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Water Chemistry For The Discus Tank


Much has been written about the Discus, or Symphysodon aequifasciatus, its Latin name. The Discus has always been given a bad rap for being hard to raise and difficult to keep. Actually, these long-lived fishes are easy to keep as long as certain guidelines are followed.

Here, we discuss the different water parameters that MUST be followed if we are to insure that our Discus friends are kept happy and healthy.

Testing the Waters

Initially, you will need to test for chloramine and chlorine, pH, and alkalinity. If you are a city dweller, a lot of this information can be gotten from the city waterworks, and although a good idea to do so, I would not recommend that you rely exactly on this information. At anywhere from $275 to $425 for a breeding pair, an initial investment for a decent PH/TDS meter is well qualified. Currently at King Discus Hatchery, we use a Hanna Combo PH/TDS meter that measures in ppt (parts per trillion) for the most accurate reading of our tanks.

Determining the levels of pH and alkalinity in your base water is the first step in this process. Although some base water is quite good for the discus with little or no buffering, some water will need extensive conditioning before the first Discus can be introduced into the tank. Once you know the levels of PH and alkalinity, water chemistry tests should be conducted on a regular basis.

Test on a regular basis. When you are comfortable with this process, it is time to and add a few more tests to the battery of tests performed.

These tests will be for nitrite and nitrate, phosphate. In the planted tank, you will need to also test for iron and CO2. Test kits are very easy to use if instructions are followed to the letter. A particular number of drops of the testing reagent must always be accurate, following instructions on the test kit, or test results can be skewed. Test kits and probes available for the aquarium are quite inexpensive and easy to use, and can generally be bought at your local pet supply store, especially if they specialize in aquarium keeping.

Toxins in the Water Supply

Be aware that Chlorine or chloramine are routinely added to the water in many urban areas. Using a simple color test kit to determine the presence and concentration of either is very advisable. Removing these elements of chlorine or chloramine is a vital part of the process to properly condition your water. Conditioning is carefully adjusting the chemistry of the water to raise it to the parameters required for Discus keeping. Aging the water through carbon filtration (mechanical), aging the water, and proper aeration will be of benefit. Be aware, though, that aeration will not remove chloramine from your water. Chlorine can also be removed by adding prepared chlorine removers, but Nick Lockhart, the breeder for King Discus Hatchery, is not fond of using buffering agents. Constant water changes in the Discus tank will only leach these buffers, and then you are unsure of where your water chemistry is at. Nothing will harm the Discus more than wild fluctuations of PH. It is much more advisable to use reverse osmosis or deionization. We use RO, with a special Peat Moss filter to accomplish our parameters. The process of RO with fine tuned filtration of the RO water will remove virtually all toxins, but one must be aware that Discus cannot live in pure RO water, and steps must again be taken to insure proper levels of acidity/PH in the RO water. Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia, and some water companies need to use this for disinfection of the water supply.

If these simple tests are done on a regular basis, and care is taken to insure that there are no wild PH swings in the Discus tank, your success as a Discus breeder are much higher.

Alden Smith is a published author, and has been marketing on the internet for 7 years. His website, King Discus, is an active gathering place for discus breeders and lovers of discus fish. His wife Betsy is the administrator of All The Best Recipes a site rich in online recipes and cookbooks.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Fri. November / 22 / 2019

A Paws for Pets - York News-Times
A Paws for Pets  York News-Times

Check out the pets you can adopt fee-free in Minneapolis on Friday - Bring Me The News
Check out the pets you can adopt fee-free in Minneapolis on Friday  Bring Me The News

Don’t feed pets these Thanksgiving foods - WWBT NBC12 News
Don’t feed pets these Thanksgiving foods  WWBT NBC12 News

Massive ‘Borderlands 3’ Patch Buffs Moze’s Mech, FL4K’s Pets And Zane’s Everything - Forbes
Massive ‘Borderlands 3’ Patch Buffs Moze’s Mech, FL4K’s Pets And Zane’s Everything  Forbes

6 Thanksgiving foods you should keep away from your pets - WNDU-TV
6 Thanksgiving foods you should keep away from your pets  WNDU-TV

New Immune-Boosting Pet Supplement May Add Years to the Life of Your Pet - PRNewswire
New Immune-Boosting Pet Supplement May Add Years to the Life of Your Pet  PRNewswire

Petition seeks medical marijuana for ailing household pets - Boston Herald
Petition seeks medical marijuana for ailing household pets  Boston Herald

Free pet food offered Nov. 23 at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center - Press-Enterprise
Free pet food offered Nov. 23 at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center  Press-Enterprise

