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People with discus tanks, what does your maintenance schedule look like?


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In my view, there are three sorts of customers who are interested in Discus: (1) Discus breeders. There are very specific ideal water parameters, tank set-ups, and practices for inducing Discus to breed. Tanks are bare. Feeding is very precise. Water change schedule is rigid. (2) Discus perfectionists. You can observe hundreds of such tanks here on this YouTube channel. There is a LOT of money in every tank displayed here. I still recall standing in shock at a fish store a ways outside Washington DC a few years ago as a lady bought half a dozen adult Discus, ca. $500 / ea. Largest order I had ever seen in person. They were a birthday gift for her husband. (3) The rest of us. And I’ll be honest, we don’t do too bad! Here are photos from a 55 gal. I have kept Discus in now for years. I just use two large sponge filters. I only change water once a week (30-50%). I feed lots of frozen food, but also some dry flakes, etc.




I recently set up a tank for a group of young Discus. It is not their “forever home,” but as a 40 gal. breeder, it suits them for a while. Same set up: sponge filters, added air stones, 85-87°-F.


I can go on and on… many photos… 

If you have questions, feel free to ask. I keep a rambling Discus journal on the Forum here:


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Wow, those discus are incredible! Nice aquascape, too!

Well…I do have a 75 gallon I thought would be a good choice for discus. I’m still looking at other options, of course- I wouldn’t call myself a novice, but I also wouldn’t call myself a total expert. Still, this is a piece of hope- I was planning a more rigorous maintenance routine on it for just tetras. The only other big thing that’s giving me pause now is feeding. Worried I’ll get 40$ discus and they’ll starve. I kind of want tankmates, but with discus, that doesn’t seem like a good idea.

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On 8/28/2023 at 7:57 PM, Pepere said:

Yep, at 28 cents a killowatt hour where Iive that pretty much rules them out for me….

Correct. Not for free…

On 8/28/2023 at 5:48 PM, Lavender said:

I kind of want tankmates, but with discus, that doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Rams, Ancistrus, Cardinal Tetras — all work with Discus. I’ve kept Electric Blue Acaras with them. Even Congo Tetras! 

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I have currently a 75 gallon with 5 discus in it, all but one is in the 4.5-6" range and the other is about 2.5-3" that I won in a raffle at my local fish club. The tank is planted, only filtration now is a large ACO sponge filter and a box filter from Jehmco stuffed with floss. The fish are fed a mix of flakes, pellets and frozen brine and bloodworms. I change water once a week, roughly 40-50% I have no intentions of breeding the ones I have, but I have bred discus before. If you get young discus and are growing them up, I would keep them in bare bottom tanks and feed several times a day and change water a few times a week, but as they get older you can feed less and cut back on water changes. 

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