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Aquarium Net Guide - What you need to know ( before you buy )!

aquarium fish net

Nothing more essential for your fish tank than an aquarium net. You will have to chase and capture your fish or some little critter. What you will want to avoid is snagging your prized fish and tearing fins when doing so. Below is a guide to help you better understand what net you need and for what to use it on!

NET TYPE: Fine Mesh vs. Standard Mesh

Mesh size is very important, especially when dealing with smaller critters or delicate finned fish. Your standard mesh aquarium net is going to be your all purpose tool. You dropped something in your tank, you get your standard mesh aquarium net. For stronger less ornate fish, you can also use your standard aquarium net.

When it comes to finer items you need to pick up, like left over food, you want to use a fine mesh aquarium net. Food like beef heart or bloodworms can slip through the holes of a standard net. Using a fine mesh aquarium net will help clean up all the bits and pieces that would get away.

If you have delicate or veil type fined fish, a fine mesh aquarium net will help protect them from tears or fin damage. Depending on the fish, their spines may still protrude and snag a bit, you will have an easier time handling and detangling with a finer mesh aquarium net.

NET SIZE: Small, Medium, Large and EXTRA Large

Aquarium nets come in several different sizes. Depending on your aquarium, you might want to consider keeping several sizes.

Smaller aquarium nets are great for getting in small tight spaces and quickly snagging up smaller tank dwellers like shrimp.

Medium to Large aquarium nets are your general all purpose nets. These nets give you the versatility of scooping up the majority of aquarium fish, so you get the most bang for your buck here.

Extra large aquarium nets are generally reserved for specialty tanks. Specialty tanks are aquariums that have larger fish that need the extra large opening to capture. Specialty tanks can be breeding or bare bottom tanks, so extra large nets will not be bothered by decorative rocks or plants. With an extra large aquarium net, you are scooping quickly, in and out, but you need the room in your tank to use them.

HANDLE SIZE: Short vs Long Handle

Depending on the depth of your tank, you will want to consider a short handle vs a long handle.

A short handle can come in handy if you keep a shallow depth tank like an coral tank or smaller ten gallon tank. Most if not all corals or fish will be accessible from a short distance from the top of the tank. If you get a longer handle, you may end up with odd angles trying to get something out at a relatively shallow depth.

A longer handle will help if you have a larger or deeper tank. Eventually you will end up submerging your arm deep in your tank, soaking your shirt sleeve, it happens. With a larger handled aquarium net, you will have the ability to reach further into your tank before your hand or arm get wet. Longer handles are designed for deep tanks or larger 100+ gallon tanks.

BEST OVERALL: Marina 10 inch aquarium net

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If you need an all purpose net that will help capture your fish with minimal possibility of fin damage, look at the Marina 10 inch aquarium net. It come with 12 inch handle that will give you the reach you need in most tanks without it becoming awkward. The Marina aquarium net has a bright blue protective coating that helps prevent corrosive rust and gives it a nice grippy feeling in your hand even when wet.

SANITIZE: Keeping Aquarium Nets Clean

If you have several tanks in your fish room, you may want to consider having a net dedicated to each of your tanks. Cross contamination can happen quickly if you are dipping the same net from one tank to another.

The cost of buying a dedicated net for each of your tanks is much more affordable than treating all of your tanks for an outbreak or disease.

More so for breeders and advanced hobbyist who go through long hours and dedication to keep their tanks disease free. If you have two or more tanks consider buying extra nets to avoid sick fish.

If for whatever reason you just can't seem to get another net, you should at the very least be sanitizing your net between uses. How do you do this?

Have you ever been in a barbershop and you see them pull out a comb from blue liquid? The blue liquid is a sterilizer, it kills bacteria and viruses on the comb before it used on someone else.

Similarly, there is a blue liquid product called Net Soak, it is also blue and also sanitizes your nets, just like the combs at the barbershop.

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If you have an extra bucket, you can follow the instructions and setup a quick aquarium net bath to keep your nets clean. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...

Keeping your fish safe and preventing disease can be as simple as keeping your aquarium net clean.

Closing Thoughts...

Certain things we just can't go without, an aquarium net is one of them. Take a moment to get the best net for your fish before you cause irreversible fin damage or worse yet, death due to net snags.

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Marina 10Inch Fine Nylon Net with 14Inch Handle Blue Marina 10Inch Fine Nylon Net with 14Inch Handle Blue

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Take the precautions needed to keep your fish nets clean using Net Soak and if you are an advanced hobbyist or breeder, you should have a net for each of your tanks. Perhaps you might think it's a bit overkill, but you know disease spread very fast. If you think it hurts to lose a prized fish, don't wait to feel what it's like to lose them all due to illness.

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Water for Discus Fish

If you are looking into getting started with Discus fish, you know that water parameters are important. The Discus you will be buying are far removed from their home in the Amazon and recreating the exact water conditions found in the wild is not necessary. With a little bit of planning and the right equipment you can setup your Discus fish to comfy and thriving in clean soft water.

pH Parameters

Let's talk a little about pH, which in simple terms, is how acidic or alkaline the water source is. Measured very easily with a pH meter, first test your water straight out of the tap. A pH meter will let you know if you will need to use special equipment or process the water.

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Discus thrive water with a pH between 5 and 7, your best bet is split the difference with a pH of 6. Lower pH values are tied to [discus breeding](https://tropicalfish.io/article/149/discus-breedin... but if you are just getting started, you won't need to worry about that for now.

Reading above a pH of 7.5 will begin to stress your Discus fish and can lead to health issues or even death. Be very careful about using chemicals to regulate your pH levels as they may cause large swings in pH values. Try treating your water with peat, use a container or trash can to pre-treat the water you will use for your water change. Then you can aerate and test the pH levels before making your water change.

Temperature

Discus can do very well in temperatures between 80 and 88 degrees fahrenheit. Keep in mind the warmer temperatures will cause your Discus metabolism to increase, making them hungrier. If you have a species tank, keeping the tank warmer is great, if you share the tank with other fish, they may not do so well with the higher temperature.

Strongly suggest you use an inline heater that attaches to your canister filter or if you have smaller hang on filter, some come with heaters built in. Discus can get injured or burned by heaters inside the tank. You can even get burned when cleaning the inside of your tank. Don't risk injury to yourself or discus.

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Water Hardness

The minerals in your water such as calcium, iron, etc. and is measured in ppm or parts per million. You can easily measure your water hardiness out of your tap by using a water hardiness meter or TDS meter. The TDS or total dissolved solids will vary from region to region, so it is important you know what the TDS value is straight out of your tap. This will let you know if you will require a water pre-filter like an R.O. or Reverse Osmosis unit.

TDS for discus should be ideally between 200 to 300 ppm. Anything lower is reserved for breeding and anything higher may risk the overall health and growth of your discus fish.

Water Changes

Keep your water clean, but how much water do you need to change and how often? For the average hobbyist keeping debris off the bottom of the tank and weekly water changes of about 25% should be just fine. For the more advance hobbyist and breeders, they are focusing on maximizing discus fish growth and preparing for breeding, naturally their water changing routines are going to differ. That is where you read about daily or twice daily 100% water changes. If you are not an advanced hobbyist or breeder, your discus will do just fine with weekly water changes as long as you keep your tank clean overall and have a powerful canister filter to polish your tank water.

