As many of you know I have been keeping tropical fish, plants, and invertebrates for over 60-years — both freshwater and saltwater. When I think back to my earlier years in our hobby I realize that our knowledge of what it is and how do we keep it alive has increased enormously over those years. Today, through the work of scientists and the dedication of advanced aquarists, we know how to be successful to a degree that was not possible when I was a teenager.
A case in point for our freshwater readers is the so-called king of freshwater fish – the discus fish, Symphysodon sp. It was about 50-years ago that I tried to keep this fish. I can remember trying to get them to eat, usually not with much success, and ultimately losing then to a disease then called hole in the head, which we now know is caused by a parasitic protozoa identified as a member of the species Hexamita.
Recently, I set up a large freshwater planted aquarium. After about a year I added one 2.5 inch discus fish to a diverse community tank. Remembering my past experience with this species I wanted to see how it would do. To my surprise it ate well and competed with the other fish easily. After that I added three more juveniles, and following that I added 5 young adults. All are doing well for a variety of reasons: the correct water temperature, pH, purity, and all were tank bred and raised. I suspect the latter to be the most important. In any case here are some photos taken this week.