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In the life of a Die hard Discus Aquarist – Mr.Chandra Kiran

This page is dedicated to Chandra Kiran Hobbyist in Discus in India. Got a wide selection of Discus and lives in Mumbai.

Mr.Chandra Kiran , who has dedicated his life to discus care or should I say literally swims in his 20+, 5 feet tanks at his home with Discus in Mumbai. He is in conversation with

Mr.Sunil Dcosta , proprietor of talking about his journey has an Hobbyist into Discus Keeping for more than a decade .

It was my pleasure to get in touch with Mr.ChandraKiran, I have never come across a person who is so passionate and dedicated about animals , birds and aquatic fish. Chandra , as I call him has got addicted to his passion and can go to any length and breath in providing optimum care for animals, birds and all aquarium fish specially the magnificent colourful Discus . I was lucky to get some of his valuable time and tips to care and know more about The Discus.

  • How and when  did you get into the Fish Hobby?

Chandra :- Being born into a family with birds at home , it came natural to me to love and respect  nature and provide the birds and animals with proper care.   I started in 1984, kept beginner friendly fish for 5 years , had a wonderful community tank with amazing variety of fish.  I would spend a lot of my time visiting fish shops and answers would not come by so easily. I enjoyed watching Discus at the shops nearby and chacha,  of the shop was very impressed by me as I use to keep asking him questions. My interest in the hobby grew more and more and was very curious to know and study this amazing Amazonian fish called discus and I thought of having my own discus tank. My first Discus tank was way back in 1999.


  • You have kept different names to your tanks , Any particular reason for that?

Chandra :- Oh Yes, The different names like bandra talao, Legends and others helps me to easily identify the breeds in it and helps me to do my maintenance. I don’t do siphoning or cleaning for all the tanks at one stretch but I do it everyday by the names of the tank.  I Don’t get confused.

  • What is your maintenance schedule for the Discus Tank ?

Chandra :- I have learnt , no matter how much filtration I put in, we still need to do water change every 72 hours for their ideal health. I realised this in the year 2016, when I first started the current round of discus keeping in a planted tank , I lost some of the discus due to virus and I had to discontinue. The Viruses hold on to the plants and substrate thus becoming that much harder to beat plus the plants die from medications. So apart from good filteration , weekly maintenance is a must. Its not only the water changes I do but also the siphoning and clearing off all the debris. I also do change of water around 30%-40% after 4 days.

  • What do you feed your discus and what you don’t recommend?

Chandra :- I feed my discus all top brands which are available in the market for Discus like NLS discus pellets, Ocean Nutrition discus flakes and spirulina flakes, Tropical discus pellets etc , What I don’t recommend are the bloodworms. I had done a serious mistake in 2017 in the month of September  , wherein I fed them frozen blood worms which were termed as sterilized. I lost around 250 discus to the virus which apparently had come through these bloodworms. Due to lack of proper sterilization techniques in India it is difficult to get quality blood worms.. Bloodworms come from sewage and in India everything is dumped into one sewage chemicals, human excreta etc. if you see and check in most of the forums , most of the Discus death is linked to bloodworms. I do feed my discus with dried bloodworms from a proper source and I also feed Australian black Worms. I like to give discus variety of food so that they grow healthy and not get use to one type of food. If you are feeding BHM (Beef Heart MIX) consider buying from a good source with proper cleaning techniques. Oftenly , it is seen that the BHM is supplied very cheaply and come with its own share of problems in it like there may be some arteries, veins or some other parts mixed in it and it will be difficult for the discus to digest. It may harm them in the long run. Let me ask you one thing “ Do you think that in the Wild,  Discus eat Beef Heart” . No , Right? Secondly, it can mess your whole tank up. Give the BHM as a small treat sometimes only after due diligence of the right source.


  • What is your advice for buddying hobbyist ?

Chandra :- I would like to advice young hobbyist with a caution , get into the discus hobby only if you can dedicate your time in doing maintenance and have a tank space. Each discus requires 10 gallon of water. So have the space and time for maintenance . More importantly,  you will have to have deep pocket for sustained operation. So think before you venture into discus keeping. It’s a fascinating world of colours. Now they are bred locally so they are much stronger than they were initially. Also my other advice is to keep medicines and have good water conditioners like Seachem  Prime at your disposal. Use it with every water change. Use good brand as fish food. Mix of everything. Most importantly “Don’t Give up.”  

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