How Can I Improve My Discus Fish Color?

How Can I Improve My Discus Fish Color?

Do you have a drab discus fish? Believe me, I know how you feel. When I first got my discus fish, he was a dull brown color. I was so disappointed! I had seen such beautiful, brightly colored discus fish in magazines and online, and mine just didn’t measure up.

But there’s hope! When I made some research and changed a few things in my fish’s environment, his color gradually improved.

In this article, I’ll share with you some tips on how you can improve your discus fish color. With a little bit of effort, you can have a beautiful, brightly colored fish that will be the envy of all your friends!

How to Enhance Discus Fish Color?

Discus Food Coloring

As you know, discus fish need a high-protein diet. But did you know that certain foods can also help to enhance their colors?

For example, if you want your fish to be red, add high-carotene foods like beet juice, shrimp or lobster roe, paprika, astaxanthin, and ground marigolds to its diet.

When a dull fish eat astaxanthin-rich food, it can become tomato red in a matter of days. However, discus color improvement owing to diet is only temporary.

For instance, once I offered my discus some shrimp. The next day, his color was noticeably brighter and more intense. But the effect only lasted for about a week before returning to normal.

So, if you want to use food coloring to enhance your discus fish color, be prepared to provide them with astaxanthin-rich foods on a regular basis.

Hormonal Methods

In fact, the discus coloring hormonal method was a very good to try for me, and it worked like a charm! Just follow these steps:

  • Fill a cup with 70% alcohol until it is halfway full
  • Mix one gram of methyltestosterone with 90 milliliters (1/10th) of water and dissolve it
  • Put the alcohol and methyl testosterone mixture into a quart bottle
  • Add water to the mixture, and shake it until the solution is consistent
  • To every 3 gallons of water, add six drops of the solution over a few days
  • Follow up with this therapy for four weeks

Similar to the other method, using hormones is only a temporary way to enhance the color of your Discus aquarium. If you stop adding hormones to the tank water, eventually the fish will lose its vibrant colors.

Also, giving them these hormones for a long time might cause detrimental side effects such as making female Discus infertile.

Further, if you want to change the colors of your brown discus using hormonal therapy, be certain that you have received precise information from the vendor.

Providing an Appropriate Habitat

Recreating the natural habitat for your discus aquarium can come in handy to intensify their coloration. To do this, you need to mimic the Amazon rainforest in your aquarium by providing them with the following:

  • A densely planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places
  • Keeping the water temperature between 82°F – 88°F (28°C-31°C)
  • Maintaining a pH level of 6.5 – 6.8
  • High water quality by doing regular water changes of 30% every week
  • Keeping toxins levels such as ammonia and nitrites as low as possible
  • Installing a good filtration system
  • Proper tank size – a minimum of 10 gallons for a single fish

What Are the Best Color-Enhancing Discus Commercial Food?

Although live food is the best way to enhance your discus aquarium color, not everyone is comfortable feeding live food to their fish. If that’s the case with you, don’t worry! There are some commercially available foods that can also help to improve the color of your fish.

Some of the best color-enhancing discus fish food include:

TetraColor Tropical Flakes

Tetra tropical flakes are a great color-fish food color enhancer that not only helps Discus develop brighter, more beautiful colors but also provides them with a balanced diet. It is rich in antioxidants, probiotics, and protein, and contains an active live formula.

Omega One Super Color Flakes

Omega One Super Color Flakes contain higher amounts of beta carotene and omega fatty acids to ensure that your discus aquarium get the greatest hues. Also, they are insoluble, so there is no danger of water pollution.

Fluval Hagen Color Max Color Enhancing Flakes

Fluval Hagen flakes are a healthy and delicious way to supplement your fish’s diet. They contain protein, antioxidants, and trace elements that will help your fish develop a natural, lustrous color.

Aqueon Color Enhancing Cichlid Pellets

Aqueon pellets are a mix of chili powder, marigold, and astaxanthin for fish. The pellets do not sink readily, so you won’t worry about them polluting your tank water.


How Do I Enhance the Blue in Discus?

