Discus Fish Disease: How to Deal with Them  


As a hobbyist who is currently taking care of discus fish, you have to remember that apart from knowing how to raise them, you also need to know about the diseases that may bother them. By learning about the different kinds of diseases that may affect your discus fish, you will be able to tell if your discus fish already has the disease and also know how to treat them.   


Basically, one of the most common problems among discus fish is having a hole in the head. Early detection is essential in order for you to treat them effectively. You need to remember that the longer the disease exists in the discus fish, the most probable it will be that the disease may cause its death. 



You have to keep in mind that even if the fish heals after the treatment, the wound can leave a permanent scar, which can significantly have an effect on the overall appearance of the fish, especially on discus fish. 


This is why treating the wound while it’s still small is highly recommended. For this kind of disease, you may want to treat the disease by increasing the water temperature from 30 degrees Celsius to 36 degrees Celsius. Keep the water temperature raised for around 8 to 10 days. 


By increasing the water temperature, you also need to increase water ventilation to keep the oxygen level up. You can also combine heat treatment with Metronidazole, which is administered orally. Give this medication to your discus fish once every 3 days. Usually, discus fish will respond well to heat treatment in combination with the medication treatment. 


Gill fluke is another disease common among discus fish. Although this will not really affect adult discus fish, it can cause huge problems for discus fry and juvenile discus fish. You have to keep in mind that gill flukes are parasites that can destroy the gills of your discus fish. They can also cause heavy breathing and irregular swimming, which can eventually leave your discus fish totally paralyzed and sink down the bottom of the tank. 


To treat gill flukes, you can use formalin. Also, although infested parents can still have progeny, the offspring can eventually get the parasite, which can cause very serious problems. 


Internal parasites can also infect discus fish. Although most internal parasites in discus fish may not cause serious threats, you have to remember that these parasites can eventually grow uncontrollably, which can cause serious problems for your fish. A symptom of discus fish having internal parasites is that they may produce white faeces. Clear or white faeces are hints that your discus fish may have internal parasites and that they are unwell and need attention. Emaciation can also occur and is also considered as a common symptom of internal parasite. 


A dose of Metronidazole usually clears the problem. You can get this ingested by your discus fish by medicating the food they eat. Feed your discus fish with medicated food every 2 days for a period of 10 days. 


However, if you see that your fish is no longer eating, you may need to force feed them using a syringe without the needle. 


Also, you should observe their behaviour. If your discus fish go on food strike, it’s a clear sign that they are unwell. The colour of their scales will also get darker, which is also an indication that the discus fish is sick. 


For starters, you may want to keep the fish tank clean. You have to keep in mind that discus fish are quite sensitive to disease and water conditions. And, they really won’t tolerate sudden and large water quality changes.