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Discus kept alone, with schooling fish?
I'm starting up a 46-gallon and have plans to build a tropical community. I want a school of rasboras and a school of tetras, as well as a "centerpiece" fish. Would a discus do well in a community? Is it OK to keep one discus?
pH is 7.8, and the tank will be cycled.
I would say No because they need a minimum of 5 to school/shoal and they like VERY acidic water. FYI, They are a difficult fish and for the "experienced". Here is the old profile for them to read up on. I'm not sure where the new one is and I'm pressed for time. Hope it helps.
Discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus) Profile
What she said
Both SeaHorse and jaysee have made excellent points. A discus isn't for your tank.
However, have you thought about gourami? Dwarf gourami come in colors comparable to discus. Honey gourami are also rather attractive.
What do gouramis look like, and what are their care requirements?
In a tank of your size you can try a pair of 3 spot gouramis or 3-4 pearl gouramis (one male). They would be centerpiece fish. They are the largest fish I would put in that tank. There are several other types of gouramis you could do, such as moonlights, thick lipped, banded, dwarf and honey gouramis. Of course all may not be available to you.
Their care requirement isn't really any different than other tropical fish.
The Blue and Yellow are the same species, those and even with Pearls, one of the gentler Gourami, I have found that a tank (even my 75gallon) could only keep one Gourami in the tank at all. Many on this site have been successful. It depends on the Gouami itself, some are quite the bullies so just an FYI. Also many LFS can't sex a Gourami or only carry the vibrant males anyway and that's where a lot of the trouble comes from. Tanks are too small to create ample territory for more than one male. Even one Gourami would be wonderful in your tank tho! and don't need "companions" of their own kind. You may find you'll buy 3 and end up over time with one left who will not tolerate any new ones coming into the tank.
I currently have 3 Honey males in a 10 gallon, currently getting along, but at least one maybe 2 will have to be moved to the 75 if or when they start harassing each other.
You should always be responsible for sexing the fish. Know what you're buying, whether it;s a fish, a TV or a car :-)
Gourami have the same care as the other fish you've listed for your tank. You won't have to change anything like you would for discus.
This is two male dwarf gourami sparing:
As SeaHorse said, you'll want to have a backup plan in case you get an aggressive one. I have one in my 29 gal; she's significantly more aggressive than the male. A backup plan can be something as simple as knowing the return policy of the store to having another tank for the aggressive one. Observing the fish in the shop tanks isn't always the most accurate because of the substandard conditions they are housed in.
If you get gourami, don't play games, get chocolate gourami.
As for discus, if you have a ph that high outta the tap there are ways around it. The right amount of driftwood can substantially lower your ph and with weekly 10% water change you can keep the water clean without shifting the ph at a high volume.
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