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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 Wed. May / 12 / 2021

Americans adopted or bought so many pets during the COVID-19 pandemic that veterinarians are backlogged, burned out - Capital Gazette
Americans adopted or bought so many pets during the COVID-19 pandemic that veterinarians are backlogged, burned out  Capital Gazette

Pets of the Week: Sugar and Spice - Chesterfield Observer
Pets of the Week: Sugar and Spice  Chesterfield Observer

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

Dogs in front row, pets in Santa hats, a WooSox fan reading a book: A look at the top cutouts at Polar Park f - MassLive.com
Dogs in front row, pets in Santa hats, a WooSox fan reading a book: A look at the top cutouts at Polar Park f  MassLive.com

Seasonal Allergy Medications Pose a Deadly Risk to Pets - PRNewswire
Seasonal Allergy Medications Pose a Deadly Risk to Pets  PRNewswire

Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned in record numbers - New York Post
Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned in record numbers  New York Post

People Are Returning Their Pandemic Pets at Alarming Rates - Yahoo Lifestyle
People Are Returning Their Pandemic Pets at Alarming Rates  Yahoo Lifestyle

Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned at record numbers: report - Fox News
Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned at record numbers: report  Fox News

Creative Acres Sanctuary founder says owners are giving up 'pandemic pets' as they head back to work - The Denver Channel
Creative Acres Sanctuary founder says owners are giving up 'pandemic pets' as they head back to work  The Denver Channel

Pets meant to bring companionship during pandemic are being brought back to animal rescues - WRGB
Pets meant to bring companionship during pandemic are being brought back to animal rescues  WRGB

Exotic pets are in the spotlight at expo in Chesapeake - 13newsnow.com WVEC
Exotic pets are in the spotlight at expo in Chesapeake  13newsnow.com WVEC

How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger - The New York Times
How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger  The New York Times

Pets of the week: Bud is a bundle of energy. Snow Biscuit is super friendly - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Bud is a bundle of energy. Snow Biscuit is super friendly  MLive.com

Pet photos from USA TODAY readers to brighten your day - USA TODAY
Pet photos from USA TODAY readers to brighten your day  USA TODAY

Pandemic Pets: Helping your pet return back to 'normal' - KBTX
Pandemic Pets: Helping your pet return back to 'normal'  KBTX

Shelter pets find new forever homes thanks to recent adoption events - 69News WFMZ-TV
Shelter pets find new forever homes thanks to recent adoption events  69News WFMZ-TV

Pet Expert on Microchipping Cats and Dogs: It's 'the Safest Way to Find and Keep Your Pets' - PEOPLE
Pet Expert on Microchipping Cats and Dogs: It's 'the Safest Way to Find and Keep Your Pets'  PEOPLE

China's netizens call for crackdown after "blind box" pet rescue - Reuters
China's netizens call for crackdown after "blind box" pet rescue  Reuters

‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side - The New York Times
‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side  The New York Times

Pet Cats Fall For Optical Illusions Too - NPR
Pet Cats Fall For Optical Illusions Too  NPR

Pet and shopping scams surge during pandemic - BBC News
Pet and shopping scams surge during pandemic  BBC News

Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you  Tampa Bay Times

The Unshakeable Interspecies Bond of Pet Moms - Vogue
The Unshakeable Interspecies Bond of Pet Moms  Vogue

GRPD: Armed robbery at 28th St. pet supply store - WOODTV.com
GRPD: Armed robbery at 28th St. pet supply store  WOODTV.com

Vote 4 the Best: Pets - Voting - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Vote 4 the Best: Pets - Voting  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Paws Abilities, a locally-owned pet store, now open on 41st Street - KELOLAND.com
Paws Abilities, a locally-owned pet store, now open on 41st Street  KELOLAND.com

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners - New York Post
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners  New York Post

Pet tax deductions 2020: What you can and can’t deduct - MassLive.com
Pet tax deductions 2020: What you can and can’t deduct  MassLive.com

Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes  Tampa Bay Times

Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards? - Vox
Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards?  Vox

Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram! - POPSUGAR
Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram!  POPSUGAR

Michelle and Barack Obama Mourn the Death of Beloved Dog Bo: He 'Was a Constant, Comforting Presence' - PEOPLE
Michelle and Barack Obama Mourn the Death of Beloved Dog Bo: He 'Was a Constant, Comforting Presence'  PEOPLE

2-Legged Cat Uses Instagram to Promote Special Needs Pet Adoptions: 'He Can Teach People' - PEOPLE
2-Legged Cat Uses Instagram to Promote Special Needs Pet Adoptions: 'He Can Teach People'  PEOPLE

Meet the Plus-Size Orphan Pets That Are Seeking New Homes and Healthier Routines in California - PEOPLE
Meet the Plus-Size Orphan Pets That Are Seeking New Homes and Healthier Routines in California  PEOPLE

