Keeping Discus is a lot of fun and a little known fact is that if you keep a steady temperature you can actually help keep your Discus healthy.
Below we explain how making sure to keep a constant temperature in the tank can save you some heart ache.
What Is The Ideal Temperature For Discus?
The ideal water temperature for Discus is in the mid-80s. Personally I like to keep it at a steady 87, I dont know why, I think I just like the number. Either way it is right smack in the middle of the mid-80s mark and my Discus are happy.
What Happens If The Water Gets To Cold?
When the water gets to cold for Discus you open the door for health problems. You have to imagine for a bit what it would be like to swim in the waters of Brazil. Pretty warm and constant right? Discus genetics are encoded to thrive in a warm environment. If the water stays cold for several days even the most healthiest of Discus will begin to show signs of sickness and weakness.
What Happens If The Water Gets To Hot?
Aside from making Discus soup? What technically happens is you suffocate your Discus. When the tank water gets warmer and goes above 90 degrees for to long there is less oxygen in the water to go around. Bottom line is no oxygen, no breathing.
What you will see long before your Discus suffers permanent damage or death is them gasping for air near the surface of the water. If you have an aerator or a filter that splashes water this creates oxygen exchange in the water and Discus will seek out oxygen.
If you should over heat your tank DO NOT THROW ICE IN YOUR TANK and DO NOT THROW COLD WATER IN YOUR TANK. Simply drop a few more air stones to aerate your water and this will speed up the cooling process as well as provide much needed oxygen in your tank. Oh yea, don’t forget to lower your heater temperature.
When changing water in your tank it is wise to have an extra tank heater around to bring the new water up to temp. This is more important for those who live in colder climates and room temperature drops below 70 degrees.
Immediate swings in water temperature can kill you Discus as well as any other fish for that matter. Think about what happens to you when you fall in to ice water or a cold swimming pool, if you have never experienced this, it feels horrible as your body struggles to breath. Same thing happens and can lead to the death or permanent damage to your Discus.
Keep the water you water you are using for the water exchange at the same temperature as the tank. And I know some of you will go straight from the kitchen faucet, at the very least try to match up the temperature to the tank water before dumping the water in.
Placement Of The Tank
Something simple to do early on is to avoid placing your Discus tank near windows or drafty areas. In some areas temperatures can drop 20+ degrees overnight causing your heater to work overtime to keep the water temperature constant. If your heater is not up to the task it may short out and you will have some really cold Discus in the morning.
Planning the placement of any fish tank is critical for many reasons including water changes, heat loss, light, etc… Pick a place where the sun will not cook the Discus during the day or a window will not freeze the Discus overnight.
Questions For You
Any of you experience Discus death due to extreme temperature swings?
Do you have a system of keeping tank water constant?
What temperature do you like to keep your Discus tank at?