King of Aquariums: Discus Fish CARE

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King of Aquariums: Discus Fish

Guide in keeping a Discus Fish

The King of Aquarium, Discus Fish is known for its gorgeous colors, patterns, and variations. Even though this species of fish is so beautiful, they are not as commonly found in the hobby as other fish. Discus Fish can be very hard to keep due to fact that it needs routine maintenance. Now, let’s learn more about how meticulous it is to keep a Discus Fish!

Tank Size

  • Discus fish can grow up to 9 inches especially if they are kept in the best conditions possible.
  • A 55-gallon tank is highly recommended for keeping a Discus Fish. The bigger the tank, the better it is for a discus fish.
  • The golden rule of the keeping a Discus is that there should be 10 gallons or more in every one Discus.
  • Discus fish are known to be tall, keeping them in shallow tanks should be avoided!
  • UNS 90U, 120P, and 120U aquariums would be great for keeping a Discus.

Tank Environment

  • It is very ideal to keep a Discus fish in a planted aquarium.
  • Note that, most aquarium plants don’t do well in hot temperatures so one must consider having hardy plants such as bucephalandra, anubias, and java fern.
  • Discus Fish needs a clean water and the most effective filtration for aquariums are aquatic plants!
  • Planted tanks that use these nutrient-rich substrates are more ideal for Discus than bare bottomed tanks.
  • The hardscape in the aquarium can be a Driftwood type because it lowers the pH and hardness of the water which is very ideal for the Discus Fish.

Tank Maintenance

  • Discus Fish needs a tank maintenance that is very sensitive and slacking is no excuse in maintaining this kind of fish.
  • Do weekly water change of at least 20% should be performed even if it is a planted aquarium.
  • In a non planted aquarium, it is needed to change approximately 40% or more of water in the weekly basis.
  • In changing water, make sure that the siphon out as much detritus during each session.


  • In keeping a Discus, good filtration is very necessary!
  • Filtration makes the aquarium and the water clean for toxic chemicals.
  • Nitrogen levels that are unstable and spiking will not be good for a Discus fish.
  • Make sure the aquarium is fully cycled and clean before adding a Discus.
  • Discus fish are best kept in larger tanks and there must be a stronger and bigger filtration system.  
  • It is recommended to use canister filters because it holds a lot of media for necessary beneficial bacteria and usually provide a current that is strong enough to pull the debris from the tank into the filter.
  • Lastly, cleaning the filter system regularly is a must!


  • Like water quality, it is also important to maintain the proper temperature in keeping a Discus.
  • Discus Fish maybe a tropical fish but they like temperatures that are warm.
  • The temperature of keeping a Discus will depends on why are you keeping them. Listed below are the suggested temperature of a Discus’s aquarium.
    • For keeping discus in general: 84F-86F
    • For raising young or growing juveniles: 86F-88F
    • For breeding or keeping in a planted tank: 82F
  • Note that, the temperature varies for every situation and reason. The increased temperature will speed up the metabolism of a Discus, allowing them to have a faster growth. Meanwhile, the lower temperature for breeding a Discus is used because it replicates the natural environment of the Amazon’s rainy season which helps them to stimulate and breed.
  • Aeration is very significant especially in maintaining a planted aquarium with high temperatures.
  • The warmer the water, the less ability it has to hold oxygen, so make sure there’s enough oxygen for the Discus fish by installing an air pump.

PH & Hardness

  • Discus prefer soft and acidic water.
  • A pH of 7 or below and a gH of 1-3 is what many strive for in a discus aquarium.
  • It is not impossible to keep healthy Discus in higher pH and hardness levels.
  • Lastly, Discus Fish can be in its best condition if the pH will be 7.5 or less and the water hardness will be soft to medium level.

Feeding Requirements

  • Variety of foods like flakes, pellets, and frozen/live food can be feed to a Discus Fish because they tend to be picky eaters.
  • Changing up the types of food for your Discus Fish will prevent them from sticking to going after one food.
  • Discus Fish should be feed no more than 3% of their body weight.
  • On average, adult discus should be fed 2-3 times per day.
  • When feeding a Discus, make sure that your hands are clean and free from chemicals.

Tank Mates

  • Discus Fish can live with friendly and non-aggressive community fish that are big enough to not be seen as food.
  • Discus Fish can be friendly with fishes like cardinal tetras, rummynose tetras, sterbai corys, small plecos, and rams.
  • Other fishes should also be fast enough to avoid getting eaten by a Discus dish, but not so fast that they outcompete them for food, as Discus can be slow when it comes to eating.

Keeping a Discus is indeed a tremendous responsibility. One should be passionate to be able to stay on top in maintaining the King of Aquarium. Famous for its royalty reputation, the Discus Fish can be a lovely companion and needs maintenance that is fit for a king!

See varieties of Premium Quality Discus Fish for sale on our website @

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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.