Discus Compatible Community Tank Mates

October 29, 2009

Referring to the subject, it is best that discus should have the whole tank to their own but that doesn’t mean your fish do not deserve other tank companion. By nature, they are very shy and slow moving. As such they do not prefer to have other active species swimming in the tank. Nevertheless, you should also watch out which fish you decide to mix with them. Certain tropical cichlids like oscars can wreck havoc or maybe attack your discus fish and therefore, you should not mix both of them together. Based on my own experience, discus is best raised in a tank of their own. There are few exceptions however.

Discus fish are known to leave leftovers foods littered around the tank. Compared to other fish, although they have relatively small stomachs with short digestive system their feeding habit always leave something around. Food that you put into the tank are usually live worms and fish meal that doesn’t stay fresh long enough in the waters to be consumed. Some of it will be eaten while the rest will just stay there and goes untouched. As such it is best that there should be a companion that takes care of the cleaning job to ensure nothing gets left behind. For that, pleco, which is a type of catfish family, does a good job in this area. However, in a typical discus tank setup, there should only be one single pleco to accompany your stock or a group of discus fish.

Clown Loach is another possible good tank mate for your pets. Since they are generally bottom feeders, they activity around the tank will usually go unnoticed by your discus fish. Similar like pleco, clown loach is also good at picking up the small pieces of uneaten food and thus should be good companion. However, one thing to take note is that try not to outnumber the discus with a group of clown loaches. This could lead to heavy competition and fighting during feeding time.

If you have a heavily planted aquarium setup, you can also consider adding neon tetra even though their numbers tend to dwindle over time due to possible harassment by your discus. Although the smaller sized neon tetra will hide itself trying to avoid your discus, sometimes it is possible that they will end up as food instead. Therefore, it is best that not only plants are present but you should also prepare some artificial caves for your neon tetra to hide in. And because both species belong to the Amazon River, requirement in terms of water quality is more or less the same with both preferring slight acidic water. One benefit for sure if you managed to get your discus to coexist with your small neon fish is that, this will definitely create an exciting community aquarium that will be interesting to look at.


Ideal tank water condition for discus fish

October 29, 2009

Before we move deeper into finding an answer to this question, let us understand one important fact. Discus fish actually originated from the Amazon River in South America where it is close to brackish water. The water condition located at this region is generally hard water and is slightly acidic in pH due to presence of humic acid. And because the river is located at tropical area, you would expect the water temperature to be slightly higher than normal which should be around 26 to 30 degree Celsius.

If you intend to successfully breed your discus, first let’s take a look on how to prepare the right living condition for your pets. Other than good water quality, which will avoid unnecessary stress level, it is best that the water quality should be as close as possible to what we have mentioned earlier. What I would recommend is that try to create the same natural environment similar like in the wild and your fish is bound to love it. Try to decorate and plant as many different tropical plants as possible so that not only the water is fresh and rich in oxygen but also your discus will also find a lot of hiding places to make them feel secure.

In order to create a slightly acidic environment, try to avoid having leftover foods in the tank that will cause the pH level to increase. Make sure that there are no dead leaves or fish, which can cause huge amount of ammonia buildup and thus cause the water to be alkaline. If possible, try to conduct water changes at least once every 3 days depending on overall tank cleanliness and if you have water filter that takes care of the filtration, that would be the best. If everything fails, what you can do is to buy some of the liquid pH adjuster and follow the recommendations on how to shift the pH suitable for your discus fish to live in.

For the temperature control, this can prove to be even easier because what you need is actually an aquarium heater. Make sure that water temperature does not change too rapidly or else the fish will be subjected to unnecessary stress. As an owner who wants to see the fish getting the best tank water condition, be prepared to spend on the equipment and put in the hours to look after them.