discus_fish

History

These species were discovered in 1840, by Dr. Johann Jacob Heckel in the freshwaters of the Amazon and its tributaries. These great looking small fish are known for their flat disc shaped body and they exist in groups, taking cover in underwater plants, where they get indirect sunlight and solitude they need. Because of their flat shape, they make unrestricted movements playing hide and seek in the aquatic vegetation. These fish are found in Amazon stretches of Brazil, Columbia and Peru.

Freshwater Discus

The freshwater Discus can be found in three colors Green, Blue and Brown. Their colored appearance depends upon the geographic location of their natural habitat, which is usually deep and still backwater, where the submerged trees and plants gives a very flourishing place to these pretty fish.

The most preferable conditions are offered by gently acidic and warm water areas, since these fish are a bit shy and peaceful, so they prefer to have a secluded territory, where they don’t have to face unwanted enemies and predators.

Appearance

These are average sized fish, with a round and flat body and out-stretched fins making it look like a disk. It is characterized by a small mouth, tiny bright red eyes, vibrant green, blue or brown colors and nine vertical, dark stripes. The pet Discus is available in other colors too, after crossing color varied species. The stripes are a shield for protection and a way of communication within the members of a Discus school.

Size

Discus fish are about 2 inches long when they are born and can grow up to 6-8 inches in diameter. They grow at a rate of about half to one inch every two months. Pet Discus fish when given proper care and nutrition, may live for 15 years and it attains diameter of 8 inches at an age of 2 to 2.5 years!

Discus Fish Keeping And Care

These are not an easy pet, since they require certain water conditions that may not be provided in fish tanks by an inexperienced caretaker. The Discus fish as a pet must be handled by those who are passionate enough to learn how to properly breed and care them.

These fishes, are usually kept in a planted tank with CO2 injection, to maintain slightly lower pH that is around 6.8. Other options for housing these type of fish are bare bottomed tank, although this may not appeal to many as it is not as aesthetically pleasing as the previous tank.

The bare bottomed tank is considered by many, as an easier tank to keep them, since the feces of the fish and other debris can be cleaned easily. If you are planning to breed them, you should get a bare bottomed tank for your fish, so that the fry do not get trapped in the gravel and die subsequently.

Water temperature, pH and Ammonia levels

The Discus fish breed thrives in soft water with low mineral content and pH value between 4.0 and 7.0. The water temperature must be a bit higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Regularly check pH levels by using a water test kit.

Bio load and bio mass

Discus fish are a very sensitive breed, which can be highly affected by an unclean aquarium. Proper care must be taken to avoid bio-debris being collected in the aquarium. This debris can be due to the remains of the food offered to the fish, like live worms, beef heart, feed flakes and vegetable shreds. In addition to these, excreta of the fish can also accumulate to create this unwanted biomass.

For proper breeding, you must ensure that if some food is not consumed by the fish, it must be immediately removed from the tank with the help of a net, before it deposits at the bottom of the tank and dissolve and disappear in the gravel. If you fail to do this, bacteria, viruses, and other parasites may multiply on the organic matter and make them sick.

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Aquarium Care of Bettas (Animal Planet Pet Care Library)
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Last update on 2020-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Care sheet

The checkpoints for Discus fish care are

  • Clean tank placed in a quiet place,
  • Isolation of new fish to protect the older ones from infection,
  • Maintaining water temperature between 84 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit,
  • Fish tank must have foliage to give them a feeling of their natural habitat,
  • Feeding right food in the right quantity,
  • Maintaining pH level between 4.0 to 7.0 using a filter
  • Changing water weekly.

Discus Breeding & Mating

Tank setup for Breeding

These can easily reproduce in the aquarium tank, if given the right conditions and attention. The first thing that you must pay attention to, is that the pH level of soft water in the aquarium tank is just right close to 6.5.

Discus fish are very fussy about their surroundings, so a small or congested aquarium may discourage them for breeding. So, the tank must be at least 36 inches x 18 inches X 18 inches in dimensions to give an ideal space to them for reproduction.

