Today we are discussing the feeding of discus fish.
The diet of a discus fish is an important element of discus keeping.
It also has some influence on their color and growth, which you might have experienced yourself if you’ve had more than one batch of discus.
What do discus fish eat?
A good quality commercial dry food will be fine for most discus.
This can be either flake or pellet type.
Fresh is better than frozen and freeze-dried foods are best of all but are quite expensive.
If you want to feed live foods remember that any live food that is offered should be eaten within 10 minutes otherwise it starts to rot and could poison your fish so don’t feed them anything larger than what they can swallow in about two bites.
If you’re planning on keeping discus fish in your home aquarium, it’s very important to choose the best food possible to keep your discus fish happy and healthy.
So you need to concentrate on “what do Discus fish eat?”
Here are some of the best food options for discus fish and how to prepare them for your fish to eat them.
General Information About Food
What do Discus fish eat? Discus likes fast moving insects such as mosquito larvae (bloodworm), small earthworms and daphnia.
They love brine shrimp too which contain lots of unsaturated fatty acids essential for general health as well as particularly important when breeding in order to ensure survival of eggs and fry.
Frozen bloodworm cubes are available from aquatics suppliers but many keepers feel that these tend to go soggy before they’re fully thawed so offer fresh instead whenever possible.
Dried bloodworm is also a good option, especially if soaked first, though with some species such as common aquarium varieties rather than wild caught ones it can sometimes lead to digestion problems where feeding stops abruptly.
They also enjoy a variety of vegetable matter including slices of cucumber or similar, peas or blanched spinach offered on occasion will be gratefully received by hungry discus pairs when courting and spawning!
Flakes can be used occasionally.
But aren’t ideal since their high carbohydrate content means they ferment quickly leading to foul odours around tanks containing large numbers of discus; it’s much better only to use flakes sparingly until you know what your particular fishes’ favourite foods are!
In other words, what do Discus fish eat?
Feeding Discus Fish with Fresh and Frozen Foods
Feeding discus with fresh and frozen foods is really very easy, it just takes a little time and research to get right.
When you feed your discus you want to make sure that they are actually eating what you are offering them.
The best way to do that is to take a finger full of food, on your finger tip and let it sit on top of their tank water for one minute before dropping it in, if they don’t go up and eat in one minute then there is something wrong with what you are offering them.
Another thing to look out for when feeding discus fish is overfeeding; make sure they have enough room in their aquarium so they don’t make a mess when eating.
Always be aware of what Discus fish eat!
ALSO READ: Guide on Discus Fish Care Feeding
Commercial Discus Foods
From the above information, we realize that “what do Discus fish eat?” is a very serious matter.
If you’re interested in feeding your discus commercial foods, there are a number of options available.
There are floating and sinking varieties, dry and freeze-dried varieties, some that contain only plant ingredients and others that contain live creatures like daphnia or brine shrimp.
You can also find food containing varying amounts of protein, fat and fiber to give your discus a well-rounded diet.
Whatever you decide to feed your discus will ultimately depend on your preference—and budget.
Whichever commercial food you choose, just make sure it’s made specifically for discus!
That way you know it contains all of their nutritional needs (and nothing they shouldn’t be eating).
Non-commercial Discus Foods
Many hobbyists turn to non-commercial diets as an alternative to keeping food costs down or as a method of giving their discus a more varied diet.
Some opt for frozen meats from grocery stores while others go with freshly caught insects from local fields or parks.
While homemade diets tend to cost less than commercial ones, keep in mind that you’ll need time and space outside your home aquarium setup if you want any chance at serving up fresh meals!
And, though these all-natural diets are best served raw and require careful attention when prepping them.
Many owners have reported success using various alternatives—so feel free to get creative with what’s offered here.
ALSO READ: Guide on Wild Type Discus
Feeding your Discus with Live Food
If the question arises what do Discus fish eat and Can you feed them live food?
Yes, you can feed your discus with live food. However, it is not as nutritious as frozen or dry food. So only feed your discus a small amount and make sure to give them frozen and dry food as well.
Depending on what species of discus you have, they might be picky eaters when it comes to live foods.
They just don’t seem to like some worms that other aquarium fishes love! In my experience, many angelfish will eat a variety of different types of worms.
This includes bloodworms, black-worms, tubifex worms and especially night-crawlers.
You should try out different types to see what your discus will like best!
ALSO READ: Water Condition of Discus Aquarium
Some people believe that feeding your discus frozen fish pellets or dry pellets are better than feeding them live food because it doesn’t promote bacterial growth in their water like live food does.
The thought process behind that opinion is reasonable; however I cannot confirm whether or not those claims are true without testing in an actual lab setting.
Since Discus will eventually die if they don’t get proper nutrition through eating frozen/dry pellets anyways.
Special Feeding Regimes for Discus Fish
Avoid thinking too much about what do Discus fish eat?
How to feed?
Don’t think too much.
There are many different types of food for Discus and each has its own benefits.
In order to get your discus fish off to a good start, you should feed them with newly hatched brine shrimp or finely crushed flake.
The brine shrimp will also provide beneficial protozoa that help keep their digestive tract healthy.
Discus is carnivores and as they grow bigger they will need more protein than flakes can provide them with.
By feeding them earthworms and blood worms you can give them what they need to grow up big and strong in no time at all!
Finally, once they reach maturity, around 4 inches in length, their diet should contain 40% protein mixed with 60% vegetable matter such as spirulina flakes or veggie pellets.
Nutritional supplements, how to feed them to your discus.
ALSO READ: Things to Know About Discus Fish Tank Mates
The most important thing you need to know about discus food is that it should be made specifically for discus.
Do not feed discus tropical fish food, or any other type of tropical fish food.
Also, there are no vegetarian options for discus – they have to eat meat!
The biggest mistake novice hobbyists make when feeding their Discus is giving them far too little protein.
This leads to stunted growth and malnutrition in general.
You want a diet rich in protein (50 %+) but also rich in vitamins and minerals.
Otherwise your tank mates will suffer too. And don’t just buy one brand of discus food either – we recommend trying a few different brands until you find one your discus likes best!
So, the hobbyists should be always alert on “what do Discus fish eat”; as it’s very sensitive.
ALSO READ: Setting Discus Aquarium
The best way to provide food for discus is by providing them with high-quality flakes and pellets that are rich in animal protein.
They should also have plenty of live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and earthworms.
What discus fish eat largely depends on their size, but high-quality pellets can be given to even a full-grown discus.
One important note is that they should not be fed too much frozen or live food because it could lead to digestive issues later on down the line.
Instead, supplement their diet with enough plant matter such as leafy greens and veggies.
So they can receive all of their dietary needs from good quality flake and pellet foods.