5 Best Filter for Discus Fish Tanks

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Discus fish are among the most popular fish species in the world. Their unique appearance and the colors they display make them a very popular proposition for fish tank owners. But what many people don’t realize is the fact that discus fish can produce a lot of waste and kick up the substrate.

The discus fish has often been described as the king of the aquarium. With their appearance, they are certainly one of the most unique and stunning fish species one can get. The discus fish are native to the Amazon river.

There are two main species of the discus fish and five subspecies. To know more about the filtration that is needed for discus fish, it is important to understand what water conditions they require and what kind of filtration would work best.

Discus Fish Water Parameters

Discus Fish Water Parameters

Discus Fish Water Parameters

For maintaining a fish tank with discus fish, filtration is extremely important. Discus fish prefer not to have filters with a high turnover rate; instead, they want a filter that provides 1 time per hour turnover. They also prefer calm water instead of fast-flowing waters.

An important thing to note is the fact that discus fish can produce much more waste than other fish species. The importance of a good filtration system should not be overlooked. Another thing to know is that water can also get polluted by the substrate that is kicked up and messed around by the discus fish.

As discus fish live in the Amazon, they come from a natural habitat that is very soft and acidic. The ph of the water should be around 4.7 to 6.8; ideally, it should be on the acidic side. Also, the temperatures should be very high; 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (28 to 30 degrees Celsius) is an ideal span.

Best Filters For Discus Fish Tanks

  Filter Name Price
1. OASE Indoor Aquatics Biomaster Thermo
2. Fluval 407 Performance Canister Filter
3. Penn Plax Aquarium Cascade Canister Filter
4. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter
5. AquaClear 110 Fish Tank Filter

With these requirements and specifications in mind, let us take a look at five best filters for discus fish tanks. There are plenty of choices that you can make for a discus fish tank filter. Hopefully, you will be able to get a good idea from this list and find a filter for your discus fish tank.

All of these filters are of premium quality. You should not be saving on your filtration, as it can really improve the quality of life for the fish and make them healthier in the long run.

1. OASE Indoor Aquatics Biomaster Thermo

As already discussed, the importance of a high-quality filter for discus fish tanks should not be neglected. This OASE Indoor filter is the perfect filter that addresses all the needs of the discus fish.

This is a premium filter that has all the necessary capabilities to keep your discus fish happy. It features a compact design with an integrated heater, which is another good feature for discus fish tanks. This heater can help you maintain the temperatures at the desired level. Another benefit of the integrated heater is that it will allow you more room in the fish tank.

The filter has 4 stages of operation: prefiltration, biological, mechanical and chemical filtration. The prefiltration is there to allow the filter to have undisrupted water flow and to allow for more effective biological, mechanical and chemical filtration. The prefiltration unit can be removed from the filter separately and cleaned on its own.

To allow you to get the most out of the filter, you will also get activated carbon for the efficient removal of toxins. The filter is designed in such a way that it can be placed under the aquarium for maximal performance. It also allows you to adjust the water flow completely to your own needs. It is one of the best choices you can make, albeit an expensive one.


2. Fluval 407 Performance Canister Filter

The Fluval 407 is a filter from the newest generation of the 07 line of Fluval filters. It is the largest version of the 07 line – it is appropriate for tanks of up to 100 gallons.

If you decide on Fluval, you can be sure that you are getting the quality that you need. The 407 filter is a quality filter that will provide you with a high quality of performance while also staying quite silent. It claims to be 25% more silent than the filters of the previous generation and one of the quietest filters in its range.

With this package, you will get 2 years of warranty. The whole system is designed in such a way that it allows for ergonomic use and easy maintenance. All parts are placed intuitively, which lets you clean the filter quickly and efficiently.

Of course, you will get a lot for your money with this filter. You can be absolutely sure about the quality of the performance of this filter. The whole system requires fewer pumps to operate efficiently.

As this is a canister filter, you can rely on this filter to clean all the mess that the discus fish can make. It is also very energy-efficient and will not use up too much power to provide great performance.


3. Penn Plax Aquarium Cascade Canister Filter

Another great choice would be the Penn Plax canister filter. We recommend that you buy the 1500 Elite version of the Penn Plax filter, as it would allow you the best possible filtration for tanks of up to 200 gallons in size.

