forofaro new logo

between discus and angelfish which one should yo choose

discus and angelfish
Hello fish lover, today we’ll discuss discus and angelfish. What are the variations, and which one should you pick? So let me break it down for you in the hopes that it will help you choose which gorgeous fish to purchase.
Discus Fish Profile
Scientific name Symphysodon aequifasciatus
family  Cichlids
maintenance level Intermediate
Size Average 12-15 cm
Life expectancy Average between 10 to 15 years
Origin South America
Character Semi-aggressive
Minimum tank size 75 gallons / 350 liters / 120 x 45 x 50 cm
Ideal water parameters pH 6.0 to 7.0 / temperature 26-32 degrees Celsius
Food type Omnivore

Discus is a fish that comes from the Amazon river in South America. Because of its dazzling appearance, Discus is one of the most popular types of freshwater ornamental fish.

When mature, Discus fish can grow to be large. The average size ranges from 12 cm to 15 cm. However, there are claims that there are Discus fish that can grow as long as 23 cm.

Male fish have larger bodies than females. However, for certain colors, such as solid red, female Discus can grow bigger than male.

In general, Discus fish are calm, and social, and tend to avoid conflict. Ideally, they like to live in groups of up to dozens of tails.

In some conditions, Discus fish can turn aggressive and can prey on each other. Usually, aggressive nature will appear when Discus fish breed.

Discus are middle-level fish which means they are often in the middle of the aquarium. But they will still move up and down to find food.

Discus fish are omnivores and like to eat small invertebrates, worms, small crustaceans, and algae, and don’t mind being fed fish pellets.

Discus fish tend to be less suitable for beginners because they have certain requirements in order to live well. If environmental conditions are not ideal, these fish are prone to stress and then die.

Types of Discus Fish

The different types of Discus are based on their color. Varieties such as the Giant Flora and Red Alenquer Discus come in light blue and dark red, while the Discus Platinum Albino is all white with red eyes that appear to almost glow.

The following are several types of Discus fish that you can choose from:

As an omnivorous species, feeding Discus fish is relatively easy. In the aquarium, Discus can be fed frozen blood worms, brine shrimp, black worms, micro worms, and beef liver chopped into small pieces, and do not mind being fed fish pellets.

In order not to get addicted to one particular food, it is highly recommended to provide a variety of foods.

In order for the color to come out optimally, provide high-quality pellet food such as for example Tetra Bits. But sometimes some Discus is also known to be a bit fussy and picky eaters.

Food must also run out a maximum of 5 minutes after food is given. If up to 5 minutes there are still food remnants, clean them immediately so that the food doesn’t contaminate or affect the quality of the water for the worse.

For the feeding schedule, you can provide food 1 to 2 times a day.

How to Raise Discus Fish

Aquarium Size

Because of its large size, of course, Discus requires a large tank. An elongated tank is an ideal environment for Discus fish.

The minimum tank size is at least 60 x 40 x 40 cm. While the ideal is 120 x 45 x 50 cm or above. Bigger is certainly better so that these fish are free to move.

Water Parameters

Discus fish are fussy fish and require certain water conditions to live comfortably.

They need high temperatures (warm water) with a range of 28 to 31 degrees Celsius. If you live in a cold area and the water is also cold, adding a heater is of course highly recommended.

Because of this need for warm water, you also need to place a thermometer in the tank so that the water temperature can be controlled properly.

The filtration system must also be “ mature ” with adequate mechanical, biological and chemical filter media.

For pH, the average Discus survives well at a pH between 6 and 7. Discus also doesn’t like living in environments with strong currents, so set conditions to regulate enough current.

The aquarium should also be cleaned frequently. You can drain ( water change ) once or twice a week.

Once again, what must be considered is that discus fish are sensitive to changes in water parameters. Make sure to only drain 25% of the water from the size of your tank or aquarium.

