freshwater community4



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Scientific Name:   Symphysodon aequifasciatus      
Min. Tank Size:   70 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   75-82°F      
pH:   5.0-8.0/0-12°dGH      
Size:   6-8"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept with 6 to 8 of its own species; can be kept with other peaceful South American species, particularly small, schooling species.


Native to the Amazon River basin, Discus Fish are a type of South American Cichlid. These fish tend to inhabit the floodplains, lakes and rivers throughout the Amazon River Basin. There are currently three recognized species of Discus Fish: Symphysodon discus (the Heckel Discus), Symphysodon aequifasciatus (the common Discus) and Symphysodon tarzoo. Each species has its own specific geographic distribution. The Heckel Discus lives primarily in the lower Rio Negro as well as the Abacaxis and Trombetas rivers. The Common Discus can be found throughout Brazil, Columbia and Peru while Symphysodon tarzoo is generally only found in portions of the western Amazon.

Tank Set-up

In the home aquarium, Discus Fish can be somewhat difficult to keep because they are very sensitive to changes in water chemistry. These fish require excellent water quality in order to thrive, so frequent water changes may be required. Ideally, a tank environment for Discus Fish should be set up to mimic their native Amazonian environment -- the water should be soft and slightly acidic, kept clean with high quality filtration. Though they can grow to be quite large, Discus Fish are a peaceful species and are best kept in groups with 6 to 8 of their own kind.


Discus Fish are typically omnivorous by nature and certain foods will help them attain their maximum coloration. Offer your Discus fish a staple diet of high-quality cichlid flakes or pellets supplemented with plenty of small live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms. Brine shrimp will help increase red coloration.


Breeding Discus Fish is a very rewarding challenge because, unlike many tropical fish, these fish exhibit extensive parental care. To encourage spawning, prepare a large breeding tank with a depth of at least 15 inches. The water in the breeding tank should be kept around 82 degrees Fahrenheit at a pH around 6.5. Prior to spawning, the pair will begin to defend a certain area of the tank and they may even clean it to prepare the site for eggs. After spawning, the male and female will take turns faning fresh water over the eggs which will hatch after 48 hours or so. Discus Fish parents typically care for their fry for several weeks, allowing them to feed off a mucus layer that forms on the skin of the adults for at least the first week after hatching.

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