How to Select a Discus Fish


Most, if not all, amateur discus keepers and lovers get easily lured with the beauty and the color of this irresistible fish. They usually get into a common mistake of settling on how the fish looks like a top priority in selecting discus. However, there are several factors a discus keeper must consider before buying one.

There is one general rule in getting a discus or any kind of fish. Not the looks as it is secondary – it’s the HEALTH. No matter how beautiful the fishes are in your eyes, it becomes irrelevant when the fish is weak. You must always look for some signs and symptoms of any illness or abnormality before coming up with a decision to either buy or not. 

It isn’t always obvious to an amateur’s eyes in detecting illness or signs of weakness. In fact, they miss it most of the time. To get the best quality of discus, always check on these criteria:

Wellness of the fish – first criteria to evaluate is how responsive the discus is. It should be active but not erratic. It should respond to your hand movements. You can test it by letting it follow your hand, or see if goes up and down with your hand.

Characteristics of the Eyes – if eyes are cloudy, matt, bubbled or popped-out, there surely is something wrong with the fish. Remember that the first sign of illness is usually seen in the eyes of the fish. If the eyes are too big in proportion to the body, that is not a good choice despite the color or how healthy look.

Skin Characteristics – this part is obvious. Never buy dark or black-skinned discus, that is a sure sign of illness or abnormality. Any unusual spots, marks, scratches, or scars in the skin is enough to sign of warning to not buy it.

Fins and Tails – spot-check these parts of the fish. Avoid buying those with wholes and/or scratches. If the color is eroded, it highly suggests sickness.

Feces – there is a high risk of having parasites in the body if you see long white or yellow feces hanging from the fish. This suggests that either the fish is infected or suffering from parasites. Getting fish like this will highly cause contamination in your tank and will likely get other fish infected.

Form of the Body – buy discus that looks firm and round. Any deformities indicate sickness or lack of nutrition.

Breathing – a healthy discus breathes once every second, or slightly less than a second. If the fish breathes faster than usual, it could be a sign of stress in its living conditions. It isn’t usually a sign of sickness in the fish but it is always best to be cautious when deciding to get one. Discus Fish also needs a High-Performance Aquarium Filter, Canister Filter for Aquariums up to 400 Gal.

Inexperienced discus fish keepers need to learn the basics before tackling some complicated cases. Starting with a healthy batch will give you the whole idea of how to take care of a discus fish with basic knowledge. Always reach out to mentors for advice and guidance whenever something unusual occurs in your tank.

Visit Uncle Sam’s Discus to see a wide range of available discus fish online, click this link.


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Hikari Tropical Discus Bio-Gold Fish Food, 2.82 oz (80g)

• Natural color enhancing ingredients safely produce brilliant colors
• 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

Fluval Canister Filter, FX6 Filter (400 Gal)

Designed for aquariums up to 400 gallons, FX6 is the high-capacity workhorse of Fluval’s canister lineup, enhanced with all the power and reliability you’ve come to expect from a high-performance filter.