Pet Talk: What to know about owning exotic pets - Bryan-College Station Eagle
Pet Talk: What to know about owning exotic pets  Bryan-College Station Eagle

5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police - ABC News
5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police  ABC News

15-year-old cockatiel allegedly stolen from Tropic Waters Pet Center - WEAU
15-year-old cockatiel allegedly stolen from Tropic Waters Pet Center  WEAU

Pets of the Week - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week  Clarksville Now

How To Compare Pet Insurance Quotes – Forbes Advisor - Forbes
How To Compare Pet Insurance Quotes – Forbes Advisor  Forbes

U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress - Reuters
U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress  Reuters

Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping - PRNewswire
Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping  PRNewswire

My friend set up a GoFundMe to pay for her sick pet, instead of getting a refund on our vacation. I canceled the trip. Who’s right? - MarketWatch
My friend set up a GoFundMe to pay for her sick pet, instead of getting a refund on our vacation. I canceled the trip. Who’s right?  MarketWatch

Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits - Baltimore Sun
Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits  Baltimore Sun

Petco Love Launches Game-Changing Centralized Solution To Help Reunite Lost Pets With Their Families - PRNewswire
Petco Love Launches Game-Changing Centralized Solution To Help Reunite Lost Pets With Their Families  PRNewswire

Meet our pets of the week: A bonded pair of dogs, a duck and a bunny - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: A bonded pair of dogs, a duck and a bunny  STLtoday.com

Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat - Modern Farmer
Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat  Modern Farmer

How to Get a Deal on Pet Supplies Online - ConsumerReports.org
How to Get a Deal on Pet Supplies Online  ConsumerReports.org

Proposed pet breeding facility in Cochise County draws opposition from Tucson, beyond - Arizona Daily Star
Proposed pet breeding facility in Cochise County draws opposition from Tucson, beyond  Arizona Daily Star

Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It. - Barron's
Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It.  Barron's

Does Your Pet Have Separation Anxiety? Or Do You? - The New York Times
Does Your Pet Have Separation Anxiety? Or Do You?  The New York Times

Lily the cockatiel bird stolen from Tropic Waters Pet Center - WQOW TV News 18
Lily the cockatiel bird stolen from Tropic Waters Pet Center  WQOW TV News 18

'Heartbroken': Owners say animals died in Fayetteville pet store fire - WRAL.com
'Heartbroken': Owners say animals died in Fayetteville pet store fire  WRAL.com

Hill's Pet Nutrition Teams Up With TikTok To Celebrate National Pet Day - PRNewswire
Hill's Pet Nutrition Teams Up With TikTok To Celebrate National Pet Day  PRNewswire

How to buy a pet without getting scammed - MarketWatch
How to buy a pet without getting scammed  MarketWatch

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21)  ABC15 Arizona

U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing - NBC News
U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing  NBC News

The 26 Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in the Country - PureWow
The 26 Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in the Country  PureWow

Family Who Lost 2 Dogs to Sago Palms Wants Pet Owners to Know About the Toxic, Prevalent Plant - PEOPLE
Family Who Lost 2 Dogs to Sago Palms Wants Pet Owners to Know About the Toxic, Prevalent Plant  PEOPLE

Chewy cashed in on pandemic pet boom but now must keep leash on Amazon - Financial Times
Chewy cashed in on pandemic pet boom but now must keep leash on Amazon  Financial Times

Twelve puppies valued at $49,000 stolen from Largo pet store, police say - Tampa Bay Times
Twelve puppies valued at $49,000 stolen from Largo pet store, police say  Tampa Bay Times

Ask 2: Can you drive with your pet on your lap? - KPRC Click2Houston
Ask 2: Can you drive with your pet on your lap?  KPRC Click2Houston

Colorado Springs area pet organizations | Lifestyle | gazette.com - Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs area pet organizations | Lifestyle | gazette.com  Colorado Springs Gazette

Pet of the Day from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia - FOX 5 Atlanta
Pet of the Day from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia  FOX 5 Atlanta

Pet Licenses - yumaaz.gov
Pet Licenses  yumaaz.gov

The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work - CNN
The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work  CNN

The 20 Least Expensive Pets to Own - Newsweek
The 20 Least Expensive Pets to Own  Newsweek

Pets of the Week: Apollo and CeCe - Chesterfield Observer
Pets of the Week: Apollo and CeCe  Chesterfield Observer

Major coronavirus variant found in pets for first time - Science Magazine
Major coronavirus variant found in pets for first time  Science Magazine

'I don't want these dogs to suffer': Pet surrenders becoming tragic part of pandemic - USA TODAY
'I don't want these dogs to suffer': Pet surrenders becoming tragic part of pandemic  USA TODAY

Living with Pets: Help your older pet stay comfortable at home - The Mercury News
Living with Pets: Help your older pet stay comfortable at home  The Mercury News

Pets and the pandemic | Articles | fairfaxtimes.com - Fairfaxtimes.com
Pets and the pandemic | Articles | fairfaxtimes.com  Fairfaxtimes.com

