No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish - John Ruskin
There is, as has often been noted by some of the most preeminent minds in the history of civilization, nothing more relaxing than watching fish.
Possessed by a rare beauty and singular purpose, fish aren’t subject to the grinding pressures and stress that drive relentless progress, and their sense of absolute disregard for the trappings of either is something that we find solace in, as they glide from moment to moment unaware of the world that exists beyond the confines of their own.
They are beguiling, and it’s all too easy to become swept up in, and by, their lives and enraptured by the minutia of their behaviors, instincts, and endless grace.
We’ve all fallen victim to the dangerously hypnotic world of aquariums and their denizens, and the more we search for different fish to join our home-based water-filled colonies, the more we discover about the individual needs and requirements of the subspecies of the fish we keep.
One of the species of fish, due to their highly social nature, distinctive patterns and colors, and oddly shaped bodies, that has become increasingly popular among aquarists, are Discus or Pompadour fish.
But if you’re interested in adding Discus to your aquarium, it’s important to know a little about them and the first thing you’ll need to know is what to feed them. That’s why we've found five of the best Discus fish foods you can buy to help your Discus journey get off to flying start.
And once you know all about their food, you can begin to populate your tank with Pompadour fish.
So, let’s talk about Discus food…
OUR TOP PICK
It’s important to understand that while Discus, like most species of fish, seem to subsist on a diet of plant material, they are also foragers who spend a lot of lot shifting through the bottom of river beds for small crustaceans and worms that make up a surprisingly large amount of the food they consume.
True omnivores, Discus require a large variety of proteins and nutrients in their food if they’re going to flourish, and Seacham’s Nutrient Flakes have been formulated to provide Discus with the sort of balanced diet that they’ll need in order to thrive.
Seachem NutriDiet Discus Flakes contains only the highest quality ingredients, like squid and earthworms, and is designed to act as an appetite stimulant so that your Discus will happily eat as much of these flakes as you’ll feed them and as such, will absorb all the nutrients that they actually need.
Filled with probiotics and Chlorella Algae, Seachem Discs are also rich in vitamins and amino acids and are a purpose-designed Discus superfood. If you feed your Discus on Seachem, you’ll end up raising a generation of fish superheroes who will be able to face and conquer any challenges that life in the aquarium throws at them.
And as they’ve been formulated to be completely digested by your Discus, Seachem Flakes reduce the amount of waste that your Discus will produce. Less waste material means that your tank will be cleaner, and a cleaner tank means your Discus will be happier too. A clean tank and happy, healthy, well-fed fish? It seems like a no brainer to us.
- It’s a food that’s been designed and formulated with Discus in mind. Seachem has packed these flakes with absolutely everything that your Discus will need to prosper and bloom. As they’re also loaded with appetite stimulants, you’ll also have to be careful about how much of them you feed your Discus, as they might just get a little too attached to feeding time and their supply of Seachem flakes.
- The fact that Seachem has designed these flakes to deliver maximum nutrition and minimal waste is a blessing for every aquarist and all the fish in their aquariums. Cleaner tanks and happier fish, what more could any fish lover want?
- Some Discus fanatics have reported that for some strange reason, Seachem has used a red dye in the manufacture of these flakes, and if they’re left to rot in the tank and the Duiascus don’t eat them, they can discolor the water in your aquarium.
- And while we’re on the subject of uneaten flakes, Discus like any other animal can be picky eaters, and just because a food has been designed with them in mind, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to take to it. Some Discus love these flakes, others don’t. It’s all a matter of, as so many things in life are, taste.
If you’re going to formulate and design food that’s specifically geared toward a single breed of fish, then it’s a good idea to seek out one of the world’s leading experts on that breed and ask them for their help.
That’s exactly what Cobalt Aquatics did when they teamed up with the world’s foremost breeder of Pompadours, Discus Hans, to produce their specialist Discus food. And the eponymously named Discus Hans flakes are the end result of that collaboration.
These flakes combine high-quality salmon fish meal, dried Spirulina, garlic powder, dried earthworm meal, and Cobalt Aquatics blue flakes to ensure that your Discus gets a nutrient-rich source of food that also makes sure that their digestives systems remain in optimal condition and keep your fish healthy and full of energy.
It’s also scientifically formulated to increase the amount of food that your Discus will absorb and thus reduces the amount of waste that they produce, which leads to a cleaner tank and happier fish.
It’s a twice-daily feeder, so don’t be tempted to overfeed your Discus with a third helping, as Hans knows what he’s talking about and because he had a hand in its creation, you know your Discus are going to go crazy for these flakes. So, just remember twice, not thrice no matter what your Discus “say”.
- Hans teamed up with Cobalt Aquatics to make this food so that your Discus would be happier than they’ve ever been. It’s a fully balanced diet that’s been designed to promote Discus health, wellbeing, and longevity. And it proves that when science and a little know-how work in harmony, the end result can be amazing
- As Discus Hans Flakes have been specifically formulated to reduce the amount of waste that your Discus will produce, the water in your aquarium will be significantly cleaner which means that you won’t have to clean your tank as regularly as you used to.
- It’s the same old story. Fish, even Discus when it comes to food made just for them, can be picky and not all of them are going to take to Discus Hans. The only way you’re going to know for sure is by letting your Discus try it for themselves.
San Francisco Bay specializes in naturally formulated foods that mimic and resemble the diet that fish would subsist on in their own environments. They don’t add any preservatives or chemicals and don’t have a team of scientists who alter the nutritional balance of their food.
They just let nature do what it does best by giving it a helping hand. And left to their own devices, Discus would feast on blood worms all day and night and wouldn’t stop until they popped.
