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Discus Fish Care and Information

Updated on May 8, 2011
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A red Discus Fish
A red Discus Fish
A red Discus Fish | Source

About Discus Fish

Discus fish are very popular among fish keepers. They are tropical fish that are generally native to the relaxed, peaceful waters of the Amazon. Discus fish are bright and colorful tropical fish - which explains why they are particularly popular in today’s home aquariums. They are some of the most beautiful types of fish that you can keep as pets in your aquarium.

Discus fish are generally very shy creatures and are sensitive to loud noises and disruption; they get a bit sensitive to stress and a disturbing environment. They are usually very large in size and can be seen in many different colors. Discus fish prefer slightly acidic, slightly warm and soft water. As a result, you will need to imitate their natural surroundings to be able to keep them happy. Good water conditions are a very important when it comes to discus fish care, and this includes keeping an ideal pH level in your fish tank so that the harmful chemicals in tap water do not affect the Discus.

Discus fish usually have three base colors: the base, the secondary base and the stripes - or last base. There are actually no rules which constitute a universally unique color. For instance, the secondary color is like a finger-print to a Discus fish and it develops chemically, rather than being chosen by genetics. As an example: offspring of two spotted discus fish will most likely have spots, but not in the same place or size as their parents. A Blue Discus fish with strong blue lines is called Royal Blue Discus.

Discus Fish Related Products From Amazon

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A purple Discus Fish
A purple Discus Fish
A purple Discus Fish | Source

Discus Fish Care

Discus fish care can be fun and interesting - and understanding what is behind their colors is equally so. They are beautiful creatures and they can really make an aquarium come to life.

When it comes to feeding, they are grazers and pick at their food slowly, so you need to allow them five to ten minutes to eat well. They are primarily algae feeders and as such their digestive system aren't really equipped for whole solid foods.

Discus fish make great aquarium inhabitants and they can be combined with other species in the habitat - the most popular choices being the Tetras or the Uaru species. Generally discus fish are very peaceful creatures, however it isn't a great idea to combine them with fish that are a lot smaller than them, as the Discus fish may try to eat them.

Likewise, it is totally unadvisable to combine catfish with any variety of Discus fish since the former may eat the latter. Like all aquarium creatures, discus fish require optimal living conditions; otherwise they are exposed to disease and may die.

Discus fish exhibit unique parental behavior as they raise their offspring (also known as "fry") in a different way than most other tropical fish. Both parents take an active role in raising their young - research indicates that Discus fish exhibit advanced social behavior and are very selective about their mates. Therefore, if you are going to keep them in your aquarium, you should make certain that you purchase several of them together.

These fish are fairly high maintenance, not only because they require temperature and water maintenance in their aquariums, but also because they can suffer from numerous discus fish diseases. For instance, your discus fish may suddenly lose appetite, show weakness and indulge in skin scraping when infected and unfortunately, the infection may spread so quickly that many times the fish do not survive the treatments.

Always make sure they are breathing easily out of both gills and that they are free from genetic abnormalities such as hook mouth. This disease, is however treatable by changing water frequently, adding aquarium salt to your aquarium or adding chemicals like Acriflavine or Methylene blue to the tank, when the infection is severe. Also keep in mind that discus fish are very clean animals, and the water you put in their tank has to be really clean, without the slightest trace of pollution.


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    • profile image

      Hai Lam 

      5 years ago

      Ihaveafishtank 6 weeks ago

      Are they a community fish? Are they friendly with other fish?

      ans: They are friendly, but they are not community fish, you can keep them with few cories, few tetras

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Are they a community fish? Are they friendly with other fish?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      All my discus tanks are bare bottom because you can clean them much easier that way. If you insist on having something, a Thin layer of fine Gravel will work. Sand can become impacted and hold Nitrates which are the enemy to fish keepers.

    • FishAreFriends profile image


      7 years ago from Colorado

      What subtrate would you recommend with discus? Gravel, sand, or something else...?


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