Archive for the Discus category

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.”

Predator Tropical Fish

Predator Tropical Fish

By Nate Jamieson

Some tropical fish, either because of their size, feeding habits, or just their natural behavior, are not suitable for beginners to try and raise in a community tank. These are some of the big and bad, that you may want to avoid until you’re more experienced.

Oscar- This native of the Amazon River and its tributaries, is a large fish, reaching 13-14″ in length, although it can be sexually mature and laying eggs at 4″. They do best in a tank with no “fussy” things like slender plants or ornaments. They prefer a medium texture substrate because they’re great diggers, but do like wood or rock platforms that create a cave. The recommended food for Oscars is feeder goldfish, because they basically will eat anything small, that moves. This is why they can’t be kept with smaller fish, or livebearers that will have young. Most hobbyists use a special large stick food that absorbs some water and moves with the motion in the aquarium, so it mimics prey.

Jack Dempsey- Another South American native, the Jack Dempsey comes in many of the same dark colors and spotting as the Oscar, featuring greens, brown and gray areas, which may help large species like this to hide amongst the bottom rocks. The Dempsey is similar to the Oscar in other ways as well, being a bottom digger, and preferring caves and wood to rest under. They are also a live feeder that will devour anything that moves, but unlike the Dempsey, they pursue their prey, and are considered to have “attitude” that makes them best suited to a tank of like-minded fish.

Discus- While not the bottomless pits that Oscars and Jack Dempseys are for feeding, the Discus is still a large fish, even at 6″, and because of their native Amazon River environment, require a fairly specific habitat. In the wild they lived where trees had fallen into the river, and made their homes under and around the branches. In an aquarium, that means keeping a thick substrate where the light does not reach down to, as well as lots of wood pieces for hiding, and vegetation that goes from bottom to top. They are live feeders as many large fish are, but generally subsist on a diet of shrimp, tubifex and daphnia in good quantity. They are a fish that lives naturally in groups of five or six, and in the home environment, do not take well to upsets or changes in the tank.

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