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Discus Fish For Sale
The Ultimate Discus Buying Guide

There are three ways you can buy discus, from a hobbyist, a breeder and a local tropical fish store. Everyone is trying to cash in and recoup costs of raising discus, so you need to be sharp, know what to look for and even more important, know how to strike the best deal.

discus fish for sale

Discus quality will vary, meaning, hobbyist and breeders will probably have the healthiest selections. Tropical fish stores might cary a few rare strains but you will pay top dollar every time. You will have to make choices to get the most value for every dollar you spend for your discus.

In this guide, we hope to breakdown where to find great values, what you will need when you go shopping for discus and how to strike the best deal.

Discus For Sale in Online Classifieds

So you got a few dollars and you want to get started with discus, online classifieds is the way to go. You will most likely be buying from a hobbyist or small time breeder who will give you a good deal. For many who don't have a local tropical fish store in or near your town, online classifieds might be your only option to find discus.

A popular choice is [craigslist](http://craigslist.org and you can search their pets section for your area. Most of the times you can search for "discus fish" and you will have ads popping up with "Discus For Sale", "Discus Fry with Parents" or even the occasional "Proven Breeding Pair".

If you see an ad you like, send an email or get on the phone quickly, most of the time, discus will sell quickly. You will probably talking to a hobbyist like yourself who has a few too many discus, like you could ever have too many discus right? Experienced hobbyist buy these discus fast, so don't waste too much time, if you are interested and the pictures look good, pick up the phone and get down their quickly to make the deal.

Sometimes, local pet stores who picked up a discus or two will post ads that seem to be from hobbyist. Most of the time, these postings will lead to less than desirable discus. The local pet store is just trying to off load poor quality discus and recoup their money. Unfortunately, someone will eventually buy them, just make sure it's not you.

Discus For Sale by Breeder

If you are lucky enough to live near a discus breeder, you need to pick up the phone and schedule a time to visit. Discus breeders are highly experience hobbyist who have mastered the art of discus breeding to the point that they now have so many discus, they have to sell them.

Good discus breeders will have a wide selection of discus fish by size and strain. Even what they call undesirables are probably bigger and better quality than what you will find at a local pet store. The reason is, a discus breeder will be doing regular water changes and feeding high quality protein based food, leading to healthier and larger discus.

You will have to pay a bit more when you deal with a discus breeder, because they will be looking to recoup some of the expenses of raising and breeding so many discus. What you will get in return is a wealth of knowledge from a local expert and healthy large discus who have been bred and raised in local water environments.

Discus For Sale by Importer

Every once in a while you will run across someone who imports discus from different parts of the world. You need to have saved up a bit of cash in order to buy from importers as they have made the expense to have discus flown in and have to recoup a bit more than the average hobbyist or breeder. In return, you could be buying some very rare strains that could lead to breeding pairs that you could later sell or sell the fry, but I digress.

Importers often sell directly to hobbyist as well as local tropical fish stores. Look out for discus health when dealing with importers. In some cases their discus have been flown in from half way around the world. Raised in different water, fed different food and could be carrying unknown bacteria or parasites. Importers like to move fish quick, so the discus may look great in their tanks but not yet be showing signs of illness. If you do buy from an importer, ask what they guarantee is or at the very least, ask to see the manifest of when the discus you are interested in arrived and was place in their tank.

Sometimes it's a gamble, a very rare discus can be an awesome show piece in your tank. You may want to ask if you can put a deposit on the fish and let it sit for a week or two at the importers before moving it to your home tank. If it dies, then it was on their watch and you should be able to apply your deposit on a different discus or get your money back.

Discus For Sale by Tropical Fish Store

For so many, this is the first way we buy discus. Ultimately, tropical fish stores buy their discus from large scale fish importers and hatcheries. Every once in a while a hobbyist might offload a batch of fry in exchange for fish food. Typically, tropical fish store are cutting large deals from the same people you have access to if you did a little bit of leg work. Tropical fish stores will sell the same discus for two or three times mark up. This is not an anti-capitalist post, if the tropical fish store or even you can get three times mark up, great! As a buyer, you are trying to get the most value for your money, so be aware that by making a few online searches and phone calls, you could buy the same or better discus yourself and save money.

What To Bring With You When Buying Discus

Assuming that you have decided to buy from a hobbyist or breeder, you will need to bring your own supplies to transport your discus home. You will want to invite a friend or relative to come along, never go alone to someone home that you just met online! Discus is a fun hobby, but you never know who's home you will be entering, be safe and bring someone with you, also let someone know where you are going.

Aside from your friend or relative you will want to bring:

a large fish net a five gallon bucket with lid gallon sized zip lock bags if you don't have a bucket

Most hobbyist will not have the fancy fish bags and rubber bands, you will need to bring your own transporting supplies. If you have nothing else, bring a box of gallon sized zip lock bags. Zip lock bags tend to leak, so bring a box and double or triple bag your fish.

You can find a five gallon bucket at your local hardware store, they sell lids for them too, so buy both the bucket and lid. The last thing you want to deal with is a discus who has jumped out the bucket and on your car floor while you are driving. The movement of your driving will spook your discus, so be warned, put a lid on the bucket!

Ask the hobbyist or breeder if you can fill your bucket with their tank water. Fill about half way only, you will need to carry this to your car and in to your home. Half way filled will provide enough oxygen and swimming room while you transport your fish home. It will also make it light enough for you if you have to go up several flights of stairs.

After you get home, setup a quarantine tank, a small ten gallon or twenty gallon will do. Since you only about two and half gallons in your bucket, you cant just dump your fish in. Begin to cycle in some of your own tank water into the bucket, about a giant plastic cup full ( the kind of cup you get at fast food places ) every few minutes.

You want to acclimate your new discus to the different water and temperature gradually, instead of a giant shock. When you have your bucket about three quarters of the way full and your quarantine tank is setup with filter and heater, remove water from the bucket to make it light enough to lift. You won't need much water in the bucket to pour your new discus fish in to it's new tank.

Alternatively, you could use a net to pull out your new discus, the pouring method works best. Sometimes, when discus get spooked, especially when moving to a new environment, they get stuck in nets. Discus sometimes extend their fins and the tiny bones in their fins get caught in the net causing fin tearing which could lead to bacterial infection. Pouring the new discus in avoids this and is quicker.

How To Strike A Deal When Buying Discus

Discus are expensive, there is no way around that. In order to get the best deal you will need to get creative. If you have an issue with trying to get the most for your money, then by all means, pay full price. But if you see buying discus for what it is, then you know that haggling and negotiating is par for the course.

METHOD ONE: BORROW FROM A FRIEND This requires you to bring a friend or family member with you, you should any way for safety reasons. First, before you leave your home, know how much you are willing to spend. Count out your money and give half to your friend or relative to hold for you before you leave.

