Besides your fish tank, filter and Discus, water is a huge component in keeping healthy Discus.
Because water is such a critical part in the success you achieve with Discus, careful attention must be paid to water storage.
The State of Water
Water is always changing state. What I mean by this is, as water in nature can change form ice, to steam and then liquid, several changes happen to water on the way to your tank and even once in the tank!
Here is a quick list:
- Source Water: Full of minerals, chemicals and wide range of Ph values
- R.O. Filtered Water: Little to no minerals, chemicals but still a wide range of Ph.
- Stored Water with Aeration: Little to no minerals, chemicals and Ph can drop.
- Tank Water: Little to no minerals, some chemistry happening with fish waste and food creating higher Amonia and Nitrate levels, Ph can actually start to rise and some cases spike!
Where Can You Store Water?
Good question, and there are many answers, it really depends on how creative you can get and what your budget allows.
For example, I was lucky enough to find rather large acrylic container that was used in a tropical fish store for a central filter. What is really cool about this is it has built in chambers that allows me to use BIO balls and peat moss when I need to.
Assuming you can’t find a local fish store that is looking to offload their equipment, here are few alternatives you can find in local classified ads and hardware store:
- Used Acrylic Tanks: Might be scratched, but who cares, it’s just to hold your water!
- 55 Gallon Rubbermaid Trash Can: Seems a bit weird at first, but it actually works great! I used a Rubbermaid trash can for many years before I found the acrylic sump I use now.
- Poly Tank: Now you are getting a bit on the higher end of things, they sure do look nice though. Best thing about them is the volume of water you can store.
Aeration Is Key
A simple air stone with a strong air pump can work wonders in stabilizing water before introducing it into your tanks.
Here is what an air stone can do:
- Reduce Chlorine: Some variations of the Chlorine chemical get added to drinking water to reduce or eliminate bacterial growth. The aeration of the water helps release chemicals in to the air thus removing them from the water. Under heavy aeration with multiple air stones you can smell it in the air when you walk into your fish room!
- Lower Ph: Yep, the Ph get’s a bit lower and in some instances a lot lower, depending on your water chemistry. This alone can save you money on Ph buffer chemicals and your fish will thank you, well not literally.
- Oxygen!: Your Discus will breath oxygen rich water thanks to the extra step of aeration. Did you know athletes train in oxygen rich environments to enhance performance, think what it will do to your Discus growth!
Heat And Treat
The final step for your water container is your heater. Dropping in a submersible heater will help keep the water at a constant temperature. Now when you do water changes, your Discus won’t get the chills or be scalded. Matching the water temperature in their current tank will help reduce incidents of shock to your Discus.
You may also want to treat your water by throwing in a submersible bag containing peat moss. If you are breeding or maybe have a wild Discus collection, treating the water with peat will get the water a little closer to what you would probably find in the Amazon. Peat add tannins and acidifies water a bit giving it a tea colored look. It does not harm your Discus and in fact some Discus thrive in peat treated water.
One last thing, throw in a small powerhead in the water container to help circulate water around. This way the heated water and peat can swirl around versus just sitting at the bottom. Nothing fancy, just a powerhead with enough push to cycle the water around and keep things constant.
Questions For You?
Do you use a water container in your Discus setup?
What equipment did you use for your water container setup?
Any ideas you could share with us?