Your Simple (Yes, Simple) Guide to Discus Fish Care

Discus Fish Care Guide
Discus fish are extremely popular as aquarium fish. They are interesting to watch as they are sensitive to your movements and interact with you, if you care for them well.
Clean water, a quite environment and quality diet are the most important things one should remember when maintaining healthy discus fish.
Discus fish is a tropical fish which comes in different colors like royal blue, cobalt blue and turquoise blue. They are diamond shaped, and have different patterns on their bodies. When selecting these fish, make sure you buy fish which have clear and round eyes, and eyes in proportion to the round body; also avoid fish which have thin fins.

Care Instructions

The most important constituent of discus fish care guide is that you create a suitable environment for the discus fish to live in, which is similar to its natural habitat. Improper care of the fish and the aquarium, leads to health hazards for discus fish. It is important to understand the essential requirements, for proper discus fish breeding and growth.

Tank Requirement: For these aquarium fish, try to buy the biggest possible aquarium. Also, consider the space that additional things like plants, gravel, ornamental things etc., will occupy in the tank. Make sure that after the addition of these things, the discus fish will still have ample space for moving freely, in the tank.

Water & Temperature: The natural habitat of discus fish is water that is 'warm'. So, it is important to maintain clean, warm and well-filtered water in the fish tank for discus fish. With the help of a thermometer, maintain the temperature of the water at 82 - 86ºF. Also, it is important to maintain a 6.5 pH of the water, in the tank.

Plants in the Tank: After adding sterilized gravel and water to the tank, decorate it with aquatic plants. Discus fish are shy in nature, so these plants are not just for decorative purpose. Any type of panic or attack, might lead to agitation in discus fish. While normally they respond by banging against the aquarium walls, it is a possibility that they may want to hide themselves. During such situations, the fish can use these plants as hiding spots. Also, plants will filter ammonia and bacteria present in the water.

Filters: After you set up the tank, it is time to install a filter for aquarium care. Do not use a powered filter for discus fish, but opt for external or biological filters. After setting up the filter, you can set up the heater for the tank.

Mates: When selecting discus fish tank mates, make sure they are smaller than discus fish. Neon tetras make the best mates for discus fish. However, discus fish also share tank-space well with catfish, rams and plecs.

Food: Tropical fish food comprises a varied diet which is rich in vitamins and proteins. You can feed discus fish, flake, brine shrimp, granular food, and bloodworm. Before giving them flake food, soak and squeeze the flakes properly. Discus fish like brine shrimp which enhance their colors and health. You can feed bloodworms to discus fish, however make sure they are frozen and irradiated. Whenever feeding granular food to discus fish, make sure you buy the best quality product. You can also combine various types of food products to prepare discus fish food.

Placement of the Tank: For aquarium algae control, avoid placing the tank where it is hit by direct sunlight. Place the tank in a calm place, as discus fish do not like noise or vibrations. Do ensure that the fish tank is not disturbed by children. Keep in mind that the tank is in a quiet place, so that they fish don't get jittery.

Breeding: Let the fish choose their own partner, hence keep at least 6 discus in the tank or more. Once the fish mature they will start reproducing. On an average the fish start breeding after they are 16 months old. It is a good idea to let them breed once they are mature, otherwise the possibility of the fish eating the fry is possible.

Discus Fish Problems & Secret Tips

Many problems occur if these fish are not properly cared for. Given below are some of the problems associated with discus fish, which you should be aware of and some secrets for the discus fish care tips.
  • Pollutants and improper diet leads to iodine deficiency in the discus fish. So regularly clean the discus fish tank and provide the fish with a proper diet.
  • Lack of vitamins in discus fish causes many discus fish diseases like bleeding, ulcerations and also results in low immunity. So, make sure you include vitamins properly in their diet.
  • Along with maintenance of the aquarium and fish, it is important that the mates in the fish tank are kept healthy.
  • Avoid introducing a new fish right away in the tank. Keep it in a separate tank for couple of months, and observe it. If after few weeks it doesn't show any sign of illness then introduce it in the tank which has other discus fish.
  • Keep a vet's phone number handy, in case your discus fish suddenly suffers from a health problem.
Make sure you keep observing the discus fish, this will help you understand their behavior. As this will help you in taking better care of them. So follow this guide and keep in mind the above discus fish care tips to ensure that your fish remain happy and healthy, and breed well.
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