Can I Keep Black Arowana With Discus? (Explained)

Lauren Kiekbusch
Can Black Arowana Live With Discus?

As an experienced fish keeper, I’ve come to appreciate the nuances of creating a harmonious home aquarium. The key lies in understanding each species’ needs and whether they can coexist peacefully. In this guide, we’ll focus specifically on the compatibility of Black Arowana and Discus, two popular yet distinct aquarium choices.

Black Arowana, known for their striking appearance and dynamic behavior, are often the centerpieces of aquariums. On the other hand, Discus fish are celebrated for their vivid colors and graceful movements. Both species have unique requirements and temperaments, which raises a common question among aquarists: Can these two cohabit in the same environment?

In this article, we aim to provide clear, straightforward answers. Whether you’re setting up your first tank or looking to add to your aquatic family, understanding the compatibility of these species is crucial for a thriving aquarium.

Can I Keep Black Arowana With Discus?

Yes, keeping Black Arowana with Discus in the same aquarium is challenging but possible with careful planning and expert management. This setup requires a deep understanding of both species’ unique requirements, including large tank sizes, specific water parameters, and compatible feeding regimes.

Can I Keep Black Arowana With Discus?

Compatibility Factors

When considering housing Black Arowana with Discus, three key compatibility factors are crucial: tank size, water parameters, and behavioral aspects.

1. Tank Size Considerations

Black Arowana requires large aquariums due to their size, often reaching up to 3 feet in length.
Discus, though smaller, also needs ample space for comfortable swimming.
A significantly large tank is essential to accommodate both species, providing enough room for swimming and territory.

2. Water Parameters

  1. Temperature: Both species thrive in warm water, ideally between 80-86°F.
  2. pH Level: A slightly acidic to neutral pH (6.0-7.0) is suitable for both.
  3. Hardness: Soft to moderately hard water is preferred, aligning with their natural habitat conditions.

3. Behavioral Aspects

  1. Temperament: Black Arowana are more aggressive and can dominate, while Discus are peaceful.
  2. Activity Levels: Arowana is an active swimmer and surface-oriented, whereas Discus is calmer and prefers mid-water levels.

Understanding these behavioral differences is key to minimizing stress and aggression in the tank.

Challenges in Housing Black Arowana with Discus

Combining Black Arowana with Discus in a single aquarium presents several challenges that require careful consideration:

1. Size Differences

The significant size difference between the larger Black Arowana and smaller Discus can lead to issues of intimidation and territorial disputes.
Arowanas may view smaller fish, including Discus, as potential prey, posing a risk to the safety of the Discus.

2. Dietary and Environmental Needs

Black Arowanas are carnivorous and require a protein-rich diet, whereas Discus fish have more varied dietary needs including both plant and animal matter.

Meeting these diverse nutritional requirements without compromising the health of either species can be challenging. Environmental needs, particularly filtration and water cleanliness are critical as both species are sensitive to poor water conditions, albeit in different ways.

Can I Keep Black Arowana With Discus?

3. Stress and Health Concerns

The active and sometimes aggressive nature of Black Arowana can cause stress to the more peaceful and timid Discus. Chronic stress in fish leads to a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to diseases. Ensuring a stress-free environment for both species is crucial for their long-term health and well-being.

Alternative Tank Mates

Finding the right companions for both Black Arowana and Discus is key to a harmonious aquarium. Here are some suggestions for suitable tank mates:

1. For Black Arowana

Large, semi-aggressive fish like Oscar fish or larger catfish species can be good companions. They are able to hold their own without causing stress to the Arowana. It’s important to avoid very small or overly timid fish, as they can be stressed or preyed upon by the Arowana.

2. For Discus

Peaceful fish that thrive in similar water conditions, such as Cardinal Tetras, Dwarf Cichlids, or Corydoras, make good tank mates for Discus. These species can coexist without competing aggressively for space or food.

3. Choosing the Right Tank Mates

Consider the size and temperament of potential tank mates. They should be neither too large nor aggressive to intimidate, nor too small to be seen as prey. Ensure the chosen species have similar water parameter requirements, such as temperature and pH.

Observe the fish’s behavior in the store or previous setups to gauge their compatibility potential.
By carefully selecting tank mates that complement the needs and behaviors of either Black Arowana or Discus, you can create a balanced and stress-free environment for all inhabitants

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