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Discus Fish Species:

Discus fish are a group that fall under the classification of cichlids.

These are very popular among enthusiasts of aquariums. They are a very aesthetically pleasing species that resemble the fish populations that can be found among coral reefs. The fish are average sized, measuring in at about 10 inches from tip to tip.

There are a few subspecies that comprise this group. The natural habitat of this fish is the Amazon river basin but are cultivated in many parts of Asia as well. Being part of the cichlid family, they are known for the extraordinary lengths they go to when it comes to caring for their young, being mouth brooders.

The parents feed the young larvae as they hatch from specialized secretions in their skin – much like a nursing mechanism. This usually only lasts a few days in the wild but in captivity, this behavior can last as long as a few weeks.

One of the most interesting things about the discus fish is that it is extremely affable to its owners. The fish can sometimes be construed to even having a distinct personality. The fish has been known to recognize owners and display basic intelligence when it comes to being curious about movements. They are even noted as following movements on the television. An adult discus fish will even stare at its owner across a room and rush to the walls of its tank when the owner approaches. At some point, it is even possible to have the fish eat out of your hand. Taking care of the aquarium itself is something that is common irrespective of the species of fish that you are rearing. This is a delicate procedure that involves extricating the fish and keeping them in a special holding pen while you drain the water away and thoroughly clean the container. The water that is refilled should then be checked for its pH levels and specific gravity to ensure that the water is not too brackish. In most cases, simple tap water will even do fine for most fish though it is important that you let the water sit for a day before using it in an aquarium. This is because of the chlorine content in tap water that can be toxic to some fish.

It is important to also not disturb the fish by changing the lighting in the environment. This means that you need to slowly reduce the amount of light that is in a room and not suddenly switch on or off lights as this can seriously confuse fish.

  Submitted on May 7, 2010