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Discus Fish Care Basics 101

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Return To; Discus Fish Information

Discus fish originate from the Amazon River and they make a bright, beautiful addition to an aquarium. They are non-aggressive and interesting to watch, but they are tropical fish, so they do need to be kept in a tank that has appropriate conditions. Your discus will thrive if you follow some basics for discus fish care.

Water Parameters

For proper discus fish care, the water should resemble their natural habitat, so the temperature in the tank should be maintained between 85 and 88 degrees, the warmer the better health they will maintain. The water should also be kept at a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. Prior to adding new discus fish to a tank, it should be cycled and checked for nitrite and ammonia because these can kill your discus. Once you have added the discus fish to the tank, it is important that the water be well filtered and changed frequently to keep your discus fish healthy. 25% water changes once a week is recommended.

Tank Requirements

Discus fish need a lot of room, and they prefer to live with other discus fish, so buy a large tank to hold them all. The tank should be well planted to provide the discus fish with places to hide and to help oxidize ammonia and other toxins from the water. A substrate of light colored sand or gravel will be sufficient for your discus fish. Another important aspect of discus fish care is lighting. Their natural habitat provides them with murky water, so they do not like bright lighting. They also do not like noise and they can become agitated if there are loud sounds around them.

Feeding

Discus fish are omnivores, so they will eat both plants and meat. For proper discus fish care, feed them an assorted diet of frozen bloodworms, Omega one flake spiralina flake and freeze dried krill, these are all great foods to feed your discus and can be purchased from you local fish store. Live brine shrimp is also a treat they would enjoy on occasion, their natural instinct is to chase live foods and they provide good roughage in their diet.

Tank Mates

Discus fish do well in a group with other discus fish, and they are non-aggressive. They will cohabitate peacefully with most any fish, but for their safety, you should only add other non-aggressive fish that are smaller than the discus fish to their tank. A 50 gallon aquarium will hold a school of up to 15 adult discus fish provided you do 25% water changes once or twice a week.

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