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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 Tue. August / 16 / 2022

Senate Passes Bipartisan Bill to Protect Pets and Other Animals During and After Natural Disasters - HS Today - HSToday
Senate Passes Bipartisan Bill to Protect Pets and Other Animals During and After Natural Disasters - HS Today  HSToday

The Best Carpet Cleaners For Pets That Make It Possible To Take Back Your Home - Forbes
The Best Carpet Cleaners For Pets That Make It Possible To Take Back Your Home  Forbes

A final resting place for people — and their pets - Star Tribune
A final resting place for people — and their pets  Star Tribune

Airlines are separating families, kids and pets on rebooked flights - The Washington Post
Airlines are separating families, kids and pets on rebooked flights  The Washington Post

These Seven Animals Are Illegal To Have As Pets In California - KFI AM 640
These Seven Animals Are Illegal To Have As Pets In California  KFI AM 640

House fire in Ames kills six family pets - Ames Tribune
House fire in Ames kills six family pets  Ames Tribune

League of Legends Is Adding Jungle Pets - ComicBook.com
League of Legends Is Adding Jungle Pets  ComicBook.com

Are Spotted Lanternflies safe for pets to eat? - WPMT FOX 43
Are Spotted Lanternflies safe for pets to eat?  WPMT FOX 43

7 Best Pet Insurance Companies in New Mexico (2022) - MarketWatch
7 Best Pet Insurance Companies in New Mexico (2022)  MarketWatch

Clarksville Area Pets of the Week for August 15th, 2022 - Clarksville Online
Clarksville Area Pets of the Week for August 15th, 2022  Clarksville Online

Dog tests positive for monkeypox in first suspected human-to-pet transmission - The Hill
Dog tests positive for monkeypox in first suspected human-to-pet transmission  The Hill

42% Of Pet Owners Can't Cover A Surprise Vet Bill Amid Inflation - Forbes
42% Of Pet Owners Can't Cover A Surprise Vet Bill Amid Inflation  Forbes

Brookhaven residents can adopt pets at no charge - Reporter Newspapers
Brookhaven residents can adopt pets at no charge  Reporter Newspapers

UK rising cost of living forcing Britons to part ways with pets - Fox Business
UK rising cost of living forcing Britons to part ways with pets  Fox Business

Danville Fire Department gets new masks for pets - WDBJ
Danville Fire Department gets new masks for pets  WDBJ

Pets in the Metaverse: Can Technology Put an End to Overflowing Animal Shelters? - Sentient Media
Pets in the Metaverse: Can Technology Put an End to Overflowing Animal Shelters?  Sentient Media

Drew Barrymore Loves This Internet-Famous Waste Bag Holder That Makes it ‘So Easy’ to Clean Up After Pets - SheKnows
Drew Barrymore Loves This Internet-Famous Waste Bag Holder That Makes it ‘So Easy’ to Clean Up After Pets  SheKnows

Schuyler County SPCA ‘overwhelmed’ with pets; asking for adoptions or donations - WETM - MyTwinTiers.com
Schuyler County SPCA ‘overwhelmed’ with pets; asking for adoptions or donations  WETM - MyTwinTiers.com

Wellness tips all pet parents should know - KMPH Fox 26
Wellness tips all pet parents should know  KMPH Fox 26

Exotic pets first brought monkeypox to the U.S., and 19 years later, we still barely regulate them - San Francisco Chronicle
Exotic pets first brought monkeypox to the U.S., and 19 years later, we still barely regulate them  San Francisco Chronicle

Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund helps families, pets - Dayton Daily News
Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund helps families, pets  Dayton Daily News

Animal shelter urges owners to vaccinate pets amid uptick in diseases - WANE
Animal shelter urges owners to vaccinate pets amid uptick in diseases  WANE

Animal care sanctuary adopts record-setting 22 pets during event - Morning Times
Animal care sanctuary adopts record-setting 22 pets during event  Morning Times

Molly Maid® Launches Contest to Find the Nation's Messiest Kids and Pets - PR Newswire
Molly Maid® Launches Contest to Find the Nation's Messiest Kids and Pets  PR Newswire

