Are Discus Fish Easy To Keep?

Discus fish near filter

We are all aware that discus fish have a reputation for being difficult to maintain and care for, but is this actually the case? We are going to investigate this more to determine whether or not Discus are simple to care for.

The only thing that has ever stopped me from keeping Discus in my aquarium is the question of whether or not they are easy to care for. I’ve always wanted to keep them, but I’ve never known how. And after doing some investigation, I was able to find the solution.

Generally, Discus are very easy to keep. For anyone who knows a few things and takes care of them, they are easy to handle. But you can’t just keep Discus in a community tank without giving it the care and maintenance it needs. Don’t think that they will be healthy and happy in your community tank. When taking care of Discus, there are only a few things to watch out for.

Due to the fact that Discus are extremely sensitive to changes in water temperature and disease, there are a few very important things to keep in mind when caring for these fish. In the following sections of this article, we are going to go over in great detail how you should care for your Discus fish as well as the things that you should steer clear of doing.

There Is A Myth That Keeping Discus Is Hard

People have a tendency to make things up to make themselves seem better, and Discus keepers will make it sound difficult; I have been exposed to such speculations as well, which is why I have never attempted to keep Discus as pets.

But after doing some research, I discovered that I was wrong and that maintaining one is not nearly as difficult as most people believe it to be.

The discus that can be found at a pet shop was not taken from its natural habitat. Instead, it is highly likely that they were bred in captivity with the water that comes from your kitchen faucet. As a consequence of this, maintaining them shouldn’t be any more challenging than maintaining any other kind of fish.

Water Quality Is The Key To Success

Paired Discus fish

The water quality is the most important thing because they need water that is very stable and of high quality. From what I’ve seen, almost all problems with discus are caused by the quality of the water and how often it is changed.

Some people say you should change the water at least once every 12 hours. In contrast, I think this is kind of silly. I know that discus needs to have their aquarium water changed often because they can’t handle nitrites.

So, you should expect to change at least 20% of the water every week, and maybe even more if the stocking is heavy. Before the water can be used, it needs to be cleaned and pre-treated for 24 to 36 hours. In one of my other posts, you can find out more about how to change the water in your DiscusOpens in a new tab..

There Are Very Few Things That You Need To Worry About.

pH Level: The pH should be between 6 and 7 because they prefer water with low levels of acidity; however, I have seen people successfully keep them in alkaline water for years without any problems.

Temperature: Maintain a temperature that ranges from 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a much better deal than what you could get with wild discus. However, breeders have been keeping the temperature high in an effort to prevent disease, and the fish have become accustomed to the higher temperatures.

Filteration: They also need a healthy dose of aeration in order to fulfill the higher DO (Dissolved Oxygen) requirements that are placed on them.

Water Hardness: The ideal water hardness for discus is between 1 and 4 degrees dKH. Because they naturally occur in this range, it is considered to be the best habitat for them.

Aside from that, maintaining them is not a particularly challenging task.

Ideal Water Parameters For Discus Fish

Parameter NameValue
Water Temperature82-86°F (28-30°C)
pH Level6-7
Ammonia and Nitrite0 ppm
Nitrate<20 ppm
General Hardness (GH)1-3 dGh
Carbonate Hardness 1-4 dKH

The Best Food Type For Them

Providing the appropriate diet for discus is the second most important thing that can be done to ensure their happiness.

Because their natural diet in the wild consists primarily of larvae, shrimp, insects, and other small fish, they favor meats such as bloodworms and beef hearts as their preferred source of nutrition. In addition to crustaceans, algae, and vegetables, discus fish can get their vitamin needs to be met by consuming shrimp.

My Experience-Based Tips To Make Life Easier

Here are a few of my tips for you that I learned from my experience of keeping Discus fish and after making many mistakes.

  1. Keep a matched pair or odd groupings of five or more.
  2. Purchase the largest tank that you can afford, in my opinion, 90 gallons for a minimum of 5 discus fish.
  3. Choose to only buy adult Discus if possible.
  4. Keep the temperature in the tank at a very warm 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, don’t keep them in the same tank as angelfish. This is due to a variety of factors, one of which is infection transmission between individuals.
  6. Discus prefers to live in an aquarium with plants instead of a bare tank with no plants. That’s because of nervousness and timidity of discus fish. They find the movement and shadows of the outside world to be stressful.
  7. Because Discus are such slow eaters, you need to make sure that their tankmates don’t bother them too much or they won’t get enough food.

Final Words

Believe me when I say that Discus are not particularly difficult to care for. Just give them a shot. As long as you give the fish a diet that is both varied and balanced, maintaining the aquarium won’t be a problem for you; all you have to do is acquire some driftwood for the tank, perform routine water maintenance, and feed the fish a wide variety of foods.

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