Discus Fish

Cian McLiam

Ye Olde Irish Tank Guy
Retired Moderator
Oct 2, 2003
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Dublin, Ireland
Common name/s: Discus (Blue, Green, Brown, hybrid Discus), Pompadour Fish

Scientific name: Symphysodon discus, Symphysodon aequifasciatus aequifasciatus, Symphysodon aequifasciatus haraldi, Symphysodon discus willischwartzi

Family: Cichlidae

Origin: South America, black water Amazon/tributaries

Maximim size: 8-10"

Care: Moderate, easy when acclimatised and Discus specific basic care is strictly observed. Not forgiving of mistakes with water parameters, therefore not a beginners fish. Prone to bacterial build up in water, and Hole in the Head disease (Hexamatia). Both can be avoided largely through attentive care of the water.

Small fish should be kept in groups (the larger the better) older fish can be kept singly or in pairs, groups in large tanks. Mature fish prefer soft acidic water (wild fish will thrive in pH down to 4.5) while young fish need slightly hard water for proper growth. Most tank bred Discus will accept a pH up to 7.6 after carfeful acclimatisation. At any pH above 7, extra special care to eliminate/prevent ammonia is crucial. Water must be warm, 86F/30C is ideal, with gentle water flow. Provide plenty of cover with bogwood, roots and carefully chosen plants that can tolerate heat.

Tankmates should be non-aggressive, unimposing fish. Avoid very active fish, for first time keepers, species tank is preferred.

Water changes of 50% tank volume per week is recommended, with more frequent, smaller changes being preferred (ie 20% every second day).

Feeding: Frozen foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworm are readily accepted, but do not contain enough protein for vital energy. Most accept quality flake and pellet food, check protein content around 50%. Beef heart or turkey heart are readily accepted but are messy, recommended for bare bottom tanks only. Tetra Prima granules highly recommended. Vareity and balance is the key.

Sexing: Very difficult except at breeding times, males will develop protruding breeding tube which is short and pointed, females breeding tube is longer and thicker, rounded. All other methods of sexing are unreliable.

Breeding: May spawn if conditions are favourable, raising young fish can be difficult. Rows of eggs will be laid on flat surfaces such as vertical bogwood and large leaf plants. Both parents care for the eggs and fry, parents will darken in colour as a mucous is excreted from the skin, the young fish will eat this mucous as a first food. Newly hatched brine shrimp will be taken as they develop.

Comments: Beautiful fish that requires dedication. Not quite as difficult as its reputation, but beginners should make the inevitable mistakes with hardier (and less expensive!) fish before moving on to Discus. Calm and observant demeanour, Discus will look at you as much as you look at them! Some form of tap water filtration method is highly recommended (Reverse Osmosis being ideal) to remove metals that can affect nervous system and other pollutants.


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Aug 20, 2006
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Calgary Alberta
"...older fish can be kept singly or in pairs, groups in large tanks. Mature fish prefer soft acidic water (wild fish will thrive in pH down to 4.5)"

It is recommended that Discus be kept in groups a minimum size of 5 or 6 Discus. A rule of thumb for stocking a Discus tank is 10g per Discus, thus a 50 or 55 gallon tank is recommended as a minimum. Avoid keeping adults singly, and only in pairs if they are breeding. Most Asian bred stock will prefer living in water that is harder and more basic, though any German or wild stock will do fine in soft and acidic water.

"Some form of tap water filtration method is highly recommended (Reverse Osmosis being ideal) to remove metals that can affect nervous system and other pollutants."

R/O water is best used only when breeding Discus fish kept in water with high TDS, or when pH needs to be adjusted for wild or German stock. R/O water will strip most solutes out of the water, like minerals and trace elements, and cause the water to become soft and acidic. Adjusting pH/hardness is not needed a lot of the time, and you run the risk of pH/hardness shock among other problems. Tap water and dechlorinator will work just fine in most cases.


Fish Crazy
Sep 21, 2009
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Scientific Name: Symphysodon aequifasciatus

Common name: There are various discus fish. like blue diamond,cobelt blue,royal blue, marlboro,albino,terquise,checkerboard discus etc.

Category: cichlid.

Distribution: Native to amazon river basin.

Temperature: 28-30 degree centigrade.

pH: 6-7.

Care level: Modarate to tough,generally an experienced hobbyist can keep discus fish.

Temperament: Peaceful.discus is famous for its peaceful temperament.

Potential Size: An adult discus can grow upto 8-10 inch.

Diet: Frozen blood worm, "tetra bits", tubiflex.

Tank Zone: Middle level of tank.

Minimum tank size
: Conventional rule says that provide 10 gallon per adult discus.

Sexual Differences: For sexing discus you should find out the anal, dorsal, and caudal fins. Extend imaginary lines from the anal and dorsal fins toward the caudal fin. If the lines intersect on the caudal fin, it is most likely a female. If they intersect past the caudal fin, most likely a male.The male will have thicker lips to aid him in his fight to protect the female, and will be more aggressive. He will be larger than the female, his forehead is thicker, and we have observed that if the discus are a bit shy, the male will have a tendency to stay between the female and the observerThe dorsal fin of the male will be pointed, and the female's dorsal fin will be rounded. Note that in juvenile discus, this is not apparent.The breeding tube of the female, between the anus and anal fin, is broader and rounder than the male, and will have a sharp tip. The male has a smaller, sharper breeding tube. Be aware that this is only evident during spawning, and you should observe it closely.

Breeding: The best and primary way to breed discus is to keep breeding pair of discus. So that you should buy adult discus. The common name of adult discus capable of breeding is known as “breeding pair discus”. You should Keep either 2 adult discus in your aquarium or keep 1 male and 2 female discus together. Most discus breeder keeps the bare bottom tank to breed discus. The female lays her eggs (up to 200) on a vertical support (PVC pipe, plant pot, aquarium glass), with hatching following in about three days; the fry remain attached by their heads and only start swimming two or three days later, under the supervision of the parent fish. Other type of aquarium, which is used to breed discus, is the planted tank. Planted tank means an aquarium is full of natural plants. But it is very important to note that in discus aquarium only a few types of plants can survive. Those plants are echinodorous sp. and Anubias sp. Most discus can lay eggs on the echinodorous sp. plants. The large leaves of these plants are very attractive to them.

General Comments: Discus fish is a master loving fish.discus by its colour is famous for now a days. there are various types of discus. discus love to live with in a community.so you should keep a discus community aquarium.


New Member
Nov 6, 2019
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Here are a few shots of my prized discus specimens I purchased from Discus.com back in March 2019. They're doing wonderfully -- feeding on bloodworms, blackworms, and beefheart (my own homemade recipe). I'm considering purchasing a dedicated 200 gallon aquarium in 2020 solely for discus and angel fish.

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