Just like people, discus fish thrive best on a varied diet. While the fish-breeders of yore used to rely only on live food, scorning flakes or pellets, the equation has changed today with dried foods becoming more and more nutritious, without running the risks of bacteria and disease that live food always carries.
Remember, young discus fish can be extremely greedy. They will leap at whatever food you give them, so resist the temptation to overfeed. When the fish grow older, they tend to eat much more slowly – grazing at their food much like cattle.
Another key to understanding a discus fish’s food habits is to know that the fish like their feed at mid water, or at the bottom. Rather than leaping to the surface, your fish may wait till the feed sinks to a suitable height for them to feed.
Here are some items that you can feed your discus fish to make sure that they are healthy, and provided with the requisite amounts of vitamins and proteins.
Flake food Research the best fish flake brands in your area, by talking to your fish dealer or any other aquarium enthusiast you happen to know. The better brands may be more expensive, but are also more nutritious. Soak and squeeze flake food to
Pellets and freeze dried As always, stick to quality brands. Another danger of low quality foods is that they may absorb water and expand, making your fish constipated
Brine shrimp A favorite with discus fish, this may be fed in either live or frozen form. The best thing about feeding brine shrimp to discus fish is that it enhances the fish’s color patterns due to the carotene in it. Defrost and rinse the frozen brine shrimp before feeding it to your fish.
Bloodworms The absolute runaway favorite with discus fish, this is also available either live or in frozen form. Frozen irradiated bloodworms on a daily basis will keep your fish happy, especially if they are being introduced to a new aquarium
Beef heart While the discus fish love beef heart, it can tend to foul up your aquarium especially if you overfeed. I suggest not to try this until you have got used to keeping discus fish.
Discus fry need highly frequent feeding – once every 4-5 hours is a good way to start. Mature discus will do fine on twice-a-day feeds, with bloodworm once a day and dry food for the other feeding.
What some people don’t know is that the right fish food can also keep your discus fish looking brighter in color, more pleasing to their owners as well as their visitors. So feed your discus fish well, and watch them grow in both size and vibrant as the years go by!