aequiafasciata & S. discus)
The discus is quite
possibly the most popular fish among large
freshwater aquarium owners in the world today. They belong to the genus
They are members of the family Cichlidae
known as cichlids.
family also includes another extremely popular
species the angelfish.
Both are native to the Amazon River system.
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There are two
species collectively referred to as
These two species
divided into five different subspecies. But this in not a science
lecture. Suffice it to say that these wonderfully exotic species are
distinguished by their color palettes. They are available in brown,
green, blue, red and yellow. Both species have been selectively bred to
further enhance their natural coloration. The end result is some of the
most beautiful fish you will ever see in a home aquarium.
The Discus is a rather
expensive fish as far as freshwater
varieties go. You can expect to pay anywhere form $35 to upwards of
$200. The price is determined by the size and coloration of the fish.
The good news is that they are relatively long lived. Under premium
conditions they may live in excess of 10 years. So you will get your
money’s worth in the long run.
among one of the
larger freshwater varieties. They can
reach eight to ten inches in length. It is quite possible to raise a
single discus in an aquarium. A pair is even better. But a group of six
or more allows them to interact as they would in nature. They must be
kept with other large species or in mono-species tanks. They will eat
when determining if they are
appropriate for your aquarium needs. You will require a minimum tank
size of 75 gallons if you intend the raise a group.
should also be aware they are not recommended for amateur
aquarist. They are not as tolerant to diverse water conditions as many
freshwater fish are. The ideal environment for your discus is soft,
slightly acid water ranging from pH 6.0-6.5 and a temperature range of
77-86 degrees. Between the monetary investment and the
intolerance to less than ideal water conditions, beginners should avoid
the temptation to raise them.
When keeping Discus it is advisable to start with bottled or
reverse-osmosis filtered water. The water can then be filtered through
peat or a thin layer of peat can be added to the substrate. Peat
releases humic acid into the water which naturally raises acidity
levels. This will help further mimic their native environment. Make
sure the peat contains no chemical additives or fertilizers.
is primarily a carnivore. Aquarium specialty stores sale
food especially formulated them. It is a good decision to trust in fish
care specialist given the investment involved. They will eat brine
shrimp, tubifex and bloodworms.
difficult to distinguish the male form the female Discus.
Fortunately they will save you the trouble. They will pair up
instinctively. Paired discus should be placed in a breeding tank.
Discus will clean a leaf or other flat object to deposit their eggs on
prior to spawning. These fish are very protective of their unborn fry.
They will stand guard over the fry, and clean them regularly. The fry
will hatch about two days after fertilization.
The fry will be free swimming about three days. Once they are they
will derive their nutriment by eating by eating a mucous secretion off
the skin of their parents. The parents and fry should be left together
for the first few weeks. But after two or three days you can start
feeding the fry newly hatched brine shrimp.
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