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Discus Aquarium Fish R Cool - Discus Facts

Updated on September 15, 2014
Brown Discus Fish
Brown Discus Fish

Did you know that discus aquarium fish can be found living in nature in only one area on the globe? Are you also aware that there are no more than four discus species?

But wait... there's more!

Getting Involved

Being really observant is not one of my strengths, if you know what I mean .

But I have to admit, I was really surprised when I observed some beautiful fish in the tank at my physician's office recently. I was somewhat familiar with aquarium setups. And I knew that the more vibrant, colorful fish resided in saltwater tanks. Freshwater aquariums were more drab.

But on this exceptional visit, I found out some live discus fish that were not only freshwater creatures, but they were quite beautiful and colorful, too. I had a discussion with the receptionist about the discus aquarium fish, and she told me that it was not saltwater. But I did not believe her, and she had to get someone else to confirm that it was a freshwater setup before I would accept that what she said was indeed true.

At that time I determined that it was time for some research. The whole reason I didn't have a personal aquarium was because of my "uninformed" view that freshwater fish were just plain uninteresting. Kind of like all black and white photos and no color. With this new "eye-opening" information, my mind started to imagine a discus aquarium of my own.

Saltwater was not even a consideration due to price and lack of expertise. An aquarium with saltwater is very complex and requires someone who is moderately experienced with water conditions, not to mention much more costly equipment.

My exploration turned up the following, very cool, discus fish facts. But believe me, there is a ton of information that is not included here.

Discus Fish Fun Facts

Discus fish are native to the Amazon River in South America (that's the only place they can be found naturally). Cichlids, that's what they are. Discus fish fit into this scientific group. There are over 1500 different species of fish in the Cichlids group. That makes them the largest vertebrate group in the animal kingdom. And most are freshwater fish.

These beautiful creatures are pretty much round in shape and flat, kind of like an angelfish, but not exactly. It turns out that discus and angelfish are both cichlids. But it is NOT a good idea to have them in the same aquarium. Angelfish will "steal" the discus food because they eat a lot faster. It could cause malnutrition in your beautiful discus fish. Isn't that some of the coolest fish data?

As far as species go, there are only four discus species existing in nature. These are Heckel, Brown, Blue, and Green.

But now that guys like me are popping up all over the globe with an interest in these gorgeous animals, they are being bred by discus breeders. Not only that, but they are being cross-bred (like roses) using scientific selection to get even more varieties... tons of new and interesting patterns and vibrant colors.

In fact, now that I am more familiar with discus, I can tell you that the fish I originally saw at the doctor's office were artificially bred. Freshwater Discus fish are quite interesting and captivating.


Healthy Discus Fish Tank
Healthy Discus Fish Tank

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    • profile image

      Wayne 7 years ago

      Right you are Mr. Strout. A pair is good, but 6 is even better. That's because discus have a pecking order. The more fish you have, the less "psychological" problems.


    • G L Strout profile image

      G L Strout 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I agree, I always had a pair of discus fish when I had aquariums. Nice ariticle.