“Growing up, my classmates wanted to be doctors and lawyers. On the other hand, I aspired to become the #1 discus seller in the world. Fulfilling my customers’ wildest discus dreams inflates my ego like a balloon.”
— Michael Li, “King of the Aquarium” and Creator of Discus.com
Hello, I’m Michael Li, the creator of Discus.com. Thank you for stopping by! I am a fellow aquarium addict and discus expert. I always joke that when I started Discus.com in 2013, it was akin to an alcoholic opening his own bar. I grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana and have kept fish since I was 7 years old, but my discus story begins in 2003. In my senior year in high school, I was perusing a fish store with my father and accidentally came across the most beautiful fish I had ever laid eyes on: the discus. I was immediately drawn to the perfectly round and symmetrical shape of the discus and the myriad of colors and patterns available to customers. I had prior experience keeping cichlids, but I had never seen anything like this before. It was as if I was struck by lightning. For better or worse, I have been completely hooked ever since.
The summer of ’04’ was unforgettable. I graduated at the top of my class from high school and had been admitted to Columbia University in New York City. I was a young man eagerly awaiting and planning for the future. During the day, I frequented all of my local fish stores, peppering whoever I could with questions about keeping, breeding discus, and treating them for diseases. I purchased every discus book I could get my hands on. I ate, breathed, and dreamed discus. At night, I taught myself to build websites and honed my coding skills. During that intense period, I acquired a typing speed in excess of 150 words per minute, a skill that persists accompanies me in the present day. The future seemed so filled with hope, dreams, and possibilities.
In 2007, I came across this Fortune article illustrating the power of internet domain names that forever changed my life and approach to business. As a result of my prescient decision to obtain the potent Discus.com and DiscusFish.com domain names early on, my company was not only able to gain a crucial foothold in the nascent online aquarium industry, but also secured for itself a lifetime stream of customers and traffic. Also, my acquisitions of these domains prevented them from falling into the wrong hands.
Fast forwarding to May 2009, I graduated from Columbia with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science. After feeling disillusionment from working a few corporate jobs, I chose to return to my passion of discus that I acquired in high school. Armed with nothing more than my Ivy League degree, a 75-gallon aquarium I sourced from Craigslist, and my reputation for obtaining the finest discus available in the industry with my connections, I built the first prototype of Discus.com in the winter of 2013.
Stemming from my desire to share my passion and knowledge of discus with other obsessive addicts that exclusively collect, cultivate, and breed this incredible fish, I envisioned Discus.com to be the link between the most diehard collectors and finest suppliers of discus throughout the world. Almost overnight, my little information portal blossomed into a full-fledged marketplace, and the rest is history.
“True discus lovers understand that discus keeping is more than a hobby or passion for them. It’s something that lies deep in the marrow of their bones. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a creative manifestation of their dreams. It’s something deeply personal and intrinsic to their being.
Some of the most creative and highly successful people I know are discus collectors.”
— Michael Li
First and foremost, Discus.com seeks to serve experienced collectors as well as breeders looking to innovate the next big strain. Indeed, we are mindful that many of our customers are completely new to discus keeping. We provide our customers who are new to the hobby with the highest-grade available stock to begin their discus journey correctly. In life, as well as in discus keeping, starting off on solid footing and the correct foundation can mean the difference between success and failure.
Discus are aptly named the “King of the Aquarium” for very good reason, and I am convinced it is the greatest cichlid (and perhaps fish) in the entire aquarium hobby. No other aquatic species on planet Earth offers a greater variety of colors, patterns, and textures contained within a delightful circular body — surpassing even the most colorful brackish and marine offerings available to aquarists. Furthermore, the discus community is constantly innovating brand new strains and bloodlines, creating ever more arrays of dizzying color and pattern variations that are candy for the eyes. Today, Discus.com is not only the most highly-trafficked e-commerce discus destination in the world, but it has also cemented its role as an institutional resource to the discus community, providing a vast discus knowledge base for collectors. Our customer base encompasses the domestic United States as well as Canada and Europe.
I pledge to do my best in offering satisfaction to every customer. We do not believe in selling disappointment or no-win scenarios. As an avid keeper of wildlife, I am intimately familiar with what can go wrong, and I vow to do everything in my power to support my customers in any way they require, long after a sale is made. Your continued support means everything to us, and the website’s dramatic growth over the years is a testament to our loyal customer base and unmatched customer service. Don’t hesitate to contact me for all website, shipping, and discus-related or technical questions or concerns. Our reputation for quality and service is the backbone of our business. We have a success rate of over 90% repeat clients. Most of these clients become our loyal customers and lifelong friends after just one single order with us.
We provide unmatched selection and quality, unbeatable pricing, and unrivaled customer service. Discus.com is the gold standard marketplace for discus enthusiasts.