Discus Fish aka


Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Discus are freshwater perciform fish, peculiar cichlids native to the Amazon River basin. There are two recognized species, both within the genus Symphysodon: the red discus or common discus (Symphysodon discus) and the blue discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus). The two species are very similar and may interbreed, producing a number of hybrid strains. Details regarding the precise number of subspecies have not been finalised. Discus are most closely related to the genus Heros.

The first special characteristic of the discus is its flattened body shape. It is compressed from the sides to a dish or discus shape. Although patternation varies, most are showily coloured in shades of green, red, brown, and blue. The height and length of the grown fish are both about 20–25 cm (8–10 in).

The second special characteristic of the discus is its care for the larvae. Like all cichlids, the parents care for the young but the discus has a unique way of doing so: the parents produce a secretion through their skin, off which the larvae live during their first few days. The young can be seen grazing off their parents.

The discus are shy and peaceful aquarium inhabitants. They are sensitive to stress and disturbance or lack of protection. The best cohabitants may be angelfish (although many aquarists claim that keeping them together with angelfish will introduce parasites and/or diseases in them) and small characides like tetras. The Uaru is another preferred tank-mate of the discus. However, small fish may be intimidated by the big discus fish or even eaten. Small chacarins like neon tetras are often found in the gut of wild discus, so they might not be the ideal cohabitants, but the ideal food.

Also suction mouth ancistras (plecos) prove less than ideal for discus since they often attach themselves on the sides of discus and eat their mucus membranes.

The popularity of the discus has given it its nickname among aquarists: “the King of the aquarium.”

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