Blue Discus - Symphysodon aequifasciatus haraldi
Blue Discus - Symphysodon aequifasciatus haraldi

Blue Discus - Symphysodon aequifasciatus haraldi

By: ILuvMyGoldBarb

Symphysodon aequifasciatus haraldi

Species Name: Symphysodon aequifasciatus haraldi

Common Names: Blue Discus

Family: Cichlidae

Order: Perciformes

Class: Actinopterygii

Max Size: 13.7 cm

Environment: Freshwater

Origin: South America – Amazon River Basin

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Company: Peaceful species are best. Small Tetras, Cories, and smaller Plecos work best.

Aquarium Setup: Minimum of a 20 gallong tank for a breeding pair. If they are to be kept for display purposes only then a tank of 40 gallon or larger should be provided.

Food: High quality pellet food, brine shrimp, and beef heart should comprise the bulk of the food given. Black worms and blood worms may also be fed on occasion.

Breeding: Discus will breed quite readily in the home aquarium and Symphysodon aequifasciatus haraldi is no exception. The quandary is instead to keep the water quality high enough to raise healthy blue discus fry into adulthood.

While there are many theories on how to sex blue discus based on secondary sexual characteristics, I recommend the breeding tube method since this is the method that gives the most accurate answers. Observe the breeding tubes when they extend and look closely for tapering. If the breeding tube is tapered, you are looking at a male blue discus. If the breeding tube is not tapered, the fish is female.

Symphysodon aequifasciatus haraldi forms monogamous pairs. When a pair has been established in the aquarium they will look for a suitable vertical surface to act as breeding site, e.g. a flat stone, and you should therefore provide them with a suitable surface if you wish to encourage spawning. Once a suitable spot has been located, the couple will meticulously clean it together.  

During spawning, the female fish will pass over the breeding site with the male following her en suite. She will release the eggs and the male will promptly fertilize them. This behavior will be repeated multiple times.

After spawning, both the mother and the father will stay to protect and care for the eggs. The blue discus is a devoted parent and the adult fish should never be separated from eggs or young fry. The couple will take turns fanning the eggs with their pectoral fins to bring in well oxygenated water. Blue discus eggs typically hatch after 48-60 hours.

Once the eggs hatch, the fry will feed off their egg sacks until they are empty. They will then proceed to feed on the slime excreted by their parents. Both parents are involved in the raising of the fry; both provide protection as well as food to the young. When the young leave the parents and are free swimming they are large enough to be fed newly hatched brine shrimp.

As mentioned above, impeccable water quality is mandatory if you with to raise healthy blue discus fry into adulthood. Carry out a water change at least once a day; twice is preferable. Water changes should be upwards of 90-95% each time.

The fry may be left with the parents or may be separated out. If the couple is being kept for the purpose of breeding it is best to move it to a new aquarium as soon as the fry are free swimming and no longer feeding off the slime.