No need to drain the water up to 50% or even until the water runs out. This will change the water parameters and is guaranteed to make the fish stressed, startled and can die a few moments after the tank is filled with new water.

So, don’t put Discus fish in a new aquarium. Let the aquarium go through the cycling process for at least 1 week and start adding fish when the tank is 2 weeks old.

Read Also: how to tell the difference between male vs female angelfish


Habitat conditions have no special requirements, these fish can live in habitats with minimal plants. Even some fish lovers who keep Discus fish in “plain” aquariums are just water, rocks, and sand.

See also  What is a flowerhorn cichlid?

To make it more comfortable to look at, and to add a natural impression, you can add plants that can tolerate high temperatures such as Anubias and Java Ferns.

Also, add hardscapes like sunken wood and rocks to taste. Try not to overcrowd the aquarium with too much hardscape so that it isn’t cramped, thereby reducing the area for fish movement.

Try to keep the aquarium in as simple a condition as possible. Because the more hidden corners, the more difficult it will be to clean them later.

Discus has a fairly large poop size. If the aquarium is “crowded” with plants and hardscape, dirt will be difficult to clean.

Tank Mates

Discus are peaceful fish. If you want to add tank mates, be sure to add fish with a peaceful disposition to compensate.

Some fish that can be added as Discus tank mates are the Cardinal Tetra, Ember Tetra, Molly, Puntius denisonii, and Guppy. It is also highly recommended to add basic cleaning fish such as Corydoras or Botia.

Meanwhile, fish that should be avoided are fast swimming and nosy fish such as Clown Loaches, Tiger Barbs (Sumatran fish), Electric blue Ramirez, and  Angelfish.

If you only plan to keep Discus fish in 1 tank, be sure to keep at least 5 to 8 Discus fish together.

  • Discus are not suitable fish for beginners
  • It is recommended to be kept in a large aquarium and as simple as possible
  • Fish are omnivores but tend to prefer foods such as frozen worms or frozen brine shrimp, and mosquito larvae
  • Sensitive to changes in water parameters
  • Easily stressed and leads to death if the habitat is less than ideal and the water parameters are not suitable
  • Requires quality fish food so that the color is more beautiful
  • Tend to be picky eaters, therefore vary the feeding
  • One of the ornamental fish with an expensive price.

Angelfish Fish Profile

Scientific name Pterophyllum
Another name Manfish
family Cichlids
maintenance level Beginner
Size Average 15 cm
Life expectancy Reached 10 years
Origin South America
Character Semi-aggressive
Minimum tank size 20 gallons or 60 X 30 X 40 cm
Ideal water parameters 23 to 28 centigrade, pH 6.8 to 7
Food type Omnivore

Before we continue discussing Angelfish, you should know that there are 2 different Angelfish, namely freshwater Angelfish, and marine Angelfish. This article will review freshwater Angelfish.

Angelfish is one of the most popular freshwater ornamental fish. If you visit the ornamental fish market, almost all sellers will sell Angelfish.

Its appearance is indeed beautiful with its high and sharp fins and shiny scales. Angelfish are not only beautiful to look at but also fun to raise.

If you intend to keep Angelfish, let’s learn about this fish species so you can be sure to set up your tank to accommodate their needs and preferences.

Freshwater angelfish is a species of cichlid native to South America. Body size can be said to be quite large with an average length ranging from 15 cm to 20 cm.

These fish come in a variety of colors and patterns ranging from solid silver to colored stripes or black-and-silver marble.

This fish is semi-aggressive (Angelfish may not get along with some very small fish species).

Angelfish can live up to ten years or more and are highly recommended to be kept with their own species.

Angelfish are also better known as Manfish.

Types of Angelfish Fish

Angelfish fish can be said to have several varied types. The following are some of them:

Altum Angelfish

Altum Angelfish 

Altum Angelfish or Manfish Altum is the largest type of Angelfish among several types. The color is silver combined with brownish red.