Florida Gators, Florida Credit Union Launch “Pet of the Game” During Football Season to Benefit Humane Society of North Central Florida - Learfield
Florida Gators, Florida Credit Union Launch “Pet of the Game” During Football Season to Benefit Humane Society of North Central Florida  Learfield

Neighbor warns after suspecting coyotes for missing pets - News3LV
Neighbor warns after suspecting coyotes for missing pets  News3LV

‘Bullet Train’ & ‘Super-Pets’ Lick $100M+ Worldwide; ‘Minions’ Nears $800M – International Box Office - Deadline
‘Bullet Train’ & ‘Super-Pets’ Lick $100M+ Worldwide; ‘Minions’ Nears $800M – International Box Office  Deadline

Dr. Maro: Pet owners can find solutions for 'bad' pet behaviors - The Times
Dr. Maro: Pet owners can find solutions for 'bad' pet behaviors  The Times

Monroe County Animal Control Pets of the Week - Monroe Evening News
Monroe County Animal Control Pets of the Week  Monroe Evening News

Pets Alive to build new animal shelter - Mid Hudson News Website
Pets Alive to build new animal shelter  Mid Hudson News Website

Stockton readers send in pets, wildlife for August photo challenge - Stockton Record
Stockton readers send in pets, wildlife for August photo challenge  Stockton Record

As court case closes, Pets In Need opens up about revamped protocols - Mountain View Voice
As court case closes, Pets In Need opens up about revamped protocols  Mountain View Voice

PAUL'S PETS: 'Pepper' the dog up for adoption at Human Educational Society in Chattanooga - Local 3 News
PAUL'S PETS: 'Pepper' the dog up for adoption at Human Educational Society in Chattanooga  Local 3 News

NAIC Passes Pet Insurance Model Act - PR Newswire
NAIC Passes Pet Insurance Model Act  PR Newswire

Local animal shelter supporting pets in need - ABC4.com
Local animal shelter supporting pets in need  ABC4.com

Dog, cat die in fire; 4 other pets rescued from Ocala apartment, officials say - WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando
Dog, cat die in fire; 4 other pets rescued from Ocala apartment, officials say  WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando

These pet-friendly Palm Beach hotels and resorts welcome dogs - Palm Beach Daily News
These pet-friendly Palm Beach hotels and resorts welcome dogs  Palm Beach Daily News

From the Archives: Pets on Pot (2007) - High Times
From the Archives: Pets on Pot (2007)  High Times

'Pay-what-you-can' for adoption of pets from Berks ARL - 69News WFMZ-TV
'Pay-what-you-can' for adoption of pets from Berks ARL  69News WFMZ-TV

Pet fees hit Texas renters unequally, but landlord group says they’re necessary - KVEO-TV
Pet fees hit Texas renters unequally, but landlord group says they’re necessary  KVEO-TV

Higher housing costs force more pet owners to surrender their dogs - CNBC
Higher housing costs force more pet owners to surrender their dogs  CNBC

Pets of all kinds shine at Carnation Festival show - The-review
Pets of all kinds shine at Carnation Festival show  The-review

Paws Humane Society to host pet food pantry for Ga. and Ala. residents - WTVY
Paws Humane Society to host pet food pantry for Ga. and Ala. residents  WTVY

These scientists are working to extend the life span of pet dogs—and their owners - MIT Technology Review
These scientists are working to extend the life span of pet dogs—and their owners  MIT Technology Review

Clear the Shelters: Humane Society of Tampa Bay looking for families for hundreds of pets - WFLA
Clear the Shelters: Humane Society of Tampa Bay looking for families for hundreds of pets  WFLA

Protecting pets | News | fergusfallsjournal.com - Fergus Falls Daily Journal
Protecting pets | News | fergusfallsjournal.com  Fergus Falls Daily Journal

More owners surrendering pets at shelter, blaming economy - WJXT News4JAX
More owners surrendering pets at shelter, blaming economy  WJXT News4JAX

Cats and dogs know and choose when they will die: pet psychic - New York Post
Cats and dogs know and choose when they will die: pet psychic  New York Post

