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
To keep the discus you need an aquarium of 250 liters, but if you are going to contain several fish, then the volume should be larger. Since the fish is high, then the aquarium is desirable high, and indeed a long one. A powerful external filter, a regular siphon of the soil and a weekly substitution of a part of the water are required.
Discus is very sensitive to the content of ammonia and nitrates in water, and indeed to the parameters and purity of water. And although they themselves produce a little waste, they eat mostly minced meat, which quickly disintegrate in water and pollute it.
Discus prefer soft, slightly acidic water, and as for the temperature, they need warmer water than most tropical fish need. This is one of the reasons why it is hard for the discus to find neighbors.
The normal temperature for the content of the discus is 28-31 ° C, ph: 6.0-6.5, 10 – 15 dGH. With other parameters, the propensity to disease and death of fish increases.
The discussions are very timid fish, they do not like loud sounds, sudden movements, blows to the glass and restless neighbors. It is better to have an aquarium in places where they will be disturbed the least.
3000 liters with discussion:
Aquariums with plants are suitable for discus, if the latter has enough space for swimming. But, at the same time, it is necessary to take into account that not all plants can well withstand temperatures above 28 ° C, and it is rather difficult to select suitable species.
Possible options: didiplis, valisneria, anubias nana, ambulia, rotala indica.
Soil can be any, but usually contain discus in aquariums without soil and plants. Thereby greatly facilitating the care of fish, and reducing the risk of disease.
When you first release the discus into your tank, give them time to move away from stress. Do not turn on the light, do not stand at the aquarium, put plants in the aquarium or something for which the fish can hide.
Although it is not easy to care for discussions, and they are very demanding, but for a keen and consistent aquarist, they will bring a huge amount of satisfaction and joy.
Aquarium fish discus. Fish discus: description, photos and conditions of detention
The main reason for their occurrence – non-compliance with the rules of content. With good care, when attention is paid to water quality, lighting and nutrition, stress (the cause of many diseases) is practically excluded.
Discus – aquarium fish, which are very sensitive to even minor changes. The main problems encountered:
- Bowel disease. The reason may be poor-quality food or a sick neighbor. The fish becomes lethargic, refuses to eat. The excrement is like white thread. Purulent ulcers appear on the head and fins. An accurate diagnosis is established only by laboratory.
- Intestinal obstruction, dropsy. Occur as a result of poor nutrition. In fish, the abdominal cavity is swollen, possibly a bug-eyed. In the first case, the discus takes food until the intestines rupture, after which it dies. Dropsy is a complete lack of appetite.
- Bacterial infection. The symptoms of this disease can not be overlooked – the edges of the fins whiten, the mucous membrane thickens, the color of the body becomes darker. Fish loses appetite, clogs up in a corner. If you do not take time to rescue measures, gradually her eyes become turbid, fins and tail begin to decompose. Treated with antibiotics.
- Parasitic diseases and fungal infections – often occurring in discus.
- Gill and skin worms-flukes can lead to a very serious condition of the fish. In the fight against them help special tools sold in pet stores.
Given the rather large size of these cichlids and the fact that they are usually populated in groups, the aquarium should be chosen roomy – with a capacity of at least 250 liters. It must be separate, because the discus is very susceptible to fatal diseases that are completely harmless to other fish.
In addition, they have certain water requirements. Its temperature should be within 28-33 С.
Too sensitive to the quality of water discus. Keeping with other fish is undesirable, since cleanliness is important for their comfortable living. It is also important to maintain a stable pH of 5.0-6.0.
Any sudden changes in acidity can seriously harm the health of the fish.
It is necessary to do a replacement of half the volume of water in the aquarium once a week. A prerequisite is to install a good filter. An effective method of water purification is ozonation, but only in the hands of experienced aquarists, since exceeding the amount of ozone will lead to the death of discus.
Safer to use ultraviolet light. Before settling the fish in a tank that was previously used, it must be properly washed and sanitized.
Lack of soil is permissible, but in the bare and empty aquarium the discus does not look so great. They get a completely different look, even if you just put small pebbles on the bottom.
In addition, the soil with aquatic plants planted in it helps to maintain biological balance. The main thing is that while the bacteria do not penetrate into the aquarium.
Periodically, the soil is cleaned from the accumulated waste products of fish.
