A popular type of exotic freshwater fish, discus are native to the Amazon river basin. These fish are named after their distinct discus-shaped bodies. When in wild, discus fish are always found near the shoreline, especially in between submerged tree roots. They are available in glorious red, blue, green, yellow, and brown colors, and enhance the looks of any tropical aquarium.
Usually, discus fish are kept in groups, and they need to be taken care of in the proper manner. Right from the tank size, these fish have numerous requirements that include clean water, nutritious food, proper lighting, etc. Discus fish are calm, silent, and timid in nature. It is advisable to keep them in a group of five to ten. Again, this depends upon the tank size. If you are planning to have a large group of discus fish, you need to purchase a big tank as these fish are quite big. You can also add companions of their choice! Though they are not antisocial, you need to choose discus fish tank mates with utmost care.
Tank Mates Compatible with Discus Fish
First of all, avoid too many companion fish in a discus tank. Maintaining a healthy number of fish is one of the golden rules, if you want to keep your pets healthy and hearty. Certain types of fish are more compatible with discus, and are ideal as tank mates to the former. Given below is a list of such aquarium fish.
These are among those freshwater fish that are great with discus. It is said that discus fish find it safe when characins are around them. Certain types of characins like rummy-nose and cardinal tetras are great choices for a discus fish tank. Pencilfish are also characins that are compatible with discus fish.
The South American dwarf cichlids are also excellent when one has to select compatible tank mates for discus fish. Maximum size of dwarf cichlids ranges between 10 to 12 centimeters, and this makes them perfect for this purpose.
Though some of them have fierce looks, rams are peaceful fish that go well with discus. You may go for electric blue rams, golden rams, or German blue rams. These fish tolerate high temperatures that discus fish require. However, make sure that the tank has enough hiding places.
These peaceful fish do well with discus. Though all types of gouramis are said to be compatible with discus, it is advisable to go for dwarf gouramis and pearl gouramis. Make sure that the tank is densely-planted, if you plan to get gouramis as tank mates for discus.
Also known as cory cats, cory catfish, or corys, corydoras are exotic freshwater fish that display a high degree of compatibility with discus. They work as bottom feeders that do not mess with discus fish in any way.
These fish are also bottom feeders that do not interfere with the main inhabitants of the tank. Apart from being compatible with discus, these loaches are scavengers who keep the tank clean. Keep only one or two clown loaches in a discus tank, so as to avoid competition while feeding.
These are small, colorful, and peaceful fish that are often seen in discus fish tanks. With a black triangular patch on both sides of its body, the Harlequin rasbora is preferred to other types. You may also go for purple or copper varieties.
Most of the rainbow fish species are found to get along well with discus, especially in large tanks with plenty of plants. They are small-sized, colorful, and peaceful. It is advisable to go for a gravel substrate, if you plan to get rainbow fish as companions for your discus.
Many people recommend freshwater angelfish as tank mates for discus fish. But as they grow older, angelfish may bully the discus! African cichlids are also not preferable, as they do not like warm, acidic water, in which the discus fish live. Fish like barbs are also not preferable, as they move fast and have the habit of nipping fins. Avoid getting companions for breeding discus fish, due to the risk of diseases. If you are a beginner, do not try to over-experiment with your discus. Raise them in a group of three or five, and then think about companions. It is always better to consult an expert, before deciding the best tank mates for your discus. Have a happy time with your discus fish!