With this filter, you will get the whole package. In addition to the filter, which is, of course, the important thing here, you will get many important accessories that will let you use this filter for a long time. In the package, you will receive all the necessary tubing and hoses, as well as Bio Floss, Bio Foam, ceramic rings, algae magnet and more.

But let’s focus on the filter itself for a bit. This filter offers you an effective and powerful 3-stage filtration, which is sure to give you the best possible performance for the discus fish tank. It features rotating flow valves that provide quality filtration. It is very easy to remove and clean these valves without removing your hoses or other equipment.

This filter is known to be easy to install. It is going to take you less than 30 minutes to complete the installation of the filter and start seeing results in less than a day. It features an easy primer that allows you to start the filter easily and quickly.


4. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

The Hydor external canister filter is sure to bring you a quality performance. Here, we will review the 450 version of the filter, which is capable to clean aquariums of 75 gallons to up to 125 gallons. The filter will provide you with a 3-stage filtration – biological, mechanical and chemical. In the filter, a special ecosystem will be established to provide filtration.

The filter offers an easy priming system that will allow for a quick set up and start up. You will also get telescopic tubes in the package, which will help to provide you an excellent level of filtration and good flow through the filter. This is important as the discus fish tank will definitely get dirty and a lot of debris will accumulate. The Hydor filter will clean up that mess efficiently.

The system operates with ceramic shaft motors, which will not only provide you with a high quality of filtration but also it will ensure the longevity of the system. This filter is versatile and can be used for a variety of different jobs, but the undeniable quality of it will help you keep your discus fish tank clean at all times.


5. AquaClear 110 Fish Tank Filter

The last filter on this list is the most affordable filter on the list, but it has just enough to provide you enough quality and power to clean the water efficiently. It is the AquaClear power filter.

We picked the 110 version of the filter for this review, as it is the most powerful version of the filter and thus most effective for discus fish tanks. It can cover aquariums of up to 110 gallons in size.

The advantage of this filter is the fact that it is very simple to use and to set it up. You are sure to get the quality of filtration as well as ease-of-use that many users crave for. If you are looking for a simple filtration system that will get the job done, then this AquaClear filter is for you.

To allow you to use the filter for a long time, it comes equipped with a foam, activated carbon and cycle guard to ensure you a long time without having to buy those things. You will also get a 2-year warranty with this filter.

While the AquaClear filter is not on the same level as some of the other filters on the list in terms of power capabilities, it definitely has enough to keep your discus fish tank clean.


How to Choose a Filter For Your Discus Fish?

When you are choosing a filter for your discus fish tank, there are more things that you need to consider. Here, we will cover everything that you need to know in order to choose the right filter for your needs.

Firstly, you need to choose the right filter for the size of your aquarium. Discus fish are known for polluting the water and producing a lot of waste material. For this reason, you need to pick a filter that can filter more than what the size of the aquarium is.

Because of the high load of filtration, filters will rarely operate at the power levels that are provided by the manufacturer. For this reason, it might be wise to pick a filter that does that.

In terms of the type of filter, you have more options to choose from. You can opt for a sponge filter, which will allow you to provide a powerful filtration without producing a strong water flow.

The sponge will also be effective for growing beneficial bacteria while also keeping all the bits of debris out.

Some people like to have hang-on-back filters, which are easy to use and very effective at the same time. Others prefer canister filters or external filters. Whatever you like, you can choose.

Another thing to consider is the size of the filter, especially if it is an external filter. A filter that is big will take up a lot of space, which may be important for some people. Those who do not have a lot of space in their homes, choosing the right size of the filter might be of importance.

An important factor could also be the level of maintenance and ease-of-use that a filter offers. When choosing the filter for your discus fish tank, consider all these factors to choose the right one for you.

What is the Minimum Tank Size for Discus Fish?

Discus fish can take up a lot of space. If you want to keep your fish as happy as possible, try to provide at least 10 gallons of space for one discus fish. But if you want to have more discus fish (let’s say 5), you need to make sure that the tank is at least 50 gallons large.

Sometimes, it is better to have even larger tanks to make sure that there is enough space. As we already discussed, it is better to have a stronger filtration than the actual filter size.


For discus fish tanks, filtration is one of the most important things that a tank owner should worry about. In order to keep the tank as clean as possible, you need to provide a strong enough filtration to clean the tank.

Discus fish can produce a lot of mess, so it is important to choose the filtration that will be able to cope with the high turnover of waste and debris in such a fish tank. Hopefully, your decision for choosing the right filter for your tank is easier now.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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