Success with Discus in planted aquaria

Why is it that discus seem so magical? Perhaps it is because they have the reputation as being difficult fish to keep and are only worthy of the most experienced aquarists, or maybe it is their regal demeanour. After all, they are often described as "King of the Aquarium". Anyone who has seen a magnificent breeding pair will have to agree it is a sight to behold. If you have ever had the chance to browse some of the discus books on the market, you will realize that few fish can create an impression like discus, and a school of them in a large tank is simply awesome.

Icon photo of a Blue Turquoise Discus in a planted AquariumAs aquatic plant enthusiasts, we naturally gravitate towards spectacular aquariums. A large, carefully aquascaped display can hold us spellbound for hours. The works of Takashi Amano depicted in his "Nature Aquarium World" books have redefined the art of aquascaping. Many aquatic gardeners have wondered about combining discus and live plants. Would the combination be as remarkable as the pairing of peanut butter and chocolate? Mr. Amano certainly seems to think so - some of the most impressive photos in his books are of planted discus tanks.

Followers of the recent Aquatic Gardeners Association Aquascaping contest noted that quite a few of the entries featured discus in an aquatic garden.   But is a planted discus tank as simple as dropping a Hershey bar into a jar of Skippy peanut butter? If you are guessing "not exactly", you are right; but it is not as difficult as you might imagine. We have successfully maintained planted discus tanks for 15 years. This article is based on our experiences, and we hope it will give you the knowledge and confidence needed to create your own spectacular discus habitat.


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