When you are ready to make a deal, negotiate hard, try get the best price possible. Occasionally, even with your best negotiating, the price will be firm. At this point, you can count the money you have in front of the buyer and try one last time by making it obvious that this is all the money you have. If the price stands firm, now you can turn to your friend and ask if you can borrow some money, of course it's your money, but have your friend or relative ask you how much. Have them have a back up story, like it's their rent money or something like this, make the make you swear you will pay it back promptly. Have your friend or relative lend you as much as half, holding back the rest to see if you can get a better price. Don't be afraid to walk away, sometimes the seller finally relents knowing that a sale negotiated hard is better than letting walk away. In the end, it was all your money and you could save quite a bit, don't forget to get your money back from your friend or relative once you get home.

METHOD TWO: BUY FRY If you don't have cash to buy larger sized discus, going small might be your best bet. Hobbyist that are new to discus might be overwhelmed when they go from two discus to feed to feeding 50 or 75 discus. In this case, you might want to strike a deal to buy the entire batch of fry. Discus tend to double or triple in price once they go from nickel sized to quarter sized up to two or three inches, giving you the opportunity to later sell and recoup some of the money you have invested while keeping the best discus for yourself. If negotiating gets tough, remember to use method number one above and "borrow" money to get a great deal.

METHOD THREE: BUY BREEDING PAIRS When buying a breeding pair of discus, it's like buying a goose that lays golden eggs. What you are looking for are rare pairs, let me warn you, it can be very expensive when buying rare breeding pairs. Common breeding pairs of blue diamonds or pigeon blood discus can range between $100 to $300, when you get into rare strains with spots or colors, the price can go up fast.

if you are buying a breeding pair, you are planning on have several tanks and raising fry. This has a cost all on it's own, be ready to take this on. Make sure that you actually see the breeding pair of discus either tending to eggs or with fry on their backs. It's too easy for hobbyist to put two large discus in a tank and call them a breeding pair. If you don't see the fry, then they are not a breeding pair. Even if you see eggs, they may not be fertilized, at the very least, you should see wrigglers. After all, you are paying top dollar, you need to verify that you are indeed receiving a true breeding pair of discus.

Use method one from above to negotiate hard, you should end up paying considerably more for a breeding pair. Be cautious of a cheap deal, there is no deal if you do not see fry. In the long run you will want to make your money back buy selling fry in batches while selecting a few "high quality" discus to keep for yourself. Selling individual discus takes too long, selling entire batches of small quarter sized fry helps get money in and tanks bare. If you hold them a bit longer, selling six packs of two or three inch discus can help move discus faster.

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Discus Fish Food Guide

When feeding your discus, you want to make sure you provide adequate nutrition to allow for growth and health. Several options are available to you, but first you must learn and understand what your feeding your discus. Not all food is created equal and not all food can be used as a singular source of nutrition. This discus fish food guide is to help you better understand how to feed your discus a variety of foods to ensure optimal discus growth and health.

discus fish food guide

Types of Discus Food

Discus fish food comes in several variations, including flake, granules, frozen and live food. You can find direct sources of protein as well as proprietary blends that include vitamins and color enhancers.

Ultimately, you want your discus to live long and grow to their fullest potential. Not one food can do that alone, just like you can't eat only one food source and be healthy, neither can your discus. Below are the major categories of discus fish foods and a breakdown of how to use them.

Flake Food

Feeding Discus flake food can provide nutritional value when given as a snack or blended into homemade food. Flake food alone will prove to be difficult for your discus to live off alone.

Like your daily multi-vitamin, most flake food contains essential macro nutrients. This can include vitamins and color-enhancers that you may or may not want.

Flake food has it's negative side in that if over fed, can muck up your water quality quickly. As you can imagine, your discus will need to eat quite a bit of flake food to get full.

Flake food is a great supplemental snack or ingredient for blending into your own homemade fish food. Your discus could experience stunted growth or poor nutrition if fed flake food alone. For these reasons, use flake food sparingly and from high protein foods as a daily meal source for your discus.

Granular Food

Feeding granular food can provide your discus with further nutritional enhancements. Granular food is a bit heftier and can be a bit more filling than flake food. Some are specifically formulated for discus to enhance color.

Unfortunately, if all you do is feed your discus granular food, you will find the same problems as with flake food. Granular food can cause water quality issues if too much is left over and not cleaned up after meals. Granular food tends to fall into crevices, ornaments and the gravel surface, making complete clean up difficult.

Mixing granular food into your own homemade discus fish food can be a great way to supplement food given to your discus. Otherwise, use granular food as a treat or snack, make sure to clean up any left overs right away.

Freeze Dried Food

In instances where frozen food is not possible, freeze dried food can provide your discus with optional food varieties. Several companies offer assortment of beef heart and worms that have been freeze dried.

To feed freeze dried food, it is best to pre-soak the food before feeding to your discus. Pre-soaking will allow water absorption and expansion before you discus eats the food. It will keep the food from creating intestinal blockages and much easier for your discus to eat.

Freeze dried food is a great source of protein, right behind frozen and live foods as a preferred protein source. Daily feeding of freeze dried food is not recommended, instead, use freeze dried food to vary daily feedings.

Frozen Food

Frozen food is a great way to get high protein to your discus. Frozen beef heart and bloodworms are available in most pet stores. Packaged in small frozen cubes, you can find a variety of companies offering several frozen food options.

Some great options for frozen food include, beef heart, krill, shrimp and blood worms. Enabling you to provide several variations for daily feedings to your discus.

The trick to feeding frozen food is to first thaw it out. Many hobbyist plop a frozen cube in the water and watch their discus chase the cube around trying to eat it.

Imagine if your dinner was in a frozen block of ice and you were trying to eat it as it melted. Instead, drop the cubes in a container with warm water and thaw them out completely. You can then feed your discus ready to eat meals.

You can even find green foods that are frozen in gelatin. If you want to feed your discus vegetables or green leafy foods, frozen is a great source.

Home Made Food

Sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and do things yourself. This can include the making of your very own discus fish food. This by no means is an easy task, taking several hours and creating a bit of mess in your kitchen.

If you decide to make your discus food, it will consist of a protein source. Several sources are used such as beef heart, chicken, turkey fish and shrimp. DIY discus food recipes can be found scattered around the internet.

Most of the recipes will call for the protein to be cleaned, removing connective tissues and fats. Then the protein is ground up to provide a smoother consistency easier to ingest. At this point flake food, granular food as well as leafy greens or secondary proteins can be mixed in. Sometimes a secondary grounding of the protein is required. Some hobbyist mix in liquid vitamins at this point.

Then a binder is often used, such as flavorless gelatin to keep the food together and from falling apart when placed in your tank. All of this food is mixed up and then placed into molds or zip lock bags then frozen. Then you simply take out a cube or break off a piece, thaw it out and feed it to your discus.

It is a lot of work, you may even end up spending more making your own food. If you like knowing what you feed your discus and don't mind rolling up your sleeves, make your own discus food. It will give you new insights and control over what your discus eats.

Live Food

Probably the closest your discus fish will come to eating what they find in nature, live foods are an amazing source of nutrition. If you ever get an opportunity, observe discus eating live foods, you will never want to feed anything else again.

