PH Levels in The Discus Tank

Because it is imperative that discus fish have optimal water conditions, much has been written about this subject, This is the plan put in place to insure proper PH water levels in our hatchery.

Allnut Enterprises' breeder, Nick Lockhart of Noblesville, Indiana, has many ingenious ideas as to how to accomplish things in the hatchery. We begin our experiment with two matched pairs: two red melons, and two leopardskins. They are lovely, friendly fish, and have been getting acclimated to our tanks and the aquarist since the end of June.

Initially, we begin to prepare for the new arrivals by setting up the tanks in this manner: water was tested for PH and nitrite levels, and a proper ecosystem for active bacteria was begin by populating the tank with cichlids that Nick has been raising prior to the purchase of the discus. When we felt that the water/bacteria levels were correct, we set up the meeting with the breeder, and made the trip to Bloomington, Indiana.

Upon arrival at home base with a travel time of about an hour and a half, we immediately begin to acclimate the pairs to their new home. We were advised by the breeder to let them acclimate to the new tank water by "floating" the bags containing the fish for approximately one hour to equalize the temperatures, and to add a cup of water to the bag from the tank to equalize PH levels.

We did not, however, follow this procedure. We took approximately six hours to acclimate by adding a cup of the tank water to the bag each hour, and keeping a close eye on the discus and PH levels, because they were stressed from the trip. A Hanna PH digital meter was used for testing, which gave us a very accurate reading. As large changes in PH in a short period can shock the discus, we were careful in this approach. Our water at the time matched the water in PH levels from the breeder closely.

Because the two pair were bought for breeding purposes, Nick was not comfortable with the PH level, which at that time was at approximately 7.5, high for optimal breeding conditions of 6.5-6.9. What to do?

We had read that hanging a mesh bag of peat moss would help to lower the PH, but were not happy with the idea of having debris from the Peat in our tanks, which are kept scrupulously clean. We knew there had to be a better way to accomplish this goal.

Because Nick lives in town, and has city water, he uses a Reverse Osmosis filtering system to insure that the water is free of chemicals and suitable for the aquarium. Knowing that Peat Moss will lower the PH in an aquarium system, and having a large bag left over from making culture for Grindal and White Worms, he took a 5 gallon pail, and drilled a series of holes around the perimeter of the bottom of the pail, using a 3/32" drill. He then lined the bottom of the pail with a think layer of regular aquarium filter floss, and topped that off with a thick layer of Peat Moss, with the finished pail being about two-thirds full.

The outlet hose from the RO system was then allowed to drain into this pail. Setting the pail over the top of the holding tank, the water slowly drained down through this medium into the holding tank.

Initial test of the recycled water showed a drop in PH to below the base of 7.0. We have been adding the water to the discus tanks slowly through water changes so as to not shock the fish, and at our business meeting this weekend, Nick informed me that the PH levels in the discus tanks are now at approximately 6.6, which is the optimal level for breeding discus.

Cost of the project? If you already are using an RO system, and have a holding tank, you will spend a twenty dollar bill getting the Peat Moss and filter floss. Not bad, considering a breeding pair of dicus can run you $425 dollars!

Alden Smith is CEO of Allnut Enterprises, a diversified company, and is involved with discus breeding. His website is http://www.kingdiscus.blogspot.com

In The News:

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Pet abandonment now punishable by law in the UAE  The NationalAny act considered as animal cruelty could now carry a jail sentence.
Pets enrich lives at Sauk Rapids assisted living facility  St. Cloud TimesPets have been shown to improve the physical and mental health of their owners.
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SPCA: Tips to protect your pet from freezing temperatures  WRAL.comThe SPCA of Wake County is asking pet owners to protect their pets from the harsh temperatures expected this week.
Fire destroys Pottstown home, kills 2 pets | News | pottsmerc.com  The MercuryPOTTSTOWN — A two-alarm fire broke out at a home in the 1400 block of Cherry Lane around 1 p.m. Sunday, according to reports.
Family pets killed in Union Co. fire  14 News WFIE EvansvilleUNION CO., KY (WFIE) - Uniontown Fire Department and Union County Fire and Rescue were dispatched to a structure fire on Buckman Lane Sunday morning.
Pets, people enjoy the snow  WRAL.comPeople and pets headed outside to enjoy the snow on Dec. 9, 2018.
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Montreal sisters distribute supplies to help homeless and their pets  CTV NewsA recent story about a homeless person's dog freezing to death has galvanized two Montreal sisters to help both people and animals stay warm on the streets ...
Forever Pets  KCBDForever Pets is a monthly segment featuring adoptable pets brought to you by KCBD, South Plains Veterinary Clinic, and Lubbock Animal Services.
Mngxitama says killing whites and their pets is a response to Johann Rupert  CitizenBlack First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama briefs media at BLF Head Office in Johannesburg, 11 November 2018, on why BLF calls for 5 Whites for ...
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Cape Girardeau County, MO fire claims family pets  KFVSCAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Gordonville Fire Protection District responded to a fire on State highway 74 on Sunday, Dec. 9. Deputies on scene ...
8 pets who inherited a fortune  INSIDERSometimes dogs and cats are left with millions of dollars. Here are some pets who inherited a big fortune from their wealthy owners.
Former Volunteer Firefighter Rescues 10 Pets From House Fire  CBS PittsburghFollow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter. APOLLO (KDKA) — A passerby who spotted smoke and flames pouring from a home in Apollo, Armstrong County, rushed ...
Valley couple starts toy drive for shelter pets  FOX 10 News PhoenixOne Valley couple had an idea to start a toy drive for shelter pets, creating the Santa Paws Project.
Fire destroys Athens family's home, kills family pets  Athens NEWSA fire at a home on North Lancaster Street in Athens on Wednesday (Dec. 5) almost destroyed the home, and killed four of the family's six pets, although none of.
Life Lessons: Pets for Christmas  69News WFMZ-TVA puppy is adorable and a fantastic surprise on Christmas morning, but shelter experts say they see a huge increase in abandoned dogs right after the holiday.
Trends in Pet Food, Treat Purchases  American VeterinarianOnline sales are transforming the pet food industry, but pet owners are not yet ready to abandon retail locations.
Pets make great Christmas gifts, if you do it the right way  QuartzHave you thought about adopting a new pet for Christmas? Far from dismissing the idea, animal welfare groups now support the practice of gifting a pet for ...
Pet groomer charged with animal cruelty again, 36 animals removed from home  Kitsap SunPORT ORCHARD -- A pet groomer charged in 2001 with animal cruelty for keeping 264 animals at a Chico-area house was charged again Friday after ...
More than 30 pets from house fire handed over to humane society  ABC17News.comMore than 30 pets were handed over to the Central Missouri Humane Society on Monday after they were found in small cages, covered in urine and feces, the ...
Christmas is a dangerous time for your pets  LaSalle News TribuneHave you ever lifted a Christmas turkey out of the roasting pan with “lifting strings” — the cords that come packaged inside a Butterball?
Want to Take Your Pet on Your Next Vacation? Here Is What You Need to Know  The New York TimesIs it safe? What are the rules? What to pack? The six questions you should ask before you take your pup on a plane.

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