Aquarium Fish

Snakeskin Discus

posted: 05/15/12
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Snakeskin Discus
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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There are many names of Discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus) based on colored varieties resulting from controlled breeding. The Snakeskin Discus has a mottled blue appearance against a red background. The Discus has surpassed the Angelfish as the most popular freshwater aquarium fish. Depending on sub-species, the range of the Discus extends from the Amazon to the Rio Negro Regions of South America.

The Snakeskin Discus requires an advanced level of care due to its feeding habits and water filtration requirements.

Territorial during spawning, this otherwise peaceful fish is among the schooling group, forming a well-defined nuclear family. It is best to breed an established pair, or maintain a group of young Discus and allow them to pair themselves. Warm, soft, slightly acidic water is required for spawning. The pair will clean a flat surface (usually a broad leaf or the side of the aquarium) prior to spawning. The parents must not be removed from the fry; the fry feed on their parents' mucus.

Largely carnivorous, Symphysodon aequifasciata prefers freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, pellet food designed for Discus, high-quality flake food, and meaty frozen foods.

Ideal tank mates include: Guppies, Mollies, Platies, Swordtails, Tetras, Rasboras, Danios, Barbs, Gouramis, Rainbowfish, Cory Cats, Plecos and peaceful scavengers.

Fish Facts

Name: Snakeskin Discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus or S. aequifasciata)

Family: Cichlidae

Range: South America — Amazon and Rio Negro Regions

Size: Up to 8 inches

Diet: Carnivore

Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Lightly planted, rocks, soft bottom

Tank Conditions: 79-86°F; pH 6.5; dH 1-3

Minimum Tank Capacity: 40 gallons

Light: Low

Temperament: Peaceful

Swimming Level: Middle and Bottom

Care Level: Moderate

Reproduction: Egg Layer

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