Aquarium equipment, filters and decoration tips
1. Aquarium minimum size
(LINK: ideal keeping conditions (recommendation for aquarium size/fish stock)
For keeping discus pairs without companion fish, we recommend a minimum aquarium size of 1 mx 0.40 mx 0.45 m (180 liters). The pair of discus fish should have reached a minimum size of 14 centimeters. An aquarium of at least 250 liters would be more suitable for an adult discus pair in a planted aquarium with a small school of approx. 30-50 tetras. Young fish should ideally be raised in a group of at least 10 animals. Complete aquarium sets (with pump/filter, heating element, lighting, thermometer and accessories) are available in pet shops at quite a reasonable price. Of course, it would also be nice to have an aquarium base cabinet that is designed for the weight of the tank and also offers space for accessories.
We would like to introduce you to three types of filter systems (1.) internal filters, (2.) external filters and (3.) Hamburger mat filters. All filter systems must run 24 hours a day. Decide on one type. We recommend two internal filters so that you have a second filter as a backup in the event of a failure. Please attach the internal filters to the opposite aquarium panes. The water quality is improved by two filters and pollutants are broken down more quickly. The filter system should be continuously connected to electricity and run! External filters are connected with hoses and stand outside of the aquarium. There is a risk that such a hose will come loose or the filter will leak. This can cause the aquarium to leak. This risk can be avoided by using internal filters or Hamburger mat filters. With external filters, the aquarium water must flow quickly through a small initial area (e.g. filter floss). This is where most of the oxygen and nutrient content is broken down. As a result, the bacteria in the layers further behind can only contribute very little to the overall filter performance. Of course you can also opt for the Hamburg mat filter, which we only use in our breeding farm. These filter mats have an extremely large initial surface, through which the contaminated aquarium water flows very slowly, giving the bacteria the time and oxygen they need to optimally break down all pollutants. In addition, the Hamburg mat filter can be used as a room divider in a pure discus aquarium without a substrate. In this way, you can reduce the swimming space of your fish as you like and thereby increase jealousy about food. If you like, you can increase the swimming space again after your animals have grown well. In addition, thanks to the large aquarium volume, you always have good water quality and therefore optimal growth conditions. The only disadvantage: these filter mats do not look particularly nice. However, you can slit the filter sponges with a knife and use beautiful plants. So you get a "green, planted filter solution" that can also look good). Our filter construction instructions can be found below. Jonnys Air Concept offers ready-made solutions: https://www.hamburger-mattenfilter.de/
3. Heater/aquarium heater
We recommend attaching the heating element to the side windows of your aquarium so that you have a clear view of your fish. Please note that the inserted and working heating rod should always be under water, otherwise it will burn out. The heater should run 24 hours a day.
Please attach a small thermometer to the front of your aquarium using a suction cup. So you can easily read and control the temperature. The ideal keeping temperature for discus fish is 28 – 30 °C.
5. Oxygen supply
In addition, we recommend a diaphragm pump with 1-2 vents (air stones)
so that your discus fish get enough oxygen. We recommend installing the membrane pumps for oxygen supply above the water level so that no water can flow out of the aquarium in the event of a power failure.
Discus fish have large eyes and are therefore quite sensitive to light. With an aquarium height of no more than 50 cm, a fluorescent tube with light similar to daylight should be sufficient for a tank depth of up to 40 cm. If the tank is deeper, two fluorescent tubes are needed to provide the plants with sufficient light. The lights should be on for about 12-14 hours a day (7am to 9pm). This period of time can be regulated very well with a timer.
In the wild, Pisces orient themselves by moonlight or the sun. With a night light, which you can control using a timer and which overlaps with the daylight, you help the animals to keep their bearings and minimize fright. Because if your aquarium is in total darkness and a light is suddenly switched on, the discus fish could jump out of the aquarium or swim at high speed in front of the pane and injure themselves. With a night light, you largely eliminate these risks.
We recommend controlling the lighting with a timer for 12-14 hours a day.
ATTENTION: The timer should only be used for the lighting (switch the night light separately) and not inadvertently connected to the pump and the heating element, as these must run continuously!
Decoration for your discus aquarium
We recommend using quartz sand or fine aquarium gravel as substrate. Please remove the dust from the gravel before placing it in the aquarium under running water with the help of a colander (e.g. pasta sieve) to prevent the water from becoming cloudy. Roots, plants and stones Moorkien roots have proven themselves and are available in pet shops. These aquaristic roots do not swim, settle well on the substrate and are also free of pollutants, such as those found in plant protection products. Please only use plants that can permanently tolerate 30°C, such as Amazonas, various Echinodorus species, oak leaf, tiger lotus, cabomba, giant forest sneria and many more (LINK: plant recommendation)
Please ensure that no pointed or sharp-edged objects are placed in your aquarium
to use, as discus fish can sometimes get frightened and "shoot" through the aquarium at high speed. In order to prevent the risk of injury to discus fish, we recommend sawing off and grinding off root tips etc. Please also be careful with stones, as they release minerals and can therefore have a negative impact on the water parameters.
Backgrounds You can purchase foils as backgrounds in pet shops that already come with
Green plants optics are printed. We recommend flipping these back panels and the
For example, to use the black or white side of the film throughout, as the colors of the discus fish come out even better. Back walls in “water optics” also make your aquarium water look blue and have a beautiful underwater look. The foils are attached to the outside of the back pane of the aquarium. Only the "back to nature" backgrounds are used inside the aquarium. In order to create a natural habitat for discus fish, we recommend a "back to nature" background with a root look, which not only looks beautiful, but also works as a filter "Aquarium equipment, filters and decoration tips"
More setup tips
For fellow fish, such as butterfly cichlids, or other dwarf cichlids, we recommend placing half a coconut shell as a breeding ground in your aquarium (upside down with an opening). Suitable companion fish: (LINK: Associated fish for discus fish)