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Discus originate in the lowland of the amazon basin, and some tributaries in South America.


Up to 8 inches – but do remember they are round in shape so this measurement is similar in any direction.

Aquarium Size:

300 litre / 75 US gal for a group of 6, but bigger is better.

Preferred water conditions:

  • Temp: 28 – 30°C
  • pH: 6.8 – 7.6
  • Hardness: Soft


Discus are omnivorous and will accept a range of prepared foods. This food needs to be small as despite their large adult size, discus have fairly small mouths. Discus will happily accept bloodworms and other insect foods, but they can become fussy if fed these too often and are less likely to accept prepared foods.


Discus are relatively peaceful but some males can be territorial and can become fairly aggressive. Discus are schooling fish so should be kept in groups of 6+. It is possible to keep a single discus, but a single discus may be very skittish and nervous. It may also show more aggressive tendencies.

Tank mates need to be able to live in the same water conditions as discus and should be slow feeders. Discus are not the fastest eaters and are easily outcompeted for food. Cardinal Tetra are a great example of a good discus tank mate.


Males have thicker heads and lips. As they mature, a males dorsal fin will become elongated and pointed.


Discus like to choose their own partners, so for the best chance of finding a breeding pair, it is best to start with around 10 individuals and allow them to pair up.

Once you have a pair to work with it is often best to remove any other fish from the tank. Breeding is far more successful if they are not disturbed by other fish.

To breed discus successfully their aquarium needs to match their natural waters as much as possible. The water needs to be very soft and acidic. The use of RO water and tannins is often recommended.

Discus are egg layers and will lay their eggs on a hard surface or leaf.

Parents are essential for raising the fry so Discus parents need to be left with their offspring or they will not develop well.


Discus are known as the ‘King of the aquarium’. They are very spectacular fish when cared for correctly. Discus are very sensitive and can be affected strongly by any changes to their water chemistry or environment. Tannins in the water are great for discus as they inhibit bacteria’s that could harm the discus, they are also very sensitive to disease.



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