The red melon discus has a stunning crimson-orange hue that will brighten up your freshwater tank. Their red melon discus will stand out among any other discus you may have known.
These species that are native to the Amazon River basin are peaceful community fish that get along well with other fish, meaning they will do great in a tank with other community fish.
In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know about caring for red melon discus fish so that you can successfully keep them in your own freshwater aquarium.
|Temperature||82 – 88 F|
|pH||6.0 – 8.0|
|Origin||Amazon, South America|
|Tank Size||55 gallons|
|Behavior||Peaceful and Social|
Red Melon Discus Origin & Habitat
The Red melon discus fish belongs to the Cichlidae family, including angelfish and dwarf cichlids.
They live only in South America’s Amazon River blackwater rainforest tributaries.
They hide in the water near the shorelines, where the water is slow-moving, or among tangled roots and branches for protection from predators.
Red Melon Discus Behavior
They’re social fish that should be kept in groups of at least six individuals. Once their pecking order is established, they will cohabit happily with other fish and live in peace.
Red Melon Discus Features
The red melon discus is a beautiful, large fish that adds to the appeal of discus for tropical fish collectors.
They are squat and round in appearance, with a diameter comparable to their height.
The pectoral and dorsal fins of the red melon discus are full and extend the entire length of its body, contributing to its spherical form.
The red melon discus features a beautiful red-orange color over its gold head and body.
Their head and body are free of vertical stress bars, striations, or markings. The red melon discus’ dorsal and pectoral fins are typically hues ranging between the gold of its head and the reddish-orange of its body.
Females are typically redder than males. There is less smoke on the body in a superior Red melon fish.
The color of a Discus can be changed by the food that it eats. If it eats beta carotene food, the Discus will get a deeper red or red/orange color.
The red melon discus reaches a length of 12 inches when fully grown.
How to Care for Red Melon Discus?
1. Water Parameters
Despite being hardy fish, red melon discus is very sensitive to water quality and changes in their environment.
So, it is essential to do regular water changes with clean, fresh water to keep them healthy and reduce stress.
For small tanks (under 55 gallons), do a 20-25% water change every week. You can do a water change of 10-15% every other week for larger tanks.
However, it’s best to set up a routine where you do a partial water change every other day to make things easier on yourself. This will help keep the water quality high and prevent your fish from getting sick.
This species is native to the Amazon River basin, where warm water is. To maintain a comfortable environment for your red melon discus, keep the water temperature in your tank between 82-88 degrees Fahrenheit.
To recreate these conditions in your home aquarium, you must use an aquarium heater to maintain a consistent water temperature.
If you want to keep your red melon discus fish happy, the water parameters must remain consistent over time.
This means that the pH doesn’t change a lot and that there are no significant fluctuations in the water.
The ideal pH range for red melon discus is 6.0-8.
Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate Levels
Ammonia and nitrite should always be at 0 ppm. If these levels rise, it can cause serious health problems for your fish and even kill them.
To keep the ammonia and nitrite levels low, do regular water changes and ensure using a high-quality filter.
Besides, nitrate levels should also be kept low, ideally below 20 ppm. However, levels up to 40 ppm are still safe for most fish.
Red melon discus is used to living in slow-moving waters in the wild. As a result, they don’t need a lot of water movement in their tank.
To recreate these conditions in your home aquarium, you should use an aquarium filter with a low flow rate.
2. Tank Setup
The red melon discus is a peaceful but active fish that need a lot of space to swim. From our experience, you should keep them in a tank of at least 55 gallons.
Since they come from slow-moving waters that are not very well lit, red melon discus don’t need a lot of light in their tank.
It would help if you used an aquarium hood with fluorescent lighting to recreate these conditions. You can also use LED lighting, but make sure that it is not too bright.
However, when using intense aquarium lighting for plant development, be sure there are enough shaded areas for the Red Melon Discus to hide in when required.
High water quality is essential for red melon discus, so you need to use a high-quality filter.
To maintain water quality high and water parameters constant, frequent partial water changes, combined with strong biological and mechanical filtration, are needed.
Red Melon Discus aquariums should include a lot of plants and branching roots or driftwood and stimulate their natural Amazonian environment.
This will provide your fish with plenty of places to hide and feel secure.
Red Melon Discus Diet
Red Melon Discus are omnivores fish that eat both plants and animals.
Their diet consists of small insects, crustaceans, and worms in the wild. They also eat a lot of algae and plant matter.
To recreate their natural diet in your home aquarium, you should feed them various live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods.
Here are some of the best foods for red melon discus:
- White worms
- Blood worms
- Tubifex Worms
- High protein pellet
- Flake foods
The juvenile red melon discus should be fed at least three to five times a day, while adult specimens twice to three times.
They should be fed a quantity of food that they will consume in 10 minutes, with excess foods removed from the system by either a high-quality mechanical filter, manually if strong filtration is not available, or through substrate scavenging fish or invertebrates.
Red Melon Discus Compatibility
This species is peaceful and can be kept with other peaceful fish that have similar size and water requirements.
Red Melon Discus should not be housed with aggressive or boisterous fish species that may outcompete them for food or damage their delicate fins.
The Red Melon Discus is a beautiful and peaceful freshwater fish that makes a great addition to any aquarium.
While they are not the easiest fish to care for, they are worth the effort. They will thrive in your home aquarium and provide years of enjoyment with proper care.
We hope that this guide has been helpful and that you will now feel confident in caring for your own Red Melon Discus.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below.