Discus Social Behavior, Feeding, and Breeding Basics

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Discus Social Behavior, Feeding, and Breeding Basics

The discus were originally discovered in the Amazon River. They are part of a group of fish known as cichlids, and they flourish in fresh water. In this article, we’ll give you a brief introduction to discus social behavior, feeding, and breeding. 

Blue Diamond Discus


Discus are sociable, but highly sensitive. Consider placing the tank in a quiet area where there is not much movement around the tank, as they are very sensitive to shadows. Lights should be correctly placed so that shadows do not fall on the tank to frighten them. The best lighting near their tank is overhead lighting. Also, keep in mind that discus especially enjoy being around groups. If you put them around five or more other discus, they will enjoy their time! They also enjoy being around other gentle tropical fish that are smaller than them. Additionally, discus are interactive with their owners and will eventually remember you.

Marlboro Yellow Discus


In order to maintain your discus’ well-being and appearance, be sure to feed them properly. A beef heart or turkey heart, fish, and shrimp mixture should be the main diet of your discus. Use other recommended tropical fish foods as a supplement to vary their diets. If you want them to grow, avoid feeding freeze-dried foods or flake foods as their main diet. Also, in order to keep your tank clean, do not overfeed your fish. Overfeeding can cause a tank to become polluted, which can be quite hazardous for your fish. Feed your discus a little bit at a time. If they show signs of not eating, don’t continue putting food into their aquarium. Allowing them to eat too much will cause stress to them, which could lead to death. 


In breeding discus, you should have a pair that show interest in each other. Once you observe this kind of behavior, just prepare a bare bottom smaller tank with good water quality. Good water quality means that the water is soft and clean. If you provide the proper care and diet, you will see your fish laying eggs. Since they are very sensitive to all kinds of stress factors, it is vital that you place the tank somewhere where that is little activity, noise, and light. They need good care to condition them well in their surroundings.  

Discus Breeding Pair with Young

Even when it seems you have provided all of the necessary conditions to obtain good breeding results, sometimes there are unforeseen factors that can affect their breeding. If your discus are not breeding right away, don’t give up; it can take a while, but once you learn the exact conditions necessary for breeding, you’ll be on your way to having a tank full of many discus!

Red Passion Discus with Young

Now that you have read this overview, check out more Learning Center articles to delve into the details about these topics. With all this information at your fingertips, you can learn how to help your discus to flourish!


  • What types of fish do discus enjoy being around?
  • Have you seen discus that are interactive with their owners?
  • What can you do to make your tank a healthy discus environment?

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