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The Cost to Own Discus Fish (And Why They’re Expensive)

The Cost to Own Discus Fish (And Why They’re Expensive)

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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 home can be a great experience. However, you need to make sure that you can afford these fish first.

Whenever you’re planning to start a new fish tank you want to consider the overall cost. Discus fish have a reputation for being a bit delicate and you might be worried that caring for them will be too pricey.

Are discus fish affordable to own? Or should you be prepared to shell out a lot of cash when you wish to keep these fish?

Continue reading to learn more about the cost of discus fish. This will help you to have the best experience possible and make good decisions for your home.

How Much Do Discus Fish Cost?

You should expect to spend a fair bit of money on discus fish. This is because even individual fish will cost at least $50 or more.

Depending on the type of discus fish that you want to buy, you might need to pay hundreds of dollars per fish. Some variants are rare and will cost more money.

The more common types of discus fish can be found being sold at aquarium stores for between $50 and $80. You also need to know that you can’t just buy one fish.

This is because discus fish are schooling fish. When setting up a discus fish tank you need to buy at least three fish.

It’s fine to keep three to five discus fish in a tank. However, many enthusiasts say that you should go with six fish or more if you have the room.

If you’re on a budget try going with four fish to get started. You’ll be spending a bit over $200 or more to get the fish that you need.

The Cost of the Tank

The cost of the fish tank will be significant as well. You can’t get away with using a small tank when caring for these fish.

Discus fish grow to be quite large and they’ll generally be at least seven inches long. So you don’t want to try to cram them in small fish tanks.

Most enthusiasts say that you should go with a 75-gallon fish tank or something larger. Such a tank will cost a fair bit of money, and you’ll also need to buy equipment.

Expect a 75-gallon aquarium to cost $250 or more. Next, you’ll need to focus on buying the fish tank equipment that you need.

It’s necessary to buy a high-quality heater, filter, air pump, and LED lights. Expect to spend a few hundred dollars on equipment for the tank unless you find stuff on sale.

You might spend less than $200 on equipment, but it all comes down to what you choose to buy. It’s recommended to buy a reliable heater and filter to help keep the fish safe.

Remember that the equipment needs to work for a large fish tank. You won’t need strong lights for the tank, though, since powerful lights are known to stress discus fish.

The Cost of Food

Food for discus fish won’t cost too much money per month. You’ll feed these fish discus granules that you buy from the store most days.

These granules can be bought at pet stores for between $10 and $30 on average. The cost will depend on the size that you buy and the brand that you choose.

You’ll also supplement the diet of the discus fish with bloodworms and shrimp. So you’ll spend an additional $20 or so per month buying supplementary foods.

Feeding the fish won’t be too difficult for most fish tank owners. It doesn’t cost more to feed discus fish than it does other average types of fish.

Tank Maintenance Costs

Maintaining a fish tank is also going to cost a little bit of cash. On average, you should expect around $25 in maintenance costs per month when you have a 75-gallon tank.

This isn’t an overwhelming figure for most people. You just have to factor the maintenance costs into your budget to keep things safe.

Why Are Discus Fish So Expensive?

Discus fish are expensive for a number of different reasons. Some of them are more costly because they’re difficult to breed or because they’re rare.

It’s also true that keeping these fish is not simple. They’re needy fish and they can die easily if they’re not cared for well.

Discus fish commonly die in captivity due to being exposed to dirty water. You must be very careful to keep the water quality high if you want these fish to thrive in your tank.

For this reason and more, discus fish cost a fair bit of cash to buy from aquarium stores. Producing fish that are healthy, colorful, and large requires so much effort that they must charge a premium for the fish.

What Is the Most Expensive Discus Fish?

There are many discus fish that are very pricey. It’s tough to say what the priciest discus fish is since it might change from time to time based on market demand.

Even so, you should expect breeds such as the ring leopard discus fish and the albino red rabbit eye to consistently cost the most.

Other expensive discus fish types include the Wayne firework discus fish, the super red melon discus fish, the golden red spot discus fish, the spotted eruption discus fish, and the Singaporean firework discus fish. These fish can cost hundreds of dollars and you might not be willing to invest that much cash.

For most, it’s easier to go with less expensive discus fish. If your heart is set on owning some of the expensive varieties you’ll just have to be prepared to open your wallet.

Is Owning Discus Fish Practical?

For some, owning discus fish won’t be a practical choice. This all comes down to how much money you have to invest in fish tank supplies and how much space you can dedicate to fish tanks in your home.

Since discus fish are large you’ll need to buy a big fish tank to house them. These aren’t fish that can simply be crammed into small tanks.

If you want to have a good experience you must make sure that you have the room to dedicate to the fish. Otherwise, you might wish to wait to buy discus fish until your living situation changes.

The cost of discus fish will also deter some people from buying them. You could easily buy many other types of fish for the amount of money you’d spend on just four discus fish.

It’s also worth noting that discus fish aren’t beginner-friendly. If you’re new to caring for fish it’s not recommended to buy discus fish.

These fish are fragile enough that they can easily perish when you make mistakes. They don’t deal with water parameter problems well at all.

Discus fish require a lot of attention and you need to be ready to perform tank maintenance. If you’re not committed to being a proactive fish tank owner it’s not smart to buy these fish.

Make sure that you’re prepared before you decide to move forward. This will allow you to make choices that you can be comfortable with.

Final Thoughts

Buying discus fish will cost you quite a bit. You’ll likely spend hundreds on the fish, hundreds on the fish tank, and hundreds on equipment.

To get the best results, you need to buy good equipment that will help you to maintain the tank. If you don’t have $800 or so to invest in setting up a discus fish tank it’s not recommended to pursue this.

You want to make sure that you have more than enough money to get what you need. It’s necessary to buy at least three to five discus fish and you need to give them an appropriate environment.

Some will even choose to buy optional things to make the fish more comfortable such as aquatic plants. Be prepared to spend even more or choose to buy less expensive fish.

Once you have what you need, tank maintenance won’t be too tough to handle. You just have to possess the necessary funds to get started and be committed to caring for the fish properly.

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