Heckel Discus – whatever their place of origin and body coloration or patterning – can generally be distinguished from S. aequifasciatus by the central (fifth) vertical body band that extends from the base of the dorsal fin to the anal fin. In S. discus the band is nearly always wider than the other bands and much more prominent, while in S. aequifasciatus all the body bands tend to be more-or-less equally wide and prominent. Some breeders have found the prominent band of S. discus “distracting,” and as a result it has not been as widely bred or developed in captivity as S. aequifasciatus. A subspecies, the so-called Pineapple Discus (S. d. willischwartzi), is sometimes cited. Most authorities, however, believe it to be a form of S. discus and not a valid subspecies.
Other comon name
- Rio Negro tributaries, Brazil.
- Up to 8in (20cm).
- 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 Special, commercially produced Discus preparations are available.
- Large, thickly planted around sides and back, with open swimming area at front. Any rocks should be noncalcareous. Water soft and acid preferably tannin-stained (bogwood will achieve this, as will a peat component in the filter and/or a proprietary “blackwater” preparation). Temperature range: 79-86 F (26-30 C); even slightly higher for breeding.
- As for 5 aequifasciatus, but successful spawning is more difficult to achieve in aquaria.