Live black worms are the most popular live food given to discus. Often a fork full of live worms are placed in a worm feeder, then stand back as discus begin to go into a feeding frenzy. Something about live food drives discus fish into a frenzy, gobbling up live worms as fast as possible.

Many will try to tell you live food is dangerous, due to parasites found in live food sources. Although it is a challenge to keep live food alive, if purchased from a reputable source, live food is a great option for your discus.

Live food will arrive in a sealed bag and must immediately be placed in a plastic container. You will have to rinse out your worms to remove dead worms once or twice a day. You will also need a mini refrigerator to keep your worms cool with just enough water in the container to keep them from drying out. The cool dark refrigerator mimics their environment and helps keep them alive.

It is HIGHLY recommended you use a separate mini refrigerator and not your main home refrigerator. Worms have been known to crawl up the sides of containers if too shallow, at times, even up and over. So the last thing you want is to find worms all over inside your home fridge.

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How to use Aquarium Salt with Discus Fish

Aquarium Salt can be used as a symptom reliever for stress when dealing with a sick discus or when acclimating a discus to new home. Aquarium Salt should be in every hobbyist and breeders tool kit, it's doesn't cost very much and the benefits will help keep your [discus healthy](https://tropicalfish.io/article/106/9-signs-to-spo... more than you know.

using aquarium salt with discus

How Much Aquarium Salt Should I Use?

Generally you are looking at a tablespoon of Aquarium Salt as a treatment. A tablespoon is equal to 3 teaspoons. The ratio should be 1 tablespoon or 3 teaspoons per 5 gallons of water. To be on the safe side, I like to use 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons of water because although discus benefit from the salt, it does introduce minerals, mostly sodium, into your water increasing hardness and discus prefer softer water.

What Can I Treat With Aquarium Salt?

Aquarium salt is a great multi-purpose treatment. If used correctly Aquarium Salt can help you treat your discus for the following symptoms.

Stress:

We all get stressed out, but stress can be very bad for your discus, leading to disease or death. When acclimating or medicating your discus in a quarantine tank, try placing a tablespoon of Aquarium Salt near or around your discus in a little pile. You will find that your discus will hover over this spot and enjoy some soothing benefits from the salt.

Bloat:

Sometimes your discus can eat too much, causing digestive issues and bloated abdomen. If disease or parasites are not suspected, quarantine your discus in a smaller tank and add a tablespoon of aquarium salt to the tank. Aquarium Salt has been used by discus hobbyist as a laxative to help discus pass blockages and return them to their regular tank when ready.

Rapid Breathing:

Anxious discus can demonstrate rapid breathing, but so can discus who are experiencing toxic water the prevents the gills from functioning correctly. Test your water to make sure your ammonia and nitrite reading are in line. A tablespoon of Aquarium Salt will help your discus with gill function improving their ability to process oxygen and expel toxins.

Aquarium Salt

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Is Aquarium Salt Safe for my fish?

In general, yes, Aquarium Salt is very safe for your fish. Like all things, if you over use, meaning you dump the entire contents of your salt container in your tank, it can be dangerous. So don't dump salt, measure out what you need based on your tank size.

Aquarium salt has been around for a long time and can be very helpful to your fish to acclimate to their new home. With a tablespoon of aquarium salt, you can help boost gill function of your fish while soothing them from their stress.

While treating your sick fish in a quarantine tank, aquarium salt is an incredible reliever of stress. Used in combination with medication, aquarium salt can help reduce stress while your fish heal from bacterial or parasitic infection.

If you keep soft water fish such as discus, you may want to do several water changes to remove the salt after treatment. Salt is a mineral and can potentially add to the hardness level of your water. Brackish water fish wont mind much at all, it's the soft water fish that may react to water chemistry changes.

This of course is only if you keep adding salt to your tank and not do water changes. Salt will evaporate from your tank, but not at fast enough levels. So if you do have soft water fish, after treatment, make sure to do water changes.

Any way you look at it, Aquarium Salt should be in your cabinet to help treat your discus. It has been around since the beginning of tropical fish keeping, it's all natural and proven to work. Plus, you can get a large container of Aquarium Salt for very little, that will last you a very long time.

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How to Choose the Best KOI Food

Your koi fish are a long term investment that require food to help them grow into full adults. Selecting the best koi food for your fish will require a little bit of planning and budget for best long term growth and over all health results.

best koi food

Pellets or Flake Koi Food?

Koi food comes in several varieties, including pellet and flake. Even though koi fish have teeth, most likely they will swallow their food whole. Koi do not give much thought to devouring their food and often times are jumping over each to swallow what falls in the water during feeding times.

Smaller koi should be fed flake, as it will be easier for them to swallow and decrease the chances of overeating leading to bloat. Young fish usually do not know when to stop eating and bulky pellet food can lead to problems with digesting.

Larger koi should be fed larger pellet food, although they are still likely to over eat, the pellet food is smaller in proportion to their larger body size and they have the extra room in their stomachs to hold a little more. If you feed pellet food, try to crumble between your fingers, it should be soft enough to break apart. If it is rock hard, it will be rock hard in your koi fishes stomach and difficult to digest. The best pellet koi food will be somewhat easy to crumble so when it does come in contact with water, it becomes even easier to digest.

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Source of Protein

Next, take a look at your koi food source of protein. It should be primarily from fish meal or other fish based source. Low quality koi food is going to contain very little to no fish source of protein. If you see plant based protein source, consider this a low quality koi food and avoid it.

Primarily Fish Meal High quality protein source, rich in amino acids and protein to support health and growth of your koi fish.

Fish Meal / Plant Based Medium quality protein source, still has fish based protein for amino and growth, but is blended with plant based protein to reduce cost of manufacturing. Not necessarily bad quality, probably more affordable while providing fish protein.

Primarily Plant Protein Low quality protein source, most if not all protein comes from non-aquatic or fish source. Manufacturers may provide similar protein ratios, take a good look at the source of the protein. Plant protein is not bad, it's when their are no signs of any fish protein that makes this food a lower quality.

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Discus Breeding Prep Guide

( What You Should Know Before Starting )

discus fish breeding

Here are some tips to getting your discus fish ready to begin breeding. Sometimes it can take all of these steps, sometimes it's just one or two small changes to get it right. Discus are very special when it comes to breeding, having their own mating rituals including the shimmy and bowing to each other.

Grow out your Juveniles to Adults Let Discus breeding pairs form naturally Feed protein rich food Keep water clean and acidic Provide clear vertical surfaces Prepare breeding tanks Move proven breeding pairs Let Nature Take It's Course

Grow out your Juveniles to Adults

Unless you are starting with a proven pair, most start with several smaller juvenile discus purchased in large groups and placed in a large tank. Buying proven pairs leap frogs you past several steps, but it comes with a large price tag. Proven breeding pairs typically will sell between $200 and even beyond $1000+ for rare color variations.

If you do not have deep pockets and want to get the most discus you can for your money, most start with buying smaller juvenile discus. Growing out juvenile discus is no easy chore, it can take several months and up to a year or so if you buy small coin sized discus. You will experience some losses as natural selection does happen and rarely do all fry survive into adults.

