by: Gendo Ikari
The Discus fish is a South American Cichlid that belong to the genus Symphysodon, which currently includes three species: The common Discus fish (Symphysodon aequifasciatus), the Heckel Discus fish (Symphysodon discus) and a new species of Discus fish which has been named Symphysodon tarzoo. The Discus fish was first introduced in the 1920’s and is now regarded as one of the most beautiful of all aquarium fish. While they are colorful and attractive, they are quite difficult to care for; nevertheless, their popularity continues to rise.
As the name implies, Discus fish have the typical disc-shaped body with full dorsal and anal fins reaching to the tail. The body of an adult Discus fish can reach about 8 to 10 inches in diameter. Originally, due to the environmental diversity of the vast Amazon River basin separate populations developed differential in color and markings. Discus fish breeders have greatly expanded upon this and developed new variations through selective breeding, with the colors and patterns of the Discus fish varying according to the type of species bred, habitat and diet.
Discus fish are widely found in calm parts of small, blackwater rivers, lakes and deep pools throughout the Amazon River basin. The water is usually very clean with little or no pollutants, acidic (6.0-6.5 pH), very soft (0-3 dH) and warm with a temperature of around 77-84°F (25-29°C). They are usually found in small groups around submerged decaying trees, vegetation and aquatic grasses. Discus fish are wild-caught in the Amazon River basin at night by using a strong light to mesmerize the fish, the area is then encircled with netting and slowly drawn closer, with all obstructions such as wood being removed. Some species of Discus fish are now considered endangered in some areas of the Amazon River basin.
For more information visit this Discus fish guide.
About The Author
I am a fish breeder. Visit my Cichlid breeding site to learn more. http://cichlidbreeding.net