The Fish Keeping & Aquarium Guide.

What Size Tank for Discus Fish: Expert Recommendations

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The recommended tank size for Discus fish is at least 50 gallons (190 liters) for a small group of 4-6 fish.

However, providing a larger tank of around 75-100 gallons (284-378 liters) for a group of 6-8 Discus fish is better.

This will provide adequate swimming space and help maintain good water quality.

It is important to note that Discus fish are sensitive to water conditions, so regular water changes and maintenance are necessary to keep them healthy and happy.


Ideal Tank Size for Discus Fish


Discus fish are known for their vibrant colors, unique patterns, and peaceful temperament. However, to keep them healthy and happy, providing them with a suitable tank size is essential.

The ideal tank size for discus fish depends on various factors, including the number of Fish, their size, and the type of filtration system used.

In general, the minimum tank size for discus fish is 55 gallons.

However, keeping them in a 75-gallon tank, or more significantly, is recommended to provide ample swimming space. A larger tank also ensures the water parameters remain stable, reducing stress on the Fish.

A 40-gallon tank can be used for a small group of juvenile discus fish, but it is unsuitable for adult discus.

Discus fish require a tall tank with a minimum height of 20 inches to accommodate their body shape and swimming behavior.

A 75-gallon aquarium with a height of 24 inches is an excellent choice for a discus tank.

It is important to note that the tank size alone is insufficient to keep discus fish healthy. A well-maintained aquarium with proper filtration, regular water changes, and appropriate feeding is essential.

Overcrowding can lead to stress, aggression, and disease, so it is crucial to avoid keeping too many Fish in a small tank.

In summary, the ideal tank size for discus fish is a 75-gallon aquarium or larger with a minimum height of 20 inches. Suitable tank size and proper care will ensure discus fish thrive in their environment.


Selecting the Right Aquarium


When keeping discus fish, selecting the right aquarium is crucial to their health and well-being.

Discus fish require a spacious and stable environment to thrive, and choosing the right tank size is the first step in creating the ideal habitat for them.

A minimum tank size of 40 gallons is recommended for a single adult discus fish. However, it is essential to note that discus fish are social creatures and prefer to live in groups of at least six.

Therefore, a larger tank of 75 gallons or more is recommended for a small group of adult discus fish.

When selecting an aquarium, it is essential to consider the type of setup you want to create. Discus fish are freshwater fish and prefer a planted tank environment with plenty of hiding places and soft, acidic water.

A planted tank with live plants and driftwood will provide a natural environment for the Fish and help maintain stable water parameters.

In addition to tank size and setup, it is essential to consider the overall quality of the aquarium. A high-quality home aquarium with a sturdy stand and proper filtration system will help maintain a stable and healthy environment for discus fish.

Choosing a tank with a secure lid is also essential to prevent the Fish from jumping out.

Overall, selecting the right aquarium for discus fish requires careful consideration of tank size, setup, and overall quality.

By providing a spacious and stable environment, discus fish can thrive and live a long and healthy life in captivity.


Water Parameters for Discus Fish


Discus fish are known to be sensitive to water conditions, and providing the right water parameters is crucial for their health and well-being. The following water parameters should be considered when setting up a tank for discus fish:

Water Quality

The quality of the water is essential for discus fish. The water should be clean and free of pollutants. Using a good quality water filter is recommended to keep the water clean and healthy for the Fish.



Discus fish prefer slightly acidic water with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. Maintaining a stable pH level in the tank is essential to avoid stressing the Fish.


Water Temperature

Discus fish require warm water with a temperature range of 82°F to 86°F (28°C to 30°C). A reliable aquarium heater should be used to maintain a consistent water temperature.


Water Hardness

Discus fish prefer soft water with a low hardness level. The ideal water hardness level for discus fish is between 1 and 8 dGH. It is essential to test the water hardness level regularly and make adjustments as necessary.



Discus fish require a well-oxygenated environment to thrive. A good quality air pump and air stone can help increase the tank’s oxygen levels.


Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for maintaining good water quality in the tank. It is recommended to change 20% to 30% of the water in the tank every week.


Nitrate Level

Discus fish are sensitive to high nitrate levels, which can cause health problems and stress. It is essential to test the nitrate level regularly and keep it below 20 ppm.

In summary, providing the correct water parameters is crucial for the health and well-being of discus fish. Maintaining a clean and healthy environment with stable pH, warm water, low hardness, good oxygen levels, and regular water changes can help to keep discus fish happy and healthy.


Decor and Substrate for Discus Tank


When decorating a discus tank, there are a few things to remember. The first is that discus is sensitive Fish and can be easily stressed by environmental changes. Therefore, it’s crucial to create a stable and comfortable environment for them.

A critical element of a discus tank is the substrate. Discus prefer a soft substrate, such as sand or fine gravel, as they like to sift through the substrate in search of food. Avoid using sharp or coarse substrates, which can damage their delicate fins.

