Discus Fish: Where to Buy
An absolute must is starting with healthy Discus.
If you are lucky enough to have a reputable breeder in your area you are ahead of the game. If not, mail
order is also an exciting option. There's a real rush and excitement to having Discus delivered to your front
door. Make sure to research any online vendor you may want to order from. There are some great breeders out
there with a great selection. On the downside shipping usually runs from $50-$75 depending on the
If mail order isn't an option and you are left
with your local fish store you'll need to take some precautions and do your best to pick out healthy fish. If
possible try to find a shop that specializes in higher end tropical fish and avoid chain stores. Find out
what the shop's quarantine and guarantee policies are. Ask them how long the Discus should be quarantined
once you get them home. If their answer is "you don't need to", this is a major red flag. Ask questions to
get a feel for how well they support and care for their product.
At an average, you will also find shops that offer
cheaper prices for Discus Fish. In fact, you can find adult Discus Fish for 70 dollars and around 40 dollars
for a juvenile Discus Fish.
How to pick up a Healthy discus in the
You have to remember that a healthy Discus Fish
should look healthy. Discus Fish that tends to stay on top of the tank or near the surface is a sure sign
that they are sick. You should also look out for bloated gills as well as unusual spots.
When you walk by the tank, the fish should be
active and come up to greet you. Avoid fish that are dark, hiding or hanging behind uplift tubes. The water
in the tank and the tank itself should look clear and clean. If there are dead fish in the tank keep walking.
Now, (if you haven't left the store) look at the fish, they should have a full body that doesn't look sunken
and is free of scrapes, bumps, visible injuries and or parasites. Be on the lookout for parasites hanging
from the fish. The body shape should have a nice round appearance void of bent, stubbed tails and flat
foreheads. Check the skin and make sure it doesn't have a dull, matte, or slimy look to it.
The fins should look healthy and not have a
cottony or milky appearance. The fins should be intact with no white specs or splits and not be clamped to
the body. The Discus should be using both pectoral fins to move about. Watch for how the fish are breathing.
An overly rapid gill rate or if the Discus looks to be gasping is a good sign of gill parasites. The fish’s
movement should be fluent and have no problem with balance. You don't want to pick a fish that can't hold
The eyes of your Discus should have a healthy
clean look to them. The eyes are a good indicator of how well it's been taken care of. You will want a fish
with small eyes compared to its body with a centred pupil. Big or bulging eyes are usually a sign of neglect.
You should also test the alertness and
responsiveness of the fish. To do this, have the breeder or the keeper feed the fish. Ask to see the Discus
eat. Be wary if they feed live blood worms or tubiflex worms. Watch to make sure the fish are able to easily
get the food into their mouth. Avoid fish that continually miss the food that is right in front of them or
don't seem interested in eating. If the fish is passive and doesn’t take interest of the new food available,
this may be a sign of unhealthy fish. The fish you buy should eat the food or at least take interest in them.
If the keeper says that they just fed the fish, then you should look for another place to buy a Discus Fish.
You also have to know about the dealer quarantine.
This is the time where the dealer obtained the fish and the time they decide to sell the fish. The longer the
dealer quarantine is, the better it will be for you. Usually, the fish should be in quarantine for at least 2
weeks. This is to make sure that the fish is not spreading any diseases. Also, you need to make sure that the
dealer tells you if the fish have been subjected to medicines or if they have been de-wormed. By asking these
questions, you will be able to have a good idea about the background of the fish.
Lastly, you have to take a look at the aquarium
chemistry. Make sure that you ask the dealer about the current water condition that the Discus Fish you plan
on buying is currently living in. This will give you a good idea on how to set up your aquarium and also help
you if the dealer of the fish knows what they’re doing.
You should also stay away from tanks that have a
DNS label on them. DNS means “do not sell” and the fish here are most likely to have a
When you get a new discus fish, you have to
quarantine them before you place them on your main tank. This is to prevent them from introducing bacteria,
parasites, as well as other types of diseases that can be transferred to other fishes inside the main
If the quarantined fish do not show any signs of
illness after two or three weeks in the quarantine tank, you can introduce them to the main
As much as possible, you should buy an adult
Discus Fish. This is highly recommended for first time owners of Discus Fish as adult Discus Fish costs
lesser to maintain than juvenile ones. You need to remember that juvenile Discus Fish are far more sensitive
to water quality and food quality than adult Discus Fish.