There is a family of fish known as cichlids found throughout the earth. Estimates of the size of this family range from 1300 to 3000 as new species are still being found. The sizes, shapes and colors of cichlids vary considerably.
Cichlids have many different shapes that include the usual shape of fish to the real thin ones shaped like a discus. The colors vary from intensely dark blue to light in color to striped such as some of the discus shaped. The slim angelfish is also a cichlid with long, thin flowing fins and a broad tail.
Although, in some parts of the world, cichlids are game or food fish, many of the small to medium-size cichlids have become popular as aquarium fish. Caring for them is easily done as commercial food is readily available, and these fish are easy to breed in captivity. Among the most popular are the discus, oscar and convict cichlids.
Where do discus cichlids come from?
They are part of the freshwater fish that are found in the Amazon Basin. Discus comprise three of the species of cichlids also living in this body of water.
What is the appearance of some discus?
Discus vary in color from brown with brown stripes to turquoise or red stripes. When seen from the side, their shape is nearly oval. When viewed from the front, they look extremely thin. They are named discus because that is what they look like. Because of their beautiful appearance and shape, discus are a great choice as aquarium fish, adding interest and unusual color.
Discus fare better if they are grouped and put in a tank with non-aggressive fish. If angelfish or other more aggressive fish are in competition for food with the discus, the discus may not do as well or could starve to death. They, basically, are non-aggressive.
Because they are non-aggressive fish and beautiful in appearance, discus make great aquarium fish. Their popularity has lead to a large aquaculture industry in several countries of Asia. Discus can be found in many fish shops worldwide because of demand for their use in aquariums.
For those interested in raising discus, they breed easily, and both parents may care for the brood. However, because some cichlids are carnivores, breeding needs to be done in tanks exclusively populated with discus.
If you have one or more aquariums, you need to consider adding discus to them. They will add color, interest and beauty to any display.