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Why Does My Discus Have Black Spots? (3 Possibilities)

Why Does My Discus Have Black Spots? (3 Possibilities)

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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.

Discus fish are very pretty, but they aren’t the easiest fish to take care of. They’re needy fish that will require your full attention if you want to keep them in good health.

If you’ve been doing your best to care for discus fish so far you’ll be disheartened to see black spots on them. What causes these spots? Is this a sign of some type of disease or is something else to blame?

Read on to learn more about black spots on discus fish. After reading all of the information below you’ll understand what’s going on so you can help your fish to the best of your ability.

1 – It Could Be Natural

There’s a chance that the black spots that you’re seeing on this fish are occurring for natural reasons. Some discus fish will experience black peppering based on a specific gene that they carry.

The gene known as the pigeon blood gene is something that some discus fish have. Discus fish that possess this gene will commonly have black spots form on their bodies.

If this is the case, you don’t have anything to worry about. Black peppering isn’t necessarily a sign that something is wrong with your fish.

It’s still wise to pay attention to such changes, though. Other things can cause black spots to appear on discus fish.

Before assuming that everything is fine, it’s wise to try to determine if anything is wrong with the fish. Below, you’ll learn about the other potential causes of this issue so you can troubleshoot the situation.

2 – Stress Might Be the Cause

Sometimes discus fish will change color when they’re stressed. These fish can become stressed for several different reasons.

For instance, putting discus fish in an overcrowded fish tank will cause them great stress. This is a situation that you want to avoid.

Poor water quality will stress the fish and it might also make them sick. Getting bullied by other fish in the tank will cause discus fish to feel stressed.

When discus fish get stressed by certain factors they might start to change color. Often, the fish will lose color when they’re stressed.

This could lead to the fish having an appearance that makes it look as if it has darker spots on its body. Parts of the body will become lighter making the other areas appear darker.

It’s best to do what you can to prevent the discus fish from becoming stressed. Try to provide them with an ideal environment and continue to care for them to the best of your ability.

3 – Discus Plague

Discus plague is a serious illness that can easily kill your discus fish. This is the disease that is most closely linked with discus fish forming black spots on their bodies.

If you notice a change in your fish it’s best to take action fast. You want to try to help the fish if you can, and this means that you should try to determine if the fish is experiencing discus plague or not.

There are many discus plague symptoms that you should look out for. Fish that have discus plague will lose their appetites and they’ll start breathing rapidly.

Often, fish that have discus plague will isolate themselves and hang out near the corner of the fish tank. When you look closely at the fish you’ll see that it has significantly increased mucus production.

Flashing is common with fish when they have this disease as well. You’ll see the fish rubbing against objects in the tank quite often.

The fish will have an overall lower immunity to infections and other problems while in this weakened state. That’s just one of the reasons why discus fish can die when they get discus plague.

Of course, you’ll also see black spots form all over the body. If your fish seems sick and it has black spots, there’s a good chance that it might be dealing with discus plague.

Can Discus Plague Be Treated?

You can treat discus plague, but it’s a type of viral disease. So you can’t get rid of it entirely.

Treating the condition involves solving problems in the tank first. You need to ensure that the water is clean and nothing is causing the fish to feel stressed in the aquarium.

Stress only exacerbates problems with discus plague. You want to do your best to solve these issues before moving forward.

Salt treatment is common and this is usually done in conjunction with raising the water temperature. Often, people raise the water temperature to 92 degrees Fahrenheit to treat discus plague.

Several different medicines are thought to help fish recover as well. Parasite medications, antifungal medications, and potassium permanganate are all commonly used to help.

However, it should be noted that using medications can be dangerous in some ways. For example, using too much potassium permanganate can kill your fish.

It’s best to prevent this disease from occurring at all. In the future, you should try to protect your discus fish by monitoring the water parameters closely.

Prevention is also easier if you feed the fish high-quality foods. Regular tank maintenance, multiple water changes per week, and ensuring that the fish have more than enough room in the tank will help to keep discus plague at bay.

Final Thoughts

Now you know all about black spots on discus fish. It could be a normal thing that occurs due to a gene that some discus fish possess.

Otherwise, it might be related to stress problems or it could be a sign of discus plague. Discus plague is very problematic and you’ll want to treat your fish right away.

Do your best to prevent issues with discus plague since you don’t want your fish to die. If you’re good at tank maintenance you can avoid these problems.

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