Discus three

Discus three (Photo credit: weesen)

Days 4 and 5 of parasite treatments and the sickest discus shows no progress.  I’m almost certain at this point he’ll need euthanized.  It’s a shame, but it’s obviously suffering and I just can’t take watching him die slowly.  The other fish seem much happier and their appetites are ferocious now.  The medicine has done it’s job.

On a side note, noticing the dwarf hair grass starting to go insane with growth, I decided it’s now or never on the substrate change.  I wanted white sand and all the research I had done recommends pool filter sand.  I went to my local pool shop and told the cashier I wanted WHITE.  He said I needed zeolite sand.  It is not white. . . and at $24 per bag, I wasn’t entirely pleased.  Instead of lugging the 100lbs of sand back to the pool store which was twenty blocks away, I decided to stick with what I had.  The hair grass will eventually cover the bottom anyway, so the sand color will be irrelevant.

If you’ve been following my posts at all, you’ll probably already know that I do 30-40% water changes every 2 or 3 days, vacuuming the gravel each time.  I was certain my gravel was spotless.  I cannot even begin to describe the amount of feces and waste that was still buried deep within the gravel substrate.  It was absolutely disgusting, and I will never use gravel again.

I poured about 3-4 inches of sand into the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and I rinsed.  Oh my god did I rinse. .  AFTER AN HOUR AND A HALF IT STILL WOULD NOT COME CLEAN!!!  Deciding it MUST be sand particles floating in the water I let the bucket sit.  The water settled and cleared so I thought “YAY!” and started adding it to my aquarium (the fish have been moved to a holding container).

The early morning ritual at the Radisson SAS h...

The early morning ritual at the Radisson SAS hotel – a diver in the huge fishtank. fishy fishy fishy)&t=h See where this picture was taken. [?] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was like a drop of water had never touched the stuff before.  My aquarium looked like 90 gallons of milk.  I waited for about 2 1/2 hours before kicking my filter back on in hopes it would clear out some of the cloudiness.  This morning (about 11hrs later) it’s only improved by about 25%. . . but it’s progress.

The trumpet snails are alive and burrowing wonderfully.  I left two of the Dalmatian molly babies in the show tank during the substrate change.  There was one main reason for this…  I wanted to see the effect of the cloudy water on the fish.  The discus won’t go back in until the water is crystal clear, but at least I would know how soon to start adding the others.  The mollies are alive and fine, by the way.

I reintroduced all of the plants except the hair grass plugs.  The rest are fairly easy to just stick in the substrate… the grass requires a bit of finesse and I simply cannot see enough inside the tank at this point to do any lengthy work.  There is a slight cloud swirl when I work inside the sand bed, but it doesn’t seem to cause the overall clouding to intensify.  The plants don’t have any issues staying in the sand which is a plus…

Overall I’m glad I’m going through the hassle of the substrate change.  After seeing the debris that was caught in the gravel even after very thorough cleanings, I think this project will definitely help improve the overall health of the aquarium.