Can betta fish and discus live together?

In this article we will discuss betta fish and  discus.We will also discuss their relationship and other tank parameters which are suitable for them to survive together in aquarium settings.

Overview

In this blog

  • Can betta fish and discus live together?
  • Key specifications of betta fish and discus
  • Where are betta fish and discus found?
  • How long do betta fish and discus live?
  • What tank size do betta fish and discus need?
  • Are betta fish and  discus aggressive in nature?
  • What do betta fish and discus eat?
  • Are water parameters the same for betta fish and discus in aquarium conditions?
  • Do betta fish and discus need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?
  • Do betta fish and discus need the same light intensity in their tanks?
  • Do betta fish and discus need similar substrates in their tank?
  • Is it easy to care for betta fish and discus together in the same aquariums?
  • Are betta fish and discus both perfect community fish?
  • Are betta fish and discus beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

Can betta fish and discus live together?

At first, the idea of ​​raising bettas with discus might not seem like the best idea. However, it doesn’t have to be a bad pairing. It is absolutely possible to successfully mix betta with discus.

Discus are comfortable in groups but breed in pairs.To keep your discus happy and stress-free, it is advised to keep them in groups of six or more.This also reduces aggression, which will be a bonus if you want to keep your discus with bettas.

Key specifications of betta fish and  discus

Key specificationsDiscus Betta fish 
Scientific nameTypes






Family 
SymphysodonSymphysodon aequifasciatus Symphysodon discusSymphysodon tarzoo

Cichlidae
Betta splendensDragon scale bettaButterfly bettaMarble bettaKoi bettadumbo bettaDifferent tailed bettasOsphronemidae
Temperament Calm & shy (advanced social behavior)Very aggressive and territorial.
Diet OmnivoreCarnivore
Habitat Amazon river basinSoutheast Asia

Where are betta fish and  discus found?

Habitat of  discus

  • Native-Amazon river basin
  • Distribution- Discus are freshwater fish and are usually found in lowland Amazon river basin(floodplain lakes and flooded forests) and Rio Negro.
  • Water type-Freshwater bodies
  • Water movement- Calm water

Habitat of betta fish

  • Native- Southeast Asia/ Tropical Asia
  • Distribution-Northern Malay Peninsula, central & eastern Thailand, Kampuchea,and southern Vietnam.
  • Water type-Freshwater bodies
  • Water movement- Slow moving water bodies.

How long do betta fish and  discus live?

In a home aquarium, the discus has an average lifespan of 10 years, but can live up to 15 years and can grow up to 8 inches.They are fully grown at about 2 to 2.5 years old.

Unlike most tropical fish, the lifespan of a discus fish depends only on two factors: tank condition and diet.

Bettas don’t live very long due to poor genetics.They can live upto 3-4 years in well maintained tanks.

Make sure you are getting your bettas from right breeders who are aware of their genetics (healthy lines) and breeding.

What tank size do betta fish and  discus need?

Discus tank size

  • Maximum tank size- 50-gallons.
  • The tank size for a fully grown Discuss is 30 liters or 10-gallon per Discus.
  • Tall aquariums are best to accommodate their body shape.
  • Bigger is better for discus.
  • The discus grows very large and requires a 75-gallon or larger aquarium when it is fully grown.

Betta fish tank size

  • Minimum aquarium size for a single fighting fish or betta fish is  3 gallons.
  • The additional aquarium size for each fully grown bettas is 1 gallons.
  • The ideal aquarium size for single male or female betta is 5 gallons.
  • Bettas do pretty well in bigger and spacious aquariums.

Are betta fish and  discus aggressive in nature?

Aggression occurs during breeding and when there are few discus in your tank. An example of a sparsely populated tank is a 30 gallon tank that contains only two discus.

In more acidic water, discus exhibited more aggression than at pH above neutral.In discus fish of all ages, including breeding pairs, increased pH reduced aggression.They get along well with suitable tankmates and get turned off when kept with aggressives mates.

Lowering the temperature can also reduce aggression,but temporarily.

Male bettas are very aggressive and can kill each other,but they are extremely beautiful and colorful than female betta fish.Multiple female bettas can be kept together, because they are not that aggressive like male bettas.

What do betta fish and  discus eat?

Food for Discus:

  • Hikari USA Inc. tropical discus bio-gold
  • Seachem nutri diet discus flakes 
  • Sera 307 discus granulés 
  • Cobalt discus hans flakes. 
  • Ocean nutrition discus flakes.
  • Omega one discus sinking pellets.

Food for bettas:

Bettas are not picky eaters and happily accept whatever you give them but don’t start eating immediately after putting them in the aquariums, they take their own sweet time to adjust in the tank and start picking up food accordingly.A Protein rich diet is very important for your bettas.

  • Protein enriched floating pellets 
  • Frozen or dried brine shrimp
  • Frozen Bloodworms (small pieces)
  • Small insects
  • Larvae

Are water parameters the same for betta fish and  discus in aquarium conditions?

