View Full Version : Discus Tank Mates

11-15-2002, 04:56 PM
We were thinking of starting a thread where we could compile info about discus tank mates. This is a place to refer general questions about which fish do well with discus.
If you have had a community tank, please choose one fish that has worked well for you and discuss it in detail. Some topics might be their description, origin, the temperatures they can survive, how they interact with discus, food, behavior, and problems you've had. Basically anything that you think will help someone choose the right fish and to keep them alive.
Also, if you want, please choose one fish that hasn't worked for you. Talk about what happened; did it bother the discus, was it eaten, or maybe cooked at discus temps.
The idea is to help people choose the tank mates without repeating ourselves or worse, them repeating our mistakes (maybe we can save some fish lives). At some point, the info may be condensed or repackaged, let me know if that would be a problem.
Thanks in advance for your participation.

11-15-2002, 05:12 PM
Great Idea Ralph. Ok here is mine.
Before I got into Discus I kept s/A Dwarfs, I've had tha A, Cacatoides, M Ramerezi and lately a pair of Nanacara Anomela. There are loads of dwarf cichlids, and most will thrive in Discus water. The ones I had a problem with where the bolivian rams. I know other discus keeper who haven't had problems with these fish but the one's I had kept dieing. All I sugest is find a s/a cichlid, find out where it is from and if it's from relativley the same area as Discus, they will be ok. My Anomelas are doin great.

11-15-2002, 05:28 PM
Silver Hatchets - There are actually two similar looking fish sold as Silvers (Gasteroplelecus sternicla (Common Hatchet) and Thoracpcharax securisis (True Silver Hatchet)). They are almost identical though and even school together. Hatchets, from the Amazon Basin, are a very shiny silver color and about 1 & 1/2 inches (3 to 4 cm) long. They are easy to recognize with their bowed out chest area. Hatchets school at the surface and are very calm generally. They have very little interaction with the discus.
In the wild, they eat flies, mosquitos, etc. but they do well on flake food. They will eat frozen bloodworms but my hatchets like to check their food out before eating and by that time, the discus have made the worms disappear.
My hatchets have survived temps of 90 to 92 degrees F. in case you have to turn up the heat for infections. They are very sensitive to water quality though, even more so than discus (if you can believe that). I use them like a canary in a mine, they are the first sign that I might have a problem.
The only thing I am concerned about is that they are more active at night, they don't seem to bother the discus though.

Stay away from the Marbled Hatchets though. They are from nearer the headwaters and survive at lower temperatures (72 - 76 dregrees F). There is also a subspecies called Marthae, with the same problem.

11-15-2002, 05:37 PM
don't you have to keep tight cover glasses on the tanks with those too? A bit jumpy aren't they? And theDiscus can't fit them into their mouths. hehe

11-15-2002, 05:38 PM
Hi Ralph,

Hope you don't mind me adding to your post. I have hatchets in the past and they are surface fishes and tend to jump. So for those that do not have a tank cover, this fish is not recommended unless you like them crispy and dried.

I haven't experience this yet, but have read often on Simply that a bristle nose pleco is a handy fish to have with Discus. They work as great scavenger and algae controller. I know its hearsay but since I have heard nothing but good thing about this fish I would recommend him. I am also planning to get one for my own tank to help control algae bloom. I'll update you guys on this situation should this they be a bad combo for Discus.



11-15-2002, 05:40 PM
You are right, I've never seen mine fly (though they can I guess) but I keep the lid on my tank for the discus anyways. Thanks for reminding me.

11-15-2002, 06:41 PM
In my 90G planted community tank, I have kept the famous 10 cardinals, 4 dwarf rainbows, 1 honey gourami, 2 ottos, 2 sae's, 2 german blue rams!