Zebra Angelfish

Zebra Angelfish (Juan Carlos Juarez Jaramillo / istockphoto)

Zebra Angelfish or Zebra Manfish has a silver body with black stripes. His black stripes number between 4 to 6, one of which is in his eye. Smaller in size than other Angelfish and has a more agile and active movement.

Silver Angelfish

Silver Angelfish (CasarsaGuru / istockphoto)

As the name implies, the Silver Angelfish has a silver body color with three darker stripes. One of his lines passed through his eyes. Body color can fade when this fish is stressed. However, the Silver Angelfish is the most resilient variant among several types.

Marble Angelfish

Marble Angelfish (Mirko_Rosenau / istockphoto)

Marble Angelfish has a pattern that resembles marble. Its body color is a mix of black, white, orange and silver.

Marble Angelfish is the most common variant and is almost always found in ornamental fish markets.

Leopard Angelfish

Leopard Angelfish or Leopard Manfish has a spotted pattern like that of a leopard.

These spots or spots can appear clearly when they are kept in an aquarium that has natural lighting. If the light is too low or too low, the spots may fade.

Koi Angelfish


Koi Angelfish or Manfish Koi have patterns and colors that resemble koi goldfish. The color is a mix of orange, white and gold.

There are red patches under his eyes (when he was an adult). But the longer it will fade with age. The orange color will turn darker when the fish is stressed.

Golden Angelfish

Golden Angelfish (fabiodinatale / istockphoto)

Golden Angelfish or Golden Manfish has a golden yellow color that combines with silver. The golden color will begin to appear when the fish is over 1 year old and remains in good health. The fins are also longer than other Angelfish variants.

Black Angelfish

Black Angelfish (AarStudio / Istockphoto)

Black Angelfish or Black Manfish has several variants such as Manfish Black Lace, Black Slayer, and Black Angel. Black Angelfish generally have a more relaxed temperament and tend to stay in the water.

Albino Angelfish

Albino Angelfish
Albino Angelfish (rikyaulia_65 / Instagram)

Albino Angelfish or Albino Manfish have a lack of pigment in their bodies so their bodies experience albinism and their eyes are red. The Albino Manfish is the most “fragile” variant and has the shortest lifespan among other Angelfish variants.

See also  What does oscar fish eat? Look at these foods

Angelfish Food

Angelfish are omnivores and generally very easy to feed (although they tend to prefer meat-based foods).

In their wild habitat, Angelfish eat small animals such as small crustaceans and aquatic invertebrates. However, when kept in an aquarium, they will tend to eat whatever food is given.

You can feed fish pellets, tubifex worms, water fleas, blood worms, brine shrimp, white worms, crustaceans, small insects, algae, and vegetables such as zucchini and spinach.

How to Raise Angelfish Fish


With a body that can reach 15 cm to 20 cm, Angelfish certainly requires a fairly large tank size.

A tank with a minimum size of 60 X 30 X 40 cm is highly recommended (the bigger the better). Angelfish tend to be taller than elongated, so a taller tank makes sense.

In their natural habitat, Angelfish live in water that tends to be warm. So, the recommended water temperature range, it ranges from 23 to 28 degrees Celsius.

Good water hardness levels are 5 and 18 dH. As for Ph, Angelfish likes a slightly acidic pH between 6.0 to 7.5.

Tank Mates

Even though Angelfish are community fish, because of their semi-aggressive temperament, do not mix Angelfish with small fish such as Guppies or Neon Tetras because they can be preyed upon by Angelfish.

Other fish species that are suitable for living side by side with Angelfish, for example, are Platy, Discus, and other Cichlids.


In the wild, Angelfish inhabit watersheds and streams that are overgrown with vegetation, moss, and sand. This angelfish includes fish that are easily nervous and restless, they panic at the shadow.

That’s why you should strive for an environment that can provide protection and block the sudden appearance of shadows. The trick is to include as many plants as possible into your tank.

