Cichlids / South America / Brown Discus

Brown Discus
Symphysodon aequifaciatus axelrodi

Synonyms: None
Physical description: The Brown Discus has the typical rounded discus shape. The coloration ranges, but for the most part the body is yellow-brown with nine vertical stripes. These stripes can be very distinct or can be faded or missing. The intensity of the stripes depends on the age and strain of the fish. Various iridescent spots and stripes cover the body. The dorsal and anal fins are blue-green to red in color, while the caudal fin is clear. The pelvic fins are long and slender and the pectoral fins are transparent.
Size/Length: To 6" (15 cm)
Similar species: Other Discus species- S. aequifaciatus aequifaciatus, S. aequifaciatus haraldi, and S. discus
Habitat: South America; found around Belem and Manaus, in the Purus and Urubu rivers.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: The tank should be at least 40" (100 cm) long and 20" (50 cm) tall with a capacity of at least 45 gallons (170 L). See the general description of discus for more requirements.
Water chemistry: The water should be soft to medium hard with a hardness of 0-8 dH (5). pH 5-7.5 (6.7), 79-88°F (26-31°C)
Social behavior: A calm peaceful fish, see the general of discus for more information
Suggested companions: See Discus description.
FOOD: Live: insect larvae; mosquito larvae, bloodworms; aquatic insects; flying insects; crustaceans; Daphnia, Cyclops , Brine Shrimp; carefully washed Tubifex worms; pellets; formulated Discus foods.
Sexual differences: The distinguishing of the male and female is difficult. Adult males may develop a small lump on their foreheads, but this difference is not always reliable. During the spawning season, the shape of the genital papillae serves as the best difference. It is round in female and pointed in males, although this difference is also difficult to detect.
Breeding techniques: Brown Discus breed like other discus species. See the general description of discus.
Breeding potential: 8. Breeding of the Brown Discus is, like all discus, considered difficult.
Remarks: The Brown Discus is a sub-species of the Green Discus. Many Brown Discus are imported from Southeast Asia, and have a redder hue than wild-caught specimen. The Brown discus is considered one of the easier discus species to care for.
Difficulty of care: 7. A sensitive fish that requires frequent partial water changes. The Brown Discus is sensitive to changes in water chemistry and even trace amounts of water pollutants. Like all Discus, this species must be fed a varied diet with limited feedings of carefully washed Tubifex worms-as these often cause problems.

By Rhett Butler


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