To enhance the blue color in your discus aquarium, feed them Sera 326 Discus Color Blue granules. The Haemotoccocus algae in this food support the development of blue coloration in the discus.

Does Color-Fish Food Color Enhancer Work?

Color-enhancing foods do have an impact. The majority of color-enhancing fish food for cichlids include carotenoids, which have the capacity to enhance pigmentation.

How Many Colors Discus fish Comes In?

They come in over 54 colors, with new color combinations that the breeders keep coming up with.

Why Does My Discus Fish Turn Dark? 

If your discus aquarium turns dark, it could be due to several reasons such as stress, illness, lack of food, or poor water quality. If the discus color change is accompanied by other symptoms such as lethargy or loss of appetite, then it is best to consult a veterinarian.

When Do Discus Fish Develop Their Colors? 

At birth, all brown discus look very similar: they have brown bodies and large black eyes. However, as they grow to be 1-1/2 inches long, their colors begin to show and they turn various shades of orange or red.

At 2 to 3-1/2 inches, discus fry starts exhibiting 10% of their eventual colors. By the time they reach one year and 4 to 5 inches, that figure jumps to 70%. After two more years, the discus aquarium will develop its full coloration.

Is There a Purple Discus Fish?

There is a cobalt purple discus aquarium but this is a very rare color. You won’t find this fish in your local pet store.

Why Is My Discus Losing Color?

Your discus might be facing stress due to several reasons such as poor water quality, lack of food, or aggression from other fish. Also, some illnesses can cause your discus to lose colors such as bloat, gill flukes, and Hole in the Head Disease.

What Colors Do Discus Fish Come in?

The vast majority of these discus aquarium are hues of blue, mixed with colors like white or black. Although the more common shades are cobalt or royal blue, you can find light browns blending into the blues and whites. Moreover, some might even have a tinge of red in their coloring.

What Determines the Color of a Discus Fish?

The two main things that determine the color of a discus fish are genetics and diet. While you can’t do much about your fish’s genes, you can certainly control what they eat.

How to Know If Your Discus Fish Is Healthy?

The best way to know if your discus aquarium is healthy is to look at its color. If the colors are bright and vibrant, then it is a good sign that your fish is healthy. However, if the colors are dull and faded, then it might be a sign of illness or stress.

What Is the Best Food for Discus Fish?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as the best food for discus aquarium depends on several factors such as the fish’s age, size, and health. However, in general, it is recommended to give them a diet that is high in protein and low in fat.

One of the best food options for discus aquarium is live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. These foods are not only high in protein but also help to enhance the colors of the fish.

How Big Do Discus Fish Get?

They can grow up to 12 inches in length as long as you provide them with the proper care and diet.

What Is the Lifespan of a Discus Fish?

The average lifespan of a discus aquarium is 10 years when you ensure that they live in optimal conditions.

How Often Should I Feed My Discus Fish?

You should feed your discus aquarium 2-3 times per day. However, you should avoid overfeeding as this can lead to health problems.

What Are the Common Health Problems of Discus Fish?

The most common health problems of discus aquarium are parasites, bacterial infections, and viruses. To prevent these problems, you need to provide your fish with clean water and a healthy diet. Also, you should quarantine new fish before adding them to the fish tank.

How to Care for Discus Fish?

To care for the discus aquarium, you need to provide them with clean and warm water. The water should be between 82-88 degrees Fahrenheit and have a pH level of 6.0-6.8. Also, it is important to do regular water changes and to keep the tank free of debris.

In addition, you need to provide your discus aquarium with a diet that is high in protein and low in fat. Finally, you need to make sure that the tank is properly decorated with hiding spots and plants. This will help to reduce stress and keep your fish healthy.

Last Words

Discus aquariums are great buddies that can liven up your home. They come in a variety of colors, and with the right care, you can even enhance their colors. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your discus fish stay healthy and colorful for years to come!

Just remember to have patience, it takes time for the colors to develop fully. Also, don’t forget to give your discus aquarium plenty of love and attention! They’ll be sure to love you back.

Do you have any tips on enhancing the colors of discus aquarium? Let us know in the comments below!