Caring for Discus Fish

aqua-tropical-fish-discusOne of the main reasons that many keepers do not start a discus tank is because these are suppossed to be very difficult to keep and expensive to buy. If given the right advice initially this is not the case. Where do we start when considering a discus set up, this starts right away with selection and positioning of the tank. There are a few basic rules that must be followed:- 1 Each discus fish requires at least 10 gallons space in the tank, as these fish should never be kept in groups of less than 6, the tank should be a minimum size of 60 gallons. 2 Discus fish get spooked by leg movement if front of the tank, the only way of avoiding this is to have the tank raised to at least 3 feet from the floor by an adequate stand or cabinet. 3 The tank should not be placed where there is a lot of room traffic, this is asking for trouble, the fish will hide a lot and become very nervous if there are people passing by the tank all of the time. 4 I often hear that discus are tolerant of higher PH nowadays, this I disagree with, they will live in a pH of 7 but to be at their best colouration and happiest, they need to be kept in soft, acidic water with a pH of 6.0-6.5 and a KH of 4-5 When discus are content they will recognise you and be very aware of their surroundings, even taking to stare at the television iif it is switched on. As you approach the tank they should swim to you and be eating out of your hands in a short space of time. Before you set up your tank you will need to know the water parameters of your mains water. If it is too hard then an RO(reverse osmosis) unit may be needed to lower the KH, this will make controlling the pH much simpler. Some areas are lucky and have perfect water conditions for these fish, but not many. Chloramines (this is a blend of ammonia and chlorine) are definately not good news for discus, so water conditioners or an HMA filter is a must. When setting up your tank, consider the natural habitat of these fish. Use bogwood to simulate submerged root systems, a selection of plants that will grow vertically rather than bush out. I find Swords, Vallisneria and some species of crypts are ideal for this. The ideal temperature for discus is between 28-30 deg C,this also helps with the discus health as many parasites and bacteria cannot survive these higher temperatures. Regular water changes are also required, by regular I would recommend daily water changes of at least 10%, this aids in the growth of the fish as well as keeping the water quality pristine.

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Article written by Mickey;u=206