Essential Fish Medicine Cabinet

Kelvin discusses exactly what should be in your medicine cabinet to ensure you are prepared and your Discus are healthy no matter what.

What should I do if I think my Discus is sick?

You observe your Discus every day, so the best person to identify if your Discus is sick, is YOU!

If you believe your fish is acting abnormally, it probably is. But before you reach for the medications, ask yourself a few questions:

1. When was the last time I performed a water change?
2. Have I tested the tank water?
3. What is the ammonia and nitrate levels?
4. What does my Discus look like? (Colour, poo, body, claminess)

How do I prevent my new Discus from getting sick?

The biggest risk to introducing new Discus to your aquarium is bacteria. That is why it is very important to use an anti-bacterial product such as Melafix when introducing new Discus to your aquarium.

There are two types of Melafix you can use:
1. Regular strength: 5mL per 40L
2. Pond strength: 5mL per 200L

As you can see, the Pond strength is more concentrated which makes it more economical to use, especially if you have a large aquarium.

When you introduce new fish, add Melafix to your tank every day for 7 days and remember to perform a large water change on days 2 and 3.

Read our guide on how to introduce new fish to your tank.

How do I deworm my Discus

If your Discus has worms, you’ll notice that the fish will eat but they will also lose weight and appear thinner. If you look at your Discus from the front, they will look triangular in shape. This happens because the nutrients from the food will go to the worms not to the actual Discus.

The main symptom that you’ll see is a white cotton like string (non-segmented) from the Discus’ butt. If you see this, you need to deworm your Discus with a product such as Levamisole.

For more information on how to deworm your Discus, visit our Deworming FAQ page.

How do I treat Hexamita?

Hexamita is present in your Discus when you see them poo out a clear white segmented poo. In this case, you will need a prescription from your vet for Metronidazole. This medication is prescription only.

If the tablets are in 400mg strength, you will treat the fish using 1 tablet per 40L.

In addition, you may also use a heat treatment by increasing the water temperature to 34 degrees celsius.

If left untreated, Hexamita can lead to Hole In The Head, so it’s important it is treated as soon as possible.

How do I treat fluke?

Fluke is very easy to identify in your fish. Look at your fish front on and observe it’s breathing. Does your Discus breathe through one gill or both gills?

If it is breathing through one gill, that means it has gill flukes on the other side. In this case you can treat the fish with Fluke & Tapeworm tablets or a Potassium Permaganate treatment.

Learn more about PP treatments now.

If treating with Fluke & Tapeworm tablets, the doseage is 1 tablet per 20L.

Crush up the tablets and add to your aquarium. The tablets will dissolve automatically. Leave the treatment for 48 hours.

After that time, perform a water change and if the problem persists, treat again after 7 days.

How do I treat cross bacterial infection (Discus plague)?

Cross bacteria infection or the Discus plague often occurs when you introduce new fish to your tank. It is very common and will most likely happen to all Discus owners. When this happens, either the new fish get sick or the existing fish get sick.

Symptoms include:

  • Discus turning dark in colour
  • Cobweb like mucus forming on the body
  • Clamping and closed fins
  • Discus appearing listless at the top of the tank

Cross bacterial infection will usually appear 3 days after you have introduced new fish to the tank.

If one fish is infected, you need to treat the entire tank, so you must act quickly!

If caught early (on day 3 or 4), you can use the medication Tri-Sulfa to treat the cross bacterial infection. This is a mild medication that will help fight internal and external bacteria.

However, if the problem is not caught early, Tri-Sulfa will not be strong enough to treat the infection. You will need to use a stronger antibiotic such as Aquari-Cycline.

Be aware that Aquari-Cycline will turn your tank yellow, brown, and frothy, so it’s important that you have a bare bottom tank and remove unnecessary items. For this reason, the treatment is usually performed in a hospital tank.

Read more about how to set up a hospital tank.

The treatment with Aquari-Cycline can last anywhere between 1 and 6 weeks. Perform a water change every day and redose.

Once the fish have recovered they will still be infectious to new fish, so do not add any additional fish for 6 weeks.

What are the best fish vitamins for Discus?

At OZ Discus, there are two products used to bring out the vibrancy of the Discus, increase appetite, and help the fish recover from illnesses. These products are interchangable so you don’t need to use them together.


Voogle is often used to help perk the fish up, especially if they have been ill. It also helps to increase their metabolism and appetite.

Fish V

In Australia, our water is treated with chlorine, which strips out the vitamins from the water. So, we often add Fish V to the tank after each water change to add vitamins back into the water. Like Voogle, Fish V increases the Discus’ appetite and colouration. The doseage is 1mL per 100L.

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Can Discus get Ich?

Discus are kept at 30 degrees celsius and above. Ich doesn’t exist at these higher temperatures, so Discus don’t get Ich.

What do I do if my Discus has open sores?

If your Discus has open sores, this signifies that there is an imbalance in the tank. The open sores may be an ammonia burn, nitrate burn, an injury, or caused by a lack of vitamins.

This is why it’s important to test your water before adding any medications to the tank.

If the open sore is an injury, you can use a product such as Blue Planet Multi Cure to treat the wounds.

How do I treat a fungal infection?

Fungal infections occur when the Discus has an injury and fungus grows on the open wound. Again, in this case, you can use a product such as Blue Planet Multi Cure to treat the fungal infection.

How do I treat dropsy?

Dropsy is purely caused by poor water quality. If your Discus is experiencing dropsy, you need to increase the number of water changes to your tank.

Read our guide about water changes now.

Where can I purchase fish medication?

You can purchase a wide range of fish medication online or instore at OZ Discus. But remember, Metronidazole requires a prescription from your vet.

Disclaimer: This is a guide only. 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.

Shop OZ Discus

Visit our Live Fish Explorer and discover our premium Discus fish for sale.

We import our fish from the best farms and breeders around the world to ensure that you have the highest quality Discus for your fishkeeping journey.

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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.