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Keeping Discus Fish

Return To; Discus Fish Secrets

 Keeping discus fish can be a challenge, but if you are successful, you will have a beautiful and lively addition to your aquarium. Discus fish are sensitive to water conditions, so you will need to establish your tank carefully prior to putting your discus fish in, and you will need to monitor it frequently and keep it clean. Discus fish are also more susceptible to illness than other, heartier species of fish. At the first sign of illness of a discus fish or one of its tank mates, the ill fish should be removed from the tank to avoid the risk of spreading the illness.


Discus fish are tropical fish, so keeping discus fish requires a tank with a water temperature that is maintained between 84 to 87 degrees. They prefer water that is slightly soft and slightly acidic, with a pH level at about 6.5 to 7.0. Live or plastic plants are great additions for landscaping and providing hiding areas for the discus. Discus fish cannot tolerate ammonia or nitrites, so the water must be well filtered and the tank kept clean so that nitrate levels do not build up.

Tank Size

Because they can grow 5” and up you will need a tank that is at least 29 to 50 gallons. This will accommodate several of the smaller varieties of discus fish, or a few pairs of the larger sized ones. Discus fish are schooling fish so the bigger the school the more comfortable and social they will be.


Feeding is the easiest part of keeping discus fish because they are omnivores. They will eat both plants and meat, so you can feed them a variety of foods that will provide them with the nutrients they need. They enjoy frozen bloodworms, freeze dried krill, Omega One flake and spiralina flake. You can also treat them to live brine shrimp when available from your local fish store, this is great roughage in their diet, and they enjoy chasing the live food.


Keeping discus fish in your aquarium is a good choice because they are non-aggressive and like to stay in groups of other discus fish. They are peaceful with other, smaller varieties of non-aggressive fish as well. They do not tolerate noise well, and they also do not like their tank to be meddled with frequently as it agitates them. However, if you keep their water warm, well planted, and well maintained, and give them plenty of room, they will thrive.

Read More; Discus Fish Breeding