All About Discus Fish
The Discus fish is a large cichlid from the Amazon River, its tributaries and flood plains, in South America. Discus and its varieties were first described in 1840 by Dr. Heckel as Symphysodon discus, this name is used now for the Heckel discus variety. To begin with the only 3 color varieties were green, brown and blue, but now a much wider choice are available.
The discus is a social fish and forms large groups in their native waters, and has ahighly advanced social behaviour; they are one of the few real schooling cichlids. Remember when starting to care for discus; always begin with a group of them. They need the social interaction to grow their character to its best potential.
Currently , it is difficult to find the original color variants in pet shops, only the Heckel is sometimes imported. Most of the discus fish you encounter today are captive bred color varieties. Some of the discus have lost their stripes and thereby their natural ability to communicate in the school. One of the advantages of the captive bred discus is that they are now less difficult to maintain than the imported ones.
It is getting increasingly simpler to keep Discus Aquarium Fish with the new technology improving water quality and Discus Fish health, which may explain the increase in demand. The number of new dealers and breeders is growing speedily and even small aquatic shops are stocking a range of Discus. They are beautiful, yet still remain a challenge to keep and breed, with the latter being very satisfying and will even cover costs for the hobby. Most people that keep Discus will eventually want to breed them as it is a great experience, though breeding Discus Fish can be challenging
Discus Fish are very timid fish and tend to hide when they are not confident so keep the aquarium away from noisy and busy areas particularly near doorways and halls . The only other element to take into consideration is the height of the tank, the higher up the better as Discus are distracted by movement above and this may cause them undue stress .
Discus should be fed a varied , vitamin and protein rich diet, therefore it is important to use a number of different types of food: Fish flakes provide a complete diet, though Discus prefer to feed lower in the water, even at the bottom, so soak and squeeze out the flakes before putting into the tank. Frozen brine shrimp, defrosted and rinsed, makean ideal supplement and the carotene helps enhance colors. Frozen irradiated bloodworms are a good daily addition, although the flakes contain some already. Do not over feed, Discus fish are grazers, and will eat bit by bit , so allow them time.
Although not easy to keep, these beautiful fish are a very rewarding hobby, if you have the time and patience for them: The exquisite colors are a wonderful addition to any tank or aquarium.