How to Keep Healthy Discus

Discus keeping is not an easy hobby! Knowing more about discus fish, will help you keep your discus healthy and happy, and success in maintaining the health of your discus, will provide you with greater enjoyment. In this care sheet, you will learn some simple tips and guides on how to keep, and take care of your discus fish.

Discus Keeping Made Easy!

Beginners are more subject to the risks of the keeping discus fish as they have a lowest practical experience on this beautiful sensitive fish. There is absolutely no secret and everyone will find discus keeping easy if they follow our guidelines. Here is some basic tips on how to keep discus healthy and active.

Buy Healthy Discus Fish from Trusted Sources

Choosing and buying healthy and high quality discus is the first and most important part of discus keeping. Never buy discus from aquarium stores and/or tanks that have any obvious sick discus fish. Unhealthy discus often hide or are dark in color. You also must check the Discus for signs like hanging white string of feces, hole in the head, and heavy breathing. To make a good selection, we highly recommend you to read the how to choose good discus fish article. As a new discus hobbyist, there are many signs and symptoms that you are unable to observe, or deal with, on your own. Sadly, not all diseases are treatable, and there are conditions and diseases such as discus plague, that not only kills all discus fish in the affected tank, but goes airborne from one room to another, and affect all live discus fish in the environment. You can buy discus fish from Discus Co. online store and we promise to provide you with the healthiest possible discus in the USA. The care that our discus receive at Discus Co. is wonderful.

Discus Fish Keeping Tips and Guides for Beginners

Quarantine all New Discus, Even if you are sure about their health!

Newly bought discus are prone to the Discus Black Disease or Discus Plague. There are also many other diseases such as external and Intestinal/internal parasites, fungal and bacterial infections, and etc. A plague attack is obvious when most of the discus fish in the aquarium stack together or rub against aquarium objects, or when their bodies turn black and the eyes become cloudy. If you bought your discus fish from a trusted source and there are no other fish in your aquarium tank, then you may place the new discus directly into the new aquarium. If you already have discus or any other fish in your tank, then you have to quarantine the new discus in a separated tank for at least 2 months. Quarantine tank should be especially set up for quarantining purpose and located in a separate room, as it is a must in discus keeping. For more information about quarantining discus fish read how to quarantine discus fish article.

Setting up a Perfect Fish Tank for Discus

A bare bottom and large enough tank is a good choice to start discus keeping. Bare bottom aquariums are much easier to care, helping you to have healthier discus fish. A disease-free and healthy discus in right water parameters, grows faster than what you might expect. So you will need at least a 230 Litter(60 gallon) tank with a minimum of 60 cm in height. Discus prefer deeper tanks. More depth in the discus tank, will help the fish to have less stress and to grow faster.

Water Condition

Keeping discus fish can be made easy by preparing an excellent water quality. They need a toxin free, soft, and acidic water. To get the best possible result, you need to know a little bit about water chemistry. Toxins such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, and also tap water chlorine and chloramine are very toxic for discus fish.  Discus are also highly sensitive to a couple more water parameters or properties. Three properties: pH, gH or General Hardness, and kH or Carbonate Hardness. pH is a measure of how acidic/basic aquarium water is. The range goes from 0 – 14, with 7 being neutral. pHs of less than 7 indicate acidity, whereas a pH of greater than 7 indicates a base or alkalinity. In nature, Wild discus are living in the “black water” rivers of the Amazon River system with a soft and acidic water. Keep water pH between 6.8 and 7.5 and be careful about fluctuating pH in your discus tank. Stability is the most important factor in regard to pH. Water hardness is a measure of the dissolved mineral content of water. There are two types: the general hardness (GH) and carbonate hardness (KH). When keeping discus fish, the GH and the KH of aquarium water should match their natural habitat. A KH of 3-4 and GH of 4-5 can be great for Discus. I highly recommend you to read Discus Water article for a happy and healthy discus in your tank. Water changes are the key in discus health!

Healthy Diet

Another important part of Discus Keeping is Feeding Discus Fish. Like many central and south american cichlids, discus are omnivores and their diet varies from live insects and worms to algae and plants such as spirulina in the wild. Many people believe that live foods like blood worms, artemia, tubifex, and etc. are the best choices for Discus but bare this in mind, there are always parasite and disease risks with live food. So try to feed your discus with live food only if it is necessary to increase fish appetite. However, I recommend you to reduce the risk of parasites and disease by not feeding discus with live foods. Discus need a balanced diet consisting of beefheart mix and granules. For more information about diet, read the Discus Feeding article.

Need help on discus care?

If you need any help with keeping discus fish, or have any questions regarding discus care, you can ask it in our fish keeping forum.