The Royal Aquarium

Discus are Cichlids, and their ancestors came from the Amazon and other Rainforests in South America.

But now of course they live in aquariums all over the world. In aquariums, Discus can grow to be about 6″ long and rarely even larger.

Behaviors: Discus are usually not aggressive fish, but from time to time the can be territorial.  Some recommended tank mates include, Angelfish, Dwarf Cichlids, and Tetras like Glofish, plus Cory Catfish and a Dwarf Pleco. Discus live best from about 75 to 84-degrees F. with 80 being perhaps ideal. Premium Fish Food Pellets is best to feed to Discus. Smaller sized pellets when young, and larger sized pellets when bigger, is the ideal food for these fish.

Water Conditions: These fish can adapt to most types of water, and so as usual it’s best not to try to change the pH or the hardness.

Aquarium Size: Discus will eventually need to live in an aquarium with at least 60-gallons of water, but of course bigger is better.

Discus do not need gravel, and a layer of gravel more than 1/4″ thick will usually fill with bits of uneaten food that will contaminate the water. Live plants are beautiful and improve the water quality, and Discus seem to love live plants and are healthier in planted aquariums. Driftwood also seems to improve the water quality, but of course you must be sure it well cured and of the proper variety of wood for an aquarium.

Aquarium Filter: Bio-Wheel Filters are highly recommended. Most 60-gallon aquariums have room along the back for at least two Penguin 350B Filters, and this is sort of a minimal Discus set up. Better is a 120, 150, or 200-gallon aquarium with as many Penguin 350B Filters as will fit across the back.The addition of Lava Rocks will keep nitrates in the ideal range.

Life Span: Discus can live for several years. Keep the water conditions excellent and feed them premium foods, and they may live for many years.

Gender: It’s difficult to tell males from females, when they are very small, but when mature, the male usually has more vibrant colors while the female is often plumper.

Breeding: Discus females will lay eggs on a flat surface that they previously cleaned off. The male will fertilize them, and then both the male and female guard and tend to their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the baby Discus feed off the mucus on their parent’s sides. The water will need to be warmer, soft and slightly acidic for best breeding. The scientific name forthese Discus is Symphysodon aequifasciatus.  There are many color variations of Discus in the aquarium hobby