Posted by Son Nguyen on

Discus is considered by many aquarists to be the most amazing freshwater fish, It is the "king of the aquarium" by their mystery look and the beautiful appearance as well as their behavior. .

Discus is considered by many aquarists as the most amazing freshwater fish

Where are discus come from:

Amazonian Basin, Brazil South America, now widely farmed in Asia.

Body shape

The size is about 8 inches max under proper care and full growth, the height is equal to the length, making the body shaped like a round disk. The mouth is small, the eyes are large and often red or yellow. Males are usually larger than females.


Fish need a large space to swim, suitable for quiet places, or startled when they see people. Discus likes to live where clean water has a low pH of 5 - 7, the temperature is from 82-84 o F.

Discus fish is a species that love eating worms, lentils, heart, liver, ground beef... or industrial foods with a protein content higher than 30%.


Male fish: large shape, slightly hunched head, saggy ventral fin, under the abdomen the concave fin area looks very clear, more aggressive than female fish.

Females: usually smaller than males with short protruding genital spines, divided into 2 pointed lobes and slightly curved back.

Fish can spawn after 12-18 months of age. When they mature, they will pair up with each other, separate the group and swim to a corner. It is difficult for discus to breed artificially, artificial spawning tanks should have a slightly acidic pH (PH=5.5-6).

The mating phase occurs during the spawning period, the pair of fish will separate themselves in a corner of the tank, using their mouth to clean the place where they will spawn. These fish often stay close to their mouths, wag their tails, chase each other, and scare away other fish that come near them. Then they swim in pairs, entwined with each other. A few days before spawning, the fish has a shivering phenomenon, shaking the whole body, folding the fins, sometimes standing still in place, rarely catching prey. When the fish is born, the head is lowered to 45 degrees, at this time the genital spines are clearly visible, the color is very bright. The female fish lays eggs vertically on the substrate, from the bottom up, the male fish also follows that route to spread sperm to fertilize the eggs. The number of eggs laid by the female participating in the first spawning is usually 70-80 to 150, sometimes more.

Fertilized eggs are transparent. Unfertilized eggs are cloudy. After 24 hours, the fertilized egg turns greyish white. At 86o F the eggs hatch within 55-57 hours. During this time, the male and female fish take turns moving pectoral fins to fanning water so the eggs to get enough ventilation. Egg hatching rate: 60-90%. Should give the fish to spawn in a quiet place (cage, cover the fish tank).

Breeding fry: After the eggs hatch into fry, the parents take the fry to another location. The fry cling to the wall of the tank or a substrate. Juveniles cannot swim yet and live off of reserves in the yolk sac below the abdomen. Any fish that is dropped will be brought back by the parents.

After 60 hours, the fry can swim around the parents. The fry live by eating slime from the parents' bodies for 12-15 days. After that, the fry begin to eat small organisms in the water. About 18 days, the fry can eat artificial food. After 21 days they can find food on their own.

Newly hatched fish is very small; after 1 week the fish is 1/8 of an inch long. About 2 weeks old, fish 1/4 inch long, straight striped body, gray-brown eyes. At 18 days, the fish is 1/2 inch long, the dorsal and pelvic fins are black and colored. About 5-6 weeks, the fish is about 1 inch long, shaped like an adult fish, but the color is unknown. After 3 months, the fish is 2.5 inch long and the color is clear, but it is not until the 5-6th month that the fish has the colorful color of the adult fish.

In the first time, from day 7, should feed fry with live brine shrimp several times a day, avoid overfeeding. Food should be evenly distributed throughout the tank, avoiding large fish competing for food. Then until 2 and a half months, fish should be fed water lice (Daphnia), brine shrimp. Fish 3-4 months old feed more larvae, blood worm...etc.

For the first few weeks, the water temperature should be kept at 84-86° F. Light for about 18 hours is recommended. But don't use too bright light.

Translated by Son Nguyen

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