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Cichlids / South America / Heckle Discus

Discus, Heckle Discus, Pompadour Fish
Symphysodon discus

Synonyms: None
Physical description: The Heckle Discus is rounder than S. aequifaciatus species . The general body coloration is red with turquoise veins running throughout the body. The fins are the same color as the body, while the caudal and pectoral fins are transparent. When this fish is young, its body coloration is a dull brown.
Size/Length: To 8" (20 cm)
Similar species: Other Discus species- S. aequifaciatus aequifaciatus, S. aequifaciatus axelrodi , S. aequifaciatus haraldi, and S. discus willischwartzi
Habitat: South America; found in the Amazon, Madeira, Negro, Purus, and Xingu Rivers
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: The tank should be at least 48" (122 cm) long and 20" (50 cm) tall with a capacity of 60 gallons (227 L). The tank should be lightly planted. See the general description of discus for more requirements.
Water chemistry: pH 5.5-6.5 (6.0), 0-3 dH (1), 81-90°F (27-32°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; Back swimmers; 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: The Heckle Discus is very difficult to breed, harder than other Discus species. The water must be changed regularly. Breeding usually occurs in water with a pH of 6.0-6.4, with a water hardness of 0-2 dH, and a warm water temperature of 84-90°F (29-32°C). See general description for young rearing.
Breeding potential: 9. Breeding of the Heckle Discus is considered very difficult.
Remarks: There are two common strains of the Heckle Discus, the Pineapple Discus ( S. discus willischwartzi ) and the Red Discus. The Pineapple has faded pastel colors. The Red Discus has a dominant red body color with turquoise veining covering the entire body. The Red Discus is regarded as one of the most beautiful Discus Fish. The Heckle Discus is considerably more difficult to care for than S. aequifaciatus species.
Difficulty of care: 9. Many experienced aquariasts and experts define success as keeping a Heckle Discus alive and healthy for over a year. The Heckle Discus is sensitive to changes in water conditions and water pollutants, thus leaving it susceptible to disease.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com