View Full Version : Are plants, Driftwood etc required for a Discus Tank?

02-28-2008, 04:33 AM
I was wondering if discus require plants, driftwood etc to live healthily in a tank. I noticed that some people have nothing at all in them.
Do they need wood etc to hide?

Any thoughts/experiences would be appreciated.

02-28-2008, 04:39 AM
No, but they like them for security.

02-28-2008, 04:54 AM
its not a must, but they love driftwood and live plants

02-28-2008, 04:58 AM
It makes them feel more secure.

02-28-2008, 01:40 PM
If you can afford to decorate your tank and you are not trying to breed your discus, I would recommend putting driftwood and live plants in your tank. I was lucky and actually found a piece of wood that I cut down to fit in my tank. My discus go underneath any time someone they don't know comes around or if they get spooked. Currently I have my discus in a 20 with nothing in it(no rocks etc.) because I had to move, but they don't seem as happy or active as they usually do in the tank.

If you happen to find a piece of wood like I did, soak it and constantly check the pH. Some wood's can fluctuate your pH. I would say go to a local park and spend a day finding various pieces of rock and wood. It has helped me save some money!

Re-create a true environment as best as you can, you fish will reap the benefits!

02-28-2008, 10:57 PM
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the advice..so from your experience, the discus feel more secure in a planted and "wooded" tank.

I actually have a 6 foot tank with a large piece of driftwood which my 11 discus love to hide behind. I also have many plants and also gravel so I dont need any more of these things.

So, I guess it's OK to have nothing else in the tank when breeding a discus pair. Please confirm.

02-29-2008, 12:02 AM
I don't really have anything new to dadd, just want to backup what the others have said. I kept my Discus in a heavily planted tank that included driftwood and they loved it. The added cover of the plants was great for them, the would hang out under the leaves of my Rubin Swords and also in the shade of the driftwood decked with Riccia. But, as was mentioned, don't plan on successfully breeding them in such an environment.

02-29-2008, 06:58 AM
Re-create a true environment as best as you can, you fish will reap the benefits!


This goes for ALL our fish. To get an idea how a fish feels in an empty tank without anything in it, you should imagine yourself in a room, white all over, very clean indeed, but otherwise absolutely empty, and no door or window. And you have to spend your whole life in it...

02-29-2008, 07:01 AM
Re-create a true environment as best as you can, you fish will reap the benefits!

there is NO truer statement than that! i feel so sorry for the fish when people stick yellow tangs (SW) in tanks with FW gravel and fake plants.

02-29-2008, 11:14 PM
Yes I agree that discus would love planted tanks. But in my opinion growing them out is a different story. I believe that they should be raised to adulthood in a bare bottom tank. I am fairly new to discus and I have found they grow a lot better in a bare bottom tank. Now this is just my thought.
I am still dreaming of having a planted discus tank. I have 6 now that I raised to adults and now to just learn more about planted tanks. So much to learn ;)
Dan from Gulfcoast Discus has some beautiful and inspiring planted discus tanks.
Check them out.

A Friend in fish

02-29-2008, 11:35 PM
I agree on the grow out process. I tested this theory for myself and found that my Discus grew much better in a BB tank. There are actually 2 options for discus in a planted tank. Either you can get them already full grown or close to it, or you can raise them to full size on your own in a seperate tank and then move them to the main display.

I remember a statement that Dave made on another forum about 2 years ago. "When our fish do not reach their max potential size or live to their max age or even get sick with most diseases, it is our fault." Same holds true for environment. I've always done my best to reproduce accurate environments. My mbuna were in hard water with a pH of 8.2 and my Discus were in very soft water with a pH of about 6.0. I had very healthy mbuna and I have very healthy Discus. A natural environment does wonders. A proper environment actually creates less stress for them and thus greater resistance to disease.