For natural habitats of discus, bright lighting is not typical, so it is not required when kept at home. Although the bright light of the fish look just amazing.
Why it is not recommended to settle the discus in the general aquarium?
There are a number of reasons for this, among them:
- Discus has a slow temperament, they do not eat food as fast as other fish. When settling with agile neighbors, left without food.
- The discussions live at a high temperature range (28-30 ° C and above). With cold-water fish and some tropical species, the content will be impossible, such hydrobionts will not survive in such warm water.
- The maintenance of such fishes assumes daily replacement of water (20-30% of the total volume), for their well-being this is normal, for neighbors it is very dangerous.
- Discus – noble fish, have a calm character, but may show aggression to smaller fish, especially during the spawning period. As a cichlid, it is a territorial fish, it can protect its “possessions” even from larger fish.
Look at the unusual aquarium with discus, arvanoy and ramp.
If you want to acquire different types of fish, and watch them through the glass of the general aquarium, check with whom the discus has full compatibility. This is to ensure that the content does not cause you trouble, and the pets do not experience stress.
Also ensure that frequent water changes do not harm the neighbors of these cichlids.
The catfish pterigoplichts brocade well tolerate the high temperature of water. They eat the remnants of food from the bottom of the tank, clean the aquarium glass. Periodically, soma must be given food of plant origin.
There is one big minus – pterigoplicht is often caught from natural reservoirs, then put up for sale. They can be carriers of parasites or infections.
Before settling into an aquarium, they are kept in quarantine for 2 weeks, adding a certain dose of medication to the water.
Admire the aquarium with discus and scalar.
When you are not sure of the origin of the fish – do not move it into a common tank, so you will protect the lives of all pets. In the extreme case, a beautiful species aquarium, with different plants and fish, will help to create these types of fish:
- Neon is a peaceful, small fish, compatibility with discus is complete. Neons are “indicators” of water status. They look harmonious with bright neighbors, do not cause them trouble. Some aquarists have successfully kept them with discus. But in this case, the temperature of the water in the pond should be 28 ° C, not higher. For cichlids, this is the lowest threshold, for neons, the upper one. The parameters of medium hardness and acidity are identical: pH 6.0-7.0, hardness up to 20 dH.
- Red tetras, or rhodostomuses, are bright fishes, live in a flock, have a peaceful character. Like the discus, they love the water soft and sour, clean. They swim in the middle layer of water, but they like shade more than light. Permissible water parameters: temperature 23-28 ° C, hardness 2-15 dh, acidity – 5.5-7.5 pH. Discus carries such parameters of water, but not below 27 degrees in temperature.
Bright discus rightly have the status of “Kings of the aquarium.” Fish in the rivers of South America.
Their water is saturated with tannins, which do not allow microorganisms to develop. Such “sterility” undermined the immune system of fish, making it extremely weak.
The specificity of the natural conditions in which the fish lives is reflected in its content in the aquarium.
Beginners may not be able to maintain and breed capricious fish, since caring for them requires a lot of attention, and treatment of diseases is often very troublesome. It is important to carefully observe criteria such as lighting, water properties, aquarium size, choice of food.
Variety of Discus
Aquarium discus very gentle fish. Successful maintenance is possible only if all the aquarium conditions are met.
Be prepared that in the event of illness, treatment and care will take a long time.
- Aquarium. The fish has a rather large size, and therefore it needs a lot of space. On average – at least 40 liters per fish. Discus – schooling fish, badly tolerate loneliness, and you need to start them in groups of 5-6 fish. The volume of the aquarium in this scenario starts from 250 liters. In the future, it will also ensure successful breeding. Aquarium tank should be convenient for discoid fish – high and long.
- Water parameters. Water needs soft, slightly acidic, heated to a rather high temperature. Aquarium filters and aerators are required.
- Temperature: 28-31 ° C. Lowering the temperature of the fish will survive much harder than its increase.
- Stiffness: 10-15 dH
- Acidity: 5.5-6.5 ph
- Lighting. Discussions do not like bright light. Because of him, they become fearful, constantly trying to hide. The lighting in the aquarium should be soft, diffuse and weak.
