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How Many Discus In A 60-Gallon Tank? What You Need To Know

Lindsey Stanton Profile Picture

By Lindsey Stanton

two colorful discus fish in tank

When it comes to freshwater tropical fish, you will be really hard-pressed to find something more beautiful than the discus fish. This fish is often referred to as the king of the freshwater tank.

Before you go out and buy any kind or amount of discus fish, there are some important things that you need to know about them, with how many discuses you can fit in a 60-gallon tank being one of them.

Let’s talk about the spatial and tank requirements of discus fish right now, as well as a couple of other important care facts. A 60-gallon tank can generally only house one of these guys

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Discus Fish Spatial Requirements

Okay, so what you need to know here is that there are actually quite a few different types of discus fish you can buy. Yes, the discus fish is a type of cichlid, but within the discus fish sub-species, there are also many variations. This means that depending on the exact type of discus fish you have, and depending on the size of it, it may require varying amounts of tank space.

There are a few types of discus fish that are commonly purchased by aquarium owners, some more prevalent than others. Let’s get right to it and talk about exactly how much tank space each of these discus fish types needs, with the aim of figuring out exactly how many Discus in a 60-gallon tank is reasonable and right.

school of red and yellow discus
Image Credit: HamsterMan, Shutterstock

So, How Many Discus Fish In A 60 Gallon Tank?

It depends on the type of Discus (there are A LOT) but as a spoiler, these guys do need a BIG tank. Here is our little overview of each type of discus fish, so you know a bit more than just how much tank space they need.

Royal Red Discus

The royal red discus, as you can tell by the name of it, has some really bright red scales, combined with some yellow and other colors as well. This is a carnivore that loves to eat meat and has a moderate-hard care level.

It’s not a fish for beginners by any means. This fish can grow to 8 inches in length and height. It’s a pretty big discus fish and it requires 55 gallons of space per fish.

Therefore, if we are talking about a 60-gallon tank, you can only fit 1 royal red discus fish into it. These guys require the water to be between 79 and 86 degrees, with a pH level between 6.1 and 7.5.

Pigeon Blood Discus

Although this fish has a rather off-putting name, it is a beautiful red and white fish with a good splash of blue. This is another large discus fish, one that also grows to 8 inches in length and height, and also requires about 55 gallons of tank space per fish.

Therefore, fitting more than 1 of these guys in a 60-gallon tank is not going to work. In terms of feeding, lighting, and water parameters, the pigeon blood discus has the same requirements as the royal red discus.

Blue Diamond Discus

The blue diamond discus is often regarded as one of the most beautiful discus fish out there. It has a dark blue body that slowly gets lighter and brighter as you move out towards the edges, and the fins have some really stunning blue coloration to them.

These guys also grow to roughly 8 inches, both in length and height. Once again, a 55-gallon tank is needed for these guys, so you shouldn’t be housing more than one into a 60-gallon tank. Besides that, feeding, lighting, and water conditions requirements are all the same as the pigeon blood and royal red discuss.

Neon Blue Discus

If you thought that the blue diamond discus was pretty, the neon blue discus is even prettier. It features vertical stripes with various shades of blue and it looks absolutely wonderful.

It will also grow to 8 inches in height and length and requires a tank of 55 gallons to live happily. Other than that, everything about this fish in terms of care and tank conditions is the same as with all of the other discus fish we have looked at so far.

Red Turquoise Discus

Another beautiful option to go with, this guy is blue, red, and yes, turquoise in color. It will also grow to roughly 8 inches in length and in height, and it requires a tank of 55 gallons.

If you plan on having two of them in the same tank, you will need 110 gallons at the very least, if not more. Once again, when it comes to feeding, lighting, care, and water conditions, it is the exact same as with all of the other discus fish we have looked at so far.

Ocean Green Discus

The ocean green discus fish is yet another beautiful specimen to keep in mind, this one featuring a deep green with red-tipped fins and various splashes of super bright blue. It’s a very peaceful fish, one that is not super hard to care for, although also not super easy.

Just like the others, it has a maximum size of 8 inches and requires at least 55 gallons of tank space. So, for a 60-gallon tank, one of these guys is just right, and in terms of care, feeding, and water conditions, it is the same as the others.

Royal Blue Discus

Now, this is actually one of the smaller discus fish out there, as it grows to 6 inches in height and length, as opposed to the 8 inches which the other species generally grow to.

However, these guys are quite active and full of energy. When it comes down to it, they still need around 55 gallons of tank space to live comfortably. Their care requirements are also the same as the others.

There are also green discus, snakeskin discus, and checkerboard discus fish, all of which also grow to 8 inches in length and require a tank of 55 gallons apiece. Keep in mind that we have not covered nearly all of the discus fish types here, but mainly we have covered the most popular ones.

There are actually about 100 types of discus fish to choose from, but they mostly all grow to the same size and have the same tank requirements.

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Some Other Discus Care Facts

Discus Fish
Image Credit: Robert Balog, Pixabay

To get you started with your discus fish, let’s quickly go over some of the other care facts that you need to know about them.

  • Your average discus fish can live for as long as 10 years, which is quite long, and therefore constitutes quite the commitment.
  • Discus fish are considered to be omnivores and they will eat some blanched veggies, but generally speaking, they are more carnivorous than anything else. Fresh or freeze-dried meaty and protein-rich foods are definitely best for them.
  • Discus fish do require a pretty specific temperature range and pH level to be happy and healthy. This means that you will probably require an aquarium heater as well as a water conditioner.
  • These fish come from bright and tropical conditions, so a good aquarium light is something else you will need.
  • Discus fish are very peaceful, friendly, and timid. They make for good community tank fish as they won’t bother other fish. With that said, don’t keep them with aggressive fish, as they will get bullied.
  • Also, do not choose fast fish to live with the discus, as these guys are slow movers and slow eaters. Fast-moving fish will eat the food meant for your discus because it just won’t be able to keep up.
Need more info? We have a detailed Discus care guide over here.

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As you can see, the discus fish, no matter which type of the many variations you get, is a very good-looking and peaceful fish. With that being said, it is quite large and it requires a whole lot of tank space, even just for a single fish. .

So if you want multiple discus fish, you will need a big tank and lots of space. Also, keep in mind that the discus fish is not ideal for beginners as it requires a lot of care and maintenance.

Featured Image Credit: Andrey Armyagov, Shutterstock

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