In addition to the substrate, decor can play an essential role in a discus tank. Adding rocks and driftwood can create hiding places for the Fish and help to create a more natural-looking environment. However, choosing a safe decor for the Fish is vital that won’t alter the water chemistry.

Live plants can also be a great addition to a discus tank, as they provide hiding places and help maintain water quality. However, choosing plants that are compatible with discus is essential and won’t require high levels of light or CO2.

When decorating a discus tank, keeping the Fish’s needs in mind and creating a stable and comfortable environment is essential. You can create a beautiful and healthy home for your discus fish by choosing suitable substrate, decor, and plants.


Maintaining Discus Fish Tank


Maintaining a discus fish tank is crucial to keeping these beautiful and delicate Fish healthy and happy. Regular tank maintenance is essential to ensure the water quality remains optimal, and the Fish are free from diseases and stress.

Filtration is an essential component of tank maintenance. A high-quality filter should be capable of removing waste buildup, excess food, and other debris from the tank. It is recommended to use a filter designed explicitly for discus fish tanks.

Another critical aspect of maintaining a discus fish tank is keeping the water clean and algae-free. Algae can quickly grow in a discus fish tank, leading to poor water quality and disease. Regular water changes, along with the use of algae inhibitors, can help prevent algae growth and keep the water clean.

In addition to regular tank maintenance, watching for signs of disease in the Fish is essential. Common discus fish diseases include Ich, fin rot, and velvet. If any signs of disease are detected, it is necessary to take immediate action to prevent the spread of the disease to other Fish in the tank.

Overall, maintaining a discus fish tank requires regular attention and care. Following proper tank maintenance procedures, discus fish owners can ensure that their Fish remain healthy and happy for years.


Choosing Tank Mates for Discus Fish


When it comes to choosing tank mates for Discus fish, it’s essential to keep a few things in mind. Discus fish are peaceful and solitary creatures, so choosing tank mates with a similar temperament is important. Here are some options to consider:



Tetras are a popular choice for Discus fish tanks. They are peaceful and colorful and can help bring out the beauty of the Discus fish. Some good options include Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, and Rummy Nose Tetras.


Schooling Fish

Schooling fish can be a great addition to a Discus fish tank. They add movement and activity to the tank and can help create a more natural environment. Good options include Harlequin Rasboras, Cherry Barbs, and Glowlight Tetras.



Catfish are a good option for keeping the bottom of the tank clean. Bristlenose Plecos are popular, as they are peaceful and won’t harm the Discus fish.



While some cichlids can be aggressive, some can coexist peacefully with Discus fish. German Blue Rams and Apistogramma are good options to consider.


Other Freshwater Fish

Many other freshwater fish can coexist with Discus fish, as long as they have a peaceful temperament. Some good options include Guppies, Swordtails, and Platies.


Community Tanks

If you want to create a community tank with Discus fish, it’s essential to choose tank mates that are peaceful and won’t harm the Discus fish. Make sure to research each species thoroughly before adding them to the tank.

Choosing a peaceful and compatible species is vital when choosing a Discus fish tank mate. With the right choices, you can create a beautiful and harmonious aquarium.


Feeding and Diet of Discus Fish


Discus fish are known to be omnivores, meaning they consume both plants and animals. In captivity, they require a well-balanced diet to maintain their health and vibrant colors. A varied diet of high-quality pellets, live or frozen foods, and vegetables is recommended.

When it comes to feeding discus fish, it is essential to avoid overfeeding as it can lead to health problems such as bloating and constipation. Providing small amounts of food multiple times a day rather than one large feeding is recommended.

Discus fish are picky eaters, and it may take some time to find the right type of food they enjoy. It is recommended to offer a variety of food options to determine their preferences.

When selecting food for discus fish, choosing high-quality options specifically formulated for their dietary needs is essential. Pellets that are high in protein and low in fillers are ideal, as well as live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

In addition to protein-rich foods, discus fish also require vegetables in their diet. Blanched vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, and peas can be offered as a supplement to their regular diet.

Overall, a well-balanced diet consisting of high-quality pellets, live or frozen foods, and vegetables is essential for the health and vitality of discus fish. Discus fish can thrive in captivity by offering various food options and avoiding overfeeding.


Breeding Discus Fish


Breeding Discus Fish can be a rewarding experience for aquarists who are up for the challenge. However, it requires a great deal of care and attention to detail. Discus Fish are known for being picky breeders, and it can take several attempts before a successful breeding occurs.

When breeding Discus Fish, it is essential to create the right environment. The water temperature should be between 82-86°F, and the pH should be around 6.0-6.5. The water should also be soft and clean. Using a breeding cone or a flat surface for the Discus Fish to lay their eggs on is recommended.

Once the eggs are laid, the parents will take turns guarding and fanning the eggs to ensure proper oxygenation. After 48-72 hours, the eggs will hatch into fry. The fry will feed on their yolk sacs for the first few days, and then they can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp or powdered fry food.

