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Has anyone had luck with less than 5 discus fish? I have always wanted to get into discus but have always been a little turned off by the price. I have a 60 gallon tall thats cycling right now, and everything I read says I need to buy 5 of them. #1 is that 5 seems like a lot for a 60 gallon. # 2 the price for 5 is a bit steep. I am not interested in paying for a breaded pair, so thats a little off the table.

ADVICE PLEASE!!
 

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I understand the pain. I currently have a 55 Gallon, and I actually have six discus in there at the moment. So yes a well-acquainted community of five discus should do just fine in your tank. As for cost, I am a college student so I totally understand cost issues regarding discus. I personally have never bought a discus larger than 3" from a local breeder. If you live in a big city, chances are there are people in the area breeding or importing their own discus. I live in the bay area while I am not in school so I purchase all of my discus from a really awesome breeder / importer in Milpitas for around 25$ ahead. There's definitely risks raising your own baby discus, but I personally find it more rewarding.

Now to answer your question, haha. I have had luck with only a single discus in a tank. Sometimes I get a discus that just doesn't seem to fit in well with the group. I've got a pigeon blood that has lived in alone in her own tank for about 4 years now, couldn't be happier. Also a friend currently has 3 discus in a 40-gallon breeder style tank. They also are doing just fine.

So it's not an absolute science by any means, but I would still recommend starting off with at least 5.

Good Luck!
 

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Funny thing is that I have exactly 5, and they bully each other constantly. I bought 5" fish because I worried about growing them out in a planted tank, which was a lot of $$. And now I'm thinking I may have to spend more $$, to get more and hopefully reduce the aggression. I'm going to give it more time and see if the discus settle down.
 

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Funny thing is that I have exactly 5, and they bully each other constantly. I bought 5" fish because I worried about growing them out in a planted tank, which was a lot of $$. And now I'm thinking I may have to spend more $$, to get more and hopefully reduce the aggression. I'm going to give it more time and see if the discus settle down.
Hi Mark,just wondering about the size of your tank and if you purchased them all from the same place.Bare bottom or planted?I just got 6 beauties from Chicago Discus and they get along great. Good luck...

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Has anyone had luck with less than 5 discus fish? I have always wanted to get into discus but have always been a little turned off by the price. I have a 60 gallon tall thats cycling right now, and everything I read says I need to buy 5 of them. #1 is that 5 seems like a lot for a 60 gallon. # 2 the price for 5 is a bit steep. I am not interested in paying for a breaded pair, so thats a little off the table.

ADVICE PLEASE!!
As you can see by Bt,s reply anything is possible but I went with the experts and saved up and bought the best I could and have them in a tank by them selves,5-6 does seem to make them more comfortable and all your attention should be on them anyway.Do a lot of research and check out the discus threads I put over the last few days for a lot of experienced opinions...
 

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Discus from the same breeding batch tend to be more friendly to one another from what I've experienced. Once you mix them you start to see more aggression. This isn't always the case but something I've noticed in discus I've kept so far. This may be what Doggy is eluding to.

Whatever you do, make sure you buy from a reliable source. I have discus from three sources right now. Wild, captive bred by a good breeder, and captive bad by a bad breeder. The wild ones look beautiful and acclimated surprisingly fast. The reputable breeder ones are the most beautiful. They took a while to get adjust to feeding and they are HUGE. I'd say the wild ones look to be the hardiest. The ones from the bad breeder you can tell from a mile away. They just aren't as colorful and they grow really slow. I lost half those fish to diseases they came with. Two of them are still sick and super thin.

The most important thing is to select a reputable breeder/dealer. I'd make sure to select the fish yourself and pick healthy ones that are out and about (not hiding). 5-6 is the recommended number because cichlids are social and create a hierarchy within their species for eating/mating/etc. It helps spread out the aggression. I have 5 in a 75G at the moment and I'm planning to have 8 in there. You can keep all 5 in the 60 no problem, but you'll have to up the water changes adequately.

I ended up mixing the wild ones and the good breeder discus and they get along fine. The ones from the bad breeder are VERY temperamental. I refuse to mix them with anything else just in case of spreading diseases, fighting, etc. It's really intriguing to me how that works. Could be how they were brought up? I have no idea.

It's all do-able, it's just a matter of what you want and how you do it.
 

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Hi Mark,just wondering about the size of your tank and if you purchased them all from the same place.Bare bottom or planted?I just got 6 beauties from Chicago Discus and they get along great. Good luck...
Mine are from Chicago Discus as well, and are the same strain(so probably same batch/siblings). My tank is a 125 planted. They were in a 29g q-tank first, which was barebottom. They fought like crazy there, so I decided to cut the quarantine short and moved them to the 125 planted. I had hoped the additional space would allow the less dominant fish to find space. Hopefully they mellow out. I'm not sure I want to add more since they are big fish and too many wouldn't look right to me.
 
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