View Full Version : How Many Discus are OK?????

02-01-2006, 01:02 AM
I am new to the Discus hobby. I've had African Cichlids and Oscars for many years, but I've always admired Discus. So I read up on them and got started with some. I have a 55 gal tank, I have 9 Black Neons, one Plecostamus, and one Angelfish (Sunset Blushing). I later incorporated 4 Discus in my tank, 2 Red Turqs, one Brilliant Blue Diamond, and one Royal Blue Tiger-they were all about 3 inches each. My Royal Blue passed away about one month ago, but the others I've had for almost 3 months and they are doing great. I'm wondering if I can add any more Discus to my tank, and if so, how many would be a suitable amount. Also-is it good to have even numbers? I've noticed that all 3 get along for the most part, but two of them seem to be "buddies" and don't hang out with the other one too often. Anyone's feed back would be greatly appreciated!

02-01-2006, 01:45 AM
Hi Danielle, there's just something about those discus ay? :) Nothing quite like the majestic true king of the aquarium. 6-8 discus is recommended as they feel more comfortable in groups, I believe in the wild they school in rather large groups. In saying that I grew out 5 and they were happy enough. It is best to get as many as you can afford and also what your tank can fit. The more you get the more the pecking order is spread out so if any one discus is getting hassled it won't be so much in a larger school. 10 gallons per adult discus is recommended but you can have a few more if you do daily water changes to keep the water quality at a premium. You can also fit more juveniles in than adult discus so if you have multiple tank syndrome you can always get more now and as they grow move some around. Discus do better on their own and due to the other fish you will have to max at 5 adult discus IMO. You don't need even numbers at all, in fact feng shui suggests 3 goldfish is the ideal lucky amount which is obviously an odd number ;)

Goodluck discus buying

White Worm
02-01-2006, 01:54 AM
Welcome Danielle, you should be able to keep 6-7 discus with no problem in your 55g. If you purchase more, make sure you QT. I think most would go with an odd number. No matter what, you will see buddies hang together and there will always be the outcast one, lowest man on the totem pole. Accepted standard is 1 discus per 10g (sub to adult size). As long as you have a good wc process, you should be fine. keep an eye on your water parameters. You are in the right place for your new adventure into discus keeping! Mike
PS Keep an eye on the pleco because sometimes they prefer discus slime as a snack.

02-01-2006, 02:41 AM
wow.. so I thought I was topped out with 6 in my 125 gallon. So your telling me I CAN HAVE MORE!!! **evil grin**

.... I dont have them in a bb tank tho. Its a planted, doesn't make a difference does it?

02-01-2006, 03:06 AM
Tanks with substrate cannot maintain such a high water quality with regular water changes as you can with a BB tank with regular water changes. So yes you can still put them all in, but the water quality won't be as good.

02-01-2006, 03:45 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss. :(
A 55 gallon bare bottom tank can hold about 6 discus. Always remember the 1 discus to 10 gallon rule (55 gallon / 10= 5.5 discus). Even though they are small, they still need 10 gallons per fish to grow to adults. You said you currently have 3 in the tank. You can get 3 more but you need to quarantine the 3 new ones before adding them to your tank. When I have discus or fish in quarantine, I treat them for external and internal parasites and watch them closely for any illness. I usually quarantine for at least one month before adding them to my tank. Like Mike has suggested watch your placo as they get bigger they sometimes like the taste of discus sides to algae. A bristle nose placo is the best for discus. ;)

Yes you also can add more to your tank but it is best to add adults to the tank rather then younger ones seeing it is planted. You can fit about 13 adult discus in a 125, again using the 1 discus to 10 gallon rule. If you are thinking of getting small ones, like Luca said the water quality would be difficult seeing that younger discus need lots of feeding and water changes. This will hurt your planted tank :(
Best if you grow them out in a bare bottom first then add them to your planted tank. As with Danielle, you will need to quarantine the adults or Juvis you purchase. But YES, you can add 6-7 more DISCUS!! ;)

02-01-2006, 05:13 AM
wow Amber you have only 6 in a 125?? I would have a good 15 or so in there.. If you provide good water quality then you can afford to break the 1 to 10 gallon rule.. very few people practice it and I can garantee you very few breeders follow it either.. Give them good water, lots of it.. Daily waterchanges and you will be ok..


It is prudent to follow the 1 to 10 gallon rule if you clean the tank only once or twice a week....


02-01-2006, 06:21 AM
i have 13 discus in a 5x2x2 with bolivian rams,. neons, (which get ate by (discus), corydoras, britsletnose catfish, congo tetras (AMAZING FISH - MALES ONLY), 2 clowns ( which do sometimes suck the slime off the discus - but not often):confused: , siamese fighters, and this new strain of swords that have fins like bettas but theyre bright orange (lovely fish). My faves are the albino corys - i love 'em !!!!!

they all get on fine, i dont muck about with ph-ups & downs - whatever comes outa the tap does them - we have good water here.;)

Discus do best with consistency - ph uppers asnd downers dont work longer than 48 hours at most - just aged tap water or a good neutraliser is best - I use a product thats called Geo Liquid - all natural.

AND I HATE TO SAY THIS - BUT BARE BOTTOM TANKS work better with discus.

Trust saint Yip :angel: if you dont do 2 to 3 w/cs per week with gravel!!!!

02-01-2006, 06:38 AM
with the last post, if you like neons which I don't reccomend with discus, then get cardinal tetra's, bigger, prettier and can take the abuse if they're big.
With congos, don't feed hard large granulated dry pellets to discus, congo's eat them and they are too hard for their soft mouths and cause deformities.
I have had similar setup, but gave up on neons cause they always got white spot due to stress of being with larger fish.

02-01-2006, 08:31 AM
awesome!! I do water changes twice a week. I wouldn't put any juvies in my tank just because of the fact that my others are pretty big and I've always heard not to mix juvies with adults because the adults would pick on em. I wouldn't go any smaller than my smallest discus.

Wait till the hubby finds out I can have more discus Muahahahahahah ;)

02-02-2006, 02:06 AM
I am truly touched by all the responses I received! I must say-I didn't expect that! I do want to add to everything else I mentioned in my previous posting, that my tank is not bare, I do have gravel, driftwood, a couple pieces of slate as well as several live plants that are thriving quite well! I do have a Fluval 304 canister filter with pre filter ceramic chips, peat moss, and Ammo-Carb as my filter media. I also have an under gravel that is powered by a reverse flow (sponge filter) power head. I do 50-75 % water changes 2-3 times per week and I'd say about 50% of the time I use de-ionized water for exchanges. Sometime within the next year I am moving and my water supply is going to be RO water(d/T septic/well system), which I know is a plus. But for now with what I have, would 2-3 more discus be a safe bet in my tank, or not????? And does anyone have any breeders that they would recommend that are fairly reasonable as far as price/guarantee well as good quality & selection? The ones that I have now are from Somethingsphishy.com and I have no complaints, but I am open to any other recommendations. Thanks again for all of your feedback guys!!!! A good weekend to you all!!!!!!!!!! :)

02-12-2006, 11:39 PM

In the Chicago area you should check out Windy City Discus.

(Chris Zukowski in Carpentersville, Illinois. Just north of Elgin)

I have gotten several discus and a few other things like Rams, and Pliecos from him. (I'm in Rockford) Always top quality and you can drive over and pick them out. No stress or expense from shipping.