Keeping the water clean and frequent feedings is critical to strong development and growth. Legendary Discus breeder [Jack Wattley](https://wattleydiscus.com/ experimented with 100% water changes on smaller tanks several times a day on test tanks. Compared to tanks with fry from the same batch who's water was changed less frequently. The discus in the tank with the frequent 100% water changes grew out faster and larger than their siblings who received fewer frequent water changes. According to Mr. Wattley, same water and food was used plus feeding frequency remained the same. The only change was the amount of water changes per day.

The lesson, water changes are VERY important in growing out your discus as large as possible and keeping them as healthy as possible. Keeping water on stand by in a container for frequent water changes will help keep water stability and make frequent water changes easier. For example, if you have your tanks in the garage or a fish room, keeping extra water in a 50 gallon trash can with an airstone and heater will make water changes faster and easier.

Healthy discus grow out requires, water changes, high protein food and stabile water parameters.

Let Discus breeding pairs form naturally

You can't rush it, discus fish select their partners when they want not when you want. To improve your chances of growing out discus that will pair up, it is best to get 10 or more in a larger 65 to 100 gallon tank.

Assuming you are dealing with larger 5 to 6 inch larger juvenile or adult discus, providing enough space to swim an bond is critical. Typically you would want a bare bottom tank, meaning no gravel or decorations in the tank. Keeping the tank bare provides maximum swimming area as well as prevents injury to discus who tend to jet around the tank.

Four things to look for and spot discus who are pairing up...

The Shimmy

Discus that are ready to pair up begin to openly shimmy or shake in order to let others know they are ready to breed. Sometimes this behavior can be a bit aggressive if one discus is really trying to get the attention of a specific tank mate. The aggressive could include cornering a specific discus fish and shaking in front of him or her.

The Bow

Bowing is by far the most graceful of the breeding rituals. It starts with two discus fish who are pairing up swimming towards each other. As they get close to touching face to face, they immediately tilt downward in a "bowing" motion and continue to swim passed each other. They continue to do this, which in my experience tends to lead to stronger bonding and eventually leading to the next step.

Cleaning Vertical Surface

Next, if a pair forms, they may begin to peck at a specific area on the side of the tank or other vertical object, such as a filter tube or piece of wood or stone. What they are doing is removing algae and other growth, perhaps even making the surface more adhesive to better attach eggs.

Once vertical surface cleaning begins, the pair will become a bit more aggressive towards other discus in the tank. Protecting the area and chasing away other discus who swim to close. At this point you might want to begin preparing a separate tank, at least a 20 gallon tank to move your discus pair into. Don't move them yet, wait to see eggs and if the eggs hatch into wrigglers. Then and only then will you know if you have a viable pair.

Darker and Stripes

Not all, but in few cases pairing discus will show darker vertical stripes very prominently. Discus that are derived from Heckel will have a solid thicker bar down the center of the body. Mixed strains may still show narrow or thinner stripes and solid color discus may just become darker overall.

Feed protein rich food

Opinions differ when it comes to feeding discus quality high protein food. Some say beef heart, others frozen bloodworms and some will use live food like blackworms.

Before we get into what food to feed, let's understand why we are feeding a protein heavy food. Discus in the wild waters of the Amazon fed on large varieties of live foods. During the rainy season, water ways introduced rich sources of worms, insects and other live foods, creating a feast mode for discus. The rainy season brings freshwater, like a massive water change. As the water recedes an the rivers become acidic, healthy well fed discus begin to look for mates. This instinctual behavior, baked in to the genetics of discus, triggered by water chemistry and abundance of food is what we are trying to recreate.

Beef heart, at least in my experience, tends to muck the water. It is very fiberous, as it is muscle tissue and tends to spread around the tank and filter and decompose. This leaves two other options, frozen bloodworms or live blackworms.

Frozen bloodworms should be used as a secondary source of food next to live blackworms. Frozen bloodworms are easy to find at your local pet store and are affordably priced. Processed by trusted aquatic food manufacturers, frozen bloodworms offer very little to no risk of poor quality food.

Live blackworms, in my opinion, provide the best results in both growing out your discus and prepping them for pairing and breeding. [Aquatics Foods](https://www.aquaticfoods.com/ sells and delivers live blackworms directly to your home. If you ever want to see happy discus, feed them live food. Compared to flakes or pellets, live food drives discus into a feeding frenzy.

Nothing in my opinion, will grow out and get your discus ready to breed like live blackworms.

Keep water clean and acidic

Prepare to buy a solid performing Reverse Osmosis filter that will help you lower hardness of your water as well as clean out fine particles and chemicals from water that come out of your tap. Amazon carries a wide assortment of Reverse Osmosis units and you can daisy chain them to customize for your local water needs.

Since we can always go smaller, let's breakdown a larger 5 unit reverse osmosis unit:

Stage One Polypropylene Sediment Filter: This removes dirt, rust and other small particles floating in your water that may or may not be visible to the naked eye.

Stage Two Activated Carbon Filter: The activated carbon is used to remove harmful chemicals from the water that may have been introduced by your water provider or via contamination.

Stage Three Coconut Carbon Filter: This will remove chlorine, odors and other nasty chemicals that may have snuck through, extra protection to assure water is as chemical free as possible.

Stage Four RO Membrane: This removes up to 99% of total dissolved solids ( TDS ) from your water. Contaminates such as arsenic, lead, fluoride, chromium and just about everything else is trapped and removed from your water.

Stage Five Deionization: The final stage removes anything else that is left, mostly minerals like calcium, iron, copper, sodium and more.

If you do use a five stage RO unit, you will end up with water very close to zero TDS which is not great as Discus need certain minerals in the water to survive and function. You will only end up putting those minerals back in to your water, so why remove them in the first place?

In my experience a three stage RO unity works great, using a sediment filter, a carbon filter and RO membrane gets my water between 60 to 90 TDS which is ideal for discus breeding.

A few extras that got me along the way, if you have low water pressure, you will need ro water booster pump. What this does is takes the water coming in from your source and pressurizes it, pushing it through your arrow system and increasing your filtered water output. For example, my water pressure was too low in my home and it would take all day to produce enough RO water for my discus tanks, after introducing a water booster pump, it only took an hour, maybe two. Boosters are worth their weight in GOLD!

The second gotcha is a TDS meter, if you don't have one, get one now, they are not that expensive on Amazon and you will begin to understand just how much stuff is in your water. I started testing everything with it, tap water, tank water, even daily drinks. It's amazing how many particles are in water depending on sources. Using a TDS meter will help you better determine when you will need to change tank water as well as when you will need to change filter media from your RO unit. RO unit water will begin to significantly increase as filters become less efficient and your RO unit requires maintenance.

Final tip would be to have standby container that can hold your RO water. I used a rubber maid 50 gallon trashcan, you can choose to use a back up fish tank or other container. I did a few things in order to keep the RO water ready for water changes.

Heater I used a titanium heater with an external setting module and set the water temperature to match my tanks. This made sure I wasn't giving my discus the cold shower treatment every time I did water changes. It also gave me the ability to lower the temperature slightly to simulate the natural fluctuation of temperature caused by rain in the amazon to help induce breeding environments.

