Before buying discus fish for your aquarium it’s best to consider their needs. These fish aren’t as easy to care for as some that you might be used to.
Many beginners have a tough time caring for discus fish. They have very particular needs that must be met in order for them to thrive.
Water quality is important and you must focus on tank maintenance. It’s also crucial to keep them in fish tanks that are the right size.
Read on to learn about the best tank sizes for discus fish. This will help you to learn what you need to buy if you plan to care for discus fish in your home.
The Minimum Tank Size
Typically, you don’t want to put discus fish in tanks that are too small. These fish don’t do well when they’re crammed into tiny fish tanks.
So you can’t put a discus fish in a small tank such as a 20-gallon aquarium. They’re going to need bigger tanks than that.
Also, you need to keep a minimum of three discus fish together in the tank. These are schooling fish that must be kept in certain group sizes to stay happy.
Some say that these fish do best when you keep at least six of them in the tank. However, many people keep three to five of these fish in a tank and they do just fine.
The minimum tank size for these fish is considered to be 55 gallons. A 55-gallon aquarium can hold discus fish and give them enough room, but it’s generally better to go with a larger tank than this.
The Minimum Tank Size for Two Discus
As mentioned above, discus fish are supposed to be kept in groups. They’re schooling fish and they don’t do well by themselves or in pairs.
It’s said that the minimum number of discus fish that you should keep in a tank is three. You must have three to five discus fish in the tank for everything to be okay.
Two discus fish wouldn’t be enough for the fish to feel comfortable. You’d notice that the fish would be stressed in the tank due to feeling vulnerable in such small numbers.
Three discus fish will be much better, but you should go with six or more discus fish if you can. The minimum tank size for discus fish is 55 gallons, but it’s best to go larger if you’re able to do so.
Can You Keep Discus in a 40-Gallon Tank?
A 40-gallon fish tank will be big enough for some fish, but it’s not going to be okay for discus fish. Discus fish need a bit more room than this.
You have to keep a group of discus fish in the tank. It might look like three discus would fit fine in a 40-gallon fish tank, but this isn’t a good situation.
Enthusiasts have noted that these fish do poorly in tanks that don’t offer them a lot of room. A 40-gallon fish tank is simply a bit too small for the fish to feel their best.
So you’ll need to go a step up if you plan to get these fish. If you only have room for a 40-gallon aquarium, it’d be better not to get discus fish since you won’t be able to meet their care needs.
How Many Discus in a 55-Gallon Tank?
A 55-gallon fish tank is perfectly fine for discus fish. This is going to be a good tank size when you’re starting out caring for discus fish.
You can fit three to five discus fish in a 55-gallon fish tank easily. It would be better to give them even more room if you can, but this will be fine.
Many people keep discus fish in 55-gallon aquariums. It’s common for people to start out with this tank size when they plan to keep discus fish in very small groups.
If you want to keep six or more discus fish in the tank it’d be better to go with a larger option. Just know that a 55-gallon fish tank will be a good choice for most beginners.
What About a 60-Gallon Tank?
A 60-gallon aquarium isn’t that much larger than a 55-gallon fish tank. So you’d still be best only putting three to five fish in a tank of this size.
You could fit six discus fish in this tank, but it would be cutting things a bit close. Also, it’s worth noting that it’s less common for people to buy 60-gallon fish tanks.
It’s a lot easier to find 55-gallon aquariums in local aquarium stores. Regardless, a 60-gallon tank is a fine option if you happen to own one.
This tank will comfortably fit three to five discus fish. Just go a bit larger if you want to keep six or seven discus fish in the tank.
How Many Discus Can You Keep in a 75-Gallon Tank?
Buying a 75-gallon aquarium for your discus fish is highly recommended. This is a great tank size for these fish.
You can keep six or seven discus fish in a tank of this size. Since many enthusiasts say that discus fish do best when kept in groups of six or more, it’s sensible to go with a 75-gallon fish tank.
If you have enough room for a fish tank this big you’ll be happy with the results. These fish tanks will be large enough to help the discus fish feel comfortable.
