Ask Aquariaman
Advice column all about aquariums by J. Hotelling
Subject: Discus

Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000

I just purchased 2 - 4" discus for a 37 gallon tank. The only other fish in the tank is a small bristle nose plecostomus. Would it be okay to put some type of small schooling fish in with them to liven up the tank? What would you recommend? Or should discus be kept by themselves? Seems there arevarious "schools" of thought on this matter. Your input would be appreciated.


Congratulations on your purchase of “the king of freshwater fish.” There

are several factors to note here.

A 37-gallon will end up being just about large enough for your two tank

mates and their pleco friend. You must remember that Discus can grow quite

large. There are several schools of thought on this matter, but I think

what it comes down to is what your intentions are. If you were breeding the

Discus, you would want to keep them by themselves. Removing the pleco would

even be a good idea. If you just want to keep the fish for pleasure, there

are several small schooling fish that could be kept with the Discus. Be

sure to investigate and find fish that have the same requirements. There

are several Tetra species that like their ph on the low side, as Discus do.

You will also want to make sure your ph is buffered with little to no


I wish you all the best and hope you find many years of enjoyment with your

new friends.



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