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Popular Discus Fish Types

October 9, 2011

discus typesThere are many different types of tropical fish available, but discus remain one of the most adored and sought after of them all.  This article serves as an introduction to these beautiful underwater gems, while highlighting briefly the difficulties of discus care.

Coming from the Cichlid fish family of breeds, the Discus are bright, vibrant circular shaped.  Hence the name.  The defining quality of discus fish is their size, with fully grown adult fish reaching lengths of 8-10 inches.  With anything beautiful, like orchid flowers for instance, comes great responsibility and discus fish are one of the trickiest to look after.

Two discus types exist, the wild discus and the discus that are the result of cross-breeding.  Obviously this explains the background of these discus.

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Water conditions

A man named Johan Heckel is cited as discovering the first of the discus types, called the Heckel Discus.  This particular discus has a blue or red body with a black strip down it’s side.  Another variation is the Green Discus which unsurprisingly have bodies of green tones and shades with either bright red spots or dark stripes along the middle of their body.

The Brown Discus is perhaps the most widely known of all wild discus.  This discus may not be as vibrant in colouring as the other discus available, but it is popular as one of the easier ones to care for as it is very robust.  The Blue Discus is very much the same as the Brown fish, except the colouring of course.  These have a very dark blue hue covering their body.

Discus breeding has thrown even more variety into the mix.  This is best displayed in the most recent of creations, the Albino Discus.  As you may have guessed, these discus have entirely white bodies with vibrant, red eyes.

Another of the cross-breeding discus that is worthy of mention due to it’s Hollywood styling is the Blue Diamond Discus.  These discus have much thinner fins than their counterparts, which, with the deep blue shaded body and red eyes, gives a nice shiny, twinkle in the water.

Discus care is important with all discus.  While there might be small differences, the basics are the same.  Blackwater is the favoured water consistency for all discus, as they originate from South America.  This can be achieved in a home tank using chemical blackwater additives bought from a store.  Another concern with discus fish is tank size.  Most argue that the fish size is determined by tank size, with discus fish this is not true.  Healthy discus fish thrive in a suitably large aquarium.  While they can eat sea monkey and baby crickets, it is best to feed discus the speciality flakes you can buy from any good fish and pet stores.

I would challenge anyone to argue that discus fish are not some of the most awe-inspiring of any fish breed.  Attention should be drawn to the fact that the above paragraph is just the tip of the iceberg with discus care.  It is not an easy thing and not for the beginner.  Discus fish with the right care can provide an eye-catching centrepiece for any home.

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Here are a couple of cool videos showing different discus types:

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