Are discus fish hard to keep?
That was the first thought I had when I first saw these species. I mean, who wouldn’t be amazed by these beautiful fish and who would not want to keep them in their tanks.
There is a reason why they are called the king of the aquarium. It’s because they truly are. With their striking appearance, majestic colors, and oval body shape, they certainly deserve that title.
I have always wanted to keep discus fish.
That desire has grown stronger and stronger with each day passed. One day I decided to make a thorough research and see if I could keep these fish.
Unfortunately, based on my research, I couldn’t keep this fish. At least, not right now.
Discus fish need special requirements, large tanks, and frequent water changes.
Conditions that I can’t provide right now.
However, now I have a basic understanding of what it takes to keep discus fish. There is a lot of good information on the internet about keeping discus fish. And there is bad information, as well.
I’ve filtered all the information, keeping only the good stuff, and in this guide, I’ll present it in a simple, yet effective way.
And If you want to learn more, I highly recommend it to check out the simplydiscus forum. There are a lot of guys there, with a ton of experience, ready to help wherever help is needed.
Are Discus Fish Hard to Keep?
Discus fish are not that hard to keep, despite the common belief.
They are hardier than many hobbyists believe. As long as you set up an appropriate tank, maintain stable water parameters, do regular water changes, you won’t have a problem.
If you want to increase your chances of success with the Discus fish, there are several things you should know. Not all things are set in stone, however, if you follow the most of them, success is guaranteed.
Buy From Well Experienced and Reputable Breeders
This is the single most important factor that determines your success with keeping discus fish. If you don’t buy quality, healthy, and well-shaped specimens, whatever you do from there won’t help you in the process of raising big and healthy discus fish.
Take your time, make the research, and listen to people with more experience than you. That way, you’ll be ahead from the start.
Start With at Least 6 Discus Fish
Discus are schooling fish by nature and they feel more secure when they are fish from the same species around them.
Start with at least 6 discus fish. The bigger the group the better. If your tank size allows, start with 12 juveniles, all with similar size, and gradually remove the ones that show aggression. That way, in time, you’ll have a nice peaceful group of adult discus fish.
Make sure that all the fish have similar sizes unless you want to see aggression and competition for food.
Get a discus of at least 4 inches in size.
Smaller fish tend to have weaker immune systems and are prone to diseases, making them more difficult for beginners to take care of them.
And last but not least, make sure that all come from the same breeder.
Set Up an Appropriate Tank Size
Discus is large fish that grow fast so setting up a bigger tank from the beginning is a wise thing to do.
The minimum tank size for a group of juvenile discus fish should be at least 75 gallons.
Start with a bare bottom tank. It’s easier for cleaning, general maintenance, and your fish will have a better chance of fulfilling their growth potential.
Do Regular Water Changes
Regular water changes are one of the most important aspects of keeping discus fish, especially for raising juveniles.
Set up a schedule and follow a routine of frequently making large water changes.
Are discus fish hard to keep? Not really if you think about it.
Keeping discus fish is no harder than keeping other fish. However, compared to keeping other fish, here, you have a small room for error.
But as long as you follow the key practices, you won’t have a problem with keeping this fish. Let’s recap the most important things you need to know about keeping discus fish.
Buy from well experienced and reputable breeders. Start with at least 6 discus fish.
Set up an appropriate tank size from the start. And, do regular water changes.
That’s all you need to know. It’s simple but time-consuming. If you can’t make the time, then sure, discus fish can be hard to keep.