Its natural habitat is in the Amazon river, so you can add some Amazonian plants to mimic its natural habitat.

Some plants that can be added to the aquarium are:

  • Amazon Frogbit
  • Moss
  • Hydrocotyle leucocephala / Brazilian Pennywort
  • Amazon Sword.

Avoid giving too many floating plants to cover the entire surface of the water as this will only fill the tank and block light.

Angelfish like to dig, as the bottom of the aquarium, you can provide a soft and smooth substrate such as sand. Malang sand, Bali sand, and so on can be the right choice.

If given a substrate that is hard or has sharp edges, it is feared it will scratch the scales or fins.

Also, Angelfish is like still water, so no current is needed in the tank. Use low or slow-flow aeration.

For lighting, additional lamps can also be used for 8 to 12 hours.

Tank Mates

The Amazon River is rich in biodiversity, in its habitat Angelfish coexist with a wide variety of species.

Some of the fish that inhabit the Amazon river such as Oscar, Discus, Characin, Arowana, and even large fish like Arapaima.

What fish are suitable for living side by side with Angelfish fish?

  • Discuss
  • Dwarf Cichlids
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Rainbow Boesemani
  • Corydoras
  • Rainbow Praecox
  • Zebra Loaches
  • Molly .

Also avoid mixing too many fellow Angelfish. These fish are also very territorial, so they will potentially engage in aggressive behavior towards one another in competition for territory and resources.

Also avoid mixing more aggressive cichlid species such as Oscar and Barb species because of their reputation for biting fish with long fins. Also not suitable for mixed with betta fish.

Angelfish Fish Cultivation

Angelfish fish are very easy to breed. They are also known as good parents and will protect their eggs with all their might from the threat of predators or other fish.

If you plan to breed Angelfish, don’t mix them with other fish species. They must be together in a special tank to breed.

In the breeding season, creating an ideal environment can help the fish avoid stress.

Also, provide foods that contain high protein such as tubifex worms 4 times a day to breed fish pairs. The water temperature in the tank must also be maintained at 27-27 degrees Celsius.

One of the characteristics, when female Angelfish will lay their eggs, is that they will be on the surface more often. Once laid, the female Angelfish will produce around 200 to 400 eggs.

After the female has laid her eggs, the male Angelfish fertilizes the eggs externally.

After the Angelfish fry hatch, don’t separate the parents because the two of them will stay together to look after them (this is their instinct).

When they are 1 month old, their parents can be separated in another tank.

Angelfish fry can be fed with brine shrimp larvae until they are 5 to 7 weeks old. After that they can be given pellet food.

When the fry reaches the age of 8 weeks, it can start to be transferred to a bigger tank.


  • Here we know him better as the Manfish
  • Angelfish is a semi-aggressive type of fish
  • It is not recommended to be mixed with other Angelfish in large quantities
  • Do not mix with fish that are smaller than their bodies
  • The ideal tank environment is one filled with plants and a soft substrate
  • Including hardy fish species
  • Maintenance is easy so it is suitable for beginners.

Which one you should choose between discus and angel fish?

I suggest an angelfish if you want a colorful fish that is simple to take care of, but if you have the time and energy to spend on a discus, go for it!

But make sure you do sufficient information before choosing which species of fish to purchase because both of these species are quite demanding in their own unique ways!

I do suggest giving angels a try initially if you are just beginning in the hobby. You will make a lot of discus fish care techniques as your experience increases.

Nooru Ariyoushi

Nooru Ariyoushi

Nooruariyoushi has been a fish hobbyist for 20 years and is now a blog writer sharing information about fish and how to care for them.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Post


Explore all the incredible creatures

Whether you are interested in getting into keeping new fish or you are completely immersed in the hobby, you are sure to find some information in the number of articles we have created on this topic to help you achieve success. Learn about maintaining the health of your pond, fish health, the types of fish that match your aquarium,
Forofaro We would like to show you notifications for the latest news and updates.
Allow Notifications