All of them I have kept with success with discus! Never any problems.
Temp-86-88 (sometimes in the summer up to 90)

It is fasinating watching the medium moving school of cardinals with their red and blue strips swimming the lenght of the tank. So gracefully and beautiful. The quick rainbows with their silver scales flashing rainbow color (hence the name) as they dart around chasing each other. The ever curious rams slowly picking their ways around the tank, minding their own business (until feeding time that is). The otos I hardly see and the fat sae likes to hide from me ;D! Of course, the discus watching the whole scene like kings of the aquarium, gracefully floating around (waiting for their next meal Im sure). All in all, life in the community is pleasant and peaceful! Well......until feeding time. Then the water churns from all the fish darting back and forth trying to get a piece of food. :bounce2:

When considering buying new fish for the community, I always research a couple of weeks before buying to ensure I do not create chaos! When buying, I usually watch the fish intently, seeing how they interact with each other.

11-15-2002, 07:23 PM
Rams and checkerboard cichlids are a good addition to larger tanks where the fish can have their own space. Checkerboards are tiny cichlids and do well in warm, soft water with low-to-neutral pH. I haven't tried other dwarfs before.

Most peaceful tetras work well as long as the discus can't make snacks out of them. These include lemon tetras, rummynose, serpae (sometimes), black neons (larger than regular neons), and cardinals.

Corydoras cats work great with discus, as do Otocinclus most of the time (although some people have reported their Otos trying to attach to the discus).

Dwarf gouramis, especially the honey dwarfs mentioned in a previous posts, also seem to do well as they are passive community fish and mostly keep to themselves, even though they are from a different part of the world. Female bettas work well with angels, so I assume they'd do well with discus too as long as they weren't too small (discus might make lunch of them if they see an opportunity).

Festivums are another fun cichlid that might do okay with discus if kept in a large tank. They tend to like being kept in small groups and are pretty peaceful fish. Anyone ever try discus with keyhole cichlids?

Angelfish and discus is a huge debate. All I will say is that it CAN be done successfully, you just have to know what you are doing and be careful.


11-15-2002, 08:23 PM
I have a couple small Peppered Cories in my Discus tank. They do an awesome job of keeping the bottom clean and will eat anything I put in there for the Discus. They love Blackworms, flake food and Discus pellets alike. Whenever I feed the Discus the Cories come out to eat also. They don't interact with the Discus at all but I feel this is a good thing. They stay on the bottom and keep things clean.

Also a few weeks before adding the Dicus to my planted tank I bought a dozen Cardinal Tetras and put them in. They all survived and I still have not lost a single one. I have never bought a dozen Cardinals for any tank and not lost any so I figure it as a good sign. I think the Cardinals are the perfect companions for Discus as long as they are big enough to not get eaten. A good sized shoal of Cardinals is a beautiful sight but they are small enough to not take away from the Discus. I think the Discus need to remain the centerpiece of the tank and the Cardinals compliment them perfectly.

11-15-2002, 11:07 PM
Just one comment regarding Cories. They are indeed useful scavengers in a Discus tank, but if I'm correct (and please correct me if I'm not) cories are sensitive to salt so when doing salt treatment, please remove the Cories.



11-16-2002, 01:24 AM
i haven't had any problems with 1-2 tbs/10 gallons with the cories in the tank. you are right though, they are sensitive to salt so i wouldn't recommend adding any more than 1-2 tbs /10.

11-16-2002, 01:26 AM
also, i have some black neons in with my discus and cories and they completely leave the discus alone and the discus seem oblivious of them. i think the black neons are in heaven with such frequent feedings. they're so fat! lol

11-16-2002, 11:46 AM
I have Corydoras Elegans which are doing great in high temperatures (90F), but two died during a salt treatment (<1%).

I also had Checkerboards, but removed the male after it terrorized six 4" discus for weeks. He had his territory smack down the middle of the tank and would attack anything that came out of the corners. My discus couldn't eat anything without having to withstand blows from the tiny checkerboard. The two females that are left are doing fine though.

A school of 9 black neons are swimming happily among the discus and pick all the smart parts of food that drift away during a feeding frenzy. I chose black neons, because I find cardinals and normal neons too common.