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Cosmos - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Cosmos - 47abc  WMDT

Innovet Pet Releases Thanksgiving Food Guide For Keeping Pets Safe During The Holiday - PRNewswire
Innovet Pet Releases Thanksgiving Food Guide For Keeping Pets Safe During The Holiday  PRNewswire

Pets of the Week for Nov. 21 - Chico Enterprise-Record
Pets of the Week for Nov. 21  Chico Enterprise-Record

Christmas themed fundraiser is spreading holiday joy and helping pets - KAUZ
Christmas themed fundraiser is spreading holiday joy and helping pets  KAUZ

Pets of the Week: Maverick, Jack, Finny and Margot are ready for adoption - The Daily Breeze
Pets of the Week: Maverick, Jack, Finny and Margot are ready for adoption  The Daily Breeze

Protecting your pets from harmful food this holiday season - WISHTV.com
Protecting your pets from harmful food this holiday season  WISHTV.com

Bells Will Be Ringing, Tails Will Be Wagging: Pet Owners to Spend an Average of $137 on Furry Friends During Holidays - PRNewswire
Bells Will Be Ringing, Tails Will Be Wagging: Pet Owners to Spend an Average of $137 on Furry Friends During Holidays  PRNewswire

Pets for adoption | Entertainment - Arizona Daily Star
Pets for adoption | Entertainment  Arizona Daily Star

Pets of the Week - Lewiston Sun Journal
Pets of the Week  Lewiston Sun Journal

Pets available for adoption at Goleta animal Adopt-a-thon - KEYT
Pets available for adoption at Goleta animal Adopt-a-thon  KEYT

These adorable pets need new homes! - WCVB Boston
These adorable pets need new homes!  WCVB Boston

5 pets escape blaze at Wake Forest home - Wakeweekly
5 pets escape blaze at Wake Forest home  Wakeweekly

How Sasha the lost cat found his way home after 5 years and 1,300 miles - AZCentral
How Sasha the lost cat found his way home after 5 years and 1,300 miles  AZCentral

Heart of America Humane Society left without way to transport KCK pets after van vandalized - KSHB
Heart of America Humane Society left without way to transport KCK pets after van vandalized  KSHB

Losing a pet is tough. That's why this program that helps pet owners deal with grief wants to expand - KPAX-TV
Losing a pet is tough. That's why this program that helps pet owners deal with grief wants to expand  KPAX-TV

Hen party: Portsmouth man wins right to keep chickens as pets - Seacoastonline.com
Hen party: Portsmouth man wins right to keep chickens as pets  Seacoastonline.com

Pets of the Week: Louie, Champ, Bobby and Jasper are ready for adoption - Long Beach Press Telegram
Pets of the Week: Louie, Champ, Bobby and Jasper are ready for adoption  Long Beach Press Telegram

NAWS Adoptable Pets Of The Week: La Grange And Harlem - Mokena, IL Patch
NAWS Adoptable Pets Of The Week: La Grange And Harlem  Mokena, IL Patch

Thanksgiving table staples that could be toxic to your pets - Cleveland 19 News
Thanksgiving table staples that could be toxic to your pets  Cleveland 19 News

Exotic Pets in Minnesota - Mpls.St.Paul Magazine
Exotic Pets in Minnesota  Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

All Pets Puppy Pick – Wheeling Central at Ritchie County - WBOY.com
All Pets Puppy Pick – Wheeling Central at Ritchie County  WBOY.com

Frozen cat food recalled over salmonella risk posed to pets and owners - USA TODAY
Frozen cat food recalled over salmonella risk posed to pets and owners  USA TODAY

Don't let the kids down! Fortnite, Treasure X and Little Live Pets toys start at just $5 - Yahoo Lifestyle
Don't let the kids down! Fortnite, Treasure X and Little Live Pets toys start at just $5  Yahoo Lifestyle

Animal Clinic of Milford/ Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips - Patch.com
Animal Clinic of Milford/ Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips  Patch.com

Pet events: Holiday events coming up for pets and people - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pet events: Holiday events coming up for pets and people  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Anonymous Donor Gives 40000 Pounds Of Pet Food To Shelter - 750 KXL
Anonymous Donor Gives 40000 Pounds Of Pet Food To Shelter  750 KXL

How to make sure your pet has a stress-free holiday - Yahoo Lifestyle
How to make sure your pet has a stress-free holiday  Yahoo Lifestyle

It's A Zoo Out There: Pets, Service Animals And Emotional Support Animals - Forbes
It's A Zoo Out There: Pets, Service Animals And Emotional Support Animals  Forbes

