Discus Fish

Red Eagle Discus
Red Eagle Discus

Common name: Discus fish are named depending on their colour. The 3 shown on this page are the Red Eagle Discus, Red Turquoise Discus and the Blue Discus, but there are many more.
Scientific name: Symphysodon spp. – The spp is an abbreviation as each strain of discus fish has a different second name.
Care Difficulty: Medium / Difficult
Adult Size: Up to 25cm (10 inches)
Original Origin: South America (Amazon River)
Tank Size/Setup:

Recommend at least 20 gallons or 90 litres.

The tank size must be bigger if you include more fish; some people recommend up to 55 gallons.

They tend to hang about around the middle of the tank and will feel at home in a deep planted aquarium.


Discus fish are quite peaceful, but due to the difficulty in keeping them, many people keep them in discus only aquariums.

If you put them with other fish, they should all have a peaceful temperament.

Water Temperature: 26°C to 30°C (79°F to 86°F)
Water Hardness: 20 to 120ppm (1 to 8°dgH/kH)
Water pH: 6pH to 8pH
Fish Food:

They need a mixture of meat and plant based foods to be kept healthy.

They will eat anything from flakes to freeze dried or live food.

You will notice that they are very fond of the live foods.

The Sexes: Very hard to tell the difference, but if the fish are breeding you will be able to figure it out.

Breeding Discuss Fish can be difficult and perfect conditions are required to be successful.

The water should be kept around 30°C (86°F) and the Ph must be between 6 and 6.5.

Discuses breed by laying eggs on a prepared surface, which can be horizontal or vertical.

After 2 or 3 days the eggs will hatch and both parents actively look after the young.

For the next 2 or 3 days the young feed off mucus secreted from the skin of the adults. This goes on until the young are big enough to eat other food.

Average Lifespan: In the region of 10 years.

Discus Fish are well loved by experienced aquarists who take pride in the difficult nature of keeping them.

Slight changes or degradation in water conditions will have nasty effects on these fish and they will only reach the age of 10 years or more if they are looked after properly.

If you keep a strict maintenance schedule you should be fine. You may wish to use a test kit to keep tabs on the water quality.

Blue Discus
Blue Discus

Red Turquoise Discus
Red Turquoise Discus

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