Are Discus Fish Hard to Keep?

Are Discus Fish Hard to Keep – The Facts

This is the most common question I receive from many aquarium enthusiasts who are looking for discus fish for sale and are wanting to start keeping discus. If I had one dollar for every time I hear that question, I would be rich! The short answer to this question is Not Really! Let us explore further.

What Size Tank Do You Need for Discus?
In order for discus fish to grow to their maximum size of around 6.5 inches, they require plenty of swimming space. The rule of thumb is 10 gallons of water for 1 full grown discus fish. However, you can get away with 8 gallons of water per discus fish. As far as tank size, discus do require more room than the average fish.

Can You Keep a Single Discus?
Discus are schooling fish. They feel safe in groups of six or more. Therefore, it is not advisable to keep just one discus in a tank. It will not do well on its own.

What Fish Can be Kept with Discus?
Discus are slow-moving fish. They cannot be kept with fish that are fast-moving and will compete against them for food. The best fish to keep with discus include cory cats, tetras, German Ram fish, and plecos. The best fish to keep with discus are those that swim at the bottom of the tank or swim slowly in the middle of the tank or toward the surface.

Fish that cannot be kept with discus include danios, silver dollars, Monos, and sharks. These fish swim very fast and will compete with the discus for food. In addition, they may even snip the fins of the discus fish!

Are Discus Fish Aggressive?
Discus fish are cichlids. They are very territorial and can be aggressive towards smaller fish. Therefore, it is highly recommended to keep discus with fish that are similar in size to them to prevent bullying.

How Much Does a Discus Fish Cost?
Quality discus fish are not cheap. They can range anywhere from $20 to $200. The bigger and rarer the discus the more expensive it will cost. Be careful whenever you see discus fish for sale very cheap. Very low-priced discus fish are sick and/or stunted, meaning that they are deformed and will not grow. You get what you pay for when it comes to discus fish.

Why are Discus Fish So Expensive?
Discus fish are expensive because they are challenging to breed. It takes many years of trial and error to successfully breed healthy discus fish. Discus Fish Breeding is very complicated but rewarding.

What Temperature Do Discus Fish Need?
Discus fish are from the Amazon where water temperatures are warm. Discus require water temperatures between 82-86F. The warmer the water the better.

Do Discus Really Need Daily Water Changes?
It depends on your specific situation. If you have a 40-gallon tank with 40 discus in it, yes you will need several water changes daily to prevent the fish from getting sick. However, as long as you stick with the rule of 8-10 gallons per fish you will not need to do daily water changes. One water change per week is sufficient.

Can Guppies Live with Discus?
If the guppies are large enough so the discus will not eat them, then yes, they can live together. However, if the discus are small they will eventually get eaten by the discus!

What do Discus Fish Eat?
Discus fish eat the same foods that all fish eat: flakes, pellets, brine shrimp, blood worms and the occasional beef heart.

So, as you can see keeping discus fish is pretty much the same as keeping just about any other type of fish. The key things to consider are:
1. Make sure you have a large enough tank.
2. Do not overcrowd the tank.
3. Make sure you keep up with water changes.
4. Keep the right types of fish with discus.

That’s all there is to it. So, are discus fish hard to keep? Not really!


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