The secret in taking care of discus fish is the
water. You need to keep in mind that unlike other fishes that needs no specific water condition to thrive,
discus fish will need to live in special tanks with water that is specifically treated to the point that it
mimics their natural environment.
First of all, you have to see to the water
quality. In most cases, poor water quality is often the reason why people have difficulty in keeping Discus
Fish. When it comes to water quality, try to think where the fish originated. Discus Fish originated in the
waters of Brazil, which is soft and acidic. So, you have to replicate the water quality in Brazil in your
fish tank if you are going to keep a Discus Fish or any other fish found in Brazil.
You also have to keep in mind that larger volumes
of water is easier to keep stable than smaller volumes. This is why you have to consider the size of the tank
where you intend on keeping your Discus Fish. You have to try getting the largest aquarium that you possibly
can in order for you to easily maintain the water quality.
You may already know about the nitrogen cycle. You
need to consider the fact that this is very important whenever you intend on keeping any kind of fish in a
fish tank or aquarium. If you don’t know anything about the nitrogen cycle, then you may want to cancel your
plans on keeping a Discus Fish. Nitrogen Cycle is summarised below:
An aquarium is a closed environment. All the
wastes excreted from the fish, uneaten food, and decaying plants stay inside the tank. If these wastes are
not eliminated, your beautiful aquarium would turn into a cesspool in no time at all.
Stages of the Nitrogen
There are three stages of the nitrogen cycle, each
of which presents different challenges.
Initial stage: The cycle begins when fish are
introduced to the aquarium. Their faeces, urine, as well as any uneaten food, are quickly broken down into
either ionized or unionized ammonia. The ionized form, Ammonium (NH4), is present if the pH is below 7, and
is not toxic to fish. The unionized form, Ammonia (NH3), is present if the pH is 7 or above, and is highly
toxic to fish. Ammonia usually begins rising by the third day after introducing fish.
Second stage: During this stage Nitrosamines
bacteria oxidize the ammonia, thus eliminating it. However, the by-product of ammonia oxidation is nitrite,
which is also highly toxic to fish. Nitrite usually begins rising by the end of the first week after
Third stage: In the last stage of the cycle,
Nitrobacter bacteria convert the nitrites into nitrates. Nitrates are not highly toxic to fish in low to
moderate levels. Routine partial water changes will keep the nitrate levels within the safe
Simple steps such as testing and changing the
water will help you manage the nitrogen cycle without losing your fish.
You have to remember that Discus Fish will not
tolerate ammonia or nitrite in any amount. They will only be able to tolerate the bare minimum nitrite. You
also need to make sure that the detritus is removed on a daily basis along with any uneaten food as this will
produce ammonia in the water, which will potentially make the Discus Fish ill or possibly kill
You will want to have your aquarium cycled before
adding your Discus. This means that the beneficial bacteria have been established in your filtration. There
are many methods of cycling your tank so be sure to do your research and choose the option that fits for you.
It is a very important step and is absolutely necessary. Putting your new Discus in a tank that hasn't been
cycled is a death sentence for the fish.