It is important to note that Discus Fish can be aggressive during breeding, and it is recommended to separate them from other Fish during this time. Additionally, juveniles should be separated from adults once they reach a specific size to prevent aggression or cannibalism.

Discus Fish can grow up to 8 inches in size, and they have a lifespan of 10-15 years in captivity. With proper care and attention, breeding Discus Fish can be a fulfilling experience for any aquarist.


Discus Fish Care for Beginners


Discus fish are popular for hobbyists due to their unique appearance and peaceful nature. However, they require specific care to thrive in an aquarium setting. Here are some tips for beginners on how to care for discus fish.


Tank Size

Discus fish require a minimum tank size of 55 gallons, but a larger tank is recommended for a group of Fish. The tank should have a good filtration system and be well-aerated to maintain water quality. A planted aquarium is also recommended as it provides natural hiding places for the Fish.


Water Parameters

Discus fish are sensitive to water conditions, so it is essential to maintain a consistent water temperature between 82-86°F. The pH level should be between 6.0-7.5, and water hardness should be kept between 3-10 dGH. Regular water changes of 25-50% weekly are necessary to maintain water quality.



Discus fish are omnivores and require a varied diet of high-quality pellets, flakes, and frozen or live food. Feeding them in small amounts several times a day is recommended to prevent overfeeding and maintain water quality.


Tank Mates

Discus fish are peaceful and should be kept with other peaceful Fish that can tolerate the same water conditions. Avoid keeping them with aggressive Fish or those that may nip at their fins. Keeping them in groups of 5-6 is also recommended to reduce stress.


Disease Prevention

Discus fish are susceptible to diseases such as Ich and bacterial infections. It is essential to maintain water quality and avoid overcrowding to prevent the spread of disease. Quarantining new Fish before introducing them to the tank is also recommended.


Experienced Fish Keeper

Experienced fish keepers may choose to breed discus fish. Breeding requires specific water conditions and a separate breeding tank. Researching breeding methods and seeking advice from experienced breeders before attempting to breed discus fish is recommended.

In summary, caring for discus fish requires attention to water quality, feeding, tank size, and tank mates. Discus fish can live up to 10 years in an aquarium with proper care.


Common Issues with Discus Fish


Discus fish are beautiful and fascinating creatures that require proper care and attention to thrive. However, like any other living organism, they are susceptible to various issues that can affect their health and well-being. Here are some common issues that discus fish owners may encounter:



Discus fish are known to be sensitive to stress, and any environmental changes can cause them to become stressed. Some everyday stressors include changes in water temperature, pH level, and water quality. Additionally, overcrowding, aggressive tank mates, and inadequate hiding spots can cause discus fish stress. Stress can weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to diseases.


Territorial Behavior


Discus fish are territorial creatures and can become aggressive toward other Fish in the tank. This behavior is more pronounced during breeding season when they become more protective of their eggs and fry. Providing enough hiding spots and space is essential to prevent territorial disputes among discus fish.


Active Fish

Discus fish are active swimmers and require enough space to swim around. A small tank can restrict their movement and cause them to become stressed. It is recommended to provide a tank of at least 55 gallons for a pair of discus fish.



Discus fish are susceptible to various diseases, including bacterial and fungal infections, parasites, and viruses. Poor water quality, overcrowding, and stress can increase the likelihood of disease outbreaks. It is essential to maintain proper water quality, provide a healthy diet, and quarantine new Fish to prevent the spread of diseases.

In conclusion, discus fish require proper care and attention to thrive. Owners should be aware of common issues such as stress, territorial behavior, and disease and take necessary steps to prevent them. By providing a suitable environment and diet, discus fish can live a long and healthy life.


Understanding Discus Fish Behavior


Discus fish are known for their unique behavior, which makes them a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. Understanding their behavior is crucial in providing the right environment for them to thrive. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Temperament: Discus fish are generally peaceful and can be kept with other non-aggressive Fish. However, they can become territorial during breeding, so providing enough space for them to establish their territory is essential.
  • Activity level: Discus Fish are active swimmers with plenty of room to move around. They also enjoy hiding spots, such as plants or rocks, where they can retreat when threatened.
  • Swimming space: Discus Fish require a lot of swimming space, especially if you plan on keeping them in a group. A general rule of thumb is to provide at least 10 gallons of water per Fish. This means a group of 6 discus fish would require a minimum tank size of 60 gallons.
  • Tropical Fish: Discus Fish are tropical and require a warm water temperature of around 82-86°F. Maintaining a consistent temperature and avoiding sudden changes is essential, as this can stress out the Fish.
  • Smaller tanks: While it’s possible to keep discus fish in smaller tanks, it’s not recommended. Smaller tanks can quickly become overcrowded and lead to poor water quality, harming the Fish. It’s best to provide a larger tank with plenty of swimming space and hiding spots.

By understanding the behavior of discus fish, you can create a suitable environment for them to thrive in. Providing enough swimming space, hiding spots, and a consistent water temperature will help keep your discus fish healthy and happy.

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