U.S. regulators inch toward pet-insurance rules as Sir Purrs A Lot ails - Reuters
U.S. regulators inch toward pet-insurance rules as Sir Purrs A Lot ails  Reuters

Pets Became Purrfect Pals During Pandemic While Startup Funding Didn't Lay Down - Crunchbase News
Pets Became Purrfect Pals During Pandemic While Startup Funding Didn't Lay Down  Crunchbase News

Do we need a COVID-19 vaccine for pets? - Science Magazine
Do we need a COVID-19 vaccine for pets?  Science Magazine

Pets are helping us cope during the pandemic—but that may be stressing them out - National Geographic
Pets are helping us cope during the pandemic—but that may be stressing them out  National Geographic

11 best Valentine's Day gifts for your pets in 2021 - NBC News
11 best Valentine's Day gifts for your pets in 2021  NBC News

News Scientists Scanning Household Pets for COVID-19 - WebMD
News Scientists Scanning Household Pets for COVID-19  WebMD

All the Presidents' Pets - Today.com - Today.com - Today.com - Today.com
All the Presidents' Pets - Today.com - Today.com - Today.com  Today.com

White House pets, from adorable to very weird - CBS News
White House pets, from adorable to very weird  CBS News

The pet business is booming as Americans spend more on their animals while they work from home - CNBC
The pet business is booming as Americans spend more on their animals while they work from home  CNBC

In Isolating Times, Can Robo-Pets Provide Comfort? - The New York Times
In Isolating Times, Can Robo-Pets Provide Comfort?  The New York Times

Many exotic pets suffer or die in transit, and beyond—and the U.S. government is failing to act - National Geographic
Many exotic pets suffer or die in transit, and beyond—and the U.S. government is failing to act  National Geographic

Should You Get A Dog Or Cat? Stories Of Pet Ownership In The Pandemic : Shots - Health News - NPR
Should You Get A Dog Or Cat? Stories Of Pet Ownership In The Pandemic : Shots - Health News  NPR

Salmonella Scare Drives Pet Food Recall - WebMD - WebMD - WebMD
Salmonella Scare Drives Pet Food Recall - WebMD - WebMD  WebMD

21 Truly Low-Maintenance Pets Because a Dog Is Out of the Question - PureWow
21 Truly Low-Maintenance Pets Because a Dog Is Out of the Question  PureWow

Pet product bestsellers: Most purchased pet food and supplies we covered - NBC News
Pet product bestsellers: Most purchased pet food and supplies we covered  NBC News

Photos: A look at presidential pets through the years - Winona Daily News
Photos: A look at presidential pets through the years  Winona Daily News

How Families Who Took in Pandemic Pets Are Handling Things Months Later - GoodHousekeeping.com
How Families Who Took in Pandemic Pets Are Handling Things Months Later  GoodHousekeeping.com

Looking For The Best Pet For Your Fam? Consider One (Or More!) Of These - Scary Mommy
Looking For The Best Pet For Your Fam? Consider One (Or More!) Of These  Scary Mommy

Survey Reveals Pandemic Pet Owners Worried About Returning to the Workplace, While Employers Plan to Offer New Pet-Friendly Policies - PRNewswire
Survey Reveals Pandemic Pet Owners Worried About Returning to the Workplace, While Employers Plan to Offer New Pet-Friendly Policies  PRNewswire

Pandemic pet boom puts dogs, cats and other critters at the top of the holiday gift list - CNBC
Pandemic pet boom puts dogs, cats and other critters at the top of the holiday gift list  CNBC

Pet of the Week: 2021 pets - WTOP
Pet of the Week: 2021 pets  WTOP

Looking For an Adorable, Low-Maintenance Pet? These Are 10 of the Best! - POPSUGAR
Looking For an Adorable, Low-Maintenance Pet? These Are 10 of the Best!  POPSUGAR

Rescue Animals Are TIME's 2020 Pet of the Year - TIME
Rescue Animals Are TIME's 2020 Pet of the Year  TIME

Demand for pets is soaring during the pandemic. This company is cashing in - CNN
Demand for pets is soaring during the pandemic. This company is cashing in  CNN

Tampa Bay area pets hoping to find forever homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hoping to find forever homes  Tampa Bay Times

Pets Best vs. Healthy Paws: Coverage, Costs & Features - Investopedia
Pets Best vs. Healthy Paws: Coverage, Costs & Features  Investopedia

Popular flea collar linked to almost 1,700 pet deaths. The EPA has issued no warning. - USA TODAY
Popular flea collar linked to almost 1,700 pet deaths. The EPA has issued no warning.  USA TODAY

So many pets have been adopted during the pandemic that shelters are running out - The Washington Post
So many pets have been adopted during the pandemic that shelters are running out  The Washington Post

Are Altcoins Just Like Pets.com? - ETF Trends
Are Altcoins Just Like Pets.com?  ETF Trends

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