The temperature of the aquarium must be maintained at about 82 degrees Fahrenheit, to give a warmer climate in order to encourage them to switch to their mating behavior. If the water quality of the aquarium is maintained and the water is recycled every week, it will surely result in a boom in the fish population in your tank

When they are ready to spawn, you must place an upturned clay pot or cone, which is fairly tall for them to lay eggs on. Here the fish will get a secure hatching area where they can lay and guard their eggs.

Bestseller No. 1
Aqua KT Discus Fish Breeding Cone Cave Spawning Slates for Aquarium Landscape Decoration
  • Professional fish breeding cone can help your fish increase breeding and lay egg well.
  • Made of natural ceramic, no smell, safety for your fish. Conical design is especially for discus, angle, clown fish, goldfish and so on.
  • Ceramic cone with smooth surface is good for fish egg to attach on it easily, ensure high reproduction by your fish.
  • Provide spawning sites for your fish, also as ornament to decorate your aquarium fish tank.
  • Easy to clean, you can clean it just with warmth water.
Bestseller No. 2
DOHO Ceramic Spawning Breed Cone for Discus Fish and Angelfish Fish Breeding Cones Cave 7 Inches
  • Ceramic spawning breed cone provides spawning sites for your fish.
  • Breeding cone for discus fish、angel fish and other substrate fish to spawn.
  • Smooth surface for fish egg to attach on it easily, ensure high reproduction.
  • The spawning breed cone made of ceramic fired from mineral soil, can process water filtration in your aquarium.
  • Package Include: 1 x Aquarium Spawning Cone; Size: 10 x 18 cm/ 3.9" x 7"(D*H)
Bestseller No. 3
Ceramic Spawning Cone for Discus Breeding Cones Cave 11.2", Black, Model Number: UA-908
  • Special design for the existence of Discus.
  • Smooth surface for egg attachment increase rate of reproduction.
  • Specially made with ceramic material that possess filtration function for aquarium.
  • Unique square shape
  • Dimensions (Base): 5" x 5" x 11 1/2"
SaleBestseller No. 4
Seachem Discus Trace Elements 500ml
  • Discus Specific
  • Restores Nutrients
  • No Sodium
Bestseller No. 5
Saim Ceramic Spawning Cone 6.7 Inches Breeding Cones Cave Orange Aquarium Decorations Fish Tank Ornaments for Discus Clownfish Angelfish Aquatic Pets Play Hide Rest
  • Ceramic cone provides spawning, breeding, hiding, playing and resting spot for your fish.
  • Made of ceramic material that possess filtration function for aquarium and fish tank, safe and non toxic. Size : 10x 17cm / 4 x 6.7inch (D x H)
  • Suitable for your discus, angelfish, clownfish and other aquatic pets to spawn and breed.
  • Spawning cone with the smooth surface for egg to attach on it easily, ensure high reproduction.
  • Package Include: 1 x Aquarium Spawning Cone; 2 x Fish Decorations ( random color )

Last update on 2020-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breeding Behavior and Pairing

For breeding you need a young and healthy pair of Discus, you can buy a set of young Discus fish and when they grow, they will breed to give you a whole Discus school. You must have 6-10 Discus from different breeders to have genetic diversity to get a good and varied population.

You can also get a breeding pair from a reputed breeder and this way you may get the expected results, faster. When you have a breeding Discus to feed, you must provide protein rich and diversifying diet.

These fishes are highly territorial when they are in the process of pair bonding and at such times the male displays aggression, to claim right on the female Discus. This way the male gets a female as a mate and prevents another male Discus from the potential mating pair. You must keep an eye on such mating pairs, before the male hurts other males, and this mating pair must be put in separate aquaria.

Spawning and taking care of Fry

The spawning medium has to be placed in the center of the aquarium and the fish will spawn eggs after cleaning the area around this medium. The pair will mate and the female will lay eggs every week for fifteen weeks. If suitable conditions are given to the mating pair, they will be devoted to each other for the rest of their life and will have more offspring.