11-18-2002, 09:51 PM
I also think the cardinal school and rams are good. but around here healthy cardinals are imossible to find

11-20-2002, 10:39 AM
In my planted 75g I keep a bit of everything. I only have one huge Discus because any others I have ever put in there have been beaten to submission by him. But in with him I have:
rummy nose
glo-light tetras
bushy & clown plecos
2 blueberry tetras (i used to help cycle the tank 3 yrs ago)
I think that might be about it.
I keep it at 84-85 F and a ph of 6.5

11-20-2002, 10:54 AM
In my 90G planted tank, I have:

2 adult size discus
30+ Cardinal Tetras
9 Halequin Rasboras
4 Albino Bristlenoses (juveniles)
5 Ottos
4 Mollies
6 Khuli Loaches
2 SAEs
10-15 Amano Shrimps

Temp at 28C. No incompatibility among them. The discus are sometimes inquisitive at the shrimps, but not to the point of hunting them.

According to the breeder, the discus have never been kept with small fish like Rasboras or Tetras before. They don't seem to be hunting them as well.

It's a bit crowded, isn't it? Got to get another tank soon.


11-27-2002, 12:18 AM
I have in my planted tank:
5 discus.
8 rams
4 apistogramma paiunsis.
6 apistogramma borelli.
2 apistogramma cacutoides.
panda corys.
aneus corys.
Siameses algae eaters.
apistogramma trifaciata.
I have also kept the following but dont have them right now
apistogramma agasizz
Angels only if they have been qurantined and treated personally i would not like to keep them with discus.
bristlenose plecos.
Also as for the corys some of them will die in temperatures that are in the 80s so there is only a limited amount you can keep with the discus.

11-27-2002, 01:50 AM
In my planted tank:
9 Discus
25 Neons
10 Harlequins
10 Glow Plugs
5 Albino Danios
10 Zebra Danios
1 Leopard Danio (was a gift and nicest danio of all)(all danios school together)
3 Clown Loaches
5 Peppered Corys (was 2 then some little ones majically appeared ;D)
2 Bristlenose
3 Male Fancy Guppy
5 Female Fancy Guppy
about 40-60 baby Guppy fry (various sizes) (maybe I can use them in a beefheart mix :-X)

Deceased: 1 Siamese Algae Eater :'(

All these live together very happily (i need to get another SAE, i killed him during a tank cleanout :-[)

I have had a couple of neons expire... and the hatchets all leapt from my tank with great abandon. I ditched my common pleco because they chased the discus once they grew big enough ( and they get plenty big)

Make sure you get Siamese Algae Eater NOT Chinese. They look the same as far as I know, and I had to trust my LFS. The Chinese sucks the Discus.

I had Angels as well but they got nippy and the discus were always herded around my tank.

All in all a very happy family and my discus recently did their first spawn in the middle of it all (no fry, but didn't expect there to be, I've have got some breeding tanks on order though).

I have a large community tank of about 140 g heavily planted.

peety ;)

11-27-2002, 04:28 PM
Rummy nose tetras make a great companion fish for discus. They are strong schoolers staying in the lower third of the tank. They are larger than cardinal tetras reaching about two inches or so. They eat flakes that fall past the discus but will eat live blackworms if they can get one (I have some fat rummies with my discus). In an unstressed situation, they color out (not like in the LFS) and their entire head turns a metallic red and the tail is a vivid black and white striped. There are supposedly two kinds of False Rummynose Tetras. I've read about them and looked at pictures and diagrams but I still don't know which ones I have. Their care is the same though so it probably doesn't matter much. They can handle 90 degree f. plus temps in case you have to turn up the heat to treat your discus. They keep their distance from the discus and spend their day swimming among the plants and the discus just ignore them. They are even peaceful among themselves. Highly recommended.

