When discus fish are still young, they require constant feeding. Baby discus will eat 10 to 12 times per day. Young fish will eat up to 5 times per day. Adult discus fish, on the other hand, eat 2 to 3 times per day. Be careful to not overfeed them. Overfeeding your discus could cause health problems and water pollution. Discus fish are sensitive fish who appreciate pristine water conditions.
Discus are best fed in small portions more frequently because their stomachs are quite small for their size and in the wild they will eat small invertebrates and zooplankton, ingesting then in small bits here and there as they find them. Aim for as many small feedings as is reasonable with your schedule; 3–4 feedings is adequate and more if you can is even better.
Regardless of the time you feed your discus fish, always try to be consistent with your feeding routine. In the morning, wait for your discus to wake up a bit before you feed them. Turn on their lights and then give them some time to move around for a few minutes. After they eat their last meal of the day, give them time to forage and clean your tank. Don’t turn off their light until at least an hour after their final meal of the day.
What to feed?
Discus fish can feed on basically anything which can include fish flakes, pellets, and frozen or even live food. The best food for your discus fish would be a variety of foods in order for them to get all the nutrients necessary for their growth.
One type of good discus fish food is dry food. This type of food contains many essential nutrients for discus fish. Dry Discus fish food includes fish flakes and fish pellets. Care should be taken though when you feed your discus fish with dry foods.
For example, ensure you supplement fish flakes with live food in order to attain optimum health for your discus fish as far as essential nutrients are concerned. Also, ensure you soak fish pellets before feeding them to the discus to avoid bloating of the discus fish. We highly recommend the DiscusGuy high protein flake foods and high protein beef heart flakes.
Can a discus fish be raised only on Tetra Bits and Discus Bio-Gold without the popular beef heart mixture?
Hikari Bio Gold contains enough nutrition value and Tetra Bits used to enhance the red color, but with dry foods, you can’t get growth rate proper maybe it will take more time to grow. But that’s not a big problem, you just need to feed them properly and do a proper water change to reduce the problem of ammonia and nitrate.
Just you have to do one thing just before giving them Tetra Bits you just put some water in granules after it wet up a feed that, that can help to digest properly otherwise the granules are very hard for digestion of discus fishes
Another best food for discus live food which includes bloodworms, black worms and also white worms. All these happen to be one of the best foods for discus fish in terms of nutrient content. More so, they can be easily acquired in almost all the local pet stores and can be stored in preparation for feeding them to the discus fish.
Brine shrimps make another best food for discus fish and a good substitute for that matter for worms. This is because they are rich in vitamins as well as minerals. They can either be frozen or live brine shrimp. Be careful to rinse them to remove any salt that may be on them though before giving it to the discus fish and incase it was frozen, ensure you defrost them first.
Brine shrimp is the best food for strengthening the discus fish colors as it contains beta carotene. We highly recommend you stay away from living worms and only feed frozen worms as live worms can have parasites and get your discus fish sick!
Apart from the above main food types, some discus fish keepers opt for homemade food for their fish and they use cow hearts to make them. One major setback for this, however, is that they dirty your discus fish tank and hence it would require more regular cleaning. All in all, discus fish generally and naturally prefer live foods and those are the best foods you can give them.
Challenges when feeding discus
One possible difficulty is that sometimes, the fish won’t immediately swim and eat the food. As a result, the food will sink to the bottom of the aquarium. Any food that remains there will rot after two days, which will lead to bacteria. To solve this, you can choose to include a bottom feeder in the fish tank, or you will have to manually vacuum the leftover food out of the aquarium before it begins to decompose and contaminate the fish tank.
Each time you feed your discus, give them only about the amount of food that they can actively eat in about five minutes. Because discus has grinders in their jaws instead of teeth, they eat with this process: They mouth the food, spit it out and then recapture it before swallowing. This process causes food particles to fall to the bottom of the tank, but the discus isn’t done yet! The discus can dispel water at foods resting on the bottom of the tank and then pick it up as it floats upwards.
Also, if you want to breed discus, be sure to give them many live foods. Live foods can actually stimulate spawning. Keep in mind that in the wild, discus eats small shrimp, insects, insect larvae, small fish, and plant material.