One of the most common Discus fish diseases is ammonia poisoning. This occurs because of toxic ammonia buildup and improper nitrogen cycle in the aquarium. Ammonia poisoning can sometimes be caused by the malfunction or removal of biological filter in the aquarium. This disease directly affects the fish and along with it are harmful side effects like increased disease vulnerability and organ failure. It’s very important for you to know that you cannot put a tropical fish in the water until the ammonia has been completely removed. You also have to make sure that your filters are working correctly. To prevent this disease from occurring, you have to change the water on a regular basis and if possible, do not overcrowd the tank. If your fish appears to have red and swollen gills or if it keeps on staying at the water surface gasping for air, it is most likely affected with ammonia poisoning. This happens because the more ammonia present in the tank, the less oxygen is available for your fish.
Other signs that your fish is affected with the disease include loss of appetite, hovering at the bottom of the tank, sluggishness and inflamed eyes or anus. If you have a relatively new tank, the ammonia level can rise quite quickly unless it has undergone cycling already. Cycling simply means establishing a bacteria bed in your biological filter to remove the toxins that the fish’s metabolism emits. It’s actually pretty easy to deal with Discus fish diseases like ammonia poisoning or ammonia stress. Water change always helps in making the fish getting rid of ammonia. You can use an ammonia remover but keep in mind that this will not help in the long run because it can cause long-term negative side effects in the tank. When changing the water, make sure you are not using water that has ammonia content so that the biological filter can begin to process the excess waste while relieving the stress on the Discus fish.
Aside from ammonia poisoning, another disease that can be caused by poor water quality is ich which involves the appearance of white spots on the fish’s body and fins. The best way to treat such Discus fish diseases is to increase the water temperature and administer medication available in any pet store. Before administering the medication, make sure to remove the carbon filter because this may absorb all the substances. If possible, use a quarantine aquarium to make sure other healthy fish won’t get affected.