Discus main image Discus image


There are only two species of Discus, these are divided into subspecies known as;

Symphysodon Aequifasciata Axelrodi (Brown Discus)

Symphysodon Aequifasciata Aequifasciata (Green Discus)

Symphysodon Aequifasciata Haraldi (Wild Blue Discus)

Symphysodon Discus Discus (Heckel Discus)

Symphysodon Discus Willischwartzi (Pineapple Discus)

Discuses can also be identified by their colouring.


Natural Habitat

Discuses are originally from the Amazon Basin and live among logs, submerged tree branches and heavy aquatic vegetation. Discus can also spawn in natural ponds which frequently occur during the rainy season floods. The water found in the Amazon basin is soft with GH levels at 30ppm and pH between 5 – 6. Please note that home aquariums will require different parameters.

Maximum Size and Longevity

On average Discus fish can live up to ten years with proper care and appropriate water parameters. Discus can grow up to 20cm.

Water Quality

· Temperature: 27°C - 30°C.

· pH: 6.2—6.8

· General Hardness: 50—100 ppm.


Discus fish thrive on a varied diet rather than a single type of food. Discuses are carnivorous and enjoy bloodworms, brine shrimp, white worms, and beef heart, however, will eat a variety of foods. Discuses have healthy appetites, however, eat slowly and will eat at every level of your aquarium. It is recommended to feed Discus at least three times a day with smaller portions to ensure small Discus get food as well.


Discuses are most compatible with other fish species that originate from South America although some other community species live well with Discus. Discuses are best kept in groups as they are a shoaling fish. It is recommended to have 10 – 12 Discus in the 8 – 10cm size range per 180L of water.

Colour and Varieties

Due to breeding, there is an incredible range of colours to choose from when buying a Discus. Most common colour varieties on the market include;


A brownish coloured fish, showing a few wavy, blue, iridescent lines over the head, and the dorsal and anal fin.


Wide, wavy, iridescent blue/green lines over the body and fins. Excellent quality turquoise has the coloured lines extending all over the body from the snout to the caudal peduncle.

Brilliant Turquoise

As above, only the colour lines are a shiny iridescent blue/green.

Red Turquoise

As above, only the colour lines are a little wider and the background colour is reddish.

Cobalt Blue

As above, only the colour lines are a distinct cobalt blue colour.

Solid colour

Where the term solid is used in front of the colour variety, it means the iridescent lines have merged, giving the fish a solid colour.

Red Dragon

These fish have broad, irregular, and often fragmented wavy lines over the body. The colour of these lines is usually very light, a silvery turquoise.


Male and female Discus under 12 – 15cm have similar colouration and it can be quite difficult to distinguish between them. When Discus have reached between 12 – 15cm the sex becomes more apparent. The difference can be seen in the dorsal fin tips with the males developed a pointed tip with females having a more rounded tip. Females sometimes show an ovipositor or breeding tube but will only be present when mature adults are breeding. When breeding, Discus parents will pair up and lay eggs, when hatched they will protect the fry together. Fry get most of their nutrition from a protein rich secretion or slime the parents produce.

Ease of keeping

Consumers have rated Discus keeping at a four out of five, so they can be more difficult than your average fish to care for however consumers say they are absolutely worth the effort due to their majestic behaviour, intelligence, and fabulous colour.




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