The TRUTH About Discus

The Discus Truth

Discus are the best, that’s why they are called “The King” of the tropical fish hobby. Keeping Discus to many is a sign of achieving a senior level of hobbyist status. Don’t get caught up in this false idea though. Anyone can keep Discus healthy and most importantly, ALIVE even if you are a beginner.

Below we are going to get a few myths and half truths out of the way. Those who have never kept Discus or tried and failed do to lack of patience or preparedness are largely at fault for spreading rumors. Discus are by no means weak fish and do not die easily at all. In fact they live a very long and healthy life if a few things are considered and taken care of up front.

Time Is Required

Discus require time, not entire days of dedication, but like a dog or cat will require some planning for daily care. At the most you are looking at thirty minutes to an hour a day that you will spend depending on the routines you wish to carry out.

Basic Equipment

You do not need special equipment or setups to keep Discus, period, end of story. If you are currently keeping Tropical Fish you have all you need to keep Discus healthy and thriving. If you have the following you are set:

– A tank
– A filter
– A heater

Water Requirements

This by far is the craziest of myths. When I first started people disputed water facts at levels that required a degree in chemistry. Here is the deal, if you have the cash and can setup a cool Reverse Osmosis system for your Discus, good for you. For those who are just starting out a simple test kit and a local water store is all you need.

Water stores have HUGE reverse osmosis filtration and they sell water super cheap. If you cannot afford your own RO system, leverage the local water store to provide you with super clean water that is safe and good enough to drink!

Good Discus Stock

Unless you have some serious coin to drop on importing some super grade A+++ Discus, your local fish store or classifieds are going to be your best friend. Even online ordering can be great if you feel comfortable with the breeder.

When starting out, nothing beats visiting the place you are buying from. So much can be learned about the health of the Discus by the environment they are kept and the food that they are fed.

For example if you are tripping over dust covered tanks that are setup row after row you probably are not getting the healthiest Discus. If you are buying who keeps their fish in mucky dirty water and feeds nothing but flake, you are probably not getting the best Discus. And so on and so on, you will learn on your own how to pick out the winners.

A Great Discus Network

Last but certainly not least you need a great network of Discus hobbyist who are cool people. Because this is a great hobby it attracts people from all walks of life. If you have had a bad experience with a snobby hobbyist, brush it off. I have found that there are about three or four really snobby hobbyist and they try to ruin it for everyone else. 99.9% of all Discus hobbyist are cool people who are willing to share their experiences and offer up so great tips.

Questions For You!

Are You Ready For Discus?

What questions do you have about Discus?

What myths have you heard about Discus that keep you from starting in the hobby?

5 thoughts on “The TRUTH About Discus”

  1. Am a newbie discus hobbyist. Question: Parasitic worms not now a problem but my discus diet includes live black worms & brine shrimps, also frozen blood worms and freeze-dried tubifex & blood worms.,,,,,,,,,when and how often do I de-worm and what treatment medication would you recommend??? Most grateful for your response.

  2. Great question, here are some tips:

    – Looks like you have a variety of foods you feed. I would stay away from tubifex worms. I have used blackworms with success in the past. I only trust California Blackworms. Just keep rinsing and keeping the blackworms clean.

    – I wouldn’t setup a scheduled treatment plan. Medicating Discus on a routine basis will take its toll on the internal organs. I would treat as needed after identifying the cause. It is important to treat the cause not the symptoms. Scheduled treatments will only shorten the lifespan of your Discus. Drugs are the last resource not the first.

    Hope this helps

  3. Hi, I have had aquariums for many years, since I was a kid. I know quite a bit about normal fish care but have never stepped up to the Discus level for one reason: Im not the best at doing water changes.
    Im the kind of guy that will let the water evaporate about an inch from the top and then replace 1/4 of the water. That ends up being about 1 time a month.
    I know I wont change even if I do decide to try out those beautiful Discus, so to get to my question; will I just be harmful to the Discus OR is there some sort of apparatus I can buy that will help filter the water better to help them survive my lazyness?
    Thanks for any info

  4. Hi Michael,

    I have seen many creative “auto” water changing systems. Some of them do very well and are low maintenance. Weekly tank wipe down and daily feeding… but then again there are also auto feeders! 🙂


  5. I have recently boughten 3 discus for my 125 galon tank. I have several questions after reading all the topics and info. I have 2 med sized reticutaled stingrays, are the discus safe for and from the rays? Secondly, with the frequent water changes, if I did it 1/3 a week replacement like I do for my rays will that be enough? I was told there levels and requirements were very similar. Lastly, since i will have 5 total fish in a 125 gallon tank(6’x2′) will this affect the growth of either the rays or the discus. Thanks for your time. It is much appreciated.

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