Keeping Discus Fish

keeping discus fishKeeping discuss fish is fun and rewarding.  These fish can have a calming effect on people when they sit and watch the fish swim elegantly and peacefully around the tank.  This site is all about discus fish care.  These beautiful fish are stunning and truly embodies the species diversity of places such as the Rio Negro or the Amazon Basin.  This page is about the essentials of discus fish care.  Discus are arguably one of the most prized ornamental freshwater fish in the world today. They are certainly very popular with aquarists though the fish may be very much more expensive than other species found in pet stores and private breeding facilities.  Their popularity may be due to the gentle nature, excellent rearing ability, and hardiness in captivity of the discus fish.


 Keeping Discus Fish – For New Converts

This discussion is aimed at those people who have never taken care of discus fish, but would like to get a good basic grounding in what it really takes to keep this species healthy in captivity. Let’s start!

Gentle and Peaceful

Discus fish are a gentle peaceful fish and they prefer peaceful surroundings most of the time.  To really take care of your discus fish you should place their tank in a low-activity area in your home.  An idea could be to place them in your bedroom.  It doesn’t have a lot traffic because people generally stay in their bedrooms to read, relax, or sleep. It doesn’t have a lot of traffic, so it’s one of the best places to relocate a species tank for discus fish.  it is prime real estate for your discus fish!

Rocks and Vegetation

Discus fish also need rocks and vegetation .  They naturally come from shallow, shaded waters so they need the rocks and vegetation to hide whenever they feel insecure. Another thing: discus are gentle, slow and elegant so you would not want to put hyperactive fish in a tank filled with discus! The discuss will be stresses out with the excess activity from other fish.

Keeping discus fish does not need to be difficult if you understand what they need to thrive.


Other Basics of Keeping Discus Fish

Discus fish are like other ornamental fish in that they will function better if you have a regular day and night cycle.  The routine is much more settling for them than not having a routine.  It is fine for the day and night cycle for your freshwater tanks to coincide with your waking and sleeping hours.   The key is to make the cycle consistent so the discus fish can establish routines of their own. A night cycle can be initiated by simply turning off the tank’s lighting.

Clean Water

The water must be kept fresh and clean. You can do this by making partial water changes every week.  Partial means remove one third of the water.  Use this water on your house plants or vegetables for organic fertilization!  Once the third has been removed, the next step is reduce the chlorine and other problematic chemicals in the tap water by using the necessary water aids. An alternative to using dechlorinating solutions is to stand the tap water for at least twenty-four hours before being added to tank water.

Keeping discus fish is not so hard if you stick to this routine and if you are disciplined with the water.

Further Basics of Keeping Discus Fish

discus fish careWith regard to the under gravel filter, you should not clean the surface too much when you are vacuuming the gravel on top of the under-gravel filter.  This is because the gravel is home to beneficial bacteria and vacuuming the gravel removes the bacteria from the natural home. If you find this problematic because there is too much solid waste accumulating at the bottom of the tank, use an external trickle filter to ensure that the nitrogen cycle in the tank is not disturbed by your routine cleaning.

 Backup Power Source

Have a backup power source ready for your fish. A tank can become dangerously toxic to fish after an hour of not being filtered.   Having an uninterruptible power supply ready will prevent sudden ammonia spikes.


In summary, keeping discus fish requires a bit more effort than keeping less sensitive freshwater species.  However with some knowledge, hygiene and routine, your keeping discus fish is not overly challenging.

A list of the other pages on this site can be found on the main dicus fish care page.

More information can be found in Wikipedia, my favorite “go to place” for most things.

Keeping Discus FishMore about the cichlid

More about pet populations especially pet fish populations:

More about fish feeding



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