Discus are found in the varied tropical waters of the Amazon River in South America. The Amazon river contains water known as white, black or clear. It's in the areas where these differing water meet that Discus are found. The Discus is considered a fish for advanced fish keepers and thrives on planted aquariums. They certainly are stunning fish and one of the most instantly recognisable.

Common names

•    Discus
•    Pompadour
•    Emperor fish

Geographical origin

South America

Discus aquarium condition requirements

Minimum aquarium size - Discus fish can grow to 200mm or more, so a large tank is necessary. A 1200mm x 380mm x 380mm (48” x 15” x 15”) tank is probably the minimum.

Temperature - Discus fish like water kept at high temperatures 28o/30oC 82o/86oF is usual although there is some variation in nature. The best water conditions are soft and acid. Low hardness with a pH of less than 7 is ideal. Good filtration without too much water disturbance.

Habitat - gravel substrate (preferably lime free) with a well planted tank of large plants such as Amazon Swordplants (Echinodorus spp). Bogwood with growing plants attached is fine.

Discus behaviour with other fish

Discus fish should generally kept on their own but can be kept in a specialist community tank. They prefer slow moving tank-mates.

Discus diet

Special Discus foods, both dried and frozen, are available on the market.

Discus health

These are not always the easiest of species to keep in good health. It is recommended that if you are intending to keep these fish, you do adequate research into their requirements. These are generally considered to be specialist fish.

Habitat - freshwater tropical aquarium

Sociability - poor with other breeds, prefers single species community

Care - difficult

The Pet Owners Association are grateful to the Federation of British Aquatic Societies for the above information and image.