discus and angels - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-07-2011, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
discus and angels

Hello everybody im wanting to know if anybody has had any luck keeping discus and angels together in the same tank. Im currently keeping 8 angels and 2 plecos in a 55 gallon with a Marineland Penguin bio wheel 350 and a Magnum 350 Canister Filter with a ph around 6.5 temp is set at 78. If get some discus (6) i would put them along with the angels in a 120 with about 25 neon tetras and add another Penguin 350 bio wheel do you guys think this is a good idea? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-07-2011, 02:16 PM
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I have seen discus housed with angels and my parents used to house them together many years ago. However, with your angels being established already they have already become too dominant and territorial to add such a vibrant fish. The angels may feel threatened by the intense colors of the discus and attack them.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-07-2011, 05:47 PM
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Yes, what gingerael says about the angels being settled in the tank is very true. This is why it is often impossible to add an angel to an existing group of angels, the newcomer will be hounded to death.

Generally, angels and discus should not be maintained together. Yes, many have and many will do so, but it is not advisable. Jack Wattley who arguably knows more about discus than anyone has frequently written about this, and advises no. His main reason is that angels are much more aggressive at feeding, by which he means not "fighting" aggressive but they take their food serious and are fast at getting it, and all of it, and won't hesitate to shove the discus aside. The more sedate discus is usually left without sufficient food, and in no time health issues occur.

Your temperature is also much too low (cool) for discus. [And in case anyone wonders, angels can tolerate the higher temps needed for discus; but the two should not be combined as I've said.] Choosing tankmates for discus must take the higher temperature into account; many "tropical" fish will literally burn out at such high temps, so that must be remembered if discus are considered. For example, the neon tetra you mentioned cannot be combined with discus for this reason; neons are "cooler" water fish, 77-78 is the highest they should be subjected to. Cardinal tetra do well with discus.

I would also not mix neons with angels, especially if the angels are getting mature. They naturally prey on neons and similar characins, and would likely eat, or try to, the neons and any similar fish.

We have fish profiles here, with many species [second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top, or you can click on the name when it is shaded in posts]. In each profile, there is a section on compatibility and temperament, and issues with mixing fish are noted for each species if there are any.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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