12-04-2002, 12:48 AM
In my 55 gallon, I have two small-sized discus with four medium size angelfish. When i first put my discus in the angelfish tried to gang up on one of them but i think they were more interested in what the fish was because the next day later the two discus were hanging out together with one of the smallest angelfish. Everyone seems to be getting along just find... or at least no problems yet...

12-04-2002, 01:10 AM
Welcome to the board.
I've heard bad things about the pairing of angels and discus, keep us updated on how it goes. My guess is that it has a lot to do with the individual fish and the environment they are in.

12-06-2002, 09:25 PM
i have a male betta and 2 female bettas in a 20g with 2 -2.5" heckle/alancer babies and they make great tankmates. i use bettas for q.t situations too as they are sensitive to diseases and will indicate their existance early on.


12-07-2002, 06:26 AM
I've kept bristlenose plecos in with my discus with no problem and am currently keeping clown plecos in with them, though they don't do as great a job on the algae. Also is a school of 11 cardinal tetras which is a site to see and compliments the discus wonderfully. I also have several Yamato numa ebi (cardina japonica shrimp) which don't seem to bother the discus at all and do a great job of cleaning the algea from the plants.

Something I have been wondering about is bichor (polypterus delhezi, polypterus palmas, polypterus ornitipinnis, polypterus senegalis)?? I have been keeping bichor with a number of different cichlids including severums, red devil, convict, Jack dempsey, Blue Acara and Oscars. They are always really mellow towards tankmates. The only quarles I have seen is with each other. I have also read that they are a wonderful fish for bigger planted tanks. I think they would be a great tankmate for discus, though I have never tried it. They would require a big tank - at least 75 gal.


12-07-2002, 09:27 AM
I have In my planted 125 . Discus, Cardnels, Rummy noses, Gold Tetras, Forktail Rainbows, Marble Hatchets, German Rams. Apistogram agasizz, Altums, clown loaches, Sterbi cories, Bristlenose plecos. I have a couple flying foxes if I could catch ;D would be in another tank!

12-08-2002, 03:38 AM
South American leaf fish (monoccirhus polycanthus) might be a really great tankmate for discus. Their really mellow and would leave the discus alone without making them nervous.

12-16-2002, 06:21 PM
I think many discus owners are far too concerned about maintaining temperatures that are supposedly "ideal" but are in fact unnecessary for the well-being of discus. I've always raised and bred discus in 82-degree water and have had more success with tankmates and plants because my tank is not at 86 or 88 degrees.

I've kept everything from guppies to clown loaches with my discus and have had success with almost everything except for the larger cichlids (severums and chocolate cichlids). The fish tha enjoy "bottom-feeding" and clean up after the discus have included Bolivian rams and panda corys.

I read one post in which someone said that his altispinosas are dying. When I've encountered problems with this species, it's been because I didn't provide enough plants and driftwood to make them feel secure. They are so shy they will literally waste away rather than fight for food with large discus and rowdy tetras.

My favorite fish to keep with discus, besides altispinosas, are Bosemani rainbows and Congo tetras. They are ravenous feeders and will prevent any food from reaching the substrate. In fact, I always have at least 6-8 rainbows or Congos in my planted tanks because they are great at providing fertilizer for the plants.

I've also had incredible luck with scissortails. They are somewaht drab, but are nearly indestructible and look okay in a large school. I've had scissortails live over 6 years and reach about 4 inches. They are less prone to "freaking out" and darting than cardinals and neons and so won't scare timid discus.

12-19-2002, 08:06 AM
i keep my discus in not so native conditions.. i have a planted tank, the ph is at 7 and the temp is around 28 degrees celsius, but my discus have got used to it and they happy so i dont really mind. i keep the ph at 7 because i dont want to muck with the water chemistry (its about 8 out of the tap but settles to 7 fairly quickly) and the temp a bit lower coz i want to keep plants, but anyways.. with these conditions, my 2 definite favourites to keep with discus are

emperor tetras (nematobrycon palmeri) they're quite spectacular for tetras and dont bother the discus at all during feeding. they're apparently long lived too which is a plus.. i had fish dying on me even if it is old age. with lots of space and plenty of food they grow to a good size as well (not as big as congo tetras though) yeh nice fish.

