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Discus aquarium fish

maintenance, care, compatibility

Discus is an incredibly beautiful and original body fish. No wonder they are called kings in a freshwater aquarium.

Large, incredibly bright, and not easy bright, but many different colors … why aren’t kings? And as befits the kings, unhurried and stately.

These peaceful and elegant fish attract the attention of aquarists like no other fish.

Aquarium fish discus are cichlids and are divided into three subspecies, two of which have been known for a long time, and one is relatively recently discovered. Symphysodon aequifasciatus and Symphysodon discus are the most famous, they live in the central and lower reaches of the Amazon River, and are very similar in color and behavior.

But the third species, the blue discus Symphysodon haraldi was relatively recently described by Heiko Bleher and is awaiting further classification and confirmation.

Of course, at the moment wild species of discus are much less common than artificially derived forms. Although these discusses have huge differences in color from the wild form, they are much less adapted to life in an aquarium, prone to diseases and require more care.

Moreover, discus is one of the most demanding types of aquarium fish, requiring stable parameters of water, a large aquarium, good feeding, and the fish itself is extremely expensive.

It was described by Pellegrin in 1904. It inhabits the central Amazon, mainly in the river Putumayo in northern Peru, and in Braslia in Lake Tefé.

Or red discus, was first described in 1840 by Dr. John Heckel (Johann Jacob Heckel), he lives in South America, in Brazil in the rivers Rio Negro, Rio Trombetas.

Hekkel Discus Symphysodon discus

It was first described by Schultz in 1960. Inhabits the lower reaches of the Amazon River

Blue Discus Symphysodon haraldi

Homeland discusus South America. Keeps fish in calm water, choosing

shady places off the coast, where you can hide under the roots of coastal trees and fallen timber in the water. Pompadour is one of the first representatives of discus that appeared in amateur aquariums.


The most important in the content of the discus is the quality of the water. The fish is very dirty, besides a lot of mucus. Practically all sources unanimously assert that practically nothing will allow to get away from water changes.

Probably, it is possible to assemble a water recovery unit that will allow the use of a closed loop. But in this case, there will inevitably be a big tangle of problems associated, in particular, with the addition of trace elements, if there are plants, since the regeneration systems have nowhere to go without reverse osmosis systems and activated carbon.

Therefore, we will not try to consider such expensive and complex complexes, especially since there is a way out and it is quite simple! His name is a duct.

The duct is a very useful thing for almost all aquarium living organisms, whether fish or plants. In the case of discussions, she

acquires paramount role.

There is nothing in the content of the discus that an amateur cichlid couldn’t do with his arms growing properly. Be prepared for the fact that from the purchased teens to the kings of the aquarium not all will grow, some will remain small princes. In their natural habitat, discus fish live in water at an approximate temperature of 24 ° C.

But if the aquarium does not raise it to 28-32 ° C, the fish begin to constantly get sick, lose their appetite and move a little.
On one discus it is necessary to allocate 40-50 liters. In this case, it is enough to change the water 2-3 times a week.

If you do not resist the beauty of these fish and the density of landing is high, daily changes are vital. In extreme cases, one day can be missed, but then feeding the fish is undesirable.

In the aquarium should be a good aeration and a powerful filter, you can with peat additives.

The discs are very sensitive to changes in the acidity of water, the best option is pH 5.5 – 7.0 and dH up to 15. These fishes can live in hard water, but they will not multiply.

It is better to buy a test when preparing an aquarium and check all the parameters in advance.
Here, perhaps, that’s all.

Contain diskwithit turns out it’s not that difficult, right?


But if you nevertheless decided to settle other fish with discus fish, then it would be better if they are aquarian pets with similar conditions. For example, armored catfish, corridor panda, sterba corridor or golden corridor prefer to live at temperatures up to + 34 ° С.

In addition, these fish will eat up the food, which remained uneaten eaters.

Under conditions of high temperature and intensive water exchange, the brocade pterigoplichtis also feels good, which can also be shared with discus. In addition, this species of catfish cleans the glass aquarium well.

There is a certain compatibility of discus fish with some other fish, such as the scalar and red neon, the blue congo and the clown’s battles, the red-headed tetra, the apple snail and various shrimps.

Unlike other cichlids, the discus is a peaceful and very livable fish. They are not predatory, and do not dig the ground like many cichlids.

The discs are schooling fish and prefer to keep in groups of 6 pieces, and they do not tolerate loneliness.

The problem with the selection of neighbors for the discus is that they are slow, slowly eating and living at a temperature of water that is high enough for other fish. Because of this, as well as not to bring the disease, discus often contain in a separate aquarium.

