discus fish, the most awesome fish in the aquarium, loves to live with a community. More discus fish you keep in a tank the better it will be. Now a days most of the discus fish keeper keep discus along with some other compatible fish with discus. Be sure that discus never lives with all types of fish. Either choose the fish that you keep with discus is a bottom dweller or live with a community. However, like many fish enthusiasts you do not want to limit yourself to only one type of fish. With a properly set up discus aquarium, you do not have to limit yourself to only discus fish. Many of experienced discus hobbyists tend to set up a planted aquarium with other type of fish called as compatible fish.
While setting up a discus aquarium you do not have to keep only discus fish. Many experts will tell you that it is not appropriate to raise discus with other fish, however if you are careful you can create a beautiful community tank. Moreover, sometimes it is seen that discus can form a community while they see a community form by other fish.
The most important thing to remember when you choose other fish to live in your discus aquarium is that they are compatible with discus fish. When you are thinking of compatibility you must remember that this applies not only to how well they get along, but also if they require the same water conditions. If two species of fish require vastly different water conditions, they will not be compatible in the same tank.
Here I give a short list of some fishes that live happily and peacefully with discus fish.
Tetra sp. is one of the common species that lives happily with discus. Most of the hobbyists keep tetra sp. with discus. There are different kinds of tetras that you can keep with discus. Like:
Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)
Black Phantom Tetra(Megalamphodus megalopterus)
Bleeding Heart Tetra(Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma)
Cardinal Tetra(Cheirodon axelrodi)
Columbian Tetra (Hyphessobrycon columbianus)
Diamond Tetra(Moenkhausia pittieri)
Emperor Tetra(Nematobrycon palmeri)
Glowlight Tetra(Hemigrammus eryhthrozonus)
Green Fire Tetra (Aphyocharax rathbuni)
Jewel Tetra(Hyphessobrycon callistus)
Lemon Tetra(Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis)
Penguin tetra(Thayeria boehlkei)
Rosy Tetra(Hyphessobrycon bentosi)
Rummy-Nose Tetra(Hemigrammus bleheri)
Rummy-Nose Tetra(Petitella georgiae)
Neon tetra is one of the famous fish that lives with discus. It is in deed the most compatible fish with discus. Neon tetra loves to live with a community. You can keep at least 12 or more neon so that they can able to form a community. Sometimes discus fish can from their community by seeing the community form by the neon tetras.
Like neon tetras, cardinal tetras are also compatible and happily live with discus. These brilliantly colored fish do well with discus. Cardinals can live in the warmer, acidic water that discus fish prefers and a school of Cardinals can draw out a shy discus. Cardinal Tetras are related to the Neon Tetra, but will grow slightly longer (up to 2″ or about 5cm) and are hardier at warmer temperatures. Try to keep at least 10 or a dozen in your tank. Just remember the rule of companion fish size – “if it fits inside the discus” mouth, it will end up in there. The Cardinal tetra is probably the most popular and obvious species to swim alongside Discus. In warm, neutral, water and with the benefit of the Discus high protein diet, a large shoal of these fish is a delight to behold.
Rummy nose tetra
It is a nice fish and, as with all small tetras, kept in a large shoal for best visual effect.
corydorous is one of the sweet looking bottom dweller of all fish. There are different type of cory like Bronze, albino and Peppered. Specialist aquatic outlets will stock, or be able to obtain, caudimaculatus, elegans, julii, melanistius, paleatus, panda, polystictus and so on. For a discus tank you can easily keep 4-6 cory.
As a bottom dweller, you can easily keep Bristle-noses, Ancistrus pleco. These fish stay around 10cm/4″ and will work tirelessly to rid the tank of algae. Keep three individuals per 50 litre of water. Unlike most other plecostomus, the zebra is more of a carnivore. There are several different varieties of plecostomus, some stay small, and others will outgrow small tanks. Some will develop a “taste” for the mucus on the discus skin, so be watchful. Alternatives to the Plecostomus, would be a Farlowella Farlowella species. Whiptail catfish Rineloricaria sp., the Dwarf Suckermouth catfish Ottocinclus sp., or the Bushynose/ Bristlenose catfish, Ancistrus sp.
One of the most controversial fish that we say the compatible fish with discus is the angelfish. Mixing Discus and Angels is a subject that has split the Discus community on many an occasion. Both are indeed nice looking fish. The fact that we keep angel with discus is they both able to survive in 30 deg centigrade. The opposing group says this has never happened to them. Angels can also form a community. If, you are not keeping small fish and are happy to give Angels.
My favorite bottom dweller fish that live with discus is the clown loach. Clown loaches are very attractive fish and thrive in Discus-friendly water conditions. The high temperature will also keep white spot parasites under control. I do not have a problem with Discus and Clown loaches, but I have put them in “controversial” because they can grow quite big, which is not ideal. Nevertheless, I can also say that I will not prefer you to keep clown loach with discus because when clown loach grows they can eat maximum foods that you provide. In addition, sometimes discus will not able to feed. However, they are juvenile they look nice and happily live with discus.
You can also keep this type of fish if your tank is planted. In your planted aquarium, you have to keep many plants and hence obviously algae can grow rapidly. Sometimes it is very tough to remove the algae. This fish is a very good algae eater and scavenger. I have rarely seen them cause any trouble with discus. Sometimes these fish are a bit skittish and that can frighten a discus, but I have only seen a couple Siamese algae eaters actually harass discus. The only fault with keeping this fish with discus is that they would rather eat the discus food instead of working for algae.