- Priming. Aquarium substrates such as gravel or small pebbles are preferred. Many aquarists prefer not to use the primer, but then a dark-colored gasket is needed between the bottom of the tank and the surface. Soil and background is better to choose dark. So the bright colors of the fish will look spectacular.
- Water change is carried out at least once a week, about 20-30%. If the fish in the aquarium a lot, the substitution will have to make more often.
Aquarium fish reaches sexual maturity in about 1.5 – 2 years. Distinguishing a male from a female can be problematic.
It is only possible to make sure who is who during spawning. Therefore, if you conceive breeding, you need to acquire several individuals.
Discus will form a strong pair. Noticing a couple, they can be moved from the aquarium to the breeding ground. Breeding requires careful arrangement of the site.
Place stones, driftwood, various decorative elements in the tank – the female will lay eggs on them. The lighting is set uniform and weak.
Water change is carried out regularly, but it should be done carefully, so as not to give the fish an extra reason for stress. Aquarium water plays a big role: the temperature is maintained within 28-30 degrees, the rigidity is low.
If the water is hard, the female will be able to lay eggs, but it will be more difficult to fertilize. Breeding is carried out in an aquarium of at least 100 liters.
Fish lays from 200 to 400 eggs. In the first 5-7 days, the main diet of fry is a special secret that parents secrete through the skin.
Therefore, the larger the size of individuals, the better. Water throughout the development of fry should be updated. After 2 weeks, the fry can no longer eat at the expense of the parents, and therefore adult discus fish are removed from the aquarium.
By about 3 months, the fish will acquire a proper body shape.
Discus are wonderful and very unusual aquarium inhabitants. A variety of colors allows you to create a unique atmosphere in the aquarium.
Discus blue, red turkis, brown and green species – properly selected background will shade the beauty of any kind. And although the care, treatment and breeding of their very troublesome, cute fish worth it.
Order, family: South American cichlid.
Comfortable water temperature: 25-30 C.
Aggressiveness: not aggressive 10%.
Blue Discus Compatibility: better to keep separate. Compatible with all non-aggressive fish: dunk, terence, minor, tetra, soma, etc. Some comrades recommend an angelfish in neighbors discus, but I would not risk putting young discus to adult scalars, since the latter are capable of aggression.
And taking into account the cost of discus and scalar – experiments are equivalent to recklessness.
Useful tips: Discus is very beautiful fish – they look gorgeous in a specific aquarium. However, there is one thing: the fish is very “capricious.” Discussions are demanding in terms of content, conditions, and require special attention from the host.
Forgetting about them for two weeks you can get a sad outcome.
The discs inhabit the upper and middle Amazon. They are kept in shady places of calm water bodies, above all near the shores, creating reliable shelters.
Discus is a big fish. In the natural environment, it reaches a length of 20 cm, in aquariums the size does not exceed 12 cm. The shape of the body is discoid.
The dorsal and anal fins are very long, bending around almost the whole body. Pelvic fins narrow. The body is brown with vertical blue stripes.
The whole body is decorated with numerous blue strokes. Males are larger and brighter than females, males fins are more pointed.
Discus is very demanding to care – for their content you need a tall and spacious aquarium. The minimum size of an aquarium for a couple is 100 liters.
However, schooling fish and for its maintenance (5-6 individuals) an aquarium is needed from 300 to 500 liters.
Comfortable water parameters for keeping discs: hardness up to 10-15, pH 5.8-7.5, temperature 25-30 C. Aeration and filtration are required.
At the bottom of the aquarium arrange small shelters of snags and stones.
Plants suitable for discus – is Amazonian Echinodorus, cryptocoryne, ambulia, cabombou. The lighting is moderate.
Once or twice a week, cleaning in the aquarium and changing the water to fresh is recommended.
Food for blue discus – live variety of food and substitutes. The diet for adults and large individuals can be varied with pieces of fresh lean beef meat (I recommend using a bull heart).
Feeding aquarium fish must be correct: balanced, diverse. This fundamental rule is the key to successful keeping of any fish, be it guppies or astronotuses.
Article “How and how much to feed aquarium fish” talks in detail about this, it outlines the basic principles of the diet and feeding regime of fish.
In this article, we note the most important thing – feeding fish should not be monotonous; both dry and live food should be included in the diet. In addition, you need to take into account the gastronomic preferences of a particular fish and, depending on this, include in its diet ration either with the highest protein content or vice versa with vegetable ingredients.