speaking of congo tetras, just want to add that they really shine if they have lots of tank space.. when i gave some more room the males grew really impressive fins and they seemed so much happier. they're always moving, and love lapping and darting around the tank after each other :) i wouldnt get them unless you have good space for them.

also i recently found some madagascar rainbows (bedotia geayi) which in my opinion are the most beautiful rainbows you can get.. they're less voracious than other rainbows ive kept, but the nice black/dark blue stripe down their sides with the contrasting gold highlights on it are excellent. they're nice and active and tend to school in smaller numbers which is also a plus. apparently they dont like acidic water though, perferring alkaline so if you keep your discus properly, it probably isnt a good idea to get these. :)


ps. oh yeh. ive kept discus and angels and have had no problems. theres some good links out there about the pros and cons of doing so. if you want to feel better about them, get the angels as babies, then theres less chance of them having anything thats not already in your tank anyway. hungry discus dont seem to be deterred by them at all during feeding :) if theres a good amount of room (with considering if the angels spawn) for everyone its quite ok i would say.

pps. apistogrammas are nice as well, but ive found them to be much much much more sensitive to water conditions than discus are. discus are easy compared to them! ive lost a number of groups of them because of just a tiny bit of uneaten food that i didnt clean up quick enough. just my experience though. they really do like foreground plans like crypts tho.

12-19-2002, 11:13 AM
Right now I'm keeping my discus with *drum roll please*......DISCUS! :o

Once grown out they're going into a tank with a nice school of Harlequin Rasboras, 3 Spike-Tailed Paradise Fish and some SAEs and Ottos.

When I get a decent sized tank (125+) I'd like to keep discus with Pencilfish, Apistos, Ottos, and Cories. I'm still debating whether or not to keep plants in this....it would be a really good biotope.

01-01-2003, 03:41 PM
great white sharks.

01-01-2003, 04:30 PM

You should start a new thread, "Bad discus tank mates."

01-01-2003, 04:32 PM
but look how happy sharkie is with his new playmates though... he's grinning from gill to gill!

01-12-2003, 12:35 AM
I keep my discus very nicely with my birchor (14" reedfish) They don't even acknowledge each other :)

I also keep:

One femal convict who keep trying to court one of my discus but doesn't harass them

A pair of Kribs: the male is very teritorial and will chase the discus if they come too close to his cave

A juvenile fire eel who will move to another tank when he grows up: he's curious but not aggressive

Panda Cories: don't even notice each other

Clown Pleco: no probs

Mature CAE (7") : I know most people don't like these fish as they sometimes suck on the discus, but I think this habbit only develops if the CAE is starved.

1 white cloud: my fire eel eats them
1 guppy: my fire eell eats them

3 bumblebee catfish: don't notice each other

01-12-2003, 01:42 AM
Hi, welcome to Simply.

That is the wildest group of fish that I've heard yet. There are two or three that I would not have recommended as tankmates but what ever works though.
I'm anxious to see what your discus-convict cross looks like. Save one of the fry for me.

01-15-2003, 01:31 AM
36 bow front:
3 small bristle nose plecos
6 medium discus
8 gold tetras
2 neon tetras

Neons are survivors of the 6 that I used to cycle the tank. The gold tetras started out as a half dozen and have been continuously spawning in the tank. However, only two of the fry have survived predation by the discus.

2 large discus
3 medium discus
10 Colombian tetras
1 small bristle nose plecostomus
1 botia
2 Cory St.

Colombians form an active school that take any food offered. Nice dither for the discus. Botia added as natural control for snails. I didn't treat the plants and now I am a snail breeder.

01-15-2003, 02:20 AM
I don't understand why the cardinals are more likely to avoid being a discus meal than the neons. They are the same size and coloring almost. It should have the same result, but usually the cardinals will survive. I'm sticking with my rummynose though, they are about 1/2" longer, just enough to avoid being part of the seafood buffet.

