Discus Fish Tank

Discus Fish Tank
Discus fish are very large in size and come in many colors. In this article, we tell you how to set up a tank for these fish, the other fish you can have in the same tank, and the general care that they require.
The discus are a very popular freshwater fish. These aquarium fish are tropical by nature. They are very social and love to live in the company of the other fish in the waters that are native to them. However, setting up a tank for them can be quite challenging at times, as we need to take care of all important aspects. Any kind of mistake in setting up the tank can cause these lively and beautiful creatures to perish.

How to Set up a Tank

There are many vital points which one should take into account while studying about how to set up a fish tank for discus. Apart from clean and pure water, we should have the right information related to the temperature of the water, required pH levels, and quantities of the useful nitrates, ammonia, and nitrites.
  • Tank Size:
    The size of the tank will largely depend on the kind of room you have for it and your budget. For the discus fish to survive well, a deep and wide tank is the most recommended. A tank which has the measurements of 120 x 50 x 50 cm, will suit this fish the most. Tanks with capacities of 55 to 90 gallons are very common. You will also find people who place around five to six discus fish in a 30 gallon tank. Large tanks are necessary, as these creatures grow to a very large size in a very small time.
  • Tank Position:
    Keeping the tank at the right place is very essential, as these creatures are very shy. The location of the tank should be at a quiet and peaceful place, away from noise, sunlight, and heat. Keep the aquarium at a proper height for proper movement of the fish.
  • Water:
    The quality of water in your aquarium is the decisive factor in the well-being and long life of discus. Changing the pH of the water frequently is not a good idea as per the opinion of many fish breeders. Discus can survive well in water that is hard and alkaline in nature. Generally, these fish have the ability to tolerate and live well in water that has a pH between 5.0 and 7.5 and a hardness of 0-8 dH. You should maintain the temperature of the aquarium between the range of 25-30°C. Avoid changing the water conditions and make sure that it is clean all the time. You can provide freshwater to the discus fish by using a filtration process. There are three types of filtration systems, viz., mechanical, biological, and chemical. An external canister filter will prove to be very effective in case of a display aquarium. Trickle and internal filters are also some varieties that are commonly used.
  • Substrate and Plants:
    Fine gravel can be used as a substrate in the tank if you are breeding these fish instead of just showcasing them. But for that, you need to have a bare water tank for easy cleaning purposes. Both real and plastic plants can be used in the aquarium. These plants not only make the tank look good, but they also keep a check on rising bacteria levels by using the nutrients like nitrates, ammonia, and nitrites.
  • Tank Decor:
    Generally, rocks and driftwood is used to decorate the aquarium. Discus fish are fond of driftwood, as they are used to it in their native waters too. The colors, textures, and the way of placing the rocks and pebbles should be systematic for a nice look. Do not keep too many rocks, as this will affect the aesthetic beauty of the aquarium.
Tank Mates for Discus

As said earlier, discus fish are very social by nature and hence it becomes imperative to know about the ideal mates for this species. Following are the ideal mates for the discus fish:
  • Characins
  • Dwarf Cichlids
  • Pearl Gouramis
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Corydoras
Many discus lovers across the world have enjoyed the company of these aquatic creatures a lot and are very happy with their decision of owning them.