Green Discus

Green Discus

Green Discus, also known as Red Spotted fish, has a blue body with beautiful red markings on specific regions.

They can alter their color based on various factors, including their age, water quality, mood, and stress level.

In this article,  we will be discussing everything you need to know about Green Discus fish, including their behavior, diet, lifespan, and more!


Scientific NameSymphysodon aequifasciatus
SpeciesS. tarzoo
Care LevelDifficult
Size4.8–6 in (12.3–15.2 cm)
Weight5.2-8.8 Oz (150-250 g)
Skin TypeScales
Lifespan10 Years
Temperature81-86 degrees Fahrenheit
pHbetween 4.8 and 5.9
OriginAmazon River’s western basin

Green Discus Origin & Habitat

The green discus, Symphysodon tarzoo, is a cichlid species native to the Amazon Rivers.

In the wild, the ocean green discus fish lives in deep water. It is primarily seen in blackwater rivers with a warm temperature and an acidic pH.

It prefers Rio Nego and Rio Maderia, which have adjacent floodplains that contain water with low suspended materials or mineral content, unlike whitewater rivers.

History of Green Discus

Earl Lyons established the scientific name in 1959, and the species was revalidated by pattern, morphology, and mtDNA in 2006.

Subsequent examinations have strengthened its distinction, while other studies claim the scientific name for the green discus is S. aequifasciatus (a term generally used for the blue/brown discus). 

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN has not designated the Green Discus fish as endangered. They are frequently found in their native regions and are believed to be healthy and plentiful.

Green Discus Features

1. Appearance

Green Discus has a flattened and rounded shape. Unlike most other discus, the fins on this fish extend down its tail. It has asymmetrical metallic stripes running parallel along the belly, anal and dorsal fins, and on the top of the body.

2. Color

The wild discus is bland and uninteresting compared to the colorful and patterned tank-bred discus.

The latter has a brown to the greenish body with nine vertical bars or stripes down the middle. Apart from this, there are two distinct body colors, red and blue, with various odd designs.

3. Length

The max length of this fish in the wild is approximately 6 inches (15.24 cm). They can reach a length of up to 9 in (22.8 cm) in captivity due to an abundant food supply.

4. Lifespan

The appropriately housed and maintained green discus fish may live up to 10-15 years in captivity.

Always be on the lookout for early indicators of illness, such as slowness, puffiness, abnormal eating routines, and discoloration. This species of fish typically shows signs of aging after approximately five years.

How to Care for Green Discus?

1. Water Parameters

Water Changes

These fish require clean, good-tasting water, so it is essential to do regular water changes.

A minimum of 20-30% should be done every week, and the water should be replaced with aged water that has been treated with a dechlorinator.

Be sure that the temperature of the new water should match the current tank conditions as well.

Water Temperature

It is critical to replicate your fish’s natural habitats in your aquarium. So, the water temperature should be between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius (81-86 degrees Fahrenheit).

pH Range

Considering their natural habitat, green discus fish prefer an acidic environment.

Thus, the pH level should be between 4.8 and 5.9. If the pH is too high or low, it will result in health concerns for the fish.

Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate

You should know that ammonia and nitrite should be at 0 ppm for water toxins. If it is not, this will result in health concerns for the green discus fish. As for nitrate, it should be below 20 ppm.

2. Tank Setup


High water quality is essential for the green discus, so a sound filtration system is necessary.

A canister filter is also recommended to maintain water quality and provide adequate filtration.

Using a protein skimmer will also help remove organic waste from the water.

Hiding Places

Green discus fish like plenty of hiding places in their tanks. Thus, it is essential to provide driftwood, rocks, and plants.

Live plants are the best option as they help improve water quality and provide hiding places for the fry.

If intense lighting is required for plants to thrive in an aquarium, ensure the plant density is sufficient to shield the fish from excessive illumination.

Green Discus Diet

Green Discus fish are carnivores and should be fed a diet of meaty foods.

You can give them live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, Tubifex worms, and Daphnia.

You can also give them pellets or flakes that are high in protein.

It is essential to feed them small meals several times a day as they have a small stomachs.

Overfeeding can lead to health problems such as obesity and swim bladder disease.

Green Discus Compatibility

The Green discus fish is a friendly species that love to be housed in groups. However, each fish is secluded from the groups in the breeding season and forms a pair.

Maintaining at least four to six fish in one aquarium with at least 10 gallons (37.8 L) is the best approach for keeping these fish.

These fish should not be kept with aggressive or noisy fish species as they are peaceful by nature.

Some suitable mates include:

  • Siamese Algae Eaters
  • Tetra species
  •  Celebus rainbow fish

Green Discus Breeding

Green Discus fish are known to have a slow reproduction rate. There isn’t much information available about their breeding habits.

According to several scientific studies, the mating season and reproduction in these fish are significantly influenced by changes in the flood level of their habitat.

However, they generally spawn at high water levels with enough food and less predator presence.

When two fish make a pair, they separate themselves from the rest of the school. This might be done to avoid or reduce cannibalism.

The parents keep the eggs secure and clean after copulating and laying eggs. The hatching occurs in the following three to four days, much like other cichlids.

They have an unusual way of producing mucus-like materials through their skin, which they give to their fry for the first weeks.

After 2 weeks, the parents stop providing this food source, and the fry start eating zooplankton, insects, and small crustaceans.


Where Does a Green Discus Live?

The green discus fish inhabits tributaries of the Amazon River’s western basin.

What Type of Animal Is a Green Discus?

Green Discus is a freshwater ray-finned fish.

What Class of Animal Does a Green Discus Belong to?

It is a vertebrate that belongs to the phylum Chordata and the class Actinopterygii in the order Perciformes.

What Would You Call a Baby Green Discus?

The baby tefé green discus is sometimes referred to as a fry or larva.

How Long Does a Green Discus Live?

The Green discus fish can live up to 10-15 years in captivity.

How Big Is a Green Discus?

The Green Discus size ranges from 4.8 to 6 in (12.3 to 15.2 cm).

How Much Does a Green Discus Weigh?

The Green Discus weigh between 5.2 and 8.8 ounces (150 and 250 g).

Is Green Discus Poisonous?

The Green Discus is not poisonous.

Last Words

We hope you enjoyed reading this guide on Green Discus fish.

They are an excellent addition to any freshwater aquarium and are relatively easy to care for as long as their water quality is maintained.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!

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