Raising Discus isn’t an easy task and requires a plethora of physical work. But if you are determined to achieve your goal, then it is totally worth it.
How to ensure proper growth of Discus? Discus require warm water (approximately 30 degrees Celsius) which needs to be changed daily. High protein food needs to be provided frequently. It is also important to keep a check on the air pump for proper oxygenation of the tank water.
Discus are known to be the “King of Aquarium Fish”. Even after you follow the correct tips for growing your Discus faster and bigger, you may fail to complete your mission. If you read further on, I’ll guide you on what you are doing wrong.
Why isn’t your discus growing faster?
Even though you may be doing everything correctly, there might be some area where you are lacking in terms of discus fish care. Therefore, I am here to guide you properly through each step.
It is never a single action that helps in the growth of a discus. It is always a combination of conditions that are fully synced to attain the perfect growth for fish. The tank should be frequently cycled, all the parameters including temperature, pH of water, and oxygen level should be well monitored.
Firstly, you need to make sure your Discus is not stunted. If it is, then there is little chance for it to grow any bigger. Even though there are some tips on growing a stunted discus, they can never grow to their full potential.
Stunted fish pass on their genes to their young ones when they reproduce, hence such newly born discus also can’t grow to their full potential. You shouldn’t breed stunted discus if you are wishing for their offspring to grow to their proper size.
Secondly, you shouldn’t be looking to grow them bigger; instead, try breeding a quality discus. There are no shortcuts to breeding a healthy discus fish. This requires immense hard work if you want a good size, body form, and color as a result. They require a healthy start if you want them to grow bigger at a faster pace. So, the details mentioned below need to be followed strictly and perfectly.
Food for Discus
Food plays a very vital role in a Discus fish’s growth. Usually, high-protein flake food is preferred for them. They, however, also enjoy beef/goat’s heart. Along with that, the addition of frozen bloodworms and artemia makes a healthy diet for them. Most Juvenile Discus can grow faster with this diet. Freshwater live food is more preferable for them.
The number of times you feed your discus fish highly depends on their size. If they are 2-3 inches long, then feeding them every 2 hours is compulsory. If they are between 4-5 inches, then feeding them 5 times a day is fine. However, if they are above 5 inches in size, then feeding them three times a week is fine.
There is one important factor that you need to consider while feeding discus fish; it is not healthy for the stomach of a Discus to be fed cold, frozen food.
When you are feeding them frozen bloodworms and artemia, make sure you boil them first. After boiling the food, scatter small pieces of food across the aquarium so that any discus doesn’t have to struggle to eat the food.
Young ones are to be fed every two hours. They grow more rapidly when they eat brine shrimps. However, once they grow above 1 inch, then they refrain from eating brine shrimps as it is too small for them.
Water Conditions for Discus
Water quality needs to be on point when rearing discus and the temperature needs to be constant. If your aquarium is placed in a room with no air conditioning and the weather is warm, then you don’t have to worry. However, if the weather isn’t warm i.e. temperature is lower than 30 degrees Celsius, then you need to maintain the temperature of the tank. The same case applies when you are keeping your aquarium in an air-conditioned room.
The pH of the water should be acidic to neutral. If it is alkaline, then discus fish will have difficulty in growing and will be more likely to get diseases. Therefore, the pH of the water is to be strictly maintained.
Water filtration and treatment is extremely important if you are planning on growing your discus faster and bigger. Try changing 25-50% of the water once or twice a week.
One thing to remember is that if you are using activated carbon to clean your water, then make sure your discus doesn’t live in the water while you are treating it, otherwise they will be in serious trouble.
Another important factor is the quantity of water in the tank. 65 gallons of water is sufficient for 5-6 adult discus. Around 50 gallons of water is required for young adult discus who are minimum 4 inches in size. If they are around 2 to 3 inches then 30 gallons of water is enough for them. The size of the aquarium depends upon the quantity of water and the accessories you are using.
Growth Rate of Discus
Discus can grow 5-6 inches in a year. They grow approximately 2-2.5 inches in 3 months. They grow around 3-4 inches in 5 and a half months and 5.5 inches in a year.
Before two years, they are to grow 6-7 inches and become healthy adults. These are the average growth rates of Discus. Of course, exceptions are made by some fish as they either grow faster or don’t grow at all if they are stunted.
Features of Discus
Discus has gills at either side of its body which needs to work in sync if they are normal and have no disabilities. The common color of discus is medium brown which is easily visible when buying a fish of 2-2.5 inches. Discus normally have a dark-colored band around their eyes. They usually have attractive red eyes, but some of them have blue, brown or green eyes. Males are usually more colorful as compared to females. Discus which are 4-4.5 inches in size have more vivid colors in their body.
Growing discus (Video)
Why is my Discus getting sick? Your discus might be getting sick due to lack of food and polluted environment. Even though you are providing food frequently, the tank tends to get polluted when the food you put in it is not consumed by the fish. You need to make sure the food that you are providing is eaten by your Discus, otherwise the tank will get polluted and they will get sick due to an unclean environment. They may, also, be getting sick due to the alkalinity of water. Therefore, you should make sure it is neutral.
What is the average life span of a Discus? If your discus is kept in optimum conditions, then they can live as long as 15 years and grow up to 8 inches long. However, if they are not provided with favorable conditions and not given food that has proper nutrition, then there are high chances of them dying sooner or not growing to their full potential.
What is the best size for purchasing Discus? It is preferred to purchase Discus when they are around 2-2.5 inches in size. If you are a beginner, then it is very important for you to purchase fish in that size because if you don’t, then you wouldn’t be able to spot common disabilities in them. When they are 2-2.5 inches in size, you can identify their deformities like the twisted mouth or misshaped gill covers. An experienced aquarist can look at such a discus and know what it will look like when it grows up.