What kind of cories do you have? Mine are dying off very slowly (I lose about one per month), it may be the heat. They are julii or trifasciatus.

01-15-2003, 12:36 PM

Cardinals tend to get a full inch or more longer and can be substantially thicker than Neons. I don't know how that would matter to a decent sized adult Discus, but I guess it does somehow.

01-15-2003, 10:38 PM
I thought that they were close in size. Probably based on the only ones I've seen which were young ones at the LFS.

01-16-2003, 10:35 PM
In my planted tank I have

7 Discus
2 Pictus Catfish
2 Whiptail Catfish
1 Bristlenose......(havent seen him for weeks though...bit of a worry!!!)
1 Pantadon Butterly
1 Black Ghost Knife (He's kind of curious about the discus but doesnt chase them)
1 Tire Track Eel
15 Neon Tetras
12 Flame Tetras
and for a couple of seconds yesterday an 11 week old kitten....(never trust a kitten when cleaning your tank!!!!)

01-16-2003, 10:42 PM
Was the cat looking for dinner? I assume it turned into a learning experience.

01-16-2003, 10:53 PM
yeah I think Discus was on the menu...... the worst thing is that Big Bird (the Kitten) is so stupid that he would try it again!!!! :-\

01-26-2003, 03:01 AM
When I am on the beginners section it is to keep discus with only discus, but here there is no one at all saying this. Is there some type of computer canyon that these people do not get into this discussion? :computer2:

01-26-2003, 03:11 AM
After posting I gave what I wrote a thought ;D. Maybe the beginners section is for people not only new to discus, but also new to aquariums.

I have kept Cichlids in a 55 gal tank for over 12 years, and now I recenty got my dream aquarium - a 92 gal corner tank. I plan on bringing over two maybe three small to medium size african catfish (forgot scientific names) that are very calm. Why is it when I mention african catfish in the beginners section do I get - Discus with Discus only? I feel that these catfish will do well in the tank (leave the Discus alone and eat most of the food that is left that the Discus does not eat). Am I wrong with this idea or what? ???

01-26-2003, 09:47 AM
No, edgeguy, you are not wrong. Congratulations on your tank, I enjoy setting up a new tank (most parts of it anyways), especially planning it out and then watching it develop. And discus...do I need to say anything? If you can, post some photos, we like to especially see tanks being set up.

Many discus keepers have a clean up crew in their tanks, they eat uneaten food and some of them eat algae.

And there are no hard and fast rules about about which catfish are good for you. Some things you may want to watch out for though:
Some are very active at night and may be bothering your discus while they are trying to sleep.
Some of the catfish will actually suck on the discus trying to eat their slime coat (sounds delicious) so watch for markings or sores on the discus.
In any species, there is a range of aggresive behavior so keep an eye out for aggresive individuals (they are easy to spot though).
Quarantine procedures should be used for any fish that you put in with your discus, if you can.
Make sure that the catfish you go with can handle discus tank temps, 82-88 degrees.

If you haven't read through this thread yet, there are some stories of which catfish have worked well for others and which have not. Personally I like cories but I just got a dwarf bristlenose pleco recently.

01-26-2003, 10:23 AM
My tank is only 40-gal so my options are limited. My current set-up includes:


I have kept schools of about 15-cardinals in this tank with the Discus with much success. For a Discus community tank these are the only fish I would recommend. Maybe if I had a larger tank my recommendation would shift. Based on my experience, I feel 100% confident in recommending rummynose, cardinals, and cory's, as tank mates for Discus.


01-26-2003, 10:44 AM
Hi Slim,
Throw in a couple hatchet fish and you just described my tank.
I like that those fish actually share their habitats in the wild.

I'd get two more cories though, they don't seem like it, but mine hang out together and I've heard that they like company. Do you know which kind you have?

