View Full Version : whats the right number of discus for my tank

04-26-2008, 01:20 AM
ive just bought a new 55g tank and have begun cycling it.. and i am wondering what is a good number of discus to keep in the tank..

thanks :c3:

04-26-2008, 01:50 AM
varies between the species but 3-4 would work.

04-26-2008, 03:00 AM
The general rule to go by is that each adult Discus need 10gal of water. So by that rule you could keep 5 fish in there. I would get no fewer than 4 though. Discus are very social fish and love to be with their own kind. Another thing is that Discus tend to be generally skittish fish so keeping them in that group gives them security. Your Discus are much more likely to venture out and adapt to your tank better in that larger group.

04-26-2008, 03:01 AM
i personally would get 6

04-26-2008, 04:53 AM
Last year I joined a Discus specialty forum and bought my first discus. Their focus was on aggressive growth to attain high quality adults. The consensus was to start with a group of 7 juvies (for a 55g). Leave the tank bare bottom and without decorations. Feed 4 to 6 times a day. Do 40 to 50% water changes each day and when the fish were adults, cull to achieve the 1 per 10g ratio previously posted.

I had never tackled a more challenging species before so I followed what they suggested without improvisation, although my water changes are more 5 times a week rather than every day. It's been 5 months and they are doing very well. Frankly, I had expected to lose a few at first just because I was still learning how to best care for them. Instead all 7 are just fine :19: Which makes culling a real problem since my LFS won't take them.

I'm supposed to continue this regime until they are full adults but will probably end it in another month or so. As adults, they said they could be fed a more normal diet and will adjust to less frequent water changes.

I'm positive that there are other ways to raise juvies for a discus tank. Just thought you might want to know one way that had worked for me.

Whatever your tank plan, I hope it works out well.

Lady Hobbs
04-26-2008, 05:58 AM
Wendy, very good info. Thanks for sharing.

Don't really know how one would cull tho as you just gotta know you'd fall in love with every one of them. I know. More tanks!

04-26-2008, 01:00 PM
Yes, thanks Wendy. I too am a member of what is probably the same forum. Sounds exactly like the advice I received when I first started. I have to admit though, I've never subscribed to the idea of getting the extra 2 Discus and then culling them. You will get the same results with just 5 and then you won't have to cull anything. I honestly don't understand the point of the advice they give there in that area. I guess it has worked foir some and is fine, but I personally found it to be overkill.

04-26-2008, 01:06 PM
I'm all for 5 and let them pair. No getting rid of anyone and the tank can be fully set from the start to establish a stronger tank with less changes in perimeters. I don't like the bare bottom deal. Never have. :14:

04-26-2008, 01:08 PM
I wasn't a fan of the BB tank before I tried it either. :) But I now have one and it makes keeping the tank clean much easier. It does make raising full grown Discus much easier though.

04-26-2008, 01:12 PM
Yeah I guess it is more of an eyesore for me.... No decorations, no substrate just a plain tank with fish swimming around.....

04-26-2008, 01:17 PM
There's an easy solution to that. I have live plants in mine; I put them in pots. :) Lots of people who keep BB Discus tanks will actually put plants in pots.

04-26-2008, 06:46 PM
Thanks, Lady Hobbs :c3: Culling is a problem. I had a home for one "extra" discus all lined up before I bought them. My friend no longer wants one (she switched to saltwater:-). I was going to keep 6 of the 7 even though the tank isn't quite big enough (guilty grin). They all have names you see, and I can't cull anything with a name, and little Wisp isn't very big, and she won't eat much, and I'm already doing daily water changes so how much more work can it be etc. etc. etc. LOL

I'm with you on the decoration angle, jbeining75. Bare is boring. When I switch to the adult regime they are getting decorations. In the meantime, I settled with decorating the outside of the tank like this:

04-28-2008, 12:17 PM
I would cut it back by one just in case. I have a 75 gallon and I keep 6 discus in it currently. I would really like to get another discus, but I think it would be a little too crowded. Keep in mind that if you have a large log in the tank, this will displace some of your gallons of water. I would keep it on the low side of the rule of thumb, but going 1 per 10gal's is fine too.

04-30-2008, 07:39 AM
thanks alot everyone.. i think i will go with 5.. sounds to be the favourite number.

04-30-2008, 07:57 AM
I have six discus in my 80g tank and also have a lot of other fish in there too. And it is quite the opposite of bare. Some would probably say it was overstocked. I might even be one of them. But everyone is very happy so I'll not worry just yet. And (my) discus don't really need much space in my opinion as mine don't move about all that much.

05-03-2008, 12:24 PM
hello to all

07-08-2008, 10:52 AM
when you say they should be in pairs does that mean they have to be in pairs of the same type of discuss ?

Lady Hobbs
07-08-2008, 11:20 AM
For your own enjoyment, if different species breed and you keep them there's nothing wrong with a mix. But breeders keep only the same discus together to keep their bloodline pure. If you end up selling mixed discus, you need to tell people they are mixed bloodlines. This is the reason you see pures for upwards to $350 and mixes for $25.

I very much doubt any discus sold in LFS are pures. That doesn't mean they aren't beautiful fish to have and it would be good enough for me since I wouldn't be breeding with the intention of selling for the high dollar.