The common name for this species derives from its disklike body shape. Traditionally S. aequifasciatus has been divided into three subspecies: S. a. aequifasciatus (Green Discus), S. a. axelrodi (Brown Discus), and S. a. haraldi (Blue Discus). This division still applies in most aquarium literature.
In the wild there are four main color forms of S. aequifasciatus: green, blue, brown, and a reddish color. Captive breeding over many years—including countless crosses between the naturally occurring forms as well as between them and the cultivated types—has resulted in a wide range of Discus varieties. More new varieties are created every year, particularly in the Far East.
The tall body shape of these fish means that a tall tank is essential, and they are best kept as a single-species group. During breeding, pairs should be isolated in a tank that includes rocks on which the females can lay their eggs.
- Symphysodon aequifasoata
- Widely distributed in tributaries of the Amazon basin.
- Reported up to 6in (15cm), but many cultivated varieties can exceed this.
- Territorial during breeding; generally sedate and peaceful at other times.
- Livefoods preferred, but deep-frozen, freeze-dried, and meat-based formulations, and some dry foods (e.g. flakes) accepted. Commercially produced Discus preparations are available.