Discus is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish. The distinctive shape and splendid colour patterns attract the aquarium hobbyists and make them ready to provide all the needy things for their healthy rearing: understanding water chemistry, temperature, space requirements, water flow, and dietary needs are indispensable.
Before understanding the space requirements, let’s go through some key features of discus.
- Discus fish initially grow quickly and become sexually mature at 9 – 12 months.
- Discus fish, kept under good conditions, can live for up to 15 years.
- They are fully grown at the age of approximately 2- 2.5 years.
- The full-grown wild discus reaches up to 12.3 – 15.2 cm (4.8 – 6 inches) in length, while captive-bred reaches 20 – 23 cm (9 inches).
- Adults generally weigh 150 – 250 g ( 5.3 – 8.8 oz )
Keep these are in mind when setting a Discus Aquarium
The information mentioned above should be kept in mind before preparing housing for the king of the aquarium. It is not simple as any other ornamental fish aquarium. But one sure thing is that if kept correctly and cared for properly, it’s more rewarding than any other. The suitable tank size for a discus fish aquarium can vary depending on many factors, especially the number of discus you wish to keep. If you are buying six to eight juveniles, they require an aquarium of at least 60 – 75 gallons. Discus requires depth and width in an aquarium to grow up to 7 inches in diameter and even larger of around 8- 9 inches. The general rule of thumb for discus is one fish per 10 gallons. They are not rapid swimmers. They usually glide quietly through their habitat; the water movement should be gentle.
The decor should include large broadleaf plants and driftwood that can arrange vertically. A few floating plants can also be added to provide shaded areas and cover. Substrate should be fine river sand or fine to medium grade; smooth surfaced gravel as discus like to forage along the bottom for food. Discus requires pristine water quality. Water should change partially every week. The correct amount for partial water change is 20 – 25% of tank volume. The interval between water changes depends on the aquarium size and the population density. In sparsely populated aquaria, water change should be in every 2- 3 weeks, while in heavily populated tanks, water changes should be performed every 2- 4 days. In addition to all these, maintaining good water chemistry is also important.