They’re just a lot harder for the fish to find in the wild, that’s why they spend so much time foraging for them at the bottom of rivers, and so when you feed them to them, your Discus are going to go mad for Bloodworms.
That’s why San Francisco Bay provides very clear instructions about how much and how often you should feed their bloodworms to your Discus.
We know, feeding your fish bloodworms sounds like the plot to a second rate drive-in Horror movie from the nineteen fifties, but trust us and San Francisco Bay, these worms contain every nutrient and protein that you Discus will need for a properly balanced, healthy diet.
It may not be the most likely of foods, but it is one that your Discus will love.
- San Francisco Bay prides itself on producing completely natural, or as close to natural as they possibly can, food which means these worms are about as good for your fish as any diet could be.
- The instructions that San Francisco Bay provides are key, and if you follow them to the letter, your Discus will thrive. But if you feed them too much, things could get a little crazy in your fish tank. Too much of a good thing can drive your fish wild.
- Some members of the Discus community have reported finding things in their jars of blood worms that really shouldn’t be in there. They’ve found grass, twigs, and even nail clippings, so when San Francisco Bay says that their Blood Worms are all-natural, they mean that they’re really, really natural.
Ocean Nutrition has been dedicated to providing the highest quality frozen foods and formulated diets for the animals in the care of dedicated aquarists everywhere.
They know that the sort of great fish food that hobbyists look for is one that’s easy for them to use and has all the proteins and nutrition that their fish need to bloom.
Formulated and tested by biologists, Ocean Nutrition’s Discus Flakes is a gourmet diet that’s been specifically designed with Discus in mind.
Made to be palatable and easily digestible these flakes have a high protein content, which means that the Discus absorb almost all of the vitamins, acids, and proteins that they need on a daily basis directly from Ocean Nutrition’s flakes.
This minimizes waste, and keeps your Discus healthy and energetic, and makes sure that they’re always bright and shiny.
When a food has a picture of Discus on the front of it and has been created by experts, it’s probably fair to say that it’s a product that you can put your, and your Discus’, faith in.
After all, Ocean Nutrition has been doing what they do for nearly forty years, so if you can’t trust them, who can you trust?
- They’re formulated, designed, and made for Discus. They have all of the nutrients, proteins, and vitamins that Discus need to thrive and have been specifically geared to appeal to the taste buds of Discus. That should tell you everything that you’ll need to know about these flakes. Your Discus will love them.
- And they’ve also been perfectly sized so that Discus can swallow them in one gulp and eat them in a single mouthful. It’s that sort of attention to detail that makes them ideal for your Discus.
- They do however have a tendency to crumble, which makes them difficult to feed to your fish and can result in undue mess and uncalled for waste products in your aquarium.
- As with every other food, it’s all a question of taste. Your Discus are either going to love these flakes, or they’ll hate them, and the only way you’ll know for sure is by letting your Discus try them.
It’s a simple fact of nature, and biology, that some Discus just don’t like flakes, they prefer granules. If your Discus fall into this foodie group, which isn’t as rare as you might have been led to believe, then Sera’s Granules are a great way to cater to their particular tastes.
Created specifically with Discus in mind, these granules have all of the vitamins, proteins, and nutrients that your fish need and have all the probiotics they require to live long healthy, and happy lives.
Sera might not push their product as aggressively as some other brands do, but they’re just as effective and just as tasty, well they are as far as Discus are concerned, as their competitor’s food is.
And as Discus are natural foragers, the granules encourage this element of their behavior, as they sink to the bottom of your aquarium, which means that your Discus will have to follow their instincts to get their food.
There is method, and more than a little cunning, too, and behind, the design of Sera’s granules.
- Sera’s granules are formulated specifically for Discus. They contain all of the nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and probiotics they’ll need to be the best Discus they can possibly be.
- Granules encourage Discus to forage for their food, just as they would in the wild. They’re a specialty Discus food that’ll appeal to all of their instincts and will also keep them well fed.
- And Sera has also made sure that their granules won’t break down in the water of your aquarium and won’t add to the level of waste products in your tank. They’ll retain their shape and stay firm until your Discus eat them.
- Some Discus like flakes, some like granules. You won’t know if your Discus are the sort of fish who favor granules until you let them try them. It is, once again, all a matter of taste.
Best Discus Food Buying Guide
What Are Discus Fish?
Symphysodon, collectively known as either Discus or Pompadour fish, are brightly colored and patterned fish that are native to the Amazon basin.
They are named Discus because of the shape of their bodies, which resemble large, flat discs.
Discus are a highly sociable fish and often congregate in large groups, and tend to do better in larger numbers if kept in aquariums. They are also natural foragers and can often be found at the bottom of rivers and tanks searching for food.
Omnivorous by nature, Discus thrive on a diet that combines plant matter, small crustaceans and worms and algae.
Which Food Is The Best One To Feed To My Discus?
All of the foods on our list have been specifically formulated with Discus in mind, all fall within a similar level of budget and they are all designed to be the core element of a diet that promotes the health and general well being of your Discus.
Which makes it difficult to choose one and know which one is going to be right for your Discus. Unfortunately, that’s a decision that you’ll have to make based on what you know, and have learned about your fish.
That said, if you want to know which of the foods on our list we regularly feed to our Discus, we’d be forced to concede that it’s San Francisco Bay’s Frozen Bloodworms.
We believe, just like San Francisco Bay does, that a natural diet is always the best one to feed to your fish, especially when it includes everything that they’ll need to thrive and our Discus seem to love them too. And who are we to argue with our fish?