There are some many ways to prevent and treat discus diseases. The
following are just what works for us. We usually try to keep things
The only prevention we use are garlic in beef heart mix for
internal parasites (hexamita, etc.) Discus are very easily infected with
parasites (wasting away and white feces.) Prevention is key with internal
parasites. Other things are just to keep the water condition in
stable range, feeding varieties of foods, etc.
All new fish that we get are quarantine for at least 3 weeks
and monitored for diseases.
To sterilize equipments (i.e. tanks, nets, etc), we use regular household bleach.
Rinse thoroughly afterward.
First, we will increase the water
temperature to 86-88 F. Also, a higher ratio water change is done before
The following are the medications that we use. These methods may not be
the best, but it works for us.
- Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) - for gastrointestinal
bloating or before treatment of internal parasites. We usually use 1
Works within 24 hrs. We repeat treatment for two more days if no results. Fish will start
eating like mad after treatment.
- Quick Cure (Formalin, Malachite green) or 37%
alone- or any common medication with same chemicals. Just follow
directions from bottle. We use them to treat external protozoan
parasites, gill flukes, Costia, and Trichondina.
- Methylene Blue - Use for fungal infections and ick.
Also add to breeding fish to prevent fungal infection on discus eggs.
- Praziquantel- Excellent medication for
flukes and internal parasites (capillaria,etc). We have more success with this med and
less side effects than Flubendazole, Piperazine or Albenazole. We
Epsom salt first to clean the GI tracts of fish. Praziquantel is not
very water soluble. Therefore, we use a blender to dissolve them with
water. Other hobbyists have used acetone to dissolve praziquantel. Dosage
is 10 mg/gallon. One dose is effective for seven days. No water change
is done during this time. Usually a second treatment is needed after seven days to prevent reinfection by
- Metronidazole - Used for protozoan internal parasites
excellent antibiotic for gram negative bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract
infections. With metronidazole, we mix them in small amounts of
water. Then we soak them in dry foods (i.e. Tetra Colorbits, Hikari discus, etc.) Wait
ten minutes until drug has soak into food before feeding. Again, we
pretreat with Epsom salt 24 hrs before metronidazole treatment. We find
that this pretreatment step with Epsom salt has a synergistic effect.
Other disease that we have no success with treatments are swim
bladder type of diseases. We are lucky in that discus plague has not been
a problem (knock on wood).