Also, it’s easier to keep a larger tank clean than it is a smaller one. So many people say that it’s easier to focus on the water quality when you go with a 75-gallon tank or something larger.
How About a 125-Gallon Tank?
It should be easy enough to fit ten to twelve discus fish in a 125-gallon fish tank. If you’re interested in keeping large groups of discus fish, it’ll be good to own a big tank such as this.
You must ensure that each discus fish has enough space to thrive in the tank. These fish will get stressed if they’re crowded.
A tank this big offers more than enough room for ten fish. Up to twelve fish can fit comfortably in this aquarium.
Just make sure that you have enough room for the fish, plants, and other decorations that you put in the tank. Many people buy 125-gallon fish tanks for their discus fish.
How Many Make Sense in a 150-Gallon Tank?
The maximum number of discus fish that you can keep in a 150-gallon aquarium is fifteen. It’d be better to go with a smaller number such as thirteen or fourteen.
You want each discus fish to have enough space to thrive. Technically, these fish do fine with ten gallons of space per fish.
However, it’s better to give them a bit more room than this. You can get great results when you buy a huge fish tank such as this.
Just don’t stuff the fish tank with too many discus fish. You still have to keep the individual space requirements of the fish in mind.
For many, a 150-gallon fish tank is going to be great for a community tank. It’s common for people to keep six discus fish in tanks of this size and then put a few other fish in the tank as well.
As you’d expect, you can’t overcrowd community tanks with too many fish. Discus fish get stressed if community tanks are overstocked, but you can easily set things up appropriately.
How Many Discus Per Gallon?
Generally, it’s said that you need ten gallons of space per discus fish. So six discus fish would need a minimum tank size of 60 gallons.
This formula is useful for figuring out how many discus fish you can safely fit in a fish tank. You need to take this information with a grain of salt, though.
These fish do best when they have more than enough room. Putting the fish in small tanks won’t work out well.
For example, you shouldn’t try to put three discus fish in a 30-gallon fish tank. It’s too small for discus fish and they won’t like being in such an environment.
You’re supposed to go with a 55-gallon fish tank or something larger. It’s better to give the fish more room than it is to cut it too close to the ten-gallon per fish limit.
You’ll also have an easier time keeping the water clean if you don’t overstock the tank. So keep this in mind since water quality is so important to the survival of these fish.
It’s Best to Give the Fish More Room
Giving the fish more room will make it easier for them to stay healthy. If possible, try to go with the largest fish tank that you can.
If you only have room for a 55-gallon fish tank you’ll be fine to buy discus fish. Just know that going with a 75-gallon fish tank would lead to an even better experience.
Discus fish do best when they have more than enough room in the tank. They like being in large tanks that are stocked with hiding places such as aquatic plants and little caves.
If you can give the discus fish an ideal environment they will be more likely to remain healthy. Stress issues will be kept to a minimum and you’ll have a positive experience.
Keeping Discus Fish in Community Fish Tanks
You can keep discus fish in community fish tanks if you want to. These fish are known to do well in community tanks, but you need to research things first.
Discus fish are shy and generally peaceful fish. They run the risk of getting bullied due to being fairly timid.
When these fish get bullied in the tank it’ll cause severe stress. Discus fish are known to get sick easily when they become stressed.
So you have to choose tank mates for these fish carefully. It’s common for people to keep other gentle fish in community tanks with them.
It’s also crucial to go with a big tank when you’re putting a community aquarium together. If you want to keep six discus fish in the tank, you’ll need sixty gallons of space just for them.
Then you’ll need more space for the other fish that you want to put in the tank. It’s common for people to keep discus fish in community tanks that offer 125 gallons of space or more.
If you don’t go with a big tank there won’t be enough room to keep the discus fish comfortable. You also need to focus on keeping the water clean or the discus fish will suffer.
Now you know that discus fish can be kept in 55-gallon aquariums. It’s often better to go with larger tanks, though.
Each discus fish needs a minimum of ten gallons of space. Giving the fish more room than this is wise since it’ll make it easier for them to remain happy and healthy.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.