How to keep your dog and other pets cool in the heat - CNN
How to keep your dog and other pets cool in the heat  CNN

Ontario pet rescues overwhelmed by 'pandemic pets' | CTV News - CTV News London
Ontario pet rescues overwhelmed by 'pandemic pets' | CTV News  CTV News London

10 Tips for Pet Parents Moving Their Fur Baby for the First Time - PR Web
10 Tips for Pet Parents Moving Their Fur Baby for the First Time  PR Web

Boy donates baggy filled with dollar bills he'd saved for one year to help feed dogs at shelter - KENS5.com
Boy donates baggy filled with dollar bills he'd saved for one year to help feed dogs at shelter  KENS5.com

Free Rabies Vaccines for Westchester Pets Saturday August 27 - Westchester.gov
Free Rabies Vaccines for Westchester Pets Saturday August 27  Westchester.gov

Maxed out! Maricopa County animal shelters overflowing with pets - Arizona's Family
Maxed out! Maricopa County animal shelters overflowing with pets  Arizona's Family

Acupuncture therapy in pets - DVM 360
Acupuncture therapy in pets  DVM 360

Chewy achieves pet food donation milestone - Pet Food Processing
Chewy achieves pet food donation milestone  Pet Food Processing

Brad Pitt starrer 'Bullet Train’ chugs past ‘DC League of Super-Pets’ to dominate box office - MEAWW
Brad Pitt starrer 'Bullet Train’ chugs past ‘DC League of Super-Pets’ to dominate box office  MEAWW

New Phillipsburg-area pet salon and spa is for the dogs (and some cats) - lehighvalleylive.com
New Phillipsburg-area pet salon and spa is for the dogs (and some cats)  lehighvalleylive.com

Find Forever Homes for Pets in Need - FirstCoastNews.com WTLV-WJXX
Find Forever Homes for Pets in Need  FirstCoastNews.com WTLV-WJXX

SOMA Animal Hospital Welcomes Pet Patients - The Potrero View
SOMA Animal Hospital Welcomes Pet Patients  The Potrero View

2nd Chance Pet: Sheba - WNDU
2nd Chance Pet: Sheba  WNDU

Pet of the week is Alaskan Malamute - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Pet of the week is Alaskan Malamute  The San Diego Union-Tribune

EFD: House fire claims the lives of 4 pets, 2 people displaced - 14 News WFIE Evansville
EFD: House fire claims the lives of 4 pets, 2 people displaced  14 News WFIE Evansville

Robotic Pets, Real Comfort? What the Research Says - PsychCentral.com
Robotic Pets, Real Comfort? What the Research Says  PsychCentral.com

Dogs in grocery stores, restaurants have Palo Alto woman peeved - The Mercury News
Dogs in grocery stores, restaurants have Palo Alto woman peeved  The Mercury News

Spirit Airlines’ pet policy: Here’s how to fly with your pet on Spirit - The Points Guy
Spirit Airlines’ pet policy: Here’s how to fly with your pet on Spirit  The Points Guy

Now the News: Prevail Coffee coming soon, Birmingham ranked among top pet-friendly cities + more - Bham Now
Now the News: Prevail Coffee coming soon, Birmingham ranked among top pet-friendly cities + more  Bham Now

Racine & Me: Swimming tips for your pets Racine & Me - WDJT
Racine & Me: Swimming tips for your pets Racine & Me  WDJT

Traveling with pets for the first time? Here's what you need to know. - USA TODAY
Traveling with pets for the first time? Here's what you need to know.  USA TODAY

The DC super-pets that didn’t make it into the movie (but should have) - Polygon
The DC super-pets that didn’t make it into the movie (but should have)  Polygon

This Year's Funniest-Looking Pets Are Here - Gizmodo
This Year's Funniest-Looking Pets Are Here  Gizmodo

Eight Home Design Features for Pets - Santa Barbara Independent
Eight Home Design Features for Pets  Santa Barbara Independent

How people, pets and infrastructure can respond to extreme heat - NPR
How people, pets and infrastructure can respond to extreme heat  NPR