Peat Moss Using a nylon cord bag, I would fill it with peat moss that would release natural tannins into the water, lowering pH and helping my water to become more acidic. Mimicking the brownish water of the amazon created by decaying leaves and other organic material found in natural discus environments.

Powerhead A small powerhead was used to circulate water around to keep the water column at a constant temperature, didn't want the bottom water closer to the heater hotter than surface water. Second, it help pass water through the nylon mesh bag containing the peat moss.

Air Stone Lastly, I used an air stone powered by an air pump to help increase the oxygen levels in the water as well as stabilize the pH. I noticed that RO water would gradually increase in pH if added directly to my tanks after water changes. This would have a negative affect towards my discus breeding goals. Using the air stone allowed for the natural increase in pH to occur before adding the water to my discus tanks, keeping water parameters more stable overall.

To recap, having enough water on standby to complete a 100% water change should be your goal. You never know what may happen and you do not want to get stuck having to wait or use non-filtered water.

Provide clear vertical surfaces

Discus will lay eggs on just about anything, it doesn't matter if it's a breeding cone, drift wood or a pink sparkly castle. What you want to do is provide clean and accessible surfaces for discus to tend to eggs.

Here are some reasons why you need clear vertical surfaces:

Increases Fertilization Think about it, discus are a large fish, and each pass on the eggs by the male needs to be precise to increase the amount of eggs that get fertilized.

Discus Egg Care Discus fan their eggs to prevent eggs from developing bacteria. They also clean off dead eggs that turn white to prevent bacteria from spreading to fertilized eggs. If they can't reach their eggs easily enough, they can't tend to their eggs as effectively.

Egg Protection Strangely enough, other discus will attempt to eat eggs. Keeping a clear surface area will allow the parents to easily protect eggs from passing discus.

Visibility Lastly, you are observing discus in a large tank, so if a pair decide to become parents, you want to be able to quickly observe who are the parents and if the eggs are viable. It is not likely the new discus parents will raise their first batch of fry in a tank full of other discus.

Once you are able to spot out new parents and see wrigglers, you can confirm that you have a viable pair. Don't panic if the wrigglers are lost or eaten by the other discus in the tank. Begin preparing a tank for the new breeding pair and continue to monitor the pair. If they are bonded they will lay eggs again soon.

Prepare breeding tanks

Breeding tanks should be bare with the exception of perhaps a breeding cone. If you are just starting out, you will need sponge filter and heater in the tank as well. I found that using an air valve to control the flow of air from the air pump to the sponge filter as turbulent water can decrease the fertilization rate.

Here are a few tips for your new breeding tank setup:

Place in Low Traffic Area Discus breeding pairs will do better if there is not a lot of traffic walking by and if possible located at about chest to head level. Easy enough to do water changes, also placed in a more quite area with not a lot of stressors.

Use an Air Valve Using an air valve can help control how much air flows into your sponge filter and reduces how much turbulence is in the water column.

Protected Heater with Temp Control You don't want to keep sticking your hands in the tank, one way to minimize this is by using a heater with an external wall mounted temperature controller. So if you need to change the temperature in your tank, you can do it externally and without disrupting your discus environment. One more thing, newer heaters now come with protective covers that minimize or eliminate burns. Burns can happen if you or your discus get too close or touch the heater. Discus burns can become infected, use a heater that come with protective covers.

Use Big Tank Water When setting up your smaller breeding tank, use the tank water from the larger tank to help fast track the bacteria cycle in your new smaller tank. Remember your new sponge filter needs to develop the beneficial bacteria and cycle properly before you move your new pair into the tank. Having a water test kit will help determine and monitor your new tank as it cycles. Once the tank is cycled you can use water from your water changing source.

Block Sides and Back Discus breeding tanks, depending on location of tank, can benefit from blocking out the sides and back of the tank, leaving only the front of the tank clear. You can do this with paint, foil or paper, essentially minimizing moving objects to the front of the tank. Less likely your discus will get spooked or stressed by passing people or objects.

Move proven breeding pairs

Finally, you have monitored your new pair and noticed that they have had fertile batches of wrigglers several times in the larger discus tank. You have taken the time to setup your RO water system and breeding tank. You are ready to move your discus out of the main tank and place them in their new home.

Here are few tips to help with the move:

Move Discus During/After Feeding Discus are bit lethargic after eating, plus they are distracted by the food source an tend to not notice the approaching net.

Use Oversized Net Minimize the possibility of fin tearing or getting your discus stuck in the net. Use a higher quality oversized net to easily catch and remove your discus from the net. It will be stressful enough to change environments, the last thing you want is to introduce injury.

Use Water from Larger Tank Avoid using new water initially, use water from the larger tank in the new breeding tank to easily acclimate the breeding pair to their new home.

Don't Worry On rare occasion, moving a breeding pair can cause the bond to break and on even more rare occasions, never breed again. It can happen, but it is not very likely. The pair did just experience a stressful event and it may take a bit of time for them to lay eggs again. Don't worry about it, continue to keep parameters stable and feed regularly with high quality protein rich food. They will decide when the time is right.

What you want to avoid is changing things drastically that can increase stress loads. Be patient and allow what is natural to occur. Remember, they work on their own timeline, not yours. So stop counting how many dollars you will make per fry and let nature take it's course.

Let Nature Take It's Course

To wrap things up, I leave you with an old quote:

"Don't go counting your chickens before all your eggs have hatched"

It's easy to get caught up in visualizing your tanks full of discus fry. You start imagining tanks full of discus and perhaps even making some of the money back you have invested so far by selling some of your discus.

Breeding discus is a hard and thankless job, full of disappointments as well as rewards. Can you sell your discus for money, sure you can, will you be profitable early on, not likely. Enjoy the process early on, you will learn a lot, have several miserable moments and have great learning experiences.

If you choose to continue to scale your breeding to a full blown business, then you will have done it with hard earned knowledge and experience. Discus work on their own timelines, not yours. Keep that in mind and you will have a great many stories to share!

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##Aquarium Salt by API

Aquarium Salt has been used for years to help treat illness and reduce transportation stress when for sick or new fish moving into their new tank homes. Made from all natural evaporated sea salt, aquarium salt has long been a staple for tropical fish hobbyist around the world. Using aquarium sea salt improves the health of your tropical fish by reducing stress and improving gill function.

Super easy to use, in most cases, all you need is one rounded tablespoon full of aquarium salt added to your tank to begin the healing process and the reduction of stress.

If you are introducing new fish to your tank, the travel and packaging process can be extremely stressful to your fish. The soothing all natural sea salt introduces electrolytes your fish needs to increase oxygen intake and release ammonia from its body.

When treating a sick fish in a quarantine tank, aquarium salt can be used in combination with medicine to help reduce stress, sooth the gills and increase breathing and intake of oxygen.

By far one of the most commonly used and easily administered products to help keep your fish healthy. Just one tablespoon can help your fish breath easier, reduce stress and improve overall health and vitality.

Every tropical fish hobbyist should have aquarium salt in their home.

