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Discus Cichlid

Symphysodon species

The discus fish is a very popular South American cichlid. Discus cichlids are generally easy to care for but require a well balanced diet and stable water conditions.

Discus Fish Description

The discus cichlid body shape is as round as it's name suggests. They will have this shape from an early age and grow to the size of a small sandwich plate.

Many discus fish colour variations have been developed, perhaps more than any other cichlid. The original colour form has shades of olive brown. From these humble beginnings colours such as cobalt blue, pigeon blood red, and turquoise green have been selectively bred.

Discus Fish For Sale

The price of adult discus cichlid can be quite overwhelming. The brilliant colours and patterns of good quality discus can easily fetch prices from several hundred to a few thousand dollars. Younger fish can be purchased more reasonably.

Discus can be finicky eaters. Always find out what the discus fish for sale has been fed with before purchase. If you are serious about selecting a healthy fish ask when feeding time is and make your discus fish selection from the strongest feeders.

Feeding Discus Fish

Once in a new aquarium a discus cichlid may take several days before they begin eating. Frozen complete discus meals are a great choice. They meet the diet requirements by offering beef heart, vegetable matter, insect larvae and other tidbits. Such varied diets always prove best for discus fish.

Water Requirements for Discus Fish

Water preferences make them suitable for an Amazon biotope. Discus fish have no tolerance for ammonia so place them in a mature tank and monitor levels carefully. Low pH can be tolerated but is usually kept above 6. Soft water hardness should be aimed for to match their native habitat.

Tank Requirements for Discus Fish

Discus are passive fish perfect for a peaceful community aquarium. They will swim at all water levels watching other aquarium fish intently. The body shape and swimming range makes them excellent specimens for a tall octagonal aquarium.

Breeding Discus Fish

Sexing discus is difficult so start with a number of potential parents. Persistence will be rewarded as discus cichlids are always in demand. When breeding discus do not separate the mother from the fry as the young fish will feed from secretions from the mother discus fish. Watch carefully and the fry can be seen feeding from the mother's skin. This natural food is the best nutrition for new discus fry.





A mixed discus cichlid aquarium is always quite spectacular. The range of colours developed since the 1970's offers lots of choices. Different colours can breed together but fry will not have the same chromatic intensity of the parents.

Family - Chichlidae

Size - Up to 15 cm

Fish Origin - South America

Water - Keep pH 6 - 7 and hardness soft

Temperature - 26-29°C

Feeding - Omnivore - Give them flake, frozen and live foods

Sexing - Difficult

Breeding - Egg are laid on a vertical surface

Aquarium - A discus cichlid is an excellent community fish





Morlboro red discus interact together in the spawning ritual. This discus fish variety is popular for its bold colouration. Choose fish with natural red rather than selecting colour fed specimens.

Angelfish | Convict Cichlid | Frontosa | Jaguar Cichlid | Kribensis
Oscar Fish | White Spotted Cichlid | Aquarium Fish

Also see this discus fish article on our partner site.

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