Roblox: How To Get The Best Pets In Adopt Me! - TheGamer
Roblox: How To Get The Best Pets In Adopt Me!  TheGamer

'DC League of Super-Pets' goes to the dogs in more ways than one - CNN
'DC League of Super-Pets' goes to the dogs in more ways than one  CNN

Pets of the Week - Meet Neeson & Carl - City of Arlington
Pets of the Week - Meet Neeson & Carl  City of Arlington

How Robotic Pets Can Help With Memory Care - University of Utah Health Care
How Robotic Pets Can Help With Memory Care  University of Utah Health Care

How Paw-fect Pets Improve Life With Chronic Illness | Benefits of... - Multiple Sclerosis News Today
How Paw-fect Pets Improve Life With Chronic Illness | Benefits of...  Multiple Sclerosis News Today

LifeLine Animal Project Needs Your Help to Find Homes for 500 Pets - Fulton County Government
LifeLine Animal Project Needs Your Help to Find Homes for 500 Pets  Fulton County Government

The Rising Cost Of Caring For Pets - NBC 6 South Florida
The Rising Cost Of Caring For Pets  NBC 6 South Florida

Pets of the Week - Farmington Daily Times
Pets of the Week  Farmington Daily Times

Cancer care for pets is hugely costly - The Washington Post
Cancer care for pets is hugely costly  The Washington Post

How Much Should I Spend to Keep My Elderly Dog Alive? - The New York Times
How Much Should I Spend to Keep My Elderly Dog Alive?  The New York Times

No More Pet Store Puppies? New York May Finally Ban Sales. - The New York Times
No More Pet Store Puppies? New York May Finally Ban Sales.  The New York Times

Pets 'dumped' outside MB shelter with note, staff stresses proper way to surrender - wpde.com
Pets 'dumped' outside MB shelter with note, staff stresses proper way to surrender  wpde.com

Monroe County Pets of the Week - Monroe Evening News
Monroe County Pets of the Week  Monroe Evening News

Pets are freaking out over their owners playing Stray - Polygon
Pets are freaking out over their owners playing Stray  Polygon

Local canine rescues see a rise in returns of pandemic pets - WGRZ.com
Local canine rescues see a rise in returns of pandemic pets  WGRZ.com

Animal Chronicles: Prepare pets for a new baby – The Daily Gazette - The Daily Gazette
Animal Chronicles: Prepare pets for a new baby – The Daily Gazette  The Daily Gazette

Give lost pets a better chance of returning home - Coast News
Give lost pets a better chance of returning home  Coast News

Monroe County Animal Control's Pets of the Week - Monroe Evening News
Monroe County Animal Control's Pets of the Week  Monroe Evening News

Pet surrenders increase as inflation ups the price of ownership - NPR
Pet surrenders increase as inflation ups the price of ownership  NPR

PHOTOS: Here Are Pets You Can Adopt Today For NBC 7/T20's ‘Clear the Shelters' - NBC San Diego
PHOTOS: Here Are Pets You Can Adopt Today For NBC 7/T20's ‘Clear the Shelters'  NBC San Diego

Heartland pet shelter hoping to adopt out hundreds of pets to help empty the shelter - KFVS
Heartland pet shelter hoping to adopt out hundreds of pets to help empty the shelter  KFVS

Video: Pets showing Emory pride - Emory News Center
Video: Pets showing Emory pride  Emory News Center

Inflation forcing some pet owners to give up their pets - WKRN News 2
Inflation forcing some pet owners to give up their pets  WKRN News 2

Can Pets Inherit? | Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP - JDSupra - JD Supra
Can Pets Inherit? | Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP - JDSupra  JD Supra

Road Trip Do's and Don'ts: Pet Safety Edition - Bay Area News
Road Trip Do's and Don'ts: Pet Safety Edition  Bay Area News

It's your home or your pet; How to protect yourself from the heat : Here & Now - NPR
It's your home or your pet; How to protect yourself from the heat : Here & Now  NPR

Pets can boost your brain power, study says - CNN
Pets can boost your brain power, study says  CNN

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