14 Types of Discus Fish and How to Care for Them

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Discus are one of the most beautiful and most frequently kept ornamental fish. They belong to the genus Symphysodon, which contain basically three species: Heckel Discus (S. discus), Green Discus (S. aequifasciatus), and Blue and Brown Discus (S. haraldi). Apart from these natural species, there are various types of man-made discus fish that are produced through selective breeding and natural mutations.

Types of Discus Fish

For those of you who are interested in maintaining discus, let’s see the explanation of discus fish types below.

Fish Red Discus

red discus fish
source: piqsels.com

Heckel Discus, or Symphysodon discus, is a fish native to the central / eastern Amazon region, native to the Rio Negro in Brazil. This species is easily distinguished from other species. Its body has nine trunks that run vertically all over the body, the first, fifth, and ninth trunks are thicker than those indicated by other species.

This first line runs vertically through the eye and the ninth through the caudal fin. Meanwhile, the fifth and most prominent line runs vertically in the middle of the body. This line appears wider than other stripes in adult species.

Brown Discus Fish

brown discus fish
source: commons.wikimedia.org

Brown discus or Symphysodon aequifasciatus axelrodi, was once one of the most popular types of discus fish as it is easier to maintain compared to other discus variants in the home aquarium.

This fish has a color that varies from light brown to reddish brown like rust. Like all discus, brown disc has a series of vertical stripes all over its body and these lines are most visible around the fins.

Blue Discus Fish

blue discus fish
source: flickr.com

Symphysodon aequifasciatus haraldi, or blue discus, generally show a dark blue or purplish brown color on their body. The blue discus is easily recognized by the blue longitudinal stripes and dark bands that run horizontally along the body.

Some variants like the Cobalt Blue Discus have a metallic luster while others, like the Royal Blue Discus, feature a mix of bold colors like blue and yellow.

Types of Green Discus Fish

Green Discus Fish
source: upload.wikimedia.org

Symphysodon aequifasciatus aequifasciatus, or green discus. This group of discus fish displays a variety of colors ranging from deep green to greenish yellow to brown.

Although they display a wide variety of colors, their intensity is often a bit bland. In the home aquarium these fish can be very difficult to maintain due to their specific requirements for water conditions.

Types of Red Turquoise Discus Fish

red turquoise discus fish
source: commons.wikimedia.org

The turquoise red discus has a bright blood red base color broken down by metallic blue stripes, streaks and spots. The contrast between these two colors is amazing. This species has the typical vertical striping of S. aequifasciatus.

Brilliant Turquoise Discus

brilliant turquoise discus
source: YouTube

This variety is similar to turquoise red, but instead of having a bright metallic red base color, it’s base color is more of a sunset orange. Striping turquoise is very dominant and covers most of their body. They have visible vertical lines, but are very faint.

Pigeon Blood Discus

pigeon blood discus
source: commons.wikimedia.org

First bred in Thailand in the 1980s, this type of discus is named for its dark red eyes, which are said to resemble the region’s popular “pigeon blood” rubies.

This variety has a basic color that is bright orange, like beige. Above this is a bright red honeycomb pattern covering their entire body. Their vertical stripe is not very visible and they usually have a black tail.

Cobalt Discus Fish Species

cobalt discus fish
source: commons.wikimedia.org

Their bodies have a royal blue color with no vertical stripes. Their whole body had a metallic luster. When they are moving in the aquarium, light reflects off their bodies, creating a beautiful view of your aquarium.

Blue Diamond Discus

blue diamond discus fish
source: snappygoat.com

This Discus is another solid colored fish, similar to cobalt. But, not metallic blue, it was powder blue. The color contrasts between bright red eyes and powder blue.

Types of Fish Snakeskin Discus

Snakeskin Discus
source: flickr.com

They differ from other discus because of their markings. Instead of being striped or squiggly, they have small, dense spots all over their body. They also have 14 vertical lines instead of nine.

Leopard Discus Ring

ring leopard discus

These fish are some of the more expensive varieties available for sale today. The pattern looks like a leopard print as it has large round dots that show the base color in the center. They have nine very faint vertical lines.

Marlboro Red Discus

marlboro red discus
source: commons.wikimedia.org

They are bright blood red in color and mostly have black tails. There are several variations: solid red, red with a white face, red with a yellow face, red with small patches of blue stripes on the dorsal and anal fins.

Tangerine Discus

tangerine discus
source: YouTube

This discus fish has a solid orange color, similar to the cream color which is the base color of the pigeon’s blood disc.

Discus Checkerboard

discus checkerboard fish
source: commons.wikimedia.org

This variety has red markings on a white or turquoise base color. This pattern resembles a chessboard, but the lines are not at all the perfect squares of an actual chessboard.

How to Care for Discus Fish

Keeping discus fish is not easy, therefore, make sure you have prepared your fish needs. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to care for discus fish.

Habitat of Discus Fish

The natural habitat of the disc is characterized by three features: the water is relatively warm (29-34 ° C); depth is at least 1.5 meters; and the water is soft (not measurable hardness) and acidic (pH 4-5).

Filtration must be mechanical and biological. Partial replacement of water should be carried out with conditioned fresh water; The temperature difference between the new water and the aquarium water should not be more than 2-4 ° C and the new water should always be cooler, not warmer than aquarium water.

Discus food

This fish food is generally live feed or frozen feed. For example tubifex, bloodworm, brine shrimp, corethra, gammarus.

However, professional carers feed him with branded feed, or with a variety of minced meat which includes beef heart, shrimp and shellfish, fillets, nettle, vitamins, various vegetables.


The disc grows to a width of 15-20 cm. They are not fast swimmers, and usually glide quietly through their habitat. The minimum aquarium size for a pair can be considered 60 x 60 x 60 cm, and more fish require a larger aquarium.

The depth of the aquarium should not be less than 50 cm, otherwise the fish will become nervous. The aquarium should provide plenty of cover (swamp wood, large vegetation) and have a smooth river sand substrate at least in some places, and fish will be happy to forage through this.

Aquarium Friends

Unlike other cichlid species, discus is a peaceful and kind-hearted species. It is not a predator and does not dig into the aquarium substrate like other cichlids.

Discus are herd fish so they prefer to live in groups of at least 6 species and hardly stand on their own.

The difficulty in selecting a tank mate for discus is that the fish are slow, eat slowly and live in water with fairly high temperatures for other species.

Because of this and also to prevent possible infection, fish are often kept in separate tanks.

However, if you still want to include some friends in the aquarium, you should consider the following fish: neon tetras, ram cichlids, clown loaches, remmy nose tetras, congo tetras, cardinal tetras, and other catfish and putts, for example. Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps to keep the tank clean.

Those are some tips for caring for discus fish. You can get other products for keeping fish such as aquarium decorations and fish food only at Ruparupa. Come on, buy immediately while there is a promo!

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