Discus Fish Disease: How to Deal with Them
As a hobbyist who is currently taking care of discus fish, you have to remember that apart from
knowing how to raise them, you also need to know about the diseases that may bother them. By learning about
the different kinds of diseases that may affect your discus fish, you will be able to tell if your discus
fish already has the disease and also know how to treat them.
Basically, one of the most common problems among discus fish is having a hole in the head. Early
detection is essential in order for you to treat them effectively. You need to remember that the longer the
disease exists in the discus fish, the most probable it will be that the disease may cause its
You have to keep in mind that even if the fish heals after the treatment, the wound can leave a
permanent scar, which can significantly have an effect on the overall appearance of the fish, especially on
This is why treating the wound while it’s still small is highly recommended. For this kind of
disease, you may want to treat the disease by increasing the water temperature from 30 degrees Celsius to 36
degrees Celsius. Keep the water temperature raised for around 8 to 10 days.
By increasing the water temperature, you also need to increase water ventilation to keep the
oxygen level up. You can also combine heat treatment with Metronidazole, which is administered orally. Give
this medication to your discus fish once every 3 days. Usually, discus fish will respond well to heat
treatment in combination with the medication treatment.
Gill fluke is another disease common among discus fish. Although this will not really affect
adult discus fish, it can cause huge problems for discus fry and juvenile discus fish. You have to keep in
mind that gill flukes are parasites that can destroy the gills of your discus fish. They can also cause heavy
breathing and irregular swimming, which can eventually leave your discus fish totally paralyzed and sink down
the bottom of the tank.
To treat gill flukes, you can use formalin. Also, although infested parents can still have
progeny, the offspring can eventually get the parasite, which can cause very serious
Internal parasites can also infect discus fish. Although most internal parasites in discus fish
may not cause serious threats, you have to remember that these parasites can eventually grow uncontrollably,
which can cause serious problems for your fish. A symptom of discus fish having internal parasites is that
they may produce white faeces. Clear or white faeces are hints that your discus fish may have internal
parasites and that they are unwell and need attention. Emaciation can also occur and is also considered as a
common symptom of internal parasite.
A dose of Metronidazole usually clears the problem. You can get this ingested by your discus
fish by medicating the food they eat. Feed your discus fish with medicated food every 2 days for a period of
However, if you see that your fish is no longer eating, you may need to force feed them using a
syringe without the needle.
Also, you should observe their behaviour. If your discus fish go on food strike, it’s a clear
sign that they are unwell. The colour of their scales will also get darker, which is also an indication that
the discus fish is sick.
For starters, you may want to keep the fish tank clean. You have to keep in mind that discus
fish are quite sensitive to disease and water conditions. And, they really won’t tolerate sudden and large
water quality changes. Tips on how to identify and avoid discus fish diseases can be had at Discus Fish Secrets.