Besides your fish tank and filter, clean water is especially important for your discus. In this article, we’ll give you suggestions on how to effectively store your discus’ water.
THE STATE OF WATER
Water is always changing state. As water in nature can change from ice to steam and then liquid, several changes happen to water on the way to your tank and even once the water is in it!
Here is a quick list:
- Source Water: Full of minerals and chemicals, and wide range of pH values
- R.O. Filtered Water: Little to no minerals and chemicals, but still a wide range of pH.
- Stored Water with Aeration: Little to no minerals and chemicals, and pH can drop.
- Tank Water: Little to no minerals, some chemistry happening with fish waste and food creating higher ammonia and nitrate levels, pH can actually start to rise and some cases spike!
WHERE CAN I STORE MY DISCUS’ WATER?
Good question, and there are many answers. It really depends on how creative you can get and what your budget allows.
Assuming you can’t find a local fish store that is looking to sell you their equipment, here are few alternatives you can find in local classified ads and hardware store:
- Used Acrylic Tanks: These work well.
- 55 Gallon Rubbermaid Trash Cans: Seem a bit weird at first, but they actually work great!
- Poly Tank: Now you are getting a bit on the higher end of things, but they sure do look nice though. The best thing about them is the volume of water you can store.
WHY SHOULD I USE AN AIR STONE?
A simple air stone with a strong air pump can work wonders in stabilizing water before you introduce it into your tanks.
An air stone will:
- 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.
- Lower pH: The pH gets 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 appreciate the acidic environment.
- Provide Oxygen: Your discus will breathe oxygen-rich water thanks to the extra step of aeration.
WHY SHOULD I USE A HEATER?
The final step for your water container is your heater. 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 container water’s temperature to the water temperature in your discus’ current tank will help reduce incidents of shock.
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, treat the water with peat to get the water a little closer to what you would probably find in the Amazon. Peat moss adds tannins and acidifies water a bit, giving it a tea-colored look. It does not harm your discus. 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. You don’t need a fancy powerhead; you just need a powerhead that pushes with enough force to circulate the water around.
- How do you store your discus’ water?
- What type of water container do you use?
- What type of water conditions do discus need?