Return To: Discus Fish Care
You can be successful with keeping discus fish in an aquarium if you maintain a proper discus fish tank for them. You will need a large tank, with the exact size dependent upon the size and number of discus fish you plan to have. A tank of 29 to 50 gallons are two great size tanks to grow discus fish in, you can keep between 6 and 15 adult discus in this size aquarium. Larger tanks like 75 to 100 gallon tanks will, of course, hold more. This size also includes room for other smaller fish to add to the mix, cory cat’s, tetra’s, and loaches for bottom feeders.
Discus fish are tropical, so the water in your discus fish tank should be kept between 85 to 88 degrees, the warmer tanks help discus fish grow faster. Make sure that you use a good heater and that you monitor the temperature frequently; if the water becomes too cool, your discus fish will stop eating and lose body weight. Water that is slightly soft is recommended, and the pH should be between 6.5 and 7.0. The tank must be well filtered and do water changed regularly, 25% per week, as ammonia and nitrite will build up in a dirty tank that can harm your discus fish.
Plants will help keep the water oxygenated and keep down the levels of nitrites and ammonia in the water. Discus fish enjoy having plants to hide in, particularly if they are breeding. Your discus will be happiest with plants that require little maintenance on your part, as the fish can become agitated if you are frequently invading their habitat. Since your discus fish tank will have warmer water in comparison with aquariums used to raise other types of fish, you must choose plants that will thrive in warm water. Java ferns and Amazon Swords both grow well in warm water tanks, as do plants in the Echinodorus family. A few tall, thin plants will help create a nice landscape for your fish.
Because the higher temperature of the water decreases the amount of oxygen produced, it is important that the tank receive adequate lighting for about ten hours per day so that the plants will be able to undergo photosynthesis and produce oxygen. However, your discus fish tank shouldn’t be set directly in bright sunlight because the discus fish do not like it and because it can promote the growth of algae in the tank. Fluorescent lighting, especially compact, will provide plenty of light, and you could consider using color filters as well.
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