Designed around upon the FBAS comprehensive list of commonly-kept species, these Care Sheets are categorised as those found in FBAS Show Classes.

Details of all species referred to in these Fish Care Sheets can be found in the FBAS Booklet No 6 - National Show Fish Sizes. Click HERE for information.


                                        Discus                01/01/2002

Genus: Symphysodon.
           It is recommended that aquarists who are intending to keep these fish,
           do adequate research into the necessary parameters for their comfort
           and health. These are generally considered to be 'specialist' fish.

Family: Cichlidae

Geographic Origin: Brazil, but most commercially-bred colour variants come
                            from the Far East.

Common Names: Discus, Pompadour or Emperor fish

Compatibility: Generally kept on their own but can be kept in a specialist
                     community tank. Prefer slow moving tankmates.

Minimum Aquarium Size: These fish can grow to 200mm or more, so a large
                                     tank is necessary. A 1200mm x 380mm x 380mm
                                     (48" x 15" x 15") tank is probably the minimum.

Temperature: Should be kept at high temperatures. 28o/30oC 82o/86oF
                      is usual although there is some variation in nature.

Habitat: Gravel substrate with a well planted tank. Amazon Swordplants
             (Echinodorus spp) are often featured plants.
             Breeding tanks usually bare with ceramic cones for spawning site.

Water Parameters: The best water conditions are soft and acid.
                             Low hardness with a pH of less than 7 is ideal.
                             Good filtration without too much water disturbance.

Health: Not always the easiest species to keep in good health.
            Careful inspection for 'Hole in the Head Disease' should be made and
            this must be treated with a proprietary medicine.

Diet: Special discus foods both dried and frozen are on the market.

Plants: Gravel substrate (preferably lime free) with large plants.
          Bogwood with growing plants attached is fine.

Breeding Notes : Usual spawning medium is a terracotta cone.
                         Young fry feed initially from skin mucus of parents and may
                          be difficult to raise artificially. Parental care strong.

Availability: There are many different colour varieties on the market.
                    Some shops specialise in Discus and have a wide range.

Show Class: FBAS Show Class D.

© FBAS 2002. PWC/RDE                                       Fish Care Sheet 8 1/1

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Last updated October 2016