Brown Discus - Symphysodon aequifasciatus axelrodi
Brown Discus - Symphysodon aequifasciatus axelrodi

Brown Discus - Symphysodon aequifasciatus axelrodi

By: ILuvMyGoldBarb

Symphysodon aequifasciatus axelrodi

Species Name: Symphysodon aequifasciatus axelrodi

Common Names: Brown 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 gallon tank for a breeding pair. If they are to be kept for display purposes only then a tank of 40 gallon should be provided.

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

Breeding: While there are many theories on how to sex discus based on secondary sexual characteristics, the most accurate method is to observe the breeding tubes when they extend. The male fish has a tapered breeding tube; the female does not. This is true for Brown discus as well as for other members of the same species.

Symphysodon aequifasciatus axelrodi forms monogamous pairs and is known to breed quite readily in the home aquarium. When a pair has been formed in the aquarium they will seek out a suitable breeding site together and start cleaning it. The breeding site will be a vertical surface, e.g. a flat stone, and it is important to provide your Brown discus with such a surface if you wish to encourage breeding in captivity.

During spawning, the female discus will swim over the breeding site and release her eggs, followed by the male who fertilizes them. This process will be repeated multiple times each time the couple spawns. The Brown discus is a devoted parent and the mother and father will take turns fanning the eggs with their pectoral fins to bring in well oxygenated water and prevent fungi and bacteria from ruining the batch.

Brown discus eggs will typically hatch 48-60 hours after being fertilized. When the fry has devoured their yolk sacs they will start feeding off the sides of their parents. Both parents excrete a nutritious slime coat and will continue to both protect and feed their young. When the young are free swimming and large enough to leave their parents it is time to start giving them newly hatched brine shrimp.

If you wish to raise healthy brown discus fry you must keep the water quality impeccable. Water changes must be performed at least once a day and twice is to be preferred. Change upwards of 90-95% of the water at each water change.

Brown discus fry may be left with their parents or separated out. If you keep the pair for the purpose of breeding, move the pair to a new tank as soon as the fry are free swimming and no longer eating slime.