And rummynose, I've talked about them before, but I really like this fish. They are amazing schoolers. When I go to a bigger tank, it's going to be so I can get more rummies, a school of 80 or 100 would look great.

01-26-2003, 04:02 PM
Thanks Ralph for the reply and the suggestion to watch at night. I feel fairly secure about the catfish since I have had them for quite a while, but I will keep a closer eye on them at night.

01-26-2003, 04:28 PM
Thanks for the suggestion Ralph. I have seen Hatchet fish and think they are amazing fish. That is good to know that they can be kept with Discus. Also, I believe they typically like to be relatively close to the surface, so they would be a fun addtion to the tank. I agree with you, rummynose are exciting and form a fabulous school right along the front of the tank. Also, their nose serves as a good indicator as to the quality of the water. I have heard some opinions that they are sensitive fish to keep, but I have had much success. When I see them at my LFS, I ask when they got them in before I buy any. I wait until they have had them for at least a week before I buy any.


01-26-2003, 05:03 PM
Edgeguy, if you can, find out what kind of catfish you have and let everyone know how he is doing after a couple weeks.

Slim, everything you said is the truth as I know it. The rummies are like canaries in a mine and will let you know if things are not well. And they always look unhappy in a LFS, all pale, at least the ones I've seen. They don't seem to transition well but do great after they are established.

01-28-2003, 03:06 AM
Hi, I am new to this forum. I have kept discus for almost 20 years so I am not new to discus, but am hardly an expert. I have 2 breeding pairs and several juveniles in a planted show tank. Also in the show tank is a breeding pair of marble angels (I don't want to deal with angel fry so I keep them with other fish), a small school of rummynose tetras, 2 clown loaches, 2 long-finned rosey barbs (eat hair algae and not nippy like other barbs), and 2 small rubber lip plecos. I have grown out many discus in this tank and all inhabitants get along peacefully, except for about 1 day about every month when the angels spawn, eggs are gone next AM and all return to normal.
Ryan, you asked if anyone ever kept them with keyholes and I did. It was an excellent combination. If anything the discus chased the keyholes at times, but mainly ignored each other.

01-28-2003, 11:08 AM
Hi Debbie and welcome to Simply,
I don't want to argue with you on your first post here but I don't know many people who have had discus for twenty years, I think that qualifies you as some sort of expert.
Generally angels and discus are not considered good tank mates but I've heard many cases of the contrary. My impression is that it has to do with the type of angels, the individual fish (they sure have personalities, don't they?), and the tank set up.
Start a new thread and tell us about your tank, if you want to. I'd also like to hear about discus keeping in the 80's, where did you buy them, cost, types, etc.

01-28-2003, 11:13 AM
I recently added 6 angola barbs to my planted discus tank around 2 months ago. These barbs are slim in shape, similar to neons/cardinals and grow to around 2". They are orange in color and have black stripes vertically. Like neons, cardinals and discus, they are also school fish. It is very enticing to watch 6 barbs chase each other around the tank. They are a very nice addition to my tank and go very well together with discus.

01-28-2003, 02:12 PM
Hey Ronrca,

Are you sure those are not Tiger Barbs? Tiger barbs can get quite aggressive. They have been known to nip fins from Angels and Discus alike.

They are very active fishes, so make sure they are not getting more food than your Discus.

Just a thot.



01-28-2003, 03:22 PM
Negative Chi! I have had tiger barbs before! Angola barbs are slim like neons, not round like a quarter! They are also orange! I will try to find more info or pics! Also, angola's are bottom swimmers and only come to the middle to feed. By that time, the discus have had their share! ;D

01-28-2003, 08:07 PM
Barbus fasciolatus

I found a link:

Very nice pic also of it!

Here's more info:
http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=10802&genusname=Barbus&speci esname=fasciolatus

Takes a while to load!

01-28-2003, 08:56 PM
Nice looking fish that I have never seen before. Where did you find yours?

01-29-2003, 11:10 AM
Just found them in my lfs. He has them quite often and Im surpised that it was difficult to find info on them. They are cool. Interestingly, another common name is Orange Minnow!

