Wildcaught Discus

Aquarium Plants and information for the Discus aquarium.

The Amazon Discus (13936 Byte)

Discus - Wild

Family : Cichlidae
Genus : Symphysodon
[Sym=together ; phys=growth ; odon=teeth]
Size : up to 9 inches
Temperament : Peaceful, can be kept in
community tanks.

Discus Information - The origins of Discus. The King of Aquarium fishes ; this graceful cichlid hails from the Amazon river system, one of the largest and most stable biotopes on our planet. It was first introduced in the early 1930's , 60 years on, it's still considered one of the more demanding and expensive fish to be kept.

These fishes are found in various parts of the vast river system. There are basically 3 types of water composition along the Amazon river, the loam-yellow or "white" upper Amazon, the "black water" (near Rio Negro) in the central region and the green-yellow or "clear water" lower region. The various types of water host different colour variety of discus, but generally the water has very low mineral content and are termed as "soft" water. The pH value are more towards the acidic side, especially near the "black water" region where many of today's colourful "Grand Daddies" of discus are found. The round bodies of the fish are linked to its habit of liking to hide in heavily vegetated or exposed tree roots areas, thus allowing it to glid through the plants with ease.

The first acknowledged discus species are the Symphysodon aequifasciata (the common discus) and S. discus (Heckel or red discus), each with its own subspecies. The S. aequifasciata (has 9 distinct dark bands on the body) has 3 recognised subspecies : which are firstly the S. aequifasciata aequifasciata Pellegrin (known as the Green discus from the central Amazon) , secondly the S. aequifasciata axelrodi Shultz (the Brown discus from the lower Amazon) and lastly the S. aequifasciata haraldi Shultz (the Blue discus from the upper Amazon). The S. discus (possess 3 distinct dark bands on the body) has 2 recognised subspecies : they are S. discus discus (known as the Heckel or red discus from Rio Negro and north of Amazon) and S. discus willischwartzi Burgess (the pineapple discus from Rio Abacaxis, south of Amazon).

The hundreds (or maybe thousands) of colour varieties that one can find in today's aquarium shops are probably originated by hybridizing the natural subspecies and species. The many varieties you find today are the result of careful breeding and selection process which resulted the various strains. The great popular demand for these varieties has resulted more and more people breeding and producing new strains, thus making discus the Single most "hybridised" aquarium fish in the history of fishkeeping.

Source : Dr. Axelrod's Atlas of Freshwater Aquarium Fishes (3rd ed)

Discus and aquarium plants.

Discus are a natural for the planted aquarium as they like to have cover to hide with aquarium plants and therefore are not quite as likely to be skittish. Water currents should not be overly strong as Discus do live in rivers, but they dwell near riverbanks where the speed of the waterflow is reduced and most of the natural habitat rivers for Discus are of a low gradient and slow moving to begin with. For those of you who have been told that you must have 88 degree temps and higher it simply isn't true. Temps of 82-84 degrees are widely considered acceptable. These aquarium plants below will do fine in those temperatures.

Aquarium Plants for the Discus Aquarium.

Not only does the addition of aquarium plants help to boost oxygen levels but also helps to rid the water column of toxins and improve water quality for your Discus. Here is a list of the plants for the Discus aquarium. Keep in mind that these aquarium plants do well in those conditions for Discus but are not all found in the South American Region.

Anubias barteri ''coffeefolia''
Anubias Barteri
Anubias Nana
Crinum (water Onion) Thaianum)
Crinum Natans
Cryptocoryne Balansae
Cryptocoryne Petchi
Cryptocoryne Wendtii (Green)
Cryptocoryne Wendtii De Witt (Red)
Amazon Broadleaf (Echnidorus Bleheri)
Ozelot (Ech. Ozelot)
Pennywort (Hydrocotyle leucocephala)
Temple (stricta) Hygrophilia Corombosa)
Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus )
Java Fern, Lace Windelov
Saggitaria Subulata (Narrow Leaf)
Jungle Vallisneria
Italian Vallisneria


So there are these plants and even more that can be used for Discus aquariums with higher temps as well as "low light" plant tanks. See our package for Discus from 55 gallons to 75 gallons here.