Best tankmates for Discus: Creating the perfect community tank

Discus fish are known for their vibrant colours and regal appearance, making them the centrepiece of many home aquariums. However, finding the right tankmates for these beautiful fish can be a challenge. This article will provide you with essential information on selecting the best tankmates for your Discus, as well as a step-by-step guide to setting up the perfect community tank. Let’s start by understanding the unique needs of Discus fish.

Understanding Discus fish

Discus fish, native to the Amazon River Basin, are sensitive creatures that require specific water parameters and a calm environment to thrive. As per the information provided on OZ Discus, these fish need stable water temperatures of around 28-30 degrees Celsius, a pH level of 6-7, and a high quality filtration system. Additionally, Discus are shy and can be easily stressed, so it’s essential to provide them with plenty of hiding spots.

Read our full article on how to set up a Discus tank.

Choosing the best tankmates

When selecting tankmates for your Discus, consider the following factors:

  • Compatibility: Choose fish that have similar water parameter requirements and can coexist peacefully with Discus.
  • Size: Avoid fish that are too small, as they may become prey, or too large, as they may intimidate your Discus.
  • Activity level: Opt for calm, slow-moving fish that won’t stress your Discus by darting around the tank.

Keeping these factors in mind, here are some excellent tankmates for Discus:

Cardinal Tetras

These small, colourful fish are native to the same waters as Discus and have similar water parameter requirements. Their peaceful nature and vibrant colours make them a popular choice for Discus aquariums.

Rummy-Nose Tetras

Rummy-nose tetras are another suitable option, known for their distinctive red noses and peaceful temperament. They also help to create a more dynamic environment for your Discus without causing stress.

Corydoras Catfish

These bottom-dwelling fish are excellent tankmates for Discus due to their peaceful demeanour and ability to clean leftover food from the substrate, reducing the risk of ammonia spikes.

Dwarf Cichlids

Some species of dwarf cichlids, such as the ram cichlid or the apistogramma, can coexist well with Discus if they have enough hiding spaces to feel secure.


Hatchetfish are surface-dwelling fish with peaceful temperaments, making them suitable tankmates for Discus. They also add variety to the tank by occupying the higher water levels.

Setting up the perfect community tank

Follow these steps to create a thriving community tank for your Discus and their tankmates:

  1. Choose the right tank size: You will need a minimum tank size of 40L (10 gallons) per adult Discus, plus extra space is recommended to provide enough room for your Discus and their tankmates.
  2. Establish proper water parameters: Ensure that the water temperature, pH level, and filtration system meet the specific needs of Discus and the chosen tankmates.
  3. Provide hiding spots: Include plants, driftwood, and caves to help your Discus and other fish feel secure and establish territories.
  4. Introduce fish gradually: Add tankmates one species at a time, allowing the fish to acclimate and preventing sudden changes to the tank environment.
  5. Monitor behaviour: Keep an eye on the interactions between your Discus and their tankmates to ensure compatibility and address any potential issues.

Creating a harmonious community tank for your Discus and their tankmates is possible with careful planning and attention to detail. By selecting compatible species, providing the right environment, and closely monitoring the tank, you can enjoy the beauty of a thriving Discus aquarium.


The information provided in this article has been generated by the OZ Discus AI, OZ Discus Bot. While we strive to provide accurate and helpful guidance, it is important to recognise that the content may not cover all aspects of choosing and caring for Discus tankmates.

If you require further assistance, we highly recommend contacting OZ Discus directly for personalised advice and support. Remember that the well-being of your Discus fish is of utmost importance, and expert guidance can make a significant difference in ensuring their health and happiness.

OZ Discus is not liable for any losses and holds no responsibility in the event of the death of the fish. Users of this guide are to use the information at their own discretion and accept all risks resulting from the use of this guide.

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Our photos

All the photos you see on our products are what we have in store.

We do not use any stock photography that misrepresent the fish.

Most of our photos are shot without filtering to try give you the truest beauty and colour of the fish we have. 

Any filters we do use are to account for factors that reduce the colour when taking the photo, such as bad lighting. 

We fix using a quick filter to represent the Discus’s real life colour; best as we are able to by eye. These photos are clearly marked as being edited in ‘PhotoRoom’.

Premium Discus Farms

OZ Discus imports from international awarded, show grade, premium Discus breeders.

Each of these breeders are proud to stand behind the fish they supply to us.

By knowing details about the farm and fish, we are able to ascertain the age and breeding line to ensure the highest quality fish are available to you.

View our latest imports from IP Discus, Jagger Discus, Unique Discus, and more!

We are independent

OZ Discus is an independent Sydney store and as such has to uphold important corporate responsibilities.

When you buy from OZ Discus, you get peace of mind that we meet strict RSPCA and AIAA certifications and COVID-19 practices.

We also have dead on arrival (DOA) and returns policies and practices that give you confidence in your purchase.

We hope that you find our range of Discus fish suitable to your pursuit in this very rewarding hobby.

We import from the following breeders and each of these breeders are proud to stand behind the fish they supply to us. By knowing details about the farm and fish, we are able to ascertain the age & breeding line to ensure the highest quality is available to you.

– Tony Tan – IP Discus Malaysia
– Dendy Wijaya – Jagger Discus Indonesia
– Robert Lim – Unique Discus Malaysia
– Lee Chee Fong – Color Fish Malaysia
– Yap Wen Khong – Malaysia
– Koay KL – JIT Laiseng Discus Farm Malaysia
– Dr Teoh – Malaysia
– Julian Sockich & Kephra Richards – East Coast Discus Australia
– Alex Piwowarski – Piwowarski Discus Germany

All photos you see are what we have in store and we do not use any stock photography that misrepresent the fish. Also, our photos are taken straight from a smartphone too without filtering to give you the truest beauty of the fish we have.

We are Independent and have the importance of corporate responsibilities of a Physical Store

OZ Discus is an independent STORE, as well as an IMPORTER in Sydney of Discus fish only and this allows us to source select strains from the Worlds most renowned Discus farms to you.

Moreover, buying from us as an aquarium shop instead of home operators gives you peace of mind. We uphold social and corporate responsibilities in meeting
– COVID-19
certification and practices.

We also have DOA and returns policies and practices that gives you confidence in your purchase. I hope you find our range of Discus suiting to your pursuit in this very rewarding hobby.