How Can I Improve My Discus Fish Color?


The best way to improve the color of your Discus is by using food coloring. This is achieved by using carotene-rich foods such as shrimps or lobster roe, beet juice, paprika, ground marigolds, astaxanthin, etc, these add-ons greatly boost your food color and do much good to your Discus.

Table of Contents

Complete Discus Fish Color Improve Methods

Here are other ways to improve the color of your Discus:

  1. Constant Use of Food Coloring. For instance, food containing astaxanthin for fish can turn Discus color to tomato red.
  2. Using Hormone-Induced Methods.
  3. Having a semblance Discus Natural Habitat Aquarium Environments.
  4. Having a Discus Stress-Free Environments.

[1] – Constant Use of Food Coloring

Among the various Discus fish color improvement methods, the most common is through food coloring. What you do is mix a fish food color enhancer with the feed you intend to give your discus fishes before throwing them into the tank.

NOTE: A very good example of these Discus fish food color enhancers is astaxanthin for fish.

Astaxanthin is very good if you consider giving your Discus fish a bright red color or look. It is a carotenoid (a group of molecules that supply nutrients and add color to the skin).

Some of the sources from which astaxanthin for fish can be gotten include krill or crawfish.

NOTE: Some of the sources from which astaxanthin for fish can be gotten include krill or crawfish.

The red pigmentation in Discus fishes can also be enhanced using other carotene foods: paprika, ground marigolds, beet juice, and lobster or shrimp roe. The above-mentioned high-carotene foods should be used to prepare the feed to Discus or mixed in with them.

Discus Food Coloring Side Effects

  • If the Coloring diet is not fed to the fishes continually after their eggs hatch, they could lose their color.
  • While feeding a female Symphysodon aequifasciata axelrodi (brown Discus) with freshwater shrimp eggs can result in the laying of eggs that are bright red.
  • Color-enhancing Discus fish food should not be fed to cichlids, but to your Discus fishes only.

[2] – Hormonal Methods

Another solution to how improve Discus color is the use of hormonal methods.

NOTE: It is believed that when female fishes have attractive colors, they are highly likely to produce fishes with attractive colors.

This belief resulted in Discus fish breeders having to select fishes with attractive colors for line breeding. Being part of the Discus fish color improvement methods, our experience with the hormonal method has proven quite effective.

how-to-breed-a-discus-fish-a-complete-guide21 Step by Step
How To Breed Discus

Discus Color Improvement Hormonal Method Steps:

  1. Pour (70 percent) alcohol into a cup till it is half full.
  2. Dissolve (1/10th) of 1 gram of methyltestosterone into the cup.
  3. Transfer the mixture of alcohol and the methyltestosterone in the cup into a quart bottle.
  4. Add some water to the mixture and then shake it thoroughly. [With this, the solution is ready].
  5. Add six drops of the mixture to every (3 gallons) of water over a couple of days.
NOTE: We recommend that you continue with this treatment for four weeks. Before or by the end of the four weeks, the pigmentation you want in your Discus fishes will be exhibited.

Discus Coloring Hormonal Method Side Effects

  • The use of hormonal methods only provides a temporary solution to improving your Discus fish color, this means that the color will fade if you don’t continue the practice of adding hormones to the tank water.
  • The hormone-induced methods of improving Discus pigmentation have negative side effects when they are done for a long period, thus, they could cause female Discus to become infertile.
NOTE: In using this method, caution must be applied. Many new breeders tend to just dive into any new idea they find on the internet on how to breed Discus and improve their colors. If you intend to improve the colors of your discus fish using hormone methods, ensure that you get the proper guidelines from the dealer before trying them.

[3] – Natural Habitat Aquarium Environments

The natural color enhancer for Discus – make the environment in which Discus is kept have the same conditions as its natural habitat. These include the water quality, pH, lighting in the tank, gravel, and plantation where the fishes could hide when they feel threatened.

An ideal tank of water for Discus must be warm, and pH should fall within acidic and neutral – alkaline water is not good for Discus. There should be proper lighting in the tank and plants that the fishes could hide behind. The tank should also include driftwood.

