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Discus fish are often unfairly categorized as “difficult fish” because they require extra care at the outset. However, if we look at the basics of discus fish care, we see that the “extra work” that many aquarists are avoiding are actually ideal practices that will benefit all types of freshwater fish, not just discus. An aquarist who tries to avoid the necessary work in order to give his fish an ideal tank environment will most likely suffer from heartache as a result of higher fish mortality. Fish come from specific biomes and habitats – they’re just like other animals and consequently have adapted to their natural surroundings. Even if a fish is spawned and kept in a tank, that doesn’t mean that it will lose its instincts and natural habitat requirements. With this in mind, remember the following before even considering buying discus fish: 1.    Discus fish need to live in a closely-monitored tank with just the right water hardness, pH level, ammonia level, and temperature. (see Heaters) 2.    Discus fish have to be kept away from ultra-active fish, as these will stress the discus. Stressed fish get sick more easily. ( see tank location) 3.    Discus fish are fans of wide-open spaces – a big tank is needed if you plan to keep more than a handful. ( See tank sizes) 4.    There are times that discus fish do get sick, even if the best care has been provided. Knowledge of common diseases and modes of medicating fish is a big plus when taking care of discus. So where do we start ... 1.  First of all we want to determine the tank size needed for the number of discus we plan on starting out with.   2. Your going to have to decide on the type of tank as well .. glass or acrylic .(which is best for me , what are the differences - is one better than the other etc.) 3. Then the location, once  you know the size and temperature requirements , (don’t park it over a vent see tank location) : the temperament of the Discus ( locating in a low traffic area) and finally the equipment needed , such as filters , substrate, accessories  etc. All of this has to be in place and functioning before making that trip to actually buy them... be patient and keep a journal of all of the topics. Its not unusual at this stage to spend at least a month locating and prepping your tank. Its always recommended that you start with more than a single fish .. they love company and love to school .. so the ideal will be at least 4 or 6 as they love to school. There is a widely held rule of thumb that you can use for determining the tank size  in the next article :  Discus Fish Tank Size
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