The Discus eggs are small, slightly opaque spheres, which will stick to the cone. The parent fish pair continuously fan the eggs for ventilation and this keeps them safe from infections. Discus eggs hatch after 48 hours of laying, when the fry will be ready to swim. At this time the young fish feed themselves and grow rapidly. To prevent the fry from becoming aggressive, they must be kept away from the parents and must be fed on commercial food. When they grow up to 2 inches in diameter, they can be sold or gifted to your friends.

Discus Fish Food and Feeding

What do Discus fish eat?

In their natural homes Discus fish can eat anything they lay their fins on. Basically omnivores, they relish small bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp and the underwater vegetation mostly algae.

Bestseller No. 1
Seachem NutriDiet Discus Flakes - Fortified Ornamental Fish Food Supplement 100g
  • FLAKE BLEND: NutriDiet Discus Flakes is a premium and nutritionally balanced diet formulated to meet the requirements of all discus while also working as an effective appetite stimulant. It contains only the highest quality of ingredients including fish, squid, and earthworms.
  • NUTRITIONAL ALGAE:NutriDiet Discus Flakes have Chlorella Algae as an exceptional source of a broad range of vitamins, amino acids, as well as other nutrients required for animal life. Chlorella Algae is considered a potential super food.
  • PROBIOTICS: Discus Flakes also contain probiotics which helps the digestive system of fish and inverts by promoting nutrient uptake, reducing waste, and supporting the immune system.
  • WASTE REDUCTION: Due to Discus Flakes being easy for ornamental fish to completely digest, unnecessary waste is reduced in the system.
  • FEEDING: When feeding your ornamental fish NutriDiet Discus Flakes, feed as much as the fish will consume in three minutes of feeding up to 3 times daily.
Bestseller No. 2
TetraColor Tropical Granules, Clear Water Advanced Formula (16262), 10.58-Ounce, 1-Liter
  • TROPICAL FORMULATION These slow-sinking granules are specially designed for use as a staple food for larger mid-water tropical fish
  • FOR DAILY FEEDING Nutritionally balanced diet for optimal health color and vitality – supports a long life
  • PROCARE FORMULA Helps support fish’s immune system for optimal health and long life
  • CLEAR-WATER FORMULA Will not cloud water when used as directed
  • COLOR ENHANCING Helps promote the development of vibrant colors in larger tropical fish
Bestseller No. 3
Cobalt Aquatics Discus Hans Flake, 5 oz
  • Powerful blend co-developed with the renowned discus expert, discus Hans. A mix of high-quality salmon fish meal, dried Spirulina, garlic powder, and dried earthworm powder that is designed to keep discus in top condition and color.
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  • Packed with probiotics in the form of bacillus sp. Bacteria, which support a healthy digestive system.
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  • Will not cloud water – a cleaner diet results in less waste for a cleaner aquarium!
Bestseller No. 4
Hikari Tropical Discus Bio-Gold Fish Food, 2.82 oz (80g)
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  • Highest grade of caroteniods available today to help your fish look their best
  • High in stabilized vitamin C to support immune system health
  • Perfect blend of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals
  • Free of parasites and bacteria common with live foods
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Tetra 77080 Pro Tropical Color Crisps, Fish Food With Natural Color Enhancers,7.41-Ounce (210 g)
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  • CLEAR-WATER FORMULA: Easy-to-digest formula helps fish metabolize food more efficiently, reducing waste in the aquarium.
  • FLOATING FOOD: Fish have longer to eat, so more food gets eaten and the water stays clear.
Bestseller No. 6
Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms, 0.96 oz
  • NUTRITIOUS TREAT: Omega One Freeze-Dried Blood Worms are an excellent high-protein treat for all freshwater and saltwater fish
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  • SAFE ALTERNATIVE: Freeze-dried bloodworms are just as nutritious as live food, without the risk of bacteria or parasites
  • INSTRUCTIONS: Feed as a part of a varied diet, which should include at least one Omega One staple food. Feed daily, using only as much food as fish can consume in two minutes
  • GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Min Crude Protein 55% / Min Crude Fat 3% / Max Crude Fiber 5% / Max Moisture 5%
Bestseller No. 7
Sera 307 Discus granules 1.1 lb 1.000 ml Pet Food, One Size
  • Staple food for all disus
  • Sinking granules
  • With garlic and prebiotic effect
  • For lively fertile discus

Last update on 2020-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best food and diet

If you are planning to give your pet Discus something really nutritious, then at the time of feeding of Discus fish, it would be good if you combine blood worms and other vegetable shreds like spinach to keep the fish in healthiest shape.

