Discus Fish

Discus is one of the aquarium fish that is very popular among aquarists. Discus is also a difficult aquarium fish to keep in tropical freshwater aquarium species today.

In this article, Wiki PET shares with you how to create a tank and care for discus at home.

1. About discus

1.2 Biological features

NameSymphysodon discus, Discus, Pompadour, Poisson-disque (Red discus, royal blue discus)
DistributeSouth America
IdentificationThis is the largest of the discus fish. The discus body is very high, very flattened laterally; the mouth is small, obliquely covered in height.
Adult fish length: 15-20 cm
The body of the fish has a background color of brown, yellow or chestnut, plum color. There are many light blue veins clearly visible on the side of the fish.
And they have 7 dark vertical stripes, the 5th stripe located in the middle of the body is the widest and darker stripe than the others.
The fish’s hips have light blue and iridescent wavy lines, extending up to 1 part of the dorsal and plants. The other parts are blue.
AquariumpH: 6-6.8.
Temperature: 27- 29 degree Celsius
Lifespan08 – 13 years

1.2 Bear

It is difficult for disc fish to reproduce artificially, artificial spawning tanks should have a slightly acidic pH (pH = 5.5-6).

Fertilized discus roe has a transparent color. Unfertilized eggs are cloudy. After 24 hours, the fertilized egg turns grayish-white. At a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius eggs hatch within 55-57 hours. In the meantime, the father and mother take turns fanning the eggs to get enough breathability. Egg hatching rate: 60-90%.

1.3 Types of discus

Symphysodon aequifasciata haraldi, Blue discus, discus bleu
Symphysodon aequifasciata haraldi, Blue discus, discus bleu – Adult fish length: up to 12 cm or more
Symphysodon aequifasciata axelrodi, Brown discus, discus brun
Symphysodon aequifasciata axelrodi, Brown discus, discus brun – Adult fish length: 14 cm
Symphysodon aequifasciata aequifasciata, Green discus, Discus vert
Symphysodon aequifasciata aequifasciata, Green discus, Discus vert – This type of colored disc fish is rare.
Albino discus
Albino discus covers the entire body white like a form of albinism. In particular, they have characteristic red eyes.

Heckel Discus

Heckel Discus
Heckel discus possesses a unique color difference. The most distinctive feature is a large black stripe running across their body vertically and 2 smaller black streaks also vertically run through the eyes and waist of the tail on a multi-patterned striped background.

Red discus

Red discus
The majority of the red discus body also covers a red hybrid color that makes the whole body stand out and be attractive. The tail and head are lighter in color, clearly distinguished from the rest of the body.

2. How to care for a discus tank

Many players believe that discus is the most “difficult” of the freshwater tropical fish today. This view is not wrong, because discus is a fish with different ecological and biological characteristics than most other fish breeds, but it is also not entirely true. Because actually if you know the principles you need to know, discus farming will be similar to other types.

2.1 Water source

To help discus grow healthy, less infected with diseases. Farmed water must meet the requirements of environmental parameters. Water supplied to the culture tank must ensure that it does not contain toxic gases such as NH3, NO2 and heavy metals.

You should change the water for the fish regularly. It is best to change every day if the fish is 0-3 months (each water change is about 30-50%). For adult discus, change every day or 1 day change the water 1-2 times (the water level is about 50-80% water each time).

Depending on and each stage of development of the fish. You adjust the pH parameter in the water as follows:

  • For forks size 2 – 4 cm the pH value ranges from 6.5 – 6.7.
  • For adult fish, the pH value ranges from 6 to 6.8.
  • For discus raised during the breeding period, the pH value ranges from 5.5 to 6.5.

Note: Where the pH value in the tank is too low. You should increase aeration until the pH value reaches the right level.

How to adjust the hardness of water according to each stage of development of discus:

  • For newly hatched discus, the hardness always ranges from 5 to 10
  • For adult discus, the hardness always ranges from 10 to 15
  • For discus in the spawning stage, the hardness value always ranges from 5 to 6.

The temperature of the discus tank

The temperature should always be at the most appropriate level: newly born powdered discus has a culture water temperature of 27-30 degrees Celsius, adult discus from 7-9 months old the culture water temperature is from 25 to 27 degrees C. In the process of caring for and nurturing discus regularly measure the water temperature to adjust in time if the temperature changes.

2.2 Discus tank size

Depending on the location of the aquarium, you choose a discus tank of the right size. Usually discus aquariums have common dimensions (length x width x height) in the range of 60 x 30 x 30 cm, 90 × 45 × 45cm or 120 × 45 × 45 cm. The larger the stocking of discus in a large tank, the easier it will be to maintain and manage the water quality in the aquarium.

How to treat the tank before keeping discus:

For newly purchased tanks, you should soak in clean water for 2-4 days. Then you dry the tank for about 3-4 days in the sun. And finally, to release the fish.

Where to place the discus tank

Discus are fish that are sensitive especially to noise. Mild tremors, strong light make discus susceptible to stress. Therefore, the discus tank you should put in a low-noise position. For example, stay away from radio speakers, radios, or places close to streets where many vehicles and people pass by. It is recommended to place the tank in a quiet place. Place the aquarium where there is just enough light, it should not be in a place with direct sunlight.

Lighting needs

Discus prefers moderate lighting, so arrange specialized lamps for fish. There is a lot of light, the culture water will be cloudy due to algae growth, affecting the health and dark colors of the discus.

2.3 Diet for discus

Many people think that the more fish they feed, the faster they grow, which is not true. Fish can only absorb a certain amount of nutrients, the rest they will excrete from the body.

Depending on the stage of development of the discus. You will have a suitable diet:

  • Stage 1: Discus from separation to 01-03 months of age. At this stage the breeder should feed them with mollusks or small crustaceans, threadworms, artemia.
  • Stage 2: Discus is over a month old. You can still feed artemia or worm, wormwood, cow heart.

How to feed discus

You should feed 2-4 times during the day. Feeding time is from 8 am to 3 pm and it is not recommended to feed the fish in the evening.

Discus fish eat very little, so it is necessary to monitor the eating power and adjust (gradually feed the fish from little to more). You should not overfeed the fish, too full fish will be susceptible to intestinal diseases. As well as leftovers will affect water quality, creating conditions for pathogenic bacteria.

3. FAQ

What to feed the discus quickly and with beautiful colors?

For discus farmers, there is a food that has been considered “irreplaceable” for decades. For a long time, cow hearts have always been the first choice of discus farmers in the world.
You can use a recipe for discus food including: beef heart puree, spirulina, vegetables, vitamins, shrimp, oysters, animal liver, digestive enzymes and adhesives. You can store the mixture in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator. To use as food for discus daily.
Note: You need to defrost before feeding the fish. It is best to use this feed only within 30 days of processing. And it is especially suitable for discus with a size of 3cm or more.

Should heaters and oxygen generators be used in discus tanks?

Definitely yes !
+ Dissolved oxygen is quite important for the process of respiration and digestion of food by discus. Lack of oxygen reduces immunity, so it depends on the number of fish, the size as well as the size of the discus aquarium.
+ Discus is quite poor in the cold-resistant range. So when designing or setting up a discus pond. In addition to the problem of the size of the discus aquarium, or what to use,.. Then the heating system also makes an important contribution. In our experience. It is recommended to use heating of about 100-150W for lakes under 100 liters. If the lake is larger then 200 liters use 300W heating.
Note: The right temperature for keeping discus is about 27-29 degrees Celsius.

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