Commonly Asked Discus Questions

This article is an extension of our care guide for Discus species and will cover some of the common questions asked about these fish. The answers here on this page are brief and to the point; but in order to fully understand the needs of these fish we highly recommend reading our full comprehensive guide to Discus Fish.

You can use the table below to jump to the question you need an answer to. 

Are Discus Fish Hard To Keep?

Discus fish can be very difficult to keep, but with the right environment and care, they can live long and healthy lives. 

Discus fish require clean water that is free of ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, chlorine, and heavy metals. 

Additionally, discus fish are very sensitive to sudden changes in their environment such as drastic pH or temperature fluctuations so careful monitoring is necessary for them to stay healthy.

On top of having specific environmental requirements, discus fish are also sensitive eaters which means they may not take food readily or will only accept certain types of food. 

These points make discus fish very difficult to keep if you do not have experience keeping sensitive fish. So we do not recommend discus fish for beginner or intermediate-level aquarists.

Learn more here: Discus Care Guide

Can Discus Fish Live In A Community Tank?

Yes, discus fish can live in a community tank with other non-aggressive species. Discus are peaceful and inquisitive fish that have the potential to thrive in a community setup.

However, discus needs should be the priority in the tank and other fish should be able to live in discus water conditions. 

They do best when kept in groups of five or more with their kind rather than mixing with other species. This way other tank mates will not need to suffer because of the discus. 

Can Discus Fish Live With Angelfish?

Yes, discus fish and angelfish can live together in the same tank. Both fish are peaceful species and have similar personalities. This makes them get along well with each other. 

Keep in mind that the water parameters should be in favor of your discus. Discus needs warm water between 82-86°F (27-30°C), while angelfish prefer slightly cooler conditions of 78-84°F (26-29°C). 

In addition, both species require soft acidic water which is a plus point.

When kept together in an aquarium setup, discus fish should be added first as they tend to be shy when new additions are introduced into their established space. By introducing them before the angelfish you ensure that they have time to settle down without feeling threatened or stressed out by newcomers. 

It’s also important to keep a higher ratio of discus to angelfish because these cichlids can become territorial and aggressive. 

Can Discus Fish Live With Goldfish?

No, discus fish and goldfish can not live together in the same tank. This is because they need very different water parameters and conditions. 

First of all, discus fish prefer warm water while goldfish prefer cooler temperatures that should not exceed 74-78°F. 

Additionally, goldfish are very messy eaters and will pollute the water quickly. Discus fish can not withstand dirty waters and will need frequent partial water changes regularly (sometimes daily) to ensure optimal health for both species.

How Much Discus Fish Cost?

The cost of a discus fish can vary greatly depending on the variety, size, age, and where you are living. 

The price for a juvenile discus is usually around $10 to $50, while adult show-quality specimens can sell for hundreds of dollars. Some specialty varieties may even be more expensive than that.

How To Stop Discus Fish Bullying?

The first step in stopping discus fish bullying is to ensure that the tank the fish are living in is large enough for them all. 

Discus fish need plenty of room to swim and should never be kept in a crowded tank as this can lead to aggressive and territorial behavior. 

It is also important to make sure there are plenty of hiding spots and decorations within the aquarium. This will let each discus have their own space they can retreat to when necessary.

If these steps did not help, you can always rearrange the decorations to break the territories the dominant fish picked. This will calm the fish as it no longer has a territory to fight for. 

If you still notice any signs of aggression, such as chasing or nipping, it’s best to separate those two specific individuals. You can either transfer one into another tank or use a divider within the same tank. 

This should help reduce stress levels and decrease aggression amongst the other discus fish. Once both fish grow to about the same size and strength you can try to add them together again but observe them to see if they still fight or not. 

Why Discus Fish Turns Black?

Discus fish turning black is a phenomenon that has puzzled aquarists for many years. Although it may appear to be a health issue, the discoloration is caused by environmental stressors in the aquarium. 

The most common cause of discus turning black is due to changes in water chemistry or temperature within their tank. 