01-30-2003, 04:24 PM
I have not found the names of the catfish I have, but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with synd. angelicus or multipunctatus. Synd. multipunctatus seems to be a very active catfish is this the case? Either one seems nice though I really like angelicus? Any help would be great. :inquisitive:

02-01-2003, 12:02 AM
The S. angelicus would probably be alright (I've never had either), be sure he has a cave to use. The S. multipuntatus sound like he is on the wild side. They are both beautiful fish. Here is THE site for any catfish questions though, it's an amazing place:


Click on the Cat-eLog, it's really called that, and there is an index of every catfish on the planet. Be sure to read the "Catfish of the Month" article on S. multip...., it tells how they trick mouth breeding cichlids into raising the catfish's young. Nature is really amazing.

02-01-2003, 12:42 PM
WOW! What a site Ralph. Just think there are people out there that are just as crazy about catfish as we are about discus. ::)

From looking at the photos I can tell you that the other two catfish are synd. dhonti and eupterus. Both are very peaceful fish.

I was leaning towards the angelicus because of it demeaner the multipunctatus did seem on the wild side.

The reson I want to keep catfish is because I have a gravel bottom and I want some fish that will clean up the food that is left over.

02-02-2003, 10:55 AM

If you're going to be putting catfish in with Discus I'd recommend Corydoras spp. above the Synodontis. Many of the Synos suitable in size are from areas of hard water and don't do as well in the soft, acidic water Discus need. If you're not interested in Corydoras I might also suggest some Botia spp. like the Yo-Yo or Tiger loaches. They stay a reasonable size and give the benefit of eating snails.

02-03-2003, 12:42 AM
I would not recommend the angelicus syno (polka dot). I have one and when it was small, it got along fine with the discus and other tankmates fine, then when it grew larger, it became agressively territorial - killed off my goldnugget pl*co, bites the clown loaches, and now and then, chases the discus when they venture beneath the driftwood.

I'm sure individual syno angelicus fish will vary with temperment, but I'm going to auction mine off at the local club auction later this month.

FWIW, I also have the true upside down syno nigriventrus (sp?) catfish and it leaves my discus alone (and has been peaceful for the 6+ years I've had it).



Anna Piranha
02-07-2003, 10:48 AM
I keep one Black Ghostknife, 3 Penguin Tetras, and 2 Corys. The Ghostknife lives in a plastic tree stump and poses no problem to the Discus at all, as he is very lazy. At feeding time he hangs his head out of his house and just vacuums up the falling bloodworms. New Discus to the tank are initially VERY freaked out by him as they swim by the stump and catch a glimpse of something moving in the shadows. They quickly acclimate to this tankmate, however.

Neon Tetras never worked, because I'd wake up and they would all be gone. When asked about what happened to them, the Discus just nudge each other and finally offer this explanation: "Um, they went into the Witness Protection Program. Yeah, that's it." :wasntme: Very suspicious if you ask me. It is more likely that they were sleeping with the fishes ;D

Careful with Black Ghostknife when medicating a tank. They are a scaleless fish and some medications (I think Ich meds are one) will kill them.

02-07-2003, 11:44 AM
So what you're saying is that neons make good tankmates, but only for one day. Look at all the money you save on live blackworms though.

02-12-2003, 11:14 AM
I was thinking of adding a couple schools of corys for my tank, and was trying to decide between the following varieties. Does anyone have an opinion?



02-12-2003, 01:51 PM
If you can afford the sterbae I'd get them! Most shops around here sell them for 10-15.00 apiece though. Adolfi are another pretty species, but don't cost as much.

02-12-2003, 05:55 PM
I've got julii (and trifasciata, they are hard to tell apart) but they haven't done particularly well. My tanks are on the hot side though. I think cories do better at 82 degrees and below (in general). I've heard there are differences between the different kinds of cories as to their heat ranges. The julii can take 82 though, I don't know about the others.