Popular and popular feed for fish, of course, are dry food. For example, hourly and everywhere can be found on the aquarium shelves of food company “Tetra” – the leader of the Russian market, in fact, the range of feeds of this company is striking.
In the “gastronomic arsenal” of Tetra are included as individual feeds for a certain type of fish: for goldfish, for cichlids, for loricarids, guppies, labyrinths, areovan, discus etc. Also, Tetra has developed specialized foods, for example, for enhancing color, fortified or for feeding fry.
Detailed information on all Tetra feeds, you can find on the official website of the company – here.
It should be noted that when buying any dry food, you should pay attention to the date of its production and shelf life, try not to buy food by weight, and also keep the food in a closed state – this will help avoid the development of pathogenic flora in it.
Discussions are recommended to keep in a separate aquarium: firstly, they themselves are very beautiful, and secondly the discus is very “demanding” to neighbors and conditions.
Other species of discus brachidania can be neighbors in the general aquarium.
Discus is a very capricious fish and even a slight deterioration in conditions can lead to their illness. If the fish are sick, first of all determine what they are sick (read info or consult at the pet store). The general and recommended measures in case of illness are raising the water temperature to 32 ° C and ensuring good aeration of the water.
If this proves ineffective, you can use table salt at the rate of 5 g per 1 l of water or biomitsin 120 mg per 1 liter of aquarium water.
A selection of beautiful photos of discus blue
Interesting video about the blue discus
Category: Aquarium Articles / AQUARIUM FISHES | Views: 8,088 | Date: 03/14/2013, 10:36 | Comments (0) We also recommend reading:
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Discus are relatively large aquarium fish, the shape of the body is discoid, flattened symmetry. Their size is 15-25 cm in length, regardless of the variety. “Discus” is translated from Latin as a “disk”, so the fish received this name.
It is difficult to describe the general characteristics of body color, because all species and breeds are very different. The most famous discus fish in the aquarium are: leopard, pigeon, green, red, pigeon’s blood, white, turkis and many others.
These fish interbred with each other, as a result, the offspring received a weak immune system, although the color of their scales is very contrasting. Ornamental breeds have a capricious, capricious temper.
In these fish, the dorsal and anal fins are parallel to each other; they are long, toothed. Caudal fin single-bladed. In some species, the ventral fins end with threadlike formations, like an angelfish.
Sexual dimorphism is weakly expressed: in males the forehead is more pronounced, the lips are thick.
Look at the species diversity of discus.
A rare aquarist will remain indifferent to the discus. These fish are very capricious in the content, and few people can breed them.
These fish live in flowing waters that do not contain organic matter. From which it can be concluded that the main condition for keeping these fish in an aquarium is regular replacement of water.
Nitrates and nitrites, which are formed as a result of the decomposition of fish excreta, are a danger to discus. If the water has a high content of nitrogenous substances, the color of the fish can become almost black.
Water should be changed in the aquarium every few days, and the presence of plants that in some way create favorable conditions for the fish and reduce the level of nitrogenous substances is obligatory.
In nature, there are three types of discus: blue (blue) and brown discus, green disc and hakekel disc. It is very rare to see a black discus fish.
The black fish was caught by a famous scientist – traveler Heiko Bleher. This discus has a dark black color and is not particularly different in shape from its fellows of other colors.
He was caught in Rio Uruba, in typical “black” water, and caught in a single copy.
Keep the discus better apart from other fish, because they are very thermophilic. But if you nevertheless decided to keep other fish with them, then it is better for them to put armored catfish in the company: besides the fact that they carry water at temperatures up to 34 degrees Celsius, they also eat leftover food for discussion.
It should be remembered that discus dry food is contraindicated. Best for them fit pipemaker and bloodworm. But there is a very important nuance: with this feed, you can bring some diseases.
Therefore, it is best to freeze this feed, and then defrost it in small portions and feed it to your pets.
Aquarium discus fish interbreed with each other and give hybrids, which may be the progenitors of future breeds. Like the purebred farm animals or purebred dogs and cats, elite fish also have certificates and pedigrees.
A very important point in the breeding of discus is the quality of the water in the aquarium. Another significant item that concerns water is the Ph level, which should be from 5.5 to 6.2.