Water parameters for discus:

  • pH – 6.0-7.0 
  • hardness should be 1-4 dKH (18-70 ppm).
  • Wild Heckel discus  prefers water near 90 ° F
  • General temperature-82F-88F
  • Juveniles or young discus-86F-88F
  • Breeding purpose-82F
  • Discus like warm, soft and acidic water. 

Water parameters for bettas:

  • Bettas prefer calm water in their aquariums.
  • pH- 6.8-7 (almost neutral)
  • Temp-75F-80F (moderate temperature)
  • Ammonia and nitrite-very very low (toxic for bettas)
  • Ammonia and Nitrite: 0 ppm.
  • Nitrate: <20 ppm.
  • GH: 3-4 dGH (50-66.7 ppm)
  • KH: 3-5 dKH (53.6- 89.4 ppm)

Do betta fish and  discus need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?

Tank plants for Discus:

  • Choose plants that can tolerate high temperatures such as
  • Anubias barteri
  • Bacopa caroliniana
  • Sword plants/Micro swords/Echinodorus
  • Java Fern/Microsorum pteropus .
  • African Bolbitus.
  • Cryptocoryne.
  • Bucephalandra.
  • Hygrophila.
  • Dwarf Tiger Lily.

Tank plants for bettas:

  • Live and overhanging plants are best for your bettas as they act as a natural oxygen purifier and can help them to conceal themselves to avoid aggressive tank mates or predators.
  • Cryptocoryne
  • Water sprite
  • Anubias
  • Marimo moss ball
  • Java fern
  • Betta bulb
  • Sword plant
  • Vallisneria

Do betta fish and  discus need the same light intensity in their tanks?

Strong lighting can actually stress and harm the health of these delicate and expensive discus fish. But they like darkness,as  they come from the tropics, so be sure to provide 10-12 hours of light a day.

Bettas need enough light during day time and dimness during night time.Don’t expose them to direct sunlight, as it could increase algal growth in the tank.Natural and artificial light goes well with the bettas tank.

Do betta fish and  discus need similar substrates in their tank?

For pure discus tanks,fine sand is definitely the first choice.The easiest substrate to maintain in a discus tank is sand.Leftover food is easy to see and easy to remove by simply placing it on the sand. 

Many discus enthusiasts prefer bare-bottomed tanks because they are the easiest to clean, but not necessarily the most eye-catching. 

Substrate doesn’t really matter in bettas tanks.Bettas don’t interact with the bottom that much.Some sand or gravel substrate would be fine.

Is it easy to care for betta fish and  discus together in the same aquariums?

Wild-captured discus throws can be difficult to maintain due to their special hydrochemistry and dietary needs, but most discus sold today are captive ,maintainable and much easier to keep.

Discus is one of the most beautiful freshwater fish in the hobby known for its amazing colors and large circular shape, however, it is known that it is very difficult to maintain them and to recommend strict practices such as changing 100% of the water every day.

Bettas need pristine water conditions in their aquariums to thrive and a preotenicuois diet too,if they don’t get proper diet along with right tank shape and size it might be difficult to handle them.It would be bit difficult to handle both of them together in the same tank.

Are they both perfect community fish?

Discus is a cichlid,that is,they take care of and protect the eggs, and fry from others.They are community fish and safe for small fish,but community tanks containing discus only work if the conditions required by discus are met above all else.

If you want other fish to live with your betta, you need to consider a ten gallon tank.Betta fish are not social fish and don’t like being forced to be in close proximity to other species.They need a calm aquarium with lots of space.

Are they beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?

Discus caught in the wild are difficult to store due to their special hydrochemistry and dietary needs,but most discus fish sold today are captive and easy to breed.However, it is not suitable for beginners for various reasons.

Betta fish, also known as the siamese fighting fish, has long been a favorite aquarium fish for both beginners/experienced fish keepers due to its colorful fins and energetic personality.

Summary

  • Both bettas and discus are freshwater species.
  • Both bettas and discus can be kept together with proper planning.
  • Both are not beginner friendly but bettas can be handled by both newcomers and experienced keepers.
  • Both bettas and discus are not a proper fit to community tanks.
  • Substrates are not an important factor for both bettas and discus,it’s up to the owner,if they want they can add substrate to their tanks.
  • Both bettas and discus need bigger and spacious tanks to thrive.

Frequently asked questions

Is it important to deworm a discus fish?

Discus should be dewormed once a month.It will keep them free form parasites and intestinal worms.

Is it important to change water in discus aquariums regularly?

Daily water changes are not recommended if the tank size is big and spacious.30-35% water should be changed thrice a week,if the size of the tank is small.

Are discus high maintenance fish?

Discus need proper tank maintenance and have advanced social behavior.They are indeed high maintenance fish and are called the king of aquariums. 

Reference

https://buceplant.com/blogs/news/discus-care-guide-how-to-keep-a-discus-aquarium
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siamese_fighting_fish#In_the_aquarium

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