Healthy discus environments tips5 Tips To Having
Healthy Discus
NOTE: One benefit of driftwood is that it adds the aesthetic feel that makes your aquarium resemble a river, as well as adding useful bacteria that breaks down Discus fish by-products into less toxic substances thus, keeps the water slightly acidic.

[4] – Discus Stress-Free Environments

The Discus tank should also be placed at a place where there is little or no noise to keep your Discus from getting spooked.

Always put in your mind that Discus fish is a very sensitive fish which you should take care of to keep your discus fish without any stress not only to gain a nice colorful color but also to gain good health and a long-lasting life span.

13 Reasons
Why Your Discus
Might Be Stressed

When these conditions are met, your Discus fish would naturally develop its beautiful colors, and there would be no need for a fish food color enhancer or hormone-induced methods of improving pigmentation.

How Do You Enhance The Blue In Discus?

Feed your Discus with Sera 326 Discus Color Blue. Contained in it is Haemotoccocus algae, which supports the development of blue color. Sera 326 are in granular form, and you can purchase them on Amazon.

10 Best Color-Enhancing Discus Food

  1. TetraColor Tropical Flakes: This is one of the best color-enhancing fish foods. Besides helping Discus develop brighter, more beautiful colors, they provide a balanced diet. It also contains antioxidants, probiotics, protein as well as an active live formula.
  2. Omega One Super Color Flakes: Omega One Super Color Flakes contain elevated beta carotene and omega fatty acids to ensure that the best colors are gotten for your discus fishes. They are insoluble, and thus, there is no possibility for water pollution.
  3. TetraPro Tropical Color Crisps: This is another good fish food color enhancer. One good quality of TetraPro Tropical Color Crisps is that it floats on the surface of the tank water and it does not dissolve easily. Furthermore, your Discus will find them easily digestible.
  4. Fluval Hagen Color Max Color Enhancing Flakes: This is sourced from and contains protein, antioxidants, and trace elements. It provides rounded nutrition for your Discus.
  5. Omega One Super Color Cichlid Pellets: This is another good color-enhancing fish food for cichlids especially. It is made with several kinds of fresh seafood, spirulina, and ocean kelp and provides a diet rich in nutrients for your discus fish(es).
  6. Tetra Tropical XL Color Granules: Not only is this a granular kind of fish food that boosts Discus coloration, it does not sink easily, and it helps promote immunity, overall health, and longevity in your Discus.
  7. Aqueon Tropical Color Enhancing Flakes: This fish food helps to boost the natural color of your discus fish. It balances nutrients such as vitamins and minerals and also traces elements.
  8. Cobalt Aquatics Color Premium Fish Flakes: For a boost in the color and health of your Discus fish, one feed to get is Cobalt Aquatics Color Premium Fish Flakes. Contained in it are probiotics that help improve digestion.
  9. Omega One Color Mini Pellets: This is made from a combination of meat meals and hydrolysates. They do not sink easily and help bring about a brilliant color in your Discus. The nutrients contained in it also help to support a strong immune system for your Discus.
  10. Aqueon Color Enhancing Cichlid Pellets: This is made from a blend of chili powder, marigold, and astaxanthin for fish. The pellets do not sink easily, and so your Discus gets to eat them while they are still floating.

Does Color-Enhancing Fish Food Work?

Yes. Most color-enhancing fish food for cichlids contain carotenoids that are effective for boosting pigmentation, especially when used properly.

How Many Colors Discus fish Comes In?

There are more than 54 colors that Discus comes in despite the new color combinations produced by the breeders.


When people hear the phrase ‘food coloring,’ the question that comes to mind is, “Can I put food coloring in my fish tank?” This article didn’t only provide the answer, it also outlined other insightful tips on how to improve fish color.


This is me Firas Sameer, the founder of, I am an aquarist guy with a passion and love for Discus fishes, I am learning every day with my hobby at home and sharing the things I am learning from my experience with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts