as much as discus
Easy to keep, no rearranging of current setup
Can keep plecos!
Not as expensive
Also not the fish we've been wanting all this time, just a backup choice.


I guess i'm being scared off from the discus. Not by their picky water parameters, but by their cost, the fact that I'd have to uproot my whole tank and clear it out, and the fact that I can't have plecos with them (unless BN).

What would you do? Recommendations?


Here's a crappy picture I took of our tank (sorry, I have an old phone lol)

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Old 03-13-2012, 01:16 PM   #2
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I would skip with the discus, the stock you have planned is great...there are many different looking gouramis. Personally we have two and they are incredibly vibrant and add lots of colour to a tank
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:18 PM   #3
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Have you thought of looking into the more exotic specimens of angel? For instance, Koi and Cobalt Angels? They grow into some pretty amazing color IMO.

Oh, and I think you should add more plants, it would look awesome! throw some java ferns and more anubias in there. Jungle/Corkscrew vals would look amazing as well. I have low light/low tech planted tanks as well, and it's amazing what you can do with those plants.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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I agree with the addition of more plants. Plants will only help maintain a healthier happier place for what ever you decide to purchase.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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I probably will add a few as we go. I currently have 2 cryptos in the foreground, 3 java ferns in the back corners and center, and 2 anubias next to the java ferns.
I don't want to "over plant", and have a jungle/wild looking tank... I do appreciate those, but just not my preference. I'd like to stick to light, tasteful planting and no grasses/swords that get super tall. (Just my personal taste.. no offense to anyone with planted tanks!)

I saw a lfs that had some GIGANTIC angels, roughly the same size as discus - which I wouldn't mind owning Is that a specific breed, or are they all capable of getting that big? Sorry... don't know too much about angels.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:13 PM   #6
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I wanted to see how difficult it'd be to clear it all out - and it wasn't too bad, just a LOT of gravel vac/WC's/and moving around.
After 2 hours here's the final product; almost bare-bottom and ready for discus, yet still maintained my plants and inhabitants...

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Old 03-14-2012, 07:08 AM   #7
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Angelfish/Rams/Gourami is a perfect combo.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:38 AM   #8
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Why would you need a bare bottom tank for Discus? I am curious here, it's not like they live in glass bottom rivers and lakes in the wild.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blert View Post
Why would you need a bare bottom tank for Discus? I am curious here, it's not like they live in glass bottom rovers and lakes in the wild.
A lot of people typically keep discus in bare bottom or almost bare bottomed tanks because of how picky they are with regards to water conditions. It makes cleaning the tanks a lot easier, and there is less build up of waste, discarded food, parasites, bacteria, etc in the gravel.

I can assure you that when I was removing it and vacuuming, it was disgusting. Murky brown with crap floating everywhere...

When I'm looking at spending $200-300 on fish, I want to make sure their living conditions are pristine so that they thrive and enjoy a healthy life.

(at least that was my reasoning...I'm no expert by any means)
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janky

A lot of people typically keep discus in bare bottom or almost bare bottomed tanks because of how picky they are with regards to water conditions. It makes cleaning the tanks a lot easier, and there is less build up of waste, discarded food, parasites, bacteria, etc in the gravel.

I can assure you that when I was removing it and vacuuming, it was disgusting. Murky brown with crap floating everywhere...

When I'm looking at spending $200-300 on fish, I want to make sure their living conditions are pristine so that they thrive and enjoy a healthy life.

(at least that was my reasoning...I'm no expert by any means)
Ok, I can understand that. Personally, I don't see the point of having a bunch of pretty fish in an ugly tank. JMO but, I would rather give them a home then just a house. Know what I mean?
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