Discus Fish

Discus Fish (Symphysodon discus and Symphysodon aequifaciatus)

Discus fish are freshwater aquarium fish part of the cichlid family from the Amazon River Basin in South America. Discus are beautiful fish characterized by their disc shape, flat bodies, bright colors, vertical and horizontal patterns. Discus fish comes in many vibrant colors- bright blue, red, orange, yellow and green. They also have colored eyes with red being the coveted eye color. Discus are big fish growing to 8-10 inches long. They tend to be schooling fish so you will need a large aquarium for your discus fish. Below you will find tips and advice on how to set up the aquarium for your discus, what to feed your discus and how to breed discus fish.

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How to Set Up the Aquarium for Discus Fish

Ideally you want to recreate the Amazon River Basin habitat that your discus fish are accustomed to in the aquarium. Discus fish don’t like strong currents and will seek protected areas. Get lots of plants, rocks and wood for cover. Discus fish thrive in warmer water so make sure you have a good quality aquarium heater to maintain water temperature of 82-88°F. Water should be soft with a PH of 6 to 7.

Are Discus Fish Schooling Fish? How Many Discus fish in a school?

Discus fish are schooling fish and you will need a minimum of 5 discus fish in one school.

What Size Aquarium Do You Need for Your Discus fish?

Discus fish will need a large aquarium, at a minimum a 50 gallon tank. They are large schooling fish, growing to 8-10 inches long. Because of its large size and schooling tendency, you need a large aquarium for your discus fish.

How Many Gallons for 1 Discus Fish?

One discus fish will need 10 gallons of water. So if you are housing 5 discus fish, you will need a minimum of a 50 gallon tank. But if you have the space, I suggest going for larger sized aquariums of 100 gallons or more so your discus will have more space to swim. A larger tank will also help maintain good water quality.

Can I Mix Discus Fish with Other Types of Fish in the Same Fishtank?

Yes, you can mix discus fish with other types of fish. But keep in mind, Discus are peaceful fish and will not fight for food so you need to make sure the other fish in the aquarium are not overly aggressive.

What Fish are Good Tankmates with Discus?

Discus Fish are compatible with tetras and gouramis. Cardinal tetras, neon tetras, emperor tetras and rummy nose tetras are good tankmates for discus fish.

What to Feed Discus Fish

Discus fish are omnivores and need to be fed daily. Feed your discus specially formulated discus pellets to help maintain their vibrant coloration. High protein food like blackworms and brine shrimp should also be part of your discus diet.

When feeding you discus, make sure every fish is eating, the school of fish has a hiearchy with a more dominant leader. I also suggest you feed your discus a variety of food so you train your discus to be flexible and not be too dependent on one type of fish food.

How Often Should I Feed my Discus Fish?

Feed your discus fish twice a day. Give your discus fish just enough food so they can eat it all within 5 minutes. Don’t overfeed your discus, you don’t want to make the water conditions poor.

How Often Should I Change the Water of the Discus Fishtank?

You should change the water in the discus fishtank every week. Change 20% of the water and clean the discus aquarium with a gravel siphon. Make sure you siphon up any debris, left over food and fecal matter from your discus tank.

Help! My Discus is Fish is Scratching their sides against the rocks

This scratching of your discus fish may be due to a parasite infection. You can treat parasitic infection with a combination of anti-parasitic medication and good water conditions. Maintain good water quality by keeping up with your water change.

How to Breed Discus Fish

It is difficult to breed discus fish at home. To be successful, you first need to maintain perfect water conditions- good quality water, perfect temperature and correct PH. Then you need a place for your discus fish to lay their eggs. You can get a discus breeding cone for your discus to lay their eggs on. The eggs will hatch in 3 days. The newly hatched fry will feed on mucous secretion that are on the discus parents skin.

Discus Fish Facts

Family: Cichlidae

Origin: Amazon River Basin in South America

Max. Size: 8 to 10 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Level: Difficult

Water Temperature: 82-88°F

Water Conditions: PH 6-7

Color: Bright blue, red, orange, yellow and green

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

You May Also Be Interested In Other Cichlids

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