But, if you still want to share your neighbors with them, then they are compatible with: red neons, Ramirezi apistogram, clown combat, red-bearing tetra, congo, and various catfishes to keep the aquarium clean, for example, Tarakatum, catfish with suction mouth is best avoided, as they can attack the discus. Some razvodchiki advise to avoid corridors, as they often carry internal parasites.

Reproduction, breeding, breeding

If you decide to breed discus, they should be grown together in a group of 6-8 individuals. Over time, the fish will be divided into pairs, which can later be used for breeding.

A soft, weakly acidic water will be required for the spawning grounds so that the quantity of fertilized eggs will be large enough. The minimum spawning volume is 100 liters, while the soil and plants in the spawning pool are not needed.

Clay pots or trimming ceramic pipes in an aquarium will serve as a substrate.

Water temperature should be at the level of 30-32 degrees. Discus discus spawning seasonally, therefore they can multiply up to 10 times during one period.

It happens that caviar dies or is eaten by parents. After this comes a fairly long break.

However, discus can breed for two to three years, and their sexual maturity begins at the age of one year. In one spawning, about 200 fry are obtained, which the parents feed up with the secret secreted by the skin. If you decide to feed the fry yourself, then the parents must be removed.

Feed the young should be from 5-6 days naupliyami Artemia.

As fry grow, you can use any quality feed that is suitable in size. As you can see, discus fish are quite interesting fish with their own requirements and habits.

However, if you are ready to take care of them and follow all the recommendations, in gratitude discus will give you a lot of positive emotions.


One of the most frequently asked questions to the distributors is “How to determine the sex of your fish?“. There are several signs by which it is possible to do this.

In this article I will try to tell you about the methods of sex recognition of discus, which are used by many experienced breeders.

In youth, it is almost impossible to distinguish female discus from males. The first opportunity to begin to be determined with the floor appears when they begin to divide into pairs.

In young discus-sexes of both sexes, the rounded dorsal fins can only be distinguished by the dorsal fin when they grow up. Since, on our part, we cannot achieve rapid growth and sexual difference, respectively, we can only observe.


Every person who loves and contains aquarium fish discus should know how to care for them, how to feed the discus, and all the details of this species of fish.

Feed the discus should be 2 times a day – while it is necessary that the food does not remain on the surface of the water in the aquarium, for a long time: prolonged presence of food in the water increases the level of ammonia, and this is very harmful for fish. Therefore, it is necessary that the fish eat all the food for 5-10 minutes.

Discus does not very willingly eat from the surface of the aquarium, so it is best if the food is at the bottom of the aquarium.

There are three varieties of food for discus – live food, frozen and dry. Live food for discus is the bloodworm and the pipeker.

Many aquarists say that the bloodworm must be present in the discus feed, because it contributes to the proper functioning of the fish’s intestine. Fish are fed with live food (bloodworm and pipeker, they do not like Artemia very much) or specially prepared stuffing, high-quality feed with vitamins and additives for color.



Discus blue (Symphysodon aequifasciata haraldi) – aquarium fish . Latin name:Symphysodon aequifasciata haraldi Schultz, 1960.

Discus blue in its natural environment can be found in Brazil, as well as Peru. Chooses nooks located there ponds. Where the coastline is cluttered with felled trees, or overgrown with rhizomes of plants, the blue discus finds very comfortable shelters for itself.

This fish appeared in Russia only in 1957, and since then it is considered highly demanded among amateurs of aquarium fish.

Appearance and sexual characteristics


Discus is one of the most beautiful and colorful fish, from those that can be kept in an aquarium. The great Amazon River is the birthplace of these amazing fish, but not all discus fish can be found in their natural habitat, as there are only two types of discus in nature, which include 8 subspecies.

In aquariums contain, and natural varieties, and about 20 other species bred by breeders.

Discus are large enough fish, reaching 20 cm in length. The discus was named after the shape of the body, which resembles a disk.

Discus may have the most unusual color.

The most common colors are blue, red, orange, white, yellow, black. There are both monochrome species of discus, and species whose color can contain two colors, for example, blue and red.

Some subspecies of discus have neon, glowing inserts, spotted or striped color of the whole body or fins.

Discus is not very suitable for amateur beginners, as this fish requires the creation of specific conditions in the aquarium. Due to the size of the discus, an aquarium of at least 40 l is required for its maintenance. In addition, discus is very thermophilic, so the water temperature in the aquarium should be around 25-30 C.

If the aquarium contains several discus fish, the aquarium should be at least 60 liters. You also need to take care of high-quality filtration of water and every day to replace about 10-20% of the water in the aquarium. It is not recommended to settle discus with snails and other species of fish. The soil and plants in the aquarium are added to the minimum.

The discus does not matter the lighting, but it is in the bright light that these fish look the most beautiful.

For feeding discus it is better to use specialized feed, which is given to fish several times a day. It is not recommended to bring discus to newcomers, as only with the right content do discus feel good and reproduce

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