Discus are highly sensitive creatures that require very specific water parameters such as pH, ammonia levels, nitrates/nitrites, and other dissolved minerals which must remain consistent at all times. 

These fish also naturally try to match their colors with their surroundings. So if you have a tank with a black background or darker colors your discus will start to develop black colors.

To solve this you can keep your discus in a white background aquarium and focus on giving them the ideal water parameters they need. This often solves the issue if it’s not a genetics problem.

Are Discus Fish Cichlids?

Yes, Discus fish are cichlids. Discus belongs to the Cichlidae family and is known as South American cichlids. 

Discus fish are one of the most unique cichlids that do not share a lot of similarities with other cichlids. Unlike other cichlids, their bodies are shaped like a disc and their fins spread out giving them an even rounder body shape.

Are Discus Fish Easy To Keep?

The easy answer is No. However, keeping discus fish is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. Discus are some of the most beautiful freshwater aquarium fish available and they can be quite difficult to take care of properly.

They require a very specific water chemistry and temperature range to thrive, so setting up your tank correctly is essential for their health. In addition, regular water changes and diet adjustments are needed to keep them healthy.

If you have the time and expertise to keep the tank super clean then keeping these fish is a piece of cake!

Are Discus Fish Friendly?

Discus fish shay species; but can be friendly in the right environment and with the right care.

These fish are known to form strong bonds with their owners, though they may take some time to adjust to a new home as they are naturally shy. 

You need to provide them with ample hiding spots so that they feel secure enough in their environment to come out and explore.

Are Discus Fish Saltwater Or Freshwater?

Discus fish is a species of freshwater fish. They are native to the Amazon River basin in South America, but they have been widely introduced into aquariums around the world.

Can Discus Fish Live Alone?

Yes, discus fish can live alone but it’s not recommended. Discus are very sociable fish and do best in a school of at least five or more of the same species. 

However, they can still thrive when living alone as long as their tank is large enough to give them plenty of space to swim around and explore.

A single discus should be kept in an aquarium that is at least 55 gallons with plenty of hiding spots; rocks, caves, plants, etc… 

Learn more here: Discus Care Guide

Can Discus Fish Live In A 20 Gallon Tank?

No! Discus fish can not live in a 20 gallon tank. This is because the space of a 20 gallon tank is not enough for them to swim around freely and comfortably. 

Discus fish need plenty of room as they are large and active swimmers. The minimum tank size they should have is 75 gallons or more.

Can Discus Fish Live With African Cichlids?

No, discus fish and African cichlids need very different needs in terms of water conditions and tank size. 

Discus fish prefer soft acidic water while African cichlids prefer hard alkaline water. This makes these fins incompatible with each other. 

Can Discus Fish Live In Tap Water?

Yes, discus fish can live in tap water as long as the right precautions are taken. Tap water often contains chlorine and other chemicals that need to be treated before adding to a discus tank. 

Additionally, if the tap water is too hard or has high pH levels, you must treat the water to fall within the range Discus prefers and then add it to the tank.

Can Discus Fish Live With Other Fish?

Yes, discus fish can live with other fish. However, the aquarium must have adequate space to house all the fish. 

Discus fish should never be kept with aggressive species such as Oscars or arowanas since these types of fish may become territorial and bully the Discus Fish. 

How Discus Fish Breeding?

Discus fish are egg scatters and will lay their eggs on vertical surfaces like rocks and aquatic plants. Breeding happens when the water conditions are right and enough food is available. 

Learn more here: Discus Care Guide

What Discus Fish Eat?

Discus fish are omnivorous, meaning that they eat a variety of foods. In the wild, discus fish feed on insects, worms, and small crustaceans. They also forage for plant matter in the form of algae and decaying vegetation. 

In captivity, discus fish should be fed a diet composed mainly of high-quality flake food and frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms or tubifex worms supplemented with live brine shrimp as treat. It is important to provide a variety of foods to ensure full nutrient intake; this includes sinking pellets specifically designed for larger cichlids like the Discus Fish.

Please follow this link to learn more about feeding Discus: Discus Care Guide

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