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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Single Most Important Aspect in Keeping a Discus Fish Alive: Water

by: Jordan Wilson

Photo by Foto Martien

Aside from the fact that the discus fish can cost quite some penny, amateur aquarists should be wary about keeping it because they can be quite difficult to maintain. 

It's not that you have to look after them all the time, but they really need daily care to keep them healthy and happy, and this is not a task for those who do not simply have the time, money, nor patience to do so. 

And if you're not that experienced yet in maintaining a fish tank, keeping discus fish can be quite complicated. But if you ask many long time owners, they will tell you that these problems will be only in the beginning, and all your efforts will be rewarded with a beautiful and mesmerizing fish. 
A freshwater fish, the discus comes in different vibrant colors and arrays of patterns. That's why many fresh water aquariums today have the discus fish. So if you're willing to give it a go, then you have to know first the single most important aspect in raising them is the water in your tank. 
So that your fish wouldn't feel stressed of being in strange waters, you must emulate its previous habitat, which is the Amazon River. Try to maintain the same temperature and acidic level as what they were used to. 
Normally this would be at around 26 to 31 degrees Celsius. The water should also be acidic and soft. Maintain a pH level of about 5.5 to 6.5. 
Captive fish or store bought discus fish can survive in harder water and acidic levels that can reach 6.8. They are already used to this. But for breeding purposes, stick to the natural levels that discus fish are used to. 
If the temperature and the acidic level falls, there will be a good chance that they will not breed and in certain cases, they can even die. 
As with any fish, your tank should be kept clean at all times. No creature would like to live in a dump. If you notice that your tank's water is getting dirty, you should change it.
Leftover food should always be cleaned,so that you wouldn't be bothered of cleaning your tank or changing the water often. You could also add some sufficient filtration system, some lighting, or maintain some bottom dwelling fish to help clean up the tank. 
If you don't know yet how to maintain the temperature and pH levels of your tank water, then it is not recommended for you to own a this type fish yet. 
Try to learn more first about maintaining the livable balance of your tank water so that your investment will not go down the drain. This is why raising discus fish is not recommended for inexperienced aquarists. But in time and with proper research, you will find that this is not that hard.


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