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Are Discus Considered Cichlids?

Are Discus Considered Cichlids?

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Have you started seriously thinking about buying discus fish for your tank? Discus fish are popular and they’re thought of as very pretty fish.

Most consider these fish to be best for fish tank enthusiasts that have a bit of experience. They aren’t as simple to care for as some fish and thus aren’t easy for beginners.

You might be wondering what type of fish discus fish are. Are they cichlids?

Cichlids are usually hardy fish that are semi-aggressive, but that doesn’t sound like discus fish at all. Read on to learn about what fish category discus fish fall under.

Discus Fish Are Cichlids

Discus fish are categorized as cichlids. These fish belong to the cichlid family and they’re native to South America.

Like other cichlids, these fish are tropical and they’re rather pretty. Some are surprised to hear that discus fish are cichlids, though.

This is because cichlids have a reputation for being a bit aggressive. Discus fish seem to be a lot shyer by comparison.

Even so, you can see that discus fish have many cichlid traits. They might not have the same temperament as other cichlids such as Oscars or angelfish, but there are some similarities here and there.

The family that discus fish belongs to doesn’t matter too much at the end of the day, though. You still need to treat discus fish differently than you do other cichlids.

Are Discus Fish Aggressive?

You’ll find that discus fish are some of the least aggressive cichlids that you can own. They’re mostly peaceful and they seem to enjoy hiding more than fighting.

This doesn’t mean that discus fish aren’t aggressive at all, though. These fish will sometimes act aggressively toward each other.

When it’s time for discus fish to spawn they will start having some behavioral changes. Discus fish are known to act more aggressively during this time.

Specifically, the male discus fish will be a bit aggressive. When a male and female fish form a mating pair they might aggressively try to chase other fish away from certain parts of the tank.

This is because the fish are preparing to lay eggs in a specific spot. So they’re trying to protect their eggs.

You don’t generally have to worry about discus fish fighting too much in the tank, though. They aren’t overly aggressive fish.

When it comes to interacting with tank mates in community tanks, these fish are fairly docile. They generally mind their own business unless something is wrong in the tank.

Give these fish enough room in a tank and you won’t have problems with aggression. Of course, you need to pick appropriate tank mates for them so everything will go well.

Can Discus Fish Live With Cichlids?

Not all cichlids can live with discus fish. As you likely know, there are many different types of cichlids out there.

Some of them are huge fish and many of them are aggressive. You can’t keep cichlids with fish that are too big or too aggressive.

Also, you need to make sure that the water parameters line up properly. So finding cichlids that can live with discus fish will be tough in some ways.

Most people choose to go with dwarf cichlids such as ram cichlids. Ram cichlids make good tank mates for discus fish.

You shouldn’t have to worry about bullying and the water parameters line up nicely. Angelfish can also live with discus fish, but some enthusiasts say that it’s not a perfect match.

Angelfish are semi-aggressive and they might stress the discus fish. Some people keep them together and don’t encounter issues, but many enthusiasts say that the two fish aren’t the best tank mates.

Final Thoughts

Discus fish are considered to be cichlids. They’re a part of the cichlid family even if they’re different from many of the cichlids that you might be familiar with.

Most cichlids are hardy fish that are a bit aggressive. Discus fish are fairly timid and many people even consider them to be shy.

They’re also harder to care for than most cichlids due to being somewhat fragile. Discus fish aren’t ideal for beginners, but they’re certainly pretty fish that you’ll love owning if you’re willing to learn how to care for them properly.

You can keep discus fish with certain types of cichlids in community tanks. Ram cichlids are the most common cichlid tank mates for discus fish.

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