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Can Discus Live Alone? (The Right Number to Keep Together)

Can Discus Live Alone? (The Right Number to Keep Together)

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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.

Buying discus fish for your fish tank is likely an appealing prospect. So many people love the way that these fish look.

They can add aesthetic appeal to your fish tank if you choose to buy some. Of course, you want to make sure that you’re able to care for the fish properly before proceeding.

If you don’t have a very large tank you might not want to buy too many of these fish. Perhaps you’re hoping that you can buy just one discus fish.

Is it okay for discus fish to live alone? Or do they need to be kept in pairs or groups?

Continue reading to get all of the important information that you need about this topic. It’ll ensure that you can do things right if you want to buy these fish.

Can You Have One Discus in a Community Tank?

People have successfully kept discus fish by themselves successfully. However, this isn’t considered to be ideal.

These fish are much more comfortable when kept in small groups. So it’s recommended to keep more than one discus fish in the community tank.

Even so, there are people who have kept discus fish healthy by themselves in community tanks. Some consider keeping just one fish of a given species alone in a tank to be cruel, though.

You should know that these fish can do fine in community tanks. So don’t hesitate to keep discus fish in a community tank with compatible fish.

So long as you research compatible tank mates everything will work out well. Also, you need to ensure that there is more than enough space for all of the fish that you plan to put in the aquarium.

Can You Keep Two Discus Together?

It’s normal for people to keep two discus fish together in one tank. Keeping only one discus in a tank is what would be considered unusual by aquarium enthusiasts.

Discus fish are used to living in groups and they do best when they have others of their kind around. So it’ll be a better situation to have two discus fish in the tank than just one.

Be sure that you have enough room for both fish before buying them. You won’t have a good experience if you try to cram two discus fish in a tiny tank.

For reference, a pair of adult discus fish would need a 20-gallon fish tank or something larger. Many say that a 20-gallon fish tank is a bit on the small side, but it’s the minimum acceptable tank size for two discus fish.

How Many Discus Can You Keep Together?

There are conflicting opinions about how many discus can and should be kept together. As mentioned earlier, there are people who keep just one discus fish in a tank.

This isn’t the best choice since these fish are used to living in groups. So the fish will likely be happier and healthier if kept in a group.

It’s normal for people to keep six or more of these fish in one tank. There isn’t necessarily a hard limit for how many discus fish can be put in one tank.

You just have to keep in mind that each fish will take up a certain amount of space. The accepted rule is that each discus fish needs ten gallons of space.

So if you want to keep six discus fish in your fish tank you’ll need a 60-gallon tank. Otherwise, the tank would be too crowded and the fish would be stressed.

How Many Should Be Kept Together?

To get the best results, it’s recommended to keep six discus fish in one fish tank. Most enthusiasts say that these fish do best in groups of six or more.

However, it should be said that there are people who say that keeping three to five discus fish will be fine. Some find that two discus fish will be okay in a tank.

Even one discus fish can survive in a tank by itself. It’s simply not the best situation and it’s not recommended to keep discus fish alone or in groups that are too small.

Since you care about the fish in your tank, you want to put them in an ideal situation. So going with six discus fish will be the best way to help the fish to thrive under your care.

If you don’t have room for a 60-gallon fish tank, you might wish to wait to buy these fish. Perhaps you can return to the idea of owning discus fish when you have room for a larger tank in your home.

Are Discus Schooling Fish?

Yes, discus fish are schooling fish. Since they’re schooling fish, they aren’t going to be as comfortable when they’re kept in small groups.

Groups that are too small might make these fish feel vulnerable in a tank. So keeping the fish alone or in pairs isn’t recommended.

Earlier, you learned that some people keep fish alone in tanks despite this knowledge. Many have indeed found success keeping just one or two discus fish in a tank.

Understand that this doesn’t mean that it’s the recommended choice. When you want the fish to be happy and healthy, it’s much better to keep them in appropriately-sized groups.

Try to buy at least six discus fish so you can have the easiest time with them. Ensure that you buy a big fish tank and everything should go pretty well.

Can You Keep Wild Discus With Domestic Discus?

It is fine to mix wild and domestic discus fish. However, you need to be careful when doing so.

Make sure that you quarantine any new fish that you plan to add to the tank. You don’t want incoming fish to accidentally infect your fish with diseases.

So it’s better to set up a quarantine tank and wait a certain amount of time. Note that there are times when things can go wrong.

The two types of discus fish have different immune systems. Bacteria that won’t pose a problem for one fish might be extremely harmful to the other.

Even so, many people have successfully mixed these two types of discus fish. You just need to do so carefully while doing your best to protect your fish from illnesses.

Keep the Tank Very Clean

No matter what type of discus fish you’re caring for, it’s imperative to pay attention to water quality. You must keep the water clean and safe for the fish.

Discus fish aren’t as hardy as many types of fish that you might be used to caring for. Many even describe these fish as being somewhat fragile.

They can indeed encounter health issues when you don’t clean the tank enough. Poor water quality can easily cause the fish to become stressed and die.

Regular water changes will be an important part of protecting discus fish. So will regular tank maintenance and testing the water.

Keep this in mind so you can monitor the water parameters and keep everything in check. Remember that it’s easier to keep bigger fish tanks clean than smaller ones.

Final Thoughts

You should have a much better idea of how many discus fish you should be keeping in a tank now. Ideally, these fish should be kept in groups of six.

So you’ll want to buy a 60-gallon fish tank to keep the fish comfortable. These fish don’t do as well in small tanks and it’s tougher to keep the water clean enough when the tank is overcrowded.

Make good decisions so you don’t wind up accidentally killing a bunch of discus fish. Remember that these are schooling fish that much prefer being kept in tanks with a group of their own kind.

Some people do keep just one or two discus fish in a community tank, but this isn’t recommended. Always make the best decisions that you can when buying fish so you can keep them alive and healthy in your tank.

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Saturday 16th of December 2023

Half year ago my son presented me 5 tourqouise discuses at my birhtday. One of 5 was much smaller than others 4. I asked him - why did you buy him? He is hardly a companion to others 4? The answer was - yet he is much more active than others. Since that time his companions have grown a lot and started sex games. While "the most active" is still 7 sm long and "very active". Today I decided - Enough is enough, caught him and put him alone in 600 litres tank - to grow. Am I right or am I wrong?