6-08-2019, 23:00
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Symphysodon discus

Symphysodon discus are some of the most stunning aquarium fish that will serve as a real decoration in almost any aquarium. The fish have three pronounced vertical stripes in their colouration. Due to their appearance, the fish are also called pompadour fish or pineapple fish.

It should be noted that the Symphysodon discus are kept in hobbyists' aquariums since the mid-19th century, and so far these fish have not lost their popularity among aquarists. The fish was first described in 1840 by naturalist Johann Jakob Haeckel, after whom it was named.

Symphysodon discus

Under natural conditions, the Symphysodon discus inhabits bodies of water in Brazil, South America. The fish can be found in calm pools or in small streams along heavily vegetated banks.

When looking at the fish from the front, they are almost flat, while from the side they have an almost round shape. The main body colour is brown in nature. Shiny blue stripes cover both dorsal and anal fins, and continue on the back and belly of the fish. The dorsal, pelvic and anal fins are bright red edged. The sex differences are not pronounced. The sex of the fish can only be determined unambiguously during spawning, when the male genital papilla is pointed and the female genital papilla is rounded. If you examine the fish closely from above, you can see that the females have a fuller abdomen. The size of the fish reaches 20 cm.

In Lake Tefe, Brazil, there are many discus fish whose fins and body have bright green or blue stripes. This fish species is sometimes called the Royal Discus.

Over the decades, many varieties have appeared, red, yellow, yellow-orange. All of these varieties are not from nature, like many of the fish we keep in our aquariums today. They have all been obtained through selection.

Symphysodon discus are very peaceful. The fish do not hide in the substrate like many cichlid species and do not harm plants. Dyskus live in harmony with other fish, except during spawning time, when they fearlessly protect their fry. It is best to buy a group of fish initially and let them form pairs naturally. A pair of fish is formed for life. Each of the fish pairs occupies a specific area in the aquarium. If you want to breed from your wards, only one pair of Heckel discus fish should be kept in the aquarium and the others transferred to another aquarium.

Symphysodon discus

The size of the aquarium for keeping a pair of Heckel's discus should not be less than 200 liters. The larger the tank, the more stable the water parameters. The water in the aquarium must be crystal clear. Use a high-performance canister water filter for this. Pieces of peat should preferably be placed in the filter element. Water temperature 28-32° C, hardness dH 1-12°, pH 6,-7.5. The perimeter of the aquarium should be densely planted with various aquarium plants.

In nature, Symphysodon discus feed on invertebrates, small aquatic and terrestrial insects and their larvae. In an aquarium, the fish can be fed with various live and frozen foods (Artemia, bloodworms) as well as flakes containing spirulina. Chopped salad leaves, spinach, blanched cucumber can also be given. It is very important to provide the fish with a varied menu. If this is not done, the fish will die very quickly.


Producing Symphysodon discus offspring in captivity is a very difficult task. The vast majority of the fish offered in the domestic distribution network are imported from their natural habitat. When keeping Symphysodon discus together with other discus species, it may happen that a male Symphysodon discus mates with another species of discus and they eventually develop viable offspring. Of course, in this case there is a new hybrid fish with a substantially different coloration than the real Heckel's discus.

The life expectancy of Symphysodon discus in an aquarium is about 10 years.

Symphysodon discus

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