If you are thinking about keeping discus fish, there are many things you need to know. In this article, I’ll be covering 3 important areas that will help you to be successful with your aquarium. First, I’ll discuss the aspects of hard or soft water. Next, I’ll talk a little about what other fish are good to combine in the same aquarium as your fish. Lastly, I’ll touch upon the behavior you should look for in healthy fish.
First, let me just say that keeping discus fish is no easy task, and if you are looking for an easy, low maintenance aquarium fish, discus probably aren’t the best choice for you.
The first point I wanted to discuss is whether or not you should keep your discus fish in hard or soft water. This has been an ongoing debate amongst aquarium hobbyists for quite some time.
It’s true that people have had success with both methods, but many people have also experienced less than desirable results. It’s recommended that the best way to decide is to find out exactly what kind of water the fish were held in at the supplier or pet store, and try to match it as closely as possible. It’s also important to note that experts agree that young discus should not be kept in very soft water due to the lack of minerals necessary for their growth. Once the discus reach at least 5 inches, it’s generally alright to soften the water a bit. However, if you are trying to induce breeding conditions, you should lower the softness and PH of the water to trigger breeding activity between adults.
Next, let’s discuss what fish are best suited to share an environment with your discus, and which aren’t. You should avoid putting your discus fish in the same tank with much smaller fish, as they may prey upon them. As well, catfish should be avoided because they could be a danger to the discus. A good rule of thumb when keeping discus fish is to make sure that the discus are the biggest fish in the tank, and that any other fish you enter into the environment can live in the same water conditions as discus and are not aggressive.
Lastly, let’s discuss the behavior of healthy discus. Healthy discus will often exhibit certain consistent behaviors and you should keep an eye out for these to make sure your discus fish are happy and healthy. Healthy discus fish are energetic and very interactive. They will commonly react to movements and people outside of the tank and will even eat out of your hand if they are in the mood! As well, they will not be sluggish and often make quick, darting movements from one side of the tank to another. If you are noticing these behaviors daily, that’s a good sign that you are doing everything right!