What Causes White Stringy Poop In Discus? 9 Treatment Steps


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Discus White Stringy Poop (White Feces)

White feces in Discus, also known as the White stringy poop or long stringy poop is a disease symptom that is common in Discus fish, the Discus may have both lumpy and white stringy poop; this is a sign of fecal disorders which may either be parasitic infections or internal disease. In advanced stages, infections caused by bacteria can be another cause of white stringy poop in Discus fish.

When you start noticing white stringy poop, then you should suspect parasitic attacks or internal infections. When a fish has an infection, the poop will turn out to be lumpy, yellowish, or stringy white which hangs down from the rear of the fish, and this can be mistaken for worms most times.

NOTE: These infections can be caused by intestinal worms or protozoans. This Discus thick white poop may also be segmented in the tank water, and you will mostly see the poop hanging from fish’s anus.

White Stringy Poop Symptoms

White Stringy poop is a symptom of infections caused by parasite, protozoans or bacteria as the case is, the following symptoms may follow the white poop infection:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Inability to swim properly.
  • Dull eyes.
  • Darkening of the skin.
  • Slow reactions.
  • Apprehensive behaviour.
  • Yellow poop.
  • Lumpy poop.

White Stringy Poop Disease Description

The white stringy poop, yellowish and lumpy poop hanging from a Discus fish is known to be a symptom of internal parasites among Discus, but it is not always the case because white stringy poop can be caused by so many other factors, like acute stress, poor water conditions, unstable temperature etc. anything that causes stress for the fish should be avoided because stress overtime decreases the immunity of the fish and make your Discus vulnerable to diseases and infections.

NOTE: Hexamita, diarrhoea and digestive disorders are mostly the cause of Discus thick white poop.

Your Discus may have white stringy poop and still eat well, be agile and strong that is also a bad sign but still early.


There are a number of reasons for this white poop, acute stress, digestive issues and diarrhoea.

What Causes White Stringy Poop In Discus Fish?

There are several factors that can cause white stringy poop in Discus, both disease-related and non-disease related causes.

NOTE: Avoid all forms of stress for your Discus as much as you can knowing that stress can break your fish’s guard against diseases and infections.

Below are causes of white stringy poop in Discus:

These causes are not related to diseases, infections and bacteria, although most of the times white stringy poop are related to diseases and infection, there are exceptions when it can be caused by agents that are not disease-related. They include:

[1] – Stress

When Discus fishes are exposed to long-term stress, irrespective of the direction of the stress leads Discus and all other sensitive fishes to serious health issues like indigestion, diarrhoea, and some other digestive disorders.

NOTE: It is your duty as an aquarist to be able to diagnose when your Discus is stressed and reduce, stop all forms of stress in your Discus tank.

Reasons for Discus stress:

  • Fluctuations in the water parameters and tank environment.
  • High levels of ammonia and chlorine in your Discus tank can lead to stress in advanced levels.
  • Excess light in your tank.
  • Unstable water temperature.
  • Fluctuating pH can stress your Discus fish.
NOTE: There are some other causes of stress in your Discus which can be better diagnosed by you.

Always check your aquarium and fish, because any change in the appearance or behaviour of a Discus fish may be an indication of stress.

[2] – Diet Type

The type of diet you feed your fish can have an adverse effect on the fish poop texture and colour. In most cases, if the food is new to your Discus digestive system, it will change the look of the Discus poop for some time and normalize after a while.

  • A very common example of this condition is when you added like spinach, Spirulina algae, peas, Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), etc. in your fish’s food or in beef heart mix.
NOTE: Any dried fish food should be soaked in water for a couple of minutes first to avoid digestive upsets.

Discus can hardly digest high fibre vegetables and greens, so it is highly recommended to boil them before adding to beef heart mix.

  • Administration of drugs and multivitamins can also modify fish’s poop look in several ways.
  • Also, when your Discus is not-eating or is eating very little, her poop can be abnormal.

[3] – Poor Diet

Bad diet and when the food is of low quality, it affects the Discus fish.

  • Discus fish diet can also cause a sudden change in her colour hormone, causing her to have white poop.
  • When your fish is not eating or is overfeeding that can change fish faeces colour to white as well.
  • White segmented faeces can also be a result of a Beefheart-only diet in Discus.
NOTE: Feed your Discus fish foods with a balanced nutrient to avoid complications.