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##Aquachef Automatic Fish Feeder by Current USA

An aquarium is perfect for adding to a study, a library or a dining room. They’re almost meditative to watch and create a truly peaceful and relaxing atmosphere wherever they are. This is why you so often find aquariums in hotels, waiting rooms, spas and restaurants. And because they don’t require the constant attention of a cat or dog, they’re a great choice for company if you’re a young professional or you just don’t have the time for other pets.

But there are a few things you need to consider on a regular basis to keep your fish happy and healthy. And chief among these considerations is their food. Like any other pet, you need to feed your fish regularly in order to ensure they don’t go hungry – and that can sometimes be tricky if you’re very busy, or if you’re going out of town.

This is where a fish feeder like the Current USA 3860 Aquachef comes in. This is a highly affordable device, that nevertheless includes a number of very thoughtful features to make looking after your fish even easier.

The Aquachef is programmable and allows you to set four feeding times per day. That’s enough for most applications, but if you do need more then you may wish to consider some of the other products we’ve looked at on this list.

When the feeder does feed your fish, it will do so from a particularly large food reservoir. This is a great selling point of the Aquachef and makes life much easier – storing up to 35 grams.

The hatch style feed door is adjustable, which means you can choose how much food you want to release at each feed.

And on top of all that, the Aquachef also benefits from being very easy to install with a universal fit. It looks good too!

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Discus Fish Disease, Symptoms and Treatment Guide

Your discus fish are important to you and keeping them free of illness is a big challenge. Most discus fish are being imported or sold from hobbyist to hobbyist, making it a risk to go from bag to tank.

discus fish disease guide

Everyone, at some point, is guilty of bypassing quarantine tanks in a hurry to add the new discus into their tank. Every time we skip quarantine, we take the risk of introducing parasites and disease to our tanks.

Below are several examples of symptoms and visual cues to look for when trying to spot parasite, bacterial and stages of disease onset. I will do my best to put links to images to help visually diagnose better.

If you would like to donate some of your pictures so we could use them on this guide, you can upload them to our [Tropical Fish Pictures Forum](https://tropicalfish.io/forum/photography ) or email them to support@tropicalfish.io and let me know it's cool to use them for this guide.

Symptoms and Diseases

We will continue to grow this guide to help discus fish hobbyist quickly identify and treat symptoms and diseases. Please bookmark this page, feel free to contribute by commenting below, posting in our forum or sending us an email.

Rapid Breathing Tipsy / Head Standing Leaning on Side Bloat / Swollen Belly Fin Rot / Tail Rot Skin Ulcers Hole in the Head White Stringy Feces Cloudy Eye

Rapid Breathing

If you notice your discus rapidly breathing it could be a sign of poisoning from ammonia, nitrate, chlorine or chloramine. It may also be an indicator that not enough oxygen is in the tank. Either way, your discus is signaling it cannot breath and needs your immediate attention.

On rare occasion, a skittish discus can run himself around the tank and temporarily exhaust itself. If this is the case, your discus should return to normal breathing patterns in a few minutes.

Let's break this down into new discus, just introduced to your tank and a established discus, one that has already been in your tank and is now showing rapid breathing.

If it is a new discus just added to your tank, begin by dropping an air stone into the tank and increasing the oxygen levels. Test the water using an aquarium test kit for abnormal readings for ammonia or nitrate levels. Another sign that lack of oxygen is the case is if your discus is heading to the surface of the tank to get air.

Like a dolphin or whale breach the surface to get oxygen, breaching the surface water for air is a clear sign their is lack of oxygen in the water. Adding an air stone and increasing oxygen levels in the water can help restore discus breathing patterns.

In the case of a new tank, if the water in the tank was not completely cycled, it could create a poisoning or gill burn situation.

An un-cycled tank could have contained chloramine or chlorine if the water source was from the tap. Using a de-chlorinator such as SeaChem Prime will help remove harmful chlorine that can cause gill burns and poisoning.

SeaChem Prime will also detoxify harmful Nitrate and Ammonia in the water, reducing or preventing further gill damage.

If your existing discus in your established tank begin to show signs of rapid breathing, use a water test kit. Identifying and removing harmful nitrate and ammonia build up should be first on the list of things to do.

Using SeaChem Prime and water changes will help restore water parameters. Look for left over food, a dead fish or other decaying matter that could be causing your water to foul.

With an established tank, you should have a routine schedule for canister filter or hang on filter clean up. All filters need cleaning at some point, the more routine your maintenance schedule the less fluctuations in your water quality.

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Tipsy / Head Standing

For discus, head standing or tipsy is rare. If you do notice this, it could be a sign of poor water quality. To confirm, use a water testing kit and look for abnormal readings for Nitrite.

If you can confirm that Nitrite and other parameters are out of range, do a water change with cycled water. If you do not have cycled water, use water treated with SeaChem Prime to remove harmful toxins from the water.

Watch your discus, if the behavior persist, do another minor water change and continue to check in on your discus fish. The matter should resolve itself.

In addition to the water changes, you can add a bit of [aquarium salt](https://tropicalfish.io/store/146/aquarium-salt to help reduce stress your discus fish might be experiencing. Aquarium salt does increase water hardness so measure out about a tablespoon. Don't over do it and remember the salts will evaporate and get removed with water changes.

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Leaning on Side

Leaning and even laying down can be temporary or a sign of something more serious.

When discus are transported from one tank to another, typically it is using a bag. If you can imagine, the water pressure in the bag is not as great of a force on the discus. When the discus is put in to a larger tank, the tank has more water than the bag. This causes pressure on the discus fish, pushing it down towards the bottom of the tank.

A solution to place your discus after transportation or importation into a tank with about an inch of water in it. Then gradually dripping water into the tank until the tank reaches its final water height. This will allow for the discus to gradually adjust to the increasing water pressure, instead of getting crushed by the weight of a huge tank.

If this is not a new discus, do water test and look for abnormal parameters such as Nitrite, Nitrate or Ammonia. If you find and readings that are off, do a small water change using cycled water or water treated with SeaChem Prime.

Continue to watch your discus for changes in behavior. You can also add a tablespoon of aquarium salt to help with stress your discus may be experiencing.

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Bloat / Swollen Belly

Observing your discus having a huge or bloated abdomen is very serious. Typically caused by over feeding, it can also be a sign of intestinal blockage or parasites.

To treat, it is best to remove the discus and place it in a smaller quarantine tank. Medication and water changes will be easier and less costly.

If you suspect you have over indulged your discus with live food and it is now stuffed to the gills, give it time to digest. Some discus know when to stop eating, others are like little piggies and will eat every last bit they can. You can place your bloated discus into a smaller quarantine tank and put a tablespoon of aquarium salt in the tank.

Aquarium salt will help reduce stress and serve as a laxative of sorts. Do not feed your fish until you see it passing the digested food it has already eaten. Keep the tank clean, do water changes as needed and add aquarium salt as needed.

So what happens if your discus is still bloated after a few days? If you feed live food, you may introduced a bacterial infection or intestinal parasite.

How can you tell? If you see long stringy white feces, see the remedy below, you might have an intestinal parasite. If your discus fish is passing its food but still seems our of sorts, it is probably bacterial.

For bacterial, you want to treat your discus fish with General Cure by API, a solution designed to treat a spectrum of bacterial nasties. Continue to keep your discus fish quarantined, do regular water changes and use aquarium salt as well. You should begin to see the bloated abdomen reduce in size and your discus become active and wanting to eat.

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Fin Rot / Tail Rot

Any kind of rot on your discus fish is a sign of bad water quality. It means that your water quality is bad for your fish but great for bacteria that is eating your fish alive!

To treat, move your affected discus fish to a ten gallon quarantine tank, do a water test to make sure your water parameters are not out of the ordinary. Treat the water with Prime from SeaChem if needed to remove toxins from water. Do regular water changes that are larger than usual. Wipe down the insides of your tank and clean up any debris in your gravel.

Treat your tank with an anti-bacterial solution like General Cure by API to help destroy the bacteria that is feasting on your discus fish.

Fin rot and tail rot is reversible and your discus fish should make a full recovery.

In rare cases, missing fins can be caused by fin nipping fish like raspborras. Although the cause can be from nipping, the damaged fin can become infected by bacteria and the cycle begins. Remove fin nipping fish from your discus tank, fin nipping will not stop and it is not worth the headache.

Used for treatment for Fin Rot / Tail Rot:

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Skin Ulcers

Discus fish are known to be a bit skittish. If they get scared enough they can bump themselves around the tank, hitting something rough enough to create an open wound or missing scales. A wound, even small one can introduce a bacterial infection.

First, make sure your tank is clear of any decoration that can be dangerous to your discus. Larger rocks, glass heaters, neon castles, etc. Although they look cool, once a discus darts off, they tend to smash into things.

Note on internal tank heaters, they can burn your discus. Discus can drift either while sleeping or by being skittish and come into contact with the hot surface of your heater. Burns can become infected and lead to death if left untreated. Newer heaters now come with a protective cover to prevent burns to you and your fish. If you have a larger tank, look into an inline heater that connects with your canister filter.

If you notice a gash or infection beginning to take hold, remove the discus and place them in a smaller quarantine tank. Ten gallon tanks work best, easier to make water changes and less medication is used.

Treat the discus with an anti-bacterial solution like General Cure by API. Keep doing regular water changes and use aquarium salt to help reduce stress. As the days progress, the wound should become smaller and eventually disappear. Some scaring might occur, your discus should return happy and healthy to its larger tank.

Used for treatment for Skin Ulcers:

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API GENERAL CURE Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Powder Medication 10Count Box API GENERAL CURE Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Powder Medication 10Count Box

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Hole in the Head

A combination of poor diet and parasites cause hole in the head disease in discus fish. A weakened discus who has a poor daily diet will be a target for many diseases. Hole in the head is nasty, it looks exactly how it sounds. The infected discus fish develops puss filled holes on the front part of their head between the eyes. If left untreated, it will kill your discus.

If you suspect hole in the head disease, treat it with a broad spectrum anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial solution like ParaGuard by SeaChem. Also use General Cure by API, several people have reported success with curing hole in the head with General Cure.

Remove your discus fish from your main tank and place it in a quarantine tank. A ten gallon tank will work just fine, save you time in water changes and with less water to treat it will be easier on the pocket with medications.

Continue with regular water changes, feedings and clean up any left over food to prevent bad water quality. You can also add Aquarium Salt to help with the stress your discus may be going through.

The holes should begin to heal and although some may never completely seal up, your discus should make a full recovery.

Used for treatment for Hole in the Head:

API AQUARIUM SALT Freshwater Aquarium Salt 65Ounce Box API AQUARIUM SALT Freshwater Aquarium Salt 65Ounce Box

$8.29 SAVE 39.00% or $3.26

$5.03

* updated 19 minutes ago

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API GENERAL CURE Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Powder Medication 10Count Box API GENERAL CURE Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Powder Medication 10Count Box

$12.20 SAVE 19.00% or $2.37

$9.83

* updated 6 hours ago

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ParaGuard 500 mL  169 fl oz ParaGuard 500 mL 169 fl oz

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White Stringy Feces

If you see long stringy white feces trailing behind your discus fish, you might be dealing with internal parasite. If left untreated, could lead to bacterial infection and ultimately death of your discus fish.

To treat, use General Cure by API to help your discus recover. Remove your discus and place them in a ten gallon quarantine tank. Continue to watch your discus and do regular water changes. Your discus fish will continue to pass any remanence of white feces it has in its intestines. Your discus fish will begin to eat again, feed it small amounts, cleaning up any left over food.

You can combine treatment of General Cure with ParaGuard by SeaChem. Also a tablespoon of aquarium salt can be used to help ease the stress of your discus fish.

Used for treatment for White Stringy Feces:

API AQUARIUM SALT Freshwater Aquarium Salt 65Ounce Box API AQUARIUM SALT Freshwater Aquarium Salt 65Ounce Box

$8.29 SAVE 39.00% or $3.26

$5.03

* updated 19 minutes ago

Free Shipping Available

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Amazon.com

API GENERAL CURE Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Powder Medication 10Count Box API GENERAL CURE Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Powder Medication 10Count Box

$12.20 SAVE 19.00% or $2.37

$9.83

* updated 6 hours ago

Free Shipping Available

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Amazon.com

ParaGuard 500 mL  169 fl oz ParaGuard 500 mL 169 fl oz

$16.25

* updated 5 hours ago

Free Shipping Available

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Amazon.com

Cloudy Eye

If you see your discus fish develop a cloudy or milky eye, your discus fish may be experiencing a bacterial infection.

Do a quick water test to make sure your water parameters are not of the ordinary. Do a water change a bit larger than usual and wipe down the sides of your tank.

Remove the affected discus and place it in a ten gallon quarantine tank. Begin treatment using General Cure by API and watch your discus for improvement. Continue to feed your discus fish a high quality diet and clean up any left over food.

You can also add Aquarium Salt to your tank to help reduce the stress your discus fish is experience while in quarantine.

Used for treatment for Cloudy Eye:

API AQUARIUM SALT Freshwater Aquarium Salt 65Ounce Box API AQUARIUM SALT Freshwater Aquarium Salt 65Ounce Box

$8.29 SAVE 39.00% or $3.26

$5.03

* updated 19 minutes ago

Free Shipping Available

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Amazon.com

API GENERAL CURE Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Powder Medication 10Count Box API GENERAL CURE Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Powder Medication 10Count Box

$12.20 SAVE 19.00% or $2.37

$9.83

* updated 6 hours ago

Free Shipping Available

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Amazon.com

ParaGuard 500 mL  169 fl oz ParaGuard 500 mL 169 fl oz

$16.25

* updated 5 hours ago

Free Shipping Available

Buy Now

Amazon.com

Closing Thoughts...

Although we tried to include everything, we can't get all on the first shot right? So if you don't see something above, feel free to ask us in the in the comments below so we can add it to the list and create a better guide. Also, if you find that you have a better solution, please share it in our forum or post it below. The idea is to help hobbyist find the solution they need and treat their sick discus fish.

If you would like to donate some of your pictures so we could use them on this guide, you can upload them to our [Tropical Fish Pictures Forum](https://tropicalfish.io/forum/photography ) or email them to support@tropicalfish.io and let me know it's cool to use them for this guide.

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