Foods for pets to avoid during the holiday season with Vet Blair - KARK
Foods for pets to avoid during the holiday season with Vet Blair  KARK

Several pets rescued, one dog dies in large house fire in Franklin - FOX61 Hartford
Several pets rescued, one dog dies in large house fire in Franklin  FOX61 Hartford

The pet industry's shift towards technology - Axios
The pet industry's shift towards technology  Axios

Freeze-Dried Pets Are Forever - Slate
Freeze-Dried Pets Are Forever  Slate

Pets take pictures with Santa - WTAP-TV
Pets take pictures with Santa  WTAP-TV

Pets, people, cows all pollute the Río Fernando - taosnews
Pets, people, cows all pollute the Río Fernando  taosnews

'They're like children': How to keep pets safe amid record-breaking cold weather - USA TODAY
'They're like children': How to keep pets safe amid record-breaking cold weather  USA TODAY

Meeting held on prevention tactics after pets attacked by coyotes in College Park - WESH 2 Orlando
Meeting held on prevention tactics after pets attacked by coyotes in College Park  WESH 2 Orlando

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets Out Today for PS VR - PlayStation.Blog
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets Out Today for PS VR  PlayStation.Blog

Pet of the Week: Strawberry the Shepherd - WKOW
Pet of the Week: Strawberry the Shepherd  WKOW

Anonymous donor gives 40,000 pounds of pet food to Oregon shelter - Q13 News Seattle
Anonymous donor gives 40,000 pounds of pet food to Oregon shelter  Q13 News Seattle

Middle school students running their own pet supply company - KMOV.com
Middle school students running their own pet supply company  KMOV.com

Dos and don'ts of Thanksgiving pet treats - NorthcentralPa.com
Dos and don'ts of Thanksgiving pet treats  NorthcentralPa.com

Leon County Humane Society collecting pet food donations for seniors in need - WTXL ABC 27
Leon County Humane Society collecting pet food donations for seniors in need  WTXL ABC 27

Is Your Pet at Risk For Breast Cancer? - NBC 6 South Florida
Is Your Pet at Risk For Breast Cancer?  NBC 6 South Florida

Ivey awards grant to provide shelter for pets in domestic violence situations - NBC 15 WPMI
Ivey awards grant to provide shelter for pets in domestic violence situations  NBC 15 WPMI

Adoption center has senior pets looking for a home - KOB
Adoption center has senior pets looking for a home  KOB

Cat Food Sold Nationwide Is Recalled Over Risks To Pets And Humans - KFSM 5Newsonline
Cat Food Sold Nationwide Is Recalled Over Risks To Pets And Humans  KFSM 5Newsonline

Rabies confirmed in pet cat, Michigan county health officials say - MLive.com
Rabies confirmed in pet cat, Michigan county health officials say  MLive.com

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Ozzy - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Ozzy - 47abc  WMDT

San Diego and NYC animal shelters receive 230,000 pounds of pet food for holidays - CBS News 8
San Diego and NYC animal shelters receive 230,000 pounds of pet food for holidays  CBS News 8

Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science - NBCNews.com
Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science  NBCNews.com

Tim Tebow gives 'one of the toughest goodbyes' to his pet dog, Bronco, in emotional video post - ESPN
Tim Tebow gives 'one of the toughest goodbyes' to his pet dog, Bronco, in emotional video post  ESPN

Here's proof pets have unconditional love for their humans - WLWT Cincinnati
Here's proof pets have unconditional love for their humans  WLWT Cincinnati

Where do your pets fit in with your holiday plans? - WTOP
Where do your pets fit in with your holiday plans?  WTOP

Holiday Spending On Pets Is Geared Toward This Type Of Furry Friend, Poll Finds - Romper
Holiday Spending On Pets Is Geared Toward This Type Of Furry Friend, Poll Finds  Romper

Pups in tuxes and paw-dicures at pet-friendly Fur Ball to support PAWS Chicago - Chicago Tribune
Pups in tuxes and paw-dicures at pet-friendly Fur Ball to support PAWS Chicago  Chicago Tribune

U of S research looks into health benefits of cannabis for pets - Saskatoon StarPhoenix
U of S research looks into health benefits of cannabis for pets  Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Pet Startup Pawp Wants To Take A Bite Out Of Chewy - Forbes
Pet Startup Pawp Wants To Take A Bite Out Of Chewy  Forbes

Pet of the Week: Artica - Greensboro News & Record
Pet of the Week: Artica  Greensboro News & Record

Pet photos with Santa - Chicago Tribune
Pet photos with Santa  Chicago Tribune

City warns pet owners to be wary of weather - Monitor
City warns pet owners to be wary of weather  Monitor

Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 20, 2019 - OregonLive
Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 20, 2019  OregonLive

Local adoption center needs help rescuing more pets - WHNT News 19
Local adoption center needs help rescuing more pets  WHNT News 19

NJ pets in need: Nov. 18, 2019 - NJ.com
NJ pets in need: Nov. 18, 2019  NJ.com

Several pets dead, home damaged in Longview fire - KLTV
Several pets dead, home damaged in Longview fire  KLTV

Pets Get An Oppawtunity To Explore David Lawrence Center - CBS Pittsburgh
Pets Get An Oppawtunity To Explore David Lawrence Center  CBS Pittsburgh

KPD Animal Control accepting pet supply donations - WVLT.TV
KPD Animal Control accepting pet supply donations  WVLT.TV

Can my pet eat this? Holiday food tips for your pets - KRON4
Can my pet eat this? Holiday food tips for your pets  KRON4

Pet of the week - Simi Valley Acorn
Pet of the week  Simi Valley Acorn

Pets with Potential: Meet Kitty - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Meet Kitty  WCAX

Lost And Found Pets In Metro Denver, Boulder: Week Of Nov. 18 - Patch.com
Lost And Found Pets In Metro Denver, Boulder: Week Of Nov. 18  Patch.com

Pets prance at Santa Paws 5K :: Out and About at - WRAL.com
Pets prance at Santa Paws 5K :: Out and About at  WRAL.com

Broome County Humane Society reminding pet owners of importance of spaying and neutering - WBNG-TV
Broome County Humane Society reminding pet owners of importance of spaying and neutering  WBNG-TV

Kent County Animal Shelter waiving fees on adoptable pets - WZZM13.com
Kent County Animal Shelter waiving fees on adoptable pets  WZZM13.com

The best pet and animal related gifts of 2019 - Los Angeles Times
The best pet and animal related gifts of 2019  Los Angeles Times

Free preventative care clinic for pets for low-income, homeless pet owners happening Monday - KSAT San Antonio
Free preventative care clinic for pets for low-income, homeless pet owners happening Monday  KSAT San Antonio

Protecting your pets from the cold - WITN
Protecting your pets from the cold  WITN

Meet Perfect Pet, Bill Nye! - KGO-TV
Meet Perfect Pet, Bill Nye!  KGO-TV

Residents, pets escape Coventry house fire - WPRI.com
Residents, pets escape Coventry house fire  WPRI.com

Nashville Is Going to the Dogs in a Good Way — And Your City Can Too! - PEOPLE.com
Nashville Is Going to the Dogs in a Good Way — And Your City Can Too!  PEOPLE.com

Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Jasper - Patchogue, NY Patch
Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Jasper  Patchogue, NY Patch

ARL rescues 26 pets from Des Moines feces-filled home, cages - KCCI Des Moines
ARL rescues 26 pets from Des Moines feces-filled home, cages  KCCI Des Moines

Lost And Found Pets Of Will County: Week of Nov. 18 - Mokena, IL Patch
Lost And Found Pets Of Will County: Week of Nov. 18  Mokena, IL Patch

Pet Parents: This Is Your Holiday-Travel Essential - Refinery29
Pet Parents: This Is Your Holiday-Travel Essential  Refinery29

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (11/19/2019) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (11/19/2019)  ABC15 Arizona

'Bring your pets inside.' MACC on protecting your pets in the cold - NewsChannel5.com
'Bring your pets inside.' MACC on protecting your pets in the cold  NewsChannel5.com

Meet Perfect Pets, Bell Bell and Petey! - KGO-TV
Meet Perfect Pets, Bell Bell and Petey!  KGO-TV

Pets of the week: Abandoned by his owner, pretty Marshmallow needs some love - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Abandoned by his owner, pretty Marshmallow needs some love  MLive.com

Now You Can Turn that Ugly Holiday Sweater You Want to Regift Into a Cute Toy for Your Pet - PEOPLE.com
Now You Can Turn that Ugly Holiday Sweater You Want to Regift Into a Cute Toy for Your Pet  PEOPLE.com

Scientists develop sensor to save children and pets from hot car deaths - CNN
Scientists develop sensor to save children and pets from hot car deaths  CNN

Hurricane Katrina inspired a national pet evacuation policy. The plan could save human lives, too. - Vox.com
Hurricane Katrina inspired a national pet evacuation policy. The plan could save human lives, too.  Vox.com

Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 13, 2019 - OregonLive
Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 13, 2019  OregonLive

California Veterans Can Soon Get Free Pets - Military.com
California Veterans Can Soon Get Free Pets  Military.com

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