[1] – Internal Parasites

The quickest thought when you notice a long Discus white fluffy poop is Internal parasites, which could either be an intestinal worm or intestinal protozoa.

  • Hexamita is the most dangerous cause of white poop in Discus.
  • It also believed that Spironucleus can also change the poop colour and shape.
  • Some intestinal worms known to harm Discus are tapeworms, e.g. cestodes, flukes, e.g. trematodes, and roundworms, e.g. nematodes.

These parasites can be spread and introduced in your aquarium through new fishes, new plants, and perhaps other infected objects in your aquarium.

[2] – Bacterial Infections

White stringy poop can be as a result of internal bacterial diseases and infections such as:

When your fish is attacked by a parasite, you should treat immediately as it can cause bacterial infection in an advanced stage which is more difficult to cure.

NOTE: Antibiotics are effective against these internal bacterial infections.

White Stringy Poop Disease Treatment

NOTE: Early and proper treatment is required if your Discus must recover completely.

How Do You Treat White Poop In Discus?

You have to know the cause of this disorder before you will be able to administer treatment seeing it is a symptom. It could be either bacterial or parasitic infection, and each has a different cure, for a non-disease cause you need to take all necessary precautions to make your tank conducive and stress-free for your Discus.

Discus white lump poop example 

NOTE: Early treatment is most effective for treating white poop disease, it is more difficult to treat at advanced stages and chances of survival are slim.

To treat white stringy poop (white feces) in Discus fish, you need to follow the below 9 steps:

[STEP 1] – Quarantine Infected Discus fish.

[STEP 2] – Perform water changes of 35% daily.

[STEP 3] – Wipe the downside of the aquarium as soon as you notice symptoms.

[STEP 4] – Increase the temperature in the tank to 82-86°F (29º – 31º C).

[STEP 5] – Use of Epsom salt for relaxation of the muscle of the fish.

[STEP 6] – For internal parasite infections (Hexamita) use metronidazole.

Try this treatment first, this is mostly the reason behind the Discus while poops, if you discovered that the reason is not internal parasite infection, then proceed to the next steps.

IMPORTANT: Learn how to treat white poops (Hexamita) in deep details step by step from my other article Discus Hexamita Disease – Metronidazole Complete Cure Guide

[STEP 7] – For internal worms treat with Paracide D according to your vet’s prescription.

Paracide D

[STEP 8] – For bacterial infections, treat with antibacterial drugs prescribed by your vet.

[STEP 9] – Feed anti-parasite feeds.

White Stringy Poop Prevention Tips

  • Keep tank environment Clean
  • Perform water changes of 25% at least once a week
  • Avoid any form of stress for your fish
  • Maintain a stable Temperature
  • Observe your fish daily in case of any changes, early detection will go along way to keep the fish alife.
  • Feed your Discus fish with roughages like spinach and other veggies to help keep her digestive system healthy.

What Colour Should Fish’s Poop Be?

The healthy colour for your Discus poop is dark just like most animals, it shouldn’t be as one long string rather it should be in long segments; in the diagnosis of White stringy poop for your Discus, you should look out for yellowish or white poop hanging in fish’s rear in a long string.

Your Discus may shift to red, white, yellow and some other strange colours when she is extremely stressed and may be infected by a parasite or bacteria.


White stringy poop can kill your fish, if not discovered early it can lead to fatal results. Some issues may have grown out too far, which cannot be even successfully treated anymore.

It highly depends on the diagnosis and care afterward, and to take note again white stringy poop is highly contagious because it is caused by a parasite, other fishes in the tank can contact it too. So quickly, isolate any fish that has its symptom and clean your main tank.


This is me Firas Sameer, the founder of DiscusRescue.com, 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.

6 thoughts on “What Causes White Stringy Poop In Discus? 9 Treatment Steps

  1. Hi my discus has been hiding out and has white stringy poop he is one of 6 discus all around the same size
    Temp 84 f
    Ph 7.2
    Diet (flakes pellets frozen brine)
    He is still eating still a nice healthy weight
    All other fish have normal poop and are acting normal
    Tank size 55 gallon
    Water change daily 10 gallons
    Lights on from 8 am to 6 pm
    I have had him since October 2020

  2. Hi, I have 3 discus and 2 of them are happy and healthy. The 3rd one is hardly eating and has white stringy poops. I’ve put him in a hospital tank but not sure what my next step should be. Please advise.

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