Unfortunately, live foods are susceptible to carry bacteria and other harmful parasites, so you should be careful about such diet before you feed your well cared Discus School. Another recommended diet is high grade tropical flakes that would make a good supplement and will give the fish much needed nutrients and vitamins.

You can also feed some packed food available commercially, like pellets, which supplement their dietary needs. This will help in developing a strong immune system and a better health.

Discus Granules

For good health of grown Discus fish, they must be fed with a variety of diet granules. The granule diet will ensure that they get all the nutrients they require. Granules are best processed food for Discus and can be passed through a small conical feeder cone which is greatly relished by Discus.

Feeding Discus

The Discus fish prefer to be fed in the middle of the tank, and may not pay any attention to the food that floats on the water surface or lying near the side walls. Blood worms or beef heart can also be fed in a small feeder cone.

If you are feeding Discus fish with beef heart, you have to take extra care to keep the tank clean since the uneaten food will invite bacteria and parasites to grow and that will make the fish sick. To protect them from infections and diseases, you must plan and do regular maintenance in order to avoid polluting the tank. After this Discus will be the easiest fish to keep in your tank.

These fishes can go a couple of weeks without eating, but you will need to feed them up to three times a day to help them grow to their full size and acquire their symbolic bright colors.

Diseases

All fish are prone to disease. A well maintained aquarium will never be a hub of diseases. Most of the diseases will come from a poorly maintained aquarium. Any harmful environment is bound to affect your aquatic pets at the end of the day.

Clear water doesn’t mean that these fishes are free from Diseases.

So unhygienic conditions in aquarium causes many diseases to Discus fish like

  • Rapid Breathing,
  • Flicking (Scratching and flashing, Clamped Fins)
  • Loss of Balance
  • Swollen Abdomen or swollen eyes,
  • Fin Rot
  • Ick
  • Flukes
  • Tail Rot
  • Leeches on Discus body
  • Skin Ulcers due to Bacterial Infection,
  • Flagelite parasite infection causing holes in head and subsequent pus,
  • Velvet Oodinium pillularis,
  • White Stringy Faeces
  • Cloudy Eye
  • Discus Plague

Most of the diseases can be treated by changing water regularly and keeping the tank clean from biomass. Some of the common medicines like octozin and Interpet Number Nine anti-internal bacteria can also be applied.

If the fish are de-wormed frequently, since they are not in their natural habitat, they will remain free from many of the mentioned diseases.

Behavior

If you observe the them closely, they are not competing for mates, they are exceptionally social fish. Their social behavior can be seen by the fact that they prefer to stay in large groups when they are in freshwater rivers. But when they have grown into adults and are seeking for breeding partners they can be very ferocious. At this time males can bully other males to the extent of driving them away to win over their partner.

This is a very relevant piece of information if you are a breeder, so that you may keep a number of same age to maintain the equality among companions. This will keep them happy as they will be in their social circle. Since these fish are territorial and if they have young fish in their tank, they can bully them and starve them to death, by stealing their food.

Names

When you keep a pet, you research various sources for giving them a loving name. So selecting a Name for your Discus Fish is an important part of fish care. After this exercise, you will be able to identify them individually.

You will take better care of these aquatic pets, which are as adorable as any other pet you own. It will create an emotional bonding between you and your special or loved fish. To help you in this important decision we have a complete list of fish names.

Tank Mates

If you are planning to get only a few of them, it may be possible that they will feel bored or disoriented. So to provide them some friends, belonging to other species of animals, you choose a Tank Mates for your Discus Fish, is a quite difficult but an interesting task.

So, some of the companionable partners for your Discus Fish can be Cardinal Tetras, Corydoras Catfish, Ancistrus, Bettas, Angel fish, Guppies, Barbs & Loaches. Know More.

Tank & Bowl

If you are investing so much of your resources and are fully committed to get complements for you fish filled aquatic tank, then the most important activity will be, keeping the aquarium clean and cycling water weekly.

The tank must be cleaned with a net to remove all kinds of leftovers and feces dropped by them. Keeping your fish healthy and free from all kinds of bacterial and viral infections, will automatically safeguard them as pets, but also protects your investment made in the form of money and time. Know more

When setting up a new tank or repairing leaks, make sure that your sealant is fish tank safe or you may risk chemicals leaching into the tank.

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  • INCLUDES FILTER Includes air pump-driven Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter to keep your tank clean and provide a healthy environment for pet fish
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  • CONVENIENT Clear canopy has a hole for easy feeding
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H2Pro 30" Glass Canopy 20 Long/29 Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank (29.21 x 11.69 x 0.16in)
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  • Dimensions: 29.21 x 11.69 x 0.16in (74.2 x 23.2 x 0.4cm)
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  • Dimensions per piece includes plastic strip: 22.68 x 16.93 x 0.16in (57.6 x 43 X 0.4cm)
  • Features new and improved Tempered glass; durable and reduces evaporation
  • Clear plastic back strip that can be cut to fit your aquarium. Plastic back strip require force or lubricant to install.
  • Provides the area for your lighting to sit while allowing simple access to your aquarium

Last update on 2020-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bestseller No. 1
Koller Products Panaview 1-Gallon Globe Fish Bowl (BL10RPET)
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  • Manufactured of shatterproof plastic, unlike glass fish bowls that can shatter when dropped this durable bowl puts to rest any concerns about possible accidents and glass all over.
  • Crystal clear clarity so good that most think it's glass, This trendy bowl will look good wherever you place it.
  • Panaview 1-Gallon Globe Fish Bowl Dimensions: 8 Diameter x 7 H Inches
Bestseller No. 2
Koller Products 3-Gallon Fish Bowl
  • Ideal for home decor, weddings, crafting and centerpieces
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  • Crystal-clear clarity so good that most think it's glass not plastic
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  • Dimensions: 11.25" Diameter x 10.25" H
Bestseller No. 3
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Bestseller No. 4
Koller Products 1/2-Gallon Fish Bowl Drum, 6.3" L x 4.2" W x 6.3" H
  • Ideal for home decor, weddings, crafting and centerpieces
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  • Crystal-clear design makes it look like glass but it is manufactured of break-resistant plastic
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  • Fill with fresh flowers, silk flowers, potpourri, glass beads or decorative marbles
  • Perfect for home decor, weddings, crafting and centerpieces
  • Made of shatterproof plastic, unlike glass fish bowls that can shatter when dropped this durable bowl puts to rest any concerns about possible accidents and glass all over
  • This classic bowl will look good wherever you place it
  • Dimensions: 8. 5" L x 5" W x 8. 5" H

Last update on 2020-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Discus Buying/Purchasing

  • Purchasing your pet is an emotional and exciting decision, to be taken with great care and after extensive research. You may feel stressed while selecting the healthiest and prettiest fish by spending the money within your constraints.
  • You must not rush to get the first batch of Discus you are offered by any vendor, you must look for a reputed breeder or a reliable retailer, who have a good experience in handling this exotic breed of fish. These sources can be a pet shop in your neighborhood, a hobbyist breeder or an online seller.
  • It is advised that before getting your batch of Discus, you must spend some time in observing them for their vibrant colors, their interaction with other fish, how active they are and that they look generally content and happy.
  • As far as physical examination is concerned, the fish must not breathe heavily, have twisted mouths, ill shaped fins and tails, skin injuries, swollen eyes and insufficient gill covers, which are a clear indication of their ill health and incapable breeding.
  • You can throw a few bits of feed to see if they rush to capture the food, this will show their agility. They should eat the food slowly, which is an indication of good health. You must ask the vendor about the age of the fish, water conditions needed in aquarium and Discus background to check his knowledge and expertise, so that you get the best bargain.
  • Shipping of Discus is also an important factor, it must be transported in a proper wish bowl that is strong and reliable to bear the discomfort of travel.

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Written by Debra Hutchinson, founder of FishXperts