Discus: Compatibility with Other Fish

Discus are often called the kings of the aquarium. It is enough to look at these bright and large fish swimming majestically and leisurely, and it becomes clear that they received such a status for a reason. Discus are not the hardiest underwater inhabitants; in order to ensure their comfortable existence, they will have to sweat a little. They are sensitive to water parameters, they love soft, sour, and, most importantly, very warm water, in which many fish experience discomfort. In addition, discus is susceptible to various diseases. For these reasons, it is necessary to carefully select neighbors for them. A species aquarium would be an ideal option for keeping discus fish, because these fish are beautiful on their own, even alone.

Compatible fish species

Other discus

Currently, as a result of the work of breeders, a huge color variety of discus has been obtained. The price for fish of an especially rare color can be quite substantial. Regardless of their color, discus fish get along well with each other. The flock content will be the best option. But you need a large aquarium to accommodate all the pets.


Botia bottom fish can live with discus. There were no conflicts between these species. However, in an aquarium, shelters are imperative, in which battles can hide as needed.


Apistogramma is one of the best neighborhood options. The fishes belong to the same family, come from the same geographic region, and even the warm water, which is comfortable for discus, is well tolerated by apistograms. At the same time, apistograms are peaceful and will not offend their neighbors in the aquarium.


Freshwater motoro stingrays are a good option for living together with discus. The fish occupy different territories, there is no competition between them. At the same time, stingrays feel great at temperatures close to 30 ° C. It is best to use fine quartz sand as soil. Such exotic pets, like bright discus, attract attention and help to add variety to the aquarium.

Relatively compatible species


The joint content of discus and neons almost always goes without incident. Shiny neons look great against the background of cichlids and thickets of living plants. However, it will be necessary to set a temperature of about 28 ° C, suitable for both types at the same time. It should be noted that sometimes discus can attack small neons, so it is best to plant already grown individuals.


Scalars, like discus, in nature live in the rivers of the Amazon, so their comfortable water parameters are almost identical. You can be sure that the fish do not pose a threat to each other, their temperaments are quite similar.


Mollies will look great in an aquarium with discus. They are quite large, while calmer than their swordsmen relatives. A wide variety of colors will allow you to choose the perfect combination with different colors of discus.


The schooling fish Ornatus from the Kharatsinovye family is another example of an acceptable combination with discus. They perfectly diversify the species composition of the aquarium, will not threaten the health of discus, and take food from them.

Incompatible species


Combining these species in one aquarium will not be the best idea, and it’s not just about the difference in comfortable temperatures. Barbs are one of the most active fish; during feeding, their flock swims up to food with lightning speed and eats it so quickly that sometimes other fish do not get anything. Considering that discus fish are rather phlegmatic fish, this can be a real problem, because they simply will not get food. Eternally bustling neighbors are nearby, in addition, a rather strong stress factor for the “royal” couple.


Goldfish and discus are found at two opposite temperature “poles”. While discus fish thrive in water heated to 28-32 ° C, goldfish react badly even to temperatures around 25 ° C. Placing a discus in comfortable conditions for golds is tantamount to its death, as, indeed, and vice versa. Thus, it is better to keep these fish away from each other, preferably in species aquariums.

African cichlids

It would be extremely unreasonable to settle discus fish and representatives of African cichlids in the same aquarium. In nature, these fish live in completely different conditions: discus fish in the soft and acidic water of the tropical Amazon, and cichlids in the rift lakes of Africa, whose waters are rich in minerals and poor in organic matter. Accordingly, it is simply unrealistic to create conditions in one aquarium that would suit both. Do not forget that African cichlids are more territorial and aggressive, and they will definitely not allow discus fish to live peacefully in the same area with them.

What you should pay attention to

Aquarium volume

Discus is large fish that need to be kept in groups, which will require a very large aquarium, at least 250 liters, and preferably much more. This will not only allow you to place all the inhabitants comfortably, but it will also be much easier to maintain balance in the aquarium.

Live plants

In species aquariums, discus is often kept without decorations and soil. If you plan to add other types of fish to them, then it is recommended to create islands with live plants. Thanks to this, the pets will feel calmer and more confident, and if suddenly the cichlids want to drive away other fish from their chosen place, the latter can easily hide among the living thickets.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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