How To Safely Acclimate New Discus

Acclimating new Discus to your tank is a very important step. Not taking the time to do it properly can cause irreparable damage to your Discus, even death.

This article covers some easy to follow techniques to get your new Discus started happily in their new home.

acclimate new discus

Float The Bag (Don’t Do This)

The most common way your local fish store will tell you to acclimate 99.9% of all your fish is to “Float The Bag” the fish came in. In short here is what this does:

Heat transfer so bag water and tank water matchup
Allows for a quick hello for tank mates
Gives your Discus time to lay on its side, note this is not a good thing

Floating The Bag has only one positive and that is the heat transfer between bag water and tank water. The chemistry of the water will still be a shock to your Discus when it is introduced into the tank. So how can we take care of this? Let's read on…

The Bucket Method

I LOVE BUCKETS! There, I said it, it had to be said. You can never have too many buckets, ever. This is why.

When you purchase a new Discus you can take your bucket with you. Fill the bucket one-quarter of the way full with water from the breeder or fish store. Enough to cover your Discus without the bucket weighing a ton. Place a lid on the bucket to keep the Discus from jumping out. Buckets are not transparent so the Discus gets a nice calm place to relax on its journey to your home. And finally, the best reason that buckets are great, acclimation!

Here is what you need:

A spare heater
A plastic cup to transfer water
Possibly a mop or towel, in case of spills
A timer
A fishnet

Here is how you do it:

Place the bucket containing the Discus near the tank that will become its new home
Place the spare heater in the bucket and set it to match the temperature in the tank
Using your cup, transfer a full cup of tank water into the bucket
Set the timer about ten minutes
When the timer goes off, add another full cup of tank water to your bucket
When the bucket is about half full, or still light enough to lift, stop!
You can now either pour in the contents of the bucket into your tank, removing water as needed to lift the bucket or using a net scoop the new Discus out and place it in the new tank

Acclimating Discus via buckets is much more beneficial than the “Float The Bag” method. It allows for the transitional acclimation of water and its variation in chemistry. In other words, it makes switching from the old water to the new water easier.

Questions For You?

Do you have a different way of acclimating your Discus?

Do you own a bucket for your Discus?

What is the strangest container you have used to transport your Discus?

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