Guide to keep discus with great results and to win in competitions.

Frequently asked Question

“I have been keeping discus fish for a year and would like to know how to produce beautiful and high quality fish. Are there any secrets or tips so as we can enjoy keeping discus as an interesting hobby?”

There is no secret in keeping discus fish. The way to succeed is dedication, patience and constant caring for them. You may know every thing about discus but if you do not put in the effort, all that you know is not put into good use.

If you aspire to be a successful hobbyist in keeping discus fish and hope to win the best price in discus competition then read this:


First and foremost you have to enjoy keeping discus as this is your hobby where you spend your leisure hours. You should not complain when faced with difficulties or work in the process. You would overcome them smartly and correctly. You assure yourself you will get your achievement by getting good results, being a proud owner of the best discus and win competitions.

TIPS that you will have to follow


The tank is the fish’s home. It should be clean and free from parasite and bacteria that will do harm to your fish. You have to keep the tank very clean and perfectly safe for fish to live happily.

Before you introduce fishes into the tank, you should get the tank prepared and ready for the fish. The tank must be free from parasites and bacteria. There are many ways of doing it.

1. Fill the tank full with water. Add in Chlorine for over night.
2. Add Formalin for over night.

Then wash the tank and fill up the tank with clean water. Add in Anti Chlorine if you use tap water direct. If you have done the above and your fish has already been quarantined then you can put the fish into the tank.


Before introducing new fish into your tank, they should be quarantined. This is to prevent the fish bringing in bacteria, parasites and disease from outside. You cannot skip this process; otherwise it will give you endless of disease problems.

You will quarantine your fish in a special tank using the steps below:

  1. Give the new fish a Potassium Permanganate bath
  2. Wash the tank and add in new and clean water
  3. Apply acriflavine solution with salt or Apply antibiotic plus salt for a week
  4. Keep the fish in this tank for two, three weeks
  5. If you think they are okay then you can mix your new and old fish together.


Tank bred discus, unlike wild fish, can adapt easily to the water. As long as the water is clean. pH is best around 6 to 7. Temperature is around 26 to 30 Centigrade is excellent. Changing water is necessary. It should be managed properly and systematically. The fish will gradually adapt to your method of changing water and it will reduce stress to your fish.

You can change 20%, 50% or 100% of water. As long as you have checked the content of Chlorine and apply Anti Chlorine accordingly. Do not leave your fish immediately after changing water. Observe their normal behavior and reaction until you feel happy with it, then you can leave them.

For show tank with complete set up of aeration, gravel and filter, water changing can be done once in a week. Frequent water changes can stimulate growth. Sudden drop or raise of water temperature can cause stress to the fish. Discus fish like water temperature around 28 to 30 Centigrade. If temperature of water drops below the range, a heater is required, otherwise it is not necessary.


Live foods like worm, bloodworm, daphnia, artemia (brine shrimps) are natural food which they love to eat. Unfortunately they carry bacteria and parasite to the fish externally and internally. They bring in disease to your fish tank and you must handle it carefully. Fish will grow rapidly if they are fed on natural food.

You have to disinfect your fish monthly if you feed them live food.

  • Internal
    Mix your raw food with blended garlic and worm medicine.
    Feed them as a first meal while they are hungry.
  • External
    Give them a Potassium Permanganate bath.
    Or apply Formalin in 1 to 2 ml per 100 liters of water.

Prepared Raw food (Burger)
It is the best food for discus fish. It is your own preparation with different ingredients for different discus fish. You can have baby food, food for growing and food for breeders. You can add in ingredients to make-up your fish beautifully. Add in vitamins to build up resistant against diseases. Add in garlic and worm medicine to clear parasite and worm inside the body.
This raw food is also very handy. You can preserve them in the fridges. It is worth to spend time to prepare it.

Dry food
It is handy and cheap. But it is not a perfect food. If not handled properly it can pollute water. It is good as a supplementary food. If you take it as a main diet then you need to feed some live food occasionally. You need to train them to eat dry food. Although it is a small matter but you enjoy it.
If they insist not to take dry food then for today feed them other food. Be flexible.


Feeding is an important task. Best to have the same person feeding them as the person knows how much the fish will eat and how much to feed them. Observe the fish while feeding.

If the fish do not eat, there is something wrong, such as is not feeling well or sick. If she eats little bit, she has no appetite. Check the water quality or food. If she hides at one corner, check the surrounding, lighting or inside the tank activities. Do they fight, mate or hatching? If you detect the problem early and apply medication in early stage, the result will be more effective.

If they knock at the glass at your presence, they are welcoming you and say Good morning to you, saying “Food please?” This is what they reward you in return. You will feel happy for what you have done for them.

Overfeeding can cause a tank to be polluted. It will kill your fish. Do not over feed them. Feed them little bit at a time. Stop feeding if the fish are not eating. Do not allow your fish eating too much. 70% full will be enough. Overeating will cause stress to the fish.


Overhead filter is easy to clean and wash. It is good for decorated or community tank. If you do not over feed and the water is clean, you do not have to change the water but just top up the water. There are many types of filters. You will make a smart choice to suit your requirements.


Where you locate your tank is also very important to the fish. Place should be quiet and not much activities around the tank. Fish are very sensitive to shadows. Position lights correctly so that shadow does not fall on the tank to frighten the fish. Fish prefer overhead lighting. They feel secure.  If you feel your present location is not suitable shift to another place. Correct it.

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