If you have a passion for keeping tropical fish species, discus fish may be right for you. A true carnivore, discus enjoy live feeding on insects and other crustaceans. They can also eat other types of fresh meat as long as it is soft, such as beef, chicken, rabbit, or duck. Their diet is versatile and depending on what type of live animal they are feeding on, they will generally eat anything.
Discus fish are sociable and generally happy to spend time with others of their species. There are no special tank requirements for discus fish, but they do require a large enough tank size for good growth. Since discus fish are bottom feeders by nature, an aquarium with good water conditions is vital for healthy tank maintenance. Discus fish need to have clean water all the time, and algae should be cut out if possible since this promotes bacteria growth in the tank. Water conditions need to be mildly acidic at all times, preferably around a 7.2 pH. A half inch of gravel is ideal in the tank, along with some stones and rocks for the discus to climb on and rest on.
Breeding discus requires close monitoring of the breeding process so that the female can lay eggs in sufficient number to produce baby fish that will fit into the tank properly. The general population of discus fish is very good for breeding, although breeding discus from two or more different species is not uncommon. Some discus are even able to breed freely with other cichlids such as guppies, bloodworms, and goldfish.
When breeding discus fish, it is important to select the right tank for them to thrive. There are basically two types of tanks – saltwater and freshwater. Most hobbyists start off with a saltwater tank, but when they see how well discus fish do in a freshwater tank, they move onto the second type. The first thing to consider is the kind of tank the discus fish will be kept in, whether it’s an aquarium a reef tank, or a flood plain tank.
It is ideal to purchase a tank that is not too big nor too small for your discus. A thirty gallon tank is generally the perfect size for beginner discus fish hobbyists. However, smaller tanks are ideal for breeding. The key is to have the right amount of depth for the size of your tank. A deep-water fish tank is perfect for breeding since it provides enough space for the breeding pair. On the other hand, a shallow-water tank is better for regular, non-breeding fish.
You should also make sure that the tank has adequate lighting and adequate filtration system. Discus fish are nocturnal creatures, so they require good lighting. Too much light can actually trigger their appetite to increase, so a fluorescent light is ideal. Make sure you run the filter constantly, since discus fish are known for having poor swimming ability due to ammonia production.